Design dilemma: The little things make a difference

This week’s design dilemma tackles how important smaller accessories and accents are when it comes to overall design

Accessories by LSA at Bloomingdale's Home. Courtesy Bloomingdale's Home
Powered by automated translation

It’s no secret that the right accessories can breathe life into a space, and inject it with warmth, personality and atmosphere. The home accessories we choose often reveal a great deal about us as, reflecting our taste, style and personality. I always say that if the interior is the body, accessories are the soul.

Living in the UAE, we have amazing access to foreign lands with unique cultures and exotic wares. It is often in these places that we stumble upon one-of-a-kind vintage markets, hidden boutiques and mysterious alleyways that are the key to Aladdin's cave. Whether it be antique treasures or souvenirs, modern finds or personal creations, there is no limit to what is possible when it come to home accessories.

Well-chosen decorative items can take any shape or form, which is why I enjoy them so much and take them so seriously in my own designs. Although their visual appeal is undoubtedly pivotal, home accessories must also be functional. When selecting accessories for your home, why not approach it in a similar way to your attire? Fashion and interior accessories tell a personal story and both require you to exercise a degree of both freedom and restraint in order to successfully achieve balance.

When decorating your home, play around with grouping different objects together, in order to achieve harmony, and combine items that complement one another in terms of weight, colour, theme and size. Varying colours and textures should also be considered to create visual intrigue and a sense of variety.

Our homes talk to us through the various accessories and soft decoration that we place in them. The right artwork, or even a quote on a wall, is a statement of our beliefs and personal tastes. These can be very powerful tools to lift a room. A sculpture can have a similar effect, expressing our love of certain forms and shapes.

A little tip. Don't rush it. Take all the time you need to find the right piece, especially when it comes to art. A home is never perfect and never finished. It's constantly evolving.

I love mirrors – they can create wonderful effects in a room. Depending on the theme and feel of your space, you’ll find mirrors in a million different styles – be it a modern brushed gold frame, an ornate brass Elizabethan style or rustic timber, you can find an amazing mirror for any room. They are also great in dark rooms (reflecting what little light there might be) and help create the illusion of space in small rooms.

Rugs are also wonderful accessories and can introduce a splash of colour to create warmth, or neatly frame a particular space, such as a lounge area or cosy corner. Again, depending on the style of your room, you can go for grand Persian rugs, shabby-chic woven rugs in rustic tones or a plush shag-pile that not only looks great but feels fantastic under the feet. Select your rug based on your style of furniture. The options are endless, but be sure to keep it warm and inviting.

Lights and lamps are also key accessories. The have the ability to cast beautiful mood lighting can enliven dark corners to create a new sense of perspective. Dispersing light effectively is key, and you can achieve the effect you want through the right choice of lamp shade. Throw cushions are also important. They can tie together a colour scheme, and if the room itself feels quite stark, colourful cushions or those with interesting patterns will add accents to the room. 

Medy Navani is creative director and founder of Design Haus Medy,; Instagram: @designhausmedy

Do you have any design dilemmas? Send them to and we will get them answered by an expert


Read more: