How to master the art of ‘maximalism arranging’

You know by now Im a self certified collector (some call it hoarder, I prefer collector!)

From the charity shop finds, to the beautiful bits I acquire whilst sourcing product for Melody Maison and WindsorBrowne , my house is fairly full to the brim, so what do I do with them?

Well, i love ‘arranging’  – so filling a surface with a collection, and arranging them,  just like flowers, only with objects. My taste is vast. From the ever-so-pretty to the downright quirky (and everything in between)

So how do you start arranging , and what should you do to stop it looking like a jumble sale stall! Heres my top tips,  from how to begin your hoard (I mean collection!) where to buy, and to how to assemble it

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One of quirky windsor browne style mantel piece collections – Hare from Dunelm

My Number 1 tip is :

Mix it up! – By all means pick a style, or a colour palette, but don’t shop for everything in one place. Visit car boot sales, eBay, charity shops (some of my most amazing finds are from these sort of places, and you get a double glow from owning something wonderful, but that only cost a few pounds , sometimes pence!) Then visit the vintage fairs, antiques markets and your favourite On-line and high street retailers as well as unusual boutique home wares shops so your collections are diverse and an interesting talking point ( I love telling stories of my nik-nak finds to anyone who will listen, from the beautiful mirror I found in a skip, to the jug I paid a £1 for that was worth £50!

 

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Pretty bits n bobs in my dining room

Tip number 2 :

Always buy with your heart, choose things that speak to you – usually with the words “if you don’t buy me today I wont be here tomorrow, and then you will be sad!”  Never buy just because you think the shape or colour is the missing thing, rather than just loving it yourself. I have bought plenty like this, and now I’ve learned to stop and think, ‘can I look at this every day for years and still love it?’ if the answer is Yes, great, you know what to do!

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There’s pretty much one of everything here! – Rabbit from Anthropologie

Tip number 3

Don’t be frightened of mixing colours and styles. If you are choosing with your heart then it will usually work. And if it doesn’t , start a new collection elsewhere! Interior design rules typically says choose no more than 3 colours, and stage things in groups of descending sizes….blah, blah, blah.  When choosing colour, I say pick 3, pick 7, pick 9, as long as they all speak to each other, or reference something else in the room, like a flower in a rug,  or a design on a cushion, go for it . This is not show home arranging this is maximalism!

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Simple colours & variety make my kitchen window have personality, but it’s still clean looking . Squirrel from Partylite

Tip number 4

So you’ve got past the colour thing, now what about themes. Themes are great for this sort of arranging, but don’t get carried away, a shelf with 42 teapots, or 64 cat ornaments may seem cute, but also might may make you look a bit crazy! so don’t go all one thing in one space (animal clutter is great btw, big fan, just remember to break it up around the house!) So for instance at the moment Ive got a thing for ornamental rocking and wooden horses, yes I have 3 mixed in with this arrangement, but the other 5 I own are scattered on other surfaces .

 

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Pretty shabby chic collection

Tip number 4

Don’t do too much symmetry. I too can appreciate  the show home look with a candelabra at either end, and 2 of everything all symmetrically arranged in descending sizes in between, but the maximalism look requires mashing it up. Put 2 of the same thing at either end, it works, but equally it may look just as good right next to each other

 

Tip number 5

Now , what to pick? Don’t be frightened to break ‘rules’ Pictures and mirrors aren’t just for walls, they look great lent up at the back of an arrangement. And vases aren’t just for flowers, fill them with feathers, or fairy lights or smaller collectables if its see-through. Yes throw away that rule book!

 

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Some very pretty clutter!

 

Tip number 6:

I like to move it, move it….and move it again! Once you are happy with the positioning or say 2 or 3 larger or important pieces, work all the other items around those, but it may take time. I sometimes move a surface around at least 5 or 6 times…and then I do it again! sometimes on a weekly basis till I’m happy or to allow a new treasure to be inserted somewhere (and to be totally honest,  I am a professional ‘faffer’ so I’m never going to be entirely happy , so one day every few months I will probably move it all around again!)

 

Tip number 7:

Finally, tip 7 is the maximalist big one – Invest in an ostrich feather duster! Sadly (i think tragically) the reason most people are averse to ‘ornamenting’ is the dust. I get it, it drives you crazy, but not only are ostrich feathers super delicate and light, so you can swish and poke them everywhere without risking breaking everything, they are also statically charged, so they will take the dust away with them , not just move it around.

So why not have a go, start by bringing a few of your favourite things together, and see what transpires. And if you are including any Melody Maison Or Windsor Browne gems in there, don’t forget to email me at customer services with pics, as we love to include customer pics on our inspiration pages

 

Till next time

Anna x

 

 

 

 

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How long should a girl spend in front of a mirror?

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Don’t worry, this  isn’t another make-up contouring blog, I was just pondering the fact that at Melody Maison, we sell as many mirrors, as we do all our other products added together!

Wow – Vanity? Or just home styling, So I decided to investigate…

I discovered from reading multiple articles that the average UK woman spends 55 minutes a day in front of the mirror. At first I couldn’t quite believe that’s the ‘average’  (so many must be spending a lot more!) but when I thought about it, I myself, whilst I might only do 20-30 minutes in front of my dressing table mirror a day (depending on whether its hair wash day or not!) how many other times during the day, do I ‘glance’ in the mirror. Its hard to keep count, but I think I clocked up an additional 14 times in one day!

Seems a lot doesn’t it, but I’m not vain, so I’m guessing I am the ‘average ‘ woman .

See if these checks you do too:

When you leave the loo (the skirt tucked in pants check) when you clean your teeth (the spinach check)  Just before you walk out the front door  (the ‘is it too warm for a jacket’ check) or at the pub ( the ‘did all my lipstick really come off from just eating some chips’ check)

So this explained why mirrors sell so well, small mirrors costing less than £10, we sell hundreds (teeth checker mirror?)

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A top selling mini heart mirror from Melody Maison
but the current big hit is the BIG mirror. The top to top, shoe to hair , I want to see the whole picture, mirror!

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The elise cheval mirror, so pretty
I walked round my house and counted no less than 32 mirrors! Sound strange, I also counted how many I use on at least a daily/weekly basis……9!

So Mirrors are clearly a decorative purchase for me, just like a picture, or an ornament , but with a practical use , even if it is occasionally!

Here’s some of my mirrors. As you may know by now I have eclectic taste, so whilst some of  my house is pretty, vintage and shabby chic, some is elegant and heritage antique style,  and some is dark, moody and quirky and this reflects (sorry, no pun intended!) in my mirror choices.

 

And which one do I use the most, well I narrowed it down to 1st , 2nd and third place

In Third place, the leaving the house mirror. This is a antique mantel mirror that hangs above the hall table (above top left) An eBay purchase, several years ago, I loved it because it was less than perfect – classy n’ shabby in equal measure. So the glass has foxed in many places, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve glued bits of frame back on!

In second place, is my ‘getting dressed’ mirror. Gold and glamorous,  on my landing just outside my dressing room, it’s the perfect proportion for a full-length check (I also love it because,  like all good friends, it tells me I’m thinner than I actually am! Some glass does seem to do that, not sure why, but who am I to argue!)

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My Huge gold dressing Mirror on my landing, so elegant

 

Of course in top place is the faithful dressing table mirror – My dressing table is a shameful mess most of the time, hence the very small image on the top right above, if you look closely you will see it physically sigh from the pressure of relentlessly trying it’s best to make me look presentable! My dressing room, is a full on girly sanctuary, and my dressing table and mirror , a  60’s vintage classic, gets most of my attention. I use it for getting ready 7 days a week. The cute make up gets to live on the top –  Charlotte Tilbury is my current favourite, her make up is fabulous, but it mainly drew me to it because the packaging with rose gold highlights is just divine.

If you are looking for a dressing table mirror, large floor mirror, or a dinky                 ‘hows the smile’ mirror, of course Melody Maison is a market leader, but here’s another fabulous one I’m hankering after (mirror number 33??) This gold triple dressing table from Laura Ashley.  I’m thinking as its not too tall, this will be perfect for placing on top of a high chest of drawers or in my bathroom window

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Dressing table mirror from Laura Ashley

 

Just before I go, How much time do you spend in front of the mirror? There is no fit bit for measuring that, but if there was , would you be as surprised? Go on,  log your ‘mirror’ day, and as you look in one, dare you to say ….Darling you look fabulous!!

 

Till next time

Anna x