Finding a Purpose for Purposeless Decor
All form, no function.
Published Aug 26, 2019 7:00 AM
Let’s dispel the long-standing shopping myth that everything you buy must be useful. Actually, it’s perfectly acceptable to purchase things that serve no inherent purpose other than to look cool. We’re not talking about an eccentric rug that ties your living room together or a mirror that you don’t totally need. No, we’re referring to aesthetically pleasing decorative accents that perform absolutely no function—objets d’art, if you’re feeling fancy.
Sculptures, statuettes, trinkets, and totems—things that are all form and no function. Still, they can make a striking difference in your space, breaking up the novels on your bookshelf or helping your coffee table appear deliberately styled. But admittedly, these objects can be a little intimidating to find a place for in your home. Sure, they look good, but where should you put them?
The good news is that you have pretty much infinite options for arranging these items. The bad news is also that you have pretty much infinite options for arranging these items. So let us give you some ideas:
The Ceramic Spring
Name an object more delightful than this shiny little coil by ceramist Mérida Anderson. Just think how much cooler it would look stationed on your dresser, right next to your favorite candle.
The Wild Things
These sweet, one-of-a-kind creatures are pretty much begging to be placed on your kitchen’s open shelves, a welcome surprise among those neat stacks of plates and bowls.
The Pet Rock
Nestle this delightful sculpture by Chiaozza amid a couple plants to create a whimsical nature vignette.
The Space-Age Pyramids
Nothing quite compares to these citrine sculptures when they catch the light. Group a few of them on your windowsill for optimal shine.
The Calming Cones
These peace bells by Eliot Bergman—made from melted bullet casings—are meant to encourage harmony and good vibes. So it’s best to set them on your dining room table amid candlesticks when you’re hosting a dinner party. If drama rears its head, just reach over and start ringing.
The Futuristic Cylinder
This totem is deceptively versatile. Display it as is on your mantel for a cool, architectural moment (styling that spot is all about playing with different heights), or remove its top and use it as a vase to place on your kitchen counter instead.
The Stacking Stones
Building blocks, all grown up. These wood rocks make for the ideal coffee-table accent that you can toy with when you have friends over. Consider it low-stakes, elevated Jenga.