decor

How to Beautifully Display Your Favourite Items

From books and vases to special vintage finds, elevate your favourite items and create an eye-catching display with these simple styling techniques.

Dave Wheeler/Bauersyndication.com/magazinefeatures.co.za

Say addios to your cramped bookshelf and let books and cherished items breathe in an alluring display on a mantel, console or side table.

The Styled Library

Feel free to judge a book by its cover and display your most eye-catching tomes on a coffee or side table in a casual but purposeful way. Start with a stack (or three) and arrange by size or hue. Leave one open to encourage flicking.

House and Leisure - How to Beautifully Display Your Favourite Items

Pile 'Em High

Elevate your favourite items on a book plinth – or use books to build an ad hoc side table.

House and Leisure - How to Beautifully Display Your Favourite Items

Citrus Scent

Fill decorative vessels with fresh fruit instead of flowers – lemons smell just as good and last a lot longer.

House and Leisure - How to Beautifully Display Your Favourite Items

Mix Old with New

Dust off your inherited pieces and vintage finds – no one can admire them if they’re tucked away in the cupboard! Mix them with new buys for a look that’s playful, relaxed and personal.

House and Leisure - How to Beautifully Display Your Favourite Items

5 Ways to Achieve a Statement Display

1. Take Stock Before You Style

Pull accessories off the cramped shelf they've been sitting on for years and rediscover the long-lost items that have been hiding in the back of your cupboard. For instance, those plates you collected while on holiday, the candlesticks you only use on special occasions and the books that you've never opened.

2. Any Surface Will Do

You can arrange a beautiful display on almost any flat surface you have available. Consoles and coffee and side tables are obvious choices, but think about other underused spots like a wide windowsill, mantelpiece, bathroom vanity or even the kitchen bench. A tray on an occasional chair or ottoman works well, too.

3. Follow the Rule of 3

When grouping accessories, create visual cohesion by following the rule of three - or five or seven. Odd numbers appeal more to the eye and look effortless. Symmetry is another helpful tool to keep in mind when grouping items. A set of matching artworks or a pair of candleholders placed side by side looks more resolved.

4. Play with Height and Shape

Consider the height and shape of your items, and arrange accordingly. Combine tall and short, skinny and plump pieces in the same grouping to create visual interest. Here, a lamp, decorative magnifying glass and book stack form a triangle at differing heights. So too do a vase, bottle and tray, left.

5. Make a Statement!

Every vignette or styled collection of items should feature a statement piece, big or small, to anchor the look and demand attention. This could be something you already have, like a sculptural vase filled with fresh flowers or fruit, a vintage bust or a standout stool or side table that you can set your things on top of.

ALSO READ: Central is Cape Town’s Cool and Inspiring New Decor Store

Style tip

Leave a bit of visual space between each item so you don't cramp their style – or the table. 

House and Leisure - How to Beautifully Display Your Favourite Items

House and Leisure - How to Beautifully Display Your Favourite ItemsHouse and Leisure - How to Beautifully Display Your Favourite Items
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