By GLEN PELOSO | The expression is “the devil is in the details” but you will find that heaven is also found in the same place. It’s interesting that the expression was most attributable to the design icon Mies van der Rohe’s obituary. We always let clients know that putting a room together starts with the big pieces although that is only the start. Accessorising the space is what finally makes your house turn into your home.
Many design magazines will give you a bunch of rules about how accessories are to be displayed in a room. These rules and Decor Ideas, tell you that things must be in the same style or identical material finish, or grouped in threes, etc. The reality is, there really are no rules that can’t be successfully broken. Perhaps the best thing is to know what is suggested and then allow yourself to do what feels right to you. If you hate the pressure of making those decisions, then don’t worry, follow the rules.
Ideally you want to accessorise with things that appeal to you and have a personal connection. That doesn’t necessarily mean things from my travels, however those items, provided they are not plastic miniatures of the statue of liberty or other such souvenirs, can create interesting texture. A sculpture you bought in Venice or the like can speak to you and tells your guest something about you. Ideally, group together items that are similar to one another, based on type, material, colour, etc. For example, you may want to gather cut glass decanters or smaller soap stone sculptures or five framed images from your trip to Vegas.
When you are placing items through the room, you can decide if you prefer to have a symmetrical look or an asymmetrical look. People seem to fall in one camp or the other. If you like the idea of symmetry then you will likely need to buy doubles of the accessories that appeal to you. That sense of balance often works well on a mantel or a buffet in a dining room. Essentially you are working with triangular shapes both way, and the rule of thirds. When you are creating a symmetrical look you are creating two right angle triangles where the tallest elements are at the outside edge and headed to the centre angle by reducing the size of the next element by one third and so on. In an asymmetrical plan, you are still creating triangles and thirds but they aren’t right angles any longer. We are generally happy with a pyramidal shape which is found often naturally in mountains and trees, plants, etc. The layering of elements can be a little more complex however the same rules apply. The only real difference is having those triangular shapes moving both side to side and forward and back.
It’s important to maintain enough of your renovation budget to accessorise. You will feel dissatisfied with the room if you leave that element out. When clients work with us, we include this element in the process to provide that “wow” factor as the project draws to a close. We also have the advantage of knowing exactly where to get what we need and the skills to do it quickly so that you don’t have to spend every weekend shopping!
• Use similar things to group together.
• Use strong colours to add interest to the room and change those colours in the future to change the mood of the room.
• Group items in pairs for a symmetrical look or work in odd numbers for asymmetry.
• Remember the rule of thirds when working with heights and groups of three.
• Accessories with things you have a connection to.
• Items on shelves should be a combination of books, frames and accessories.