Home Accessorizing Tips Part I: Horizontal Surfaces

Kitchen islands, tables and mantelpieces—each is a different feature inside your home, but what they have in common are horizontal surfaces that can be attractively transformed by smart accessorizing.

A common inclination may be to place a lamp in the centre or a pair of candlesticks on the ends, but adding interest and style to horizontal surfaces can encompass so much more. Keep in mind that the most successful decorating themes create interest and achieve an effective balance of size and colour.

Ancaster, Ontario

Ancaster, Ontario

With a few basic design principles in mind, we've put together a few suggestions that you may be able to use right away with your existing pieces:

  • Grouping—Spreading an assortment of accents evenly over a horizontal surface most often produces a clutter that lacks focal point or unified theme. Instead, try grouping decorative elements close together in clusters. Keep in mind that a group of odd numbers provides a roundness of feel that works better than even numbered groupings—use a group of three or five instead of a group of four.
  • Centering—You may instinctively place a decorative accent smack in the middle of your horizontal surface, but off-centre placements are chic and less formal. For balance, experiment with placing an off centre item with a small cluster of neighbouring accents.
  • Layering and proportion—Building accents on top of or in front of each other add depth and dimension to an otherwise flat surface. Manipulating varying heights is another technique that helps create a sense of balance. Try a statuette seated atop a stack of coffee table books, or place a taller vase of flowers on a low end table to bring the eye upward.

With a few basic principles in mind, you can transform your home’s horizontal surfaces from plain to fabulous.

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