The art of arrangement
As a general rule, grouping similar objects together in groups of three works better than a pair of things. Eclectic collections supply visual interest and random picture frames look perfectly find as long as there is variety to create an engaging visual feast. When displaying only a few objects, make sure they are in keeping with the overall style of a room. Three church candles on a mantelpiece will look good in a simply styled room, for instance, but will get lost in a room where riotous colours dominate.
A lined-up display works best if all the individual elements are quite different from one another. In Vicente Wolf's New York loft he has ranged a collection of black and white photographs along two seamless shelves to create a gallery beneath which many styles of occasional chair make a witty parade.
Rita Konig prefers a random grouping of images above a fireplace. A mix of canvases and framed paintings carry a subject matter of flowers and nature. Grouping items by theme can work well.
Jonathan Adler's collection of 1960s Venetian glassware is humourous and colourful against white walls and fireplace in a traditional room. They are as unexpected as they are funny.
Modern-day interpretations of apothecary jars have a delightful, decorative, pharmacy-feel to them. Vivid colours and a lot of detailing make them ideal for a striking window display.
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Excerpted from Decorate by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick Copyright © 2011 by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick. Photographs Copyright © 2011 by Debi Treloar. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.