Susan Taylor
home style tips

accessories make me happy!

It’s always a happy day when I am called for an accessory call, and this beautiful home (with darling owners) was just that kind of a day!

My assignment was a console, a large built-in covering an entire wall, and a recently purchased  etagere (a fave, by the way) from my home store. For the console, a combination of black and white tie this story together. A pair of hand carved whitewashed horse statues, a black open wire bowl filled with lettered spheres, stepping down to a final white pear sculpture. That large entertainment unit right behind it, that will be another post!

By combining some collections and sentimental objects from the client, plus adding new things from the home store, I was able to use all of the favorites together to create several delightful and personal styled rooms. I’ll share just a bit with you.

Here is the finished etagere that was delivered and placed in the personal office of a second floor landing. The room itself is interesting—a large hall, large enough, in fact, to be called a room. Picture a cozy spot to place a desk, fabulous rugs, and one of my favorite open shelf pieces of furniture with just enough storage. A place to retreat at the end the day.

Styling a bookcase, or etagere in this case, is all about perfect placement and objects of the correct scale. Here’s the formula for this one:

  1.  Top shelf: two vases the same, each filled with a simple floral accent. Consider something that is just the right height.
  2.  Second shelf: several client favorites, including the tender sculpture that perhaps represents healing. Note the high point is not totally centered, but slightly off to the left. This shelf is the perfect orchestration of scale, interest and placement. Try adding three of a kind (in this case small succulents in glass) to finish the design.
  3.  Third shelf: a statement of two of a kind vessels, overlapping for interest and filled with more succulents, chosen for size and color. Step back and look at your design. Treat it like a story. Make sure you have a variety of sizes and shapes. I added these tiny, artistic vases in handmade ceramic to add interest and texture. To complete the shelf, I set a flat leaf-shaped dish and placed several shiny ceramic stones here. Perfect.
  4. Fourth shelf: I choose an interesting box from the collections of the homeowner. As I examined the composition thus far, it was clear I needed an element of simplicity. I added a beautiful shallow dish, white with a silver rim, and filled it with silver orbs and one more small potted succulent.

A closeup of the beautiful healing sculpture that has sentimental value. The homeowner is a veterinarian. I couldn’t have chosen anything that was more perfect than this beautiful object.

Below, you can see the way the like succulents sit in the top of the vessel just perfectly. The chrome-like finish of the containers adds another layer of interest.

Texture is an important as color in any design. The use of the small ceramic vases mentioned are just what I needed. Additional texture from the box adds more interest and again, perfect scale.

Styling a bookcase is a work of art. Treat is as that and you will end up with a perfectly styled bookcase to love and cherish.

If you would like more instruction on placing accessories and the do’s and don’ts of perfect placement, ask about my store classes with hands-on instruction. We take on projects like this and many more!