When decorating any room, there comes a time when it feels like you should be finished, but it still just seems like something is missing. You can usually identify the problem by scanning the periphery of the room: an empty corner, bare walls, flat proportions, etc. And while artwork, sconces, plants, and accent chairs and tables can definitely help, pieces that offer variety in scale to both break up and balance out the anchor items are usually the solution. Enter: the pedestal. A cross between sculptural artwork and a handy surface to prop up decorative objects, the pedestal is a designer go-to for small entryways, awkward nooks, and large rooms that need more than just the basic furniture items to appear complete. Are you ready to meet the humble stool’s statelier cousin? It’s time to put the cure-all pedestal in its rightful place: perched up on a pedestal! Ahead, discover 15 pedestal decorating ideas to show you how to put the unsung hero of design to good use in your own space.
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Drawing upon the silhouette of classic European columns but in an island-friendly woven material, this planter-meets-pedestal is the perfect finishing touch to this coastal living room by Anna Spiro Design.
Two pedestals are better than one—it makes the adjoining spaces feel like they are in conversation with one another. The lesson? Foyers don’t always have to be practical, says Nick Olsen, who combined a graphic black-and-white wallcovering, iconic Warhol lithographs, pediment-topped mirrored niches, and a striking lime green ceiling in one New York apartment. “Those are first-impression spaces—more decorative than functional—so why not play that up?” he asks.
This contemporary countryside living room designed by Robert McKinley Studio is full of cerebral conversation starters. Take, for example, the pedestal holding up a tower of rocks, which call to mind the age-old dichotomy between manmade and natural beauty.
The centerpiece of this living room—designed by Peti Lau for DJ Drew Taggart of the Chainsmokers—is the Yamaha piano, but all the decorative pieces behind it bring it to life. A custom shelf creatively displays awards, instruments, and mementos from touring while a beautiful postmodern marble pedestal props up a planter containing birds of paradise.
Pedestals bring value to literally any room in the house, including unexpected places, like the bathroom. In this strikingly modern primary bath by Raji RM, a pedestal lengthens the room and brings the other decorative pieces playing with shape, like the graphic rug and pendant, into a three-dimensional piece.
No one does blue and white quite like Mark D. Sikes. Just look at this entryway! He piled on patterns in this Beverly Hills foyer, mixing wallpaper and textiles with Fermoie chandelier shades and an Elizabeth Eakins striped rug. But you can guess our favorite touch? The white pedestal with dramatic blooms, of course.
Sometimes a pedestal is all you need, no decorative accents necessary. Such is the case in this striking bathroom designed by Tamsin Johnson Interiors. Deep red marble speaks to the abstract purple wall art and warms up the cooler gray materials throughout.
The shop mannequin torso (a playful and simultaneously serious nod to museum-worthy predecessors) sits atop a burled wood pedestal, immediately drawing the eye into the living room from the entryway. Designed by Juan Carretero, this small Manhattan apartment features gallery-inspired decor while still feeling like a liveable home.
Here’s another creative pedestal idea that really demontrates the versatility of the piece. Functioning as a makeshift nightstand in this bedroom by Tamsin Johnson Interiors, a gold pedestal holds a small vase for fresh cut flowers, reading material, and even a night light. Unlike a classic bedside table, the pedestal feels decidedly modern and radical.
Frank De Biasi called on unexpected items to bring this formal living room to life. Everything single piece boasts a sculptural quality that makes the room more interesting and nuanced without screaming, “Hey, look at me, I’m interesting!” This includes the magenta-painted side table, richly veined marble pedestal adorned with a contemporary bust, a bumpy table lamp, and a woven folding screen.
Tucked discreetly behind the sofa in this eclectic sitting room by Casey Smith, the pedestal props up a vase and speaks to the layers of textures, dimensions, and materials used throughout the space.
Pastels rule in this study designed by Anna Spiro. A classic Roman bust is a cheeky choice on top of the contemporary yellow interpretation of traditional pedestals.
A curved ceiling in this petite Venitian retreat by Matthew White sets the intimate stage in this sitting room. To balance out the cozy environment, White brought in dressier accents and custom upholstery. Traditional, framed visual art would difficult to secure to the curved ceiling, but that’s where the ridged column and corner lamp come in to bring that sense of beauty.
Have we mentioned that a tall pedestal or column is the perfect thing to put in a narrow or awkward corner? It can give you a place for catch-alls or vases that still won’t eat up all the free floor room. The one in an entryway by Corinne Mathern Studio blends right in, thanks to the contemporary plaster construction.
In a large open living space, separate the room into zones with a console or sofa table as well as two separate area rugs and then add a pedestal by the wall under a sconce, as done in this great room designed by Tamsin Johnson.
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