Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home

Building a Table Display

Building a Table Display

Building a Table Display - February 11, 2014

Do you ever wonder how designers build a beautiful display? One that’s as breathtaking as a perfect piece of art? How they get the right combination of carefully chosen treasures to give it such a sense of flow? How they make it so appealing?

Displays are designed to sell. Sell the items in a showroom, sell a feeling of pleasure in your home. Or in the case of a staged home, sell the house to a prospective buyer. 

The best displays seem natural, random, easy. Masters know how to make the difficult look effortless because they've done it so many times. To the novice, the task can be baffling. But the mystery is an illusion, because beneath the beauty there is a formula. And within the formula there are endless combinations.

You already know what you like. They are the things you buy, collect, and bring into your home. They are your style and your color preference whether you're aware of it, or not. And you probably have more than enough interesting items to start building a table display. Now imagine that you are a designer. Follow the guidelines and let your imagination fly.

Guidelines for Building a Table Display

  1. Pick a dominant color.
  2. Stick with an odd number of items or groupings.
  3. Think of your table and the wall behind it as one unit.
  4. Choose elements that share a common theme.
  5. Include different textures and finishes.
  6. Vary accessory heights: tall, medium and short.
  7. Stair-step the collection like the up and down of the mountains.
  8. Elevate small objects on stacks of books.
  9. Layer and overlap propped art.
  10. Always add a plant or flowers.

Image Williams Sonoma Home

Image David Jimenez 

Image Williams Sonoma Home

Image David Jimenez 

Are you getting the picture? Do you see how in each of these examples the:

  • Motion is rhythmic, stair-stepping up and down.
  • Color scheme is simple and unified.
  • Displays extend up onto the wall behind them.
  • Items and groupings contain an odd number of items.
  • Pictures overlap.

By studying these principles and experimenting on your own, you too can become a master of display.

Decorating a nightstand or dresser is fun, easy, and will impress your buyer! Once you know the formula, you can create any number of lovely combinations to add charm to your bedroom.

Decorating a dining room buffet will add style to your dining room and start the buyer dreaming of a future in your home. 

Decorating a coffee table is a finishing touch that will make your room sparkle. When selling a home, an interesting coffee table display is a buyer magnet. 

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Building a Table Display

Alex Hinst is the author of Home Decorating and Staging and owner of Alex Hinst Designs, located in Denver's Historic Highlands.

Alex Hinst Designs has hundreds of success stories in both private and investor home renovations and is dedicated to helping you create your perfect home.