Summer Styling Series: The Basics
I am so excited today to bring you guys a series that has been a long time in the works. In the years that I’ve been blogging, one consistent request I get is to do some styling tutorials. Styling comes so easy to some, but if you’re not one of those people there is good news. I believe that good styling habits can be learned. I’ve been styling rooms and vignettes as long as I can remember. It started with the multitudes of times I would rearrange my room as a child, once even tricking my sister into switching rooms with me while my parents were gone (I wound up with the much better deal). I would stay up so late until every desktop, dresser surface, and bedside table were just perfectly styled – displaying everything from vintage clocks and jewelry boxes to my assortment of porcelain ‘growing up girls’ (did you have those??) My love for styling obviously transcended into adulthood and has been the driving force for my creative career. I am so eager to teach you all the few tricks I employ and easy ways to boost your styling skills.
We’re starting out today with some basic things that I think about when I’m working with a blank slate. These tips are things that will recur through all of the various styling scenarios I have planned – Bedside Tables, Mantles, Coffee Tables, Bookshelves, and Bars. First, there are several types of items I like to look for when I’m beginning a styling project. Usually, I’ll wander around my house finding things that don’t have a good home or that I’m not thrilled with in their current placement. Or, if you’re anything like me, you might have a ‘junk’ closet or room filled with random things that you don’t know what to do with (hoarder, much?).
I always looks for cool, artsy objects, books, candles, trays, and boxes or jars. Additional items could be clocks, vases, photo frames, calendars, mini bowls, or baskets.
When I’m gathering all of these things, I try to grab things of varying heights, colors, finishes (shine vs matte vs metallic), and textures. Starting with a nice mixture will help your styling go much smoother. For instance, don’t grab a cube glass vase with a square mirror photo frame with a mercury glass box. All of those things are about the same size, square, and glass – not the variation we’re looking for! Think also about using items that aren’t too different in size. For instance, I wouldn’t grab a mini bowl and tall lamp unless I had a few other items to bridge the size gap.
The ‘rule of three’ is just a good starting point for people who struggle with styling and not necessarily a rule. It’s actually just easier to style in odd numbers because items automatically look less contrived and ‘placed’. If you have just two of something, be sure they’re different sizes and place them in different planes (at an angle) then place a little something else between them, creating a triangle. If you have four of something you’d like to display, consider splitting the items between two sides of your surface with three objects on one end and a singular object opposite.
Similar to the idea of grabbing various sizes and shapes, always try to introduce various textures and finishes. Since my style is mostly neutral, jazzing up a styled space with a mixture of metallics, natural textures, glossy finishes, and textiles is how I add visual interest.
Now that we’re aware of how to best choose items, how to start out in groupings of three, and how to mix texture, we’re off to a great start. Why don’t you give just these few tips a try and see how they work out for you! Then come back here, let me know how you do! If you have an area of your house that you struggle with styling, let me know what it is and I’ll add it into the series!
I look forward to hearing from you and working your problem areas into stylish masterpieces!
objects: horn sculpture | wishbone | calcite geode | The Spirit of Capri | Victoria Hagan: Interior Portraits | voluspa blanc | mercury glass candle holder | raffia trays | glass canister | gold trinket box | initial jewelry box
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