LIV­ING Neale Whi­taker re­veals how to ex­pertly group your ob­jets d’art.


Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - by Neale Whi­taker Neale Whi­taker is editor-in-chief of Vogue Liv­ing.

Warn­ing: this col­umn may con­tain traces of nuts. That is, what I’m go­ing to say might sound a lit­tle nuts. Be­cause stuff is back in fash­ion, and I mean stuff in mul­ti­ple. While the in­te­rior de­sign pen­du­lum still swings to­wards Scandi/ sim­ple or in­dus­trial/func­tional, the bold, “up-and-at-’em” at­ti­tude to­wards art that has made gal­leries of our homes has spread to glass­ware, ce­ram­ics, can­dles and home ac­ces­sories and arte­facts gen­er­ally. Stuff is def­i­nitely a thing.

The old adage “two’s com­pany, three’s a crowd” might ap­ply to re­la­tion­ships, but it doesn’t al­ways res­onate in the home. Two’s com­pany but three’s way cooler. Just at this mo­ment in time, more might ac­tu­ally be more, but of course there are rules. While the de­sign gods are grant­ing per­mis­sion to clut­ter, the knack lies in the group­ing.

I have a friend who col­lects horse sculp­tures. He has about a dozen which were once dot­ted around his apart­ment. Per­suad­ing him they would have more im­pact if they were all gath­ered to­gether wasn’t easy, but once he tried it he was de­lighted. The stable of sculp­tures has re­mained. In Italy, I saw mass clus­ters of glass­ware and ce­ram­ics, the most ef­fec­tive group­ings loosely con­nected by colour, shape, tex­ture or size. The small­est might have num­bered just six items (ex­quis­ite teal-blue ce­ram­ics), the largest a group of 40 wall-mounted plates at the fur­ni­ture brand Bax­ter (www.bax­ Show­stop­pers in my book were bold new ves­sels by Bri­tish de­signer Max Lamb shown en masse at that old­est of Ital­ian ce­ram­i­cists, Bi­tossi (bitossice­, and lay­ered, bowls-within-bowls in bril­liant colours by stoneware de­signer Rina Me­nardi (ri­na­me­ I also saw group­ings of Mu­rano glass, tribal masks and sculp­tures, wooden ob­jects and dec­o­ra­tive totems.

And, as so of­ten hap­pens, the im­pact of this sim­plest of de­sign rules at home is sub­stan­tial. I have three brass vases from the Swedish brand Skul­tuna (skul­ In­di­vid­u­ally they’re nice but qui­etly in­tro­verted; grouped to­gether in the cen­tre of a black mar­ble-topped table they’re dra­matic scene-steal­ers. I’ll bet that many of you have quite a col­lec­tion of scented can­dles at home – in the bed­room, the bath­room, lounge room, even the kitchen. Sound fa­mil­iar? I’m not go­ing to sug­gest burn­ing them all at once, but try group­ing them all to­gether in one place. Now doesn’t that look better?

MUL­TI­PLE CHOICE above) An­thro­polo­gie in the US and Dan­ish brands Broste Copen­hagen

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