Try a Room Reset: Lighten Up the Living Room

Try a Room Reset: Lighten Up the Living Room

64c0014d769edbb2dba39793a0aea10406ac7c6e?auto=compress&w=240&h=240&fit=crop
Janel Laban
Jan 19, 2016

You've no doubt heard the old Chanel quote about taking off one accessory before leaving the house, yada yada. While I think it probably is perfectly valid advice for fashion, I'm absolutely sure it is a great strategy for "resetting" your rooms and today we're going to give it a try.

Over time, the rooms where we spend lots of time naturally become places we don't really "see" anymore. Stuff (both decorative and day-t0-day) can start to build up, making the space less streamlined, less deliberate, in design.

Today's Assignment

I'd like you to give your living room (or family room - wherever you spend a lot of time and/or entertain guests) a once over and remove some of the "accessories" from the room ala the Chanel quote. The idea here is to lose the extraneous things that might have started to clutter up the surfaces in the room that you perhaps just aren't noticing anymore.

Please note that I'm not just talking about actual clutter (although certainly that is part of this too!). This exercise is also about cycling out some perfectly good decorative things, temporarily. Pretend you are putting your home on the market for sale and have been asked to strip out anything super personal or "lived in" looking.

Put coffee table books away, pack up those candles you have out, cut back on the framed photos or leaning art. If you are a tchotchke lover, pull a few and leave just a single favorite. Streamline the bar cart, move the magazines, pull a few pillows, fold up the throw. Depending on your level of natural maximalism (personally, I'm always operating at defcon 10 when it comes to decorative bits and bobs), I'd say to aim for removing 3-15 things from the space. Move them to a temporary storage spot from which you can easily retrieve them later, after giving them a bit of a break.

The idea here is to strip your design down to a cleaner, less cluttered version of itself. It's ok if it feels a bit spartan or spare. It doesn't have to stay this way for long.

Now, you are going to just live with it for a bit, as is. Let yourself really "see" the space for awhile in this simplified version of itself. Before the end of the Cure, we'll revisit this, but for now, your job is just to be tough and pull the stuff.

How are you doing? Let us know below, along with a short list of what you pulled today.

  • See all the assignments: January Cure Main Page
  • Download the calendar: January Cure 2016
  • Share your progress on Instagram: #thejanuarycure


  • Want to keep improving your home one step at a time after the Cure? Sign up now for our once-a-week Weekend Projects program, starting in February:
    Created with Sketch.