Nate Berkus, Designer
“I don’t care if you pick up something off the street or pick up a rock on the side of a hiking trail – you have to combine items of different ages and different styles. Otherwise, it gets really boring.” And, he said this: “There’s got to be some natural element (in a tablescape). A glass vase filled with sand and a candle, seashells that you picked up on the beach, and one framed photograph is a tablescape – and it’s not something you need to spend a lot of money on. Bring God’s work in, and make it your work.”
One of my favorite bookshelf vignettes is this mixture of styles and pieces. The art is a gift from a friend, the figurine was my mom’s from when we lived in Taiwan and the polished driftwood was polished by my mom. Nate’s got it exactly right that a blending of “stuff” doesn’t have to be expensive to be attractive. These pieces have been part of various vignettes and displays over the last few years, but this is my favorite way to use them. The blue from the Chinese man is played up in the modern art and the horizontal line of the driftwood surrounds the figurine and connects all the pieces.
A carved, cracked stone (with a favorite saying), a textured candle and a colorful rock all add character to the top of this rattan and iron table top. Following Nate’s premise, I combined different elements and brought in something from outside for a successful, interesting grouping.
Catherine Malandrino, Fashion Designer
“I need contrast — the old and the new, the rough and the soft. The clash of it all is very sexy.”
Antique bergere chairs contrast with a ultra modern lucite coffee table.
A room filled with contrasts of style, of shape and of color. Straight, simple, modern lines in the sofa contrast with the elaborate French mirror and table. A simple white tablecloth contrasts with bright red chairs and an ornate crystal chandelier.
This small apartment is another study in contrasts, though more subtle. The roll arm sofa is very traditional while the Saarinen table in the corner is very mid-century modern and the almost ethnic coffee table provides another style contrast. The rustic (antique) table in the foreground introduces yet another element of interest.
Bunny Williams, Interior Designer
“Minimalist rooms can be so beautiful, but I can’t live in one – I love objects too much.”
Remember our Thumbs Up/Down about minimalism a couple weeks ago? The visual appeal in a minimal room photograph is that it’s so clean and each shape profile is important. The reality is…..where can we keep all our STUFF? I agree with Bunny and as I tell my hubby – I love my stuff!
This shabby chic style demonstrates how some of us like to have our favorite things out on display.
I’m all about bookcases – I have a row of 5 Ikea cases that are filled with books, my collections, photographs and rocks and whatever catches my eye. I love staging them and rearranging the accessories for a fresh look. I’m always on the lookout for new display ideas in bookcases.
Someday I’m going to try this – I love the idea of a painted wall behind the open shelves – or paint the back of the bookshelves….hmmm, maybe a summer project?
Are there any other quote collectors out there? Do you have a designer’s credo that you follow? What/who speaks to you? Emails or comments are always welcome. And if you’re struggling to find your style or with any other design dilemma, we’d love to help.
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