When it comes to making a house a home, numerous factors should be considered to create a truly customized feel. After larger pieces of furniture like sofas, chairs and tables are placed in a room, the space can still look a bit sparse. The polishing touch is adding the right number of interesting accessories to reflect the homeowners’ personality without cluttering the room. It’s a combination of art and science. In this blog post, we’ll share our favorite accessories for a stylish home and a few tips on how to place them for a well-designed appearance.
Rugs are great for grounding a room and adding warmth to those ever-popular hard surface floors. We love selecting rugs for our clients for placement everywhere from bedrooms to living rooms. (Wood floors can be beautiful but everyone probably cringes a little when bare feet touch them!) Pamela recently presented “10 Design Trends and the Rugs that Go with Them” at Arsin Rug Gallery in the Decorative Center Houston. One of the biggest takeaways from that presentation was the myth that homeowners with children and/or pets shouldn’t purchase quality rugs. Historically, rugs were rolled up and transported throughout the Middle East as nomads traveled with their belongings. These rugs were unrolled when camp was set up and were known to be quite durable. Quality rugs today are much the same. Just like we’d blot a potential stain from a sofa, rugs can be treated easily and are well worth the investment.
So how much do good rugs cost? Entry-level rugs of 8’ x 10’ size at Arsin Rug Gallery run about $2,500 while other popular 8’ x 10’ rugs run approximately $5,800-$6,500. In our experience, planning for the $5,000-$6,000 range presents a sweet spot with plenty of options and styles. Remember: this is an investment that, if chosen well, won’t need to be repurchased repeatedly. Finer, antique rugs can even be passed down to family members and definitely serve as a favorite accessory for a stylish home.
Another favorite accessory is an ottoman with storage. These can double as extra seating and can keep loose items tucked away. Consider storing inside ottomans (like the ones above and below) items that you’d like to keep nearby but not necessarily on display. For instance, we recommend placing extra blankets, books and magazines, even a basket with remote controls and game consoles (more on this later) inside your ottoman. Not only are these ideal pieces for living rooms, but we also love placing them in bedrooms at the foot of the bed. As we mentioned in “Space-Saving Ideas for Homes with Small Footprints,” this placement provides a seat when you’re preparing for bed at night as well as hidden storage for items you haven’t put away yet. It’s also a nice touch in a bedroom when you’re packing a suitcase.
Plush throw blankets and coordinating accent pillows are winning accessories. With cooler temperatures outside, it’s nice to have a warm blanket within reach. Cozy up while reading or catching up on your shows. Accent pillows help introduce seasonality indoors with fun colors and prints.
Artwork can make a significant impact in styling your living spaces. Buy a large piece or assemble a grouping of smaller pieces with similar colors and styles for a collage of sorts. In the next example, on the left, a large colorful painting was chosen for above the fireplace and acts as a focal point in the living room. On the right, several smaller framed pieces were hung together below the stairs.
Building on art, Pamela’s personal favorite accessory is an antique French bust of a shepherdess. “I bought it through an online auction, and it was even better than I expected. It sits on my dining table.”
Unique accents for tabletops offer a fun way to refresh your décor. Consider candlesticks, vases and other collectibles made of similar materials and colors. As we discussed with artwork, try grouping these items in a common color, material or theme. When traveling, keep an eye out for accessories that you can weave into your décor, rather than the chotchkes common in tourist traps. Displaying keepsakes from vacation help you recall those fond memories. Wooden boxes, chests and trays are perfect for keeping smaller items like remote controls altogether. Look for pretty containers at antique stores or even museum gift shops.
Danna Smith of Pamela Hope Designs said her favorite home accessory currently is the stack of books on her coffee table that were her mother’s books (shown above). “Stephen King, Anne Rice etc. She loved mystery and suspense so I have 16 of her books in the center of my coffee table stacked in four interesting groups of four books each.”
With many working from home at least some days, there’s no reason to not apply these tips to your home office. We like to be smart about the spaces available to us and to keep our desks as clean as possible. That’s why we like desktop lamps like this one with 2 USB ports and an AC outlet to easily charge your devices while you’re at work. This one is available from Amazon for under $40.
With all this said, accessorizing your home and even rotating your accents every so often revives the look for little to no cost. The team at Pamela Hope Designs enjoys intermingling new accessories that we buy for our clients with personal mementos that they already have. If you’d like help elevating your home décor, contact us online or by phone at 713-880-1934.