Have you ever noticed a woman wearing a beautiful dress only to notice that her shoes are the wrong color, a belt would have added a lot of zip, and that she forgot the jewelry? I think in the same way when I walk into a home. The furniture is beautiful, but where is the jewelry? You might think that art and accessories are the least important part of decorating a home. “Those things are so small. Who’s gonna notice?” And hey, after spending all that money on the furniture it may seem that spending even more on accessories really isn’t that necessary. Or, it will get done later. Much later.
I want you to love where you live. All of it! So make sure you’ve got the tchotchkes. They’re just as important as the right pair of shoes.
Today, I’m focusing on tabletop decorating. I love doing this for my clients. Here are some great accessorizing ideas to inspire you. And my tips along the way.
Let me start with the opening photo. This is the entry to a beautiful country home. There are no written rules, but if you’re feeling timid about arranging tabletops, take your inspiration from the style of the home. The accessories here are appropriate to the architecture and furniture.
Collections are a good thing to have, or buy. I love the hats! Did you notice there are three on each side? Odd numbers are a major rule when accessorizing.
If you need a place for the dog toys why not hide them in plain sight. A simple basket is just the thing here.
Groupings, like this collection of Colombian pots, make for great tabletop displays. To give them a sense of unity, use stacks of books or trays. Don’t have a collection? Go shopping for one. Tag sales are a terrific way to find things that have some age to them. It makes a collection look more curated (Snob alert!).
Use height to create interest. Arranging objects with different heights creates a sense of movement which can turn some so-so things into something more interesting. The books might be overdone, but they’re used to create the different heights. You can do the same thing using vases, topiaries, and plates or bowls set on stands.
A beautiful coffee table arrangement begins by dividing the table into sections. Three is the rule in accessorizing, but you can break it on a coffee table, especially if its square. Leave two sections plain if you like. Here, boxes were used as dividers. A simple bowl with wicker balls adds interest. Alternatively, keep things simple with one large bowl.
Dried grasses are terrific. They look great and they don’t cost a bundle. Great idea! Use a woven place mat to create a tray. On the left, you can see that there aren’t just three things, but they’re grouped as if there were. On the right it’s the same idea, but with the wheat bundle added to create height. Imagine how boring this table would look without it.
Mats are also a great way to unify accessories on a table. Above, A Chilewich mat sits under an Asian sculpture with aluminum apples (three) stacked on either side. The baskets on either side are a nice extra touch. Below, a strip of fabric sits across a rustic table. Books sit next to a handmade dish. Hey! What happened to the three thing? As I said, if you’re comfortable with accessorizing, break those rules.
Group photos together. This is sooo adorable. One way to unify photos is to reprint them in black and white. Mix them with old family photos. Interesting – at first I would have put the candle in the back. But it works better in front, doesn’t it? Play around with your arrangements. Don’t go for the standard thing.
Don’t be afraid to make a statement with balls. I know you see them everywhere. But they haven’t turned into shag carpeting yet. There are such a variety out there. What’s different with this arrangement is the basket instead of a bowl, and the balls are not only different but different sizes. Again, there is an odd number of objects. The eyes like it that way.
So I guess you could say the eyes have it. I would love to know your favorite accessorizing ideas are. Share!!! (I used three exclamation marks)
Chilewich: table runners, square and round place mats
Crate & Barrel: baskets, botanicals
Lazy Susan: just about every type of accessory you could want
Poppytalk: inexpensive art, accessories & vintage items
The Well Appointed Home: Preppy waste baskets, and lots of unusual decor
Hammocks & High Tea: table runners
Restoration Hardware: Get that vintage look in an instant.