August 21, 2014
Few furnishings strike a stronger personal note with homeowners than their accessories. Often, they're personal mementos gathered over the years, family photographs displayed in beautiful frames and favorite books that are re-read many times. Couple these sentimental favorites with classic elements like hickory mixed-width plank floors in Anderson's Vintage collection and you'll have a home design with lasting appeal.
When interior designer Shari Hiller is choosing her favorite accessories, most are things that are commonly found in households - pillows, personal collections, photos, books and artwork. She's also a big fan of bringing in fresh flowers to give a room a colorful display when company is expected. Several bunches may be gathered together for a fireplace mantel or single buds can spruce a table setting.
Hiller, who co-hosts the PBS series, Around the House with Matt and Shari, likes these accessories because they show the homeowners' personalities in their rooms and add sentimental value. They also go to the heart of Hiller's decorating philosophy, which is that home decorators don't have to spend a lot of money to put their personal stamp on room design.
Pillows, photos and books Pillows can add both color and pattern, particularly in neutral rooms that may need some bright accents, according to House Beautiful magazine. By making different pillow covers for the same pillow forms, the fabrics can reflect seasonal changes or a shift from deep jewel tones in winter to soft pastels that match the lightness in spring and summer decor.
While pillows add a homey warmth to a room's atmosphere, artwork provides a creative touch. The art that homeowners choose to display should be something they really love, not just pieces that are a good match for the furniture style in the room. However, coordinating colors between pieces is desirable to avoid having art that stands out as incongruous with the room around it.
When selecting photos, Hiller suggested unifying them by theme such as family events, all black and white or travel pictures. A wall display along a stairway or on an accent wall will get them seen, but prevent the cluttered look that often accompanies a photo collection gathered on a side table or bookcase.
Books also make good accessories when they're used to lift a lamp to a desired height or to give more prominence to an item like a small sculpture. If they're assembled artfully in a bookcase - some vertical, some horizontal - a few treasured collectibles can be interspersed among the rows.