Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Editing the Clutter

I'm reading a book called Made to Stick. It's not about decorating or design--it's about, as the jacket says, "why some ideas survive and others die." But one quote in particular touched on one of my decorating dilemmas and stuck with me today when I read it, and that was, "a designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Coming from a more is more background, which I feel totally comfortable in and love, I normally add things until I think something, whatever it is, is finished. I never really thought much about taking things away, at least not until Paula came over to help me depersonalize our old house when we put it up for sale before we moved to San Francisco.

Once I stored the things Paula thought we should put away, I initially felt like our house looked a bit naked. Then after a few more days of living with it, I thought our house looked better than before, and it sold in just a few weeks. I'm always drawn to knickknacks--little vases, little plates, little pictures, little books, little boxes. After a while it starts to look like clutter if you don't know how to put it all together just so, like some people do so well, which I don't think I know how to do quite yet. I think this week I'm experiencing knickknack overload and need to clear some clutter. It's especially hard to do when the closets are busting at the seams and the bed is close to lifting off the floor because of all the storage bins under it. Time to make a Goodwill run. I'll just have to resist temptation to go in and buy more clutter after I drop off my current clutter. I do love shopping at the thrift store.

Picture from Small Space Style


For Love of Home said...

Leigh, I am sure it is hard to de-clutter your home when you love your things as much as I do. I think I would miss it like an old friend if I packed it away and I know I could never let any of it go. Your Mom's house is amazing, I know the short time I was there, I could not have possibly taken it all in...your family is so talented each of you has something wonderful to offer.

Emily said...

It's Coco Chanel's approach to style, on lend to the living room...before you leave, take one thing off, put one thing away. It does make the other lovely things take center stage.

But what beautiful clutter you must have with all of the lovely finds from the pickeled hutch!

michelle said...

Oh what a problem to have! I have to stop myself from putting to many things out, I keep them all away and rotate them, so only a few are out at a time, but I get to see them all throughout the year.

Joanna Goddard said...

that's good advice....i should edit my bookshelves especially, they have so many little design pieces on them and could do with some simplification.

btw, i just discovered your blog and i am loving it! you have such a sweet style and exquisite taste!