Smart Solutions: Accent your home with accent pieces

By Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News
Accent furniture is adaptable and affordable, making it a great addition to your home.

It doesn’t take a major update to elevate your home environment. As a longtime fan of accent furniture, I’ve seen these unique pieces make a statement wherever they go. In fact, many are flexible enough to fit in tight spaces like a narrow foyer or the end of a hallway.

After searching far and wide for the right bookcase for my bedroom with specific dimensions and a reasonable price point, I was ready to buy one I liked, but it still wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. That’s when I stumbled upon another option while on the hunt for something else entirely, which is typically when I tend to strike gold.

As it turns out, a small console table with two drawers and a lower shelf works just as well as my original plan and maybe even better. The fact that it was already assembled and could fit in the back seat of my compact SUV made it even more appealing. What I didn’t expect is how much I would find myself admiring the simplicity and clean lines of the straightforward design.

My recent purchase had me thinking just how much I rely on accent furniture throughout my house. Currently, the vast selection includes cabinets, side tables and chairs, garden stools, ottomans, nightstands and more.  

Smaller than your average anchor piece, yet larger than home accessories, these accents have the power to add style and function to your rooms without taking up much space or costing a lot in the process.

Many are mobile, such as bar carts and nesting tables, making them suitable for entertaining or changing to meet your evolving needs. Some accent pieces also include storage, like ottomans that can hold spare pillows and throws and TV cabinets that house equipment and videos.

Look for those lonely areas of the home, whether it’s a blank wall beneath a windowsill or a guest room that could benefit from some extra touches. For the latter, your contribution could be as basic as a luggage rack or as practical as a leaning mirror.

Corners can be another good spot for accent furniture, like a round plant stand to break up the hard architectural lines or a floor easel that turns a special piece of art into a focal point.

Another perk that comes from these smaller pieces is that they tend to be more affordable than major purchases for the home, like buying upholstered host and hostess chairs to upgrade your current dining table instead of getting a whole new set. Because they can easily adapt to your needs as time goes by, the same chairs can sit beside a living room fireplace or create a conversation area in a master bedroom in the future.

Some of these gems also give you quite the bang for your buck with added features like the extra shelf and drawers that came with my modest console.

The next time you find yourself on the hunt for unique home decor, take a closer look at all the accent pieces out there with character that add a special touch to your surroundings.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at