“When dressing any space, imagine you are walking into that room for the first time. Take note of each area i.e. shelves are filled, mirrors are hung, artwork installed (buy or re-frame your existing art), plants and flowers are arranged, books are on shelves and bedside tables, cushions are on the sofas and chairs.” Stephanie Dunning
Objet d’art and accessories…
- Dressing works best when the objet d’art is tailored to the local surroundings and residents of a space. We love using items that are unique to the person or place because they tell a story, e.g. polo sticks, gardening gloves, hats, old bottles dug up from the garden, local maps or accessories that nod to a regional craft or aesthetic style. This way, objet not only adds that all important lived-in feel but also creates a much more interesting talking point compared to generic accessories
- Choose accessories sparingly. A small grouping of just three carefully curated items is often all that is needed to dress a window ledge, dressing table or kitchen worktop. For example, a couple of scent bottles and a vase of flowers. Books, antique or wooden brushes, elegantly packaged soaps, candles and photo-frames also work well.
- In bedrooms, scatter cushions on the bed add textural interest and help coordinate a scheme but don’t forget to use blankets and throws too. These break up the expanse of white linen which can detract from a scheme and dominate smaller bedrooms. You can even layer multiple blankets and throws to cover two thirds of the bed.
Fruits and flowers…
- Fresh fruit, herbs and flowers are key, not simply because of the ‘zing’ of colour that they introduce but, as Elina Grigoriou, Design for Wellbeing expert explains, introducing fresh plants and flowers show that a space is loved rather than neglected. Real fruits and flowers have a biophilic quality which can support our wellbeing.
- To complement the current floristry trend for wildflowers; milk bottles make fantastic makeshift vases for delicate country meadow sprigs
- Here at Dunning & Everard, Annabel Hydrangeas are one of our favourite flowers for dressing since they are so versatile and can be used all year round. The generous fresh snowball flower heads look stunning; group abundantly in baskets or vases during the summer months. Over autumn, allow the flowerheads to dry out and come the winter, when dressing your Christmas table, the dried flowerheads can be sprayed in metallic gold or silver to accentuate the fantastic dynamic, spikey seed-head form.
- Avoid hanging artwork too high, about 1.6m from the floor to the centre of the artwork, roughly eye level, is perfect; this can be adjusted based on ceiling height and what feels comfortable for you
- When selecting artwork think about mixing a range of mediums, subject matters and scales, i.e. mix and match figurative art, landscapes, still life, realistic and abstract pieces. For example, a pastel portrait alongside a crisp, geometric block print will create a contrasting, stimulating look. For a more relaxing feel, retain symmetry with artwork and hang in complementary pairs. Opt for ‘smudgy’ mediums like oils and pastels where the lines are gentler and less sharply defined to dress a space intended to create calm.
- Struggling with hanging your artwork and terrified of creating holes in the wrong place… roughly sketch out a couple of artwork arrangements (…and don’t worry; no one is judging your drawing ability, sketching is just a tool to help you experiment with picture size, orientation and scale). Pinterest is an excellent source of inspiration to help get started.