A little master styling

I have pretty much the most exciting news in the world (at least in the blogging world) – You’ll have to wait just a little bit to get the FULL scoop, but as a teaser I’ll let you know that a photographer is scheduled to come to the house tomorrow for a big photo shoot! I’m not sure exactly when my secret feature will go live, but you can bet your bippy that I’ll let you know as soon as it does…

With that cliff-hanger said, I’ve been hustling all over the house trying to get things in perfect shape. I know I can’t get EVERYTHING done because of budget and time constraints, but I’m doing what I can to get a couple of last-minute tweaks out of the way before that camera starts clicking. One such project has been the art in our master bedroom. After being gifted a beautiful Crate and Barrel leaning shelf for the wedding, I was in need of rearranging the art prints we had up on the bedroom wall to accommodate. (Sorry for the glare…it’s not easy to photograph glass frames directly across from a window…)

Remember my laughable Photoshop mock-up of how I planned on hanging the art alongside the shelf? I wanted to keep my gold-trimmed prints up, so the idea was to flank them down the sides of the shelf to sort of frame it out.

A couple of minutes of hammering later and we were all done – Kind of fun to see my mock-up imagination come to life.

But you may have noticed that the shelf, while sleek and tall and beautiful as ever, was in dire need of some styling. A couple of the shelves remained empty and, what WAS there seemed a bit mismatched and sad.

When styling shelves or any tabletop surface, I have a pretty standard system. First I grab a box of decorative accessories that I store in my studio closet. I like to shift and rearrange little pieces throughout the house to keep things interesting – By keeping overflow at the ready, I have extra ammunition when working on projects like this one. Then I lay everything out on the floor and spend time testing out the options. I like to group things with different heights so that nothing seems too forced or too balanced, and I go for a good mix of shape, color and texture as well.

After a bit of arranging, leaning back to take it in and then rearranging some more, I was finally left with a pretty shelf full of pieces I adore.

The shelf pictured below is the only one that I kept the same – I loved the colors together and it was simple enough to not be overwhelming. The owl was a really special birthday gift from my parents. I think he deserves his own post though, so I’ll share more about him soon.

And here’s the “after” once more:

Things were finally starting to look up for this wall in our bedroom after the art was rearranged and the styling was taken care of. This particular wall is a bit of a conundrum in our bedroom since it’s too small for our bed to fit (we’ve tried) – The shelf and set of chairs is one of the best ways we’ve found to fill it up without being too obtrusive for flow.

Although I was initially really liking the set up, it took me a couple of weeks to realize that something was still a bit “off.” The more I thought about it, the collection just read too symmetrical to me – Shelf in the middle, chair on either side with two prints above. Here’s that head-on shot again (pre-shelf-styling) to show you the super balanced look.

I know some people would love this, but “to each her own.” Like I said when styling shelves, I like a little asymmetry in my life and home. On to Plan B!

To remedy the situation, I decided to store the small prints for a different room/situation and hang in their place a large-scale print. This would (1) bump the shelf over a bit so that it wasn’t so perfectly centered on the wall, and (2) fill up the wall REALLY nicely, better than the small prints did.

Luckily, I had the perfect piece of art in mind (and on hand). The two paintings below were Color Theory projects that I did while in school –  The first is an exact copy of a Paul Klee painting, and the second is a remix of the original using complimentary colors.

I decided to go with the original colors (the first one pictured) since the bright pinks, teals and blues matched the color photography already hanging in the bedroom. All I had to do was stick it inside of a big frame I had waiting in the studio closet for just this type of moment and hang it on the wall.

As you can see, I also removed one of the matching chairs to make way for the newly asymmetrical set up. As soon as I was finished and stepped back to check it all out, I felt better. The matchy-matchy feel was gone and, in its place we had a nice, eclectic vignette to admire. I’m sure some people will remain on Team-Symmetry and that’s totally fine – The balanced look was pretty and put together, but it just wasn’t “me.”

Before I leave you for the day and the weekend, I just had to share this sweet little photo of Ginny taking a cat nap on the new down comforter. After snapping the photo, I set the camera aside and curled up right behind her – She’s the best little spooner in the world.

Have a great weekend and wish us luck for the photo shoot tomorrow!

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