Want a fresh look that won't result in a total home renovation? Interior designer Lisa Marconi rounds up some clever ideas for home decorating that don't skimp on style.

Good interior design isn’t about how much you spend, it’s about being clever with what you have. You don’t need a major renovation to see a transformation. All it takes to bring life and personality back to a room is a few new and well-chosen additions.

Home accessories can change the whole dynamic of a room and give your home the decor update it needs without having to completely redecorate. Small changes like switching or adding a rug, throw pillows, pieces of art and even lighting can have a big impact. Ornaments can add warmth and character whilst also helping to complete your existing theme. And according to top interior designer, Lisa Marconi, “a home only really becomes a home when it’s filled with things unique to that person, things the homeowner has chosen and loves. I really don’t think a room can look finished without accessories. It’s like getting dressed and not adding anything other than clothes. Accessories are the jewellery of a room.”

But for all the transformative power that home accessories hold, selecting the right pieces and styling them together can be an overwhelming task. With this is mind, we asked Marconi to teach us how to accessorise a home like a pro.

Know Your Style


The first step when accessorising your home? Start shopping. “Don’t be scared of making a mistake,” says Marconi. “The great thing about accessories is that they generally have smaller price tags than the big-ticket items like sofas or tables so even if you do get it wrong, it’s not the end of the world”. But that in itself is a difficult thing to achieve. “When it comes to your home, as long as you stick to the ‘only buy the things you love’ mantra, it’s hard to go wrong,” advises Marconi. “It’s your home, how can something you love in it be wrong!?”

Know Your Style


Depending on what your aim is with incorporating accessories into the home, it’s always best to work with what you have. “Look at the existing colour palette for the rugs and cushions,” says Marconi. “But when it comes to books, ornaments and art, you need to buy what you love. If you do this, it will make sense visually as everyone has a style - even if you don’t know it! I find people often second guess themselves and buy things they think they should, rather than what they’re actually drawn to,” says Marconi.

Cauliflower Coconut Curry


When it comes to decorating a room, it can be all too easy to fall into a matching aesthetic. But the beauty with home accessories is that the more unique the pieces, the more they go together. “I’m a big fan of eclecticism and I think a room that is consciously one particular style or palette, ends up looking very clinical and catalogue-like,” says Marconi. “People worry too much about whether things ‘match’ and ‘go’. This causes buyer paralysis! People are so worried about making a bad choice, they don’t buy anything.” So to avoid this, follow Marconi advises: “With rugs and cushions, be mindful of the overall colour palette of the room. Whereas with decorative objects, anything goes.”


If you’re starting to accessories your home from scratch, you may feel tempted to go wild and buy everything at once...don’t do this. “I definitely would recommend building things up relatively slowly,” says Marconi. “Don’t just go and buy everything in one afternoon and don’t expect to have your home fully finished in the space of a week. A gallery wall, for instance, can take a bit of time to build up - and that’s okay.” The important thing to remember when shopping for accessories is to buy what makes you happy. After all, “we want spaces that reflect who we are and what makes us happy - and accessories are how we do this. Take your time and you’ll naturally start creating little vignettes in your home.”

Cauliflower Coconut Curry


There’s more to styling accessories than picking what table they go on and calling it a day. Instead, follow Marconi’s five master steps to styling accessories like a pro…

  • Step One: Vary heights in decorative objects
    Make sure to have objects that draw the eye to different points. Otherwise, it makes for a very boring display.
  • Step Two: Don’t try and match everything
    Contrast is what makes a display interesting. Mix up the styles, colours and objects.
  • Step Three: When it comes to wall accessories like mirrors or art – bigger is better.
    It creates drama and maximum impact for minimal hassle. One huge mirror can finish off a space and means you don’t even need to add anything else. Gallery walls can be tricky to pull off whilst a statement art piece does the job in one go.
  • Step Four: Pull the space together with cushions and rugs
    If you’re going for patterns, have a mix of new colours and ones that are already in the room. If you’re going for block colours, replicate what’s happening colour-wise in the rug with some of the cushions, but make sure to add new colours too or you’ll end up with that matchy-matchy look that is quite dated. Ultimately, cushions and rugs are about pulling the space together and adding interest.
  • Step Five: Add Plants
    Plants are pretty much the easiest accessory to bring life into a space. They just transform a room. If you have a budget, a massive oversized plant is a game-changer.