the art of arranging

beautifully styled interior design doesn’t happen by accident. so much of what i admire in my favorite spaces goes beyond this paint color or that fabric choice — it’s that someone somewhere made the conscious decision that this art would be best on that wall, that these frames would work better than those ones, that this book should stand next to that one, and that this table here would look better with that lamp sitting atop it. it’s the act of staging and styling that lends each of these spaces its polish and its wow factor. here is a compilation of what i deem to be beautifully styled spaces:
this space wouldn’t be nearly so extraordinary if it weren’t for the stacks of books placed on various surfaces throughout the room. clear lamps on heavy hardcovers, a vase of flowers on a pile of old favorites, the dark spines against the light boxes on the coffee table…
three circular mirrors break up gridlike shelving filled with various titles and trinkets. don’t you love the splash of red shining through the open back bookcase?
the coral and lucite had me at hello but this space is definitely worth more than a cursory once-over. for instance, i wouldn’t instinctively think to put a pair of candlesticks in a bookcase, but don’t they look better there than they would hiding in some cabinet?
more coral, more candlesticks, but a very different vibe. there’s no doubt it’s a grown-up room, given the intricate bust and the fancy candelabra, but there are also plenty of features to suggest that someone actually lives here. the throw pillows aren’t relegated to the corners of the couch but rather in the middle where they might actually be used, there are at least five stacks of books in an arm’s reach, and if you look closely there’s a deck of cards just waiting to be played…
now who walked into this space and decided that the frames and the objets d’art should be arranged asymmetrically, ascending toward one corner of the room? does that kind of vision just come naturally to some people? it’s brilliant, it’s different, and it works. i love it.

22 thoughts on “the art of arranging

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  1. the arrangements in those shelves are great inspiration to draw from. i would definitely use that as my resource. the orderly stacks of books just spells out that the owner demands things to be in order in that house! lovely…you have the eye for beauty! maryann

  2. LOVE that last space – and I so wish I was the designer who thought of that! The stack of green boxes are just as important as the assymetry, I think! Marija

  3. Styling is a huge part of pulling off an amazing interior, you are so right. Your images only serve to really bring this point home, especially the last one. Maybe its wishful thinking, but I like to think that looking at, and thinking about, this stuff, serves to fuel my own inner stylist!

  4. The last image screams organization! I need something like that in my home. Thanks for the idea.

    Read my post today…very fitting for you, as you’ll be there next week. 🙂 You’re so lucky you get to be there next week. Love that city!

  5. You are so right! Good design doesn’t happen by chance….it occurs after much work, thought and art is put in motion. I love these images you have chosen..beautiful work and Happy Easter!
    Frances