Home Decor

Master the Art of Accessorizing

Coveted Home’s Jaclyn Joslin shares how to perk up your home’s personality with well-curated touches that yield big results.

Story by Jaclyn Joslin

When it comes to interiors, a room isn’t complete until it has been accessorized.

Even the most beautifully decorated room can look unfinished if left without the last layer—well-chosen accessories that perk up a home’s color palette or express your personality. Touches such as mementos, objets d’art, books and plants are design staples to arrange in bookshelves, consoles and built-in cabinetry as well as on fireplace mantles, helping to pull a space’s look together.

Creating the perfect mix can be tricky, as it takes the right combination of elements. Too much can produce clutter; too little looks barren and incomplete. Although I learned the basics in school, I’ve gleaned many more useful tricks of the trade through trial and error and by paying close attention to how others utilize accessories through eye-catching design.

Get inspired with these tips that make it easy to transform a room by using the essential “last layer” to unveil an effortlessly finished room.

Jaclyn Joslin’s Top 10 Tips for Successful Room Accessorizing

1. Build in a last layer line item to your room makeover budget. Many times the entire budget is spent on upgrades and furniture, so it’s wise to set aside funds exclusively for accessorizing.

2. Opt for a mixture of materials and textures. Some of my fave go-tos include brass, stone, wood and ceramic. They break up a space while adding variety.

3. Layer in art throughout a room. I especially love propping art and photos up against the back of bookshelves to add depth—they’re personal elements that tell your story.

4. Add variety by mixing scale. Accent larger items with smaller pieces to create balance. Varying sizes work together to create flow throughout a space.

5. Display beautiful books. Mixing vertical and horizontal stacks of books with interesting covers and bindings can create visual interest. And don’t forget fun bookends—an opportunity to use found objects in your home not necessarily intended as bookends.

6. Be bold with layering accessories. For example, one with a flat surface, like a horizontal stack of books, mineral slab or tray, is the ideal platform for displaying a unique accessory.

7. Add live plants. Plants are an inexpensive organic element to add to a room; they literally infuse life into any space. Take into consideration your room’s light situation before potting in a pretty planter.

8. Take a fresh perspective. When arranging accessories, first focus on how they work together to create one fluid piece. Once you’re satisfied, take a step back to evaluate how it fits into the room as a whole. There are no rules when accessorizing and sometimes all you need is a fresh perspective or a new spot.

9. Edit until you get it right. If your accessory look isn’t quite where you want it to be, try mixing things up, adding and removing, shifting and rearranging.

10. Take your time. There’s no need to go out and buy everything all at once. Add meaningful items to complete the room. The end result will be something uniquely you that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Jaclyn’s Bonus Tip

Rotate! Just because you have something displayed in the living room doesn’t mean it can’t be transported to the bedroom or even the kitchen to add panache. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules about accessorizing—I like to think of them as guidelines. Go with your instinct, some carefully selected pieces and have fun.

Designer Jaclyn Joslin is founder of Coveted Home, a Kansas City interior design studio and home furniture and accessory boutique. For more information, visit covetedhome.com.