The box display is a great way to show off your collections

15 ways to style a display

The way you showcase accessories can turn an unused area into the perfect platform for treasured pieces or finishing touches. Good Homes gathers tips from the experts to help you learn how to style a display, whether you want to curate a corner, style a shelfie or show off a chic sideboard…

1. Go for a gallery wall

Hanging pictures in a neat formation to create your own ‘gallery’ is a contemporary way to personalise a blank space. For a streamlined, cohesive look, use the same frame design for each image and choose complementary colours. But to mix it up a little, hang varied frame types in a more random format. Teaming artwork and photos with vintage frames and mirrors will add interest, and you can move things around as you build your collection. Desenio has a great collection of prints to choose from.

Style a display with a chic curated wall gallery

Photo: Desenio

2. Make the most of a mantle

The space above your fireplace makes the perfect display spot, and arranging decorative items around a central mirror, such as candlestick holders, artwork, small books and bud vases will add an extra dimension.

Pooky has fab candleholders to get the perfect mantlescape

Photo: Pooky

3. Use the same colour palette

If you’re after a display that’s pleasing to the eye, with each object complementing the next, using shades from the same palette will do the trick, This doesn’t mean each piece has to be the same colour, just a similar hue, whether its pink metallics, or neutrals like this white, ivory and beige group.

Keeping your colours the same is a chic way of how to style a display

Photo: Next

4. Hang plates as art

Do you have plates that are too pretty to eat off, or a collection of vintage pieces gathering dust? Why not use them to create a display with a difference, using adhesive discs or command hooks to attach securely. Plus, painting the wall behind will make them stand out even more.

Benjamin Moore makes for a great backdrop for these plates

Photo: Benjamin Moore

5. Utilise unit tops

From cupboards to radiator shelves, group similar-shaped glass bottles and vases to add interest to these unused spaces. Complete the look by disguising the inside of the unit with a decorative window film.

Frosted panels within a cupboard are a chic styling tip

Photo: Purlfrost

6. Parade your plants

Bring life to your rooms with some lush greenery, using plants to fill blank walls and shelving units. Whether you use regular plant pots, hanging designs or a mix of the two, consider if you want them all to match, or whether to use varying colours and patterns, or different materials for texture.

Putting plants into the mix is perfect for styling and biophilia is a hot trend

Photo: Garden Trading

7. Go round

If you’re unsure of the best way to style a circular table, vases are your friend. Choose a few in varying heights and widths that work well together – an odd number is best and use the largest as the star of the show with a statement floral display.

Go round when styling up your kitchen table displays


8. Create a backdrop

Whether you have a wall-hung shelving unit, a freestanding bookcase or shelves to fit an alcove, why not paint or paper the back of them to make objects stand out? It’s a simple yet effective way of bringing attention to the area to give it more visual depth. Another top tip is to not stop at posters or photos for framing. Frame quirky or special pieces from maps or pressed flowers to concert flyers or favourite restaurant menus.

Line the back of your bookshelves with wallpaper

Photo: Lust Home

9. Frame objects in alcoves

Place your favourite books, houseplants and trinkets in small alcoves for an unusual take on a wall display. Match up the height of your item to each one, to make sure it doesn’t look lost in a tall space, and group items both singularly and in twos and threes. If you don’t have the option to build a faux wall with alcoves, there are shelves that are available that give a similar effect.

These alcoves have the perfect Mediterranean styling tip

Photo: George Home

10. Hook it up

They may not be your first thought to style a display, but hooks are great for grouping pieces in a stylish way. Hang different wall hangings, some pretty tea towels or even everyday items that look as attractive as they are functional.

Styling a chic display on your hooks makes for a great entrance

Photo: Naken

11. Box it in

Curate your own small vignettes using painted box shelves. Here, the shelves have been left open so you can see the wallpaper at the back, and painted in the same colour as the walls for a cohesive touch. Make sure when you’re creating a display, that your styled objects are not going to be knocked off easily or prevent you from doing everyday tasks.

A box it out shelf makes for a great collection of styling

Photo: Little Greene

12. Have fun with bookshelves

If you love to show off your books and decorative items, then you can’t beat a bookshelf. A design with different-sized compartments makes it ideal for styling objects of all shapes and sizes – use the narrower sections for vases and pots, and the longer compartments for books. Stacking books, both horizontally and vertically, will add interest to your display, too.

The shelf makes for a great display instead of books

Photo: King Living

13. Style it vintage

Shopping for unique antique pieces is one of life’s greatest pleasures, so to style a display and show off kitchen finds, for example, such as jelly moulds, porcelain platters and colourful spice jars on open shelves in among glassware and plants.

Put your favourite vintage curious on the shelves for your display

Photo: Little Greene

14. Match walls to your display

Empasise a collection of accessories by reiterating its theme on the walls. Here, the wallpaper’s ceramic urn print complements the physical urns on the chest of drawers in front. You can also consider grouping pieces by subject, from pictures of seascapes or books on nature along with a small pair of binoculars, to a collection of decorative teapots, or your best shoes out on display. Have fun with your theme, and make sure it’s positioned somewhere so you can admire it regularly.

Mind the Gap's wallpaper is a cool backdrop to your styling displays

Photo: Mindthegap

15. Pin upĀ 

Displays and collections can be made up of anything, so if you’re looking for a way to show off postcards and photos for example, why not use a pinboard to keep them all in one place? Ideal for propping up on a desk or shelf or hanging on a wall, the beauty is that you can swap your pictures and cards quickly and easily, meaning it always looks fresh.

Pinboards are back in fashion when it comes to styling a display

Photo: Wayfair