* PS... all the photographs in this post were taken by me at an Ivory Homes model home in Draper, Utah. Mia Chipman is the talented designer who made it all come together. Swoon! I'm sharing it with you just because I love it!
Accessorizing is my favorite part of decorating. But it can also be the most challenging, especially if you have a limited budget. I am super happy for you if "money is no object" but for the purpose of this post, let's say that it is, let's say its a big object. :)
Step One: Work with what you have!
Go around your house and figure out what you have and what you can possibly use. And please, please, don't ever forget about the magic of spray paint, rub n' buff, and gold leaf. You don't have to spend a fortune at Crate and Barrel, get creative, be resourceful. For instance, the books pictured above are store-bought but you can get the same effect with Mod Podge and wrapping paper. Or a simple tea set can make the perfect statement.
Step Two: Start with the walls.
Your walls define your space. Accessorizing the walls will animate the space. There are so many options when it comes to dressing walls... framed photographs, paintings, shelves, sconces, plates, the options go on and on. Just keep in mind that what you hang on your wall should be proportionate to your space. So many people make the mistake of hanging a piece that they love on a wall that is much too large for the piece.
Grouping similar, simple pieces together makes a great statement, fills the space, and looks cohesive and clean.
Step Three: Show your personality!
First, use accessories that mean something to you and then add upon them. Your home should say something about you, about who you are and about what you love. It is a little more work but strategically accessorizing with "signature accessories" will showcase your personality and you will love your space that much more. Don't be afraid to overlap pieces and uses a variety of shapes and sizes in order to encourage the eye to move from side to side. Ideally your space will please the eye and yourself at the same time!
Step Four: Bring nature inside!
Enliven your room (literally) by incorporating flowers and foliage into your design. Years ago I watched an episode of Oprah, her guest that day was Nat Burkus and they were talking about how terrible it is to decorate with faux flowers. Now, in an ideal world we would all have our gardner or personal assistant replace our fresh flower arrangements daily. I don't know about you but I have three kids and a busy life. Plus fresh flowers are expensive. Sometimes I have to remind myself, "You're not Oprah, Aly." ;) (not really). I kill plants like it's my day job, so while I would love to have a bonsai tree in every room, I get real and get faux blooms like these.
I like to include scent in this step. To me, decorating isn't only about how looks but also how it feels. I love scents like fresh cotton. I also stay away from arisol can sprays, which tend to smell manufactured.
Step Five: Lighting.
My husband commented the other night how great the house felt with the lamps on. He felt like the ambient lighting made the house feel more cozy, inviting, and relaxing. Think about placing lamps on side tables next to chairs and on sofa tables to create warm pools of light that make the space feel cheerful and add dimension. When a lamp is the tallest item on the table the shade acts as a sort of boundary for the accessories below and defines the outline of the arrangement, making it feel cohesive and put-together.
Working with what you have and starting with the walls, showing your personality through signature accessories, bringing nature inside, and using lighting to warm up and define your space and will allow you to create gorgeous spaces that might just look magazine-worthy... but more importantly, they will feel more like home.