Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Master the Art of Layering

When deciding how to incorporate some of your favorite keepsakes, photos, and other odds and ends in a space without creating clutter, consider layering. Layering can be used when decorating any space, including a coffee table or end table, a mantle or dresser, or even an entire wall. It’s important to keep in mind that there is a fine line between creating an interesting combination of unique objects and placing objects in a random, cluttered fashion. Below are some tips that will help you master the art of layering and create a seemingly effortless look.

Use a variety of sizes and start big. Variety is key because too many bulky objects can look overstated, while a bulky object placed next to a spindly object can give you an interesting look. Find a place for the largest object, both in height and width, and then move in descending order. This doesn’t mean the tallest object. Keep in mind that you can place long, lean objects such as a lamp in front of your arrangement.

Group like objects together. To a certain degree, we expect to see objects thrown together with a layered look. So create a focal point and attract attention by grouping a few like objects in close proximity.

Play with display. You can use different display techniques by hanging some objects, stacking others, and propping a few. Notice in the photo below, some of the prints are hanging, while others are propped on the mantle.
Make it shine. A shiny surface in your arrangement breaks up a dense look and adds a unique touch without adding weight. You can incorporate glass as we see with the vases in the photo above, a metal lamp as shown in the photo below, or even a mirror.
Throw off your arrangement. Add an unexpected form to a group of similarly shaped objects with an urn or a vase, or add a bright piece to a relatively neutral arrangement. Notice how in the photo above, the orange telephone brightens the arrangement. Flowers also add a fresh, organic element, as we see in both photos.

If you have a space that needs personality, display old keepsakes from past travels, prop a mirror, frame a few photos or interesting prints, and you’re good to go. Remember there are no set rules when creating a layered arrangement, so play around and have fun!

Check out these local shops, their pieces will add flair to any arrangement!
Bella Nola

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