Accents are used in decorating and interior design to create a signature style. Think in terms of fashion and how a top pairs with pants. Now, add jewelry and accessories, creating the "accents" to the ensemble. In bedrooms, accents can include linens, window treatments, pillows, and artwork that add color, texture, and pattern. You can also accent with paint, wallpaper, lighting, and plants to add color contrast and personality.
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Painting or wallpapering only one wall in a room creates an accent wall. This wall is usually a different color, design, or texture from all the other walls in the room. In bedrooms, accent walls work best at the head of the bed (behind the headboard). With an accent wall, you can make an effective and dramatic color statement, create the illusion of a larger room, or add interesting texture and pattern to the room. While paint is the most common finish for an accent wall, striped wallpaper can also be used (as seen in this technique from Summerhouse Interior Design), as well as wood, metal, decorative paint, wall stickers, and a wall mural.
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Trim refers to the 2 to 5-inch wooden edging found at the juncture where the walls meet the floor (baseboards), where the walls meet the ceiling (crown molding), and around door and window jams. Trim can also incorporate beadboard with a chair rail, as shown in this bedroom. Some homeowners simply paint trim the same color as the walls (or just paint it white). However, you can use trim to incorporate a splash of color by choosing a bright, dark, or highly contrasting color, instead. Generally, semi-gloss or high-gloss paint works best for trim, as it makes it easier to clean scuffs and dust from the smooth paint surface.
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Light Fixtures and Lamps
Light fixtures—chandeliers, lamps, and ceiling fans—are not only functional pieces of decor, but they also serve as decorating accents. In fact, your bedside lamp is your bedroom’s most important accessory, so don’t miss out on this easy chance to add an interesting standout to your room. Light fixtures, particularly pendant lighting and flush ceiling-mount fixtures, also provide a great way to update your bedroom’s look. If your bedroom is small, choose at least two sources of light besides just natural daylight from the windows. Larger rooms need a minimum of three light sources, as in this romantic bedroom from Kriste Michelini Interiors.
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An accent pillow—as the name suggests—is different from the bed pillow that cradles your head while you sleep. These add-on pillows are used to create a pop of color, pattern, and texture to your bedroom. It's one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to update a bedroom, too. Just buy new linens and a few pillows for a fresh, new look. Any bed can benefit from one to three throw pillows (along with a couple of pillow shams). Any more than that becomes overpowering and cumbersome when it’s time to make the bed or slide between the sheets. With nearly endless colors, patterns, shapes, and design choices available, you can match any bedroom style with a throw pillow.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
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Large pieces of bedroom furniture, like bed and a dresser, make up the main centerpieces of your bedroom. However, small furnishings, like a bench at the foot of the bed or an armchair or table, generally qualify as accents. You can even provide accented decor with items like a statement headboard for your bed. Typically, one or two unique pieces will suffice to avoid décor overload, although a large, carefully-themed bedroom can handle more (at the advice of a professional designer, of course).
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Unlike wall-to-wall carpeting, area rugs in various sizes can make a splash in any bedroom. They also provide protection for hardwood floors and warmth for when you just step out of bed. Choose one that coincides with your color theme and incorporates patterns or texture. Many different styles of area rugs are available to suit different tastes. Select a braided round rug for a rustic wooden floor or large, patterned wool rug under the bed for an eye-catching addition.
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Every bedroom needs at least one large or several small pieces of hanging artwork. You can use art as a focal point in a bedroom, or as the inspiration for the room's color scheme. There are more types of hanging art than there are decorating styles. Choose a piece that speaks to you or reflects your personality, as well as one that complements the furniture and other accessories in the room, like in this bedroom scheme from Walter Powell Architect Inc.
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Accessories and Trinkets
Collectibles, accessories, and trinkets round out a room's décor to help showcase your unique taste and your lifestyle. Antique books, candles, flowers, and vases work nicely as accents to complete a design concept. Choosing what type of collectible works best depends both on your decorating style and personal tastes. For example, if you’re putting together a sleek, contemporary bedroom, top your dresser with a small self-standing mirror or a streamlined jewelry box. For a more rustic take, go with hand-thrown pottery or country-style baskets. Whatever you choose, don't overdo it. The overuse of trinkets and collectibles can look tacky. The beautiful dresser from Erin Gates Design provides inspiration.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
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A "throw," (or accessory blanket) is both stylish and useful. This convenient accent piece can be used to cover your shoulders while reading in bed or provide an extra layer of warmth over your feet, all while adding a touch of color, texture, and pattern to the foot of your bed. Throws come in many different materials and designs—from small quilts to knitted afghans. Choose one that complements your bed and its linens. For example, neutral linen sheets pair well with a chunky, and tonal, knitted throw.