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Home Decorating Accessories

Ideas for modern home decor accessories and home decorating accessories generally.

To trace the development of ornaments and home decor accessories and discuss their enormous variety is beyond the scope of this work. Trophies of the chase and weapons were probably the first objects to bedeck the halls of the Middle Ages, and ornaments have nearly always found a resting place near the chimneypiece. With the development of the mantel-shelf, originally a crude stone lip forming a finish to the hood over the fireplace, a variety of articles became associated with it; at first household utensils, such as pewter plates and mugs, and later on candlesticks. Finally the mantel-shelf was the accepted place for brass and pewter candlesticks, and their attractive appearance in this place may have drawn attention to its possibilities as a repository for modern home accessories and ornaments.

The introduction of Chinese lacquer and porcelain towards the close of the seventeenth century and the craze for its collection flooded every room with ornaments ; bowls, vases, and figures of men and animals. Today we are not faced with any difficulties regarding the choosing of ornaments ; and it is so easy to overcrowd, and so much better not to, that we do wisely if we cut down the number of ornaments to objects possessing some personal interest.

Glass and china are entirely independent of period, and colour only need be considered in their arrangement. An oriental vase in white can be flanked by a pair of Chelsea birds, Staffordshire figures, or brass candlesticks, and so forth. Endless combinations and possibilities may suggest themselves, and in addition to vases and bowls there is the vast army of little figures, from carved oak ecclesiastical figures to the squat, amiable individuals in porcelain ; quaint and attractive oriental creations that can be placed with equal effect on a heavy oak side table in a Jacobean hall or on the mantel-shelf of a Regency boudoir. Dresden shepherds and shepherdesses, and animals innumerable : sheep, lambs, dogs, cats, deer and birds, in white and cream, with a little colour sometimes ; and then there are bronzes, a large subject.

In a niche on a pedestal a statuette acquires decorative importance, and the gleam of bronze against any background has a curious and compelling colour value. Modern bronze should not be overlooked, for many good reproductions of classic models can be obtained. Successful replicas too have been made in plaster and terracotta, and prove effective in dark-coloured surroundings.

It is far better to have one good vase well displayed than serried ranks of figures and bowls and candlesticks. On the mantel-shelf perhaps the most suitable central object is a clock. This brings us to another subject of great interest and considerable magnitude, antique clock design.

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