I’ve often stated that the best way to freshen a space without spending much money is to paint it (nothing beats painting!). However, if you don’t always have the time and energy to paint, the next best course of action—and a really fun course of action—is to accessorize. Instead of moving furniture, prepping, painting and cleaning up, you just plan, then shop. I especially like the last part, the shopping! But in this post, I’m going to help you with the first part, the planning. When it comes to accessorizing, planning ahead will make your room not only look better but it will also make it function better.

Plan to maximize your accessories

  • Use accessories as storage:
    Baskets, trunks, hat boxes, and any of the many other beautiful containers available today. If you’re just using them as décor, you need to do more. Put them to use as storage for seasonal items and anything else that contributes to a cluttered look.
  • Use accessories for comfort:
    Large floor pillows, toss pillows, rugs, and throws not only add color and texture to your space but can also add warmth and softness.
  •  Use accessories that impact light and mood:
    Accent lights, floor lamps, and candles certainly add beauty to any space but they can also help brighten a space or make it feel cozy and intimate. And be selective when choosing light bulbs—they can definitely enhance or diminish the mood you want to create.

Plan to create a great look:
Bring in an accent color or texture to your space to add interest.  For example… adding a plush towel set to your bath will bring in both color and texture into the space.

  • Balance the colors in your space with accessories:
    For instance, if you have a lot of blue on one side of your dining room displayed in a beautiful china hutch, you could display some of that blue through candles in beautiful holders across the room on your dining table or buffet.
  •  Make your space feel finished and “put together":
    Sometimes even with all the furniture in place and your painting finished, your room still feels incomplete. By scattering accessories throughout your space, you’ll bring a final sense of completion to your room.
  • Personalize your space so it represents your personality:
    Select items that bring you a sense of happiness and well-being. I placed an old malt mixer on my kitchen counter and really designed my whole color scheme around it. It was my grandfather’s from his restaurant in the forties.  It’s a conversation starter and a personal item that adds interest to the kitchen and brings me joy every day when I look at it.

Whether you’re completely transforming a room or just making a few tweaks, I hope these tips help you make smart accessory choices.

TIP: Don’t forget to save money and help save the planet by applying the concepts of redesign. Try looking around your home, at garage sales, in thrift stores and with your friends and family. You might be surprised what a gem you can create by simply reusing, recovering or repainting something that’s not being used.

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?


Have design questions for me? Submit them here - or visit our forum to chat with other design and DIY enthusiasts!