May 31, 2012

Design is about getting color and scale right.  There is a dance between light and dark, flat and reflective, textured and smooth… depending on the music ( forgive the bad analogy) a project can become a dark sexy room, a light filled bright room or one of 100’s if not 1000’s of other “looks” or moods.  I really react positively to a light palette, with an accent layer in like in the photo above.  The banding on the mirror and the box on the table are enough to break up the tonal aesthetic of this bedroom.

Truth is, the reason I picked this image to blog about is design is also about the details. I love the way this writing-table has been layered.  Friends come over to my house and compliment me on my home, and it is pretty pulled together I’ll admit… but what is truly different about my house vs theirs is I’ve arranged my stacks of magazines and added a hand blown glass paperweight, or I’ve taken the time to refresh my throw pillows when I’m done using the sofa – bottom line, I’m an arranger.  It makes a difference.  Most people are afraid to try so they never attempt to fill a bookcase or layer a coffee table.  Unless you buying hundreds of dollars worth of accessories to attempt the job with, what have you got to lose?

Start with what you have. Group like items.  Think in odd numbers like 1’s, 3’s and 5’s.  Books make a good “lifts” for smaller objects, try laying some on their side and keep others standing up.  Try layering object in front of your books if your shelves have the depth to allow for it.  Plate stands are good for showing off pretty dinnerware but they are also good for displaying small paintings and photographs.  Your local craft store or design store should have a good selection of easels for just this purpose.

Go ahead and give it a try.  Empty a bookcase or clear off a coffee table and start from scratch.  First pick up the things you don’t want to put back, then group like items.  Then search the house for other items that might have the same mood or feeling – if you have antique bookends throughout the house consider displaying them as a collection for instance.  Now, I’m not saying that everything wants to be the same color and texture and sheen, on the contrary…  a few shiny frames tucked in with old books will really wake up your vignette.  If your working with multiple shelves, try making every other shelf feel like the same format.  Because book shelves can easily go to a busy place, the order of shelves feeling similarly formatted adds order.  Good luck!

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