“LESS IS BEST” DECORATING IDEAS
Have you heard the saying, “Less is more”? Less is more is a good thing when we think about the beauty of simplicity! Less is actually best. And the more I decorate, the more I appreciate simplicity and breathing space in a room. Today let’s talk about when less is best…
I’ve been thinking a lot about a “less is more” way of decorating my home.
Almost everything I’m reading and seeing in decor, homes are less layered and less filled with stuff.
And honestly, I am loving a less fussy home.
I’m seeing another HUGE decorating shift towards open living spaces but smaller homes. Layers and layers are going the way of the cherry dining room set! And it makes sense. We just don’t live that way anymore.
So shouldn’t our homes be in tune with the way we live?
I’m not a minimalist, my friend! Oh, no! I love love love beautiful decor and home accents.
But lately, I’ve been feeling a bit frustrated by my things. And the urge to simplify decor in my home is strong!
Do you feel that way too?
EASY WAYS TO TELL IF YOU NEED TO SIMPLIFY
If you are not feeling great about the decor in one of your rooms you may need to simplify it. Here’s how to tell…
- do you feel anxious when you walk into a room
- the way you feel when a room feels cluttered to you
- when you know a room feels off-balance
- it’s hard to see through a room into the next room because your eyes get stuck looking at things in front of you
- when things in a room are too matchy-matchy
- you think a room looks tired or out of date
- when color and or texture is not evenly distributed throughout the room
- there are too many collectibles get distracting
- too much and too heavy wallpaper on the walls
- you are yearning for a new look
- when you have heavy, embellished window treatments
WHAT IS THE LESS IS BEST PHILOSOPHY WHEN IT COME TO DECORATING?
The less is best approach to decorating is really about order and enjoying the true beauty in a space! Space is your best friend when thinking about paring down what you have to a more simple design.
Opening up space in your home. Space goes hand in hand with light. The idea is to have a space that is free from clutter and light and airy!
I want to stress again that less is best is not minimalism! We are talking about loving and living with our treasures but not living with so many all in the same room!
About the image above…
The bar cart is a good example of editing decor. Instead of creating a vignette on the top of the bar, I chose two topiaries that are visually light.
The bottom shelf contains one big basket! Bigger is mostly better!
A WORD ABOUT CLUTTER
When we embrace the less is more decorating philosophy clutter is the enemy!
Clutter comes in many forms in our homes. Clutter can be the accumulation of things that we don’t put away. Or things that don’t have a specified home.
Any space with this kind of clutter cries out for our attention. How can we have a welcoming and beautiful home when the clutter in our home obstructing what is actually beautiful?
We should also think of another kind of clutter. Our decor can be clutter. Too much of it is also distracting!
Here are a few examples of decor clutter…
- having “collections” of almost anything displayed en masse
- too many layers of decor
- too much furniture in a space
- lots of different colors
- things on every surface
- pillows on every chair and sofa (sorta guilty of this one)
- every wall covered with pictures or art
- a mirror that reflects unattractive things like a ceiling or messy kitchen counters
These are just some ways we can overstimulate a room so it feels cluttered.
HOW TO SIMPLIFY DECOR
When we want to simplify our spaces to make them even more attractive and calm we should think about two words in particular.
Space and light!
HOW SPACE WORKS IN DECORATING
We should open up our space by editing our things! From furniture to accents. Less is best!
Most of us are not minimalists! And we are not hoarders. Somewhere in the middle is a sweet spot of loving to live with beautiful things but also loving breathing space in the rooms of our homes.
How much open space (designer’s call this negative space) we have in our homes is a very personal thing.
Most of us love our stuff and cling to it. It’s hard to give up! I understand!
But you will be so surprised if you are brave enough to give the less is best philosophy a try!
Curated simplicity is downright gorgeous!!!! Your home will look even more beautiful and more comfortable if it just is filled with a little less!
The word curated is a fabulous decorating word! It means to carefully and thoughtfully collected, possibly over time, and presented in a beautiful and organized fashion.
We should all strive for a curated look!
Make CURATED SIMPLICITY your less is best mantra!
HOW LIGHT WORKS IN DECORATING
Light is synonymous with beauty! Who doesn’t love a room that is filled with light that has that beautiful airy feeling?
When we make space for space in a room and open it up, it will begin to feel “light”.
So really light has a few meaning when we decorate with less.
Here’s how to think of “light” when we are decorating…
- actual light from windows, mirrors, lamps, and reflective objects
- the feeling of open space and the opposite of heavy
- visual weight of our decor (every object can be thought of as having a visual weight)
- the effect of a neutral or light color palette
When it comes to decorating simplicity thinking about space and light. These decorating concepts will help you create a beautiful room!
About the image above…
The pillows in the sunroom are not minimal by any means but they feel light because of their neutral color palette. Light colors feel “light”. Dark colors have a heavier visual weight and feel more dramatic.
Can you see where Beau the wonder dog likes to sleep?
HOW TO ACHIEVE A LESS IS BEST ROOM
And if you want a less is best look here are a few ways to get a calmer, simpler look…
- Think about buying better quality items. Quality does not always mean expensive. Quality mean beautifully made and something that will stand up to wear and tear. Replace the saying “more is better” with “quality is better”. Add timeless, well-made furnishing to your home! Just buy less of them!
- Go with bigger and fewer items as opposed to lots of little things. Not only will a room look much more restful it will also have a more updated, cleaner look
- Absolutely no clutter
- Limit the color palette of a room. As a matter of fact, limit the color palette in your home! You will love how your rooms seamlessly flow and transition together.
- Stay away from lots of different patterned fabric. Every pattern has visual weight. Add lots of texture instead of overdoing patterns.
- Add a plant, just one or two! Okay, maybe three. No jungle look, please!
- This is a biggie… take down heavy window treatments. Keep windows treatments simple and light! Remember light is so important for a beautiful room.
HOW TO SEE YOUR ROOMS FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
When we decorate a room we often lose perspective on how our room looks. Our brains can get a bit numb to all the different elements in the room.
So the best way to get another, and maybe more true, perspective on how a room truly looks is to take picture of it!!!!
This is my best advice! You will be shocked by what a picture can tell you that your eyes can’t!
I do this almost every day! So I know!!!!
Take pictures with your smartphone and study them. Then take what you know and change things up in your home!
About the image above:
After I took the pictures for this post I took a good look at them and could see that the shelf under the fern could be edited a bit.
I’ll definitely take the bowl with the bead garland off the books. And take pictures again to see how it looks. Maybe I’ll keep the lower shelf empty.
It’s amazing what a picture can tell us!
Do you want less is best room or even home? Use these tips to help you and get busy!
HERE ARE OTHER DECORATING POSTS THAT WILL HELP YOU…
WHAT DOES “SPACE” HAVE TO DO WITH DECORATING?
THE IMPORTANCE OF VISUAL WEIGHT IN DECORATING
HOW TO MAKE A SMALL SPACE LIVE LARGE
BEST LIVING ROOM DECORATING IDEAS
WHY COLOR IS IMPORTANT WHEN YOU DECORATE
With the chaos in today’s world, a calm home life is the most important thing we can do for ourselves and our families. I long ago grew weary of the blogs where the person looks like they try too hard and push consumerism at their viewers. This post is lovely and very timely. We are planning selling our home to downsize and when I think I have a room staged for sale I do take a picture and it is amazing how that works.
I feel the urge in late su.mer to simplify my indoors. The weather outside in August is hot and humid. The garden is lush but unfortunately so are the weeds. I want my home to feel cool and clean and my meals to be light. I just removed some summer decor in the kitchen and left lots of negative space. Next the family room will be de cluttered and cleaned. I may
even take up the rug.
Doesn’t that feel so good?
I so appreciate your post. Trying to de-clutter the stuff and re-evaluate the design pieces in our home is a goal. Thanks for your helpful tips.
Where did you get the floor lamp in your sun room? I love it and have the perfect spot for it. Also, love your decorating expertise.
I found this lamp at Kirklands. Hope this helps.
Hello Yvonne, I’m new to your blog and I’m so happy that I found you! Even though I’ve been decorating my homes for many years, I learn something new from you every day. Your rooms are gorgeous and just my style! Thanks so much for your inspiration and truly wonderful ideas!!
Welcome to the StoneGable family, Kathryn!
Absolutely beautiful room. The floor lamp is gorgeous but to me it just sticks out. Odd placement and to heavy of a lamp. Maybe repositioning it elsewhere in the room. It’s gorgeous though. Every time I revisit this picture that’s what I see right off, not the beauty of the whole room. Who am I though. Just beautiful room. Love the pillows, 😄
Yvonne, hello! I love the post and the prettiness! I was thinking about my age– I am exactly 40 years old. The things that appealed to me at younger ages or the experiments with decor to find my style, and throwing things at the house to see what “sticks,” I no longer want to do that. I try to avoid generic, cheap decor that is not timeless. I would rather have the special thing, even if I pay more, save longer, and have less stuff. Usually though, I can find the dream item at thrift stores, actually, so I still have the budget friendly favorites! I have a co!or palette, a real sense of what I love… and don’t love, and I love what I have done now more than at any other time. I do not want clutter or even more nice things. I have enough! If I want an item, it is to get the nicer one than what I have, not to “add,” but to replace with a higher quality version. Or I do not want to replace but just donate if something is not my favorite!
I think too my interest is in more subtle seasonal decor and not the cheesy elements. I am weeding out theme-y stuff, and even for Christmas the “Christmas clutter” is over stimulating and too much. I am going to consider with each seasonal shift what to keep and what to donate. The theme-y stuff I do not want any more of, and a good deal of it I am donating.
I think the addition of plants has been wonderful here. A small house can’t handle clutter and too many collections, either. Iwant to live in a restful space, and tiny knicknacks just look less attractive here. I recently swapped a shelving piece I was using as a baker’s rack to another room to use as a bookcase, and I got a small dining hutch to put some white serve dishes on, and decorated. The hutch looks very calm and uncluttered, whereas the baker’s rack had too much on display and things looked small and overcrowded and piled, even neatened. I am much happier with the white dining hutch. I think we are sold an idea of more stuff making things more pretty. Clutter has driven me crazier over time, and I have never been a hoarder or anything, but I want clutter GONE.
Calmness and restful beauty are worth it to part even with “çute clutter.”. Quality over quantity!
I am so sad…I love your blog so much but it is just too chaotic to read. One post…22 ads!!! Still love your style but need to unsubscribe.
I just found your blog and I love your decorating expertise. You make so much sense.
Welcome to the StoneGable family, Margie!
We built a new home, right sizing in our mid sixties, a couple of yrs ago. I had an ideal in my head about what the new home should look like. A different look for us, but we were coming off total farmhouse, which was a great marketing tool for selling our previous home, but I did NOT want that again. I tried to go too far into a traditional, Grandma look. Too much stuff, too much clutter. I have now streamlined that. I love your mantra, less is more & bigger is better. Can I steal that? I would love to see you do a piece on choosing area rugs. I had wall to wall carpet before, a very good quality wood look vinyl now, throughout. Love it! Choosing area rugs has probably been my toughest thing! Color wise, style wise. Thank you!
I hope you will borrow that, Kathleen!
Hey Miss Yvonne! I recently found your blog and have become dedicated to following your decor style to the best of my ability. I have semi adopted your neutral color palette in baby steps though. I know you’re not a “gray” girl but I lean a little more that way and am surprised how great gray looks with tan, beige and other earthy tones. I’m loving this look! I even purchased your accent chair with the spiral, flower thingies featured in this blog as well as the ferns on black wall art from another of your blogs. I’m seriously considering purchasing the Kessler “Paris on the Seine” canvas too. Yes, I’m becoming obsessed, lol, but in a good way. This article especially spoke to me as I have been feeling the “weight” of too much stuff. I recently retired from a 30 year teaching career that I loved but consumed my time and energy and as a result the “stuff” kept growing over the years. Now I’m finally able to do something about it and it’s not only giving me a purpose to fill my long days but it’s also freeing my mind and spirit from the clutter and chaos. I know this post is long so I’ll end by saying a big thank you for the great tutorials. I am a fan for sure!
Hi Carolyn! I’m so happy you are part of our StoneGable family! LOVE all the things you are changing in your home!
Thank you! I had to change the legs on the Camilla Mineral print chair to 10 inches. That chair is tiny but I love the print and colors.