North Shore News – Nov 2008

 North Shore News


Small ideas make a big impact

Accessories add personality to room decor.

Home Ideas
Barb Lunter, Special To North Shore News
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Are you ready to undertake a major renovation in your living room or basement area but it just isn’t in the cards this year?

Why not accessorize your home instead? Teresa Cain, of Interior Solutions Design Group of West Vancouver, is an expert when it comes to accessorizing your home. She believes that there are many elements involved in the creation of mood and one of the key elements is accessories. While the best designs often break the rules, there are a few simple guidelines one can follow when selecting accessories for the home. Think of them as the “personality” of the space or the “crowning glory” so to speak.


Scale is an important factor. Too many people purchase small individual pieces that end up looking more like knickknacks. Instead, think large-scale. Less is more so if you have a collection of small items such as vases or picture frames try grouping them together so you have more of a collective display. Group similar themes, colours and textures wherever possible. Groupings also look better than items that are spread across a mantle or table. Odd numbers are best as well as groupings based on themes. For example, a collection of antique vases has more impact when grouped together rather than scattered throughout the house. These groupings should also consist of items different in height creating graduation. Your eye should travel from the top of the item down to the smaller items slowly. Be sure not to hang a small painting on a large wall. Instead, hang a grouping of small art pieces or a large painting on a large wall.

Creating high visual impact is also a key factor when it comes to accessorizing. Choose large-scaled mirrors, floor lamps and oversized items such as bowls, chargers, boxes and statues. Move things around so that everything is not on one plane. Some of your seating should have legs while some should have skirts.

Consider layering your accessories. Don’t be afraid to place items in front of a mirror or artwork. Homeowners tend to have a fear of blocking photos or art; however, the truth is that art and accessories are viewed from many different perspectives depending upon how one is seated or standing in a space.

Many of the above points are instrumental in creating asymmetrical balance but accessories can also be used to create balance in a room symmetrically.

Sara Laliberte of Interior Solutions suggests using asymmetrical arrangements to create an informal atmosphere and symmetrical arrangements for more formal settings. Placing identical lamps on identical end tables placed on either side of a sofa is one way to accessorize in a symmetrical fashion. This creates a display of equal proportion.

Layering pieces creates depth and draws the eye in to make you want to look closer. A lamp overlaps a picture hanging on the wall behind it and a fabulous box or tight bouquet of flowers sits tight to the lamp. You see a lot of this in home decorating magazines. Together these items create a visual vignette that draws the eye down. Mirrors are fabulous decorating tools. By layering items in front of a mirror, the reflection creates even more visual interest.

Lastly, don’t forget about texture

Texture is what creates interest and depth. Experiment with smooth, shiny and matte objects together. Create a tactile experience by placing a throw over the arm of a sofa or chair or pairing a smooth lamp with a textured linen shade.

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North Shore News 2008

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