I’m back with another decorating 101 post.
I know. This is probably stuff you learned in utero…but some of us have extra large heads that take extra long to marinate information. So just bare with me & feel free to mock my cranium size at any time. I’ve heard it all. It’s like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! (name that movie)
Anyhoo…back to decorating.
Last time we talked about putting together decor for a console table…specifically a certain combination that seems to be a favorite for Pottery Barn masters..the concept was dubbed the ‘Short Tall Combo’. We reviewed how there seemed to be a trend with how the pros had two groups – a tall group and a short group.
We talked about leaving space on either side of the arrangement.
And I told you my theory about the width ratio…75% of the total width of the decor items would be the short group…25% of the total width of the decor items being the tall group.
So now I want to add another concept to our decorating 101 book.
It’s want I like to call clusters.
Let’s for example take a long gander at this console table:
Now stop looking at the specifics…like that amazing vase and the decorators ability to work peach colored walls like a neutral. I want you to look at the table top.
I noticed that in every table top, within the short & tall groups there are clusters.
To be more specific…there are clusters of three objects…or clusters of three clusters.
This is what I like to call 1-2-3 clusters. And they are the star of this post…hence the title
Each group has three objects creating a cluster of decor items. The left hand cluster is the vase of flowers, the large picture and the little stack of books with a wooden bowl. The right hand cluster is the three bowls of various sizes.
The various sizes is an important feature. Each cluster has three different heights…one tall, one medium, and one short…and when we group them together they are creating flow.
This variety of heights allows our eye to transition easily from short to medium to tall back to short again - creating a circular flow…which in aesthetics is very important. It’s why God made boobs round…I’m sure of it. If the girls were square, boys probably wouldn’t like em so much
The point is – It’s important that when creating even small clusters, our objects are all varied in height.
So now that we have ‘clusters’ under our decorating belt…let’s combine that concept with a twist of jalepeno. That’s right…we are gonna get spicy. But before I just blurt it out – let’s first take a pop quiz….
WHAT DO THESE 3 PHOTOS HAVE IN COMMON WHEN IT COMES TO DECORATING IN CLUSTERS?
The answer I am looking for is BOOKS.
One of the clusters in each of the three photos is books.
Take another look:
Now how does a stack of books relate to our cluster theory but add a spicy kick? Well, its a group of objects…and if you allow your eye to outline the shape of a stack of books – it does still create a circle…with some jagged edges just like my head….and they are still a group in each photo that holds true to our short-tall theory….and well, they are good for you. Readers make leaders people.
Basically what I am saying is that a group of books can take the place of a 123 cluster. When you combine the books with another cluster of decor objects – it can be a very pleasing combination….let’s call it the BOOK CLUSTER COMBO.
Now let’s review…we went over clusters. We went over the short-tall combo. And we went over the book cluster combo. Let’s see these bad boys in action:
So now…how do you take this home and put it into play? How do you apply this theory to real-life decorating? How does this help you?
Frankly…I don’t know.
I just know that it helped me. Take for instance my living room console table. I first created a stack of books with one of my little birdies on top.
Then, I knew that the other side would require a ’123 cluster’…so I grabbed two vases – one with faux artichokes and one with faux lilys and a photo frame. Each one has various heights and I put them together on the other side to get my Book-Cluster Combo.
Looks pretty good to me!
But why stop there?!?
I put the theory to test on my coffee table where I also created another 123 cluster…within a removable tray…afterall, Jeremy & I use this as our dining space on most nights.
It just so happens that now our after-dinner mints (now vase filler) are readily available for taco night. Dontcha just love it when decorating meets function?! Let’s just say ”Eso es caliente!” together like a Spanish Paris. (Mom, that means “That’s hot!”)
So you can imagine how excited I was to have this concept in my decorating arsenal. I went around the house saying “One. Two. Three!” and moving things about until I had accomplished ‘flow’ in all my little spaces. But you pros probably already knew this one, didn’t ya? You probably are thinking…Katie, seriously….this is a juvenile decorating concept…in which I reply….I told you…this giant head is to blame. And when that excuse runs out, I whip out the pregnancy card. It works everytime.
Seriously though…am I the last person on earth to realize this? Surely, there are more folks out there like me! Please tell me I am not alone. Or maybe you learned a different decorating concept recently and can’t wait to share it! Blurt it out. Immediately. It’ll make us all feel better. As for those of us that gleaned a tiny shmidge from this little decorating analysis, I would like to challenge you to look at your side tables or your console tables or even your coffee table to see if the ‘cluster’ theory can help you create a little more flow in your space. And remember – books are your friend…in more ways than one.