Book review: Visual Contrast

Visual Contrast, the art of display and arrangement by Tim Rundle with photography by Polly Wreford, is probably the most beautiful book I got this year. It has been on my pile of “things to read” for three months now, and I regret that I didn’t get to it sooner. The book is an indispensable resource to anyone who would like to learn more about what works well in decorating and why some arrangements of objects look more interesting than others. Stylist Tim Rundle shares his secret: visual contrast.


30s Magazine book reviewTim Rundle, stylist, traveller, collecter and curator shows us in his own distinctive style how to arrange your treasures, art and objects to bring out the best of them in your interior. There is no need to buy new things if you know how to stage them and how to pair them with other accessories. Tim Rundle is a master in mixing and matching different styles using juxtaposition and contrast. He gives us tips and tricks, explains the process, discusses the main points of contrast, and how to use them effectively.Visual Contrast Tim Rundle 2Tim Rundle Visual Contrast

book review visual contrast

The book is also unique for its many fold out pages, and smaller booklet like add-ins to carry through the visual contrast in the book production as well. How creative is that? I also love the moodboards it features to illustrates the process from collecting your objects, to selecting and styling. The book has four chapters with several subchapters. Chapter one focuses on shape, scale, dimension and form. The second chapter breaks down how to work with colour. How do you style light vs dark, or a cool colour temperature vs a hot one? The third chapter lays down placement options. Rundle gives practical tips about orientation, order and quantity. How do you create interest? And when do you opt for a single object, and when for multiple? The last chapter is all about personality. Mixing serious and playful accessories, or ethnic and European styles gives a space character.

Visual Contrast - Form Visual contrast book

Visual Contrast, The Art of Display and Arrangement, Tim Rundle with photography by Polly Wreford, 2013, Ryland Peters & Small, ISBN 978-1-84975-360-9

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3 thoughts on “Book review: Visual Contrast

  1. Oh I love this book!!! So my style, I’ve never seen this before … I go check this book and the work of Tim Rundle right now… Thx Louise for this post!

    Have a nice Sunday 🙂 Iris

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