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Design from A to Z

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack

by Lauren Chorpening

The term knick knack may not always be said with appreciation, but eclectic accessories have a place in interiors across several design genres. Knick knacks tend to be mid-size to small scale sculptures (of almost any medium), styled in groupings and often whimsical in nature. What is great about knick knacks is that they can be personal, beautiful or even ironic. The amount of objects in a space helps to define it if they are thought of as knick knacks. Maximalists may have a large collection, while minimalists may only have one or two in a room and are less likely to call them knick knacks. Whether you call them home accents, accessories, decorative objects or knick knacks, these pieces add interest, beauty and/or fill to the space in any design style. Find inspiration and a new love for these underrated finishing touches below. –Lauren

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Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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The Guts & Glory studio is filled with a collection of fun and playful objects in front of a vintage portrait collection.

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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Home stylist and designer, Vicki Taylor, has decorated her family’s home with beautiful furniture and fun objects, including geometric pieces, bottles and stand-alone sculptures.

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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Doug takes a maximalist approach with knick knacks in his curio cabinet. Using items of similar size and color allow the display to be interesting without being intimidating or too busy.

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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Bright and graphic objects and posters adorn the home of Darbie Nowatka and Justin Rice. Their collection of Andy Warhol soup cans (left) are right at home in the colorful mix.

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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The scale of Beth Diana Smith’s knick knacks in her Irvington, NJ bathroom feel balanced with the oversized tiles, bright shower curtain, framed print and stool.

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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John’s desk display of sculptural knick knacks has a refined, intentionally curated look, even though most of the objects were collected second hand.

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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Peaches Freund has an assortment of whimsical, intriguing and stunning pieces that decorate her home.

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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Bohemian oddities have made their home in Augusta and Garrett’s colorful dining room hutch in Atlanta, GA. Milkglass, pottery and even a painted gourd make for a lively tableau.

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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Sarah and Matthew’s Oakland, CA home boasts global inspiration. All of her decorative objects feel cohesive and complete the space.

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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Mimi and Rae have styled their home with sentimental pieces they’ve found over the years. Shells and pinecones sit next to more decorative objects and create almost effortless interest.

Design from A to Z: K is for Knick Knack | Design*Sponge
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Comments

  • Timely posts! I’m just back from vacation and starting to integrate keepsakes into displays. This provided beautiful inspiration. Can’t wait to look more closely at these delightful homes.

  • I agree with you that knick knacks can be great for decorating since they add personalized style. I think my home could do with a little more personality to it in my opinion. I don’t want to spend a lot of money to change the overall look of my home, but getting a couple knick knacks that reflect my personality seems like it could be effective yet affordable.

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