Designer Decor Secrets: How to Make a Huge Impact With Multiples

Designer Decor Secrets: How to Make a Huge Impact With Multiples

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Adrienne Breaux
Oct 19, 2014
(Image credit: Weekday Carnival)

Want to know a powerful design secret that can make a HUGE impact in a room, is easy to implement and can work in absolutely any style of home design, ever? The secret is using multiple items of one type of design element, and the power is in the presentation. We've got the tips for using this decor secret.

What's the difference between a collection and a perfectly arranged set of multiples? Well a collection is more focused on itself; deftly picked multiples are all about increasing the awesome of the room they're in. A collection usually has a theme and a special meaning to the collector — a set of multiple items can be just about anything. And the multiple trick tends to have less parts than a collection, making it a great option for those allergic to too many small things in a space.

So why is this trick so easy to implement? Because using multiple items doesn't require a ton of matching or a lot of thought; if you have something you like, just get several more like that (or just slightly different) and be intentional with your placement and arrangement (this look tends to work really well as a uniform line or grid, but of course there are exceptions).

(Image credit: A Beautiful Mess)

As seen on A Beautiful Mess, two lines of perky plants placed in the same pots create quite an artistic array, more than just a solo pot might do and seeming much more intentional than a messy, unlined-up mix might appear. It's similar to what happens in this post's top photo, from Weekday Carnival.

Multiple objects don't just have to be decorative. In this shot from VTWONEN] via Belle Maison, similar-in-style wood shelves create the perfect place for smaller decorative objects, and prove to be a much more powerful look than just one or two shelves.

Have similar art pieces that are only slightly different? Line them up in a space where they will be in stark contrast with the rest of the room's color palette, and consider framing them with a graphic, dark colored frame to emphasis the repetitive feel. Shot by Stacey Van Berkel for Garden and Gun.

We love this example of using the same (probably affordable) paper to wrap canvases to create a multiple-piece art collage. Instead of being a more bohemian, random array of colorful art pieces, the monochromatic nature of the design is even more intense. Seen on Better Homes and Gardens.

Another example of using multiple similar, but slightly different, art pieces to create a more powerful design than if you only had one art piece or even a collage of dramatically different art pieces. Photography by Graham Atkins-Hughes via Desire to Inspire

A cluster of similarly sized, shaped and colored light fixtures is sometimes more powerful than just one. A great idea for folks with small budgets and who can't afford very expensive light fixtures; this look will instantly make even very affordable fixtures look more powerful. From Nuevo Estilo via Desire to Inspire.

Another great thing about using multiples? It's a way to make a big design impact without having to shell out the price for one large design item; using multiples of smaller items can carry more ground and carry more design weight. Photograph by Maxwell Tielman via Design*Sponge.

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