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There’s safety in numbers when it comes to decorating your home and enhancing your surroundings. Whether it’s a lone (and perhaps lonely) chair with the potential to become a cozy reading corner with the addition of a side table, footrest and floor lamp; or a bench in an entry that looks more significant with wicker baskets below for added texture and storage.

However you go about it, grouping the right items together makes a space more inviting and user-friendly in the end.

Even designer rooms are often styled for a photo shoot partly because the camera can highlight negative space, making it look less appealing than it might be in person. Common props, like linens, can soften the hard edges of kitchen cabinets and countertops. A stack of towels can have the same effect in a bathroom.

Your home office can be a little more playful with some practical pieces. Not only do the desk accessories and other items from Arhaus (see image) look great in a group instead of the standard spread across an entire surface, they offer easy access that way as well.

In the same shot, a dark fireplace is revived when flanked by floor lamps that feature lighter shades, and further embellished with a substantial piece of art.

Since we spend more time inside this season, I try to rearrange my rooms for less clutter and more impact. The simple placement of a wood deer figure behind two pine cone-shaped candles perched on a small stack of books made me so happy that I wondered why I waited so long to give these pieces a proper home.

Now these little objects have been given the chance to live large, while simulating an outdoor scene of a deer in the woods among the trees. Vignettes such as these tell intriguing stories that cannot be told when each piece stands alone.

The same can be said for the salon-style arrangement of the paintings in our entryway that share a common bond. Most of the frames are done in gold tones and the pieces are more striking when shown together as a whole. All of the art on the wall was created by my mother. Even the sentimental value seems to increase when I’m able to share the origin of the collection with those who admire the display.

Decorative elements don’t have to be extravagant to make a statement. Even the most basic cardboard magazine holders build momentum when arranged in a row. A sturdy object like a metal doorstop can double as an unconventional bookend when not in use.

The practice of layering can be as easy as playing with texture and contrast until you’re pleased with the final outcome.

Like a lively cocktail party, decorating is all about the mix. By blending the right components together, you’re bound to elevate your environment as a result of your efforts. So go ahead and chase away the winter blues by introducing a few of your favorite pieces to each other for an entirely new vibe.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at jeaninematlow@earthlink.net.

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