Doable Decorating: The Art of Arranging

Gorgeous tables, shelves, and mantels are not just the province of professional stylists. Here’s how to stage stunning displays yourself, using stuff you have at home—without spending a cent.

Grey marble mantel with framed artwork, vase, , bowl, sea plants and abstract painting on wall
David Prince
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Mantel

Essentially an eye-level stage, it’s a prime protected spot for showing off a large treasure and indulging in artful maximalism. Consider the view from a distance as well as close-up.

Art and architecture factor heavily with a mantel. Base your palette on the color of the fireplace facade. Choose a large piece to feature, but make sure it’s open or light (like the circle sculpture, far left) so it can relate to hanging art without blocking it.

A themed collection, like ephemera from nature, makes a statement about what’s important to you and is tied together visually. Ceramic and glass are a nice counterpoint to rough, gnarly sea pieces. Vary tall and squat, smooth and rough, flat and three-dimensional.

Leaning and layering pictures and post-cards creates a casual, unfussy quality, inviting investigation rather than scaring people away.

To buy: Kobe Small Iron Ring sculpture, $390, arteriorshome.com for info.

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