Accessories: The Layers Of Design

Posted on | October 16, 2012 | No Comments

Accessorizing is the aspect of interior design that tells the story. For Raleigh interior designer Judy Pickett of Design Lines, Ltd., it is the aspect of design that celebrates the lives and the authenticity of her clients. In a recent conversation, Judy shared her thoughts about accessorizing.

NCD: What role does accessorizing play in interior design?

JP: I think that after all the right furnishings, it is THE most important thing. You first get the bones in there, but the bones don’t look like anything by themselves until you get the layer of accessories in. So, the accessories are extremely important.

Images Courtesy of Design Lines, Ltd. ©

NCD: When you are accessorizing, is there one piece that is dominant in a room?

JP: No, not usually. Sometimes our client will have a piece of art or a collection that we incorporate into the plan. Accessorizing is like a big symphony in which everything works together to look great. It’s layers of big and little; it’s layers of interesting and quiet.

NCD: That’s a beautiful way to describe accessorizing – like a symphony.

JP: It does describe it nicely. You are bringing together this last layer of interest, personality and individuality – a beautiful orchestration that is incredibly important. For me, so much of accessorizing is an intuitive process. As a designer, I just know whether it needs to be fancy or plan, dark or light. There is set no formula. There’s no starting point. You could take an all white room and put gild and crystal in, and it’s formal. You could take an all white room and put in wicker baskets and it’s rustic. Accessorizing does set the tone and create the ambiance.

NCD: Is there a certain amount that you would suggest be set aside for accessories?

JP: Again, there is really no formula. Whatever the budget, there certainly has to be some consideration for accessories. Usually people are more emotionally attached to the things that give the space individually and personality – the things that make it their own. They are sometimes willing to spend a little bit more on a dominant or an important piece of art that can maybe carry the room until they have more of a budget to finish the room out. It’s about getting the most bang for your buck, spending wisely.

NCD: How do you know when enough is enough?

JP: I tend to select very intentional important pieces which have the ability to stand on their own. I don’t chock a room full of knick-knacks. There are some people that do that, and that’s fine if it’s what their clients want. That’s just not our approach. In accessorizing, there are furniture styles which do call for more layering. With contemporary interiors, you don’t have to put as much in them. Again, there is no hard and fast rule. Each room should be a total package of furnishings. We probably abide by the ‘less is more,’ approach, selecting intentional pieces that are beautiful on their own, that don’t have to rely on dozens of things.

NCD: Do you have advice to someone who is accessorizing?

JP: Use the internet. Find pictures of rooms you like and see if you can implement the idea with sources that are available to you. Let’s say it’s your mantle you are focusing on. Go onto the internet and find images with mantles like yours – images that inspire you. See how they did the mantle. Dissect what’s in the photograph and try to copy it with sources you have access to.

A leader among Raleigh interior design firms, Design Lines, Ltd. creates livable solutions for residential and commercial clients throughout the Triangle and beyond.

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