Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Decorate Around (and on Top of) Tall Furniture

A properly styled tall armoire or shelving unit really gives your room a finished look. Although, these pieces often become way stations for clutter, when done well, they can bring color, texture, and additional interest from the floor to the ceiling. You can easily turn this area into a statement of your personal style, whether prefer any style from minimalist to French country. In this post, we’ll use the Debonaire Etagere from the Paula Deen Collection by Universal to help demonstrate how you can style a tall piece of furniture for maximum impact.

Paula Deen etagere at Baer's Furniture

Gather Decor Elements

Begin by assembling art, accessories, and other items that represent the colorway of your space, or choose a single color. Gather more than you need in a variety of sizes so that you have enough to work with. A grouping of white pottery or a collection of unrelated items can attract as much attention as objects in multiple colors. When you look at what you’ve gathered, mind items that seem unrelated. This is fine, just be sure to restrict the final selection to items that go with—not necessarily match—the function and style of the room. An over-sized piece of pottery or dramatic piece of art might be all you need. Choose items that either contrast against the wall behind your display or go for a tone-on-tone look with different shades and textures of the same color.

Practice Arranging the Shelf Space

Once you’ve gathered all your items, practice arranging them. You can use a table or even the piece itself. This is where you will edit the collection. Practice various groupings and, if you wish, take photographs to review later. Your goal here is to make the best use of the vertical space between the top of the furniture and the ceiling, so be sure to use at least one large piece. When arranging items of different colors, separate any of the same color with one of a different color to make them stand out.

Use Display Helpers

Use display helper to create height and interest — these can be books, stands, risers, or small easels. Books are usually readily available and can be place on their sides to be used as stands. If you need them, you can easily find risers and small easels at craft, hobby, and home décor stores. Small easels are perfect for small paintings, prints, and charger plates. Baskets can be used to help hide storage and bring in soft, natural materials to an arrangement might need a little softness. Add lighting, small spotlights or recessed lighting to draw attention to the top of the furniture, or choose a piece with built in spotlight, such as the Debonaire Etagere from the Paula Deen collection.

tall furniture decorations

Accent the Furniture — Don’t Overpower with Clutter

Here is where editing is your friend. It’s tempting to use this space to show off all the things you love. Hold back. Cluttering the space on top of the furniture will defeat the purpose of accenting the furniture and can also overpower the rest of the room’s décor. Use items with varying scales, but avoid picking too many small items. If you can’t see it from 10 feet away, you won’t be able to see it when it is 10 feet above you. Your smaller collectibles should complement the larger pieces. You can group three items and leave some room between them and another grouping or larger piece. The size of the top’s surface and the style of the room are great guides for determining the number of pieces you use.

Tying it All Together with Decorations on Your Tall Furniture

Since the top of the piece is not at eye level, think not about decorating on top of it, but just try to accentuate or add to the height. This isn’t the place to create a vignette, but a place to highlight some of your larger pieces. Objects such as large ginger jars, big wooden bowls or baskets, or you could even hang a big piece of art or a vintage sign.

Once you’ve completed your arrangement, let it rest for a bit. Maybe in a week or two, something catches your eye as being off, you can revise, edit, and tinker until you have the exact look you want. If you are interested in a tall piece of furniture for your home, check out the Paula Deen collection. Find a Baer’s Furniture showroom near you.

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