House of Lori: ‘Accessorizing with Purpose’

When it comes to accessorizing your home, the possibilities can be overwhelming.  Combining your needs with your desires can make the entire process even more intimidating…but it doesn’t have to be!  By purposely choosing your necessities to coordinate with your style, you can easily find a pleasing balance.  My best advice is to think about every purchase and every placement carefully to ensure it enhances your overall goals for your space as well as your aesthetics.

In this home, the living room was small and the owner already had a number of existing pieces.  As with many homes, necessity and budget were deciding factors when it came time to dress the space.  To keep it simple, we opted to repeat the current color scheme, but pumped up the volume to create a more well-rounded design.

Photo by Lori Matzke

The first item on the owner’s wish list was an area rug for comfort and to protect the painted flooring.  Due to the size of the space and low ceiling height, we intentionally decided on a rug that was low-key but would help tie the scheme together.  Our goal was to keep the more eye-popping colors mid-level of the room rather than on the floor to prevent the space from feeling too heavy.

Once the area rug was in place, we then addressed the lighting issues…another necessity.  With no overhead lighting available, we decided on a mix of table and floor lamps.  By purposely placing them in a triangular figuration around the room, we were able to light up every corner of the space.  To bring in an extra pop of color and a little more texture, we invested in a silky, bright cranberry shade for the floor lamp for interest and to catch the eye.

To make the sofa more comfortable and appealing, we purchased several throw pillows that tied in the furnishings, rug, and artwork together while introducing a new pattern and an extra splash of color.  We took the gold accent from the pillows and repeated it with the window sheers to help round-out the idea.  To tie in the black from the owners favorite framed poster and glass-topped sofa table, and to ease the flat-screen T.V. into the design, we used black to help anchor the room.  Repeating this theme in several of the lamps, frames, shelving, and entertainment cabinet makes the space feels more cohesive.

Photo by Lori Matzke

By investing in a dramatic hand-painted mirror and placing it on the opposite end of the room from the visually heavy television, we were able to create a well-balanced space.   The mirror was a lucky find and helped to carry out a few of the more natural elements we wanted to bring to the room to reflect the owner’s personality.  The hand-painted fern on the frame teamed with the owner’s love of the outdoors inspired us to bring in additional accents, such as the hand-carved fish figurines on the cabinet, tortoise shell trinket box, natural wicker frames, and greenery.

Photo by Lori Matzke

Accessorizing your home can be intimidating.  It’s not only a matter of what to use, but ‘where to start’ and ‘when to stop’ also come into play.  While there are no right or wrong rules to creating a visually pleasing and personalized home, a few liberal guidelines can help ease you through the process.

1)      Consider the style of your rooms.  A modern home cluttered with knick-knacks will soon undermine the feel of the space .  Likewise, a traditional room sparsely accessorized can easily feel unfinished.  The key is to strike the right balance.

2)      Choose an accent color or two, then build from there.  You can create a coordinating design by using secondary colors from a new or existing piece already in play.  For instance, introducing a color from a painting or rug and pushing it to the forefront can be an ideal way to bring the entire look together while keeping your space cohesive.

3)      Insert your own personality.  Your rooms should be a direct reflection of you and you are more apt to enjoy them if you surround yourself with things that you love.  Say no to impulse buys and hold-out for that perfect accessory calling your name!

4)      Don’t be afraid to mix the old and the new.  The most well-designed rooms feel like they’ve been created carefully over time.  Inserting newer pieces with existing elements and/or inserting a few vintage pieces with the new will help you create a true designer look.

5)      Keep it simple.  If you are a newbie to the decorating world or your space is small, stick to one or two accent ideas to avoid accessory overload.  Start by addressing your needs, then insert accessories as you go to create a layered and thoughtful look.

Note: Lori Matzke is the owner of and She has been staging and redesigning homes professionally since 1999, conducts classes and seminars throughout the US and Canada, and is an author and contributor to many publications on the home staging and interior redesign process. She may be reached at[email protected] or (952) 412-0566.