Newsflash! Accessorizing rooms is the most misunderstood, under-utilized and mis-used decorating tool for 98% of wise, talented women.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried to save a room with accessories?

Show of hands if you’ve ever re-arranged the same room’s accessories over and over?

Girlfriend, drop ALL those accessories in your arms. Time to stop the craziness!

You’ll never, ever, get the design results you really want – the Pinterest-pretty, Houzz-happy rooms that you L.O.V.E. – if you are relying on instincts, luck, or a picture to push around your latest haul from HomeGoods.

Let’s get you off of the interior decorating crazy train. I’m going to show you how to realign your thinking in order to fabulously accessorize any space – IN ANY STYLE – like a boss!

First, Test Your Knowledge With This Quiz:

The “Get Me Off The Room Accessorizing Crazy Train” Quiz

Accessories should be functional, not just decorative.

  • True
  • False

Lamps are not considered accessories. They’re lighting.

  • True
  • False

To style out the average pair of bookcases flanking a fireplace, it takes a skilled professional interior designer:

  • Between 10-15 minutes
  • Between 20-25 minutes
  • 45 minutes or more

Professionals tend to rely solely on large accessories.

  • True
  • False

In any beautiful room, accessories are more like random items than furnishings.

  • True
  • False

Answers & Takeaways

Question #1

Accessories should be functional, not just decorative.
Answer B: False.

This is a common confusion. Women often tell me that they can’t make accessory decisions because it seems “silly to put out items that don’t have a function”, referring to things like coasters to hold a glass, or a decorative box to hide the remote.
Here’s the answer that blows their minds, and is also the answer to this quiz question:
Your accessories already ARE hugely functional aesthetically. EVERY single accessory you own and display in your home RIGHT NOW is functioning and affecting the room it’s in.

Here are just some of the mission critical functions of interior design accessories:

  • They add needed visual weight to areas of a room
  • They add an important color to a room
  • They add important texture to a room. (i.e. shiny, matte, rough, soft, fluffy, etc.)
  • They can create an important rhythm in a room by repeating an important color, texture or shape. (another blog post entirely!!!)
  • There’s way more…but I’ve gotta move on. These alone should get you going.

Complete the form below to get my quiz: How to Know if You’ve Screwed up your Room’s Accessories


Question #2

Lamps are not considered accessories. They’re lighting.
Answer: Neither.

Here’s why.
Table top items, pillows, and wall art ARE part of the accessory story in a space Think of them as the jewelry of the room.

Lamps and light fixtures are a weird hybrid category unto themselves.

On one hand, light fixtures are highly functional. On the other hand, they are also decorative and part of the room’s total accessory story.

Because they are hybrid items: part functional furnishing and part decorative accessory, lamps and light fixtures should be selected along with your furniture, before the rest of your accessories.

Question #3

Styling the average pair of bookcases flanking a fireplace takes a skilled professional interior designer:
Answer C: 45 minutes and up!

This doesn’t even include the time for selecting/sourcing items either from your home or new items that need to be added. This time refers JUST to the activity of styling!

Yes, bookcases are one of the most complicated things to style. First you need to decide the following:

  • Is it all books?
  • Is it some books and some accessories?
  • Is it all accessories?

The good news is that all bookcases fall into just one of these 3 categories.

Once this is decided, different strategies are applied for any one of these 3 variations. But no matter the bookcase category, the process involves using design formula to style, shelf by shelf, standing back to evaluate, then stepping back in to restyle. 45 Minutes & Up!

Bookcases are ONE complete thought…made up of lots of smaller design thoughts.

For all accessory set ups, including for bookcases, it’s hugely important to step back and evaluate how it looks from far away.

For bookcases, you need to evaluate how each shelf relates to the shelves above it and below it, and across from it. (And yes…to what’s happening on the coffee table, the end tables, etc.)

And in case you’re wondering, yes, there are very different styling formulas used for bookcases vs. coffee tables vs. end tables vs. kitchen counters etc. Even more so, there are TOTAL ROOM accessorizing strategies!

But I digress: back to the Answer and Lesson Guide!

Question #4

Professionals tend to rely solely on large accessories:
Answer B: False

No, I mean it. This is false! We professional interior designers do use larger, more important accessories far more than non-professional-designers, but we don’t rely on them solely. That’d be impossible.

We do solely rely on a strategic mix of small, medium and large accessories.

Translated, that sizing would mean this:

  • Small Size Accessories: up to 4-6” tall
  • Medium Size: 7-10” tall
  • Large Accessories: 11-16” tall
  • Extra-large Accessories: 17” and up!

If you’re like most super smart, super talented, but-relying-only-on-instinct-and-pictures women, you very likely have A LOT of small accessories and possibly some medium sized accessories in a room.

That’s a bad mix and impossible to work with if you want fabulous looking results.

It’s the curated and balanced mix of accessorizes, to include their sizes, that affects your outcome. That curated mix and styling is what makes tremendously beautiful rooms happen. This alone can facelift rooms from “meh” to amazing, which is exactly what I teach in my free workshop!

Question #5

In any beautiful room, accessories are more like random items than furnishings:
Answer B: False, false, false!

Accessories have massive power in a room. No designer worth her design awards would ever leave accessories to chance or make them an afterthought. Here’s a great analogy:

I’m willing to bet that you didn’t apply your make up this morning randomly.

Unless you are a professional bag lady, I’m pretty sure you not only knew exactly what make-up product and color you were putting on your face, but you also knew where to apply it.

Without knowing it, you’re using strategy: What works together, why and how.

In fact, make-up application is very strategic and professional make-up artists, who can make any of us look like a zillion-bucks, use tons of strategy on your gorgeous face.

So, with that being true, why would ANY element of interior design, which covers a MUCH larger surface than one cute face, be any different?

Interior designers use A LOT of design strategy for every aspect of any room, to include the accessories.

Accessorizing is a huge, room polishing and finishing tool. It’s SO powerful and involves SO much strategy.

Without strategy, you will always be handicapped and so will your results.

Strategy gives you the big picture view PLUS the inch-by-inch clarity and action plan.

With the right design strategy, life gets oh soooo much easier and your results up-level exponentially. You start to totally nail gorgeous room accessorizing like a boss!

Complete the form below to get my quiz: How to Know if You’ve Screwed up your Room’s Accessories