Making A Space Inviting, Not Cluttered

This was one of my favorite recent questions because it is something I think about all the time. How to make your home feel warm, lived in and inviting, but not too cluttered. I have worked through this concept a lot with my own space the last few years and have found some simple techniques that work well for me to strike a nice balance.

Set The Tone

One of the biggest ways I make our space inviting is by setting the tone. Overall, I like to have less decor for decorations sake and work in pieces like candles and fresh flowers that fill gaps, but add that undeniably homey layer. I prefer more functional decor over decorative objects. For me, this is chunky books that take up room on shelves or tables, an array of baskets I use for just about everything, bowls filled with citrus and vases in different sizes. Having functional and intentional decoration blends more seamlessly and doesn’t feel like clutter

Think Larger, Not More

All too often I see furniture and home accents that are the wrong size for the space. To combat this, people will fill the room with more. More furniture and more decor – making the overall balance off and far too busy. I have talked about scale a bit in this post and it really is one of the easiest ways to make a space come together. I like to tell myself “think larger, not more.” Our first inclination can be to fill every surface and every wall and sometimes we just need the perfectly sized piece or nothing at all. Some designers are masters at the more is more approach, but at the core the scale feels very intentional thus making it appealing to look at and not stress inducing.

If It Isn’t Serving You, Toss It

I am not fully on board with the Spark Joy method because it can feel a little debilitating to determine what does and doesn’t truly spark joy. Like I mentioned above, I like to go off of function. Over the past few years I realized I had acquired so much stuff that wasn’t serving a function so it ended up in drawers or closets. Although the piece may have brought me joy, what good does that do if I don’t use it or it is essentially a duplicate of something else I have? Now I prefer to have less and only buy pieces I really love. I think before I purchase. Where will this go? Do I really have a spot for this or do I just want it? Often I would blindly shop and wind up with decorative accents that never really had a home. Now I am excited for everything we have and it is much easier to keep clutter at bay. In turn, it can help make your space more inviting because it feels like a curated collection of everything you love and not a retail store.

Don’t Display Everything

Sometimes I see spaces that feel like everything they own is out on display. I think it is important to remember not every surface needs to be a perfectly styled vignette. For example, our living room console is flanked by two bookcases filled with accessories, therefore I only like something small on top of the console otherwise it feels busy. Having too much on display or too many decorative set ups ends up looking very heavy and overwhelming.

{simple functional Kitchen pieces that appear decorative}

Photos by Torrey Fox

  1. Boni says:

    All of this is very helpful! I especially like your view on Spark Joy and am going to review all my decor items again! I have a lot from one of my grandmothers that is beautiful but can’t use it all! Thank you!

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