A well designed home reflects the life of the person who lives in it. When guests walk through a home, they should get a sense of the owner’s style as well as catch a glimpse of their story. While everyone has a story, not everyone knows exactly how to tell it. Fortunately, the designers at Barry Wooley Designs know how to help.
According to Jacqueline Smith, design director and interior designer at Barry Wooley Designs, the best way to put your story on display is through the subtle use of home accents. Now, what is that exactly? “Home accents are pieces that really tell your story,” says Smith excitedly. “Home accents are the perfect way to express yourself throughout the different seasons, moods or chapters in your life.”
Smith goes on to say that good home accents are anything easily moveable on any given day, and she notes such examples as artwork, table lamps and soft goods. “These are the most impactful accents for most rooms,” she says. “The smaller bookcase accents are important too, but they aren’t generally the first items you see. I think pillows are the most useful accent. Switching pillows around can make such an impact and can be easily done on any budget.”
Even with this knowledge, the task of accenting a room can seem daunting. Smith urges homeowners not to despair and to start out with an idea of what they want their overall design to be. That way, the look can remain focused; the designer will only use accents that bring the home or room closer to that goal. “I think it’s important to have a plan when shopping,” asserts Smith. “And once you get to the store, stick to your plan! This will help you create a consistent and coherent design.” And if even that notion is proving overwhelming, Smith says that you may want to turn to your wardrobe: “If you are stuck on what kind of look you want to achieve, check out the current fashion trends. Fashion and interior design go hand in hand.”
Smith also has a slew of tips and tricks to offer beyond simple planning, however. “Items placed in groups of threes tend to look best as well,” she recommends. Furthermore, having an assortment of different textures with any room design can make all the difference as textures can give a feeling of depth and interest, even in a monochromatic room. “Accents can bring a new look to furniture. Use throw pillows, throw blankets and area rugs to give your ‘old’ room a new look and feel,” she says.
With the basics covered, Smith also warns against the most common rookie mistake: clutter. A small amount of accents in a room goes a long way, but it is easy for a novice designer or eager homeowner to get carried away. “Again, place items together in odd numbers, which means having some items set by themselves,” says Smith. “Keep surfaces open and clean. If you can’t set a small bag or drink on a table top without having to move something, you have too many things on the table.” Smith also lauds the use of simple storage boxes for storing remotes, personal change, pens and random assorted items: “If you think your room is getting too cluttered, take time to refresh, move some items around and put some things away.”
Just as a person’s story changes over time, a home’s story is far from stagnant. So many things affect and influence the look, feel and energy of a place. One such factor is the season. “I think celebrating each season is important,” agrees Smith, “but there is a limit. I don’t think there should be more than three holiday items in a room. Again, pillows are the best way to switch up your home’s look each season.”
More generally, Smith highly recommends moving accents from room to room every couple of months. “Or when the mood strikes!” she says. It is important to change up the environment. It keeps things interesting and it creates a dynamic world and habitat that showcases the true you. And that’s what a home should be after all – an extension of your personality and a dwelling accented with your story. VT
Barry Wooley Designs is located at 835 E Main St. and is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. For more information, visit barrywooley.com or call 502.569.7101.
By BEN GIERHART, Contributing Writer
Photos courtesy of BARRY WOOLEY