I had a refreshing conversation with a client/friend recently about reordering and supplementing her space to make it more peaceful and inviting. It brought me back to what I feel is important, and what I am most attracted to in my own living space. My last post explores ways to create a peaceful environment and this one is a follow up.
I want a quiet, peaceful space and I'm constantly fighting my attraction to objects. I love pattern, texture, shapes and a bit of glitz. After several years of letting myself buy this because.... or that because...., I have areas of my house that are getting just too object driven. I'm currently in a simplifying phase and I have three guiding principles:
- Embrace space by decluttering
- Celebrate ordinary things
- Focus on what you value
Today's focus is.... Embrace space by decluttering
Getting rid of all the excesses in a house leaves a space that is simpler and opened up. I feel you need to walk that fine line between owning objects and feeling burdened by them. When you remove things you let empty space occupy the site, and your eyes will seek that openness.
Do you want a table laden with an array of objects or do you want several meaningful objects?
For some people this is the ultimate in a layered vignette on a table top. In my own home, I would find this amount of "stuff" aggravating because my eye has no place to rest. Removing all but several meaningful objects would create a calmer space.
My eye is happier moving over this arrangement which has visual interest with its varying textures, shapes and heights, but still feels calm.
Or this white on white arrangement with wood tones to break it up.
For a more dramatic look you can have darker or more intense colour, but still have a pared down, clean look.
If you love art it is always a challenge to have just enough to appreciate what you have. Each art piece needs its own personal space just like people. Cluttered gallery walls are not for everyone. Less is often more.
Here are several space enhancing tricks with art:
1960′s artwork by Al Held above a Louis XIV gilded settee
photography Roger Davies, Western Interiors April ’09
Arranging one piece of art over furniture and viewing it from a distance creates a long view. Your eye moves over the space that is in front of it in a seeking fashion. Honing in so to speak. It's very effective. You need larger or dramatic work for this trick to be effective. Framing with a doorway is a great way to move your eye through.
Use repetition of simple frames and black and white on a coloured wall to anchor work and attract the eye. While there are four works here you view them as a unit.
Let art work take centre stage. This room doesn't need any other art with these three panels.
Create a supporting vignette under art but don't overdo it. All of the elements of this vignette work together to support the art. You could remove the books and pillows for a more pared down look. It depends on how "hard' or "soft" you want your look to be.
Do you like to create more visual space in your home? How do you achieve it?