Tag Archives: clutter

Making Small Spaces Spacious

If you’re struggling with feeling claustrophobic when you go home because you have too much stuff, or you live in a smaller house and you’re dying for more space but there’s no chance of moving any time soon, hang in there because we’re here to help! Sometimes we don’t realize how many unnecessary items we have collected over time until suddenly one day we look around and feel overwhelmed! Other times we just haven’t utilized the space that we do have in the right way. Here are some ideas on how to make those small spaces feel spacious!
Work with white!- First off, if you live in a small house and you’re thinking about painting your walls a dark color, put the paintbrush down! Work with lighter colors, these kinds of colors will open up your small areas more than you might think. Instead of slate black or navy, stick to bright whites, light grays, sand colors, or even a fun seafoam green!
Accent colors!- If you’re really set on a darker color in a room, use it as an accent instead. For instance, you could use a dark color for your lampshades, couch pillows, or throw blankets. These pops of color will add character and are a fun way to show off your style without making you and your guests feel like you’re living in a shoebox. Or, if you are just dying for a dark color on the wall, you can use that color on a single wall to create an accent wall! Doing this will help make the room seem deeper and will create a focal point. An accent wall is an opportunity to show off your style and personality because the options are limitless! You can use one solid color, horizontal stripes, or even polka dots! Horizontal stripes are a great idea because they will create the illusion that the room is wider than it actually is. Or, if that’s not quite your style, you can create an accent wall by placing multiple works of art on the same wall. This is neat because you can use photos, canvases, or paintings that are meaningful to you as a focal point of a room and a conversation starter!
living-room-421842_1920Embrace the light!- Another common problem in rooms that feel small is a lack of light. For goodness sake, open those curtains! If simply opening the curtains doesn’t give you enough light and the room still feels like it’s underground, grab a lamp! Another way to maximize light in a room is to add mirrors. A great place to add a mirror is the wall right across from the window. Doing so will directly reflect all of that wonderful sunshine that is coming in through that window and will make the room seem brighter. You can also add a fun or unique mirror to your accent wall to show off your style and brighten up the room at the same time! You might not even realize how dark your home is until you start adding light in order to create a more desirable atmosphere for you and your family.
Declutter!- We hope that these decorating ideas help your home to feel comfortable and inviting again, but none of these will help you if you continue to hold onto those items that you don’t use or need anymore. In order to decorate you have to declutter! No, you really don’t need six remotes and four blankets in every room. For the things you do need, look into fun and functional storage units to prevent your house from feeling cluttered and messy. For the things you don’t need or don’t use often, downsize, throw it away, or donate it!  (Check out our monthly minimalism column in Bella for decluttering ideas!)

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Remove Clutter Before the Holidays

bellaweb4You’ve reached your breaking point. You’ve tripped over the same thing in the living room too many times. Now you’ve picked it up to finally put it away and you realize – you have nowhere to put it. You have too much clutter in your home. So what do you do? How do you decide where to start so you can reduce the clutter and make your walkways safe once more?

Getting started is easier than you think. If you want to take control of clutter, get a few boxes – start with one for each room in your home and begin organizing one room at a time.

Begin this initiative by removing everything on top of your cabinets, tables and in bookcases, and then place it all in a box. If there are other random accessories in the room, remove those, too. Keep just the basic furnishings. Now sit with the room in its simplest form for a short time.

After a day or two has passed, go back to the box and look for items that define your personality, or will be noticed by guests visiting your home.

When you look at your well-designed room, you should see positive elements, as well as appreciate the possibility for negative space by removing unnecessary pieces that don’t add to the design composition.

Interior design students at The Art Institute of York – Pennsylvania are taught to help their clients step back and ask themselves: Is it finished now? You can err when you go shopping and purchase nice pieces for your home, because before long you may have accumulated too many of those nice things. Take a hard look at some of those things you don’t really want or need; it might be time to share that stuff with your local Goodwill.

Sometimes, you might think you have to keep memorabilia or outdated gifts from Aunt Ethel in your home all the time. Place these items in storage. If you get a call from Auntie when she plans her next visit, head to the attic and put those old Beanie Babies she gave you when you were a fanatical collector decades ago on a shelf in your den – temporarily. She’ll be happy for the gesture. When she leaves, feel free to put them back in the box of memories until her next visit.

After you complete this exercise in each room in your home, you’ll notice that the clutter has disappeared. Now you can recognize how attractive the remaining items are in that same space. This initiative takes determination and focus, but when you’ve completed the exercise, your focus can be on the lovely space you’ve recreated.