5 Tips and Tricks to Accessorize Like a Professional Interior Designer

In Accessories, Artwork, How To Guide, Residential Design by Kendra Contreras

Christina Toole Sr Interior Designer

By Kendra Contreras,
Sr. Interior Designer
Work with Kendra>

So you're ready to take your room to the next level.  You already have all of the core pieces - sofa, coffee table, side table, and consoles in place... but the room still feels empty.  What could be missing?

A-C-C-E-S-S-O-R-I-E-S!  These are what give your room personality and are the icing on the cake. If you follow these ideas below, you will have a room that any professional Interior Designer would proudly give their stamp of approval.

Sofa-Pillows-Tips to Accessorize like a Professional Interior Designer Residential Design Tribe Online Interior Design

#1 Declutter

If you haven't been living under a rock, you may have heard the name Marie Kondo lately.  And if you're familiar, you also know that you should own your items in your home, and not have them own you.  Ditch the junk, anything that does not ‘bring you joy', and out-of-style items that would be perfect for a yard sale. Consider moving items that would get better use in other rooms.  The goal is to get your space down to a blank slate to begin to rebuild a space worthy of design awards!  This is sometimes the hardest part.

#2 Scale

The scale and size of accessories are so important in a room. It’s important to never make all accessories the same scale or size on one surface.  Scattering items throughout the room can help create a sense of balance. For example, try to avoid grouping all of your best pieces on one console, while leaving the coffee table and sofa bare.  Larger pieces should be also placed with smaller items, and all should be selected with intention.  This could mean a large vase paired with a small sculpture piece, or adding in a plant in a great planter and placing it on a tray. Scale is also important to consider for artwork on the walls. For art pieces, it could mean a large art piece above a sofa, and a single piece on a smaller wall space.

Layer Accessories Residential Design Tribe Online Interior Design

#3 Layering

Layering applies to pillows on a sofa or decor items added to a coffee table or nightstand.  This means the room should not be covered in only linens and glass décor, instead strive to create more visual interest. Pair brass table lamps with a succulent. Add interest to a sofa by adding pillows with lots of texture, others in a solid color, and perhaps one in an interesting graphic pattern.  A room should coordinate, but shouldn't match piece for piece.

“A room should coordinate, but shouldn't match piece for piece.”Kendra Contreras

#4 Theme/Style

This is simple.  If you love a room with a contemporary vibe, you wouldn't select an item for your room with a traditional feel with lots of florals or traditional geometric patterns.  Work with your vibe.  Create a Pinterest board and pin rooms and color schemes you love.  You will start to see a theme very quickly!  Consider selecting some pieces that are also timeless, so you don't have to replace all your décor each time you get a design 'itch'.  This help keeps things budget-friendly and offers your design more staying power.


#5 Grouping

We’ve saved the best for last as groupings are the cornerstone of a professional Interior Designer's top-secret tips.  Accessories are often placed in odd numbers - one, three, five, seven for instance, as the eye finds odd numbers more appealing.  This also keeps the clutter at bay and will easily let you know if you've placed too many or not enough pieces.  This is also where the aforementioned importance of scale comes into play.  Taller pieces mixed in with shorter items, wider with narrow - it all works together for a complete room design.

These are just a few great ideas to help your room get to the next level. Please feel free to reach out if you don't have time to accessorize your own space, or would like a professional Interior Designer to help bring your space to the next level.  Working with new-build, renovations, and finalizing room decor are just a few of the services we offer.


Kendra Contreras was formally educated at Colorado State University with an accredited degree in Interior Design. She is NCIDQ certified and has spent the majority of her career designing for high-end hospitality brands, including Wynn Resorts, Marriott, Hardrock, Harrahs/Caesars properties, multi-million dollar vacation homes, and mid to high-end home design remodels.

Areas of Specialty:
Residential Design
Airbnb Vacation Design
Restaurant and Hospitality Design

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