HOME FURNISHINGS

Four Tips on How to Avoid a Cluttered Look When Decorating

Jan 27, 2018  By Thomasville

No one aspires to clutter, and yet it creeps into our lives and rooms anyway. And as you sit in familiar surroundings day after day, sometimes you can’t even tell what the clutter is made of. All you know is that the room bothers you somehow. When that happens, it might be time to wipe the slate clean, lay a foundation of simple décor, and then take a fresh look around. These four tips will help you catch the vision:

Choose fewer and bigger:

Whether the room itself is big or small, tiny things create visual clutter. And objects that are undersized make a room or a display look uncomfortable and out of place. If you have furniture with slender visible legs, make sure you provide balance with pieces that are more solid and substantial. Otherwise, all the small lines make the room feel restless and yes, cluttered. Lay the foundation for simple décor with fewer, larger items.

Be careful with color:

Uncluttered can also be colorful, but simple décor is easier to achieve with a neutral, even monochromatic palette. Every additional color, every contrast, is another visual element, and colors can add up to clutter as surely as knick-knacks can. If you want to create a colorful but uncluttered room, balance and visual flow is key, which means a solid understanding of basic color theory and how your colors are interacting with each other. Freshome provides a good primer here. But the easiest way to clear away visual clutter is to stick to a neutral or monochromatic color scheme.

Confine collections:

You don’t have to have a hundred tiny teacups to have a collection problem cluttering your room. If you do have a hundred tiny teacups, by all means bring them together in a single, contained display. If you don’t, the same principle applies: don’t let any multiples or like items run around on their own. Put remotes in a basket. Put a group of candles on a tray. Containers express intention with small items, rather than a random mess, so you can reclaim simple décor even when you do have smaller items by keeping them in defined groups.

Embrace open space:

Our lives are full, and it’s natural to want to fill our spaces the same way we fill our schedules. Just as Coco Chanel said the trick to dressing well was to take one thing off, resist and reduce. Just because a shelf exists doesn’t mean it needs to be filled. Allow surfaces to be clear. Allow walls to be empty. That said, you can go too far, and tip from simple décor to undecorated. As with everything, balance is key. Think of your empty space as negative space, which implies there’s a positive to offset it. Hang art that’s the right size and orientation for the wall. Choose rugs that are large enough. And then, when you wonder whether you’ve got it just right, take that one thing away and see how you like the result.

In our busy lives, sometimes simple décor, done well, is just what we need to create the home where we can completely relax.

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