One of the biggest home decorating dilemmas people have is how to arrange your accessories, whether it be a bookcase, shelf, or tabletop. Here is a 4-step system that will transform your boring or cluttered spaces into charming vignettes!
Harmony and Contrast
When arranging a space with accessories, one has to keep in mind that the most important thing to avoid here is boredom! This has a lot less to do with the objects you choose than how you choose to display them. To steer clear of this, remember to keep a balance of harmony (things that go together, like similar colours or styles) and contrast (such as smooth against texture, round against a straight line, etc). You want a bit of both in your arrangement. You can create harmony by repeating a square shape or the colour purple, and then add contrast by sitting a smooth candlestick next to a rough basket.
Scale and Shape
Make sure that the items you are using fit into scale. You don't want a tiny paperweight on a large kitchen table, and you want to steer clear of using a high arrangement of flowers on a tiny end table. Most people tend to use things that are too small for their surroundings. If you have small accessories you would like to display, but need to give them more 'oomph' in the arrangement, try grouping them on a plate or tray to corral them together. You can also give them height by perching them atop stacked books or baskets.
Layer and Soften
Once you've chosen your objects for the space, now it's time to layer and soften. Start with a larger, taller piece slightly off centre. This will be the defining piece in your arrangement. Now, work to the outer edges in layers. Add a taller background layer, a middle sized medium height layer, and your tiniest objects in the front. Add some texture like dried plants or flowers, bring in colour to highlight certain objects and stand back and admire your new vignette!
Group of 3's
Think in 3's. A vase, a candle and bowl, for example. A stack of books, a small trinket and a picture. The combinations are endless!
Above all, keep trying new combinations of items until you find an arrangement that works for you. Use things in unusual ways. Tuck flowers or a live plant into an arrangement that seems too static. Even professional designers will occasionally be surprised by trying things in a new way! And remember, if your arrangement still looks cluttered and lost, chances are you are trying to display too much. Develop a prop box or closet where you can keep some of your treasures, and switch them our a couple of times a year for a fresh new look without spending a dime! You know me, I love shopping in my own home!
Emily Henderson has a great blog on different furniture and decor combinations to create an exciting room!
And here are Shea's fall coffee table styling tips.
Tag me when you style your next tabletop!