Too Much of a Good Thing

 Most people are naturally drawn to the same types of accessories over and over again.  [sort of like when my husband says, "How many pairs of black shoes do you really need?"]  I see this a lot with our design clients; and amazingly, most don't even realize they're doing it.  

Usually, we start our re-designs by emptying the space and grouping like items in our "source area."  If the homeowner walks by this area they can easily see their tendencies.  We hear comments like, "I had no idea I had so many picture frames!" or "Wow, I really love plates, don't I?" Now, to be clear, I am not talking about a collection which is something entirely different and which I will post about in the near future. These are not items you are purchasing to consciously build a collection.

If you are reading this and can't think of your own tendencies, I challenge you to pick a room in your home, pull out all the items, and group them.  It will jump out at you!

So, in an effort to protect my clients [smile], I thought I would reveal some of my own tendencies when it comes to decorating.  These are elements I absolutely love.  Some I have loved for years while others are new and may or may not wane over time.  The important thing is I recognize them for what they are and like chocolate cake try to use restraint when considering these items.  

All Things Nailhead

I simply cannot get enough of nailheads.  I love them in all kinds of applications.  From ottomans and chairs to headboards and casement pieces, they are wonderful.  But, a room full of nailheads is too much.  What really makes them work is to use them as an accent.   This makes the room shine.  

Vessels & Vases

If I had my way, these would be everywhere in my home.  [sort of like the glasses of water in the movie Signs].  I like them with things in them or completely empty.  They look great on bookshelves, coffee and side tables, chests and consoles.  But, alas, a room becomes blah when it is filled with vessels and vases.  I talked about this at length in my October Staging Tip - "Elements Every Room Needs" for my design company.  You have to mix it up!  Here are a few pictures of vessels and vases that draw me in every time.  


A close relative to the "vessels and vases" category for me are baskets.  When I see a basket that is handmade or appears to have a bit of age to it, I can not tear my eyes away!  I think, "Where could this go in my house?  I need this . . . who doesn't need some pretty storage?  Would it fit in the corner in the guest bathroom?"  Usually, I can pull it back together and rationally think, "If I get it, I will have to take the other basket out of the space."  This most often does the trick.  

One more confession, when we are doing a redesign and the client has not a single basket, it blows my mind.  I keep thinking, "We really need a basket to warm up those bookshelves.  Where are all of her baskets?!"


I know it may sound crazy to some of you, but there are people in the world who are not drawn to books.  You walk into their homes and not a single book is on their shelves.  They have decorated the area with everything but books.  I do think you can make bookshelves look great with other items, but I prefer books on my bookshelves.  Also, this tendency I share with my husband.   I can honestly say, I think he is more obsessed than I am and usually brings home more books than we have room for.  We do make contributions to the local library at times, and I also use them for empty staging projects.  Some are pretty,and some are just good reads!


Last, but certainly not least are boxes.  It is hard to think of a room being complete without at least one box - ok, maybe a stack of them.  As boxes have grown in popularity, they have become much easier to source.  In fact, Plantation Design (as seen below) has an entire tab devoted to boxes of all kinds.  Yum. 

Now, it may seem like I have talked about common tendencies everyone possessions, but I assure you I have not.  Here are just a few that come to mind from some of our clients. 
Trays, mirrors, picture frames, picture frames, did I mention picture frames, lamps, artwork, sculptures, plants, candles and even occasional chairs. 

The next time you are out shopping and you pick up an item that you love, ask yourself, "Do I already have an item similar to this in my home?  If they answer it yes, put it down and walk away!" 

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Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.