My recent blogs have been about getting inspiration from traveling locally or internationally. These travels also turn us into collectors – of shells from a beach, beads and baskets from local markets or furnishings from exotic corners of the world. But, what happens when our space becomes inundated with our collections? Look around you, do you have a place to set a cup of tea! Is there a space on the walls for the eye to rest? Editing a space is one of the most important ways to control and keep the design of your space rich and relaxing.
The famous International Style architect, Mies van de Rohe, said it best “Less is More”. I find this time of year is best for editing a room or space. The weather is cold, snowy, windy and rainy – keeping us inside more. While you are relaxing inside, sit in a room and slowly scan the room. Take a visual tour starting at the corner of one wall and continue around the room. Find something that pops out at you immediately. Make a note of each item – whether it’s a piece of furniture, a light fixture, a piece of art, a book, or candle – whatever.
Now go back to the same starting point – find something that you hadn’t noticed or paid attention to in a long time. You may find several things on each wall. Put all of these items on a table in the middle of the room. Evaluate the importance of each of these items. Is there a specific meaning to them? Can you live without them? If the answer is yes, you can live without it, DISCARD! Do this until you have only what is important to you. If you are not sure about some items, put these items in a box and place the box in storage. The remaining items are the items you put back – but not in the same spots. Find new LOCATIONS. You just created a newly revamped room. You now have breathing room on your shelves and walls. Your eyes and the eyes of your friends and family will now focus on your treasures that were being hidden by insignificant placement. In fact, maybe your collections were distracting you from an interesting view outside.
Visit my website and see the Carnegie Hill dining room where a reading corner was created in a large dining room. I placed books in a way that left openings – not all shelves should be cramped with books. Seeing the back of a shelf adds depth and creates the illusion of space beyond that wall. In the house on Long Island, a decorative wall feature was designed for display of travels – but with open spaces surrounding them so they get center stage and can visually be appreciated.
Enjoy your travels and bring pieces of your journey home. Just be sure to use a critical eye when incorporating your treasures into your home design.