1. CREATE A THEME
It can be as general as an idea — "travel" or "vintage" — or as specific as a color OR the object itself — clocks, mirrors, teacups. But having an identifiable motif keeps the grouping from appearing too arbitrary. Once you have placed 3 or more objects that tie into your theme, you can accessorize with more loosely related items.
2. BEWARE OF FLOATERS
Objects don’t have to be perfectly equidistant or arranged in a grid, but clustering objects in close proximity heightens the visual drama whereas items with too much space in between them have the tendency to look random and lonely. To create a collage-like effect, overlap a few pieces (as in the first photo).
3. LIMIT YOUR NUMBERS
While it’s easy to go overboard, the strongest statements are usually made with less than 15 items. Our friend Grace, who has a special talent for visual vignettes, created a rich display with just a few aptly placed nostalgic pieces: a coat tree rack, a picture of an antique sewing machine, and a silhouette portrait.