You know that feeling when you walk into a space and it’s inviting, cozy and oh-so-pulled-together? Chances are, the interior designer employed a technique known as clustering, grouping decorative items together in a space to create focal points and a cohesive flow.
Clustering is all about creating vignettes that highlight your personal style and the things you love. By arranging accent pieces, artwork, plants, books and other decorative items in close proximity, you end up with an artfully styled space that feels curated. The key is to choose a color palette and style you love. Then, find complementary pieces to group together. The result is a home that feels warm, inviting and reflective of your unique personality.
If you’ve been searching for an effortless way to elevate your space without a major renovation, clustering is a simple trick that makes a huge impact. Ready to jump on the clustering bandwagon? Here are some tips to get you started.
Why Embrace the Clustering Trend?
There are a few reasons why clustering accents and decor is an easy way to elevate your space:
- It creates visual impact. Several pieces with a cohesive look make a much bigger style statement than scattering lone accents around a room.
- It highlights your aesthetic. Groupings that share a common theme, like coastal, bohemian or mid-century modern.
- It’s an easy DIY. If redoing your entire space seems daunting, start with clustering a few accent pieces you already own. Add or rearrange items over time for an affordable makeover.
The key to successful clustering is to choose a focal area, like a console table, mantle or bookshelf. Then, gather three- to-five decorative objects, such as vases, candles, pottery or baskets that share a similar color, pattern, texture or era. Different heights, sizes and textures are ideal. Arrange them in a pleasing composition, stepping pieces up or down in height for the most visual interest.
The Benefits of Embracing the Clustering Trend
Clustering, or grouping similar decorative accents together in your space, is a trend that’s here to stay. Why should you embrace it? Here are a few benefits:
A Unified Look
Clustering creates a cohesive style by repeating colors, textures, shapes or materials in one area. Whether it’s a collection of woven baskets in an entryway, a gallery wall of botanical prints in the living room or a series of metallic vases on a console table, clustering ties it all together for a stylish, unified way.
Added Visual Interest
Grouping accents together in a thoughtful way makes a strong style statement and adds loads of visual interest to any room. The repetition of shapes, colors or materials catches the eye and creates a focal point, giving your space a polished, designer touch.
Easy to Update
The great thing about clustering is that it’s simple to update when you want to freshen up your decor. Just swap out, add or rearrange a few of the accents in the group for an instant style update. You can also gradually build on your cluster over time by adding new pieces that complement the overall look.
How to Use Clustering to Elevate Your Home
Focus your cluster around a theme, like a color scheme, texture, or style. For example, group blue and white ceramics on a mantle for a coastal vibe or metallic accents on an entryway table for a glamorous touch. Having a unifying theme will make your cluster appear cohesive and stylish.
Vary Heights and Shapes
Include a mix of items in different heights, shapes and sizes for the most visual interest. A combination of taller vases, small bowls, candle holders and decorative boxes works well. Stagger the pieces for a casual look or arrange them in a symmetrical formation for a more polished vibe.
Leave Some Negative Space
Don’t overcrowd your cluster. Leave some open space around and between items so each piece can stand out. A good rule of thumb is to include 3 to 5 focal points in a cluster, with 6 to 12 inches of space around the outer edges. The negative space will make your vignette look artfully arranged instead of cluttered.
While clustering is a decorative technique, that doesn’t mean the items have to be purely ornamental. Incorporate pieces you use regularly, like a catchall tray for keys or a vase for fresh flowers. This makes your cluster functional as well as stylish and gives it a lived-in, homey feel. Practical clusters are also easy to refresh by simply changing or rotating some of the items.
By grouping items of the same type together in an artful way, you create little vignettes that give your room dimension and help direct the eye. The best part is you can start small by clustering a few accent items on a tabletop or bookshelf and build up from there.
Want some more ideas for decorating your new home or refreshing your existing one? Be sure to check out our blog — it’s filled with tips and tricks to help your house feel like home.