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Putting the spotlight on accessories

They highlight hidden qualities in others, harmonize the mood of the room, or stand out themselves. Revel in the subtle magic of accessories, and how you can put them to use in your home.

Colors, patterns and placement

Want a living room full of rich colors and details that still looks put together? The key is a mix of courage and cohesion. Don’t be afraid to be bold, but keep it all in balance with a few tried-and-true design guidelines. Take these cushions, for instance. Different patterns but similar colors. Sticking to a palette is a secret to successful mixing and matching.

Besides looking good, a rug can help direct focus to a certain area. Contrast it with the surface around it to create a visually heightened zone.

The washable aspect is great, but perhaps even better: changeable sofa covers means you can transform the sofa look in no time. Boom, new room!

Aiming to balance visual weights of groups of things can be good. Here, thin frames and a slim lamp balance the heavier sideboard.

Give in to glass

Set the table for a lasting impression

A dinner table is an ideal stage for the small tweaks that make a big impact. A tablecloth, the right tableware and some decorations will magnify the moment, regardless if it’s a weekday dinner or all-important date night.

Three bite-size tips for casual elegance: stack harmonizing plates, use crinkled linen napkins (how-to: wash and tumble dry), and put a fresh sprig in every glass.

All vase and content combos present a fresh opportunity. Play with proportions, expressions and light, and you’ll have a new beautiful result every time.

A welcoming gesture doesn’t have to be grand. Adding stylish chair pads is a subtle way of hoping for a long, joyful and comfortable session at the table.

Festive and functional

Light and shadow in the bedroom

Handcrafted items in natural materials – not to mention living plants – are a perfect match for a bedroom. They add to a calm mood, with beautiful textures and color variations that shift expression with the changing light in the room.

The functional pop of color

That’s one throw too many. Said no one, ever. Whether it’s to adjust sleeping temperature, keep your shoulders warm or simply light up the room, a proper throw gets the job done.

Mind the light

Lighting is super effective for directing the dynamic of a space. For example, use lampshades that add a bit of nature and give a beautiful light-and-shadow effect on the wall. No wallpaper needed there.

Oh, cushions! They discreetly tie together the style of any room they enter. Play with fabrics, patterns and colors. (And a cover change is as easy as it is effective.)

Let your bare feet land on a soft rug in the morning, and chances are your day is off to a promising start. Let alone how good it looks.

Including more senses is an easily overlooked way to create mood. Scented candles add coziness, warmth and help create a relaxing atmosphere.

Mood-setters and cozymakers

A balanced bathroom

The bottleneck feeling of a bathroom can be reduced by figuring out what’s to be hidden out of sight and what works better in accessible, open shelves. (Any extra surface is ideal for decorations – to enjoy on days when you have all the time in the world.) Here the color scheme, tiles and clear shelf lines work together to create a bold, geometric look.

A waste bin is good to have around when needed. And when it isn’t, it still contributes nicely to the room’s mood.

No-strings-attached storage? Suction-cup hooks to the rescue. Arrange (and rearrange) to your heart’s content.

Washbasins endure heavy traffic daily. Accessories can be a good way to add order while visually calming things down.

A good accessory interacts with the room and things around it that creates the wow. If you have an unbecoming corner of a room – place a boldly-colored showpiece in another.

Elin Stierna, interior designer at IKEA

Clean, neat and stylish