Yesterday I shared photos of little details around my home (and former home) that were either intentional or accidental arrangements of objects. I love a simple, clean look at home. I despise clutter and dust, but I do love decorative arrangements. Needless to say, I’ve had to pick up a few tricks over the years to balance these two sensibilities.
I think sometimes people are nervous to use decorative pieces because they are nervous that the look will be too cluttered or knick-knacky. This is definitely a valid concern! There is always a chance that stuff can lead to clutter and dust and end up looking tacky. Here’s what’s worked for me:
• Be very picky. Only buy and keep individual pieces that you absolutely love. Don’t bother with items that you feel lukewarm about.
• A little sentiment is nice. In addition to the point above, I find that I love pieces even more when they are both beautiful and tell a little story. I feel this way about the vases I bought on my honeymoon, for example.
• Find new homes for pieces that you’re not absolutely in love with. Of course, if it’s a family heirloom or particularly valuable you may want to be careful about how you get rid of it. Perhaps another family member would enjoy it more, or maybe you can sell a valuable (but not sentimental) item for a nice chunk of change.
• Rotate your collections. This is actually the most important point to follow in keeping your home stylishly clutter-free. I have a lot more decor items than are ever out at one given time. Switching out my collections every few months is a great way to breathe new life into a room and satisfies my need for a new look. It also forces me to clean and keep all the pieces dust-free.
• Make sure your collections only take up about 25% of available open space. My collection of vases on my sideboard is a good example of this rule.
• Group like items together. Again, the vases above are a good example. Pieces often have more impact if they are clustered together in one spot, rather than spread here and there. It also helps with following the 25% rule.
• Odd numbers of objects are often more pleasing than even numbers of objects. In the photo below I curated a still life from my collection of vases based on shape and color. I added the little ceramic otter to balance the overall look and ensure an odd number of pieces.