12 Helpful Tips for Decorating with Accessories
Refreshing a room with accessories can be a lot more fun than just adding a couple pillows. Here are some great ideas for finding, arranging and putting some zip into your decor.
Not sure what to do with those ticket stubs, vacation photos, special menus, and train schedules? Curate a grouping of ephemera from your special trip and find attractive small frames to showcase them. Transform an available display area into a vacation celebration space and arrange all your travel treasures there.
Whether grouped all together on a vintage table display, or in sets of three strategically placed around the room, old-school toys add a nostalgic feel to any space. They are especially effective for antique lovers, flea market fanatics, or parents left with the kids’ beloved cast-offs. There’s no doubt, vintage toys are some of the sweetest home accessories to be found.
For those of us who like to load up our shelves with momentos and collectibles, doing so does not have to translate into clutter. Trays, bowls, baskets and vases can all be used to organize our special keepsakes. Organize them into like-color groups or arrange themed pieces together for a more effective display.
If you are especially proud of a collection or have a complete collection of one item, consider finding a display cabinet (new or used) to gather the pieces into one coordinated setup. Bonus: Glass cabinets mean no dusting required.
Inexpensive, easy and attractive, books make a versatile and effective display. Not only can you find them in thrift stores, estate sales, antique shops, they can be displayed by color, theme, size or shape. Gather a group of local-themed volumes and mine them for meaningful wall art, orr gather some favorites and bind them with a ribbon for a simple table topper. A stack of books can also be used as a riser for displaying other accessories, like figurines or framed photos.
Bind Them Together
Curate your favorite objects, switching up shapes and heights, and arrange them in tight groups that read more like art. This works especially well for more fragile collections or those with a lot of moving parts that can be easily nudged off a table. Consider binding the pieces together with a pretty ribbon or a piece of earthy garden twine. For instance, a collection of dainty bottles gathered and tied with a ribbon make a sweet display. Add in a flower or two to give them a pop of fresh color.
Contrast Makes Things Stand Out
Don’t be afraid to make a little visual noise — the result can be really striking. For instance, a grouping of white accessories displayed against a black background is a classic look that never fails to impress. Another is the brilliant green of botanicals against the backdrop of a crisp, white room. Adding a pop of brilliant color in an otherwise quiet and neutral room is another option to command attention. Remember, a little contrast can go a long way.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
A more budget-friendly option to give a wall new life, consider putting together a collection of mirrors of varying sizes, shapes and ages. Not only is this idea interesting and full of character, you also have the fun of going out and finding the mirrors. Craft stores, garage sales, thrift stores, antique shops are all great resources. Leave the collection in its natural state for a more eclectic aesthetic or create a unified look by painting the frames the same color.
Tap into your passions by decorating with recreation gear. You’ll instantly transform any room into your happy place. For example, a lake lover can use a handmade canoe paddle as wall art, or a boat lover can decorate with a group of model boats on the mantel. Is the beach your heaven on earth? Make a vintage life preserver instant wall art. Are you passionate about skiing? Antique snowshoes and skis make great decor. The sky’s the limit on this one.
Get Your Game On
Dip into your game closet for design inspiration. Easy DIY wall-size Scrabble tiles are fun customized decor for a game room or word-obsessed kid’s room. Or consider mounting vintage game boards on the wall to liven up a playroom, high-traffic hallway or stairway landing.
If your band days are long gone and those old instruments are just sitting in the attic, try putting together a themed display for the music lover in your family by framing sheet music and turning the instruments into wall decor.
For an especially attractive collection, fancy groupings and displays aren’t needed. Let the collection speak for itself by installing a wall-length shelf that borders the room and lining it with your pieces. This approach works well with collections of larger items like globes, plates, pitchers, pottery, apothecary jars, and vintage cookbooks.
Plant lovers have a lot of great accessory options. For instance, cultivating your own terrarium, or filling old trophies, coffee cups or Mason jars with herbs. Add to the live foliage with old botany books or framed botanical-themed pieces of art.