Decorative Accessories To The Rescue
  It is a very, very old adage, but still true—“Decorative accessories make the room.” We have seen the proof of this so many times, but we are still shocked sometimes at the vast improvement made to a space by adding the right accessories. We like to think of those accessories like jewelry. A woman is dressed for the evening in her perfect little black dress. It fits her perfectly; it moves well when dancing; it is a classic. But the ensemble is missing that spark, that specialness. She adds a bit of jewelry and---voila!

The same happens when accessories are added to the basic furniture layout in a room. Accessories---wall art, tabletop, flowers---supply that special jolt that energizes a room. Many accessories are ageless—they are in style always. But like most decorative products, accessories can go in and out of style. What’s hot now? We see great interest in three looks:

MAJOLICA — Brilliantly colored, lustrous glazes, whimsical designs---these are the earmarks of Majolica ceramics. Originally developed in Italy from Spanish concepts (Majolica gets its name from the Spanish island of Majorca), Majolica became all the rage in Victorian England where the Minton Co. became famous for its interpretations of the Italian looks. Today, Majolica may be made as frequently in China as in Naples or Stoke-on-Trent, but it has captured the imagination of many homeowners looking for traditional accessories.

We especially like Majolica in dining rooms, where the whimsical animal and flower designs integrate well with rich woods. Frequently shown in collections, Majolica can also be used as individual pieces. And don’t worry about trying to find only pieces that are the same color. The beauty of Majolica is that virtually everything goes with virtually everything!

COLORED GLASS — Majolica adds color to a room, but it is a pattern and style statement as well. For those who want color that isn’t intricate and very traditional, colored glass is the answer of the moment. Of course, colored glass has existed for centuries. Those crafty artisans on Murano tried to hold the secrets on their side of the Venetian lagoon, to not avail. Now colored glass is part of the culture of almost every nation on the globe and glass can be found to complement all styles from Italian baroque to Italian modern.

THE UNEXPECTED — There was a very popular book about 20 years ago on using “found objects,” things found on the beach, in junkyards, etc. These found objects added the element of surprise to a room. Today, we still like something a bit out of the ordinary used as a decorative object, whether it is found or not. Who would think that a pitchfork would be the perfect object to put over a dining room’s hutch? But in a garden inspired dining space with flowers, small animal figurines, and barnyard animal decorative plates, the pitchfork looks right at home. It is sculptural, dramatic and fun.

Other unexpected objects for use as decorative accessories might include a piece of driftwood, simple garden trellis, an old iron gate, a butter churn, etc. etc. etc. Be creative and imaginative. Almost anything can be recycled for use in home if it is a great shape and has the patina of age.