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Decorating With Accent Furniture: a room by room guide

Accent furniture will improve the appeal, design and functionality of any room by adding interest, focal points and those personal touches that make your home unique. Complement your living room with a strategically placed curio cabinet. Give your guests some place to hang their coats in a hallway or a decorative side table on which to leave personal items in a guest bedroom. Find an end table that will be the perfect companion to your oversized easy chair. It’s not set in stone—just because a piece of accent furniture is typically used in one particular room, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use it in another room of your house.

Hallway Accent Furniture

Console tables, also known as sofa tables, are intended to stand against a wall or rest against the back of a sofa. They can define a hallway and add character to your home. Often rectangular in shape, they can also be square, oval or half-moon. A hallway console table is a perfect place to put keys or the mail. When used in a living room or dining room, they provide the perfect place to showcase pictures, mementos and ornaments.

Coat racks or hall trees, can be dressed up or played down. Utilitarian coats racks function as a convenient place to hang hats, coats and jackets. But if you want your entranceway to make a statement, select a freestanding hall tree that creates visual interest. Ones made of brass, wrought iron, rattan or polished wood will add flair and sophistication to you hallway or foyer. Hall racks can include features such as a revolving section to make access to clothes easier, an umbrella compartment or a set of lower hooks for children.

A bench is not only a practical piece of furniture to have in a hall or foyer, but it warms up the space and makes it inviting. In a variety of styles, colors, finishes and designs, benches range from ones with plush upholstery and decorative arms to benches constructed of wood with flip tops. If floor or storage space is at a premium, choose a bench for your hallway that has drawers or baskets, giving you a place to store items after tidying up.

Living Room Accent Furniture

Ottomans are a versatile piece of accent furniture because they can be utilized in many different ways. Once predominately known as footrests, today ottomans provide extra seating, are used as coffee tables and double as a place to sit and to store things. Some coffee table sets include ottomans that fit underneath the table and pulled out when needed.

Newspapers and magazines left lying around can quickly make a room appear untidy. A stylish floor magazine rack is the ideal place to store them away. Many models are portable and can be carried from room to room. Magazines racks aren’t just for reading materials; they are also a good place to keep scrapbooks and photo albums close at hand.

Occasional tables are pieces of furniture intended for a specific or decorative use. They include end, coffee, console and nesting tables. End tables can hold task lighting or a flower arrangement. Coffee tables, also known as cocktail tables, are long, low tables placed in front of a couch. Nesting tables are the ideal space-saver for limited or small spaces since they can be used as one unit, but can also be separated and used individually where needed.

Curio cabinets are cabinets specifically designed to showcase collectibles and other treasured keepsakes. They are available in a variety of styles, materials and configurations, and range from tall, free standing floor models to more compact wall-mounted ones. More formal curio cabinets have mirrored backs as well as glass sides, allowing viewers to see ornaments from all angles.

Plant stands come in all shapes, sizes and kinds, from pedestal to formal to novelty. An individual stand showcases that special plant, while a plant stand that holds a group draws the eye into the room and acts as a focal point. To create visual interest in a room use pedestals of varying heights. Use plant stands made of organic materials in neutral or calming finishes to bring the outdoors in.

Whether they are bombe, credenza, console or demilune, decorative chests combine stylish elegance with attractive storage alternatives. There are countless, designs, finishes and shapes to choose from. While a decorative chest might be the perfect accent piece in your living room, they can be used in a hallway, foyer, dining room or even a bedroom. Hand-painted chests will provide a unique decorative touch to any room.

Dining Room Accent Furniture

Essentially, buffets and sideboards serve the same purpose; that of storing meal-related items such as china, utensils and placemats, etc., as well as providing a place to put food and condiments before serving and during the meal. Originating from the French, “buffet” refers to a small sideboard for storing dishes. A buffet can immeasurably improve the functionality of your dining room or dining area by increasing serving and storage potential.

Sideboards are also intended to hold platters, serving dishes and table linens. Because buffets and sideboards have the same function, the terms are used interchangeably. However, sideboards generally tend to be longer and wider than buffets. They can have a tabletop with wide drawers in the center and one or more tiered shelves underneath. Some are large enough to hold a complete china service.

Available in a wide range of materials and styles ranging from traditional to contemporary, china cabinets offer a safe, dust-free environment in which to store and display your china dishes. They’re main purpose is to house china service as opposed to curio cabinets, which are intended for ornaments and mementos. To showcase collectible plates, select one with a plate groove that will let you stand them upright.

Kitchen Accent Furniture

Classic bakers racks are made of metal, wrought iron or wood, and have open shelves both above and below a wide counter, originally meant to put pies, cookies and bread while they were cooling. Today, they have become a popular kitchen accent, and can help you organize and better utilize your work or food preparation areas by providing additional counter space and/or drawers for pots and pans and cooking utensils.

Kitchen carts and kitchen islands add to the efficiency of your kitchen with the convenience of mobility, without the cost or permanence of a built-in. Kitchen carts tend to be more compact, while kitchen islands are larger and can have more features. Both kitchen carts and islands are the perfect place for storing dry goods, small appliances and cooking bowls, pans and utensils.

While etageres resemble bakers racks, they are considered to be lighter pieces of furniture. Their primary function is for decoration. Originally, they were designed as decorative furnishings for the corner of a room. More recent styles of etageres combine the features of a bakers rack with display shelving and are available in a wide range of shapes sizes and styles. Whether you select a corner or free standing étagère, it will be an ideal way to display your curios and knickknacks.

Barstools and counter stools are the ideal accessory for your home bar, pub table or breakfast counter. As measured by the distance of the seat from the floor, barstools are typically 4 inches taller than counter stools. Backless barstools are available with the same features as other types of barstools but can take up less room than swivel bar or counter stools and ones with arms.

Wine storage furniture lends an air of sophistication to your kitchen, living room or dining room, while giving you a place to showcase a choice selection of your favorite wines. Whether you select a wine cart or cabinet, free standing decorative wine racks merge the functionality of a rack with the style and form of an accent table. They can include removable tray tops, stemware racks and display shelving.

Family Room Accent Furniture

A must-have if you enjoy sharing your bartending skills with family and friends, home bars provide stylish storage all of your entertaining accessories. Some home bars have built-in tabletop games like roulette and black jack. Added features such as foot rails, recessed coasters and marble tabletops will make you feel like you’re visiting a favorite pub or bistro.

While they are still a popular choice in a family room when entertaining adults, more and more families are using pub tables to decorate breakfast nooks since they take up less space than a traditional dining room table. When in a group of two or three alongside a pool table, pub tables are the ideal place to put your drink when you take your turn.

Games tables offer family members and friends someplace to gather and have some fun. They range from tables dedicated to one particular game to multiplayer game tables ideal for playing cards or board games. A poker table in the classic octagonal shape would be a welcome addition to any family or recreation room or play chess or checkers in stylish comfort.

Bathroom Accent Furniture

Bathroom vanities can transform your bathroom into your own private spa. In a wide range of styles and configurations, you will be able to find one to suit your décor and requirements. Elaborate or streamlined in detail, they combine the functionality of a sink with beautiful cabinetry. For convenience, some manufacturers will include the sink.

Bathroom organizers are always a welcome addition. Spacesavers are a set of shelves, either open or enclosed, designed to utilize the wall space directly above the toilet tank. Whether the top is rounder or square, it will add architectural detail to your décor. Spacesavers might include features such as a magazine rack, a small cabinet, a row of drawers or towel bars.

Towel cabinets and wall cabinets are the ideal way to keep towels and other necessities such as soap and shampoo close to hand. Free standing cabinets will also provide additional countertop space. Wall cabinets can come with or without mirrors, while the classic medicine cabinet usually includes a mirror. Cabinets with glass doors will allow you to store and display your bathroom accessories.

Bedroom Accent Furniture

Bedroom vanities allow you to start or end the day in style. They can include adjustable mirrors and drawers in a variety of sizes. Many will come with a matching bench or chair to give you a place to sit when applying makeup. Arranged exactly the way you want it organized, a place to call your own (not having to share the bathroom mirror), a vanity is an affordable luxury.

Jewelry armoires are designed to store and protect your jewelry. Typically, they have a number of stacked, lined, drawers intended for rings, bracelets, etc. and side doors complete with hooks for hanging necklaces. A jewelry armoire/vanity combination combines the features of a vanity with the practicality of a jewelry armoire.

Bed benches are a convenient spot for putting on shoes, setting down a purse, or depositing a stack of laundry until it can be stashed away. From traditional to contemporary, they can range from stylish upholstered benches to chest benches for added storage. A bench at the end of a bed in a master or guest bedroom is a practical choice, but would be just as handy in a den, hallway or foyer.

Blanket racks, also known as blanket or quilt stands, are typically multi-tiered to allow you to store several comforters, blankets or bedspreads at one time. Not only will your blankets be easily accessible, you will be able to display decorative comforters or heirloom quilts. In a guest room, a blanket rack is the ideal place to keep extra bedding that is within reach. They don’t have to be used just for blankets; you can use your blanket rack for shawls, scarves or towels.