fbpx Skip to Content
Get my premier download, The Wellness Home free!

At Home with Arthritis: A List of Design Priorities Part II


It just amazes me how the right accessories, or more specifically the right combination of accessories can affect the look and feel of a home. 

My Spanish style home built in the 1930’s has some significant architectural features like a vaulted barrel ceiling, a stunning plaster fireplace with original tile; wall to wall casement windows; original handmade iron fixtures, stair rail and drapery rods; a curving staircase and original hardwood floors. Yet it looked cold and dated without the mix of old and new accessories I put together. When choosing and placing accessories the trick is to group things in chosen areas so your home will look more planned and less cluttered. I’ve been a designer for twenty years and I owned, shopped for and merchandised five different design stores of my own and I swear to you, getting the accessories right requires way more art than space planning and furnishing a home. They make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your home. I’m not saying choosing furniture is easy. When you make a mistake on the size of the sectional it’s an expensive one! Choosing the right paint and cabinetry and getting it to look right… it’s all challenging and you need to know what you’re doing. But the accessories are much less forgiving I find.

Don’t skimp on the quality of the lamps. When in doubt about size, go larger. Simple lamps are always the best accent. They’re easiest to choose. Christopher Spitzmiller has a great, classic style but be prepared to spend around $2,000 per lamp. I also love the reflective finish of mercury glass, particularly in small spaces. Having the perfect lamp in your design scheme really finishes the room and makes the rest of the space easier to accessorize.

I love decorating with stacks of books, baskets, plate collections, plants in interesting pots, trays of liquor where appropriate (living room, dining room) and even soup tureens and stemware. Throw pillows and throws add comfort and are a nice place to interject some pattern for pattern-shy women.

The best place to get fresh ideas for accessorizing your home is via Pinterest. You can visit my board Living Well at Home, Shiree Hanson Segerstrom. The last time I redecorated my living room, dining room and entry with accessories I spent around $1,200.00. Granted I already had a lot of accessories from my design stores and from collecting over the years. It took me two days to get it right. I hung several new framed prints too. I like to empty my rooms of accessories completely before placing the new ones. I turn on some inspiring music. I adore rock and roll but for decorating I prefer jazz or classical. I especially love Rod Stewart’s Song Books and Pink Martini. I pour myself a nice drink such as an iced tea and make sure the household has some place to be.

Creativity can’t happen in tense environments!

I’ve created an accessories list for you to make things a little easier.

Assorted pots, vases and jardinières
Candlesticks, votive and poured candles
Framed prints, art and mirrors
Hard bound books
Framed family photos
Throw pillows
Lap blankets
Trays of liquor and decorative glasses
Plants and topiary
Novelty items and faux foliage and fruit (use discretion), collections should be saved for personal spaces.

Live beautifully. Eat beautifully, Shiree’

Click “Pain Free Design and Wellness” for a free chapter of my powerful new book that helps women with arthritis create beautiful, functional homes and take better care of themselves every day because home is where it all begins.