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I have spent some time trying to think about small, budget-friendly ways to help people do a little room update DIY and while doing this I have tried to focus on what I feel are the “deal breakers” for a space. The category with the most offences has to be accessorizing. People tend to be more cautious when it comes to larger elements like furniture selection and paint colors but as soon as there is a free horizontal surface it doesn’t take long for junk to accumulate.

Now, we usually start out with good intentions. I will save my soon-to-be bestseller, How to: Organize Your Baggage for another lesson. Let’s just pretend that that sofa table in the living room is free and clean and ready for accessories.


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Know what scale you need.
And I’m not talking about that lying, ugly, judgment box in the bathroom kind of scale. When working with accessories people tend to give themselves a cube to work in and they aren’t allowed to exceed beyond those limits. Don’t be afraid of some overlapping.

Rule of thirds.
This is a tried-and-true method for those of you that are really lost when it comes to accessorizing. Split the surface into thirds, either horizontally for a square or rectangular surface or into a pie shape for round surfaces. Then you want something at all three heights, tall and skinny, medium and full, short and stocky.


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Use something that accents. That is the entire point of accessorizing. You want to help bring out the key elements in the space so keep that in mind when you are picking your pieces. Try to pay attention to more than just color. Think about if you have a lot of straight lines or sharp corners in your space or if it is a more fluid soft space.


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 Don’t be afraid. If your room is green, you do not need all green accessories. Take a look at the color wheel and try using something from the opposite side (in small doses, of course).


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Mirrors. When all else fails, find a mirror. I have literally never found a space where a mirror isn’t helpful. They come in every shape, every size, and every style. They reflect light and make a small space feel larger. I freakin’ love mirrors.

Don’t use junk. This is an area where you can really show a lot of your personality. Small things that you have collected should be out for you to enjoy and talk about and share with others. Not stuck in a drawer where you will forget what they look like. Most everyone has books and authors that they love or that old paper weight from your dad’s desk.

A little goes a long way. Don’t cram everything you have ever cared about onto the one shelf. Pick a few pieces that you really care about and that complement the room and just use those. I know the pairing down process can be difficult but you want your pieces to shine and let them have their fifteen minutes. If you have too many for you space, try rotating them out every few months. This is also a freebie way to update your space on a dime.


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