How to style and display accessories in your home

The accessories that populate a room are rarely planned into a design scheme from the start, but they become the finishing touches that bring character, color, and texture to a home. These accessories are usually collected over many years and can include pieces that have great personal meaning, so how you display them matters.

In addition to an eye-catching variety on a windowsill or bookshelf, there are smart ways to style and display your accessories that can make better use of your space, fill in unused corners, and create pockets at home that celebrate the pieces you value most.

Below, five design experts share their favorite ways to style and display accessories at home…


Use open shelves in the kitchen

Clever storage solutions will never lose favor in a kitchen, but open shelving is increasingly used to introduce a touch of informality to a functional space.

“Open shelves encourage a tidy space because items are on display,” says Tom Howley, owner of the eponymous kitchen business. “It’s a great opportunity to display precious copper pottery or utensils rather than hiding them behind closed doors. Arrange glass jars containing dry goods or exotic spices in order of size on an open shelf for a practically elegant dash of color. Open shelving helps light flow in and can make a kitchen look bigger. It’s a great kitchen storage alternative if space is at a premium as shelving makes smaller spaces feel less cramped.”

Here we love the effect of combining the tones and shades of your accessories with the color of the units.

use hooks

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A common choice in a pantry for hanging coats and guides, but don’t neglect them in more informal spaces like a bedroom or living room – hooks can be used both functionally and decoratively.

They’re a great option if you have wall panels – it’s easier to install hooks into wood than walls – and as you can see here, the hooks can be mounted at eye level or below without looking out of place. Take some design tips from this fabulous bedroom and hang decorative objects next to your bed to add height without taking up space on your nightstand.

Fill in awkward spaces

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If you have nooks or crannies in your home that can’t be used for anything functional, then don’t waste the space – it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase accessories. We love the addition of unused fireplace art here.

“Instead of seeing a corner of a room as an unfamiliar space, you should see it as a golden opportunity to show off some of your most impressive and sentimental possessions,” says Sam Hood, AMARA’s co-founder, and creative director. space with wall-mounted shelves or a bookshelf if you have more space provides the perfect place to organize your own luxurious display to display your favorite ornaments and accessories, souvenirs, or sentimental photos. They can be combined with houseplants to create a natural-looking, vivid display.

In addition, these spaces also provide a great opportunity to introduce more light into a room with a discreetly placed table lamp, candle, or floor lamp. You can amplify this effect by adding a small mirror to reflect light around the room.”

Try a gallery wall

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Gallery walls are a great display solution if you don’t have the depth available to mount shelves or install shelving. It’s generally wise to take your time to create a gallery wall – it’s a big statement that will take up a lot of space, so you don’t want to get tired of the art or accessories you hang.

“Investing the time to invest in pieces that you really like, that also fit your space, will make a huge difference to the overall look of any room and help create something that feels authentic and meaningful,” says Sam Greig, Senior Designer at Demaio. “Don’t rush this process or pressure yourself to have all your art within six months. Building your collection is part of the fun.”

Don’t limit your gallery wall to just art, however, consider adding texture with a tapestry and varying its shapes by hanging decorative plates and round mirrors.

“I love the idea of ​​creating a gallery wall of different shaped mirrors – mixing antiques, charity shop finds and new purchases to create an amalgamation of reflective art,” says Sam Baldry, head of design at Swoon.

coffee table style

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While a coffee table is a perfect opportunity to display your treasures, it’s generally a good idea to keep your accessories contained — use a holding tray that can be moved around quickly. It’s especially useful if you use a footstool to double as a coffee table, like the one shown here.

Aside from practice, there are some hard and fast rules to follow when styling a coffee table. Camilla Clarke, Creative Director at Albion Nord shares her top four tricks:

  • Play with the scale, and display larger items such as large coffee table books, backgammon boards with smaller bowls, or books.
  • Avoid too many small items that can make a coffee table look cluttered.
  • As beautiful as the arrangement is, practicality is very important, make sure there is enough space to put everyday things like a cup of coffee, reading a book, or putting your feet up.
  • Make sure it looks relaxed and usable, rather than staged or untouchable, include pieces that you wear and love.

Create a backdrop

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This is a clever technique that can transform any closet or bookcase. Use wallpaper as a backdrop for your accessories – you can apply it as you would a wall, a wooden base should be a little easier to handle, just make sure you sand down anything old that might have large grains. or us.

You don’t necessarily need to use a design or color that matches your choice of accessories, and in fact, the contrast is usually good. If you opt for densely patterned wallpaper, keep in mind that small or intricate accessories may not stand out – show off your larger pieces here.


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