Steps to Arranging Home Decor Accessories
One of the
biggest home decorating dilemmas is how to arrange your accessories, whether it
be a bookcase, shelf, or tabletop. Here is a three step system that will
transform your boring or cluttered spaces into charming vignettes!
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 keep an arrangement
from putting the neighbors down for their afternoon nap, remember to keep a
balance of harmony (things that feel like they go together, like similar colors
or styles) and contrast (things that spice things up by being different…smooth
against texture, round against straight line, et…) You want a bit of both in
your arrangement. Perhaps you could create harmony by repeating a square shape
or the color 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 their new homes scale…you
don’t want one tiny paperweight on a large kitchen table, and you want to
steer clear of using a huge ceiling high arrangement of flowers on a tiny end
table. Most people tend to use things that are too small for their surroundings
however. 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 a
fabric covered box. 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 following the design principles
above, now it’s time to layer and soften. Start with a larger, taller piece
slightly off center…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. Keep the eye
moving up and down as it purveys the arrangement from left to right for
interest. Add some fabric or twisted ribbon to soften the edges of the shelf or
table, to bring in color, and to highlight certain objects.
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!
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Copyright © 2006 by Kathleen Wilson. All
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