I've always used Dwarf Barberry and bright yellow Spirea as accent plants in a larger landscape. I will often plant groups of three to five of them near a sidewalk entrance or near large green Azaleas or Hollies. Both Barberry and Spirea love a hard trimming each winter. I always cut them back by half their size each year as this encourages a more vigorous and beautiful growth habit the following year.
Barberry has really nice fall color as their leaves change.