Selecting Accessories for a Space

Interior designer Jamie Beckwith has impecable style, whether fashion or interiors. Jamie shares some pro tips for selecting accessories for any space.  >>

The paint is dry, the drapery is hung and the furniture is placed.  Ok, now why does it feel unfinished?!  Because it is unfinished!  Every space either traditional or contemporary needs accessories.  Books, lamps, curiosities, pillows, framed photos, and architectural antiques are all required to make a space feel like a home.   When designing for clients I like to see their personal accessories or items that have been collected over the years.  It gives me a glimpse into their lives and the places and things that they have seen.

A few important tips when selecting accessories:

  1. Always buy what you love.  Even if you don’t know where you might place the item, go ahead and purchase it if you love it.  Remember, this is not an impulse buy for an expensive sofa or breakfront, this is accessorizing.
  2. An item with a story or past is always more interesting than something brand new with 50 more lined up behind it.  Mass produced decorative accessories can be extremely tacky and should be avoided at all costs.
  3. Accessories need not be expensive.  A simple basket or beautiful coffee table book can be impactful.
  4. Look for items that may not be specifically home related.  Some of the loveliest accessories can be jewelry inspired or garden and nature motifs.  Large, bone African beads can make an interesting vignette when placed with other textural accessories.
  5. Odd number of pieces seems to feel more balanced than even number of accessories placed on a table.
  6. Don’t forget to use functional items.  Beautiful cut crystal for holding snacks or nuts, lamps that are not only beautiful but provide ample lighting for reading,  and lush, green plants that keep the interior air clean are functional accessories.

Please enjoy the images of different accessory vignettes and take away some ideas for your next home project.

This vignette uses black and white photography that works well with clean lined modern accessories.

This scene has a nautical inspired theme.  The lamp base is comprised of oyster shells and it shares the desk with sculptural sea urchins and seaweed prints.

The hand blown glass vases pick up the colors in the artwork and smaller accessories add an extra layer of detail.

Jamie Beckwith, author of this feature, and principal of  Jamie Beckwith Collection  and Beckwith Interiors is a Interior Design firm in Nashville, would love to talk to you about designing a space expressly for you.

You can also find a full list of all our global mentors [ who are top professional interior designers ] on our Mentors Page.


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2 Responses to “Selecting Accessories for a Space”

  1. Cassie Says:

    LOVE it! I need inspiration for two console tables, that are eye sores, as soon as you walk in the front door.


  2. Tracy Wharton Says:

    Couldn’t agree more that using items with a history makes for a more interesting interior. A lot of off the rack “accessories” will make a home feel more like a show home. I also love using plants in interesting ways to bring life to an interior. I have some tips on that here


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