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Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Power of Repetition

photo courtesy of style-files
I love the visual rhythm of repeating elements. As I took a few hours this past weekend to take down the holiday decor (which I have delayed, of course, lol, because who likes that job?) I am taking inventory: 12 crystal votive candles, 5 black flocked reindeer, 3 small modern trees in chrome pots. I rarely buy a small simple decor item as a single piece, because the impact of simple items in multiples is far more impacting. Basic items become a statement if strategically may have heard it should be an odd number, such as 3, 5, 7, but this isn't always the sunroom has 4 windows, so I have a white feather wreath to suspend at the same height in each window. The photo above is an example of the impact of repeated use of the tulip dining chairs, lighting fixtures, identical flower arrangements on the table, and even the white vases in the bookshelf.

Photos of Kelly Hoppen's work, courtesy Inspirational Style

Photos of Kelly Hoppen's design, courtesy Inspirational Style
Photo of Kelly Hoppen products from Wedgewood
These displays of multiples are the fabulous work of UK designer Kelly Hoppen, who is a master of great design in clean modern lines. As you probably already are aware, she has several books filled with design eye candy, but this book's cover shows how much she works with repetition.

Photo courtesy Amazon
If your dining table and other areas are now empty and looking pathetic because they've been stripped of their festive embellishments, now is a great time to try out a simple display using repeating elements. An easy one:
Find 3 6" diameter cylindrical glass vases that are identical, 3 identical pillar candles, and clippings from outdoor evergreens. Place your candle centered in your vase, and then place the small evergreen clippings around candle inside the vase (very low, as the greenery dries out, it is a fire hazard if you were planning on using the candles). Place these vases a few inches apart from each other on your mantle, dining table, under the kitchen window and voila! Instant mid-winter decor to last you until Valentine's Day!

Decor for the walls in repetitive forms also makes a huge statement, as these mo-bi-le-os panels do from Pure Modern. This is a modern alternative to your basic artprint or mirror over that chest. Why not kick it up a notch? The same effect could be created by purchasing multiple identical small mirrors and hanging them in a symmetrical grouping.
Above mo-bi-le-os Photos courtesy Pure Modern
Something not so appealing can suddenly be more exciting in multiples. I am not a fan of this particular "wall vase" below, but in multiples, it looks very dramatic. Remember this as you rummage through your old vase collection...a few years ago I did a table display for a showhouse, a vintage-modern look for a client who had several old white bud vases that were nothing special. I grouped 12 vases closely together in a center display on her dining table, and filled with lucious hydrangeas, the grouping of dollar store vases looked stunning!
photo courtesy Global Views Inc.

Photo courtesy Global Views Inc.

Some sophisticated suppliers of great furniture and accessories provide detailed instructions for retailers to create the most visual impact and increase sales. The Global Views displays are definitely something to drool over!

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  1. I loved the work of Kelly Hoppen. As you pointed out, the repetition of objects by Kelly produces a clean and modern cut lines.

  2. I so agree, and the simple glass bowls look amazing!

  3. Loving Kelly Hoppen, again, again and again. To repeat is to make beautiful!

    And I love those mobiles! Reminds me of the wall I had commissioned for our basement lounge.


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