Winter on the Outer Cape is a time to reset. While most people focus that effort on their inner lives, some of us go for an easier kind of reorganization, one that does not require meditation so much as a trip to the swap shop. Here are some ideas for rearranging one shelf at a time. Scaling back the things that collect there is a first step. Next, group like with like. Think about the colors surrounding your objects, too.
Start by selecting a few items that make you happy. For Louise Briggs, these ceramics made by a former teacher did the trick. They are the focal point for a display in her Truro bedroom. Grouped by color, their subdued grays, browns, and greens seem neutral but stand out on a bright rusty-red shelf. She added a complementary, but muted, color to the wall for a backdrop. It’s a lavender-gray called Spring Iris (Benjamin Moore 1402).
When working with fewer colors, create textural interest. Dianne Longchamps weathered the paint on this antique window frame to contrast with smooth pewter surfaces in her Wellfleet living room. Lavender sprigs stay in the same silvery range but add lively outlines — plus their warm summer scent.
Louise Briggs pared back a collection to make some favorites come into view. In this grouping of birds, Louise plays with scale: the diminutive birds get your attention because there is ample white space behind them. With less to busy the eye, each bird brings its own joy.