Finishing touches: colourful, quirky accessories to add warmth and character to your home interiors

·3-min read
Leather candle sleeves  (Diptyque)
Leather candle sleeves (Diptyque)

If you’re redecorating from scratch – or perhaps you just moved into a new place – don’t blow every penny of your budget on nice wall paint and a fancy sofa because they won’t tell the full story.

When you visit a friend’s new place, you’ll usually make a beeline for the weird ornament in the corner or the statement lamp, rather than the very tasteful custom-made curtains.

In the same way that a fabulous vintage handbag will make your high-street dress look more interesting; decorative accessories will do the same job for an interior.

Shelves, coffee tables and sideboards look barren without anything on them but add a few books, a dish for odds and ends, a lamp, a vase filled with flowers, a holiday souvenir or two and suddenly it all starts coming together to create warmth and character.

Your vanilla-flavoured home will transform into matcha raspberry swirl with popping candy. In a nutshell, it’s the finishing touches that make a house a home.

A handblown glass figure, £185, from Koibird (Koibird)
A handblown glass figure, £185, from Koibird (Koibird)

All rooms need a decorative conversation starter and this handblown, curvaceous glass figure from Koibird is definitely one of those. It costs £185.

What’s the point in a great room set-up if no one can see it? Cast a glow over the scene with Bias Editions’ new colour-block wiggle lamps with matching tapered lampshades, £150 from Glassette

A scented candle on a shelf looks good but a scented candle wearing a yellow scalloped leather jacket looks great. Dress your Baies in a branded outfit with this candle sleeve from Diptyque, which costs £85.

 (Greeks Bearing Gifts)
(Greeks Bearing Gifts)

Any well-styled shelf should feature a few books – keep yours in place with these brass bookends, £150 from Greeks Bearing Gifts, which is worth noting as a site that specialises in wonderful present ideas.

As affordable as they are charming, colourful glass candlesticks from Oliver Bonas will add texture and height to a room. They cost £15 each.

Boxes are great things to keep on shelves and tabletops – they look smart but they hide all manner of obscure objects. Button or a paperclip, anyone? This red carved design is £130 from Bibbings & Hensby at Glassette.

This joyous art print will add instant summer to a room at any time of year. It’s by Camilla Perkins at Partnership Editions and it’s a limited edition of 50. It costs £200 unframed or £265 framed.

A decorative bowl – especially one on a pedestal – is always a handsome way to add a finishing touch to a surface as they make clutter (such as earrings or loose change) look organised. Go heavyweight with this small marble-footed bowl from London-based No.17 – it costs £65.


A great buy for summer, this affordable blue terracotta vase is in the colour of the moment and it will look just as good empty as filled with foliage for added drama. It’s a high-street hero at £29.99 from H&M Home.