THE 411 ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT
by Maureen Stevens, Interior Designer / Stylist
n the hierarchy of designing or decorating a home; choosing the accessories usually comes last. Of course it doesn’t mean it’s the least important. As the great Dorothy Draper (the fairy Godmother of decorating & the equivalent of Coco Chanel in fashion) once said “It is just as disastrous to have the wrong accessories in your room as it is to wear sport shoes with an evening dress.” So, what can one do in order to not let this faux pas of choosing the wrong accessories happen? Here’s what you can do...
Decide on the MOOD, feel and style you’re going for. In an era where neutrals abound (a neutral color palette, finishes and furnishings), the right accessories will set your space apart and exude more personality than that of the Joneses next door. If you are going for a Bohemian feel, go for pattern on pattern, or if you are more of a minimalist, then your vases and candelabras should have clean lines. COLOR, as always, is important. Going for a Scandinavian whimsy feel? Then go with whites plus an infusion of bright colors (With Summer just around the corner, your space may need doses of neon pinks and yellows). Feeling a little more sophisticated? Then go tonal with grays. Color saturation is important as well. Muted colors feels more casual while intense, bold hues ups the glam of the space; and warm hues lean towards a more global and exotic feel. Never underestimate or overestimate getting the correct SCALE. A 5 x 7 area rug in a large space is a no-no; unless of course you are putting down a cluster of rugs. A mirror that’s bigger than the console where it is placed on top of is awry. And get a big centerpiece or a collection of small to medium-sized center centerpieces for a big dining table.
Varying TEXTURES goes a long way. A space that feels cohesive and put together is all about layering. Choosing accessories with varying textures make that happen. Something sleek like a leather couch with a hand-woven linen throw definitely looks cozy. Mixing two to three different textures adds to the layered feel. A rustic industrial space with rough wooden accessories and polished metal lighting absolutely works! Ask yourself: does it make you happy? There are no strict rules in design, and when somebody (yes, even a designer!) tells you to throw out or hide an accessory you absolutely love, well, don’t do it. Whatever it is, it can always be incorporated into the space. When looking for the perfect accessories, some can come from a good old big box retailer in your neighborhood or from a flea market in a small town you and your then-boyfriend-now-husband accidentally stumbled upon five years ago. Those are the accessories that give so much depth to a space. Once you’ve found the perfect accessories, just three more words of wisdom: Edit, edit, edit! GET THE LOOK: 1. This area rug screams Bohemian Vintage ($120; Lulu & Georgia) | 2. Go for brights if you are going for the cheery & fun ($45; Nannie Inez) | 3. Choose art that’s the right size above the console or sofa ($1,065; Mockingbird Domestics) | 4. Pair something smooth with something coarse & woven (Nannie Inez)