I think as soon as Emily Henderson’s book Styled came out, I bought it. I love design books, which is a whole other post, but anyway, she gives tons of great ideas. And I did learn a lot- particularly about the need to add something architectural, which I think is often the missing link with my stuff. I just don’t have a lot of architectural pieces. Anyway, this weekend I had some time, and because when we reworked W’s room with his new floors, he ended up taking a bookcase from the center hall and I had to rework some pieces from there, I took some pics of my attempts.
Here’s a console table that I just moved into the center hall. It’s thrifted, but I’ve had it for awhile for the intention to paint it.
Note the lamp from last weekend’s Hunt? Yeah, I remembered pretty soon after I put it there that there is no outlet on that wall 🙂 Anyway, that Abraham Lincoln bust is one of my favorites. He gives that corner of the center hall presence, and a little quirk with the hat (vintage- my grandmother’s) and the necklace that Beau gave me. The colors of the frames, Abe, and the little bowl play nicely off each other, and the colors of the artwork (thrifted) and the composition in the tray work well. Obviously the lamp is way too big, but I like how this would let someone who enters know that this would not be a traditional country farmhouse.
Until you see the chipped paint…then you’re all like, “oh yeah, total country farmhouse!”
So here, practicality won out. No way am I running an extension cord to power the lamp (it would have to cross a doorway or the entire hall), and I’m not putting a lamp there for show. So I swapped it out for the sailboat. But something doesn’t look right with the composition. So I tried a few more options:
I like this better. But what if I swapped that stack of books for that pottery?
I think I like the pottery best on the table. Plus it’s much less likely to get broken.
Which one is your favorite?
Also in the center hall is this piece:
It would probably look better styled with just one vignette in the middle, but see the pretty little round bit of woodwork on top? I really should have taken a better picture of it. Anyway, that’s my favorite part of the piece and I don’t want to hide it, so I’ve always either styled both sides or one side or the other.
This side usually just stays the same. I like this composition and have kept it this way for awhile.
This side has always given me the struggles- why I don’t know. I tend to rotate stuff out frequently here, or to just not have anything here at all. Those books were my grandmothers when she was a little girl. I love being able to display them here. The pear, which came from Target, I think just adds a little bit of juxtaposition and bling to the overall mix that was definitely needed.
One more thing from the center hall (the biggest room in our house, and also the hardest to figure out what to do with):
I really like layering artwork. Artwork is one of my very favorite things to collect, whether it is on a vacation or while thrifting. I very rarely pay more than $100 for a piece (the exception is the beach pic in the living room, below)- but honestly, most of what I have is of the $5 thrifted variety, or else inherited or gifted. Anyway, I’ve gotten quite a few pieces over the years, more than what I have room to display now. My solution is to layer it. It gives it a cool collected vibe and lets me enjoy it and swap the pieces out whenever I want.
I guess I could do another post on layering artwork, but I’m certainly no expert, so I guess I’ll just say that for me, there really are no rules. As you can see above, I mix frames, genres, and colors. I just put what together what looks pleasing to the eye. For me, that depends more on the sizes of the art (I like a good mix) and how it fits into the surrounding space.
Now, the living room. Spring inspired me to do a little bit of rearranging. I’ve felt like the living room was so heavy and closed off lately, so I moved the bench here:
Which inspired me to move this artwork, which I’ve had awhile, because it does seem to go. But now does it look like a bus stop?
A few tips + tricks
- Everyone and their momma has heard of the Rule of 3- you know, the rule that arrangements are naturally more pleasing to the eye if in groups of three. You’ll notice that in almost every pic, my vignettes follow this rule, because it’s true. Start with three items and go from there. You don’t have to keep it at three, but you’ll notice when you achieve a visual balance that feels right- and that is usually with an odd number of items.
- Color is important, at least in how things relate to each other and the surrounding rooms. But again, everything doesn’t have to match, just complement each other. And, a vignette is the perfect opportunity to pull things together that might not necessarily relate otherwise. For example, if you have curtains and throw pillows that are different colors- use your vignette to pull those colors together and tell the story of how they relate.
- Make sure you use varying heights, and take the background, like any artwork or architectural features, into consideration. Remember how the lamp in the first pic was way too tall for the artwork?
- One of the biggest tips that I try to keep in mind from Styled is the need to add something sculptural or architectural into your vignettes- which adds a ton of visual interest! (If you haven’t read Styled yet, I’d highly recommend it. Here’s my affiliate link for Styled, although I bet you can find it in your local library as well).
Styling vignettes can be tricky if you are like me and it doesn’t come naturally! But don’t give up. Actually, that’s my number one tip. Keep playing and working with it! After all, design should be fun, right?
See my updated entry-which is now a library/playroom- here!