Quick Tips for Displaying Accessories of All Sorts
Adopt one or more of these tried-and-true techniques for arranging accessories of all kinds to give your room designs a lift.
Flowers, books and other decorative items all make nice additions to roomy tabletops — especially coffee tables. The key is to keep the display neat and visually appealing. Consider employing trays to corral similar items like pillar candles and ceramics. For example, group a variety of candles on one tray, and vases or bowls on another. Enhance the display with a stack of books topped with a jar or other vessel full of small objects.
Partner Artwork With Accessories
An eye-catching piece of wall art is the perfect addition to enhance a tabletop full of decorative accessories. Hang the art so that the bottom is about 8-12 inches above the table. That way it is visually connected to the display. As a final touch, make certain to incorporate some tabletop accessories tall enough to overlap with the artwork. This furthers the visual connection between the two, helping them appear as a single unit.
Lead the Eye
Scale and height are the tools you need to guide the eye through a room. For example, an oversized rectangular mirror hung above a tabletop filled with a grouping of collectibles will draw the eye initially, but then leads it to the tallest items in the display, and lastly to the smaller items, such as those contained in a tray or bowl.
Multiples on a Mantel
Use multiples of a single piece to add impact to a room. For instance, consider lining up several framed images, similar in size and appearance, to be a focal point on a fireplace mantel. Incorporate a few smaller decorative items in front to increase visual interest, but do not overpower the main display of images.
Focus on Balance
An asymmetrical arrangement is a way to create cohesion between objects of varying shapes and sizes. Use several smaller pieces to balance a large, tall item, for example. Also, you can add visual weight to a display by huddling the objects together and overlapping shapes to make layers. Use color as the great unifier — unrelated items can be united if they’re from the same color palette.
Line Them Up
A long shelf makes the perfect spot to showcase a collection of similar objects. Have a special collection of vintage tins or watering cans? Line them up on a high shelf in a screened-in porch. Other ideas? Use a shallow ledge in a breakfast nook to display a lineup of cheerful plates. Or add dolls and plush animals to a long shelf in a child’s bedroom.
When putting together a display of decorative objects, whether on a shelf, tabletop or bookcase, here are some general tips to get a fabulous result every time:
• Odd Numbers: Arrange groupings of items in odd numbers, as it is naturally more attractive to the eye than groups of even numbers. Also, stagger shapes and heights and allow some room between objects so that a display feels more like art than simply storage space.
• Books: Stacks of books make great pedestals to highlight special objects or framed pictures. Also, when adding books to a bookshelf or mantel, create interest by alternating vertical and horizontal stacks.
• Small Spaces: Putting together a display for a small space (think side table) involves selecting a handful of well-thought-out pieces. The objects must vary in size and shape to make the display interesting. One simple approach is to find a unique lamp for sculptural interest, and to add a modest vase of flowers and a few smaller accessory items.
• Contrast: To make a collection of objects really stand out, display them in front of a contrasting background. For example, cream-colored stoneware dishes pop when displayed inside a black china cabinet. Add little hints of green, like faux plants or fruit, to the arrangement for a bit of life and color.