By now you’ve probably all read about our new nailhead ottoman. And in inviting that plush little pouf into our master bedroom, the white pedestal table that used to live next to our leather armchair was sadly displaced. But not for long. We’d been meaning to upgrade our wicker hand-me-down table in the den (actually a relic from John’s older sister’s childhood bedroom) and we finally had our chance.
Enter the displaced DIY pedestal table stage left (you can check out how we made it here). It’s the perfect size for the larger furnishings in the den, and it’s endlessly more functional than our old teeny weeny wicker table that lived there before.
And the back of the table is actually seen just as often as the front (thanks to the fact that it lives near the super wide pass-through to the kitchen) so we’re thankful that this table looks as good coming as it does going.
And while we’re on the subject of our new side table, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk a little bit about tablescapes. We’ve recently received some requests for tips on displaying objects so they look chic and uncluttered, so here they are:
Position things at a few different heights. We like to use the “spiral rule,” where objects stairstep their way down in height. The vase is our tallest object, followed by the nearby stack of magazines topped with a planter. Then the two cylinder vases step down in height once more, and the notebook paired with two sea inspired “paper weights” is the lowest profile object of the bunch. By displaying things that are graduated in height, they look varied enough to keep things interesting and less chaotic than anything astronomically taller or shorter than the rest of the objects.
Select objects that relate to each other in some way. By choosing the natural fiber planter, the textural corks and the woven decorative balls in the vase, there’s a common underlying natural feeling that is carried around the tableau. Then the white of the flower, the sea life and the notebook complement the glossy white of the pedestal table and the repeated cylinder shape of the glass vases and the planter also relate to each other (and the shape of the table) for subtle cohesion that ties everything together. Of course this principal also works with a large grouping of super similar objects like colorful glass vases, a collection of candlesticks or white ceramic pottery. Instead of spreading out like objects, why not display them all in one place for maximum impact?
Edit ruthlessly. I know it sounds like an obvious tip, but your spaces won’t look cluttered if you take a good look at them and remove the offending clutter. This table could accommodate more magazines, some books, a box full of our TV remotes, some candles, etc. But we drew the line at a few choice objects that we love, which we can better appreciate without a sea of other items that compete for our attention. Plus there’s room to set down a drink, which is always important for a side table.
There’s magic in odd numbers. This is a basic decorating principle that is worth its weight in gold. For some mystical reason, an even number of objects can look very static and ho-hum (picture a dining room table with just two matching candlesticks on display). Meanwhile, a grouping of three or five objects is instantly more dynamic and interesting (especially when the items have something in common and are stairstepped). You’ll notice that if you count the groupings on the table above, you’ll see that there we happened to land on a display with five distinct “parts” (the tall flower vase, the two cylinder vases, the magazine stack with the planter on top, and the notebook/sea life display).
So there you have it. A few simple tips for creating fresh and fabulous little vignettes throughout your home. Happy tablescaping! And what about you guys? Do you have any more tableau tips for creating eye-pleasing arrangements with the objects that you already have around the house? Do tell.
And of course we can’t go without taking one last look at the new bedroom ottoman that inspired the whole table switcheroo. Thanks little guy.
For more accessory arrangement tips, check out this bevy of articles on BHG