One thing I think most people struggle with when decorating is accessorizing. Those beautifully composed vignettes in magazines look oh so easy but a lot of trial and error goes into that perfect shot. Getting the balance right is key. Scale, colour, texture….they all come into play to creative an eye catching “still life”. There are a few golden rules to follow that ensure you display your prized possessions in all their glory.
Use what you love
There are certain things that make us smile, evoke memories and we would never part with. Display and enjoy them. I have a small Wedgewood china box that I have had for 35 years. I love the pattern and colours but never really have had the perfect spot for it. Finally I paired it with some books and a chevron print I picked up on sale for $10 in HomeSense. Now it makes sense and still looks updated and on trend.
If you don’t want to add a lot of colour but still make a display interesting, add texture. I had 2 reasons to layer the twiggy thing (technical term I’m sure) in this large bowl. I wanted to add another element and the ceramic balls sat too low in the bowl and required to be raised up. This natural object was perfect, a Value Village find, style doesn’t have to be expensive. Mix high and low priced items to get the look you want.
Look to Nature
Living by the ocean, I’m naturally drawn to shells. Displayed in this pale blue, matte finish bowl (another Value Village find) and set on my marble coffee table, helps to bring the outdoors in. A piece of driftwood picked up on the beach on a weekend away adds a personal touch. Elements that connect us to nature are always soothing and easy on the eye.
Using a dominant colour balances a display. On this bookshelf I colour blocked all my blue books and some white accents .An oversized letter “R” (my husband’s initial) in faux croc and again my favourite shells. Place books vertically and horizontally for interest. That little pop of bright pink on the top book adds some contrast.
Use timeless classics
Some décor items never go out of style and blue and white china is one of those. This ginger jar was a gift from my mother, that again, I never felt I had the right spot for it but recently I redecorated my bedroom in indigo blue, cue ginger jar! Paired with this whitewashed carving from Wicker Emporium, it rests on top of my bedroom dresser. The details on the china piece tie into the leafy pattern of the wooden object.
Using items all the same height can make a vignette flat and lifeless. Vary heights from tallest in the back to shortest in front. Mix materials and textures, e.g. glass, metal, fabric, floral elements. Choose unusual shapes. One of my favourite items is a lamp base of the Eiffel Tower, again a second hand find. I paired it with 2 glass vases from HomeSense and a mirrored clock from Value Village. Adding some ribbon to the inexpensive grey lampshade gives contrast.
Use what you have
I have wanted one of these manikins forever and when I received a gift card at Christmas time I knew exactly what I would purchase. It now stands in the corner of my bedroom with a lovely blue and white scarf and necklace, easily changed up if I want to add another colour or pattern. You could dress it with a beautiful party dress and really bling it up with some sparkly baubles. I added the inexpensive print from Target that was part of a set of 3 to tie the colours together.
If you find a piece with good lines, make it your own. This rocking chair was a sweet second hand find. It has solid construction, a good quality rush seat and simple, clean lines. Only problem, it was bright pink when I found it. I tried to make it work with my décor but it just wasn’t to be, so a couple of coats of grey paint later it has a new lease of life. I love the look of fur draped on chairs which is a trend at the moment. I searched for a sheepskin at Christmas time to use but to no avail but browsing in HomeSense I came across a white fur synthetic rug in the bath rug section…sold! It was perfect with a white pillow purchased in the New Year sales. I love finding a look for less:)
Have fun with it
Final rule, have fun with your décor. This vignette is on a shelf above my desk. Yes I shop a lot, but usually for other people, so this sign was perfect for me. The glass jars are Dollar Store gems, lined with scrapbooking paper to hide paperclips, rubber bands and all the not so pretty office stuff. These would be a good solution for a bathroom too, just coordinate the paper to your décor.
And final final rule, edit edit edit.