Sarah Craig of Herringbone and interior stylist Juliette Arrighi de Casanova reveal the secrets of creating chic accessory displays.
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The secret to a beautiful and inspiring home is not about what you have, but how you arrange it. “Accessories are the key to emphasising a certain look or updating a tired room,” says interior stylist and decorator Juliette Arrighi de Casanova.
“They don’t have to be expensive or exclusive – they could come from a chain store, a second-hand shop or be given to you. It’s how you combine them and where you place them that makes the difference. As she’s a natural tastemaker, I asked Sarah Craig of Herringbone to show us how she puts together the chic vignettes in her home.”
“My five fundamentals when arranging displays are form, style, height, texture and something personal,” reveals Sarah. “If you acquire things you love, they will work together naturally.”
Juliette adds, “It’s best to start with a neutral background. Stick to a theme, if possible, to ensure that there’s a common thread throughout your display. Layer textures and combine items of different heights. Try to include something that’s unusual or unexpected, but always stay true to your personal style. Remember, there’s a difference between unnecessary clutter and thoughtfully curated vignettes.”
Making an entrance
An entrance hall provides an opportunity to make a good first impression with an eye-catching arrangement. An Anatolian Tulu shaggy rug and the jute-clad staircase create a textured backdrop. A large bird print from Pezula Interiors draws the eye and is balanced by a smaller picture and a palm in a basket. We included the gold table lamp as it’s the right shape and size and provides a warm glow in the evenings.
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On the mantelpiece
Fireplaces are often the focal point in a living room and therefore the mantelpiece display should command attention. Keep proportions in mind and make sure that the accessories don’t overpower the mantel or look too small in comparison. Here, we experimented with different shapes. As the mantelpiece is very linear, we hung a simply framed mirror above it, then propped two framed linocuts against it, which looks informal, yet stylish. We added two sculptures on stands as the round shapes contrast nicely with the rectangular forms. For something personal, we included an antique candelabra. Two glass bottles create interest at ground level, as does the layering of the Beni M’rirt and Beni Ouarain rugs.
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Come for drinks
Cocktails are very fashionable at the moment, as are cocktail cabinets and trolleys. This is one instance where it’s fun to mix traditional English elements with North African and Middle-Eastern pieces. On this mid-century acrylic unit, we combined crystal decanters and jugs with ceramic bowls for snacks. To complete the composition, we hung a landscape photograph just above it.
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If, like us, you have loads of magazines and books lying around, use them to create height on tablescapes, introduce colour to side tables and, when placed in a pile, as a side table themselves. In this bedroom, we used a collection of coffee table books placed at slightly different angles to give a pot plant some necessary height. The rug is Chinoise Peacock.
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Centre of attention
A coffee table lends itself to a beautiful vignette. This is where using different heights comes into play. Inspired by India Hicks’ island style, we chose nature-related items such as a chunky crystal, tortoise sculptures, a wooden plate, bone-inlaid boxes and a ceramic parrot. Stacked books and boxes establish different heights. Include a tray as they are very useful for organising multiple items such as these candlesticks. The rug is a Berber Kelp.