Think, for a moment, about a song that has a strong emotional impact for you. Now, tell me, is there a moment, maybe two, when that song really builds and has an especially powerful effect? What would the song be without that moment? On the other hand, what would the song be like if the whole 4 minutes or so were spent in that crescendo?
Does Your Living Room Have an Accent Piece?
Honestly, it just wouldn’t work. Accents are the design equivalent of that crescendo. They can make a statement, an emotional impact, and define a room simply by being present in small doses, with supportive elements to offset and complement it.
An accent piece, especially in a living room, foyer, or dining room, can bring the whole room together and make it go from “blah” to catalog-ready.
Rules for Picking Your Accent Furniture Piece
1: Choose Something You Absolutely Love
This furniture piece is your opportunity to highlight something special to you. This is where your eye will most often be drawn when you walk into a room, so you want to make sure it’s something you’re happy to see. Feng Shui principles dictate that the energy that you reflect into a room when you walk in determines the tone and feeling of the space. So, picking something that will cheer you and make you send positive energy into the room can only help.
Additionally, your accent piece should be high quality that you’ll continue to love it after some wear and use. Accents are all about aesthetics, but it should also be functional. Don’t skimp when you buy your accent piece, or it will begin to show soon.
2: Go Bold, but Stay in Theme
An accent piece is your opportunity to go bold. If there’s a color that you weren’t sure you could pull off, a style attribute that you’ve always admired but been a little scared of… this is your chance for it. However, keep in mind that you should stay consistent in the theme of the room. For example, an art deco accent piece in a shabby-chic overall aesthetic might be jarring.
Once again, I’d like you to think about a different art form: runway shows. Each collection has an overall theme that it gradually builds. Most shows culminate in one or two extremely bold looks that take the idea of the whole show and kick it up a notch.
3: Support Your Accent Piece
If you pick a bold color for your accent piece, echo it in subtle ways. The easiest way to do this is with throw pillows in other places, or a decoration that echoes it, or softer tones of the same hue in various places throughout.
Consider the 60-30-10 rule: 60% of the space is the basic, dominant, or neutral space, 30% is secondary or complementary, and 10% is accent. For example, think about your favorite dress ensemble. Only 10% will provide the extra dazzle, sparkle, or accent, like exciting shoes, or shiny jewelry. If you had bedazzling everywhere, it’d just get overwhelming, so be discriminating and use a well-balanced approach.