Lighting & Accessories....

Accessories and lighting are two of the most important factors in good design.  A space can be completed with the best furniture, however without the correct lighting and some well-chosen accessories, it is flat and without personality. Think of the accessories as the jewellery we add to a nice outfit.  When pairing our ‘jewellery’ to our outfit we keep the proportion and theme consistent.  The same goes with accessorizing your home.  It is more than just adding tshotchkes and some wall décor at the end of a project.  It’s about well thought out design details that are put into the plan before completion.  After all, finishing details are what make a well dressed home.

Too often with decorating projects, available funds are allocated to large-scale furnishings.  Necessary to be sure, however, in my experience the ultimate satisfaction doesn’t arrive until the finishing touches are firmly in place.  I suggest that you save 15 - 20% of the total budget for styling and accessorizing.  If you do not allocate money to cover the cost of accessories,  you will end up with a space that’s completed but devoid  of character, is lackluster and  ultimately disappointing.

A room is boring and bland without the embellishments.  It’s the extras that bring a room to life and make it warm and welcoming.    Accessories transform a space and inject it with character.  They should also be representative of your own individual personality and perhaps  reflect your interests and travels.


Lighting is the other important factor in creating the perfect atmosphere in your home.  It offers functionality as well as mood.   For the most effective lighting scheme, you need a combination of all three types of lighting, comprised of task, ambient and accent.  The ambient light will provide a general even balance of light throughout a space such as a chandelier.  Task lighting will focus on a specific area such as a lamp positioned for reading.  Accent lighting will draw attention to a particular area and add depth and drama, such as a picture light or a recessed pot light directed toward a piece of art.

When planning your overall lighting you need to consider the mood you want to create and the tasks to be performed in each specific room.  When selecting your fixtures, obviously you would want to compliment the style of your room’s décor.   The type of lampshade can also affect your lighting.   The shape, material and opacity of the shade will affect the direction and diffusion of the light by sending it up or down and reducing glare.  Using dimmers gives you more control over the brightness and mood. 

These days, we cannot speak about lighting without mentioning the importance of Energy-efficient light bulbs. The original Compact Fluorescent lamps (CFL’s) that were introduced with the coils which appeared less attractive that the standard incandescent light bulbs we were used to have now been redesigned.  They also gave off a slightly cooler and duller light than an incandescent but again manufacturers have worked on making them warmer and brighter.  When planning your lighting, it is important to speak with expert lighting suppliers in order to be certain that your final plan will serve your needs.

Accessories complemented with lighting!​ 









by Jeannette Wisby

Design Savvy
Bronte Villager, Winter 2009

© 2013 by DESIGN SAVVY 

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