I’ve never been much of a bowler.
It’s not that I actively dislike the sport or go out of my way to avoid it. It’s just that I’ve frequently got something else I’d rather do than to lug around a ball that weighs more than my head and throw it at some innocent little pins while wearing shoes that a thousand other people have had on their feet.
What does bowling have to do with interior design? Legitimate question.
If you were to ask me for one of my best tips to make your home look like it was designed by a professional, I would tell you about The Bowling Ball Rule.
The Bowling Ball Rule doesn’t mean you must display a 15 pound orb somewhere in your home. But what it DOES mean is this: to pull off that designer look, your décor items shouldn’t be smaller than a bowling ball.
“Go big, or go home,” you know?!
Check out the best home design magazines and websites, and what you WON’T see is a lot of little things sitting around. If you’re not careful, little things can look like clutter. What you WILL see is larger items and fewer of them.
Here are a few photos with large accessories that look pretty fabulous.
Are those giant gas cans on the cabinet back there?
I love the giant vases and the ginormous painting in this entry way.
Large painting, large accessories, large ROOM!
And here's a painting in a regular-sized bathroom that makes a big statement!
Here's a house I decorated last week. Huge clock with accessories for a huge fireplace. And larger-than-bowling-balls accessories on the hearth.
So how do you apply The Bowling Ball Rule if the things you already have are smaller than bowling balls?
Gather things together on a tray that’s bigger than a bowling ball. (Read more about using trays here.)
Make bowling-ball-sized groupings of smaller things on a shelf or on the wall. Then leave some open space around the grouping. Your eye will see the collection as one LARGE thing rather than a bunch of little things.
Here's the same house with smaller accessories grouped together on the book shelf.
I was in this house last week and thought the homeowner must be at least a little familiar with bowling balls. Her accessories are on the smaller side, but she's made a nice grouping on the mantel and the effect is light and airy.
TA DA! There you have it: one of my favorite tips. For your own lovely home, try The Bowling Ball Rule. No sweaty shoes required!