Centerpieces have long been a staple of interior design methodology. Rooms make sense when they have a focal point to draw the eye.
Many scholars believe that the Romans first got the ball rolling on the idea, nearly two thousand years ago. People would often place handmade ceramics on tables or use pastries to create more visual interest. Some would even use indoor plants.
As the centuries wore on, centerpieces became a regular fixture in rooms. It almost became expected. In the middle ages, for instance, wealthy homeowners would use bowls of nuts or sugar as decorative elements. By the Victorian era, the indoor Christmas tree made a regular appearance in homes up and down the country. If you could afford a large one, you did.
But what is about centrepieces that make them so fundamental? Why are they non-negotiable in interior design?
They amplify the theme of a home
Every well put together home must have a theme of one sort or another. Whether it’s contemporary or classical doesn’t matter: it all has to fit together in a seamless whole.
Centerpieces help to solidify and amplify a theme beyond subtle decoration. It leaves you in no doubt about the aesthetic that you’re trying to achieve. There’s a sense that focal points bring subtly to a theme that you don’t get when you focus exclusively on colours.
They add interest
Interior design would be pretty dull without centerpieces. Every room has to have a climax of one description or another, whether it’s a fireplace, cabinet, desk, or abstract flower paintings. The key is to find an object that makes sense as the centerpiece when paired with the rest of the room. In dining rooms, for instance, the centerpiece usually sits at the centre of the dining table. In the living room, you have more freedom. People often choose a heavily embellished fireplace as the focal point of the room.
You can even have focal points in bedrooms dominated by beds. Placing an attractive headboard against the wall or fixing a painting above the bed helps make a room blend better.
They add style and flow
Designers often like to talk about concepts like design and flow, but nailing down what they actually mean can be a bit of a challenge. A room’s style is essentially the artistic rules that it follows – such as boho or shabby chic. Flow is how all the elements blend together – something that is much more difficult to get right.
A room with flow feels natural and well-proportioned. It doesn’t confuse the eye in any way. One that doesn’t have this feels claustrophobic and messy, even if you keep it uncluttered.
They let you accessorise furniture
Finally, centerpieces allow you to accessorise your furniture. You can use them to adorn bedside tables or your living room sideboard. Pairing two objects together is usually better than deploying them in isolation. Don’t forget to adjust your room’s lighting to show off your focal points at their best. Lighting paintings from below and above, for instance, is good practice.