I am often asked as a designer how to create interesting displays, infact so many stores in my mind do this badly plonking items all over the shop without any kind of rhythm that I find myself restyling their spaces much to the annoyance of whoever I am with!
Its not about being cowed by a rigid scheme but unless the juxaposition of each object is right your design will feel disjointed and out of kilter. How the eye flows from one object to the next will be determined by the shape and size of each item. In addition every area has to have ‘negative’ space which allows groupings or stand alone pieces to breathe. I say mix it all up a bit – so say the odd stone pelican cast from concrete (sorry am obsessed with these guys of late) next to smaller bits and bots. Just remember to balance the assortment with oodles of space and the occasional bit of symmetry.
An arty selection of objects broken up with bursts of negative space which helps to emphasize each group is to my mind perfection!
Pelicans (love love love them) add a dash of panache to this mantle piece. Now here there is only a smidge of space between the objects and yet the display looks vibrant and balanced and thats because the grouping is united by a very simple colour palette. See – easy peasy!