A “flat lay” or “flatlay” is simply a still-life picture of objects lying on a flat surface. Here are tips and tricks on how to capture aesthetically appealing flat lays.
Find your flat surface. For your background “canvas”, you can use a table, however you’ll have to climb up a chair or step stool to make sure you capture all of your goodies in your frame. Or, you can just lay them on the floor.
Choose the right items to suggest a story. Composition ideas often come from looking at objects. IKEA is the source of the most amazing selection of house decoration items. However, avoid picking up objects randomly. Instead, carefully select objects that interplay to animate your picture and that invite viewers to wonder at your story or create their own stories.
Keep it minimalist. A picture cluttered with a patchwork of objects often fails to capture the viewer’s attention. Empty spaces help to focus the viewers’ attention. An empty spaces is not a wasted space. For example, here I have only 3 items: a wooden cutting board from IKEA which hints at the color of my Aesop bottle and a dried flower bouquet.
Use a contrasting background. Put dark-colored objects against a light background, and vice versa.
Break the rules. Instead of using a flat smooth surface, I prefer a wrinkled white bed sheet. It gives life to your picture.
Proportion and balance. Sharing a visual recipe for a turmeric latte? You do not need to show all the ingredients but select the ones (and add utensils and non-essential items) that make for a visually interesting composition. For my latte recipe, I include from my IKEA shopping spree – a ridiculously nice looking kitchen towel, wooden cutting board, a table set as well as some ingredients.
Here is my list of 5 essential IKEA item to achieve picturesque and evocative flat lays:
- A steptool to capture the picture from above.
- A stylish wooden cutting board, alternatively a marble-like one.
- Fake or real flowers, and a cactus.
- A bed sheet that serves as background surface.
- Any table deco such as candle, pot or even kitch deco to dress-up the picture.