By Bianca Tzatzagos
Real homes don’t look like furniture catalogues – and nor should they! Along with great design and a few carefully chosen furniture pieces, all the best homes are full of the stuff of life: holiday souvenirs, inherited furniture, gifts from grandparents, family photos and quirky collections.
Instead of shying away from all that good stuff, west elm’s new modernism embraces the everyday. This is style with soul. And here are a few ideas on how to make the look work in your home:
1. The new modernism is multi-layered. Imperfect, handcrafted objects humanise the clean, liveable lines of mid-century style. This means you’ve got licence to layer your streamlined sofa with a brightly hand-embroidered cushion, or bring character to your console with a hand-hewn glazed terracotta vase. Don’t be afraid to mix different styles, eras and global influences – your home is one-of-a-kind, after all.
2. Discard the unessential. Build your home on a foundation of simplicity, small pleasures and pieces made to matter. If it doesn’t hold essential use, sentimental charm or inherent beauty, then reconsider owning it at all.
3. Have a place for everything. New multi-purpose storage furniture packs style and function into small (or sprawling) spaces. Keep it from looking cluttered by choosing furniture with a mix of open shelving and display surfaces, plus cupboards and drawers for stashing the unsightly. If everything you own has a dedicated place, then displays feel deliberate rather than disordered. And when even the most ordinary objects get their own pedestal, it instantly elevates them to something special.
4. Learn the art of display. There are no hard and fast rules, so be sure to experiment until it feels right to you. But here are a few secrets from the west elm home stylists:
- Group objects by colour tone, such as arranging cool blue glass and white marble against clean white furniture, or pairing all warm and earthy tones with rustic wood shelving.
- Let things breathe. A little negative space in a display goes a long way! Consider grouping some small objects close together and then offsetting the display with complementary larger objects positioned slightly further away.
- Use shelving and display furniture in conjunction with the adjacent wall space. Walls are a great way to display collections, especially when you’re short on surface space. Consider hanging favourite dishes or trays using plate hangers from the hardware store, or even adding some picture ledges or wall brackets to house a few favourite things.
–Bianca Tzatzagos works for west elm. They make it simple to express your personal style at home. Shop online or book a free session with a certified home stylist in your home or in a store for one-on-one advice.