How to arrange objects to instantly elevate your home – tips from an interior designer

Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli Sartori describes how to place artworks and objects to create harmonious and uplifting spaces

artwork hung in grand house
(Image credit: Roberto Peregalli/Massimo Listri for Studio Peregalli Sartori)

You may have a naturally sharp eye for a lovely object or painting, but how confident do you feel when it comes to arranging your things? After all, our connection to objects is a personal one. You can't be told or taught your 'tastes'.

The harder thing is to know what to do with your things, and how to display artworks and objects and create vignettes to add impact and balance. We sat down with Laura Sartori Rimini from the architectural firm Studio Peregalli Sartori to find out how we can take our home galleries to the next level.

How to arrange objects like an interior designer

Laura tells us, 'Whether it's something you thrifted because you loved it, something that reminds you of something, or an object you were given, the objects we choose to surround ourselves with are important.'

Here, Laura delves into the crucial things to keep in mind when we're arranging the objects in our homes. From pairing surprising elements to embracing imperfection, these top tips will help you to curate your collection like a gallerist.  

Consider the space you're working with

hallway with console with objects and art on wall

(Image credit: François Hallard/Studio Peregalli)

'We always start with the architecture of a space. It’s important to start with a well-proportioned room, otherwise, whatever you put on display is unlikely to be beautiful. There has to be harmony between the architecture and the interior.' 

'Similarly, it is important to ground our projects in the places they exist. For one 16th-century house in Tangier, we did this by framing old photos of the medina in the city and hanging them in the hallway. It gives the house an idea of the atmosphere of its past.' 

Embrace the unexpected and keep things relaxed

bedroom with art on wall and bedside table with lamp and vase of flowers

(Image credit: Studio Peregalli Sartori/Roberto Peregalli)

'There are no set rules for how you want to display your collections. You can put things together in lots of different ways and get a beautiful result. We love to group items that seem almost peculiar together, mixing antique and contemporary, and high and low value. It’s all about finding the beauty in the unexpected.'

'Our philosophy is that there should be a touch of casualness in the way you organize a display: things should not look too stiff or formal. Otherwise, there is the danger that it will feel like a hotel or a home designed by a developer. Simple things, like books, are wonderful objects to display – you can let them become the protagonists of a room.' 

Strike a balance between high and low

living room with green sofa and artwork above sofa in grand space

(Image credit: Studio Peregalli Sartori/Massimo Listri)

'If you have extraordinary things, you might want to keep the rest of the room simple. We worked with an antique dealer who had a sculpture from Myanmar and elaborate Indian wall panels. We kept the walls simple, with subtle hand-painted stripes to emphasize the collection.' 

'But not all objects have to be grand. On an 18th-century console in my pied-à-terre in Paris, I put coral and shells; they’re very simple things, and perhaps unexpected, but I love how they give the display a little twist, as well as remind me of the sea.' 

Make peace with imperfection

hallway with art on walls

(Image credit: Studio Peregalli Sartori/Massimo Listri)

'Don’t worry about perfection in a display. We bought a huge quantity of 17th-century Chinese white and blue porcelain from an auction. It had been in a shipwreck and was damaged, so no one else wanted it. But we saw the beauty in it and have used it to create vignettes on the walls of a house we built in Spain. It looks so majestic; the chips and dents tell their own stories.'

There's no need to be afraid of getting it 'wrong' when it comes to creating a display at home. Things can be endlessly moved around and switched in or out. What's important is to ignore hard and fast rules, and instead, start by surrounding yourself with things that you love. Consider balance, scale, and contrast, and your home collection will be a continuing source of joy. 

Jessica Salter
Contributing Editor

Jessica Salter is an interiors writer who interviews the leading interior designers and tastemakers each month in Homes and Gardens about their inspiring, yet practical ways to instill a slice of high-end design nous in our own homes and lives.


Jessica has had the luxury of snooping around some of the most stylish houses in the world, such as Pearl Lowe’s Cotswolds manor house, designer Matilda Goad’s London house and the interior design studio and husband and wife duo Buchanan Studio. She delights in asking the biggest names in the world of interiors, from Nina Campbell to Sophie Ashby, the really practical questions that we all want answers to – such as where to source that perfect living rug, kitchen cupboard handle, or paint finish – and loves finding out the design hacks that we can all achieve, especially on a budget.


After studying English Literature, Jessica started her career in journalism as a news reporter at the Daily Telegraph, before moving into the paper’s Saturday Magazine as a commissioning editor of lifestyle and food features, interviewing cultural influencers from authors and actors to politicians and inspirational figures, reporting on key trends across the sectors of health, fitness and wellbeing.

With contributions from