Home & Decor

How to Style a Room

Designer Jennifer Brouwer explains the importance of planning the little details in our homes.

How To Style A Room

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When designing your home, it’s important to set aside a portion of your budget specifically for accessories. A common mistake homeowners make is to spend their entire budget on larger furniture pieces and forget about the accessories. Then, when the money is gone, they wish they could push back the clock but alas it’s too late.

Great accessorizing, just like the décor process itself, should follow some specific steps. It’s really about layering. Just as you put on a dress before shoes, or wrap a gift before attaching a card, ensure that all renovations and core selections like paint, lighting fixtures and flooring have been completed and installed before selecting accessories.

Next, review your space, furnishings and drapery, and consider where you may need a little extra something. Accent furnishings such as side tables, task lighting (lamps), sofa cushions and artwork are what we consider functional accessories. They can be bold or subtle, but must always work with the room’s colour scheme.

During the selection process, refer to the floor plan and be mindful of access points like doorways and traffic flow. Remember, more is not always better and you must respect the room’s traffic flow. This is not an obstacle course. Ask yourself: “will this room act as a sitting and entertaining area from time to time?” and “how many people can sit comfortably here?”

A professional can help with selecting and styling your accessories to achieve maximum impact. I often incorporate a homeowner’s own personal items into a space by grouping them with similar objects and colours. I’ve also used accessories to help define an area, such as introducing an ottoman or bench seating near the front door to define a foyer, or a sofa table and lamps to visually separate a living room from a dining room.

At the end of the day, remember this: accessories must not be overlooked or treated as an afterthought. They are of utmost importance; they make or break the look and feel of your home.

Text Jennifer Brouwer, Photography Donna Griffith, As Seen In Canadian Home Trends Spring 2013


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Canadian Home Trends magazine gives you a personal tour of the most stunning homes and condos across Canada. You'll be inspired by a selection of accessible home décor products, trend reports, simple yet stylish DIY projects, and much more. In each issue, you are given the tools to recreate designer spaces you've always dreamt of having at home, in-depth renovation and design advice, colour palette and furniture pairings, and Canada's best places to shop.

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