Many moons ago, fresh out of college, I worked as a Visual Merchandiser in a department store. A Visual Merchandiser's role is to display products in an appealing way to entice a consumer to purchase an item, whether it is fine china or a cordless drill. There are a few "rules" that help create balance when pulling together a display. These principles are good to know when decorating a home too.
- Odd numbers of items are more appealing to the eye than even ones.When grouping vases or candlesticks etc. group in 3, 5 or 7. Not sure why this works but it does ,try it!
- Cluster like items together for more impact. A collection of odd white china pieces, bowls, jugs or platters looks far more cohesive when grouped if you stick to one colour. These can be thrift store finds, inherited items or pieces left over from a broken set. As long as the colour is the same or similar it will work.
- Add varying heights. Tall in the back, shorter in the front. Stack items on books to add height if need be. Using both high and low objects will keep the eye moving throughout the display.
- Scale. Small items can get lost and look like too much clutter. Group smaller items together on a tray, china platter or basket and they will look like more of a collection.
- Think like a painter. Create a "still life" and feature one favourite item in foreground and arrange other items behind to stop the display looking too flat and lined up.
- Less is more. Avoid a lot of surface clutter and don't overcrowd. Larger items have more impact than small (especially in listing photographs when selling a home--that's why home stagers tell you to declutter. ) Repetition is pleasing to the eye, so if you repeat basic shapes or colour it gives a room a calm and relaxing feel.
English designer David Hicks once said "What is important is not how valuable or inexpensive your objects are but the care and feeling with which you arrange them." Mix your items and display only the pieces you love to have around. Enjoy your home and surroundings--you worked hard to acquire them.
Happy Spring :)