My Room has the BLAHS!

  • How to Decorate Team

My Room HAD the Blahs!What Makes This Room Work?

Choosing accessories for a room is a lot like picking jewelry for that little black dress. They’re essential to the overall look and can take it from blah to beautiful. And accessories aren’t limited to those items you arrange on the coffee table. Everything, from the wall colors to the rugs, counts as accessories that help make the room.

Let’s take a closer look at our example and see how adding the right accessories made this room sing. We started with quality core pieces that add lots of style, without being too trendy. The Vintage Vogue Sofa, with its classic lines, is covered in a rich, latte velvet slipcover. We paired it with our Morgan Cocktail Table and the DeHavilland Console — basic pieces that work with any decor.

Breaking it down

The Walls

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Paint is the least expensive, quickest, and most dramatic change you can make. Our walls are painted Hushed Hue (Benjamin Moore #1520), a rich taupey-grey that works well with many color combinations.

This is a relatively small room, so to visually expand the space, we added two Grand Palais Rectangular Mirrors above the sofa (but any large mirror would do the trick). They reflect more light back into the room for a warm glow.

Dramatic latte velvet Drapes (the same fabric as the sofa’s slipcover) frame the windows. The dark color is bold and draws your eye upward. (Hint* To make your room appear taller, hang drapes at the ceiling line or above the windows to create the illusion of height.) And in between, we chose to downsize to a single Mirrored Heron Print, again using the mirrored frame to reflect light. A series of prints would also work here, or even one oversized piece of art.

The Floor

We kept it simple by adding a Braided Jute Rug for texture over the hardwood floors. It also plays against the more formal velvet for a relaxed atmosphere. You could, of course, place your favorite rug for a personal touch.

Talia ChandelierThe Lighting

Hanging a chandelier in an unexpected place is a favorite trick of ours. It makes the room appear more inviting, plus the light it gives off is softer than a ceiling fan or a flush mount fixture. Just be sure to install a dimmer with it so you can always regulate your level of lighting. The simple lines of our Talia Chandelier worked well with this room’s mix. Then we added matching Chandelier Shades in latte velvet (to match the drapery and the sofa) to tie it in.

On the DeHavilland Console, we selected a pair of small Imperia Accent Lamps that are keeping in scale with the art above. Their size also makes them perfect for tucking into a bookshelf for some extra light.

Slipcovers and Tablecloths

Here’s where the accessorizing fun really starts because the choices are limitless. We covered two Parsons Chairs in slipcovers made from our Arabesque fabric. The blue and brown print adds pattern and punch to what was an all solid-colored room. We coupled the chairs with a tablecloth in Spa Pomeroy (another of our favorite fabrics) trimmed out in burlap for a custom look. The beauty of our Limited Edition Designer Tablecloths and Limited Edition Designer Parsons Slipcovers is that all the work is done for you! We handle all the coordinating and pay attention to the little details. The goal is to fill your room the subtle details that people notice and appreciate.

Limited Edition Designer PillowsThrow Pillows

Who doesn’t love pillows piled high on the sofa? Our Limited Edition Designer Pillows are designed as a collection with coordinating fabrics, screen-printed details and trims, so they’re a foolproof way to add color and texture. You can mix and match without worrying whether the pillows coordinate. It’s already done for you.

Add personal touches

Finish up your room with a well-edited selection of items that you love. A few leather bound books piled on the table along with fresh-cut flowers in a vintage vase are always pleasing to the eye. Perhaps an antique dish from your grandmother placed on the console for a place to hold your keys. Plants always work. And if you don’t have green thumbs, don’t worry. We’ve got plenty of forever-green topiaries and potted plants that always look lush and beautiful. And most importantly, make your personality part of the room.

Posted 2/4/09

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.