Home Decor, home styling, interior design, accessories and unspoken rules
Hope you are having fun with spring, spring colors and accessorizing. I don’t know about you, but these tasks keep me sane and inspired. Although in the last year my humble abode has been neglected, right now you would not think that I am an interior designer if you saw my condo.
Anyway, the reason I am sharing with my very personal preferences regarding items that I won’t use for styling/accessorizing/decorating it’s because it really pains me when great people, potential clients, clients, family or friends use these items and it totally hinders their style.
If you are reading this post is because you have style, you want style and or both. So, you probably want to know what those items that may be robbing your style might be.
Let’s start by saying that in my opinion so long as you love something for the most part- it goes with your style and it belongs in your space. But when I say love, I mean LOVE. Like you can’t part with it and it makes you feel all sorts of good. Well, I guess everyone loves, likes different things and what appeals to you or me may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Get to the point!, I hear you say…
Don’t use plastic flowers or plants
Nowadays, there are much more sophisticated versions that actually look pretty good. There is always an exception to every rule if the plants or flowers are really well made and not cheap… then they are ok in small doses. When used sparingly and inadequate vessels, you may be able to pull it off.
Personally, I like to add living plants when styling a home/room/space to bring the outside in and for the space to feel alive.
A lot of clients say, well I don’t have a green thumb. I always tell them that there are hard to kill or some kill prove plants, so go for the live indoor plant and add texture, color, life and another opportunity to display a basket or a cool container that will add to your decor.
Never use a window valance
Another item that I find it really takes away from anyone’s style and only makes things heavy and are also dust gatherers are Window valances. Yes, you read right…those stiff, often outdated structures installed above a window. I believe window valances take away from the windows and make the room feel boxy.
Now, there could be a good use for a window valance when the windows are super tall and when designing this particular room you want to bring the eye down. Then hopefully you or your designer will go for a very beautiful fabric, a tailored look and if you want the valance to sort of disappear and become part of the wall but add an architectural interest-not a focal point… then make the valance almost the same color as the wall.
Another instance where a valance may work is if you have asymmetrical windows and you add a valance to create the illusion that the windows are of equal proportions. Window treatments are tricky, they need to add to the decor regardless if they are functional or not. Curtains, panels, blinds etc… should complement the room, add a layer of texture, perhaps frame the window.
My default rule for simple window treatments is easy, either crisp white flowy or tailored panels, hardware and rod to enhance the overall style. Also, dummy panels and curtains are another opportunity to add a pop of color and/or pattern and make the ceilings appear taller – when hung about 3” to 4” from the ceiling.
Accessories and chachkies I wouldn’t use
Next up and there is a lot to be said about these items. I could probably write a book about accessories for decor. But for this post, we will chat about Knick-Knacks/Chachkies and such. By that I mean small little accessories that get lost on the shelf or table they sit on, and or overwhelm an entire cabinet just by the sheer number because you either need too many or you collect them.
I would add to this group, figurines… you know? “Lladro” Spanish figurines… or similar cheaper ones. OMG, these give me a stomach ache. Although, some are beautiful and the name brand ones are very delicate pieces of “sculpture”… I find them to be a bit dated and not a great fit for today’s home decor.
Today’s home decor and accessories are more intentional, purposeful and I would dare say larger.
I would suggest that when selecting accessories, knickknacks or chachkies consider the room, the decor, the scale, style, and size. It is better to have fewer larger items than a ton of little ones that can make a space look cluttered. Having too many smaller things doesn’t allow for any one item to shine.
For each room select accessories that relate to one another. Group like items, or similar colors and textures. Mix in items such as books, picture frames, a single graphic so that your surfaces look curated instead of cluttered or disconnected.
In the picture below, the sectional has been accessorized with several pillows, different textures accenting a soft blush shade and a shiny silver pillow. The pillows vary in size, all work together and tie in with other elements in the room. Yet on the coffee table, they have chosen to display a pair of candle holders with candles in varying heights and a vase with blush flowers- that is it!.
There is a certain freshness in this room with an edited amount of accessories. On the lower level of the coffee table, there is a basket with texture but the color is similar to the color of the top of the coffee table tying in nicely.
The white mirror frame is a contrast to the gray walls and it’s also a single larger piece on that wall, repeating the rectangular shape of the sofa. White is further repeated on the window treatments, the legs and frame of the coffee table, some of the pillows and the candles. So there is flow, it’s a very edited clean look, the only other items/accessories I would add are a couple of coffee table books stacked.
LIVING ROOM DECOR – BLUSH ACCENTS
DECORATING WITH PLASTIC PLANTS, NOT!
In this example, I think it must be a hotel lobby room or at least it looks like a lobby. Now, think that this was your living room and you don’t have a housekeeping/maintenance crew, guess who may be climbing on a ladder a few times a month to clean each and every one of the palm tree leaves?
Or you could carry them outside and spray them with a hose. Sure, natural plant leaves get dusty too but those are meant to wiped with a damp rag and can be sprayed off. Besides, you wouldn’t have such tall ones in your home.
Some plastic plants or flowers will damage if sprayed too often. I personally don’t think that silk, plastic or most fake plants and flowers give the same feel to a space.
BETTER OPTIONS FOR WINDOW TREATMENTS
In this example, the panels were kept pretty tailored and the rod hung a bit higher than the actual window frame to accentuate the height of the window and take advantage of the tall ceilings.
SIMPLER MORE MODERN OR MINIMALIST TREATMENTS
WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN STYLING/DECORATING A BOOKSHELF
That built in would look so much better with a few books stacked, others standing, some accessories mingled among them, a couple of picture frames, or different accessories that are larger and more visible.
Perhaps a live plant in a lovely vessel. The center shelf perhaps with some longer single items and the flowers on top the countertop would enhance the room if they were real. As for the one figurine on the credenza, not attractive, but say a silver tray with a couple of books, a small plant and perhaps a picture frame. As for the items at the very top of the bookshelf, OMG! too small not to scale, and please unless you wanted to add larger more visible vases, accessories or vessels it’s probably best if you don’t add anything up there. All of a sudden this room would still be traditional but it would be an updated version of what it is.
USING LARGER ACCESSORIES
In this example, the coffee table was accessorized with fewer larger items. The back wall has a single large clock and since that wall has 3 sets of windows, that is probably all that wall needs.
Ultimately, choose items that you love, really love. Items that have meaning. Edit after you accessorize, live with items for a couple of days then stand back and see. Perhaps, just relocating items is all you need to do.
Have fun, add a little fun and personalize the space. Make the space provoke a feeling in you, a feeling that is pleasant and makes you smile.
Ciao, for now.