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A Guide to Accessorizing

Follow these strategies for choosing and arranging accessories, and your interior design will be a piece of cake.

A Guide to Accessorizing
In interior design, clocks, candles and pillows are the icing on the cake. But how do you bring it all together? Follow these strategies for choosing and arranging accessories and it'll be a piece of cake.

Accessories are probably the last thing you'll think about when you decorate your log home, but they can make or break a room. Too many and the room looks cluttered and disorganized. Too few and it looks spare and unwelcoming. What's the right balance?

That's hard to say. A lot depends on your preferences and your lifestyle. The point is, only you can decide how much is enough?or too much. Likewise, you're the only one who can decide what is clutter and what is worth displaying.


Have A Game Plan

To accessorize a room, start with a plan. Figure out what you have before you make a list of things you need to buy.

Here are some guidelines:

Make it personal. Take stock of what you already have. Family heirlooms, collectibles, keepsakes and old photos all have potential as decorative accessories.


Keep function in mind. A space's function is the backdrop to its decorating scheme, and therefore the most important consideration you will make.


Build around a focal point.In the great room, for instance, the hearth is usually the focal point. Plan for accessories that highlight and enhance its stature as the most important element in the room.


Do what makes sense. Don't display what you think will look good; display what fits the setting.


Display Strategies

While you are planning and choosing accessories, think about how you will arrange them. Whether an arrangement is based on color, a theme or a collection, it can only be successful if it's balanced: the elements of an arrangement working in concert to create a pleasing display.


Symmetrical arrangements are equal on both sides of the center and therefore easier to put together. They generally create a formal feel.

Asymmetrical arrangements consist of pieces in varying sizes, shapes and colors. As a result, they create an informal feel.



Groupings should be arranged in quantities of three, five or other odd numbers and are most successful when they comprise objects similar in shape, color or design. And just as in room design, every successful grouping has a focal point.


Varying the height of objects in a grouping will create a visual hierarchy.


Avoid arranging pieces in a perfect line. Instead, place them in a triangle; overlap several triangles for large groupings. This will allow each piece to be visible and will create depth, which will make the arrangement more appealing.


Take advantage of the power of light. Soft candlelight, uplighting and shadows will add drama and a layer of texture to any arrangement.


Do The Unexpected

Some of the best accessories are items that serve a purpose. When you turn everyday items into accessories, they look less like tools that get you through the day and more like something you enjoy sharing your space with. Some examples:


Mail and bill organizer. Place an old wooden carpenter's chest on a side table and you've got the perfect spot to organize the mail.

Pot rack.

If you own a set of copper kettles, bring them out of the cupboard and hang them from a pot rack. The copper will add color and texture to your kitchen.


Switchplates and outlet covers. You'd be surprised what happens when you get rid of those boring white plastic covers. Replace them with handcrafted covers made of stone, embellished wood or other natural materials.


Here's a checklist you can use as you think about the perfect accents for your log home.


Blankets and Throws

Blinds and Shades


Cabinet Hardware



Children's Artwork

Clocks (wall, table, mantel, grandfather)


Cut Flowers

Decorative Pillows

Dish Gardens

Dishes (plates, teacups)

Dried Flowers

Family Photos

Fireplace Accessories (screens, tools, hearth rugs)

Floral Arrangements (artificial)

Floor Lamps

Framed Art (posters, photos, prints)

Green Plants



Table Linens (runners, tablecloths, placemats and napkins)


Pillow Shams







Table Lamps


Textiles (bedding, towels)

Throw Rugs



Window Treatments (curtains, drapes, valances)


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