Accent pieces are an excellent way to experiment with trends and welcome new design schemes and colors into your home. After all, it's difficult—and expensive—to switch out a larger piece like a headboard or sofa, but smaller accessories are easy to store or make over if they stop appealing to you after a short period of time. That said, many prefer to skip trendy finds altogether and make an investment in pieces that are bound to stand the test of time. If that sounds like you, read on to learn more about six types of accent items—both large and small in size—that designers say will serve you for years to come.
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A Classic Chest
For designer Meg Hosler of Meggie H. Interiors, one can never go wrong displaying a traditional, beautiful chest. “Examples would be a tiger maple bow front or a mahogany chest with beautiful satinwood veneers,” she noted in an email. “These are pieces that will work in any room, whether it be the bedroom to hold clothing, the dining room for table linens, the front hall as a pretty place to stash light bulbs, or the living room to place a beautiful lamp and collectables.” And it doesn’t matter if the rest of your space is outfitted with more contemporary or mass produced items. “You could have a room full of big box store furniture, however an antique or well made reproduction chest will bring your space to a whole other level,” said Hosler, who suggests browsing consignment shops or secondhand sites like Chairish to find the perfect score. “This is a piece that will be passed down for generations,” she added.
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A Solid Color Table Lamp With a Barrel Shaped Shade
Seeking to upgrade a table lamp that has seen better days? You may wish to take designer Sandra Asdourian's lead when it comes to selecting a winner. “When styling a bedroom we look for quality, solid color table lamps with an interesting texture and barrel shaped lamp shade,” she said in an email. “This style never seems to go out of style.”
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Trays of All Kinds
You can never have too many trays in your home—they’re “both useful and decorative, Asdourian said. “You can style them on a cocktail table, console, or dining table.” With so many colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from, you should have no difficulty picking out a few that speak to you. Trays are also excellent for corralling perfumes and beauty supplies in the bathroom, holding bottles of liquor and wine atop a bar cart, and organizing office essentials on a desk. They can also look quite stylish in the kitchen, if your counter space allows: Choose a chic tray on which to set bottles of olive oil or a couple of canisters filled with coffee grounds.
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We saw a lot of rattan furniture and decor in the 1970s and we’re witnessing it continue to make a major wave now—and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. “Anything rattan is timeless because it's a natural material that warms up a space,” designer Emma Beryl explained in an email. “Organic materials don't date themselves as readily as man-made materials, so they are always classic!” Even better news is that the material looks lovely both indoors and out, so any accents you purchase can serve double duty.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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The more, the merrier, according to designer Marlaina Teich. “I absolutely love to use little accent tables in my spaces,” she noted in an email. The material such pieces are made of is fair game, so don’t feel limited to any one particular style. “Right now, I’m making a lot of use out of little marble drink tables,” Teich shared. “They are lightweight and very easy to move around the space, depending on who wants to use them.” This type of table can even serve as a makeshift workspace, Teich added. “Perfect for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, they also make a great spot to pop a laptop when WFTS (working from the sofa).”
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Can one ever have enough chairs? According to some designers, the answer is absolutely not. “For me, an accent chair is an object worth collecting,” designer Laura Umansky stated in an email. “I have a serious chair obsession, so I am biased!” And which styles does she appreciate most? “For my own living room, I chose modern Chinoiserie-style chairs,” Umansky said. “They’re sleek and timeless and can be incorporated into nearly any design style.”