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Lauren Edith Andersen/Special to the Town Crier
Coffee tables can get easily cluttered. A wooden tray can be used to corral a few items.

One of the most common misconceptions I hear from clients and friends is that styling their home will cost them thousands of dollars. In reality, thoughtful home accessories don’t need to be expensive – and they can make your home feel brand new.

Styling tabletops

Coffee tables and side tables can get easily cluttered, because they often act as catch-alls. Taking a few moments to clear away whatever has accumulated on the surfaces (keys, drinking glasses, books, papers, etc.) is an easy first step. Next, add a few elements that bring you joy. A stack of coffee table books or beautiful cookbooks in a similar color scheme look polished next to a sculptural vase.

A wooden tray or woven basket can corral a few items. Trays placed on an ottoman, pouf or table create a clean surface for an elegant candle and matchbook. A tray or basket also adds function and beauty to a bathroom counter or bedside table. Consider a diffuser in a scent you love, paired with meaningful items such as favorite books, a souvenir from a favorite vacation or a beloved family photograph.

Accessorize for impact

Accessories allow you to play with both the timeless and trendy. A creamy white vase with dried pampas grass offers an of-the-moment feel, and can be easily swapped out for fresh flowers or dried lavender for a more classic look.

Small art prints can be easily moved around your home, whether resting on the mantel or hung on a wall. Switching out frames can help each piece feel fresh and new. A set of frames that complement each other in finish and style help a space feel put together.

Floor mirrors can update a space, fill it with light and help the space appear larger. Choose from a variety of styles to fit your home.

Make it meaningful

Consider investing in a few pieces that you’ll have for life. This may be a painting you fell in love with or a rare plant in a unique ceramic pot. Sculptures made from metal, stone or papier-mâché add interest and express your personal style. We vacationed every summer in Creede, Colo., and I visited my favorite gallery often. I brought home two long-legged papier-mâché deer and placed them next to our grand piano to greet us when we walk in the room. Display pieces alongside a fun letter board, a set of coupe glasses, a well-loved book and any treasures you want to see daily.

Above all, your space should reflect you and the people with whom you share it. Whether your home accessories are trendy, timeless, personal or whimsical, let them be an expression of your own unique style.

Celeste Randolph is an interior designer in Los Altos. For more information, visit