When we think of the interior design of our living spaces, we often think of the “big ticket” items like color palettes, furniture and furniture layout, and lighting — all of which are foundational elements within a space. However, they’re far from the only things that matter when it comes to making your home feel uniquely your own.
That’s where accessories come in.
Mindfully chosen and integrated accessories — including everything from artwork to indoor lighting accessories — can transform an ordinary space into a truly extraordinary one that embodies who you are and what you love.
Here’s a closer look at how to use interior lighting accessories and other home decor items to enhance both the look and feel of your home.
Decorating with Accessories 101
All interior designers understand the profound impact of accessories in a space. From rugs and throw pieces to lighting and art, these “small” decor items add up to the big potential for homeowners seeking to elevate their environments.
Unfortunately, many homeowners are afraid of accessories — and with good reason. If you’ve ever been in a home that felt cluttered, overwhelmed, or downright chaotic, chances are an onslaught of accessories and other small decors may have been to blame.
Tips for Decorating with Accessories
The good news? When it comes to decorating with accessories, it’s not hard to get it right as long as you follow a few basic principles, including the following:
- Quality counts. By now, we’re all familiar with the concept of bringing only items that “spark joy” into our spaces. This is especially the case when it comes to accessories. It’s not about filling your home with lots of stuff. It’s about introducing thoughtful pieces that truly speak to your taste — and your desired goals for the space. Less is more when it comes to accessories.
- Take your time. While you may be eager to “finish” your final space, keep in mind that interior design isn’t static. Rather than picking lighting ceramics and other home decor items just because your room feels like it’s missing something, take the time to find the coffee table accessories and other pieces that are “just right.” One go-to strategy for designers? Layering in accessories. Start with a sparing amount of larger accessories, then fill in smaller ones for balance, if necessary.
- Perfect with proportions. An accessory that looks amazing in one space may look completely different in another. While this can result from different design styles or color palettes, there may be a less obvious reason: scale and proportion. A single small accessory in a massive space is unlikely to make an impact, while multiple small accessories may feel like clutter without careful arrangement. On the other hand, while massive pieces of art and grand interior lighting fixtures may be wonderful additions to larger spaces, they may overpower smaller rooms. The takeaway? Before shopping for accessories, study what will fit back given your space’s unique proportions.
- Make it asymmetrical. The human eye loves symmetry, and there’s absolutely a time and place for symmetry with interior design lighting and accessories. However, asymmetrical arrangements can have a uniquely dynamic impact.
- Embrace space. Accessories like mirrors, art, candleholders, lighting, baskets, photos, natural elements, rugs, pillows, cushions, throws, and collections can help rooms feel polished and complete. However, a restrained hand is essential to achieving their full potential. Rather than feeling compelled to fill every nook and cranny with an accessory, find peace in empty space.
- Lux up your lighting. Many homeowners underutilize lighting — often assuming that a single overhead light is sufficient. While a hanging chandelier or pendant is beautiful and may also provide enough light to see, bringing in additional lighting can make your space more functional, livable, and comfortable. Typical living room lighting needs include table lamps and side lamps for task lighting and wall lamps and floor lamps for accent lighting.
One Last Thing to Keep in Mind?
Interior design is both an art and a science. While these rules, tips, and guidelines will point you in the right direction, using your own taste, personal preferences, and design sensibility can help you best utilize interior lighting accessories and other home decor elements to create truly welcoming and expressive spaces.