Instead of spreading small items around a room, why not group them together on a wooden or metal tray to invite people to handle them – opening boxes, stroking feathers, looking through an album, sniffing pot-pourri. Though it doesn’t cut down on dusting, it does mean that they can all be tackled in one fell swoop. Keeping windowsills and radiator cabinets clear(er) makes a room seem less cluttered.
A tray can be joined by books, magazines. flowers, newspapers and candles. A variety of heights and textures looks good and odd numbers of objects can look better than even ones.
Coffee table is a ‘Jaipur’ design in solid sheesham (Indian rosewood) from Wilko sale. No longer stocked by Wilko but items from the range can be found at Myakka, John Lewis and J D Williams, for example.
- Laura Ashley cream marble footed bowl (sale) filled with stones from beaches, collected as a child.
- Rosetta Stone copy, British Museum via Oxfam.
- Brown dish, Dunelm. Pot-pourri, Wilko.
- Tube containing papyrus from Egypt, present from parents.
- Brown wooden tray, IKEA.
- Wooden solitaire box, Oxfam.
- Ceramic walnut lidded dish, Oxfam.
- Paperweight made from recycled HMS Victory rivets, Nauticalia.
- Egyptian mummy pencil tin, present from parents.
- Carved wooden Taj Mahal(ish) box, boot fair.
- Murano glass bowl, Oxfam.
- Signed first edition, Waterstones Edinburgh.
- Small dish, Wilko, filled with conkers, fruit stones and nuts collected over years.
- Ben de Lisi Indian-made ruler box, Debenhams.
- Miniature vase made from a polished rock, boot fair.
- Indian brass bell, 10p in jumble sale as a child.
- Brass bowl, Oxfam filled with cowrie shells from a boutique in Tenterden, Kent.
- Voluspa ‘Crisp Champagne’ double wick candle in tin, Marisota.
- Wooden tray, boot fair.
- Wooden leopard, Oxfam.
- Small wooden box inlaid with brass and small brass pot, presents from mother.
Nothing valuable, but a lot of variety. The items get moved around and swapped with others, periodically.
Voluspa double wick ‘Crisp Champagne’ candle tin in photo is sold out at Marisota, but a few left at House of Fraser. Voluspa ‘Crisp Champagne’ double wick candle tin, House of Fraser