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How to display your treasures

November 16, 2009

Sometimes trying to display something nicely just works out very easily by chance. You put something together and it simply works. And sometimes you can move and change, and exchange and move again and you just never seem to get it right.

If you know the concepts of how to display even the most unexciting things will look fab and will attract their own attention. I think the way something is displayed is often what makes something interesting – more so than what it actually is.

So there are a few tips you can use to try to get it right the first time.
  1. Don’t just put stuff up to fill up a space or an empty shelf. Tell a story with your items and make sure you really like the items as well.
  2. Find your number one thing – put this either in the center or a little bit off center of where you are displaying. If it is not large enough you can always lean it on something else or give it height by putting it on top of other things like a pile of books, little boxes or anything that allows it to get visually more space.
  3. Using this one item as your starting point, create a triangle visually. You can “pull” your triangle’s corners as much as you want to give it a very wide base or make it very pointy. I usually prefer the wide based triangle displays.
Here I went with a very stretched out triangle because there was not much variety in height. I started with the pitcher and worked from there.

After you have your triangle you would want to make the edges a little fuzzy by having things sticking out a little or being just a little off – mix in colors, different textures, shapes and so no.

Though you want to match things up that are of similar material or colors – you would also want some contrast in there. For example you could use complementary colors which are colors opposite each other on the color wheel – blue and yellow, orange and purple, red and green etc. If want to keep it more monochromatic you can use various tones and shades of one color – like different shades of browns. Play around with it until it works.The most important part is adding your own personal touch. I love a touch of whimsy and using items in ways they were not originally intended – a wine glass for a candle holder, a pot for a vase, a heavy statue for a book stand.Things that are too small to hold their own can be groups on a little plate or tray – anything of similar theme, color, or shape can be places together. Some of my bracelets are hard to hang and too pretty to hide away so they get some limelight on this plate.

Here I paired my old type-writer with a photograph with carved letters and next to it I leaned a huge R that used to be part of a sign where I work. I kind of feel like they are all telling some sort of story. Not sure what but I think it all works well together.

And check out the Department of Transportations addition below….Isn’t it great to see we are all on to the same idea here 🙂

I personally like to display in a bit of a whimsical way. I like to pair really small with really large so I figure I just write a separate blog entry for that. Stay tuned!
(photograph by Roxanne)


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