The Art of Display

The finishing touches to a room can make or break it’s final appeal. You maybe happy with the arrangement of the main items of furniture, but the room  could look  unfinished and unwelcoming without your personal additions to the walls, books and ornaments. This aspect of decorating can be difficult, especially when faced with a mixture of items, which do not necessarily sit well together.


Work with a colour code, so your displays are connected to the rooms design. For example use the colour’s in a painting to blend or match the rooms colour’s.  If the room is fairly monochrome, add an accent colour in the painting or artwork. The style of painting, wall art, plates or mirrors need not necessarily match, so long as they incorporate the same colour’s, or theme or just frames, an interesting group arrangement can be created. A painting or collection often looks best if placed on a wall above an item of furniture such as a sofa, side table or fireplace, because the furniture ‘anchors’ the display.  A symmetrical design works well in a bedroom, behind a bedhead for instance,  as the visual order has a calming effect.

If you are unsure how to group your items together try cutting templates of the items and stick them to the wall (use a tape which will not damage the wall) and rearrange them until you are happy. This saves lots of unnecessary and unwanted holes in the wall.


To avoid shelves or display cabinets looking like a bric-a-brac shop, again group subject matter, or colour’s together. Use repetition to add impact by displaying three of the same items together. Add texture and interest combining different elements such as copper, glass, pewter or wood. If you have a treasured collection, display altogether for impact. Sea shells in a glass container in a bathroom for example. Look for inspiration in shop displays, and observe any ideas which appeal to you and think would work well in your home.

Change your displays periodically to reflect the changing seasons and add interest. The simplest way is to display a vase of fresh flowers. this instantly lifts the room.

Items used daily can be displayed attractively, using the same basic rules. On kitchen shelves use  storage containers as the display. China too can be stored as a display.

To avoid a book shelf looking untidy, unify by colour, or collection. Never have books just laid haphazardly on top of other books due to lack of space. This just looks untidy and is not create a great display.


All picture examples from Pinterest.

2 thoughts on “The Art of Display

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for your feedback. Sometimes it is difficult to pick a subject which is interesting and helpful.

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