Accessories are the spice of life (that’s how the saying goes, right?) Those extra pieces which enhance your furniture arrangements and fill those little gaps. Sometimes they’re functional, but more often than not, they’re just there to be enjoyed and add a dash of your personality. Find out which category you fit into or discover a something new with our handy style profiles.
Image Credit: Katharine Pooley
The Coffee Table Decorator
Perfect for: Showcasing your styling skills
Favourite pieces: Interesting objets d’art and delicate blooms
A favourite style of late is the curated coffee table. Thankfully a fairly formulaic method, a good example of a smart coffee table requires an understanding of proportion, texture and levels. Key features are something natural (a bowlful of flowers or coral), something tall (obelisks or candlesticks) and something low profile (a coffee table book or a trinket box) – this vignette by Katharine Pooley is a great mix of pretty and edgy. When carefully contemplated, these individual pieces act as components of a greater whole, creating a harmonious effect.
"Your coffee table is the centre of your living room – make it pop with a unique display."
Image Credit: Helen Green Design
The Double Duty Fan
Who says accessorising can’t be functional as well as beautiful? The double duty fan makes use of trinket boxes, display bowls and trays like no other and it’s a win-win solution for those who do. These handy containers keep essentials at hand without disrupting the aesthetic of a refined display. Better still, it can only make it look more polished if the chosen items are particularly beautiful like the glass jars in this Helen Green Design bedroom.
"Opt for a set of trinket boxes in different sizes to vary the look."
Image Credit: Amanda Nisbet
The Stacking Fanatic
Perfect for: Creating interesting levels
Favourite piece: Books (and lots of them!)
Stacking items has connotations of disorganisation and clutter but when the subject in question is a set of coordinating coffee table tomes the situation is a whole lot different. Plan your colour scheme with the books in mind – this is a time when judging a book by its cover is allowed. Use various sizes of a similar shape to for a well-presented look and top with a unique objet or trinket à la Amanda Nisbet.
"Always choose books which you love to read as well as look at."
Image Credit: Hilary Thomas
The Eclectic Mixer
This is a fun style which is a good option for combining a few favourite styles. It could be Chinoiserie with rococo (like in this display from Hillary Thomas), metal with porcelain, old with new – everything and anything goes with this style. It’s often a playful way of accessorising and works best if things aren’t too considered – the quirky pieces and unexpected combinations which characterise the style help with this.
"Don’t be scared to mix time periods and textures – that’s what makes an eclectic display interesting!"
Image Credit: Tobi Fairley
The Mirror Image Enthusiast
Definitely a more formal way to accessorise, this style is one for the traditionalists of the design world. Doubling up is the the unequivocal requirement to enjoy a perfectly balanced display. Although the style has been challenged by asymmetrical offerings in recent years, there’s still a lot to be said for the conventional look especially if you’re working with decorative wall coverings. This design by Tobi Fairley is simple yet strong because of its matching lamps.
"Channel a more formal look with matching pieces which frame your scene."
Image Credit: Jeff Andrews
The Gallery Curator
Perfect for: Accessorising a large space
Favourite pieces: Mementos from travels and unique one-offs
A gallery is a great display technique for avid collectors – in fact, it might be the best way to enjoy a bursting accessories collection. Just in this one entertainment unit, Jeff Andrews managed to include more accessories than you can shake a stick at, all whilst remaining perfectly cultivated. Stick to a general theme or colour palette to ensure the pieces work in harmony with each other.
Your special pieces deserve to be shown off – a gallery display is a clever way to do that.