Interior Design – The Importance of Accessorizing

Interior Design Mistake #1: When designing a project, it is most important to plan through to completion.  But, often we see clients stop short of following through with accessories because they are either tired of the process or have run short of funds.  The result is an incomplete design.

Accessories play a very important role in completing and paying off the design.  This is where we add the finishing touches, bring out the client’s personality and create the desired textures, shapes and colors to complete the décor.   These are the final details.  Stopping short of this very important final step is much like getting dressed up without putting on jewelry or shoes!

Getting the right paint color for your walls is really important, but without the artwork, the walls are barren and unfinished.  The shade of stain on your wood floor plays a large role in the warmth and flow of the space, but without a great rug the seating arrangement just isn’t grounded and the room lacks color and personality.  Side tables are functional and if properly selected, add style to the design.  Adding the perfect lamp will give it balance and style (and the bonus of ambient lighting).

We don’t want to add elements for the sake of adding elements.  The art of accessorizing is a well thought out process where the room is not cluttered with “stuff”, but is decorated for interest, texture, balance and function.  Creative placement of certain accessories helps identify the space.  For example, adding a stylish, upholstered bench in the right fabric and color will define a foyer and its function.  A console table placed behind a sofa can help delineate the seating arrangement.  Adding a couple of candlestick lamps on top and cube ottomans underneath will layer function, color and style to the arrangement.

The best way to ensure that this part of the project gets done is to plan on it from the beginning and set aside the budget for it.  Often there is a healthy amount of search time allocated to finding the right mix that the client will be excited about.  This should start with a look at things the client already owns.  Schedule a session where the client collects important family items and see what will work well in the space.  Then, look at additional items that will enhance the look and feel you and your client are striving for.

Accessories can be found to fit most any budget!  Good designers know how to cut costs in some areas and spend a little more in others, depending on the overall budget and the client’s priorities.  For example, one client may insist on all original art on the walls; this is important to them and they have the budget for it.  Others may be happy with nicely framed prints, which are much more affordable and offer great visual imagery.  There are ways to save in every category:  furniture, rugs, lamps, window treatments, decorative pillows, side tables and chairs, tabletop decorations.  It should be noted that when you compromise in cost, the quality (and look) generally goes down as well, so this is a careful process of weighing the pros and cons with the client’s priorities and budget.  If you cut corners everywhere for example, it will show.  The trick is to understand the visual mix and know when it’s okay to cut cost without compromising the overall look.

Hiring a professional designer is important to make sure you are getting the most from your space and to ensure the finishing touches make the space come alive!   Accessories cannot be overlooked or ignored.  These are the things that will make or break the design.  It is a mistake to spend a lot of money on the architectural elements of the project and never finish the job!


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