Design on a Dime: Adding Impact With Accessories


Want to accessorize your pad but don't have cash to spare?

Popular design expert Nate Berkus' top tip: Go shopping in your own home!

"Shopping your own home is a great way to cut costs," Berkus, who will host the nationally syndicated The Nate Berkus Show starting Sept. 13 (check local listings), tells "Before you purchase anything, walk room to room in your home and consider if the dresser would work better in the entry or the end tables in the living room would work better as a bedside table."

And don't be afraid to mooch goods off pals.

"Take the cast offs from your family and friends and see if you can rework them into something fabulous for your home," Berkus says. "Don't be afraid to paint anything. Give a face lift to an old desk by high lacquering it bright kelly green to make an amazing statement in your living room. They might see what you've done and regret getting rid of it."

When you find accessories you love, Berkus suggests grouping items like frames, mirrors, baskets or candlesticks, with the same color scheme in odd numbered arrangements.

"It's accessories and found objects that make your space interesting and pull the room together. I love when someone has a collection of pottery artfully displayed on the mantel," our expert says. "It looks best when you choose different shapes and sizes, but all in the same color, like all turquoise or all white. Or if it's a tablescape, mix your objects and textures."

When redecorating, Berkus advises not to put out every piece you own at once, but instead, mix up the arrangements every so often.

"Pick a collection and stick with it," our expert explains, while reasoning that design details don't need to be set in stone. "I've known people that collected wooden boxes and then decided 'enough of that' and moved on to folk art. The combination of the two still worked. But if you collect three or four different things, then it starts to look cluttered and you lose the direction of your room.

"Use what works and in a few months add to it and take some other things away," he tells Us. "That will keep your home feeling fresh."

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