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Monday, October 10, 2011

En Masse

I tend to be a less is more, big is better kind of gal. In fact I use to tell my clients when in doubt use the mantra: Less is more, big is better.

With that in mind it came as a surprise to me when I was  shopping in Carmel with my bloggy buddies how many times I was attracted to large groupings of the same item, or element in a composition or vignette. The elements or objects were En Masse.

Upon looking up the definition it became more clear to me why I was attracted to a composition of so many of the same elements.
En Masse:
Define En masse
noun in a mass; all together; as a group:
in a group; as a whole; all together

Now that makes perfect sense to me!! When a group of elements of the same family are all grouped together, en masse, they will read as one. So it will be a big is better less is more concept!! Aaaah Hah!! Now I get it.

I felt confused about liking a composition of a lot of, “stuff,” since I am a less is more gal, but when grouped en masse it is as if I am looking at one big piece.

I collected some images on my Pinterest board that will be a good example of what I am talking about……….

There are a total of 32 botanical prints in this composition! That is a lot of, “stuff,” by anyone’s standards. Yet, because it is en masse it tends to read as one large piece!

Shall we look at some more compositions?……….


By having the same type of element, as in this grouping of milkglass the composition becomes a statement piece. The milk glass is viewed as a whole unit.

In this grouping we have two compositions, the mirrors, and the Hermes signature orange boxes.

Each of these pottery pieces are a bit different, but when placed en masse they become on large piece of art, so to speak.

The items you choose to put together en masse don’t necessarily have to be exotic, or even a special antique collection. In this grouping the homeowner chose to use every day objects en masse. I love the statement this composition is making in this vintage kitchen.

Every day hats become a sculptural looking vignette when grouped together en masse.

I am not sure how many pieces are needed to be called en masse, but I think when it is more than a pair of something it can be an effective grouping such as in the above image. The demijohns become much more of a statement when placed as a cohesive grouping.

Even simple metal pie plates can make a statement.

This is when more is more!! En Masse done in a gorgeous manner.

A grouping of inexpensive dollar store candles placed en masse makes a beautiful glowing statement.

Last but not least even nature knows how to present us with a beautiful display, En Masse!!

I don’t know about you all, but I am going to start looking around my own  home to see how many like-items I might have so I can make a vignette, En Masse!

Do you have some items that you can think of that would make a wonderful vignette En Masse!?

“Enjoy the Process!” Of:

Discovering new and interesting ways to display your favorite collections.


Quote for the day:

Always scale up, not down. Everyone is terrified of making things too big - if in doubt make it bigger, not smaller.

  - Roger Banks-Pye, Colefax and Fowler Interior Inspirations

All the above images are from my Pinterest board titled: You guessed it, En Masse!


Rosa VirgĂ­nia said...

That's so inspirational! What a perfect way to start the week !

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Thank you KathySue....you just taught me something today that I believe I can use!!

The enchanted home said...

What beautiful examples of things shown en masse! Love it....and love small collections and big too. Yes, would do that in a hearbeat, makes for a beautiful and intersting vignette.

Karen said...

Couldn't agree more, even inexpensive items grouped en masse look amazing. I remember a certain cover of House Beautiful that showed a staircase decorated with inexpensive tissue bells for Christmas. The sheer number of them grouped together made quite an impact.

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

Good morning, my friend!

How are you doing? Did you have a good weekend?

Fantastic post and so inspiring! I need to pay more attention to it. I think all I have "in masse" now are my kids' toys around the house! :-) I'm joking... :-)

Wishing you a very blessed week!


Luciane a HomeBunch.com

Lee said...

I'm a less is more gal too. In the past I would tend to buy a smaller version of a desired item because, well, it was usually less expensive. But I've learned that the larger piece doesn't get lost in the room and I can have way fewer bigger items and still create spots of beauty. And somehow I rationalize fewer objects means I'm saving money by not buying too many smaller items! who knows!

Splendid Sass said...

Wow, Kathysue-
There is a little of everything en masse here!
Thank you for sharing these gorgeous images.

michele said...

so much en masse gorgeous! en masse is tres bien for stimulating the economy too, and i love how this idea gets the creative juices flowing.

have a wonderful week, lovely.


vignette design said...

Hi Kathysue,
I think I like that first image the best--so dramatic. And of course, that gorgeous tablesetting!

Beach House Living said...

The silver plated trays and all white glass and pottery are my favorites. The 32 prints seem very crowded to me. Then again, I don't know a thing about decorating.

Linda Hartong said...

A great post - well illustrated. I love to collect but tend to try placing my collections all over the place. That looks cluttered to me. I will try grouping them together where more is almost less.

Victoria said...

I love displaying en masse. I display my collection of confit pots and crocks; McCoy matte white vases; McCoy matte aqua vases; white ironstone, etc., etc., etc. En masse can often elevate simple things by putting them together, like the pie plates you showed.
I love the images you have chosen...such good examples. The console with Hermes boxes under it is one of my favorites. (Wouldn't you love to have what was in them?) Prints look wonderful displayed en masse as in the top image. Lovely, inspirational post, Kathysue.

The Buzz Blog said...

I was raised with the Chanel mantra of always taking one accessory off before leaving the house so as not to be over-accessorized but I have to love these vignettes en masse. Especially art and flowers, the more the merrier!

Carol@6WilsonBlog.com said...

I've always loved groupings of like objects, especially walls of botanicals and such. But the question I have, is how many art groupings is too many in one house? LOL. I find I have groupings of art in more than a few places and I tend to think enough is enough, but I love it! I always fear it will look uninventive!! But, living with what I love rules out. Hope you have a wonderful day :)

Stacy CUrran said...

These are beautiful and inspirational. It's funny, though - we agree on so much, but I've always been a "more is more" kind of girl. if I like something, I tend to use it A LOT. So I loved this post about en masse!

Linda in AZ * said...

*** ENCORE" for your posting on "En MASSE", KS!!!!!

I have lonnng been a fan of "taking away rather than adding"... I L*O*V*E a really large piece rather than a bunch of little things, no matter WHAT the value! I DO, tho, often change my mind on what I feel like doing in the house at the time, so storage spaces are filled to the brim, so that I can continue to have a beautiful, but uncluttered house!!!!!!

YES!!! Bigger IS better (EXCEPT for my BUNS!!! Grins!!!)...

Linda in AZ *

Sally@DivineDistractions said...

I'm a big fan of collections! I saw your Pinterest board over the weekend, and I repinned many of these! Love the silver trays and the glass candleholders best. Great images!

Georgica pond said...

Interesting observation. I have my blue and white collection, shells and pewter that I display en masse. I think these kinds of collections are fantastic and have such a great impact on a room.

Jennifer @ Belclaire House said...

I love the look of botanical prints en masse. I would love to do that in my hallway someday. Of course, I love a grouping of blue and white ginger jars of all different sizes. It always makes me happy! Great examples!

Unknown said...

Lovely images here! I agree. En masse is always best. Those bundt pans are so cute.

Bring Pretty Back said...

Kathysue- I think my favorite is the cute bundt pans!
Hmmm.. en masse- now you have given me something to think about for the new home!
Have a pretty day!

Lori @ Lori May Interiors said...

I'm totally with you here and now I have the perfect name for it too!

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Great inspiration. Love grouping like objects together. Makes me a little crazy when I see them scattered about...that feels like clutter to me.

Karena said...

Kathysue I so agree, a grouping of similar objects looks so collected and layered.

Beautiful examples!!

I have a giveaway ending tomorrow night, so I hope you enter!


Art by Karena


Great examples, Kathysue! And you're right, we were thinking along the same lines today with our posts. :)

Linda @ theLENNOXX said...

I'm a huge sucker for the "en masse" concept! The gallery wall is a classic example. For vignettes this is definitely the key, and I also feel the same way about layering art! You take the focus away from the individual item, and create a whole new "thing" to adore =)

xox Linda

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Well said and I couldn't agree more! Anything en masse appeals to my anti-clutter "Felix" nature :)

designchic said...

Love an en masse collection...the botanicals are fabulous!!

designchic said...

Love an en masse collection...the botanicals are fabulous!!

Jessie said...

Gorgeous inspirations as usual, Kathysue! I really love a big collection of similar objects, they truly make a huge design statement. And thank you for pinning some of the images from my blog! :)

Have a great week!


Cashon&Co said...

I TOTALLY agree with you on this and you picked out great examples. The cowboy hats on that wall is so unique! You always present such great ideas, and thought provoking topics. :)

Unknown said...

En Masse can definitely elevate the seemingly simplist items into something more.

Love all of your examples!!
xo Elizabeth

elizabeth@themustardceiling said...

Love your examples of en masse collections today. The first example of the 32 botanical prints is superb, it really does make such a statement, but looks so cohesive.

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Kathysue, Love this post. Amazing ideas. I am going to keep some for my inspirational files.

Marcus Design said...

O my goodness, I love this post Kathysue, you found the BEST examples of En masse! I need to save the link to this post to come back to it later!!

Thank you SO much for your kind words on my project today, I always appreciate your opinion and support :)
Nancy xo

pam {simple details} said...

Great post, Kathysue! I always knew I liked it, but never thought about why. You have such a talent for being creative and analytical!