Are you symmetrical? Do you like things in balance? These are questions I often ask my design clients. Sometimes I get a confused look instead of an answer . . . . and then . . . . a slight shake of the head . . . . What?
I am a balanced girl . . . I like everything symmetrical. If I put a lamp on one side of my sideboard, I put the matching lamp on the other side. If I put a topiary on my mantle, I put the matching topiary on the other side. I feel at ease when things match.
My daughter showed me a pair of earrings on the Louis Vuitton web site that she liked. They were small studs, one with the flower from the logo and the other with the diamond shape from the logo. I commented to her, “Why don’t they match, do you get two pairs?” She laughed at me and claimed that would not bother her at all. I told her I could never wear these because they do not match. How could someone, especially Louis, make something to be worn in balance, not match? Then I looked at the price and REALLY wondered why someone would pay that much for earrings that don’t match.
When I was a little girl, my clothes had to match. I would frustrate my mother because I would always bring shorts and a shirt to her and ask her if it matched. She would tell me it didn’t matter, that I was only going out to play. But, it did matter . . . they must match. I would continue to bring her ensembles until she found one that matched. Oh, the patience of my mother, bless her heart.
Being symmetrical or asymmetrical is neither right or wrong, it is just what makes you feel balanced. It is okay to use a floral arrangement on one side of a sideboard with a lamp of similar size on the other. Or on the mantle, to use a candle holder or a grouping of candle holders with the topiary on the other side. Both are great options, it is simply a personal style choice.
When decorating asymmetrically, there still needs to be balance. For example, you would need to use an item about one third the height of the item on the opposite side. If you placed a 30” high lamp on one side of a chest, you would then use an item (flower arrangement, topiary, candle holder, etc.) of approximately 20” on the other. Then, in the center of these two taller items, you would need to place an accessory that is wider and lower. You could use a box, bookends with books, or a low bowl with spheres or fruit to fill the center space on the chest.
This is a decorating guide that I like to follow, probably because I am balanced. I hate to see a huge lamp on one side of a chest, then a little bitty picture frame on the other. It makes my head tilt to one side at the thought of the imbalance. Oh . . . the perils of balance.
Look around your home. Are your chests, mantles, and rooms in balance? If not, what would it take to balance them out? If you have questions about a particular spot or room in your home, take some photos and e-mail them to me a firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see what you have going on. Or you can bring the photos in with you to First Fruit Collection, and I will be happy to help you with your balance.
Happy Decorating, Lisa
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