HOME DECOR: The Power of Accessories

When I met with Lisa for the first time, she informed me she had fired her decorator over a dispute on workmanship on their remodel and now needed help putting the finishing touches on her new space. She had all the 'bones' in place. Floor coverings, cabinetry, lighting, window coverings and new furniture - but it all seemed very empty to her. She needed the jewelry that goes with a great outfit. She needed the finishing touches. She needed accessories.

Lisa had chosen travertine flooring in her entry and kitchen area, bordered and accented with marble mosaics. Her living and dining area was warm toned hardwood. She had new furniture in browns and beige, and a feature wall in a dark brown with a faux paint finish. Her curtain fabric was a brown, beige and robins egg blue stripe.

The overall palette of brown, beige and white and the hard surfaces of the wood and marble left the area feeling empty and a little cold. We needed to warm things up a little. We found pillows with just the right combination of colors for the sofa and chairs and had textured carpeting cut to size and bound as a rug. Lisa liked things calm and not too busy, so didn't want an area rug with a lot of pattern. She also liked the open feeling of the room and elected not to add an ottoman or coffee table.

We addressed the large blank brown wall and filled it with images that had special meaning to Lisa. We had the pictures framed in matching frames and grouped them on the wall along with a saying she felt might inspire her 6 children and 9 grandchildren.
The other end of the living room needed some fresh greenery and lighting.

A tree, potted ivy and a table lamp fill out the space.



The family/recreation room was a large space filled with workout equipment and oak bookcases. We painted the dated oak bookcases a fresh white to match the wood trim throughout the house and arranged movies, books and accessories in them. Lisa is having a few family photos framed and will add them to these shelves, filling in the blank spaces.

We rearranged the furniture, putting all the workout equipment behind the sofa in it's own space and creating a family television and movie viewing area in front.

This blank wall became the music area and a showcase for the animation cel art.



The back wall (with the piano moved) needed accessorizing as well.



We framed one of her sons artwork and added an existing framed piece of art in the center. The wall has special meaning now. These were just small changes we made to improve the function of this room. She has plans to redecorate this area a little down the road.
The kitchen, a newly remodeled expanded space, was done in emperador dark brown marble and cream cabinetry. This little alcove was the perfect spot for some color with accessories.

We brought in glass apothecary jars with apples and lemons for color and a potted urn with boxwood for a fresh outdoor feel. I especially wanted to bring in the fresh garden feel to lighten and brighten the heavy wood and stone.

The chocolate accent wall continued into the kitchen. Cream cabinets with glass fronts were perfect to display accessories in and add some color, as well as the space above the cabinets where the expanse of brown wall needed some visual interest.

We found dishware and glasses in chocolate and the perfect blue for the glass cabinets, and topped the cabinets with platters, cookbooks and plants.

The grand sized kitchen island needed large accessories. Lisa didn't want her kitchen space cluttered, so we kept the accessories to a minimum. We found this great iron oversized basket and filled it with boxwood orbs. (Bringing that fresh green in again...) The chunky candles brought in more of the blue to this area. Tucked into the far corner is another apothecary, filled with oranges.

What a difference a few accessories can make. They are the finishing touches!



The dining room needed some brightening as well. A marble fireplace, dark wood shelving and new dining room table and chairs on top of dark hardwood flooring was a little overpowering in its very browness. Not that it wasn't beautiful - it was just all one tone. I created this centerpiece in a white ceramic urn that echoed the white from the mantle and created that fresh from the outdoors feeling Lisa and I wanted to bring into the space.

We found topiaries to bring green to the mantle area and frame out our new oval mirror. The bookcases were decorated with photos, greenery, and other accessories. Books that may have looked too cluttered on the shelves were organized into baskets on the bottom shelf where they are easily accessible.
Here we had carpeting cut and bound into a round rug for under the table, in the same shade as the living room rug.



As in the family/recreation room, Lisa will put family photos in frames on the mantel and empty spaces in the bookcase.
The feature wall of the dining room was a large empty space that we decided to fill with family photos. Lisa had an existing framed drawing of her family that we chose as the centerpiece. There will be family photos of her children & their families in the 8x10 frames along the sides and additional family photos to fill in the wall. Here you see it currently in process, and since the time of this photo I found a wooden sign to go above the large picture: 'Family: forever, for always, and no matter what' . Lisa has promised to send me a photo when she gets the family pictures into the frames and the wall is finished.

Lisa, you were a delight to work with and I hope you enjoy your beautiful new rooms.

Please leave your comments or questions below. I'm always so happy to read them!
Best wishes,
Claudine
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