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julie nolta design
Julie Nolta

Hi, I'm Julie, Chief Executive Empress

of my little apple green design studio.

Welcome to my blog!

When I'm not out visiting a client or searching for just the right  product for a project, I can probably be found in my happy little studio (painted the perfect shade of green), busy drawing up new ideas for a cool kitchen or a "spa-licious" bathroom. I like to share the fun stuff I find along the way!


apple green studio

Go big AND go home: Decorating with large accessories

decorating with accessories larger than a bowling ball

I’ve never been much of a bowler.

It’s not that I actively dislike the sport or go out of my way to avoid it. It’s just that I’ve frequently got something else I’d rather do than to lug around a ball that weighs more than my head and throw it at some innocent little pins while wearing shoes that a thousand other people have had on their feet.

What does bowling have to do with interior design? Legitimate question.

If you were to ask me for one of my best tips to make your home look like it was designed by a professional, I would tell you about The Bowling Ball Rule.

The Bowling Ball Rule doesn’t mean you must display a 15 pound orb somewhere in your home. But what it DOES mean is this: to pull off that designer look, your décor items shouldn’t be smaller than a bowling ball.

“Go big, or go home,” you know?!

Check out the best home design magazines and websites, and what you WON’T see is a lot of little things sitting around. If you’re not careful, little things can look like clutter. What you WILL see is larger items and fewer of them.

Here are a few photos with large accessories that look pretty fabulous.

Are those giant gas cans on the cabinet back there?

decorate with large accessories

I love the giant vases and the ginormous painting in this entry way.

decorate with large accessories

Large painting, large accessories, large ROOM!

decorate with large accessories

And here's a painting in a regular-sized bathroom that makes a big statement!

decorate with large accessories

Here's a house I decorated last week. Huge clock with accessories for a huge fireplace. And larger-than-bowling-balls accessories on the hearth.

decorate with large accessories

So how do you apply The Bowling Ball Rule if the things you already have are smaller than bowling balls?

Gather things together on a tray that’s bigger than a bowling ball. (Read more about using trays here.)

Make bowling-ball-sized groupings of smaller things on a shelf or on the wall. Then leave some open space around the grouping. Your eye will see the collection as one LARGE thing rather than a bunch of little things.

Here's the same house with smaller accessories grouped together on the book shelf.

decorate with large accessories

I was in this house last week and thought the homeowner must be at least a little familiar with bowling balls. Her accessories are on the smaller side, but she's made a nice grouping on the mantel and the effect is light and airy.

TA DA! There you have it: one of my favorite tips. For your own lovely home, try The Bowling Ball Rule. No sweaty shoes required!



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