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Old 08-23-2008, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I have a question for all you decluttering experts.
Whenever I declutter the house looks so barren. I like a cozy space. But I don't like junk so I try to keep that to a minimal. But when I get rid of junk my house looks like we have NOTHING. So then the cycle begins and I end up with more junk.
My partner is moving in with us this week...he does not like clutter and my cycle is ready to begin again, but how can I avoid the bare space look?
I don't have photos because my camera is out of batteries, but we live in a very open home...high ceilings and the main floor is all one room aside from the bathroom/laundry room.

What do you all do to maintain that warm cozy home like feeling, but not have crap EVERYWHERE?

This may be a fruitless question...but worth asking!

earth honouring, tree hugging, yogi mamma to dd - my forest faerie (Feb/04) and ds - our new little bean born peacefully at home (01/02/11)
 
 
 
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Old 08-23-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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What about plants? Or tastefully framed photos on the walls? Or perhaps you have small furniture in a large space so it looks dwarfed by the emptiness?

It's hard to tell what you consider barren with no photo...sorry I can't be more help.
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Old 08-23-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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Texture helps a lot. What do i mean by that? If you have wooden floors, add an area rug. Add a throw to the back of a sofa. Plants add a nice visual dimension.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:31 PM
 
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our living room is pretty empty, part due to my urge to declutter, part due to my one-year-old tornado, and part due to a cat that knocks over everything in sight. But, the room feels cozy, I think because of the colors.. there's minimal outdoor light that hits the room, but I chose a warm gold-ish tone of paint, and the lampshades are a textured neutral fabric, so it makes the room "glow". To take up space on the wall without going overboard with photos, I have 4 frames (maybe 11x20) and I put fabric inside of them and hung them up in a row, with a clock in the middle.. it adds a lot of texture and warmth without being to "clutterish". I picked earth-tone fabrics, one a block-floral, the other corduroy stripes.

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Old 08-23-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Those are some excellent ideas. : I wish I could get more plants for our living room but someone, not naming any names (cough, my toddler, cough) loves to play in the dirt. Once we tear out the white carpet and put down hardwood, we'll be able to get some. I also like the idea of the "golden" rooms. Our first floor is much like a pp described; tall ceilings, open floor, empty...
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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I was going to suggest color, too. Can you paint?
Hang some curtains? Put up some art (framed kid pics are so cute!)? Is the furniture to scale with the room?

I love the idea of texturing - area rug, throw blanket, etc.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver's Mama View Post
To take up space on the wall without going overboard with photos, I have 4 frames (maybe 11x20) and I put fabric inside of them and hung them up in a row, with a clock in the middle.. it adds a lot of texture and warmth without being to "clutterish". I picked earth-tone fabrics, one a block-floral, the other corduroy stripes.
I'd love to see a picture, if you have one...

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:49 AM
 
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http://oliverquinn.shutterfly.com/22

(my first time doing this online picture thing, hope it works)

Katie,  sahm to two wild and crazy guys banana.gif (8/07) and  bouncy.gif (3/10) and their sweet new baby sister baby.gif (4-1-13) 

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Old 08-24-2008, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting...
yes i would say that the furniture is too small for the huge space. BUT...it's not in my means to get new stuff. But I love the idea of rugs and warming things up a bit. And as I said in the op, my partner is moving in this weekend, we now have way way way more plants and they are already making things feel more cozy.
Great tips mammas.....:

earth honouring, tree hugging, yogi mamma to dd - my forest faerie (Feb/04) and ds - our new little bean born peacefully at home (01/02/11)
 
 
 
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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I think that you may be missing the visual richness of clutter. So I'd add visual richness other ways.

Fabric is one option - a patterned or textured or brightly colored rug, brightly colored or patterned afghans and throws, maybe a quilt on the wall. Bed linens can be rich in texture and pattern without requiring a lot of excess pieces like a bunch of throw pillows. You could sell or donate some furniture and replace it with brighter, more detailed, more colorful pieces. Pictures, posters, framed mirrors, or wall hangings can be seen as "wall clutter", but they're less inconvenient than table or shelf clutter, so you can get away with a few more. Don't have too many table lamps, but the ones that you have can have a lot of detail in both lamp and shade.

You can also add richness and detail to the house fittings themselves. Paint the walls with something other than neutral - take a risk with a strong wall color. Have a strong contrast between wall paint and trim paint. Maybe replace plain doors with doors with some panel detailing, and either get them in finished wood or paint them in a bright color. Doorknobs and other hardware can have interesting detail. Kitchen and bathroom faucets and taps can be funky and interesting. So can switch and outlet plates. So can light fixtures.

I guess what I'm sayings is that a home is full of mandatory things, so try selecting those things, from doorknobs to bed pillows to hangers, with an eye to giving you the visual richness that you're missing. Of course, you can't replace every possession and fitting you have right now, but the idea would be to refrain from buying new clutter, and instead spend that money on changing/upgrading the essential possessions and fittings, one by one, to give you the richness you want without the clutter.

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Old 08-24-2008, 07:41 PM
 
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Don't go out and buy random stuff to "fill in the space"- buy a few select items that you LOVE to make the house look more lived-in, but without buying so much that it looks cluttered again. Something can have no more value than being decorative and still not be "clutter."

Since your partner is moving in with his stuff, give it time. See what he's got and how it blends in with yours, then make decorating/decluttering decisions together.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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Color, definitely. I need to add some to my space, too. White walls just aren't cutting it, but I don't know how long we'll be here, so I'm hesitant to paint, or spend a lot on curtains, etc. Ugh, I hate not feeling like this is a permanent home!
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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Go BIGGER.

- Instead of a ton of pics on the walls, go with one large one. Instead of a dozen small plants, get 2 big ones. Replace lots of throw pillows with a few bigger ones.

- Larger furniture.

- Larger pattern. Bolder, simpler pattern instead of a cluttered, busy pattern.

I also use texture. I like the contrast between wood floors and a large, soft area rug.

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Old 08-24-2008, 10:26 PM
 
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If you have high ceilings, create a division. Use a border or different wall color, or molding, something to break up the space of a 12ft white wall, and create a sense of ceiling, kwim?
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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I know how you feel, I think. My main living area is a 'great room' - the living, dining, and kitchen is all one big room, and add cathedral ceilings to that and you have a HUGE space to fill and make cozy.

Color works wonders. We recently painted our area red and mocha and it helped so much. There is a fireplace that divides the living and dining areas, so we painted that red and the other walls the mocha color. The kitchen is red as well. This helps to "divide" the rooms without there being walls dividing them.

Use area rugs!! If your room is really big - GO BIG with your rug. A small rug in a big room will only make the room look even bigger. Group your furniture into several smaller "conversation areas" instead of one big area. This will spread out the furniture, giving the room a more cozy feel.

Like another poster mentioned, use a few large pictures instead of a bunch of small ones.

Curtains add warmth as well.

Candles are always great too. But if you have a 'great room' like i do, be sure that they are all the same scent - you don't want 14 different scents floating around in one room!

And live plants are great too. If you have a BUNCH of them, put them in groupings (with different heights if possible) instead of spreading them around everywhere. They will look intentional this way, instead of looking like they were just dropped there b/c you had nowhere else to put them.

Hope some of these things help!
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:24 PM
 
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I love Apartment Therapy. In it he writes about how to make a dwelling into a true home, and I think it would really help you to find a clutter-free way of making your home cozy. He has 2 really great guidelines. One is about colour -- in a room have 80% neutral and 20% accent colour. If you look at interior design images that work, you'll find that this really works. The colour can be in wall paint, a rug, cushions, etc. The other guideline is about texture -- he recommends 50% hard (hard flooring/wood/metal) and 50% soft (upholstered/curtains/rug), also a very successful strategy. Go clutterfree and use those two guidelines and I think you'll find that you're most of the way there .

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"I am not what happened to me...I am what I choose to become." ~ Carl Jung
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, so many great ideas. I agree that I am missing the cozy space that clutter creates. But I know that it is really in the best interest of my family to reduce the clutter that we once had.
I think we are on track...we went looking for one large framed piece for a huge empty wall. Found something great on etsy and bought it! Also we created a plant space and it really warmed up an otherwise empty area. Next comes a rug and some colour on the walls.
Thanks everyone!!

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