Once I create a mood board for a room in my home, I have a pretty hard and fast rule about not making any changes. By that I mean I won’t deviate from the mood board style and colors. That is my key to actually getting a room finished. At some point you have to stop changing your mind and execute.

I have one exception; accessories. Besides being an exception, it is also one of my top decorating tips. You have to remember accessories are flexible.  If you are color shy, meaning you have trouble choosing color or using it in your decorating, then accessories are the perfect place to experiment.

When I create mood boards, I try to choose one (maybe two) accent colors for the accessories.  To make a space cohesive and the color to look intentional you need to use the accent color in at least three places.  For example, this Plum & Navy Master Bedroom I recently created for a client.  Navy and plum are the accent colors, and I used them each on three or more accessories.


Limit the use of the accent color on bigger pieces like furniture and rugs.  This comes down to knowing yourself and what you love.  I could change the upholstery on all of the furniture in my house to turquoise and live happily ever after never tiring of it.  But, if you like turquoise, not LOVE it, then use it on accessories only.  It will be easier and less costly to change once you are over the color.

For my clients master bedroom mood board, I had started working on the design with plum accents.  Part way through my client emailed and said she was interested in coral.  I had already chosen the larger pieces for the room in great neutrals, like navy and gray.  So it was easy to swap the accessories for some coral goodness.


I surprised my client with both completed mood boards.  I wanted to show her how she could change the look of the room just by swapping out the accessories.

My client, excited upon seeing her mood boards, said, “Talk about mood board heaven!! I love them! The hardest part is deciding which one to do. I am thinking coral for spring and plum for fall. They are absolutely beautiful.”

I think it is important to design a room with flexibility and growth in mind.  Whether you are comfortable with color or afraid of it, we all go through phases and grow out of things.  By keeping trendy or bold colors limited to accessories and using neutrals for larger pieces, you can create a flexible room.  Changing accessories is easy and relatively inexpensive.

Note:  Out of respect to my clients, I share completed mood board designs, but I do not share the source information.  I hope you find the mood boards inspiring.

Have a space you need help with?

My mood boards are like a visual shopping list for your perfect room.  In addition to the mood board, I include a free DIY ideas board for the room.  Get yours here.

4 Responses to Decorating Tip: Accessories Are Flexible {One Room, Two Ways}

  1. Lisa says:

    Beautiful mood boards. I’m loving the navy/plum version and may give those colors a try in my own bedroom.

  2. Renae says:

    Love these rooms! Your attention to detail is obvious and your DIY ideas are so do-able! Love that. I can’t WAIT to get in touch with you for my master bedroom. Soon. Very soon!!

  3. Jessvii says:

    I love the navy and plum room! I would totally do that in my bedroom if I could. It looks so comfortable! If I were the client, I would do the navy and plum in my bedroom now, and for spring I would merely add a vase of flowers and call it a day (and maybe a springy accent pillow too). The coral accents are great, but I would probably put them in a different room that had a more energizing purpose. The bedroom is a restful space and coral is an energizing color, so I’d use these great coral pieces in an office, breakfast nook, living room, etc. instead.

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