In conjunction with the accessorizing series I’ve been running, I had a reader write with a specific question that others of you may have.
“I saw your website online, and I am hoping you can help me. I am a single dad with all the design ability of your average garden slug…. although I am probably insulting the slugs. My house furniture is very spartan at the moment, so I have a lot of space to work with. I have recently acquired a number of small china statues (at the moment, only about 5 or 6, but I hope to add to that number). Ceramic or porcelain and delicate but all are very light colors – mostly white with gold trim and some gentle coloring. All of them are between 6-12 inches tall, I would think.
I like these figurines and I want to show them off in my living room. The walls are a light tan with an accent dark brown wall. There is a sand colored couch, and a couple of white bookcases with DVD’s and books, and finally a TV. I am wondering what piece of furniture I can purchase (what might it look like) to showcase these wonderful figurines in? Do you have any ideas? Thanks for any ideas. Alex”
Thanks for the question Alex. There are a few options for displaying treasured figurines – table top as in on a console table behind the sofa, a curio cabinet (they usually have glass doors to protect the collectibles) or maybe some wall shelves. Since you asked, here are visuals of those suggestions – your style looks like it’s leaning slightly modern so I mostly suggested shapes that would work with that style.
This console is great because not only does it provide a tabletop surface for a lamp or something behind the sofa, it also has drawer storage and shelves for display of the figurines. Definitely a hard working piece of furniture that would also work in an entryway. (walnut-cherry console table, overstock.com ($349)
Delano Console Table from Amazon ($130) also serves the same 3 purposes, has a more modern black finish and the “X” detailing on the sides.
This Wakefield bookcase (overstock.com $209) is another option for display. Perhaps you could use 2 of them and flank the TV stand, almost creating an entertainment center effect. It would balance the wall, give you display and book space and create a focal point. Or try the Winsome bookcase #59248 from Amazon ($111). Winsome Wood 3-Tier Bookcase, Espresso
If you’d prefer something taller that would hold more (you clearly have lots of books), consider something like this stylish bookcase. (overstock.com Danbury bookcase $221)
A curio cabinet is a more formal answer – something like this from CostPlus ($350)
CostPlus had an image that might help you visualize what 2 cabinets flanking your TV stand might look like.
The final suggestion I made to you is for floating wall shelves. These are readily available in lots of styles, sizes, colors and prices. Here are a couple just to get you started.
The option below is from BallardDesigns.com ($80-120).
I had a client that had similar shelves in her home and here are before and after photos. The client wanted to use as many of her things as possible: the large round plate had actually been attached to the wall so she didn’t want the shelves moved (holes to patch, etc) - ideally I would have lowered them 8-12 inches and centered them over the sofa, not on the wall. In the ‘before’ the family photo was throwing the arrangement out of balance…moving it up closer to the shelves created a more cohesive arrangement. Alex, you can see here that she had a light colored figurine against a light wall and it doesn’t show up nearly as well as the new, darker accessories.
I would suggest that the shelving go on the accent painted wall for highest contrast – your figurines would likely fade away on the white wall. Also, put a silk plant on the shelves among the figures so that it adds a different texture and color and brings some life to the grouping like I did above.
Finally, even though you didn’t ask my advice about this, I would suggest a couple of simple fixes until you add the new furniture. Move the taller white bookcase to the corner (right of the TV) – it causes the wall to feel unbalanced in it’s current position. Watch for a silk plant sale and add a plant 4-6′ tall on the left side of the TV until you decide about adding another bookcase.
Move the shorter bookcases to behind the sofa to serve as an interim console table and reduce the visual clutter along those walls. Or you might try one next to the arm of the sofa with the shelves facing out so it can serve as an end table. You’ll be amazed by how much more homey and cozy the room feels with these small changes.