Stressless Style

What Makes a Conversation Piece Worth Talking About?

[dropcap]Conversation doesn’t always come easy when you’re entertaining guests in your home. General pleasantries and brief comments about the weather and other mundane topics can quickly fall into awkward silences. But that’s when outstanding conversation pieces come to the rescue![/dropcap]

Meant to convey your style and personality, these unusual touches of décor also serve as engaging conversation starters. These trinkets and curios will lead you and your guests down a path of amusing anecdotes and into genuine conversation that creates the foundation of lasting friendships.

Filling your home with impressive conversation pieces is easier than you think. All you have to do is look for objects that are unique, personal, sentimental, popular or quirky. Don’t know where to start? Browse our list of potential conversation pieces to get inspired.

A Unique Piece: Paintings

Find a painting that speaks to you. Perhaps it’s an oil painting of bears dancing in the forest, or a contemporary abstract piece full of color. Whatever your style, there’s sure to be a painting that matches it. And if you paint, make your home your art gallery! Hang your favorite pieces on the wall, and let your guests contemplate each painting as you discuss your creative process. Explore how each person interprets a piece of art—you may be surprised how different or alike you and your guests think.

A Personal Piece: Musical Instrument

You know that polished black electric guitar you got as a teenager? The one that’s collecting dust in the dark recesses of a closet? Or what about that shiny flute? The one you used all through high school for marching band, but now sits unused in its case? Get them out! Hang the guitar on a wall; prominently set the flute on a display shelf. Consider adding a photo or two of you rocking out on stage, or wearing that uncomfortable marching band uniform, complete with shako hat and plume. Soon you and your guests will be swapping stories about performance experiences and musical training.

A Sentimental Piece: Framed Photo or Photo Album

Printed photographs are a bit of a novelty in our digital world. Framed photos or albums show your guests that these captured moments are worth their attention. You can even tailor your photos and photobooks to your guests—having your bridesmaids over after the wedding? Set your wedding photos out for them to look through while you pour the champagne. You and your gals will have a delightful time reminiscing about the wedding ceremony and reception and laughing at all of those candid snapshots.

A Popular Piece: Best-Selling Book

Set the book you just finished, or the book you are currently reading on an end table. Find those novels that you’ve read that are about to be adapted to screen. Strategically place best-selling books by well-known authors on shelves for your guests to find. Your party-goers may have recently read some of these books, or they have heard of the titles and will ask your opinion, opening the door for fun discussions about favorite authors and books.

A Quirky Piece: Souvenir

Show off random trinkets and souvenirs you picked up while on vacation for fun and interesting conversation starters. Display that bright purple porcelain rabbit you found in an antique shop in London on your end table. Set the digital cat translator you bought in Japan on your coffee table. Place the hand-carved kangaroo from Australia on a nearby shelf. These weird and bizarre knickknacks will quickly have you and your guests recalling fond memories of past travels and vacations.

No matter what you choose, incorporating fun baubles, memorabilia and artwork into your home is a surefire way to ignite meaningful conversations with your family and friends. Now, awkward silences at your parties will be a thing of the past!