July 5, 2012
By Erica Gelman
Accessories are to a room as jewelry is to an outfit – it completes the look and pulls it all together. To me, the best part of the design is all in the details.
Accessories can be anything that complement a design and add to the aesthetic value. When you think of accessories, imagine the impact of wall art, throw pillows, antiques, sculptures, vases, collectibles or even memorabilia. It can be something very personal or on the contrary, a piece which varies seasonally. I like to pull the accessories together last or at least once all major pieces have been selected. This gives you the freedom to contrive a more organic design, almost allowing the accessories to find you. Once the major pieces have been chosen, you have a better sense of how the room feels and ultimately what is missing from within the mix. I like to plan the mood of a space right from the get-go so when it comes down to the details, it’s simple to reinforce the initial design concepts.
Accessories can be a very personal thing so there is no right or wrong answer, however there are a few “rules” I like to follow. For instance, grouping Items together —odd numbers work best and combining multiple items allows you to create volume and add visual weight to your space. Choose objects with a common design element to create repetition, which is key to consistency. Allow the eye to see a balanced flow from one side of the room to the other. Tension, is one of my favourite elements of design when it comes to accessorizing. If you have a minimalistic space and your taste is modern, try to suggest tension between one standout accessory and the rest of your decor. Juxtaposing an ornate mirror or vase or even a lamp to produce tension in your space will provide high contrast and generate a memorable design aesthetic. The key to apt execution is placement and proportion.
Like everything else in design, plan ahead—pull all your fabric swatches and floor plans together and bring them shopping with you. Having your floor plans or drawing will ensure you’re purchasing pieces that will actually fit into your space. However, it is the smallest details that will make the biggest impact. Show off your individuality by purchasing pieces that represent you and your lifestyle. I love unique pieces—whether it be the form of a vintage tray table or an abstract vase, anything to evoke conversation. Typically, it is these pieces, the smallest items in your space which will make your room truly unique. Toronto has some fantastic vintage and consignment shops where you’re bound to find distinctive objects no one else carries. One of my favourite shopping destinations is in the Summerhill neighbourhood on Yonge Street -—there you can shop for anything from Vintage Glam at Decorum to Contemporary eye candy at Artifacts. Purchase pieces you love and the best ones you can afford this way they will always work for you and your home.
Erica’s Top Accessory Shops
Dana Jordan (Bayview Village)
Union Lighting & Furnishings
Toronto-based interior stylist and designer Erica Gelman, Principal of Erica Gelman House of Design specializes in both large and small scale residential design projects throughout Toronto and the GTA. Known for enhancing and creating new possibilities in every space of your home House Of Design
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