What is a “conversation piece?”
While we’re at it, what is a “coffee table book?” Is it any book that sits on a coffee table?
There’s a lot of confusion (and miss-information) free-lowing around the internet that makes the very definition of an accent piece difficult to put into words, let alone choose one.
An accent piece is that quirky or unusual item that prompts questions from visitors, like, “Where did you get that?” and, “How much did THAT cost?”
Well, maybe not the second question, but the right coffee table book will make them THINK the question. My dad brought a camel saddle back from Saudi Arabia. A REAL camel saddle.
It had to sit in the garage for 3 months before it lost the smell from the actual camels that had carried it. That saddle was always a great source of conversation for a good 15 to 20 minutes for guests in our home. You don’t have to depend on a parent with poor judgment to decorate your house.
Here are 5 quirky little ideas you can use to spice things up a little bit, and make your living room uniquely…well, YOU.
First things first – color
A little word about color before we get started, here. Choose an accent color. This gives you a lot of control over the look of your living room. Most people are pretty tame when it comes to buying the big-budget items such as a sofa and chairs.
They tend to go with more neutral tones. That’s great, because it gives you leeway to change your room at will. Once you have chosen an accent color, you’ve chosen a direction and can proceed to use a secondary color to create depth and accent pieces to make the room “dance”.
A sofa throw is almost required equipment in home décor. So what if you have a microfiber sofa in tan, and a suede love seat in a – different – shade of tan. The fall, get a couple of pumpkin colored throws to drape over the arms of the sofas, and everything works together. The eye goes to color and light, so any color you add will be the accent that creates a focus.
The sofa throw, besides being a spot of color, also invites you and your guests to have a seat. It is a comfort item. The throw can also cover worn furniture or even – gasp – stains!
Surprise others and pamper yourself with a heated electric throw
Interior design is nothing like preparing a room for a photo shot. In real life, it’s about finding the balance between the space that says “You’re welcome here, you’ll feel good here” and a space that actually does that for you.
So mix in some practicality that’s focus on comfort and warmth. A good outside-of-the-box thinking might be an electric blanket. It might sound dingy, especially if you are into minimalism, but remember that the word “Living” is in the living room. It’s just a matter of choosing right in terms of color and pattern. You can see the top picks among electric blankets as per TheSleepStudies here.
Don’t put multiple rugs in your living room. Select one rug that uses your chosen accent color. The pattern should coordinate with other patterns in the room. For example, if you have modern chrome and leather furnishings, you probably don’t want a rug with southwest designs on it.
The pattern makes all the difference, a big pattern will make a room look smaller, while a small, detailed pattern will make a room look bigger.
WHAT? Inflatable furniture is pretty legit, these days and some concepts are considered designer pieces.
You can either make the inflatable an accent pieces or go with neutral tones, like black, white, or tan, for your easy chair.
On the more serious side, though, you can quickly add extra seating for guests with an inflatable ottoman or sofa! Today’s models are tough, with plenty of support, and are quick to inflate and deflate. One of the best ways to bring interest to a room is with accent furniture, and an inflatable sofa is certainly fun!
Every room needs a mirror. Blank walls have a “looming” feeling, as do walls that are hung with dozens of small things. A nicely framed or beveled mirror eliminates that feeling and uses up wall space. It also doubles the light. Of course, you have to keep it dusted, or it will double the dust, too, but that just means you can dust the mirror and the whole room looks clean.
Anyway, hang your mirror so that it reflects something pretty. For example, if you have a mirror over the sofa, on the wall opposite of the fireplace, it will reflect the fireplace and mantle. That’s usually a nice focal point in the room, and a mirror doubles the pleasure. If you hang the mirror over the mantel, make sure it doesn’t reflect the ceiling or ceiling fan, because that is usually just not very pretty.
We said earlier that the eye goes to light and color. To add some quirky-ness to your living room, consider an interesting lamp. A table lamp adds task lighting and can create a style statement. A fixture in our home is my grandfather’s Aladdin’s Lamp that my grandmother had converted to electricity.
Floor lamps come in so many styles you may have a hard time choosing one – classy, fun, or futuristic, a floor lamp increases perceived lighting in the room and provides task lighting, as well.
You can also attach picture lights to any paintings or photos you have hanging in the room, giving a museum-like look to your artwork. Can-lights are literally lights in what look like cans. They are great for up-lights under trees or drapes, and increase the ambient light in the room. These are great ways to bring more light into the room without turning on the ceiling lights. In fact, it’s a goal with many interior designers to eliminate the need for ceiling lights at all.
Don’t want to mess with turning on all of those lights? Plug them into a surge protector and flip one switch to turn them on. You can even operate them with a remote control!
Have fun with it
Whether you select one item or several from this list, you will certainly enjoy the added interest in your living room. And the good news? You can change it out and mix it up at any time!