Accessories Make the Woman…and the Room Part 1

mouwad purse

When our daughter Anna was a toddler, she adhered to the “more is better” school of fashion. She literally piled on any accessory that could fit onto her arm, wrist, head or foot. Now, I’m big accessory fan, too, though I am very big on editing. I happen to have a weakness for great bags. So how could I resist sharing with you the “The 1001 Nights Mouawad Diamond Purse” pictured here. Created by the jewelry company, Mouawad and holding the Guinness World Record for the most valuable handbag in the world, the purse is made of 18 carat gold and diamonds. (To be specific, the handbag contains white, canary yellow and pink diamonds, with a total weight of 385.92 carats.  And it only took 10 artists to create the bag…. and in only 8,800 hours.)

So, whether you are an avid Ebay woman, or you are a die-hard Mouawad girl, I think we can all agree that accessories not only update any outfit, they literally MAKE any outfit.

So, too in interior design. In redesigning this kitchen, my clients reached a point of “disagreement in their marital ranks” over the age of their kitchen dining table and chairs. To keep the peace and preserve their wonderful furnishings, I suggested letting me design a demi-slip cover for the two lead chairs. The results speak for themselves…even Carolyn Eberly, editor of a major design publication in Denver commented on how wonderfully fresh and innovative they were when I had the chance to sit with her a while back.


In this Upper Makefield family room, the room’s interior is intentionally quiet with a controlled color palette. The chandelier moves to center stage – literally, as the star of the room, reinforced by the subtle dance of related accessories and art placed elsewhere in the room.

benchener family room chandelier

This is when accessories are at their best. Accessories in interior design – as with fashion – must do something or say something important – so much so that without them in the room (or on the outfit), there would be a long, loud silence or a deep, large hole.

Next week – Part 2, The 7 Rules for Choosing the Right Accessories