CHALLENGE: I am having quite a high level of difficulty in accessorizing my interior spaces after completely redesigning the space for the client. I am a whiz at choosing color, coordinating window treatments and wall treatments and at choosing the correct furniture style and types for the clients’ intimate spaces. Where I have a meltdown is at the very end of the project . . . the accessorizing.
I guess it is the same as accessorizing a wardrobe and this is where
the excruciating challenge begins. Can you please offer help?
SOLUTION: The finishing
touches can be quite challenging. A major furniture chain in my
neck of the woods seems to have solved this problem. Every now and
then I visit the showroom for fresh and new ideas on current trends,
but the trick here is to not get too trendy!
The major problem with most room interiors does center on the correct
lighting and accessories for the space. Lighting is an accessory
that we should not treat lightly (pun intended!). It will make or
break any good room design if it is not properly placed. After all,
the exquisite piece of art that is placed on a wall requires the
utmost care in lighting the object correctly. I like to think of
lighting and accessorizing as one special art form. Below, I list
some of the important areas of concentration.
1. Generally, there should be a minimal three types and sources
of lighting in one room. General lighting, created to light the
entire space; accent lighting, that concentrates on showing off
a particular object; and task lighting, which is lighting that assists
an individual in performing a task, such as reading or cooking.
2. Choose the correct type of light bulb for the particular space.
Different types of bulbs will illuminate an area differently in
3. Check and observe the natural lighting throughout the day in
each room. Is it adequate at different times of the day? Is it too
bright at different times of the day? This will affect the different
objects on tables, walls and ceilings.
4. When placing accessories on the wall, work in odd numbers. This
will give the eye an area of concentration, and will work as a focal
5. When creating groupings on the wall, think about reframing all
subjects in the same type of frame to form its own statement.
6. Use continuity to bring different designs together, such as matting,
paint choices on frames, etc.
7. When using one large object on the wall, make sure the scale
of the frame coordinates with the subject matter. Does it overpower
the subject matter? Does it seem too small for the subject matter?
In other words, is the scale correct?
8. If everything seems too mundane, try something different: Use
various color frames for black and white photographs. The grouping
itself will make a statement.
9. Special collections, if grouped together, will make a boulder
statement rather than being scattered throughout a large room.
10. When displaying a collection on a shelf, try contrasting the
background so the collection will stand out more.
11. Incorporate balance, scale and proportion in all your groupings.
12. Each room does need some type of focal point, whether it is
a beautiful window treatment, a custom area rug, or a custom piece
of furniture designed to stand out in a particular grouping.
13. Have fun with it!
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles
written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many
questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings
as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business.
If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please
send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the
residential and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently
a faculty member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has
been featured in numerous books and publications.