Starting an update to any area of my home is typically triggered by a change of seasons or special occasion, i.e. Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Sometimes it’s a special occasion called boredom that is the incentive and a new look is necessary to highlight a favourite item that has been out of sight for too long or I want to play “interior designer”.
These are the steps I follow to styling or restyling a display:
1. Clear the Decks
Whatever the occasion or reason, I start by ‘clearing the decks’ and cleaning the area (while dust bunnies are cute, they have no place in decor!). This enables me to see the space anew and clearly and allows me to consider the space I have to work with and what might fit.
2. Shop for Display Items
Next I think about what treasures and items I have that will work together to create a fresh look in the space or best relate to the occasion I am updating for. I shop my home – the various rooms as well as storage – for items I want to use and can be re-located. Because I only keep or buy items I love and that bring me joy, it is often a challenge in deciding what to include from among my treasures, but hey, it’s going to change soon anyway :)
I place the larger items first as they are the anchors in the display. I use the ‘rule of odds’, that is, an odd number of items bring balance to the display. Typically this is 1, 3, or 5 but can be 7 or 9 depending how large the item is. For example, if you collect salters which are smaller items, displaying 7 or 9 can be attractive and not too cluttered or overwhelming. However, it you collect antique crocks, displaying 7 or 9 would be overwhelming and crowd the space. In the case of my hutch, I used 3 larger items as the anchors and built around them.
4. Negative Space
In order to highlight or feature a particular item, it is important to have some negative or blank space around it so it stands out. Often we crowd our vignettes and it ends up drowning the display and is difficult to see and appreciate the items we have included. Remember that ‘less is more’.
Texture is critical in design and decor, especially when creating a display. Without it displays (and rooms) look flat and one dimensional; layers of texture are necessary to create movement and interest and bring vitality.
The most important part of creating or styling a display is to have FUN! Style, re-style, experiment, play with the display. It costs nothing to keep moving things around until you have a look you love and is gorgeous in the space. And be sure to share pics of your results in the comments section - I love seeing the results of your work!