The home accents industry has grown significantly during the past 20 years. According to Home Accents Today (June, 2005), accent furniture purchases represent 25 percent of the home accents business. Sales are expected to reach $14.2 million in 2005.
Several retailers, such as The Bombay Company, Pottery Barn, and Pier One, specialize in home accents. This category of home furnishings includes foyer chests, occasional tables, benches, writing desks, chairs, barstools, curio cabinets, armoires, and an infinite variety of lamps, framed art, floral accents, glass, and other tabletop accessories. Nearly half of all accent furniture is purchased for the living room or family room, except for armoires, which are primarily used in bedrooms.
A recent consumer buying trends survey by Home Accents Today (June, 2005), shows that a high percentage of households research and plan before purchasing accent furnishings, including chairs, desks, tables, and armoires. The survey showed buying decisions are influenced by style and appearance, durability, overall quality, color, and price, although the reasons may differ from piece to piece. Color is the most important factor for chair buyers, while price is the biggest issue for end table buyers. Armoire buyers are influenced by style and appearance while desk buyers rate durability higher.
The survey also shows where households buy accent furnishings, with traditional furniture stores being the number one destination for buyers of end tables, chairs, and armoires. Discount department stores, such as Target and Wal-Mart, ranked the top choice for purchasing desks. Lifestyle stores, including Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Linens-N-Things, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Homegoods, have expanded their furniture programs to meet the demand for accent furniture.
Accent furnishings offer good value, and today's collections provide styling options ranging from contemporary to traditional. Accent furnishings are an easy way to enhance the design of a room or an area in a room without spending a lot of money. The eclectic mix and match trend also favors the purchase of accent furnishings.
More accent furniture is available from retailers because of imports and the global economy. American manufacturers and importers now travel the world's marketplaces to acquire a variety of exotic home treasures at sharper price points. Licensed products incorporating history, Hollywood, and international designers are among the latest offerings.
Sisler Johnston says that there are numerous approaches to working with accents within a home, including color considerations, proportion, location, texture, and pattern. Some accents can provide light and add color within a space. Lamps, candles, flowers, and home fragrances may be the most obvious choices, although accents may also consist of faux-painting a ceiling or enhancing the windows with embellished fabrics and trims. Decorative accent furniture, like a small table, chest, or chair, may also be enhanced with hand painting or metallic trim to create uniqueness.
Accents may be an economical way to "update" surroundings and incorporate the styling concepts influenced by fashion and color trends. A variety of wall art is now readily available to consumers, including enhanced reproductions with brush strokes and markings that make the pictures look hand-painted. Sisler Johnston suggests layering different finishes and textures in matte and framing materials to create multi-dimensional art.
While accents are used to grab your attention, be sure to accent the right things. Choosing a red toilet may add color to a small room, but it also invites focus to the wrong element! An incorrect choice can interfere with a room's balance and symmetry if it distorts the scale of a room.
Some pieces create a pleasing accent because of their height, depth, and width (scale). Consider lighting, reflection (such as a mirror), or juxtaposition (opposing items such as bookends) for accent choices. Inspirational words, carved in wood, forged in iron, or molded from resins, including believe, hope, smile, and love, have become a popular accent for homes and gardens. Accents may combine colors that are not normally used together, such as pink and orange or green and blue, with pleasing results. Grouping art or accessories can also make it possible to achieve better balance or symmetry within a space.
Accents not only enhance the beauty of a home by creating visually pleasing surroundings, they also enrich each space with character. With so much to choose from, though, accenting too many things in a room can create distractions. Seeking the advice of a licensed interior designer can be a wise home design investment.
Sisler Johnston Interior Design of Jacksonville creates award-winning interior designs for the real estate industry, hospitality industry, commercial, and residential clients. The company celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004.
The Sisler Johnston team of licensed, highly trained, and gifted designers successfully creates living spaces from concept through realization throughout the United States. Judith Sisler Johnston combines experience, knowledge, and professionalism to help clients develop their visions while analyzing their design requirements. The company has been recognized with more than 50 industry awards, including Aurora, Laurel, and Excel awards.
For more information about Sisler Johnston Interior Design, call (904) 288-0908 or visit the website at www.sislerjohnston.com.