Mementos, Souvenirs, & Artifacts
Whether or not your travels include a passport and involve new worlds or simply new stores, collecting cool, interesting and special pieces to display has always been an integral part of home styling. The two coolest objects in my home reflect my travels…. Around New York City’s most fabulous boutiques: a Sumatran dance crown and cast-iron Glock, both displayed on stands are objets d’art, conversation pieces, and expressions of taste or history or humor. It almost goes without saying that where and how these pieces are presented, is as important as the pieces themselves.
WHAT- As just this writer’s opinion, while I’ve always found the occasional item to be cool and interesting, I’ve also found a collection of them to be not. By taking something special and aggregating, you are negating its unique status. One is exclusive; one of many is common.
WHERE- Consistent with a desired look of effortless chic, you’ll want guests to happen upon your pieces, not be directed by pedestal or spotlight. With that in mind, some safe spots are atop a stack of books, on a coffee table, in a bookshelf, next to flowers or an orchid, or (my personal favorite) as a surprise in the guest bathroom, where it’s sure to be noticed, appreciated, and humored.
HOW- Once you’ve found your spot(s), deciding what shares the space is critical. I know, I know, so much pressure! But it’s really not, because here’s the key: the best way to highlight one thing is by pairing it with something different, something unlike it. Whether you’re playing with individual pieces or whole styles, contrast expresses distinction, highlights individuality, ignores rules, and helps you think and see in a new ways. If your piece expresses a certain ethnicity, place it amid a different one (my Sumatran crown sits next to a stack of Hermes scarf boxes, the paradigm of French high-style). If it feels masculine, pair with feminine. Something hard with something soft, antique or period with modern, busy with basic.
Mile High Style Tip: As a general rule, limit truly special pieces to 3 (the magic number in design) per room.