Start with an object that brings you joy, and choose other accessories that are inspired by or complementary to that piece. You're much more likely to be happy with the result when you begin with a much-loved item.
Before selecting accessories, decide on your color scheme. Choose one or two colors for your accessories that will add interest and coordinate with your furniture and wall color. Contrasting colors add vibrancy to a room. If your furniture and walls are neutral, go bold with your accessories.
Accessories are a great way to play up the theme of a room. If you're going for a beachy feel, shells and sea glass bring in that breezy feeling. For modern design, choose streamlined accessories that mesh with your contemporary furniture. The key is to keep your theme in mind to achieve a cohesive look.
Love to travel? Get travel-inspired accessorizing tips >>
A sense of balance is an important part of formal design. Use symmetry in formal rooms by flanking the fireplace with twin chairs or sofas, placing matching items on the ends of your mantle, or using the same scale art on opposing walls of a room. If your home has an informal design, go asymmetrical with your accessory placement.
When grouping multiple objects together, vary their size and height. This goes for candles, framed photos, apothecary jars and any other accent pieces. Mixing size and height adds visual interest to your design. Use odd numbers when placing accessories in a group.
Lighting is an easy way to add instant impact. Choose light fixtures that complement the design style of your room. As a great example, design guru Candice Olson uses a variety of lighting types to illuminate a room – from chandeliers to sconces to recessed lighting. Light fixtures are also a great way to add color where you need it most.
Get more lighting tips for your home >>
Walls are the ultimate canvas. Paint a bold color on an accent wall. Hang a grouping of framed book illustrations or shadow boxes, go for a decal that fills the wall, or mount a mirror (or a collection of them). Hang all of your art with the center at 57 inches to create an eye-pleasing effect throughout your home.
Great ways to accessorize your walls >>
Look down: Here's yet another blank canvas to accessorize. Area rugs are an excellent (and flexible) way to add color and texture to a room. Find stylish and affordable rugs at West Elm, CB2, Overstock.com and rugs-direct.com.
Helen Fawcett, owner of Whiz Bang Fabrics in San Francisco, shows us how to make funky fabric wall art.
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