19 Tips to Help You Accessorize Your Unique Space

maria-causey-interior-design-reveal-sitting-room-1.jpg

Once your construction is done, the walls have been painted and/or wallpapered, and the furniture is installed, it’s time to add those finishing touches.

But first, what is a finishing touch?

Finishing touches are the walnuts decorating your Waldorf salad, the olive lounging in your martini, and the peppercorns garnishing your steak au poivre. In other words...

The little details that complete the big, delicious picture!

When it comes to your home, the finishing touches will take your space from beautiful to beautifully YOURS. Here are our top 19 tips to help you do just that.


Finishing Touches: Selecting & Hanging Art

Tip #1: Avoid selecting “hotel art.”

By “hotel,” I mean art that tries to please everyone. Instead, pick something personal and hopefully original! Here’s a great post on finding the perfect art for you and your space.

Not your average hotel art — and adds the smile factor!

Not your average hotel art — and adds the smile factor!

Tip #2: With art, don’t skimp on size — go for impact!

Most pieces will actually look smaller in your space than you imagine, so it’s worth measuring before you embark on your art hunt. Some galleries even let you take art home for a day or two to try it out in your space before making a commitment.


Tip #3: Gallery walls are a great option for adding some oomph to your space.

Gallery walls add instant interest, but again, you’ll want the pieces to have some meaning to you, or you’ll quickly become disenchanted with your gallery wall... even if it looks amazing.

Simple concept, big impact

Simple concept, big impact

Tip #4: Mix mediums.

Photography or oil paintings, abstract or still-life, mixing up the genre and medium of your art is a great way to add interest. Don’t be afraid to branch out a little and explore what’s out there. You never know what new genre could speak to you.


Tip #5: Think of sculptural objects on tables and walls.

When most people think art, they immediately think “framed.” But wall art could include decorative plates, macramé, tapestries, and more. Is there any table art you love that could become wall art instead?

Not your average wall art & a great example of layered heights

Not your average wall art & a great example of layered heights

Tip #6: Layer heights.

Mounting your art all at the same eye level throughout the whole room could leave it looking a little strange. Do your best to layer heights and not create too many horizontal lines from one object to the next. For example, if you have a tall floor lamp, don’t hang artwork at the exact same level as the lamp shade. Stagger it.

The top of the frame is above the line of the lamp shade

The top of the frame is above the line of the lamp shade

Finishing Touches: Accessories

Tip #7: Get personal.

Don’t go out and buy generic accessories because they match your space. Find pieces that have real meaning to you, or better yet, collect them over time. You’ll have a space that feels more like you this way.

Framboyan tree painting from a relative and a cigar box, tributes to my Cuban heritage (   see the full transformation here   )

Framboyan tree painting from a relative and a cigar box, tributes to my Cuban heritage (see the full transformation here)

Tip #8: Create groupings not scatterings.

Scattering your accessories around the room might feel like “balance,” but real style is found in groups. Create groups of accessories that complement (not match) each other. Which brings us to my next tip…


Tip #9: Odd numbers are better.

There’s something about odd numbers that just look more interesting to our eyes. Stick to groupings of 3s and 5s, and…

A group of five with staggered heights, weights, and colors

A group of five with staggered heights, weights, and colors

Tip #10: Create balance with symmetry and asymmetry.

Symmetry works best when you have one standout accessory and two identical smaller, complementary pieces (not matchy-matchy). However, we tend to favor asymmetry! To create asymmetry...


Tip #11: Mix tall and short pieces.

Each grouping should also have accessories that differ in height. You don’t want heights that all sit at the same level — you want a visual “staircase” of heights. (Like I mentioned in the Tip #6 section above.) Otherwise, it just looks like clutter!

Another great example of odd numbers, staggered heights, thin and thick, light and heavy.

Another great example of odd numbers, staggered heights, thin and thick, light and heavy.

Tip #12: Mix large and small accessories.

The size of your accessories gives them visual “weight” which you will want to balance around your focal point. The focal point is often either the largest object in the accessory grouping OR the item your accessories are situated around, such as a TV mounted above your mantle.


Finishing Touches: Lamps

Tip #13: Avoid "matchy matchy" lamps.

Avoid selecting lamps that precisely match the rest of the home. Let them be unique and stand on their own, and you’ll have a much more interesting design on your hands.

Lamp echoes the room’s theme without being “matchy-matchy”

Lamp echoes the room’s theme without being “matchy-matchy”

Tip #14: Mix a combination of table and floor lamps.

Remember what I said about layering heights? That’s one of the reasons a combination of lighting types is a good idea. Another is simply to have a variety of lighting options for your various needs.


Tip #15: Mix styles for interest.

Like art, lamps are a great place to mix styles for more interest and entertainment in a space.

Same room as above, different lamp!

Same room as above, different lamp!

Tip #16: Don't skimp on size.

Seeing a pattern here? Tiny lamps will blend into your space as if they weren’t there at all… which isn’t the point of a finishing touch!


Tip #17: Make sure your lamps are tall enough for reading & other activities.

Before purchasing your lamps, make sure you’ve thought about the functions in the room. Do you want lower lighting for reading in your favorite chair without being blinded? Or do you need a tall lamp to keep the whole space bright on dark winter mornings?

In a room that gets daytime sun, this lamp is well-placed for nighttime reading

In a room that gets daytime sun, this lamp is well-placed for nighttime reading

Tip #18: Check lumen output on package to make sure you’re getting enough light.

Depending on the area of your home (living room versus bedroom, for example), you’ll either want brighter or more dim lighting. The higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb.


Tip #19: Have fun and don’t overthink it.

Remember that assembling the finishing touches on your home doesn’t need to happen overnight! Instead, relax, have a little fun with it, and be on the lookout for items that inspire you on a level deeper than just beauty.

That’s it for today… 19 tips should be enough to keep you busy, right? ;)

Our next blog post will be out in two weeks, so good luck until then, and I’ll see you back here soon.

Warmly,
Maria