Using Accessories to Liven Up a Space – My Latest Modern Farmhouse Project

Farmhouse table - JSB DesignsSo here is a big non-secret that all of my friends (including visitors to this blog space!) are very aware of: I love accessories. 

Plants, artwork, rugs, throw pillows, you name it. I simply love, love, LOVE putting the final touches on a space. 

Whenever I am designing a home — whether I am doing a full remodel, or a room-specific refresher — I want to make sure that the smallest details aren’t missed. Because it’s those tiny touches that can truly turn a house into a home. 

And occasionally, I am hired solely to accessorize and finish off a room or set of rooms. These types of projects are fun because they demonstrate how well-chosen accessories can really liven up a space. 

Well, as it just so happens, I was hired for one of these projects recently. So, of course, I wanted to share it with you. 

The design work was completed on a modest budget but it made a big impact on the overall charm of the home. Again, proof of the power of accessorizing!

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy seeing the results as much as the homeowner did. Let me know what you think!

The Task: Modern Farmhouse

The clients had just moved into their home in Waterloo and had already selected the furniture and design basics. My job was to add “finishing touches” to bring everything together. They were looking for a certain modern farmhouse charm.

Living room design by JSB Designs

First, let me just say, I really dig farmhouse decor — again, no surprise to my friends and blog readers! And I think a lot of people do, because this design trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

To me, the modern farmhouse look is very versatile and homey. It is well-suited for any season, and can be adapted and tweaked as a home’s “personality” changes over time. 

So I’m always excited to delve into this design trend, as we did here.

The work included the family’s hearth room, breakfast room, dining room, foyer, powder room, upstairs landing, and finally, a boy’s bedroom.

My goal was to work with the existing furnishings and overall design, but in such a way that made the house feel completely renewed. So with each room, I tried to sprinkle in new elements and work on the general cohesion of the space. 

Now, let’s walk through some of those design details. 

Florals, Artwork and More

The client’s breakfast room was a great place to start. They already had this wonderful farmhouse table and light fixture, and the mix and match chairs added an extra ounce of charm. 

I just love when people incorporate bench seating into their dining arrangements. To me, it speaks to family gatherings and comfort. 

Dining room design by JSB Designs

The main touches I added were the “Blessed” piece on the wall, and the magnolia wreath above it. Both add warmth and character to the room, and again, speak to that atmosphere of communal dining and family. 

The table runner adds a little texture and I included a custom floral centerpiece that ties in with the wreath and other floral elements that I added throughout the home. (Who doesn’t love succulents, btw.). 

When the light streams into this room just right, everything becomes so warm and inviting. 

The living room had a wall of bookcases that needed some organizing and accessorizing. 

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog space, this is a design task that many people find completely intimidating. I totally get that, but for whatever reason (maybe just lots of practice!), I absolutely love coming up with pleasing bookshelf arrangements. So I was happy to help the client with this project. 

I used some of their existing pieces but also incorporated new pieces, trying to create a tranquil vibe. I threw in a couple pops of color and a smattering of florals, which I think looks really nice with the crisp white backdrop of the shelves. 

Now, let’s move on to the dining room.

I really enjoyed the idea of this room, because the clients had a vision of using it as more than just a place for eating. 

They wanted this to be a gathering space when they have company over, but they also wanted to make sure it got some action even when they weren’t hosting formal dinners or holiday get-togethers. 

Foyer design by JSB DesignsSo they broke a design rule of sorts and decided to add a television above the buffet table. 

Personally, I think this was a great move. What good is a pretty space if you don’t see yourself using it much?

Here, the television serves as a lure, if you will, but it fades nicely into the background when it isn’t being used. The wine bottle pieces that flank the television do a masterful job of drawing the eye away from that blank space. 

The table settings complement the floral art piece on the wall, and that same floral element is echoed in the centerpiece and even the carvings on the second, smaller buffet table on the shorter wall.

Adding to the Design 

Now let’s talk about the foyer, before we move to the second floor of the house. This is an important room because it is the first thing you see when you walk into the home. 

I added the small wooden bench and throw pillow, for just a slight touch of a bohemian vibe. This, and the potted plant, add character and help highlight the more intricate spindles on the staircase and also work to draw the eye to the gathering space in the dining room. 

I think it’s always wise to draw in some outside style influences no matter what design theme you are working with. That way, nothing feels too cookie cutter. 

On the wall near the closet, I used two circular mirrors, instead of one larger one, to add some visual interest. 

Kids bedroom by JSB DesignsThe landing just upstairs, right before you get to the boy’s room, was a nice space to have a little sitting area. So we added a little settee, table, artwork and accessories.

I love this little nook and it feels like a perfect continuation of the foyer.

Lastly, we have the son’s bedroom and bathroom. Decorating kids’ rooms is so much fun! This space was adorable from the get-go, but I added some final whimsical touches that together make this one of my favorite parts of the house.

My clients had the bedding and shower curtain already, so I continued the outdoor adventure and animal theme with the accessories that I added. 

All the cute artwork and animal heads make me smile! Must be the little kid in me. 

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon talking about other projects I have in the works. I love sharing my designs with you and hopefully this will leave you with a little bit of inspiration for the next project you decide to take on!

Remember to call or email me if I can help you with your design needs.