Home Accessorizing Part II: Vertical Surfaces

In part 1 of our article on home accessorizing tips, we discussed design principles for accenting horizontal surfaces such as mantels and tabletops. This time, we’re focusing on vertical surfaces, the most spacious of which are the walls. Whether yours are large or small, there are plenty of decorating ideas that you can use to create interest and add style.

Many of the same principles for decorating horizontal surfaces apply equally to vertical surfaces. Remember that your main goal is to achieve an effectively balanced theme using the elements of colour, size, texture and depth. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Pictures and artwork provide endless opportunities for jazzing up a plain wall. If you have a single, spectacular piece, place it by itself to create a focal point inside the room.
  • Smaller pieces are also very effective when clustered together into a mini gallery on a single wall. Aim to create a pleasing balance with frames of varying sizes, shapes and weights.
  • Mirrors are not only attractive, but they also have the power to alter your perception of a room’s dimensions and lighting.
  • A grouping of smaller mirrors can help reflect light to brighten up a dark space. A large, door-sized mirror inside a spacious room can add drama and create the illusion of increased expansiveness. For effective balance, make sure to scale the mirror to the size of the room.

Texture is a greatly underused design element, but one which imparts dimension and visual interest to a room no matter what the colour scheme. Picture a bronze or metal sculpture adjacent to a fireplace, or a brocade wall tapestry behind a hallway accent table. Whatever accents you choose, remember to build them around the colour theme and proportions of the room and its furnishings. If your accent also serves as a functional item, such as a reading lamp, make sure that its height and colour don’t interfere with effective use of the item’s usefulness.

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