- Insider asked three interior designers to share what items they recommend getting rid of in order to create a serene home environment.
- They said too many throw pillows and unnecessary counter clutter can make your home feel crowded and uncomfortable.
- Patterned textiles and electronic devices can be distracting and disrupt the tranquility of a bedroom or a living room.
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Life can be hectic sometimes, so we all need a place where we can escape work and other obligations. Fortunately, you don’t need to do an entire home makeover to create a more relaxing environment.
By simply getting rid of certain items, and storing others better, you can dramatically change the vibe of a space.
Here are the things interior designers think you should declutter to create a more peaceful space.
Placing too many picture frames on surfaces will create clutter.
If you are someone who enjoys displaying family photos all over your tabletops, it’s better to opt for a gallery wall instead, according to Bo Keuleers, interior design manager at MVA Home.
Not only does this declutter shelves, nightstands, and dressers, Keuleers said, but also it creates space for more functional items that contribute to creating a relaxed environment.
She suggested replacing those picture frames with table lamps, candles, or coffee table books for a better lit and less cluttered space.
Patterned textiles can be overwhelming and hinder relaxation.
Certain designs can also be problematic in creating a peaceful home.
Energetic patterns may be distracting and can hinder sleep and relaxation, according to Sarah Barnard, interior designer and founder of Sarah Barnard Design.
Solid textiles, on the other hand, keep from overloading the eyes, she explained.
Going overboard on throw pillows can make a room seem crowded.
You also want to avoid the mistake of having too many pillows if you want to create a serene environment, according to Keuleers.
“People tend to get excited when it comes to decorating their brand new sectional and go overboard on throw pillows,” she told Insider. “Having too many pillows on a couch can feel overcrowded, uncomfortable, and even adds to the mess since pillows usually end up on the floor to create space for guests.”
If you have a sectional, Keuleers suggested sticking to three pillows in each corner. For people who have a sofa, placing two pillows on the side of the room that is less busy and only one pillow on the opposite end adds balance to the space.
Stop letting your mail pile up.
Mail is also a hindrance to a serene environment, according to Liana Hawes, the creative designer at Wimberly Interiors.
The best way to deal with mail is to develop a system to go through it daily, Hawes suggested. That way, it won’t pile up and become a mess.
If you find your mail gathering in stacks on your counter, find a designated place to keep the envelopes until you can sort through them, like a drawer or opaque storage bin.
Freestanding coat racks are bulky and hinder a relaxed environment.
Like mail, coat racks are also visually displeasing, according to Keuleers, and should be removed from your home.
“Although coat stands help keep clothes off the floors and away from ‘that’ chair that is being used as a makeshift clothes rack, it nonetheless remains an eyesore,” she told Insider.
Getting rid of these freestanding racks can also help encourage you to get rid of coats that are no longer used and are just taking up space.
Keep the kitchen and bathroom counters as free as possible by putting appliances and seldom-used items in cabinets instead.
The quickest way to achieve a calming environment is to store away items that are typically found on countertops both in the kitchen and in the bathroom, according to Keuleers.
Regarding the kitchen specifically, she suggested finding a hidden spot for items such as toasters, pots and pans, and dish racks when they’re not in use.
“Make sure everything is cleared off except for some usable yet decorative items, such as your favourite cookbook, a fruit basket, and some greenery,” Keuleers told Insider.
Open storage units can cause visual clutter.
The way you store your necessary clutter is also important.
Visible storage like open closets or bookshelves are often insufficient and don’t contribute to a peaceful environment, Hawes said.
“As much as you can, store things in beautiful baskets or bins,” she told Insider. “And if needed, add a nice label that is consistent on each piece.”
Hide electronic devices in drawers to minimise distractions.
Technology is an integral part of most of our lives, and most of us have multiple electronic devices in our living spaces. However, that isn’t ideal if you want to create a peaceful vibe, according to Barnard.
Consider utilising large flat drawers that offer space to store laptops and phones safely out of view.
Loose change and other knickknacks can pile up quickly, creating clutter.
Tables in the foyer are often an easy place to pile change, keys, and other little knickknacks you find in your pockets, Keuleers said.
Consider placing a decorative box on the table so that these small items are out of sight, but still conveniently accessible.
Heavy window treatments can seem overbearing and gloomy.
“Layers and layers of fabric used to be a popular interior design trend,” Keuleers told Insider. “Today, heavy drapery, swags, and valances make a room feel stuffy, overbearing, and gloomy while instantly giving your home a dated look.”
They also prevent natural light from entering your room, she added.
Updating your window treatments to sheers or a lightweight fabric can quickly elevate your home, and will likely brighten the space, Keuleers explained.
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