Friday, January 30, 2015

My 17 Favorite Accessories

Not for the first time, I find myself at a loss when trying to name my home decor style.  Is it farmhouse, shabby chic, rustic, or country cottage?  And what the heck is with my new tendency to be drawn towards minimalistic design?  I think the truth is, my style is a combination of all those things with the added fact that I try to do it all for as little money as possible.  Whatever you want to call it, I've rounded up a list of my top 17 favorite accessories for achieving a rustic/cottage/farmhouse/shabby chic look!  Enjoy!

1. Baskets and Buckets
Wooden and wicker baskets have a natural feel, and metal or wire baskets and buckets have a rustic feel.  They serve the dual purpose of being pretty and functional, and often times they are very affordable.  What more can I say?

Source: Magnolia homes.  Click here to see more.  

 An arms length away from the shower in our guest bathroom. 

The bucket next to our secretary houses all the dog toys.  When we have parties, I usually tuck it into a closet.  But for the regular day to day, it is a great place to keep the toys together, and its low enough to the ground that the dog can get her toys anytime she wants to. 

2. Candles & Candle sticks 
Think of creative ways to use candles in your space.  Maybe as a centerpiece, or as a filler inside a cake stand.  Personally, I try to not only pick out candles that smell amazing, but ones that also have the right look.  White is always my favorite.  As far as candle sticks and holders go, stick with metals, whites, woods or even glass if you want to achieve that country/rustic/farmhouse look.

3. Throw Blankets
Blankets add warmth and texture to a space instantly.  Personally, I love displaying my collection of blankets because they are all different colors, thicknesses, textures, and even patterns, yet they all are within one cohesive style. 

4. Throw Pillows
There is no easier or quicker way to give your couches and chairs a custom look.  I like using burlap on my pillows for its natural, casual look.

SIDE NOTE: That throw blanket is covered in quotes from famous novels.  My mom gave it to me for Christmas, and it was such a thoughtful gift and perfect addition to my library!

5. Table runners
Having your table constantly set is one of those things that is great in theory, but not in reality.  Most people sit at their tables on a daily basis, so it just doesn't make sense to keep it set at all times.  Even if you don't sit at your formal table regularly, leaving dishes out for weeks on end means you have to wash them before you can actually use them since dust has likely accumulated.  A great alternative to setting your table is using a nice table runner.  Pair it with a simple center piece and your table will look both loved and decorated, but it will still be functional.

6. Antique scale
This is probably the one accessory that without a doubt screams shabby/rustic/farmhouse.  

7. Metal Wall Art
You just can't go wrong with metal.  Hang it on your walls, and your space will instantly take on a rustic/farmhouse charm. 

This is another lovely Magnolia Homes find.  Click here for more info.

These metal scrolls gained popularity a few years ago.  You should be careful because they can get to be "overused", and it is important to only use them to finish off an already pretty space.  I think its a little silly to place one over a TV, because it just creates visual clutter and the TV isn't exactly something you want to draw more attention to than you have to. That being said, used wisely, I think they can make a great addition to some spaces and create just the right finishing touch. 

8. White Dishes
A country kitchen is incomplete without white dishes.  I absolutely love displaying mine in my kitchen.  Any white dishes will do the trick, but my personal favorites are pitchers, teapots and gravy boats.  Why I love collecting gravy boats is beyond me, but they are so cute and I just love the shape of them. 

A gravy boat tucked inside my secretary. (SIDE NOTE: The placement of my secretary was intentional.  It is between my dining room and my living room.  Putting it here served two purposes. One, it filled what would have otherwise been an awkward space, and two, I could use it as a place to display and store some of my dishes, since my dining room is too small for a formal buffet or hutch).

9. Worn out Books
Old books have a mystery about them, as if they've actually lived the lives the pages inside them tell.  They add instant charm to any home. 

If you don't have old books, try covering your new ones with coordinating paper.

10. Birds
When you think of a farm, you probably think of animals.  So if you want to create a farmhouse feeling, incorporating a few animals into your decor is a good idea.  My personal favorite is birds. A lot of people like pigs, which I think can be really cute too, but I personally would keep them to the garden, just because there is something distinctively inelegant about a pig.  But that is just me :)

 Do you spot the concrete bird on the right hand side?  This is in our master bedroom, which I have yet to share with you guys in full.  It is coming one day, I promise.
11. Cloches
If you don't know what a cloche is, think of a bell shaped dome, typically made of glass, that you set on top of stands (or any surface) and can put things inside of.  A cake stand is a kind of cloche.  I have tons of them in my house, and can usually buy them for next to nothing. Two of my favorites are from Marshalls and Goodwill and each cost less than $5.

12. Bar Soap
Displaying bar soap creates not only a clean feeling in any bathroom, but it feels natural, which maintains that rustic/shabby style.

I found this image here.

13. Knobs/Hardware
Shabby/country/rustic style and antique hardware go hand in hand.  An excellent online resource for these kinds of things is House of Antique Hardware. I fell in love with their site the moment I found them.

14. Wooden Kitchen Utensils
They are made of natural materials, and the colors are just lovely.  You can always store your other utensils in a drawer ;) 

 Source: Vintage Mellie

15. Wreaths
Create the feeling you want before guests even enter your home by welcoming them in with a wreath. The 36th Ave has a great roundup of gorgeous wreaths. 

I personally love incorporating more color into my wreaths, but there are tons or adorable rustic looking ones too. Like this one from Living and Learning with Luisa:

 Or this one from The Creative Gypsy:

 16. Lanterns
Lanterns are versatile.  Whether you decide to keep them empty, fill them with candles,  ornaments and snowflakes during the holidays, or wine corks, they have the a unique shape that is pleasing to the eye and come in some may different finishes and sizes, that its hard to have enough!

17. Moss
Perfect for spring and summer, it is natural and its texture will add depth to any vignette.  It is wonderful to use as filler too!  Martha Stewart is the queen of indoor moss gardens.

The most important thing to keep in mind when purchasing accessories for a farmhouse, country cottage, or even shabby chic home is the materials the accessories are made of.  If your accessories have a natural element to them (like wood or greenery), are made of metal/steel, or are white/very lightly colored then you are on the right track!  If you prefer a slightly more elegant or chic style, look for glass and crystal elements.  By all means, you should mix accessories that encompass all those elements to create a beautiful and intentional space.  Stick to those general guidelines but use your creativity to branch out and make your style your own!   

What about you?  Do you have any favorite accessories that I left off my list?  Have fun accessorizing! 


  1. Hey Jesse! I've been so behind on my blog reading, but I saved this one because it is soooooo good! I love everything that you have mentioned here. EVERYTHING! Hope you are having a great day!

    1. Thanks Luisa, glad you stopped by! Also, I got my wreath in the mail two days ago! Thanks again!!! I love it!!!! :)

  2. What fabulous ideas, I just love them all. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures, I am sure I will try one or two myself.

    1. Thanks Larain! I'm glad you've been inspired! And thank you for stopping by!


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