By Margaret Chambers
When it comes to interior decorating, you might think that accessories don’t play as great a role as, say, furniture or wall hangings. But the personal touch and creativity that accessories provide make them an indispensable part of the interior designer’s toolkit.
There are endless possibilities available when it comes to accessorizing your home in a unique and unforgettable way. You can start by collecting individual pieces, or add to an existing collection from your travels. Arrange your collections on walls or tabletops around a room. These personal touches make homes more interesting and unify the spaces they inhabit. Plus, it’s fun to find new pieces when you travel: each time you look at that piece, it will bring back memories of an adventure abroad.
If you have large spaces to fill, cover them with prints—these antique Swedish architectural prints look wonderful hanging together. Add the unexpected, like this carved wooden fragment from an old French chateau. In this room, the doors were much shorter than the ceiling, so I hung oil paintings over them to ease the eye.
This large Grecian oil painting is flanked by two iron obelisks, which help to compensate for the off-centered fireplace.
Accessorizing over this brown-and-cream toile wallcovering was a bit of a challenge. By keeping all accessories on the fireplace mantle in browns, creams, and golds, I created a harmonious blend of colors and textures. This way, the toile tapestry plates and wood carvings complemented, rather than opposed, one another.
Notice the three-foot space over the arched opening in this breakfast room. This was the ideal spot to hang a bull’s eye mirror. It is flanked by a pair of Italian, hand-painted faience chargers.
This eight-foot French hutch may seem large. But it fits perfectly against a twelve-foot wall, leaving an extra four feet for this large collection of fruit prints. The French hutch’s open shelves are a handy setting to show off the client’s collection of green majolica ceramics.
A large antique tapestry or mirror creates drama in a room. Also notice the large scale lamps on the console, the Lucite obelisks, and the large bronze bowl with hand-blown glass balls. If these accessories were smaller, they would be out of scale for this dining room’s high ceiling.
Art and accessories are more than just beautiful objects. As you can see, they can solve architectural problems, pull a room’s color scheme together, or add texture and variety to a dull space. Whether you’re decorating a new room or remodeling an old one, don’t forget the details—accessories will add the finishing touch to your room and make it uniquely yours.
An interior designer for the most discriminating clients, Margaret Chambers is able to achieve the exact looks that her clients envision for their homes. She has more than 60,000 hours of interior design experience to her credit, and her work has been published in more than 20 industry books and magazines. Chambers’ experience, innate talent, and European studies enable her to confidently mix different styles, techniques, and cultures. Her work has earned her state and national awards from the American Society of Interior Designers, and she has been named a Best Designer in Dallas by D Home for eight consecutive years. Sought after by clients who understand the value of superior professional design, Chambers and her team at Chambers Interiors & Associates, Inc. are beloved by clients for the spirit of collaboration that they bring to each project and their willingness to share in the creative process, not control it. You can view their portfolio at www.chambersinteriors.com.