For many of us, it's easy to clutter our decor over time. We see something we like, and though we may not have a place in mind for it, we take it home. Next thing you know, we have layers of accessories. Instead of having a calming environment, we end up with art and knickknacks that, though we love them, require endless dusting and create a static, nerve-racking atmosphere. • The inset picture shows a "before" version of a living room. Though not overly cluttered, the grouping of small photos and bric-a-brac lacks focus by offering the eye too many things to look at. By paring down to a single image and enlarging the frame, the vintage family photo takes on the intended importance. • The sconces flanking the art also bring more attention to it, and bring light to this dimensional wall. By painting the wall an accent color and repainting the brick fireplace in a tone to complement the polished travertine mantel, the built-in wood cabinets flanking the fireplace take on more importance. • To further enhance the simplification, sculptural forms of stoneware and family travel finds were carefully edited and placed in three tight groupings. Viewing photographs of your spaces can sometimes help you see them with a fresh eye. You just might see things you could clean up, pare down and simplify.
Scott Scherschel and Chip Vogel are designers with Interior Spaces Inc. If you have a design question for Interior Spaces, email your question with a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. A solution could be used in a future article.