Is your home looking more cluttered than curated? Then it may be time to take control of your stuff and display it in a way that brings joy to both you and your visitors. Start dusting off the knickknacks you picked up during your last vacation and dig through that pile of books haphazardly stacked on your bookshelf to find hidden treasures worthy of display.
While the minimalist look prevails in some circles, others are looking to inject their homes with personality. To do this, surround yourself with a selection of items that evoke special memories, or simply showcase your ability to find hidden gems in even the most obscure vintage or antique shops.
Once you’ve given the surfaces in your home the all-clear, the only thing left to do is rearrange your items in an aesthetically pleasing way. But if you’re still wondering how to style your existing home decor, our expert tips will be sure to point you in the right direction.
1. Take stock before you style.
Declutter your shelves by pulling accessories out of the places they’ve been sitting for years and rediscover the long-lost items that have been hiding in the back of your cupboard. For instance, those plates you collected while on vacation, the candlesticks you only use on special occasions, and the books that you’ve never opened.
2. Style any surface.
Arrange a beautiful display on almost any flat surface you have available. Consoles and coffee and side tables are obvious choices, but think about other underused spots, like a wide windowsill, mantelpiece, bathroom vanity, or even the kitchen counter. A tray on an occasional chair or ottoman works well, too.
3. Keep the rule of three in mind.
When grouping accessories, create visual cohesion by following the rule of three — or five or seven. Odd numbers appeal more to the eye and look effortless. Symmetry and balance are helpful tools to keep in mind when grouping items. A set of matching artworks or a pair of candle holders placed side by side look posed.
4. Group items with different heights and shapes.
Consider the height and shape of your items and arrange accordingly. Combine tall and short or skinny and plump pieces in the same grouping to create visual interest.
5. Choose a statement piece.
Every vignette or styled collection of items should feature a statement piece, big or small, to anchor the look and demand attention. This could be something you already have, like a sculptural vase filled with fresh flowers or fruit, a vintage bust, or a standout stool or side table on which you can set your things.
6. Show off your home library.
Feel free to judge a book by its cover and display your most eye-catching coffee table books on a table in a casual but purposeful way. Start with a stack (or three), and arrange by size or tone.
7. Mix old with new.
Dust off your inherited pieces and vintage finds — no one can admire them if they’re tucked away in a cabinet! Mix them with new buys for a look that’s playful, relaxed, and personal.
This article was originally written by David Wheeler. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.