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Published September 4th, 2019
Bring life to your design one small piece at a time
Trays allow groupings of items for display. Photos provided

One of the most fun parts of interior design is the accessorizing. In my opinion those little details of the space make the design. Accessories bring life to a room and create visual interest. Here are my top five must-have accessories for your home.
Everything looks better on a tray! Trays are perfect for corralling all those little decorative items to a beautiful visual vignette. Trays come in an array of styles from wood, wicker, metal, stone, acrylic, etc. I love to place trays on coffee tables, upholstered ottomans, bedside tables, and in bathrooms. Add books, candles, and decorative objects to your tray. Make sure to have items that are varied in height and shape to keep it interesting. I love using magnifying glass, paper weights, decorative orbs, candles and beads.
Books and boxes:
Stacked books are great to elevate a decorative item. I stack them in twos or threes and place an object on top.
You can place them on bookshelves, coffee tables, side tables, and console tables. I will sometimes remove the dust cover on the book if it feels too busy. Use only hardcover books, no paperbacks. I am always on the hunt for bargain books to use in my projects. You can find them at HomeGoods, Half Price Books, Amazon, and thrift stores.
Decorative boxes are also great to elevate an item or use as stand alone pieces. They come in all types of styles from wood, bone inlay, marble, lacquered and mirrored.
Unique objects:
From coral to glass spheres, unique shaped items are great to add to a stack of books or boxes. When I travel I always try and find an interesting piece to add to my d├ęcor. Online stores like Etsy have unique vintage pieces that don't have that mass produced look.
Fresh flowers:
I have said it before and I will say it again, fresh flowers are always a good idea. While I do admit there are some faux flowers on the market now that are realistic, keep those to a minimum and when in doubt, go fresh. They don't have to be an expensive bouquet either. Simple flowers from the grocery store or cuttings from your yard are all you need.
Soft goods:
No space is complete without soft accessories. Pillows and throws add a cozy feel to a space. And this time of year throws are in abundance at local retailers like Pottery Barn, Target, and HomeGoods. I drape them over a chair, at the foot of a bed, or tucked in a basket nearby for those chilly evenings. Now when it comes to pillows I will admit I am a bit of a pillow snob. I prefer pillows in designer fabrics instead of something off the shelf at a local retailer. But that does not mean you have to drop $250 on a pillow. Etsy has a wonderful selection of shops that carry custom pillows at all price points. Just remember to purchase your pillow insert 2 inches larger than your pillow cover to create that full, plump look. I like to use inserts that are a 90/10 combo of down and feathers. If you are allergic to down there are lots of great down alternatives available.
Happy hunting for those special pieces!

Stacking books adds interest.
Fresh cut flowers enliven a room.
Add interesting objects to design.
Decorative boxes offer classy touch.
As the Owner and Principal Designer of Lamorinda-based Amanda Carol Interiors, Amanda Eck believes your home's interior should be both approachable and well- appointed. She often asserts, "Beauty is a necessity." With a distinct sense of style that mixes contemporary and classic design she fashions spaces that are both elegant and inviting. Her design aesthetic is inspired by anything visual but especially fashion, architecture and art. Visit http://amandacarolinteriors.com for more design ideas.

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