Accessories are an important part of interior design; they add color, character and – perhaps best of all – they are more temporary design elements. Unlike cabinets or countertops, kitchen layout or furniture – accessories are easy to move around, sell, donate or move on when you’re ready to refresh your look.
Questions to Ask Before Purchasing An Accessory For Your Interior Design
Here are some of the questions or considerations to ponder before deciding yes or no on a specific accessory or piece of art.
Is the foundation of my design complete?
First, it’s important that you and your interior designer have narrowed down the foundation of your design. An accessory you love now might not actually work when the bare bones of your interior design is in place. So, make sure the larger ideas like layout, colors, style, furniture placement, and so on are all finalized before you begin shopping for items to fill the empty spaces.
Am I clear on how much is too much?
The last thing you want is to purchase and display a bunch of accessories that wind up cluttering up your beautiful brand new remodel or renovation. Do work with your designer to establish how much is too much so you don’t over accessorize. Remember that “white space” is important to a design – giving the eyes a place to rest. If you fill all those valuable white spaces with accessories, your design will feel too busy and guests will be hard-pressed to relax.
Is this design timeless?
This isn’t a necessity, but it certainly helps. I find the happiest clients are those who prioritize timeless accessories and art works. While the pieces may move from one room, wall or corner to another, they never really go out of style. Not only does this help you as your own designs evolve and change over the years, it will make those accessories much more desirable if you choose to sell them or move them on to a new-to-them owner down the road.
Are you balancing functionality with looks?
Selecting accessories for accessories’ sake can be a recipe for disaster because you end up with rooms full of looks without any substance. One way to incorporate the timeless consideration is to make sure you are balancing functional accessories along with those that were made with the sole intention of looking pretty. Rather than a plant stand that is too flimsy to hold any plants, look for a functional version that actually does what it was designed to do. The more your items have a purpose, the less superfluous they will be.
Alternately, you can seek out re-purposed furnishings and accessories that have a unique new role to provide, like a refinished wood ladder that can be used as shelving whether it’s propped against a wall or suspended horizontally.
Can it live somewhere else in your home?
There are cases where a particular art installation seems to be made specifically for one spot in your home (odds are that’s a timeless accessory and you’re already good to go). However, I recommend choosing accessories that could potentially live elsewhere. That way, if you want a fresh new look in a few years – a little rearranging and an updated color palate are all you need to enjoy an updated interior design without reinventing the wheel.
Is this adding a new texture into the mix?
Texture is one of the most overlooked areas in design because people focus so much on colors, matching, style and their own innate preferences. In a modern home, for example, a homeowner may wind up with a home that is sleek, sleek and more sleek – but that winds up being a bit boring because everything is so smooth and shiny without anything different or interesting that breaks it up.
Take a look at your interior design and analyze it in terms of texture – is there a texture that is underrepresented? Overrepresented? If so, keep this in mind when shopping for accessories and try to choose textural components that fill in the gaps as much as possible.
Are you having a difficult time deciding which accessories need to stay or go in your home? Or, are you planning a new interior design and want help with accessory discernment? Feel free to hire me, Kristina Wolf, for a consultation and I’ll be happy to share my professional insight and recommendations with respect to your taste and interests.