Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fabulous Little Things: The Art of Display

A console arrangement in a Michael S. Smith interior.
Note to use of highs and lows, creating an interesting
visual composition and eye line.  I'm also a fan of the coffee
table book as riser.
I love accessories.  I love giving the cleaning woman things to dust and the opportunity to break them.  Nothing gives me more pleasure than holding the threat of garnished wages above the head of an underling.  Monstrous behavior aside, I genuinely take pleasure from the stories accessories tell and the dimension they give to an otherwise predictable landscape of furniture and lamps. 

Collections of jade discs, foo dogs, bibelots, mineral specimens, and other small curiosities do a wonderful job filling in blank spaces on end tables or empty shelves in the book case, while simultaneously telling tales of travels, tastes, and experiences. 

In my travels as a Decorator, I've found wonderful little things that can elevate even the simplest memento to great heights.  What's truly marvelous is that these simple additions cost fairly little and make a huge difference in the way your collections are viewed.  Try a few ideas you see here, or, find a photo of a display you love, and really analyze it to find out what makes it work.  It's going to really emphasize the personality of your space and the things you love, and that's definitely worth the time and effort.

- Ian 

To add height to a special piece, try using either of these risers from Wisteria.  Varying sizes are available in clear glass or Marble.  Prices start at $42.00 per pair for glass or $69.00 per pair for the marble.  These simple blocks are a quick and easy way to add dimension and height to your arrangements of accoutrement.  Simple blocks like this add a 'Gallery' feel to anything you put on them. 

Lately, I am a fan of easels, and the only place I can find any that are good quality and attractive at an affordable price is Restoration Hardware.  Places like Michael's, Aaron Bros., and Art Supply stores are either cheap or utility, and neither term is welcome in my home.  Restoration Hardware easels are secure and practical, but also offer a great deal of aesthetic value.  They're wonderful if you like to layer your accessories or art as I do.

The Library Easel is solid wood with an adjustable shelf and clamp to
secure art.  The piece also tilts to reduce glare and provide optimum viewing.
Retails for $129.00.

This great Easel I actually own.  It comes in two sizes and two
finishes, Bronze and Silver (I bought the Silver).  The large size retails at $89.00
and as with the Library Easel, the shelf and clamp are adjustable
and they're even padded so the frame doesn't get scratched.  Love that.

The Wyndham Easels are the simplest of all the offerings.
No moving parts, no adjustments, just three sizes, priced at
$59.00 - $89.00.  These are great for small prints, etchings, photos,
what ever you want to bring off the wall and onto a credenza
or night table.

Ralph Lauren's private home.  To me, he is the
master of the accessory display.

Ralph Lauren't Dining Room.   I love the way he layers his art,
overlapping piesces that have been set on the Buffet.  Not a
look for everyone, but certainly dramatic and dynamic. 

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