Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pairs and pairs and pairs and pairs of pairs

Last week in my post about my tendency towards artwork in pairs, I mentioned some advice I read in an old House Beautiful.  Number two on a list of 101 easy makeovers, it went something like this:

If a room has three or more pairs of anything, put one half of a pair away. Too many pairs, too stiff.

I found myself counting up the pairs in various rooms in my house, and found that I am in violation of this rule once or twice, and I found myself tempted to break up the rooms: if I suffer from any great problem as a decorator, I think it might be this: Stiff is my s-word.  

Then, perusing the current issue of HB, I came across this living room by Martyn Lawrence Bullard.

How many pairs do you count?

I see at least a dozen.  A dozen!  And yet, I don't find this room stiff.  Balanced, oh, yes.  Stiff, no.  Of course, I'm not MLB, and, love him or hate him (he was much reviled in early episodes of Bravos' Million Dollar Decorators), he is a Big Name for a reason.

I will say this:  most of us have far fewer items in a room, period, than what can be found here.  I think we just don't have the money or the space for so many layers of functionless objets, like the two pairs of foo dogs in this room.  And in a way, I think having so many of these items in pairs lends order to a room that is big enough and full enough that it could easily have slipped into chaos.

What do you think: Are you a lover or a hater?  Is there an upward limit on pairs in a space?  And, perhaps the most telling, what is the greatest number of pairs you have in a single room in your home?  (For me its the girls room: headboards, bolsters, throw blankets, lamps, and silhouettes, though as a group of three now, I suppose they don't count.)  5.  Or really, 4.  Not as bad as I would have guessed.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I haven't done an actual pair count, but I do like using pairs for symmetry. Call it boring, but I think symmetry is comforting.


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