Miss A Columnist

Denise Willard has over a decade of experience transforming the homes of clients in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Her work has been showcased on ABC Affiliate, News Channel 8 and published in The Washington Post, Home and Design Magazine, Washington Home & Garden, The Washingtonian, and Elan. She writes a regular design column for Viva Tysons, and has a blog where she shares her interior decorating insights, DreamDesignLive.com .

Denise specializes in creating simple, but elegant transitional interiors that are reflective of her clients' personalities and lifestyles. The combination of her southern roots and urban lifestyle can be seen in her personal design style, which combines the comfort and hospitality of the South with the flair of the big city.

Shopping For Home Accessories 101

Have you ever re-designed a space with new color, layout and furniture, and thought, what’s missing? Accessories of course! A room is not complete until accessories and artwork are added as they are to interior design as icing is to cake. They are responsible for really adding the final touches that really help your personality shine through.

(Photo Credit: Country Living)

(Photo Credit: malieh.com)

Some people love shopping for accessories, while others struggle with it. Accessories can be a challenge if you don’t know where to look. They can also be difficult because their arrangement in a room needs to be thought out. I recently went shopping for accessories to fill a shelving unit in our new design studio, and here are a few tips I have for the accessory weary shopper:

  • Plan your space.  Think through areas where you can incorporate groupings (or visual vignettes).  Consider shapes, colors and types of items that will be needed to complete your look.  Make a list of all items and where you plan to use them.
  • Reuse what you already have if you can! If you have a collection of similar vases, pottery, art prints, etc, bring those items together to make a stronger statement than if they were all scattered about.  And, consider repainting old items to bring a new color scheme to life.
  • Buy items you love and would like to have around you—things that are reflective of your personality.
  • Be careful with artificial plants. Here it is not advisable to go for the inexpensive option.  Most of the cheaper options look really fake.
  • Try multiple combinations of the items you collect and decide whether you like what you bought when it’s all put together.
  • Some stores I love to shop at when I need accessories include trade only sources like Arteriors, Global Views and Worlds Away, as well as retailers like Z Gallerie, Pier 1, Crate and Barrel and HomeGoods.

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