09 April 2012

Tip For Arranging Accessories

 I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! Mine was great- my dad came and spent a few days with us, which is why I've been absent from the blog. 

But I'm back now with a quick accessory-related tip for you:

Sometimes when you've got several small things that you're trying to arrange in a group, they just don't seem to want to play together. You arrange and rearrange, but somehow something just always seems "off". 

I've found that the problem is usually balance- whether it's the size of the items you're using, or the size of whatever is next to them, the overall balance of the shelf/tabletop/etc is being thrown off. 

Take this arrangement for example-
This is the shelf in my dining room that I arranged last week, and when I was first putting it together I had it like this: 

That blue finial is reading as REALLY dark in this pic btw...it's actually a greenish blue. 

I grouped the blue finial with the little lidded jar of shells and the bundle of books. They all should have worked really well together, but as you can see in the above picture, something just looks off. The shelf looks way out of balance because the little group to the right just can't hold their own next to the big framed picture on their left. And even their little group on it's own doesn't look right because even though I've got them bunched together, they're still giving off a kind of separate, "lost" vibe. 

Usually when this happens, all that's needed is something to ground your group.
It needs a base to sit on. 

For the accessories on my shelf, I added a magazine I'd covered with stenciled paper and voila- 
all of a sudden it works. 

By giving my accessories a base I solved two problems- I visually enlarged the space they take up so that they don't look dwarfed by the picture next to them, and I also made them all look like they belong together by giving them a "home" to share. 
Now when you look at the shelf, it reads as one big item on the left, and one big item on the right (even though it's actually four small items.) Everything's balanced. 

So if you're trying to arrange several small items and things aren't looking right, maybe all you need is something under them- a book, a tray, a plate, a mirror or picture frame laid on it's back...just something to ground everything. 


  1. lovely job with the shelves and such a great tip! I'm partial to grouping things on top of books because we have tons of them, they anchor a grouping of objects and I can take off the dust jackets to reveal pretty covers that help add a little pop of color!

  2. You are right, Brooke. Boxes, trays, books are all great examples for adding height and achieve balance when you are grouping things together, good tip.

    I am glad you had a wonderful Easter celebration. I didn't go anywhere, my husband was still working on the hardwood floors. I didn't celebrate Easter but I hope to make it a fun tradition for my son next year.

    Have a good day, Brooke!


  3. Vignettes are by far one of my favorite things to do when decorating my home. Love your bookshelf!

  4. That's such a good tip! Oh, and I saw that blue finial at Target the other day and thought of you! I didn't buy it, but I think I might need to go back. It'd look good on my new bookcases!

  5. Thanks! I'm slowly trying to restyle my shelves in my library, so any and all tips are really appreciated. thank you so much for your sweet comment about my house on Emily A Clark today, i really appreciate it:)