Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The alluring art of arranging accessories......

A reminder of the fabulous giveaway I am offering...... Swank Lightingwho has the most beautiful hand blown Murano lamps has generously donated this gorgeous pair of Murano lamps!! The drawing will be  Friday, March 11th 
To be eligible, you have to be a follower or subscriber....that's it! Be sure to visit their site, they truly have some exquisite and very unique lighting...www.swanklighting.com
Hand blown glass lamps from Murano Italy, made exclusively for Swank Lighting.  These lamps are designed after a popular, classic Barovier & Toso lamp from the 1940's.  They stand 24 inches tall to the top of the socket.  The glass is hand blown and loaded with 24kt gold flake with vertical ribs and controlled bubbles.  The hardware is top quality solid brass. They retail for $2700.00

The million dollar question...how to arrange a coffee table, side chest, console, entry table or mantle.There is no right or wrong and no magic formula but ideally you will see different heights and different textures being used when done well.  I personally love the feeling that books give honestly just about anywhere, it firstly reveals something about you, your interests, what excites you and the more interesting the better (so be mindful of the books you display) I love nothing more than a big glossy heavy paperweight of a great design or art book.
 I have stacks of them on everything from coffee tables, to my nightstand to chests, there are no limits, then when you couple that with interesting little objects, or a small collection of something that's when it gets fabulous and personal. 

Some people prefer a less cluttered look with just one or two objects on a table. I think it largely depends on the space, the room, the fussiness of the decor, the colors, there are many contributing factors that would help you determine how much is too much. If you have ever been "stuck" with how to accessorize, hope that these pictures might give some divine inspiration! Remember there are no hard and fast rules, sometimes its a matter of pure experimentation, taking something away, adding, and so on. A pretty container with a fresh orchid is almost always, in my opinion a surefire way to add instant elegance and height to a coffee table, mantle or side chest. Try it and see how you like it! Also I like small interesting frames of loved ones...even put on top of a stack of books, it can look great. Let me know what you think.....whats your opinion when decorating a table, chest or mantle? Some ideas are:

  • A potted orchid
  • Stack of or just one or two coffee table books of a subject that interests you
  • A small crystal or a few crystal objects like balls or obelisks
  • A pair of delicately scaled candlestick lamps
  • A collection of a few smaller frames with pictures of family and friends
  • An urn or small dish with fresh flowers, greenery or fruit
  • A pair of oversized hurricane lamps

A test.....Try not to take in the beauty of each room below but instead, zone right in on the tables or the mantles and pay attention to the placement, colors, textures and heights...see what you think and what you like and don't like! 
I love the understated elegance in this space, a beautiful french console table adorned with a simple pair of bronze lamps and a gorgeous stone urn brimming with vegetables..T.Corrigan
Sometimes less is more...case in point, these delicate silver pieces atop a small hallway chest
William Eubanks designed this glorious master bedroom, simple Oriental lamps, a small silver frame and small silver container of rosebuds is the perfect touch for this serene space
Candler Smith used a gorgeous centerpiece of greenery and a few books on this romantic center hall table in this back foyer
This blue and green room is fabulous...love all the scattered pops of color, kept simple on the coffee table but artistically arranged on the very tall wall of shelving to display interesting objects
This vivid and bold setting gets a pop of colors from the bright pink flowers, a few books and a small china set....on tables with a lower shelf...books work nicely
A good example of how to use height (though for me this would be a bit too tall and distracting)
David Eastons apartment....proof that you can never have too many books on a beautiful round table..see how he placed a few small objects on top?
Suzanne Kasler selected small objects for the nightstands, shorter lamps, a small floral arrangement, a few books and a few small art objects
A pair of topiaries flank either side of this elegant, formal mantle, I like seeing a mirror rest against the wall as opposed to hanging it, not always but sometimes...it works here!
Another  mirror "resting" on the console in front of two lamps..pretty!
Suzanne Kasler chose a small throw and a tray with assorted objects on this covered ottoman
For a chest, sometimes a lamp and a jar or small arrangement is adequate...with the reflection of the mirror, sometimes less is more,Eileen Kathryn Boyd
The collection of small potted orchids on this gilded console looks very elegant in this foyer, Timothy Corrigan
Fabulous setting of blue and white jars in this foyer...simple and perfect, J Tribble 
A funky lamp, a small vase of flowers and a lot of books grace this end table, Decorpad
The holidays are a great time to accessorize, with all the beautiful fresh greenery, holiday ornaments and winter time flowers...this is a beautiful example!
Sometimes less is more such as in this simple white setting, a pair of candlesticks and a small bowl of fruit is just right,Shannon Bowers
Eileen Kathryn Boyd chose something very tall with this side table alongside small objects of different colors and scales, notice the resting mirror on the fireplace
On this center console table, a collection of crystal table objects, and a bronze statue flank a beautiful orchid which you notice is raised high off the table, Timothy Corrigan
For this more transitional bedroom, a simple geometric shaped lamp and a few small objects are all that is needed
I realize this isn't practical day to day but it looks so pretty and definitely gave me a great idea for a spring time arrangement!
Elegant console table with a pair of lamps a bronze and a few framed pictures, Rinfret
A pretty collection white alabaster and marble objects graces this pretty end table
For this small console table, an interesting object in the middle is flanked by a miniature painting and a few small frames, perfect balance
An Indonesian inspired theme continues with the interesting statues whose gilded reflection is caught in the gorgeous mirror,Windsor Smith
Candler Lloyd used a pretty flower arrangement and a stack of books on this small scaled table
Here a large basket is used while smaller objects flank the lamps on both of the end tables..sometimes you can do more on the end and side tables and keep the coffee table clear
The ultimate European country home's foyer...center table with an assortment of interesting objects, statues, frames, candles and books, Timothy Corrigan
A collection of art graces the subdued console and some rustic pieces are appropriately added that feed the feeling of the room, charming and understated
A few petite vases of flowers, a pretty crystal lamp and a small scaled painting add subtle touches to this nightstand arrangement, Decorpad
I like the tray, the flowers and the touch of pale green in the vases for both color and height, the play of colors is done well here, Decorpad
This beautiful center hall is resplendent with blue and white jars, all varying in height and width to add interest, Rinfet
This attractive and regal center table gets an important bust with books and other smaller objects that do not take away from the focus being on the bust, Architectural Digest
Orchids do the trick every time!  Pretty orchid next to a tray with a few objects shorter in height
The height, texture and color of flowers works every time..its a sure thing!
This regal space has a center table with Asian inspired statues and a tall dramatic black vase overflowing with white orchids...Michelle Nussbaumer
Simple and elegant. A tall orchid and black and white photographs successfully compliment the black lacquered console with two white garden stools, Jennifer Ferreira
Beautiful side table with a pair of large containers flanking an oval mirror, very stately
Yes, I know everyones seen this one..but its a beauty! Love the height and pops of color, it works! House Beautiful
Love the hand blown jars in 3 sizes, gives the space volume, texture and reflection,Max and Co.
I like the simplicity of this chest and how there are just 3 large symmetrical items on it

This pretty delicate table has very purposefully placed items in serene colors,Decorpad
Tim Clarke chose an oversized fresh orchid as an elegant backdrop to the oil paintings on display in this circular foyer area....
I personally love a table overloaded with great books..not for everyone, but its "a look"
Mona Haaj chose to put two oriental vases on either side of a large mirror above this elegant mantle...understated and subtle
I like the way this leather covered ottoman has the center tray, the fresh flowers are beautiful and give height and the little jar on top of the books adds a little bit of color and texture
Here a few books are accented with much smaller objects and one larger rounder item
This covered ottoman is used to display a book collection
They got creative here spelling out a word with giant letters..funky and different
Beautiful objects including fresh greenery adorn this mantle, love the alabaster containers!
I like the look of a few smaller paintings or pictures above a fireplace, I think it adds a certain intimacy and warmth to the room
In this silver toned living room...a few objects were placed including two tall white decanters
I like the small oil painting, the simple vase of flowers and a few assorted objects used on this side table, elegant and just enough, Mona Haaj
Always loved this front hall...just a few elegant blue and whites in varying heights are just right
A very orderly and precise arrangement including some greenery, as well as different shapes
Michael Dale chose to put different busts and a few other objects in the same finish on this pretty chest, its busy but successfully done I think because they are all made of the same finish
Books displayed on their backs always look very attractive and orderly
Classic case of less is more, the second shelf gets a series of books while the top of the coffee table just has two decorative blue glasses, flowers and a single book..
Mona Haaj chose books, and a few small objects for this square glass coffee table
Charlotte Moss used the popular formula of a pair of lamps and a shorter object in the middle..pretty!
David Easton went with rich lush greenery in this opulent space
In this soft toned elegant living room, small interesting silver objects and an urn with fresh flowers was used to create height, two pretty plants flank a mirror and sconces above fireplace
I do have a thing for the holidays, will not lie...what a great time to go nuts decorating a mantle....LOVE the pine cones around the mirror, I am going to have to try it this Christmas!
Minimalist in keeping with the decor, one tall item and one smaller rounder item...
Charles Faudree chose beautiful shells and other sea related objects to display in this gorgeous blue painted secretary...the effect is fabulous!
Jean Paul Beaujard chose to use a small urn alongside a crystal lamp, both intended to not take away from the exquisite plate collection on the back wall
This beautiful glass cocktail table has 3 small globes and a few stacks of books
This is an interesting arrangement..I like seeing a collection of prints or small paintings above a fireplace, they added brackets and small statues as well, its very eye catching
Jack Phillips kept the colors monochromatic but choose objects of different heights and textures
Martin Bullard went with beautiful florals in green pots to add subtle color
Photo Jean Allsop creatively uses candlesticks with tight bunches of flowers on this mantle
With a view like this, a few objects are used but its minimal as to not distract from the views
McGill group designed this more modern console in this front hall with an elegant orchid in a pretty silver container, the reflection is caught in the tall mirror

So..what are your thoughts? What are your secrets or tried and true methods to adding accessories to a coffee table, console or mantle? Would love to hear if you have a favorite and how you like to arrange things...always fun to hear your ideas!
Have an enchanting day!