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Decorating With Accessories

 Since walls are often the first thing people notice when they walk into a room, the easiest and often the most inexpensive way to set the decorating tone of your home is by carefully choosing and planning your wall décor to fit within your overall decorating scheme.

 Even though you may have arranged the furniture and curtained the windows, until you have dressed the walls, the room is still incomplete.  You have probably had the experience of visiting a home which had a bare, unfinished appearance.   The reason was probably that the owner dismissed the walls with no greater imagination than a coat of paint and a few scattered pictures placed haphazardly.

 When you want to know what to buy or whether the accessories you have are suitable, just ask yourself this question.    What are they doing to improve the room?    To help decorate, an accessory should add one or more of these ingredients:

 Color:        Accessories can add a dash of color to liven up a room. Color can also provide a common connection for otherwise unrelated items.    For example, a blue vase placed on a mantle will compliment a blue oriental area rug.

 Texture:   Textural contrast creates visual interest.  A room with wood furnishings or walls needs the textural relief of polished silver, brass, chrome, iron or mirrors, as well as fabrics with varying textures.  At the same time, different objects with the same texture can create visual unity.  A collection of different sized clay bowls can create a dynamic display.

 Form:         Rooms are made up of different shapes and lines – round, rectangular, oblong, curved, horizontal and vertical.  Accessories help to make a room interesting when they add a variety of these forms.  A correctly scaled vertical picture is a good accent over a horizontal chest; while round, oval and hexagonal shapes are nice contrasts when used over a long, rectangular sofa.

 Balance:  Furniture possesses visual weight.  A dark green sofa will appear larger than a soft white sofa.  Balancing visual weight is an important consideration in room design.  The visual weight of furniture and accessories needs to be equally distributed throughout the room.  Wall accessories need to be considered as well.  Wall accessories help balance the weight from floor to ceiling.

 In decorating with wall accessories, success is a matter of remembering a few techniques that  aren’t difficult to master.

1.  Hang accessories at the right level, about 4”-12” above a sofa or occasional piece.  

Many people tend to place accessories too high on the wall.  This is displeasing because it forces the eye to wander upward and in most cases it destroys the unity that should exist between the furniture and wall décor.

2.  Leave enough space between items, but not too much.

When objects crowd each other, none of them are shown off to their best advantage.  Spacing too far apart, on the other hand, creates displeasing bare spots on the wall and breaks the unity and flow of the pattern you are trying to create.  

3. Use good quality accessories that highlight the quality of your other furnishings.

If you have a beautiful sofa or handsome cabinet you are proud to own, make the most of these treasures by choosing appropriate high quality  companion accessories.  A diamond needs the right setting to show off its sparkle.

4. Include all the walls in your decorating plan.

Just as furniture should be well distributed around a room for a look of careful balance, a grouping of  accessories on one wall should be complimented by some additional “weight” on the other walls. It’s good, though, to have one outstanding wall as a focal point for the room.  Decorator’s Hint:  wall hangings can add a soft texture to a room and also help hide imperfections.  

5.  Decorate every room in the house. 

You will find that the visual areas in a house or apartment seem to expand when there is something to stop and admire at every turn.  Particularly important in livening up the overall appeal of your home are the finishing touches applied to the halls, foyer,  stairway, kitchen, bath and other areas that are usually neglected.

6. Enough accessories to achieve a finished look, but not too many.

There’s  no need to clutter up every piece if furniture with small objects.  The beauty of emphasizing wall accessories is that they give a room  that desirable lived-in look.

7. When using smaller objects, link together a theme.  

Collections of related items have a more orderly look that a hodgepodge.  Try using similar framing materials or subject matters, or using small sets of related free standing objects.

8. Use three-dimensional accessories.

Pictures are indispensable as a means of bringing warmth, charm, color and artistic beauty into the home – but don’t rely on them entirely.  Contrast is effective in stepping up the tempo of a decorating scheme.  On your walls, contrast means using the interestingly shaped mirrors, clocks, sconces, plaques, and other objects that do much to enliven a room.

9. Don’t forget the plants.

Plants are an important accessory.  Silk plants are life like and care free, and can soften hard lines, add color and liveliness and create focal points.  Small plants can be grouped together, or plants of varying sizes can be balanced by mixing tall, thin plants with short,  bushy ones.  Also, consider the pots or containers the plants are in as an opportunity for  additional color and pattern.  

10.  Use light to accent.  

Light can add extra emphasis to accessories.  Place an accent lamp near a favorite item to make it stand out, and use uplights to emphasize texture. Purchase curios with down lights or place lights in the top of your curios to light up a display. Lamps are also important decorative accessories themselves and can add color balance to a room as well as functional light.  

11.   Express yourself.  

A true opportunity to express yourself comes when you start accessorizing, so try something that’s out of the ordinary.  Unique ideas may not come readily at first, but as you browse through our store, you will find hundreds of ideas to stir your imagination.

 Hanging pictures and wall accessories

Before you hang anything, check out your grouping plan by arranging all the accessories on the floor in front of the wall where you plan to hang them.  Stand back and visualize them as they will appear on the wall.    Don't start hanging pieces until you are happy with the whole grouping and spacing.  Horizontally arranged pictures will make walls look longer, while vertically arranged pictures will make a wall seem higher.  When you have the right arrangement, you are ready to hang.  Decorator’s Hint:  You can unify mismatched prints by using the same mat and frame.

 Use hangers and nails that are adequate for the weight of the item you are hanging.  Start with the largest item and build around it.  Small nails or angled picture hangers are adequate for small items, but use larger nails driven into wall studs for heavier items.   For large pictures that have two hanging clips, use a yardstick to mark the nail locations the proper distance apart and to make sure they are level. And, remember we are always here to help you if you have more detailed questions.