Dress your home with style

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

The finishing touches in any room are what make it special. So how do you create great-looking arrangements when accessorising a room? Sowetan asked some top interior designers for tips.

According to Sumari Krige of La Grange Interiors, accessorising a room is a very important aspect in the decorating process.

"Accessorising changes the look of a room instantly and dramatically. It layers and completes a room, giving it a character."

Krige adds that accessories, more than anything else, add personality to a house.

"They tell guests a story about the owner and make a home more inviting and comfortable for the family. There are a few basic principles for arranging accessories and you don't need a degree in interior design to get great-looking results."

Krige says use a lot of texture, layering and repetition regardless of how unattractive something is. As long as there are lots of it, it makes a huge impact.

"Experiment and don't be afraid to try something different. After all, rules are made to be broken and what's most important is that the arrangements satisfy you," Krige says.

Julia Day of Generation Furnitures says clever use of accessories can allow "functionality" as well as decorative effect.

She says one can add glamour, dress a room and make a statement by clever use of key pieces.

"Before you start hammering nails in the wall, arrange the pieces on the floor, and try different combinations. To get a better idea of spacing on the wall, trace and cut out the shapes of the objects on brown paper.

"Using bits of painter's tape, rearrange the paper pieces on the wall until you find the arrangement you like best. Painter's tape will not pull the paint off walls like masking tape can," Day says.

David Muirhead says he enjoys using items that interest the homeowner when he decorates a room.

"I love using art and family photographs. These grouped beautifully can add great interest to a space.

"It's fabulous to use local African artifacts to celebrate our heritage and culture. These can sometimes be grouped or repeated on a wall scape," Muir- head says.

Where do you start?

"Sort through your hand-me-downs, collectibles or other unrelated pieces to determine what you want to use. Old pictures and keepsakes tucked away and anything that is important to you adds personality to your home's decor. If you plan to add large pieces of art, plan for this early in your design scheme. Large pieces of art and collections can have major impact on a room's decor," Muirhead says.

Tips from André Moolman of Hartmann & Keppler.

l Finalise the main scheme first. Select the overall colours, walls, flooring, window treatments and major pieces of furniture.

l Start by concentrating on accessories which also have a function, for example, lighting, additional carpeting like rugs and large objects like tables.

l Remember that a neutral colour scheme for the fundamentals will create a canvas on which to place the accessories.

l Introduce colour by using accessories.

l Don't overdo things - less is more. Include select pieces, not everything which grabs your fancy.

l Create one focus point.

l Avoid placing everything in a row. Let the shape of your walls influence the arrangement.

Combine pictures and objects in assorted sizes. Balance the visual weight of the arrangement and keep in mind:

l A vertical arrangement adds height to a room;

l A horizontal arrangement widens a room;

l A rectangular or an oval arrangement works in an area above a mantel or sofa;

l A circular arrangement adds interest to prints hung in an entry-way.