What is Your Accessorizing Dilemma?

At the end of this post, please tell me about the area in your home that is the hardest to accessorize. 

Today's featured design board proves how adding a fresh layer of accessories to a room with great bones can result in a brand new look…affordably.  This online design client had a beautiful family room full of great furnishings.  We were able to give her a whole new look just by adding new accent pieces.  We started the new design with a bold rug, a stunning set of lamps, and a gigantic, eye-catching mirror to place over her fireplace mantle.




The color scheme was based on her gorgeous brown leather sofa and an existing brick red accent wall.  We modernized the traditional palette by using contemporary patterns and large scale accessories.  

  I'm always on the lookout for unique accent pieces/accessories to use in our designs (and share with you on the blog).  New and exciting pieces that we haven't seen before.  I have made some amazing finds and soon,  I will be able share them with you.  I've also found a way to score us  discounts on these discoveries…stay tuned ;).







Tell me about the area in your home that you find the hardest to accessorize?  I'm planning next week's blog posts and would love to address the most common accessorizing dilemmas. 

For information on my online design services please click here.  For on-site design services (Detroit), please email TheYellowCapeCod@yahoo.com for pricing and availability.

**Please feel free to use this design board as inspiration.  Out of courtesy to my client, I'm unable to provide detailed information about this custom design plan.  Thank you for understanding.

© Copyright 2013 The Yellow Cape Cod

70 comments:

  1. My hardest place to accessorize is above my kitchen cabinets and my fireplace mantle!!

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  2. I agree with the fireplace mantle, also my built in book shelves on either side of the fireplace. I get so far with it then the other shelves seem disorganized or out of place.

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  3. I'll third the fireplace mantle. I also have a hard time with bookshelves and side tables. With young kids, it seems hard to accessorize with things that are not breakable and won't be moved around all the time. So, I end up with a lamp and a candle and then things look really sparse.

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  4. I agree - fireplace mantle. I would also add my master bedroom.

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  5. I too have a hard time with our mantle. It isn't very deep and I can't seem to find narrow things to put on it. Our upstairs hall is an awkward shape and I don't know what to do with that space or the walls.

    I would love to know where I could find the mirror that is in this design plan above :)

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    1. Angela, I bought an almost identical mirror not long ago from Hobby Lobby. I stalked it until they had a sale (50% off) on wall decor/mirrors and snagged it for around $30!

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  6. Hallways! Our stairs go up and land facing a big blank hallway wall. Also our dining room is open on one side to a hallway, leaving another big wall to stare at while eating dinner.

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  7. Fireplace! It is the focal point, and outside of the holiday decorating, they always look like they need help! I am lucky enough to have 2, so th other problem that I find I have is I don't want them to match, but I dont know what to do with the other one!

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  8. Yep. Fireplace mantle. My fireplace is also flanked by built in bookcases. It's a challenge to fill the spaces with things I love but doesn't make it seemed cluttered.

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  9. Living room/dining room. We have a townhome so the living room and dining room are all one big room so it is hard to accessorize it. I think the other room I have a hard time with is the master bedroom - don't want to make it too feminine but don't want overly masculine either. It can be hard to find a balance at times.

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  10. Coffee table! We are constantly using our coffee table for our laptops and snacks, but it is takes up such a large chunk of space right in the middle of the room that I want to dress it up, too. I can never decide on something that can stand my husband's abuse as he clears the way, and that won't scratch the wood surface.

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  11. I have to agree on the fireplace mantle. My mantle is very long (14') and always looks bare. I also have to agree on the hallway. My upstairs hall is long and narrow and needs help.

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  12. The mantle (our flat screen hangs above) and the short bookcase to the side that holds dvr, etc. I feel like it's a hodge podge of "stuff" or it's open space instead of pulled together. (Did I mention I have a 3 year old? Another curve ball, right?!) Any tips to pull it all together? Love your blog! It is by far, my favorite!

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  13. We had a custom built entertainment center to fit our 55 inch TV. It has open shelving on both sides flanking the TV and above the TV. Very tricky to style these shelves and I'd LOVE some ideas or "rules" for how to make it work without looking busy.

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  14. Another one for the fireplace mantle, my scale is always wrong. Everything I have bought to go up there looks so awkward.

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  15. We've lived in our house two years and I'm still not happy with the way I've accessorized our built ins. We have to built ins on either side of our fire place and I just can't come up with a way to get them the way I want. I either have too much, too little, not symmetrical...ahh! :) I'd love some tips!

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  16. I agree with the fireplace mantel, but I am having the most trouble with accessorizing my living room right now. We have a chocolate brown sofa & loveseat & beige chair in there right now & there is a beautiful bay window in that room that I love, but I have such a hard time figuring out what type of window treatments to put on that window that are actually affordable & love classy. I also want to have more "design" to the room rather than just neutral.

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  17. I love the colors! Great design! What kind of a sofa would you put in this living room?

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  18. We have a computer armoire in our kitchen I always struggle finding things to put on top.

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  19. Any kind of bookcase, no matter where it is in the house, always looks like a mess no matter how hard I try to give a stylized look. I would love some tips on what to look for when accessorizing an area with so much space to fill. Mine always look cluttered.

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  20. Our master bedroom and the hallways

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  21. I find that accessorizing in general is hardest for me. Over the years I have copied what I have seen in magazines and on blogs so I am better at but in no way great. I still have to use visual examples to carry out some schemes.

    If I had to pick a room, it would probably be the kitchen because the counters need to be accessible but need some "pretties"! That is a hard combination!

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  22. We have our tv mounted above our fireplace/mantel...but we have built in shelves on either side. I would have to second the above comment about what and how to place accessories on the shelves. I always feel like it looks either too bare or completely cluttered....need help with a happy medium!

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  23. Ditto the fireplace mantle. Also above the kitchen cabinets and on top of the china hutch in the dining room.

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  24. I am at a loss of what to do with my mantel. I love how pretty it is but it is 24" deep, flanked by built-in bookcases. It is like this wonderful blank slate to decorate (including an access to an outlet) but I have the hardest time with it!

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  25. Oh, the timing on this is wonderful! I'd love some advice on styling a large, round tabletop.

    I have a 32 inch round table in the corner of my living room. I have the hardest time creating vignettes on top of it that look right. If it were smaller, it would be easier... but because it's so large I feel like it needs 2 or three groups on it and I have no idea how to do that and make it look good. Especially when a lamp also has to be on this table.

    Please Help!

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  26. I have a two story living room with a corner fireplace that has a "plant" shelf above it. I use the term loosely since it takes a ladder to get to so no plants could survive! The floor of this shelf is even with the upstairs floor and the ceiling is 8 feet up. It is also about 4 feet deep, plenty of room for my son in law to walk around on it when painting for me. It was one of the things that I loved most when building this house but I have struggled with it since day one! I have a beautiful two story living room with bare walls and an extremely large bare shelf!

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  27. Dining Room is tough to decorate, especially adding art work to the walls. Finding the right style, not too fancy because we don't have that kind of home. Now I am going to look on Pinterest for some ideas :)

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  28. For me it's the kitchen. I have the big, beautiful, granite island I always dreamed of. I want those great accessories on it, but either water is getting under, or there's too many individual items, or it's too tall to see over when I'm at the sink. Similar issue with the kitchen table. I don't want to move too many things off of it when it's time for the family to eat.

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  29. my bedroom I find it hard to know what to use in this room it just seems like a repetition of my living room.

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  30. I have a hard time finding something nice for my dining room sideboard.

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  31. I have a hard time accessorizing the family room. I have a 7 and a 5 year old and it seems that any and all 'table' space ends up getting used for toys. I need something unbreakable, but decorative. That's a hard thing to come by.

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  32. Hardest place to decorate: Foyer/entryway/front hall with open stairs to lower level.

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  33. what is the shade of brown/red on the wall behind the pix? would love to have it in my front room!

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  34. I agree with the mantle especially a narrow one like I have. But, I think for me it is artwork on walls. How do you decide what art goes with fairly casual(pottery barn look) rooms. I have an open concept house and the walls are either very narrow or very long. I probably have the hardest time with what to do with the long walls...the kitchen leads into the family room for instance and it is one long continuous wall. Also, I love the look of gallery walls but don't know where to start.

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  35. I can't accessorize at all. Not any room. Not my skinny mantle. Not anything. I look at accessories in Home Goods, etc and never buy anything because I don't know what to do with it. I pour over blogs like yours and try to copy things that I like.

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  36. I'm having trouble accessorizing my kitchen and new granite countertops. I have all new cabinets, flooring, countertops and layout. Added about 7 additional feet of counterspace and undercabinet lighting. I need help!
    Lori M.

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  37. Bathrooms! There isn't ever enough room to put more that the essentials...any ideas?

    Emily @ UpstateCountryHouse.com

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  38. I have 3 kids under 6 so have a hard time with any surface that is less than 4 feet off the ground. If it's pretty, they want to play with it, if it's breakable, they will, and if it's a plant, watch out. I would love some ideas on how to dress up a side table or shelf with soft furnishing that can handle being handled.

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  39. For me it is DEFINITELY the tops of bedroom dressers (the long, low-type dresser drawers).

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  40. I have a raised ranch. In the 70's we called them bi-levels. You walk into the super small foyer and go upstairs or down stairs. Shoe and coat storage is impossible and decorating this area is always a huge challenge for me.

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  41. First: fireplace mantel. Pictures make it look easy, yet mine never turns out right. Second: bathroom. Third: what to put (BESIDES fake plants) above soffets until we get new cabinets. Fourth: front porch!

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  42. Just moved and remodeled a dark kitchen, changing it to light and bright...after living with it for a few months, I'm wanting to add a little teal...having a bit of an issue bringing some color to a white kitchen... xo
    thank you for asking by the way :)
    Robin
    All Things Heart and Home

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  43. Above my bed! I have yet to find just the right piece of art to represent my husband and myself to go along with the new design I completed in our master bedroom about 3 years ago.

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  44. Sarah, you're just in time! I have been stumped as to how to decorate my fireplace mantle. We have a gorgeous faux cement fireplace in our great room that I designed when we built our home 6 years ago. I stole the look from the cover of Southern Living magazine a long time ago. The mantle is about 7 feet wide and the fireplace is about 14 feet tall, at least half of that space above the mantle. I have decorator's paralysis. Help!

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  45. Our fireplace mantle (as it is with many others apparently!) is my sticking point! I also feel that our entryway is just overrun with shoes and bags from the moment we walk in the house to the moment we leave. We don't have room in the area for the locker style storage that I love, but some kind of organization system would be helpful!!

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  46. For me, it's above the kitchen cabinets and the built in shelves surrounding the TV.

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  47. I have a difficult time with curtains and pictures. I am afraid to commit because I might get tired of them. They can be expensive, especially the art I really love. I'm afraid I won't love what I buy long enough or that they could make other accessory choices harder.

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  48. Thank you for your blog. I love your style. I'm struggling so much with our old pine paneling in our family room. It is not something we can paint over or remove anytime soon because the stairs, railing, trim and doors are all made out of the same pine. The color is a medium brown almost orange color so I am really struggling to decorate or accessorize in there, but it is where we spend the most time and the largest room in our home. Thanks.

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  49. I have a mustard colored couch and I am struggling to accessorize around it. I know I could go a lot of directions with colors - I started out with bright (hot pink, coral) and then completely switched direction and thought maybe purple or light blue. I know mustard is a neutral and should go with everything but I can't believe how much I am struggling. I wish I just bought a plain beige couch!! lol

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  50. I have a large fireplace mantle. I have trouble with scale and accesorizing it. Can't wait for the follow up post, thank you!

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  51. I am afraid of accessories and fearful of feeling too cluttered! I have a hard time with bookshelves, surfaces, and am pretty stumped about what to put where. I figure with enough practice, patience, and professional advice I'll get to where I want to be eventually.

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  52. So good to know I'm not alone in my stuggles to accesorize many of the same trouble spots mentioned by your readers! I ditto the kitchen counters and cabinet tops, mantle, bedroom walls, etc.

    I would add any wall with a light switch. I have a living room wall with a light swith placed just far enough from the end of the wall to make the art seem unbalanced or misplaced.

    Help. :)

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  53. On so glad I'm not alone in my fireplace woes! We have a huge 2 story stone fireplace and any accessories I use are dwarfed by the scale of it.

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    1. Amen Beth! We do as well and it seems anything I think of is outrageous in expense or looks minature up there.

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  54. I have no idea what to do with my bay window / window seat! Need help with window treatments and accessories. I am looking forward to your follow up post!

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  55. The living room. What to do on console and end tables for example. Thanks for asking!

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  56. I have to have my tv on the mantle in my family room. I hate it but because of french doors, a window and an open concept house I have no other choice. I think it looks terrible, what can I do to make it look decent?

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  57. Mantle! I don't have a shallow one and windows are on either side but we have a tv. I am not sure what to put up there without blocking the tv but still looking decorative. So frustrating.

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  58. Mantle! It has windows on either side. It's not narrow but there is a tv above it. Difficulty in finding what would look good on either side of it but without blocking the view of the tv. frustrating.

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  59. I would also agree on the kitchen counter tops. Need something for the island/eating space yet something that I don't have to worry about if the kids knock it off. :)

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  60. Above the kitchen cabinets! I always end up putting too much up there and it starts to look cluttered.

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  61. Above the kitchen cabinets. I tend to put too much up there and it begins to look cluttered.

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  62. Niches! We have two 5 foot tall niches in our entryway. I have searched for ideas on the internet but everything I see is uninspired and tired or kind of hokey looking. What gives with these things? What are we supposed to do with them?

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  63. Huge open wall spaces. Specifically in my basement. I have these GIANT open spaces. I don't want to fill every nook and cranny - but no matter what I do, they look empty. How do you mix "art" and "family photos" on the wall and how do I address a 55" t.v. hanging on a gigantic wall (20 ft) with a big open space next to it without looking overwhelming? Thanks!

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  64. Above kitchen cabinets and expansive walls! Thanks :)

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  65. I have an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings in my living room and dining room. The one wall spans from the front of the house to the back of the house. I have NO idea what to do with it. To make it worse there is a chair rail in the dining room that stops short of the end of the wall. I am completely puzzled as to how to paint, hang pictures, or do anything to these two rooms that share this massive wall.

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  66. High ceilings!!! I have a two story family room and have a hard time with the walls. I have bookcases and do I need to fill the space above them? Thanks!

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  67. Above an antique armoire and everyday dining table centerpiece

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  68. Living with a man is my biggest decorating challenge. He just brought 6 tall narrow speakers that are at least 4' tall into a 15' x 12' living room because we "need" to have surround sound. Help!!

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