Do you have guests come over and you want them to look around your place and realize that it looks good? Styling just a few surfaces in your home or apartment can make a big impact. It can make it look like you decorated your place with intention. Follow these five styling tips.
It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money.
1.) Use The Rule of Three – Place things in groups of three when you are styling. For example, books, a plant and a book end. Books, a plant and a photo. I almost always use books because I have so many. I recommend taking off the paper cover. The spines are usually much nicer looking than the paper cover.
2.) Use Items that Vary in Height – There should be something low, something medium and something high. Not everything at one level. For example, if you have a tall lamp, choose a shorter plant and a medium height picture frame. A flat display can be visually boring, the eye wants to see contrast.
3.) Use Items that Have Contrasting Colors – With books it can be easy to add many colors. For example, if you have a few blue books, don’t use a blue picture frame and a blue lamp. Mix up the colors and use a silver lamp and a wood-tone picture frame. It adds interest if one of the items is a metal, silver, gold or black.
4.) Use Items Made of Different Materials – Use something wood, something metal and something paper. You get the idea. If you have a wood lamp, don’t use a wood picture frame, try metal. If you have a white wood lamp use porcelain pot for your plant.
5.) Don’t overcrowd – Your eye likes to a break in the action. Try leaving some “negative” blank space so it looks like you did this on purpose.
Quick and Cheap Styling Props
Quick cheats for making something look styled. Every time I style a surface I shop around the house and end up with some combination of these items: plants, books , lamp, picture frame , vase, paper or wood box, book ends and baskets. You can also add something purely sculptural for even more interest.
This is the dresser styled three ways so you can see all of the elements.
The first example is a lamp a plant and a photo in a cheap frame. The lamp was purchased for $10 at a thrift store. The planter and plants are from Home Depot. The frame was also a thrift store find with a photo of my first dog.
The second has a snake plant (almost impossible to kill) in a Home Depot pot, books with the jacket off and a book end.
The third option has a few more items so you can see that you can just keep adding and taking things away until you like the look. This version has an Ikea planter and plants, which are really inexpensive. I swapped out the lamp from another room. This version has more to it but it has the right variety of height, color and material.
Now this looks like something my mom might do. I feel like such a grown up at forty something.
Have you tried style a small place in your home? If so, what did you try?