For the past six years, I’ve written a regular interior design feature called “Designing the West” for Western Art & Architecture magazine. I love talking with the talented designers and studying the beautiful spaces they create, and I’ve learned so much from these conversations.
With few exceptions, most of the rooms featured in home design magazines are open and uncluttered. People with great taste can often afford to fill their homes full of stuff (and some do), but most tend to opt for rooms that lean toward simplicity and serenity.
Many of the top designers I talk to invest in clean-lined, classic furniture of good quality and scale, appropriate for the size of the room.
They help their clients accessorize sparingly. With just a few well-chosen pieces, spaces look elegant and streamlined.
Here’s an example from the January 2017 issue of Western Art & Architecture, featuring a lovely dining room designed by Nina Magon, founder and creative director of Contour Interior Design. I love the simple slab table, the classic lines of the chairs, and the fresh flowers and simple pieces she placed on the table. The room is open and spare, with plenty of space around the furniture.
Simplicity Adds Appeal
If you’ve ever browsed home listings on real estate websites, you may have noticed that the homes that are uncluttered look larger and more appealing. Cluttered spaces, on the other hand, can seem small and cramped.
Professional stagers are sometimes hired to declutter and spruce up spaces of homes for sale. The result? Realtors say that buyers offer a 1 to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged home.
The good news is that we can emulate this look in our own homes. We can edit our belongings. We can store things, and resist the urge to fill every surface of our homes with stuff.
Uncluttered rooms are also easier to clean, which will give us more time to relax and enjoy our homes.
As we wean ourselves off the January Money Diet, we will be confronted with shopping temptations. We will need to be strong! So let’s visualize our homes as beautiful, simple and spare when we are tempted to buy throw rugs or gyro snack bowls or Brookstone TV remote pillows.
A Weekend Challenge
To avoid spending during this final January Money Diet weekend, I’m going to continue decluttering and work on simplifying the look of some of our rooms. I have another load of stuff to drop off at the ARC to complete Challenge #1 of giving away 31 things. I’m also going to clean surfaces and edit some of our accessories.
Would you like to join me?
If you do any streamlining or editing of your stuff, or work on any of the other challenges, we’d love to hear your experiences. I have thoroughly enjoyed your many wonderful comments and ideas throughout the diet!
Enjoy this final weekend of simplicity and saving, and you’ll hear from me again on Monday.