Accessories and Decor Styling

Think Interior
6 min readApr 14, 2023


Accessories and decor styling are an essential part of interior design. They add the finishing touches to a room and tie everything together. Accessories can be functional, such as a clock or vase, or purely decorative, like a piece of artwork or a throw pillow.

An interior design academy offers courses on accessories and decor styling as part of its curriculum. In this article, we’ll discuss tips for styling accessories and decor to elevate the look of any room.

Start with a Neutral Base

To create a cohesive look, start with a neutral base. Use a neutral color palette for large items such as furniture and walls, and add pops of color and interest with accessories and decor.

When styling accessories and decor, starting with a neutral base is important. It means using a mostly neutral color scheme, such as white, beige, gray, or black shades. It allows you to create a cohesive look that feels manageable and manageable.

Neutral colors also provide a blank canvas to showcase your favorite accessories and decor pieces. You can use these items to add pops of color and texture to the space, creating visual interest and depth.

When selecting your neutral color palette, consider the existing colors and finishes in the space. Choose a neutral color scheme with warm undertones if you have many warm wood tones. A gray or white color scheme might be better with cooler finishes like stainless steel or chrome.

Use Scale and Proportion

Pay attention to scale and proportion when styling accessories and decor. A small item can get lost on a large surface, while a large item can overwhelm a small surface. Make sure each item is appropriately scaled it’s on.

Using scale and proportion is essential for accessorizing and styling your interior space. It can help you create a cohesive and balanced design. Here are some guidelines to help you use scale and proportion effectively:

Consider the Size of the Room

It’s important to select accessories that are proportionate to the size of the room. For instance, large-scale accessories can make the space feel cramped and cluttered if you have a small room. On the other hand, small accessories may need to be found in a large room.

Mix and Match

Mixing accessories of different scales can add visual interest to your space. For instance, pairing a large statement piece with smaller accessories can create a layered look.

Use the Rule of Threes

Odd numbers like three or five can create a visually pleasing display. When styling defers or tabletops, group accessories in odd numbers to create balance.

Mix Textures

Mix textures to add interest and depth to a room. Layering different textures, such as a wool rug, linen throw pillows, and a leather sofa, creates a rich and inviting space.

Mixing textures is an excellent way to add depth and interest to a space. When it comes to accessories and decor styling, playing with different textures can elevate your design and make your space more visually appealing. Here are some guidelines on how to mix textures effectively:

Choose a Dominant Texture

Start by selecting a dominant texture that will serve as the foundation of your design. It could be a plush fabric like velvet, a natural material like wood, or a shiny metal like brass.

Add Complementary Textures

Once you have your dominant texture, add complementary textures to the mix. For example, if you’ve chosen velvet as your dominant texture, you could add a chunky knit throw or a woven rug to create a cozy and inviting space.

Vary the Scale

When mixing textures, it’s essential to vary the scale of each texture. It means pairing large textures with smaller ones to create a sense of balance. For example, if you have a large, chunky knit throw, you could pair it with smaller, more delicate accessories like a woven basket or a ceramic vase.

Add Greenery

Plants and flowers are easy and inexpensive to add life and color to a room. Choose plants that thrive in the room’s lighting conditions and don’t require much maintenance.

Adding greenery is a great way to bring life and vibrancy to a small space. Not only does it add aesthetic appeal, but it can also improve air quality and contribute to a sense of calm and relaxation. Here are a few tips for incorporating greenery into a small home:

Use Hanging Plants

Hanging plants are a great way to add greenery without taking up valuable floor or counter space. Consider using a macrame hanger or wall-mounted planters to add visual interest.

Choose Small Plants

In a small space, it’s important to choose plants that will only take up a little room. Opt for small succulents, air plants, or herbs that can be grown compactly.

Use Vertical Space

If you’re short on floor space, consider using a vertical planter to create a green wall. It can be done using a pre-made planter or creating a DIY solution using pallets or hanging shoe organizers.

Tell a Story

Use accessories and decor to tell a story and add personality to a room. Display personal meaning items, such as travel souvenirs, family heirlooms, or art from a local artist.

One of the most effective ways to style accessories and decor is to tell a story with them. It can help to create a cohesive and meaningful design scheme that reflects your personality and interests. Here are some tips for telling a story with your accessories and decor:

Start with a Theme or Concept

Before you begin selecting accessories and decor, it’s helpful to start with a theme or concept. It could be anything from a favorite color or pattern to a travel destination or hobby. Once you have a theme in mind, you can use it to guide your selection of accessories and decor.

Mix Old and New

Combining vintage or antique pieces with modern or contemporary items can create a sense of depth and history in your decor. Look for unique pieces that reflect your theme or concept; feel free to mix and match styles.

Display Personal Items

Accessories and decor with personal significance, such as family heirlooms or travel souvenirs, can add warmth and personality to your space. Displaying these items can tell the story of your life and experiences.

Group Items

Grouping items creates visual interest and makes a statement — group items of parallel size, shape, or color for a cohesive look.

Grouping items is an important aspect of accessories and decor styling in interior design. It helps to create a cohesive and visually appealing look in a space. Here are some tips for grouping items:

Choose Items

Choose items that have a similar theme or color scheme. For example, you might group items such as seashells, driftwood, and coastal artwork to create a beachy vibe in a room.

Use Odd Numbers

When styling accessories and decor, use odd numbers. Grouping items in odd numbers, such as three or five, creates a more visually appealing composition than even numbers. Use odd numbers of items in a group. It is more visually pleasing than even numbers, which can feel too symmetrical and staged.

Vary Heights

Vary the height of accessories and decor to add depth and interest. Mix tall and short items on a surface or shelf to create a balanced and visually appealing display.

Vary the height and size of the items in the group. It adds visual interest and keeps the eye moving around the grouping. For example, you might combine a tall vase with a short stack of books and a small decorative object.


Finally, feel free to edit. Sometimes less is more, and removing a few items can make a display more impactful. Edit until you have a cohesive and visually pleasing arrangement.

Regarding accessorizing and decor styling, editing is as important as selecting the right items. It’s easy to get carried away and clutter a space with too many things, making the room chaotic and overwhelming. Instead, focus on selecting a few key pieces that will enhance the overall look and feel of the space.


Accessories and decor styling are important aspects of interior design that can elevate the look of any room. Following these tips, you can form a cohesive and visually appealing display that reflects your style and adds interest to your space.

Additionally, many home interior design schools online offer hands-on workshops or internships where you can practice these skills in a real-world setting.



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