The talented Tracery design team and I decided it would be fun to do a style session with you each month. This is where we share some simple design ideas that you can use in your own home. So this week I packed up my camera and headed over to Tracery’s store in Rosemary Beach.
We thought you would enjoy one classic chest styled three different ways. With holidays approaching, it’s fun mixing it up and styling your tabletops or entries to reflect the season. Just like our wardrobes, our home environments can and should change and vary with time. Doing this keeps things interesting and breathes new life into our anchor pieces such as tables, sofas, coffee tables, etc.
Here are our three looks. We felt partial to begin with white. ; )
1. MOD + MONOCHROMATIC
I like the crisp, modern elements of white against the rustic finish of the chest. Makes an interesting contrast.
- Add a varying visual line. We grouped the items together, basically creating an invisible line going a little higher on the outside and lowering toward the middle, or focal point, of the chest. Do you see how the tallest grouping is closer to the outside and then tapers down to the middle section with the bird on the books? It gives the eye a nice resting point.
- Incorporate texture. In monochromatic schemes, don’t be afraid to mix sharp with soft, straight with curvy, modern with classic. It makes the grouping so much more interesting!
- Layer, layer, layer. Nothing says modern design like leaning a picture on a mirror or layering a smaller piece over a larger one. The key is to not make it look too “fixed.”
We started out with this…
Here is Paige, Tracery founder and Interior Designer, setting up with Anna Kay looking on. Promise next time I’ll get better shots of everyone so you can “meet” the team!
Paige’s Design Thoughts:
“With white texture is very important. White has a clean, crisp feel and a timeless quality all at the same time. Working with classic designs while incorporating small elements of current fashion are always my favorite looks. I love to work in all white.”
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2. AUTUMN + ORGANIC
We had fun playing around with this one…it was probably our favorite of the three looks.
- Take a cue from Mother Nature. For a more organic vibe, don’t fuss too much with precision. If you think about it, nature is more spontaneous in its own setting; trees in a forest are never perfectly lined up, but rather scattered about. Take a less formal approach with your styling in this kind of grouping.
- Use exaggerated texture and earthy colors. Again, refer to nature …when looking at a scene of a lake, a garden, a field, you’ll notice there is usually one main color mixed with all kinds of shapes and textures surrounding it…then small pops of color.
- Don’t worry with too much with symmetry. While you want to still balance your grouping with its negative space (the space between or around objects) you don’t have to make your pieces look perfectly symmetrical. For example, if you have three candlesticks on one side of a console, you can balance that out with something equal in size or space on the other side of the console versus mirroring it with three other candle sticks.
Our grouping started out like this.
We began with a plain wall but decided that a big pattern on the wall could add so much visual interest to the ensemble. This is a classic example that when you accessorize, it doesn’t have to be perfect from the beginning. It takes some playing around and experimenting. Here is Bess trying out a painting in the mix before we committed to the pattern on the walls.
I am S M I T T E N with these little chalkboard hangers at Tracery…a bonus is they also happen to be magnetic. They’re surprisingly affordable [hello, small one is only $11] and perfect for any nook in your home. I’d like to have one by my back door for posting reminders and hanging coupons and small notes to grab on my way out. For our grouping, we used these magnets which nicely popped against the black. Also, you’ll notice we ditched the orange spheres and replaced them with the larger, mossy ones.
Here’s a final look.
Paige’s Design Thoughts:
“Texture is sooo important in good design. Texture through architectural materials, fabrics, rugs, art, all come together to create complete looks for a room. It’s like pulling together a good twead jacket, your favorite jeans, a great colorful scarf, worn-in boots, and a pair of diamond stud earrings… Perfect! Mixing textures in your home is just like fashion. Think of your room, or a chest like this one, just like an outfit.”
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3. SOFT + GLAM
This look is airy and more simplistic than the other styles. Great look for a bedroom , vanity or anywhere you might want a touch of sparkle. I would love to see all of this mercury and glass mixed with live garland and cranberries for a holiday vibe. Hmmm, maybe an upcoming style post?
- Simple is good. When you’re working with a lighter and more elegant aesthetic, think of these three S’s: Simplicity, shine and shape. For instance, the graceful silhouettes of champagne flutes look far more elegant when placed alone on a silver tray versus adding anything else. In the champagne grouping you have all three components: simplicity, shine and shape. Voila!
- Classy, not Klassy. Use elements that are equal in style and visual interest. While it’s always fun to throw in an unexpected object or accessory, you want to be careful not to mix too many trendy pieces in your glamorous grouping or the look fizzle.
- Less is more. So often our design budgets don’t allow us to purchase quite as much as we would like to at the time. That’s okay because when you’re working with this particular style, minimal is lovely and far more chic than overly-done. A vase with fresh flowers next to a single shiny picture frame is très chic and simple. Also, timeless fashion can be a wonderful muse when creating this look. Think of a string of pearls with a simple cashmere sweater. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple!
Paige’s Design Thoughts:
“Glam always has a little bit of shine but not too much. It definitely harkins to grace Kelley or Audrey Hepburn. Mercury is a great way to have a little bling, as it has that slightly worn-in feel. With glam you have to be careful that the metalic element does not look retro 70’s but instead looks elegant. Think in terms of mercury glass or antique mirror mixed with glass. Those are good basics to start a glam look!”
We realized that we needed some pretty to go in our glam grouping, so Paige stepped outside the store and picked these lovelies. The necklace, I’m proud to say, is made by local jewelry designer, Alison Craft. I love pearls and leather, and her designs are amazing.
Thanks to my Tracery peeps for taking part in a fun style session. If there are any items you like in this post, give the girls a call or check out their affordable online shop right here. I have already spotted a few Christmas gifts I’d like to pick up for some family and friends.
Which look did you like best: 1, 2 or 3?