Design Recipes: How fine details can make your decor shine

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

Just like the icing on a cake, when it comes to decor, a room can come to life with the help of fine details. From artwork to accessories, look for fine details to help make individual spaces stand out.

 A coffee table book helps to anchor the accessories on this coffee table. (Design Recipes)


Add one or two accessories to a side or coffee table, such as a decorative vase or accent piece.

Group accessories as a pair or in a vignette. Three items grouped together can work well.

Accessories of the same tone and color make an otherwise plain bookcase shine. (Design Recipes)

Mix accent pieces with books when styling a bookshelf.

Brass accessories, one of the hottest finishes in home decor, can be impactful when paired together. (Design Recipes)

Use metallics. Brass remains a hot finish in home decor, especially in accessories. Feel free to also mix brass with silver finishes such as nickel and chrome.

Use greenery. Greenery as well as florals, succulents and blooms can help add texture and color.



Clutter a tabletop or surface. In general following the rule of three works well.

Overlook books as decorative items. From coffee table books to small hardbacks placed on shelves, books can be an affordable and colorful decor addition.

Forget black and white are colors. Often neutral colors such as white, taupe and black can be used to help highlight bright colors or finishes.

Mix too many colors and patterns. In general, a color palette should have a maximum of three colors.

Forget to plan your look. Purposefully selected accents and accessories can go a long way in creating a cohesive design.


Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at .