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Monday, May 6, 2013

Do You Need An Accessories Intervention?

I think from time to time most people can benefit from one, unless of course you are a minimalist- then I would hope that the few things on display are extremely interesting,  high quality or useful in some way.

L'Objet dragon candle in porcelain jar.
 Yes, this little guy was pricey, but long after the intoxicating scent is gone
 the container can hold anything from jewelry to paperclips to lipsticks!

Often people fall into a rut and keep buying the same things over and over. I find women tend to buy too many small objects- as if they can't commit! Before they know it, they've amassed a lot of items that they don't even like all that much,  serve no purpose and do absolutely nothing to enhance a room!

This particular client loves the beach and shells, but this wasn't working:
This was in the kitchen after the reno, but before the backsplash went in. A real head scratcher.
Uh...we need an intervention!

This was added instead. And her love of shells? Incorporated in more sophisticated ways.
The first step of an intervention is to shop at home! Initially, clients always dread this process. I have them pull everything out of everywhere. I even ask if I can shop their other rooms just in case they missed something. Afterwards, they feel always feel more organized and have a much easier time of getting rid of clutter and unnecessary objects.

Yes, we've all heard it many times before- accessories are the last layer, personalize the space, tell a story etc, etc, etc.  But, they can also bring a room down just as easily as they can elevate one. That's why an intervention is so often necessary. Survey the goods, then hand select the best and most useful items.
Once everything is out in view, I group the like items together- that way I can tell very quickly what there is to use and what problem areas may be present. Can you spot them?
 This client had too many glass items, too many small objects, a lot of shiny items and no flower vases.
We need an intervention!!!
I don't like buying things for my clients just to fill a void. I always prefer to use what a client has, add what they need and let those little voids fill themselves up naturally over time or add fresh flowers or plants. So often, it's really just a matter of using things you already have in a new way or by placing it in a different room. From the items gathered above, here are a few of the ways I used them around her house:

The client already owned these beautiful hurricanes. The shell orbs were found in a new local shop and the client loved them, but worried about their periwinkle color. My response, don't worry about the color and let's buy them- she never expected me to use them in her hurricanes! They are now on the dining room table and one of her favorites things.

I purchased this bowl for the client and dubbed it the mermaid bowl as a reference to the beach.
 The shell and twig were the clients and are made of graphite.

The client's brass candlesticks, that she didn't previously care for,  now
 look so pretty with their newly added unusual green pattern tapers.
Sometimes, a different arrangement is all that's needed to acquire a new found appreciation of things you already own and such was the case with with Abe. He once belonged to the client's father and got moved from room to room. He now sits, with dignity, on a library table.
The Lincoln bust now resides on the library table, with old keys found in the bottom of a drawer.
The brass julep cup and green bowl are new. They both serve a purpose, one holds matches the other flowers!
But, I'm no snob when it comes to accessories and I'll shop anywhere from Target to antique shops! However, I still keep my design peeves in mind, no matter what!
I think it's perfectly fine to pair a pricey  porcelain candle jar with an inexpensive faux shagreen
box from Target on a Swedish wood table!
 And when I do shop, I select each item with a specific client in mind and hope that it serves a function whether it's the soft glow of a candle in a wonderful scent, an attractive magnifying glass to read the fine print,  a handsome box to stash all the remotes, a vase for flowers, or a pretty pencil cup.
The tray and brass julep cup are new, the antler was found by the client's son
and the glass orb/paperweight I shopped from the clients office!

 It's rare that I ever buy exact the same accessory for different clients. It  has to be something pretty fabulous and flexible for me to buy multiples.

And, such was the case with Target's Nate Berkus faux shagreen storage box and the brass julep cups from my bloggy friend, Sue, owner of the fabulous online store!

Tomorrow's Tuesday tip will show a few ways of incorporating what client's already own into  beautifully displayed collections!


  1. Love it! Thank you so much! Always so great to see how our products are actually used! Great zhushing all around!:)

  2. Hi Rebecca,
    Every year I say I am going to pull everything out and then don't. Maybe this is the motivation I need. This is all so beautiful and interesting to see what you pulled from the table assortment. It's also very encouraging to see it's possible to rework things although I am sure I lack the skills to get the mix right- do you have any tips for that? I'm not sure if my comment will go thru based on your spam post, if not I will email you.

  3. HI Rebecca, You are wonderful with your clients and I can tell that they love the way you combine the use of their own treasures with you special find! bravo!

    Art by Karena

  4. This was great and somehow I think at one time or another..we have all been in a rut or needed an "intervention". I love the idea of shopping at home and have often surprised myself with what I am able to recreate using what I already have!! Good tips here...enjoy your day!

  5. Great post....I love when I can shop from other rooms of my home...but I do need to buy some up-dated accessories..

  6. The julep cups are so lovely as vases Rebecca and we have some packed away somewhere that haven't seen the light for a few years and we have lots of tulips in the garden. Thanks for the inspiration, I'm off to the loft:)

  7. LOVE this post:) your blog Is always so inspiring in every way.

    If you want to see some cute blue colored decor...Check out my blog:)

    Have a wonderful day dear

    LOVE Maria at


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