New Point of View: A Quick Powerful Room Reset Exercise

published Jan 19, 2017
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(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

Have you ever noticed how, when you see rooms from your home in photos, they often look (and feel) quite different to you? I believe that’s because seeing your home in photos is a bit like seeing it through someone else’s eyes. You notice things that you simply just don’t “see” anymore in day to day life. This non-seeing phenomenon allows stuff to build up, making the space less streamlined and less effective in design. I’d like to take just a few minutes today to today to set up an exercise to help us reassess and refine a room in our homes, decor-wise. It’s something I do at frequently in my own apartment and I find it very helpful. Intrigued? Let’s give it a go…

(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

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 (temporarily!) remove some of the decorative accessories from the room. 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.

What do you think of this exercise so far? Let us know below, along with a short list of what you pulled today…

More Info:

  • The January Cure 2017 Main Page
  • Download the printable pdf calendar: January Cure 2017
  • Share your progress on Instagram: #thejanuarycure