As a designer, I find clients often want something to grace their walls to make the space feel complete. I fully agree with adding items to your space to make it feel personal but so often this becomes a trip to the local home decor retailer and purchasing fairly meaningless items. I have found clients just pick what is easy, available or cheap to get a room finished…particularly before they are entertaining. Unfortunately this results in benign items with few stories to tell or worse, any personal connection to the homeowner at all!
The whole point of a home is to fill it with examples of items that matter to you and articulate something about you, your family or your life…not to clutter it with “stuff” that will eventually end up in next year’s garage sale. Your home and your possessions are your artifacts and you are the curator of them. Just like “you are what you eat”, so is your home: you are a sum of your memories which are portrayed through the things you own.
To really connect with a previous client we opted to take vintage plates and create simple but dramatic wall decor. You can do this with any mix of dinnerware that you own and use simple plate hangers to secure it to a wall in a formal dining room as we did. Dinnerware is actually quite personal and when pieces are grouped together, it becomes sculptural art. This is such a good way to utilize a set of dishes your mom may have bequeathed you but which doesnt suit your taste or lifestyle. This is much more interesting than leaving china stored in a cabinet or box out of sight.
If you don’t have enough pieces to put together to create a display, inter-mix what you own with new individual pieces you purchase from a decor shop to fill out the display. Or if you do enjoy visiting the local flee market or garage sale, pick up individual plates, saucers and bowls for a few dollars and design a wonderful eclectic mix of pattern, colour and shape. This is a great look not only in a dining room but in a kitchen or breakfast room.< It’s a neat and personal way to showcase important pieces you already own and to tell a story of your personal taste and history without saying a word! That’s good design and creates a space to love! Photography by Brandon Barré.