Thursday, April 5, 2012

Accessorizing a Room: Welcome Kylie!

It took a little longer than I thought it would to carve out time to bring you this amazing post. I've been catching up on school since we were a tad behind from after the painters. We're still not caught up on laundry, but it's all coming slowly back together.

Kylie and I have been corresponding by e-mail to bring you this post and I'm so excited about introducing her to you! Kylie, from Kylie M. Interiors, is a fabulous gal who's just as funny in writing about her decorating as she is amazing at putting it all together. She's a wonderful mom to two little girls and runs her interior design studio from her home so that she can spend precious time with them. Can you say, Super Woman?! Experienced professional interior decorator for a little over a decade, a caring mom, and still carves out time to blog about her adventures. So, here she is folks!

Introducing Kylie, from Kylie M. Interiors:

I am so excited! This is my first "guest-writer" article that I've written and I'm touched that Tabitha offered me the chance to share some information with you!

There are so many PLACES that you can accessorize – shelves, tables, mantles, beds, couches, etc...for the sake of keeping it simple I’m going to focus on hard surfaces like side tables/shelves/mantle.

So, let’s start with some of the basics...

Odd Numbers.

When you are accessorizing, odd numbers are usually better than even numbers. However, once you hit 9 items it doesn’t matter as who’s really counting (other than me-grin). So when you are arranging a stack of books think 1 or 3. When you are doing a display of flowers, think 3 or 5 or 7.

In this photo, notice how there is a stack of 3 books and there is also layering with the tallest item (picture), medium height (lamp) and short (books and bowl) to add flow and depth to the space by creating a decorative triangle.


It’s nice to layer your accessories to add depth and flow. Tallest at the back, medium height in the middle and shortest at the front – in a triangle pattern.

You don’t need a theme.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a “defined theme” that ties all of your pieces together. As long as your pieces complement each other and add to the “story” then you can use them. Pieces that complement each other might have similar colours or contrasting colours or maybe similar textures.

Consider pieces that have sentimental value or a “story” behind them as you will love looking at them everyday – whether it’s a framed photo of your kids or a pottery dish that grandpa made – things with heart are the things that matter the most in your home.

In this photo (above, right) you can see that there is a group of 3, with the love sign acting as the tall back piece. That was a piece of driftwood that I found on the beach. I brought it home and took paints and sandpaper to etch the word “LOVE” into it and then placed it on a plate stand – I will never forget that day at the beach with our friends and family.


It’s easy to overlook lighting as a key element in your display. Now I appreciate there are some spots where you can’t have light (because you don’t have an outlet) but if you have an outlet then use it! Your light is a great piece as it can act as the “tall” back piece in your display and you can then add flow using pieces in front of it like a vase, stack of books, decorative accessory, coasters, etc...

If you don’t have an outlet for a light, consider adding things that give the “illusion” of light. Candles are a great option, but an even better choice is to use something with some “sheen” to it so that it reflects light and adds energy to the display. Shiny vases (metal or glass) work, as well as items that have mirrors on them or reflective details.

Now I’m on a budget myself, so I like to focus on advice that may not be entirely cost –free, but is at least cost-effective. I take FULL advantage of thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales to find pieces that add to the character of my home – I actually find this more satisfying than buying a piece full-price at a department store as I feel like I’ve found a “treasure”.

Some fun ideas to accessorize your surfaces...
  • Consider placing a wall-mount clock on a plate stand. This acts as a great foundation for a display that has depth and interest. You could then add 3 thin books that are horizontal and then put a small dish on top to finish it off. This satisfies the “odd numbers” rule as well as “layering”.
  • Books – as with the previous suggestion, books are a great way to add interest. I usually find that a room without books is missing a vital element. Whether they are novels or coffee table books, you can use them to add height and interest whether they are horizontal or vertical.
  • Decorative wooden words (that we’ve all seen I’m sure) like “Love”and “Family” are great as the lowest piece in your display. They always add a nice flow as they are not just low, they are also long which adds a new dynamic to your display.
Budget busting pieces:
  • Twigs and branches! While you could easily go to Michaels and buy a bunch of twigs for $15, you could also go out in your neighbourhood and find some great twigs (but if they are on a neighbours’ bush just do it a night). Whether they are stick-straight (no pun intended) like pussy willow branches or have a curve to them like weeping willows, you can use these in almost ANY decorative display whether it’s on a shelf, a table or a mantle.
  • Dishes. When I help clients accessorize their home I inevitably end up scrounging in their cupboards to check out their dishes.
-White ceramic bowls are great for apples and fruit on a table or countertop

-Decorative plates on plate stand are great for a backdrop to a display. (you can get plate stands at thrift stores and the dollar store – just make sure it’s skookum enough to support your plate)

-Small stoneware or porcelain bowls are great as the “smallest” element in your layered display. You can put one on top of a stack of books or just sitting on its own.

-Teapot. In a kitchen, don’t be afraid to bring out a beautiful teapot to display either on your stove or as a decorative touch on your countertop.
  • Books. Almost everybody has books of some sort. The books you read are great insights to your personality, don’t be afraid to show them off in your home either horizontally or vertically. Just keep the odd numbers rule in mind if you’re using less than 9 books.
Now this photo is filled with “crazy” love. The stack of books is a collection of Jane Eyre books that my grandpa gave me. The framed writing behind is a religious note my Grandma wrote that we found after she’d passed away and the small dish was bought on a family trip and is filled with dried petals and little rocks from the little “treasures” my girls bring me. Now, if that display doesn’t add heart to a home, then I don’t know what does - I know it makes my heart happy!

Also notice, I wasn’t able to add a lamp to that spot, so instead I mounted a mirror behind and used a metallic finish vase to add sheen.
  • Rocks. Sounds funny doesn’t it! I love to put rocks in many of my displays. You can go to the Dollar Store and get a bag of decorative lacquered rocks for $1! Seems funny when you have rocks outside your front door, but these ones are designed to be decorative and for $1 it’s worth it.

I LOVE to collect heart rocks and I use them throughout my home in decorative displays as each one has a story about where we found it (we have so many now I think there stories are a little mixed-up).
  • Kids Artwork. Using your kids’ masterpieces is a great way to add heart to your space and to show your kids that you value their handiwork! You can find inexpensive frames almost anywhere. Black frames with white mats are the best way to show off the colourful creations. If you have a frame but it’s not black, you can just grab a can of spray paint and fix it up! Then, place the artwork on a plate stand and voila – a masterpiece!
Well, really I could go on and on and on as the options are really endless, but I hope for now that helps you all figure out some beautiful displays for your home! Thanks for reading, hope to see you visiting my blog sometime soon!

Kylie--Thank you so much for giving us some great professional advise that we can put to use right away in our homes! I know I already have. Darn, I have to take more pictures for the big reveal after shifting some things around. Sigh. I guess you'll all have to wait just a few more days for the big reveal.

Here are a few of my favorites (hard to choose, seriously) of Kylie's articles that you can start reading right away. And don't forget to leave her an encouraging comment!

Decorating a Shelving Unit

Creating a Decorative Vignette

Hanging Artwork, the Proper Height

Family Photo Wall

And for all of the visual learners out there, let's review a couple of Kylie's advise in pictures:


  1. I love decorating. I didn't even realize that I did mostly decorate in odd numbers. Cool ideas.

    1. Yeah, Kylie's advise is on the top of my list of go-to blogs for decorating! She's awesome. It's really nice to see you here Carly! -Tabitha


I love your comments! They inspire me to keep writing and I read every one.

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