Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Accessorizing- Traumatizing, Mesmerizing

Do you have a "fear of accessorizing"?
Do you pick up, and put down, and pick up, and put down accessories at the store, afraid to commit because, while it looks so pretty there on the shelf, it might not work in your house?

Have you ever driven all the way back to the store because when you got home, you realized that thing might just work after all?

Did you pray the whole car ride back to the store that it would still be there when you arrived?

Have you ever driven all the way back to the store, the NEXT DAY, and it was gone and you're still thinking about that thing to this day?

I think one way to conquer a fear of accessorizing is to look to those who accessorize best.

Photo Stylists.

After all, they're the ones responsible for making us swoon, page after page, while flipping through the pages of our favorite shelter magazines, right?

Take the photo above, for example.
What a wonderfully accessorized, calm little corner.
The whole vignette could be put together pretty inexpensively too.

To achieve this exact look, search for:

1. A small, flea market find, dresser.

- Choose a dresser that's the same tone as the window blind.
- The use of one, consistent wood tone really reinforces the feeling of calm this photo evokes.

2. Two, 16x20, thin black frames.

- You can find frames like these at Michaels for $7.00 a piece. I like to use frames that look skinnier on the front, and have a thick profile, on the side. Since there isn't much horizontal space here, hanging them on top of each other really takes advantage of the vertical space, and fills up this corner nice and symmetrically.

3. Two, 16x20, white mats.
- Looks like they used two 16x20 mats, which hold one 5x7, and one 8x10 photo in each of the frames.

4. A table lamp.

- Make sure to choose one that is the right scale. The one in this photo doesn't have a big, chunky base. It is small enough in size to allow you to see the picture frame behind it.

- Also, choose one that maintains that sense of calm. This lamps silver tone is visually "light". If it was black, for instance, the corner might feel less airy than it does because its polished silver and reflective. It also pops against the black of the frame.

5. A small, round basket.

- Again, similar in color to the window blind and dresser, this
basket works so well here to create yet another texture.

- Size-wise, it's low in profile. Perfect. Even with flowers in it, it still allows you to see much of the framed print above. If you can't afford to keep real flowers in it all the time, use faux ones, until you have company or a special occasion, then replace them with real ones. Another idea would be to fill it with large, white seashells, to achieve a similar look.

- To give it some European-inspired appeal, use a stencil, taped onto the basket, and paint on black letters and numbers of your choice.

6. A miniature, wooden stool.

- The smallest item on top of the dresser, this little guy offers up the most visual pop. It helps ground the whole ensemble and adds a touch of whimsy and eclectisism to an otherwise pretty grown up selection of accessories. It also ties in nicely to the color of the frames, for a well-rounded look.

7. A chair.

- The chair in this photo has an open back, which lends to the light and airy feel of this corner. Brilliant.

8. A box-shaped, lidded basket.

- The use of a basket that has a lid is crucial in this situation, since this particular basket is placed low enough to see it's contents as you walk by it. It will also provide storage and will guard the seat of the chair from accumulating laundry. (ha ha)

9. An upholstered ottoman.

- Again, this could be a flea market find that you reupholster

- Pay attention to the wood tone of the legs, making sure it's similar in color to the other wood tones.

- Reupholster it in a creamy fabric that will really make it stand out in front of the dresser.

10. Floor lamp.
- Something skinny, but dark, to speak to the
picture frames is perfect. It's feminine lines suggest a
warm and cozy vibe. A straight, rod lamp base wouldn't have
the same appeal.

And there you have it! Easy, breezy, Covergirl!

Now, tell me I'm not the only one that's driven back to TJ Maxx for something the next day!




Hi Layla,

So Pretty, Love the basket of flowers and the frames....


MyFrogs said...

The first part where you describe afraid to commit, that's me! I'm trying to get better. Although I don't think about like the steps you laid out. I just buy what I like but I do try to follow the "rule" of 3's and 5's. So now if there's a tiny bud vase I like, I'll get 3 to group together. Instead of a single lone vase. Or if I only have 1, I'll team it with a few other things in 3's and 5's. Is that a real "rule" or did I just make that up watching HGTV?

Kacey said...

I've driven back several times! LOL And I'm still bummed about a MAJOR deal I could have scored a few years ago on a sweet little white sofa with a pleated skirt and little fluted feet. Oh, I still dream of that sofa and wish I would have MADE room for her. :o)

Anonymous said...

so i'm NOT the only one!! that's comforting to know. hehe
nice job of describing the photo!

Anonymous said...

I really love this lamp. Is it possible to find out where it's from? Do they give the store name for it in the back of the magazine or online?

J @ The Look 4 Less said...

Love this post! Almost all the walls in our house are bare because I have a fear of accessorizing! I wish someone would help me. Lol.

Lisa said...

I can totally relate to the beginning of your post.

Mrs. Dunbar said...

My great room will look like this when you are done with my Room Consult right????

Oh, I can not wait.

JHNickodemus said...

I think in a family like mine where a lot of things get handed down theres almost a bigger problem with a fear of DE-accessorizing.

Lisa said...

Thanks Lettered Cottage for some real helpful info. I too have done the same things you've mentioned. I finally decided to go for it and save toe receipt in case I decide after getting the item home that is doesn't work. That really settled alot of fretting for me. Hugs from Maine

Inspired Kara said...

You are not alone! I do this with every purchase. I try to not buy on impulse and I give myself a few days. If I am still thinking about a certain shirt,lamp, vase after a few days to a week. I know it is something i will really love. You'd be amazed at how this cuts my spending!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

I have driven back to stores many times when I've gotten home & just couldn't quit thinking about what I'd seen. Sometimes it's still been there, other times not, but it's amazing when something gets in your head & doesn't know you gotta have it!

That's a beautifully styled photo. I love staring at photos too & noticing how they are all put together. Very nicely narrated!

Kim said...

Great post! And yes...definitely gone back to the store to get something on MANY occasions! :o)

Anonymous said...

I admit I have been in this predicament before. But if I do get a piece home I lack the confidence, or style :( to create great vignettes. You did a great job breaking down the pieces in the photo. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the many reasons why I love your blog, Layla! You take something that I think looks impossible to replicate & break it down into do-able steps.

Anonymous said...

I like your post Layla! Very interesting way to provide the budget technique of putting this room together. I would love to be in that room right now, with a laptop of course...

Sandy said...

great tips and advice, layla!

fun visiting you! :)

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

That was very, very helpful - great tips - thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I do it all the time, Layla,cause I have NO design sense and the simplest things make me unsure of my purchase.Just today, after looking for a shower curtain that I thought would go with my new bathroom for the last year (bathroom isn't even new anymore :-)), I found what I thought was the perfect shower curtain. What do you think I asked the sales woman? Can I bring this back if it doesn't go once I get it home?!

I was lucky today tho, cause while I don't have it up yet but it looks like it will tie right in with those yellows and greens that I am so fond of. Will send a photo when I get it hung.

BTW, thanks for this post. I didn't even see that the pictures were two different sizes until you pointed it out.

One more thing, can you comment on the window blind. Where do you buy those (they look like a roman shade??). I love that look.


Romana said...

love this pic, it is one I have saved in my folder :) thanks for the breakdown analysis!

LuLu said...

Now I need to go back to the junk store I like for a tiny stool that I saw and didn't get to place on a table!
too funny,

Anonymous said...

I really liked how you explained this space piece by piece. Sometimes it is hard to say why a space works well, so this is perfect. It also helps to know what to do with a corner that has no obvious perpose.

Question: Would you spray paint the letters on the basket? or use a brush? What kind of paint?

Lettered Cottage said...

Hello "Anonymous"!

I would spray the numbers on it. Just make sure you have the stencil taped down as well as it can be. Also, hold the spray paint can WAY back and do several, super light mists, over it, til it looks like it's covered thoroughly.

Good Luck and Thanks for visiting!


PS...As far as the kind of paint, maybe something it looks like authentically old paint.

Christina said...

Yes! I have a problem with accessorizing. I bet you could pick that up in the pictures I sent to you a while back of my newly painted kitchen cabinets.

Thanks so much for the walk through on accessorizing. I would love to read more of your tips like these!

Amber B. said...

Love that photo and your observations! And yes, I drive back to TJ Maxx, but often the item is GONE! The horror!!! :-)

Jules from "The Roost" said...

You broke that down so nice and easy! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Haa you described me to a "T". I even do that with clothes and that would explain why I don't have much to choose from to wear and my house is still bare!!!! Decisions, decisions...Stay warm and feel better.



3 Peanuts said...

Love how you broke this down. I have that photo in my files but never thought about it piece by piece. My favorite idea (and one I NEVER would have thought of) is to stencil the letters on the basket. I know the real deal can be very pricey but what a great alternative:)
I am struggling with one room in my new home and am going to do one of your consults. I just need to take my photos!


Liz Harrell said...

Love these tips Layla. I've been trying to 'par down' here lately. Maybe it's just b/c spring is coming, but lately I've felt a little claustraphobic.