Why We Love Decorating with Hats

Decorating with hats on the wall | Ballard DesignsNo matter how fabulous your furniture pieces, every room needs finishing touches to pull the space together. Styling a room can be challenging, and it’s hard to find your own personal style. We’ve spilled our secrets about styling bookshelves, consoles, and coffee tables, as well as your open kitchen shelves. But here’s something we didn’t mention, what items should you use as accessories? Here’s one of our favorites — hats.

Designer Maggie Griffin displays hats on an antique coat rack in her living room | Ballard Designs

Designer Maggie Griffin displays hats on an antique rack in her living room. See her whole house tour.

There’s no easier way to inject your own personal style into your accessories than using things that mean something to you. While we love a fantastic accessory, mixing new accessories with things you already have is a surefire way to add those final flourishes to your room. Anything can become an accessory when displayed in just the right way, and hats (felt, straw, and even top hats) bring personality to your room.

On the Wall

If you’ve got a hat collection, you know how tricky it can be to store them! First and foremost, you don’t want anything to squish their shape, plus they can take up valuable closet space. Instead, we like to hang them on the wall.

We added an asymmetrical arrangement of straw hats in an entryway creating a playful focal point right when you walk in the door. Or simply hang them on a hook in your closet.

On a Shelf

If you’ve got lots of open shelving, we know it can be a struggle to fill shelves in a way that’s both functional and beautiful. We love the way a floppy brimmed hat adds an unexpected shape in an open cabinet. Just by nature shelves are so linear, which means something curvy and round (like a hat) will balance angular lines.

On a Bust

Take a page from iconic decorator Miles Redd’s book and outfit a bust with a fabulous chapeau! On the left in his bedroom, Miles added a casual straw hat to a black, marble bust. The combination of laid-back straw with marble and sterling feels unexpected, and that ‘tension’ is one of Miles’ favorite ways to bring interest to a space.

In his living room on the right, he added a bowler hat to a classic marble bust for a cheeky detail that feels oh-so-Reddian.

Try it in your own space, and we think you’ll be surprised how easy it is to work your favorite hat into your decor.

See more decorating ideas, browse our favorite Pinterest pins, or shop accessories at Ballard Designs.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


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    September 10, 2018

    Can you tell me where the wicker bed in Decorating with Hats July 2018 is from?