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Style Like a Pro

Accessorizing your home can be intimidating and overwhelming. When shopping for new accessories options are endless and seeing your existing items in a new light can be challenging.

So how does one curate objects and display them in a way that pulls a space together without seeming too sparse or cluttered?

Here are a few steps to help you style your home like a pro:

Step 1: Determine your style

Minimalist interiors tend to have fewer accessories. Fewer may sound easier but it actually puts more emphasis and importance on the ones you choose. If your style is more traditional, transitional or eclectic you’ll want to display more items without going overboard. Remember editing is just as important as adding when it comes to styling.

Step 2: What do you want to style?

Common areas are mantels, coffee, side and console tables, sideboards, dinning areas, counter tops, media units, desks, bookshelves, bedside tables and built-ins – basically anywhere there’s a flat surface that deserves extra attention.

Step 3: Start gathering

Whether brand new purchases or old favourites it’s important the accessories you choose represent who you are and what you love. They should tell your story, start conversations and make your house feel like a home.

Step 4: Be fearless!

Courage is critical at this early stage in order to think outside the box. Scour your house for everyday items like books, photographs, fruit, flowers and even seasonal objects from the outdoors. Just about anything works when grouped together and natural or unexpected elements add life to your décor.

Step 5: Group similar items together

Think in terms of colour, finish, texture, vintage, style, scale etc. Certain items make more sense when displayed together. If you’re a collector use this opportunity to display your passion in one designated area of your home. For a sophisticated look, add accessories that match your wall colour or colour scheme in a contrasting texture to further emphasize your décor.

Step 6: Arrange similar items by size

Think in terms of small, medium and large within your existing groups of like items. Several small items can be arranged together using a tray but most objects look best when grouped in odd numbers of varying heights.

Step 7: Think Scale

The items you chose should balance the weight and scale of the object they’re accessorizing. If all objects are the right scale but a similar size, layer other items like books underneath to vary their height. Rest assured layering is always a good idea when it comes to styling your home.

Step 8: Consider context and functionality

Where do you want certain groups of items displayed? Are some groupings or items more suited to your mantel than your console table? What objects are more practical than decorative and need to be placed within certain areas like an entrance?

Step 9: Begin accessorizing

Start with your favourite items and prioritize these groups throughout the room. Think in terms of a pyramid with the tallest item in the back or off to one side. Instead of hanging a single photo or mirror above your mantel, consider layering and leaning several pieces in complimentary frames or arranging several photos and mirrors to form a grid.

Step 10: Fill in some, not all, negative space

Each surface should have one object that stands out and grounds the others but it’s equally important we allow the eye to rest in between. Play with different items in different locations to determine what looks best then edit to minimize the risk of clutter.

Step 11: Know the rules in order to break them!

Symmetry is most pleasing to the human eye but doesn’t have to be boring. Instead of placing two tall candlesticks on either side of your mantel, group them together and balance them with a different object of similar height on the other side. Asymmetry can be just as pleasing to the eye when done properly. Look at the surface you’re accessorizing like a grid. Play up its height on one side and mirror the other with mostly negative space. The end result is certain to be less predictable and more visually interesting.

Your accessories should evolve over time with your décor. Be fearless, use your imagination, think outside the box and look to magazines or your favourite retail stores for inspiration.

Most important remember styling your home is a process that warrants a certain amount of trail and error. As long as you incorporate items you love and tell your story you really can’t go wrong.

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