I used to think that in order for a space to be pretty it needed to be remodelled, renovated or changed. But, this is not necessarily true. You can use styling hacks to elevate your space without major changes.
Other than doing some easy and quick changes to a very outdated space such as paint, lighting swaps and such modifications, styling is what will add the final touch that brings a space together. Beyond design, color and structure, styling is like the icing on a cake and what will actually make a room feel good.
While there are many elements to decorating, there are some key considerations to the art of styling to create emotion and a sense of aesthetics and wellbeing.
So, let’s talk about display cabinet styling today. This technique will apply to other furniture such as shelves and coffee tables as well although there may be some different considerations.
A few styling hacks to keep in mind to elevate your space
Inevitably, when we’re styling a bigger piece of furniture or large shelves, we may end up having similar objects such as two or more plants, vessels, vases or other.
One rule that will help your styling flow and not feel repetitive or like you’ve lined up objects in to work diagonally when using similar objects.
For example, if you have two plants like below, don’t display them in the same row or column next to each other or one above another.
Instead, put them diagonally and if you can and have the space, skip a space between them.
You can see in this picture how I placed the plants and tall vases, they flow better together and by the time the eye stops at a second or third same object, it would have had the chance to see something else. So your composition becomes visually appealing.
Working with Numbers
In order to have an airy composition, group objects together without overloading them. The best combos are groupings in one, two’s or three’s and leaving space between groups.
When using one object alone, be sure it’s a larger item or a group of items that form one, like the stack of books with the bookends above. I consider this as one since they are all stuck together, and the whole group is big enough to make an impact on its own and create visual weight.
The same goes for the decor piece on the fourth shelf from above, it is alone but gig enough and structural is shape to attract the eye in.
When working in twos, vary the heights, color or textures. Same rule applies when working in threes. When you’re grouping two or three objects together, there’s another consideration… Keep reading!
The triangle rule is simply to group items to form a triangle instead of putting the in line for instance. This attracts the eye that wanders from one object to another and creates dynamism. You can see below. It doesn’t matter what the shape of the triangle is as long as it taken into account when grouping decor objects together.
The color scheme is actually the base of any styling. In order to have a cohesive and well balanced space, you need to choose a color scheme not only for the piece of furniture or corner you’re styling, but it has to also work with the rest of the environment. Pick complementary colors while making sure they vary in intensity (when the same color) and color. You can see above that I mostly have browns, beige, and whites. They work well with the rest of the space that is neutral and the cabinet that is black and brass.
Juxtaposing Contrasting Tones
Juxtaposition and contrast are everything. When you have too much of the same tone and texture, your styling becomes diluted and too muted. Putting objects with varying tones and textures together will yield to a well composed style and a visually pleasing scene where the eye will feel compelled to take time to look and analyze the space instead of just skimming over it.
In here, I used brass and green (with plants) to create contrast with the other muted elements.
Create Tension with Texture
Tension is not only created with contrast but also texture. Again, when juxtaposing various textures against one another, there’s a balanced tension between them that draws you in. It’s as if they’re pulling one another both close and farther away. There’s a rhythm between these objects even if they are two separate entities on their own.
I used several textures in my display cabinet. You’ll find clay, metal, paper, wood, marble and ceramic!
Don’t be Afraid to Mix Styles
Finally, styles… you don’t have to stick to one style only. In fact, it’s way more interesting to have more than one style and allows you to create your own unique style. That doesn’t mean that you should mix many and all at the same time, This is also true throughout your house.
Pick two to three of your favorite, make one of them the base and add smaller touches of the rest. In here, I have a mix of modern and vintage.
Mixing styles is also about the style of an object. This of structural pieces with more softer lines. While some objects below are rounded, other are sharp , edgy and with a stronger structure.
What I really love about styling is taking time to create. It’s like drawing something from scratch and that doesn’t mean you’ll get it right the first time.
Bring all the elements that you could and would like to display in a given corner or furniture. Start composing. Begin with the bigger pieces, and keep playing around until you feel this tension and balance between objects. Also, until you feel you have a cohesive look that your eyes can look at for a long time. In the process, you may eliminate some objects, or add some more. Also, keep it airy and let it breathe to give space to each piece to speak for itself.
It’s all about creating emotion through this tension and juxtaposition. When you feel moved, you’ll know you have something good. At least until you want to change it again if you’re like me and like to shuffle your home every now and then. Just keep in mind those styling hacks to elevate any of your space throughout your home.
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