Unintentional Ways Your Decor Might Be Making Your Home Feel Messier Than It Actually Is

Unintentional Ways Your Decor Might Be Making Your Home Feel Messier Than It Actually Is

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Adrienne Breaux
Aug 20, 2015
(Image credit: Nasozi Kakembo)

You've finally mastered a cleaning routine that fits in with your lifestyle and keeps your home in tip-top shape. You've even jumped on the decluttering bandwagon, shucking off things you don't need around your home on the regular. Your home should look its cleanest ever. But did you know there could be some things you've done with your decor that are making it seem messier than it is? Peruse this list to see if any decor adjustments need to be made so all your cleaning hard work doesn't go to waste!

Unsuccessful leaning, stacking and piles

We love when rooms get their lean on! And a few casual stacks of books and other decor elements can totally look rad. But it depends on the room's style, the rest of the room's decor and how it's all arranged. Having something even a little off can make the whole room feel off. What you can do? Try moving your stacks, leaning elements and other piles out of the room and stepping back to see if eliminating those arrangements has made the room feel any cleaner. If so, you might want to reevaluate.

P.S. We DO find the above photo (from Darlene and Lizzy's Bright Urban Cabana) to be successful, by the way. We just needed a photo for the post and went with a stack shot...we are not implying their home is unintentionally messy looking!

How To Lean Art (Without It Looking Like You Forgot to Hang It)

Tabletop vignettes are a little out of control

From the coffee table to the credenza, very busy, very bursting-with-stuff vignettes can make your rooms feel busy, and there's something associated with the feeling of busy that will quickly translate to feeling messy. Particularly if you've got too many objects casually arranged — at different angles, different heights and of different shapes and sizes — it'll feel like you've forgotten to pick up. The fix? Streamline your vignettes and make sure they balance with the rest of your room.

Easy Home Decorating Ideas: 9 Tips For Your Best Tabletop Vignettes Yet

Too many "small" objects in one space

Related to above, a room full of too many small or multiple objects — lots of side chairs, ottomans, floor pillows, side tables, framed art and more — will feel busy, too. Even if everything is in "order" it might not feel like the room is. Something like a ton of throw pillows is very bohemian feeling, but when they're all pointing in different directions despite your best efforts to straighten them, it could make your living room feel not picked up. Do this: Consider substituting larger objects for collections of small ones or even replacing very busy areas with negative space.

You've got open shelving but not open shelving stuff

Open shelving doesn't just have to be for displaying a sleek collection of Heath Ceramics you splurged on. Open shelving looks and functions great in kitchens, bathrooms...any rooms. But filled with items that don't quite behave — bowls that instead of stacking neatly always seem wonky, etc. — and you've got a recipe for a room that might look messier than it is thanks to the things filling the shelves. What you can do: Replace with closed storage for misbehaving objects or mix in boxes and baskets that you can tuck items that won't cooperate in.

How To Know if You're Ready for Open Kitchen Shelving

Hooks were a great idea, but the placement not so much

We love hooks! Hooks are such a quick and easy way to makeover unused wall space into a stylish storage spot. Unless you overload your hooks a bit too much. And they're in a spot that can be seen from another room, messing up the view and the vibe. Do this: Either relocate your hooks to another more hidden or private area if you're bound and determined to pile it mile high, or consider streamlining these hanging spots so they don't get out of control and add to a room looking messier than it is.

Small Space Living: The 5 Rules to Always-Organized Wall Hooks

Weird patterns and wrong materials

This is more something to consider when you're in the buying and making stage of room decor. Basically you just want to take a look at the patterns and materials you might be bringing into any space. Does a textile's pattern look like it's cover in dirt from afar? Does the shiny flooring make it look like it's perpetually covered in dust? Does the DIY paint job on that furniture piece make it look dingy rather than refreshed?

Share what decor elements in your home may have been making your home look messier than it actually was...and how you reversed course!

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