Wondering if your accessories are dated? Do you feel like you have too many accessories already? Here are my favorite tips for styling your accessories if it’s feeling a bit dated. And, sometimes that means editing what you have and purchasing new accessories.
A client once told me she had so many accessories, she couldn’t possibly use them all. She wanted help with styling her home.
But what she really owned were some accessories purchased 15 years ago and some accessories that were an accumulation of one-off candle holders and random gifts from family and friends. Not an ideal combination for fresh styling.
She was surprised when I told her this…
It was time for a shopping trip. In order to refresh her look, she needed to update some of her accessories. It was time to edit.
Styling Accessories is not the same as Displaying Clutter
Styling is not about arranging whatever you happen to have. It’s about getting the pieces you need to create beautiful vignettes that have substance and presence.
Special pieces that actually have meaning are fine to hold on to and incorporate. But make sure they are truly special and beautiful. And display them with a supporting cast of really well-considered objects that have some scale.
Read more: 6 Ways to Style a Bookshelf
Too many random things just look junky and cluttered, especially if they are too small in scale.
This single large vase and basket in my front entrance is much more effective than a grouping of bitty candle holders and knick knacks. It takes some practice to get right, but a good rule of thumb is to buy larger objects than you think.
My front entrance
If you can’t bear to let your things go, simply store them away. If you don’t have the space, or don’t go looking for them to display within 6 months or a year, simply donate that box of stuff.
Decorating for the Season
One thing I love about Americans, y’all DECORATE for each season – I really think much more than Canadians do in general.
Creating mantel displays and table scapes for the season is a fun way to practice styling and a great way to refresh your rooms. It allows you to create something new to look at and enjoy.
My seasonal decorating tips?
- Create a theme
- Choose key objects with scale
- Choose a colour palette
- Don’t forget flowers, plants and greenery to add colour and life to your displays
Here is one of my holiday mantel arrangements. I change it up every year and try something new.
My Holiday Mantle 2018
When it comes to decorating your holiday table, repeat colours you already have in your styling and decor for connection. This lovely table below could have coordinated with my pink and green mantel above.
Unify Accessories with Colour
When you are trying to work with random stuff that you happen to have, you will struggle with the second most important rule of good styling (getting scale right is the first): a unified colour palette.
When creating vignettes, either for the holidays or simply to liven up your surfaces at any time of year, use accessories that repeat your colour scheme. That will create the harmony you’re looking for.
You can see all these principles at work in the farmhouse rustic styling of this fall holiday table below.
Pumpkins and classic brass candlesticks with fresh greens is a great way to create a glow-y festive feel.
And in this simple modern farmhouse fall mantel arrangement below. Notice the repetition of the neutral colour palette, and all the space around objects that make them look special, not like clutter.
Add Art to Your Styling
And don’t forget to incorporate some art to add height and interest to your vignettes. I added a grouping of botanicals above my credenza in my recent dining room refresh for an added layer of interest.
My Dining Room
Are my accessories dated?
The key to styling well is to try new things. Change it up often. Start by taking all your objects out of the room and adding back in only the ones you’re really interested in.
Then go look for the right pieces in the RIGHT SCALE and COLOUR to give your arrangement presence.
Investing energy, careful editing and thought into your vignettes is what makes them look fresh and current.
So, if your accessories are feeling dated, it’s probably more an issue of editing things out that aren’t serving the look, theme or colour palette.
Styling is not about figuring out where to display every candle holder you’ve ever received, but a skill to develop for creating engaging-looking combinations to enliven your surfaces while avoiding a cluttered look.
And, take it from me, that takes a few guiding principles and LOTS of practice.
I hope I’ve inspired you to refresh your styling!
Have a great weekend everyone! xo Maria
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