A reader asked me last week,
“What’s your most versatile accessory? I love styling, but do not want to collect a lot of little things to change out. So, how can I have variety without a lot of different pieces?”
Great question, but I couldn’t just name one thing. In the pursuit of making decorating practical and relatable, I narrowed it down to 5 essential accessories for styling almost any surface in your home. And I bet you already have all of them, maybe just not all together yet.
With these 5 things in different combinations, you can style a nightstand, a dresser, an end table, a coffee table, a decorative shelf…almost any surface in your home.
1. Something Vertical
This will usually be the tallest thing in your arrangement. Every surface you decorate needs height relative to the other objects in the grouping. It could be a lamp or a pair of candlesticks, vases, or tall objects that are two different heights.
2. Something Horizontal
This will be the spread of your arrangement that takes up the largest footprint on your surface area. It could be a tray, a stack of books or decorative boxes, or a table runner. Like a rug helps ground a furniture arrangement, your horizontal item helps ground your decor and make a connection to the surface. Here are 10 more ideas for grounding an arrangement.
3. An Object
You need one thing that can’t easily be classified as vertical or horizontal. This is the thing that will break up the monotony of the upright and flat objects. The best objects are organic or abstract. You want an organic shape, like a sphere, a plant, or a sculpture. Or something abstract with a geometric shape like a star or a wild shape like an urchin. The best objects are a personal or meaningful artifact or that quirky thing you just couldn’t resist bringing home. Here are some of my favorite objects.
Every room and arrangement benefits from a living element. The two most common are plants and candles (the dancing flame is alive). If you have a black thumb, try succulents or cacti which are visually interesting and more forgiving than most plants.
5. A Layer or A Leaner
To take any arrangement up a notch, layer your decor. You can go vertical by leaning or hanging art or a framed picture behind your decor. Or go horizontal by putting your entire arrangement on top of a throw blanket, faux fur, or large tray.
7 More Interior Styling Tips…
Now that you know 5 basics for decorating most surfaces, I bet your dying to know exactly how to use them. I am hosting a FREE webinar this week to reveal 7 Simple Styling Secrets to Decorate Better With What You Already Have. Sign up here. You’ll learn…
- 7 interior styling secrets to pull off designer looks in your own home
- Exactly why the good-looking inspiration pictures look so good (there is a science to it)
- How to rearrange the things you already have in fresh new ways