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The Psychology of Accessorizing
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May 21th, 2007
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                Nothing gives our homes more character than the accessories we put within them. These jewels reflect the personalities of our families, both collectively and individually. They are the ribbons of our lives, anchoring our homes and often providing us with the timelines of favorite events, cherished vacations, and wonderful activities. Without accessories, our interiors simply float, unanchored in time and space. I often think of accessories with the following analogy: landscaping is to the exterior of a building as accessories are to its interior. br />                 However, often we are at a loss as to how to organize and showcase these gems. Creating pleasant, meaningful compositions will allow our possessions to tell their stories as we want them told. The question is: how do we create these collections and what entails good composition? While creating compositions is often perceived as an “intuitive” art, it is also a skill which can be developed. br />                 Gestalt Psychology, a sub-field of psychology, addresses the way in which the human brain processes external sensory input and organizes it into a meaningful whole, thereby, allowing us to maneuver through our environment. To apply this to the skill of creating good composition, we tend to “read” our surroundings more clearly if we can divide the whole into readable sections or clusters. br />                 The first thing to do before beginning to create compositions is to organize what you already have. Our children will have their meaningful collections, which they will want to showcase in their own private spaces. The collective or family accessories can be divided into the specific rooms of our homes: family, living, dining, and kitchen. You may first make a decision based on eloquence and value: the more expensive pieces will most probably be showcased in the formal spaces: the living and dining rooms, and foyer. The more casual accessories will be zoned for the family room and kitchen. We may even create special spaces or rooms for specialized collections and objects. For instance, in my own home, my husband’s “man the hunter” collectibles, namely, his antique fishing rods, bows and arrows from trips out West, paintings of shrimp boats and lures, have all been displayed in our “Wild Bill” room, which we have created in several homes throughout our various relocations. br />                 Next, further refine your clusters by focusing on a common element or thread. This could be color, subject matter (the fishing collectibles above), or shape. With regard to artwork or family pictures, even the color of the frame may be that single unifying element. Once that is done, begin to locate the areas in the room where you want to create your arrangements. Designate a focal point or two. These will be your “starting points”, from which you can work outward. As you place your items, it is best to keep clusters to odd numbers, namely, three or five items. More than five items will most likely loose the “readability” of the grouping. br />                 The next issue will be whether these items will be placed in a symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangement. Each of us has our own innate preference for this. Some of us seek out balance and prefer arrangements in which two sides will mirror each other around a central point. If we see an asymmetrical relationship, our brains automatically
Posted: 5/21/2007 9:10:53 AM by Brenda Weiss | with 0 Comments Filed under: .

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