Organize & Clean

Here’s One Thing You May Be Forgetting in Your Interiors

published Mar 27, 2015
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(Image credit: Emily Johnston)

No matter how conscientious of a decorator you are, there’s one thing you may be forgetting. It’s really a very simple concept, but one that often gets overlooked in the rush to get a space just perfect. It’s easy to get caught up in finding just the right furniture and accessories and paint colors and whatnot and forget to…

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leave a little space.

That’s right: the number one thing missing from a lot of interiors is nothing at all. The absence of negative space can make any space seem cluttered and stressful, without you quite being able to put your finger on why. As human beings, we crave variety and texture and color — but our eyes also need a place to rest so that variety doesn’t read as chaos.

The good thing is, this is a really easy problem to fix, and the solution is really cheap too: in fact, it will cost you nothing at all. Remember that old advice about getting dressed in the morning, and then looking in the mirror and removing one accessory? That can work for your house, too.

I discovered this by accident last year when I was trying to sell my house. Realtors always say that you should get rid of half your furniture before you put your house on the market. Realtors are on to something. After getting two really big, bulky pieces in my living room, I was surprised to find that I didn’t miss them at all. In fact, the room seemed so much lighter and more spacious that I wished I had done the purge years ago.

Try this out at home: if you have a room that doesn’t feel quite right, try taking out one piece of art, or furniture, and seeing if it makes a difference. Maybe rearrange the things that remain a bit. You may find that you like your stuff a lot more when there’s less of it.

Now all your furniture has a little more room to breathe, and you do too. Ahh.