An Interior Design Expert’s Guide to Creative Editing

Laundry Rooms

“Sometimes less is more” is the idea behind creative editing. Have you ever walked into a space that feels like it has too much information? A well-designed room is filled with well-chosen elements that work together to bring balance and cohesion to the space. Many homeowners tend to fill open surfaces with too many pieces that do not make sense. Think of the overstuffed bookcases or fireplace mantles! Here are some ideas to consider when you are embarking on a creative editing adventure:

1) Accept Your Bias

Especially when it comes to accessorizing, most homeowners are not in a position to weed out the pieces that truly do not fit. There is usually a reason your items are in the space in the first place, so it is difficult to see how they may not work. Plan to invest in an interior designer who is experienced in helping clients make these choices. They will not force you throw out anything you love, rather they will use those items in their best light.

2) Start with a Clean Slate

When we are invited by a client to offer our expertise in creative editing, we begin by removing all of the accessories, and possibly even some furniture from the room. We then work on the layout of the space, placing furniture, floor and window coverings, and other larger items according to the overall scheme. The homeowner is then charged with placing the remaining items into three categorized piles:

1) “This item is important to me, so include it.”

2) “We do not have much attachment to this item but if it works, use it.”

3) “We do not really like this item so feel free to remove it.”

We find that bringing our clients through this process helps cull their collection, pulling out the things that are truly important to them. Many times, we end up not bringing back most of what was originally there and supplementing the things they love with more appropriate accessories.

3) Consider Balance, Scale and Color

Once we identified the treasured items that must be included in a space, we begin to figure out how best to use them. We examine the room as a whole, as well as each vignette, asking “What does this space need?” This question refers to what elements will create a cohesive and balanced look. For example, if a client has beloved artwork with a color scheme that does not match the space, we bring the colors of that piece into the room through accessories. We gave the space what it needed to allow the artwork to fit perfectly! Evaluating the needs of the space drives the accessories we bring in. Softness, reflection, light, symmetry, texture, color – we include whatever will bring balance to the design.

4) Ask “Does it Make Sense?”

When choosing what to bring back into a room, or even what new item to add, consider whether it makes sense for the space. It may be that a beloved tchotchke from your great-grandmother would fit better in your kitchen than in your great room. Or, the very modern sculpture you found at the art show would compliment your dining room instead. Be willing to repurpose your treasures to other areas of your home if they do not relate to the other items in the space. Although creating interest through surprising choices is encouraged, those unique elements still need to add to the cohesion of the design.

5) Go for Less at Higher Quality

A few well-designed pieces have a much greater impact in a space than a large collection of poorly made items. Everything is your room should make its own statement, not just act as filler. Now, not every piece can be the star, so those statements can be quiet as well as loud. Invest in accessories that you love for their artisanship. Fewer of better things makes your space look great everyday.

Questions on how to creatively edit your home? Send us an email, or give us a call at 317.253.8986.


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