Janet Ramin - One of the questions I get frequently asked – how can I perk up a room without spending too much money? My answer? Accessorize! Find something you really love and see if you can work it into your room.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should bring home that life-size taxidermy trophy of your favorite wild animal or the blinding multicolor needlepoint wall hanging that doesn’t go with anything. You should take a snapshot of your room first with your digital camera before you head out to the stores and find that special accessory. This will prevent any buyers’ remorse later on.
Here are my top 10 accessories – I picked a favorite in each category.
1. Afghan Pillow from Wunderley - The pattern on the pillow is from an old Afghan pattern, but it's been modernized with a bright pink pop of color - great for brightening up an old tired sofa or bed.
2. Glass Vases from The End of History - If you have anxieties about committing to a color, try just buying colored glassware. When you group glassware of different heights with similar color, you bring instant elegance and dramatic color to any room. The soft purple bottles are designed by Carlo Moretti and the teal vases by Empoli - all from the store The End of History.
3. Moroccan accent lights from VivaTerra - While lighting isn't really an accessory, it becomes one when it's just an accent light. Accent lights don't provide enough functional light but they do set the mood to the space and provide spots of light for added visual interest. These Moroccan lanterns are pierced and will provide wonderful patterns of light on your walls and floor.
4. Prisca Mirror from Hayneedle - These antiqued mirrors have a distressed silver finish and a baroque shape, lending a contemporary room a whisper of age and sumptuousness.
5. Baskets from Crate and Barrel - Baskets are very multi-functional. They can hold a bouquet of flowers, bringing nature into the room, or they can organize loose items such as your magazines. These rattan baskets, the Galang and Hiriwa, are available from Crate and Barrel.
6. Adrift rug from Amy Helfand - Rugs don't have to just keep your feet warm on top of a cold floor - they can provide visual artwork even if they're hung horizontally. These abstract prints from designer Amy Helfand provide a colorful focal point and a great conversation starter.
7. Portable Fireplaces from EcoSmart Fire - Fireplaces have always been the gathering spot as well as the focal point for many homes throughout the centuries. But if you have been deprived of one in your home, suffer no more! Portable fireplaces are the hottest accessories. They use bioethanol fuels that do not smoke and therefore don't need chimneys, releasing them from their structure. EcoSmart Fire offers multi-sized portable fireplaces that can be positioned into any spot in your home, like this Fusion fireplace below.
8. Simone Finials from Hayneedle - If you're tired of decorating with vases and bowls, try these table sculptures - the Simone finials with a brass finish from Hayneedle. They provide a unique way of dressing up a table and can complement many styles, from traditional to contemporary.
9. Poufs - Call them poufs, ottomans, or hassocks, they're just plain fun. When you don't have room for an armchair or a table, these portable pieces add practicality and a little pizzazz to any room. This pentagon pouf is from Missoni.
10. Terrariums from Sprout Home - Terrariums are the GREEN accessories for your home. They're small gardens under glass that give your room a vitality that other accessories can't match. You can choose many different plants like succulents, moss, ferns, aloe, jade, and cacti. Then you choose the vessel - below we have a hanging blown glass vessel - add soil and rocks and you have a miniature garden!
Reprinted with permission of the Sheffield School, NYC. Interested in learning more about decorating and accessories? Take a look at Sheffield School's Complete Course in Interior Design. At Sheffield, you will learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.