Less Is More

{originally posted on 11/16/2011}

One thing I have learned in the design business is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to freshen up a room. Actually, the opposite can be true at times. Sometimes what a room really needs in order to stay fresh a new is a good cleaning and de-cluttering. You know those days when you feel like you have so much on your plate that you do a ton of stuff, yet nothing seems to have gotten done? Well the same can sort-of be true in decorating. No matter how cute or brilliant a certain bed spread curtain, sofa, pillow, dining table, rug, or cabinet are... if you crowd them with too many accessories they will go unnoticed.

Here is an example of a "more" bedroom

Dont get me wrong, this is a fantastic room... but there is a little too much in it for the eye to focus on anything in particular.

and "less"...

See how the striped walls and patterned rug can make a statement because they aren't being hidden by a ton of distraction?

More...

Less...

How to make it work:

1. When decorating a room focus on a few elements (maybe 2-3) that you really want to stand out. That may be a table, bed, chair, ottoman, artwork, shelving or even a rug. Focus on what you like the most in a room... that will be what stays.

2. Next, go through the other elements in the room, particularly the small ones, one by one and decide if they are worthy of staying in the space. This part can be tough, sometimes we don't want to part with our things, but remember, you can always relocate things to another space... as long as you don't let them become clutter there!

3. Once you have done a good cleaning-out, arrange the items that were deemed worth keeping in the room. Just because you have decided to keep something doesn't mean it has to stay in the exact same spot!

4. Last, make sure you have some boldness in the space. This may include an oversized piece of furniture, curtains or art. Or maybe a bright color or vibrant pattern used on a pillow or in an upholstered piece. Once you have cleaned the space of clutter, you will have left-over "visual space" for some boldness.

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