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Declutter Yet Maintain Maximum Decorating and Displaying Ability

One of the most common problems I see in homes when it comes to wall groupings is the lack of unity, poor arrangement design, lack of balance and more.

But there are other issues that are common problems as well.

If you've ever struggled in knowing how to arrange your wall groupings here are a few tips:

  • Find elements that have a similar color palette. Notice that the colors in this grouping range from brown tones, to black, rust, and beige on a white wall. Using the same color palette immediately gives unity to the grouping.
  • Notice that the placement of each item winds up creating "little roads" or pathways through the center of the grouping. Lay out your elements on the floor and look at it as if you were plotting out a small town with streets running horizontally and vertically.
  • Keep the space from one element to another small and in even increments (as much as possible).
  • One of the most common problems I see is that elements are hung too far apart, as if the person is trying to force the overall grouping to "fill" a certain amount of wall space. Don't do that. Keep the spacing close together so that when you stand back and view the grouping as a whole, it appears as one giant single piece.
  • Distribute the light and dark values evenly throughout the grouping for balance.

Feature Collections in a Wall Grouping

This young music enthusiast owns a lot of albums that have been signed by the music artist as part of a growing collection.

He also loves collecting figurines of samurai warriors. They were strewn about his room with no rhyme or reason and were completely lost in the jungle of objects.

Nowadays as more and more people need to stay put and continue living in their homes, they are looking for ways to make their space more functional and eye pleasing at the same time. So working with them to de-clutter while still displaying as much as possible is not only a challenge but pays great dividends.

Here are a few tips of what I did to make this grouping come together to display both his albums and his figurines.

  • I started with a strong foundation in the layout of the shelves. He wanted to incorporate his two speakers as well.
  • By choosing colors that blended with the shelf colors and the speakers, the grouping was bound to look and feel good.
  • The samurai figurines I selected from his collection were the same color palette as everything else and were grouped in a row in the middle of the grouping. By putting them close to each other, they are no longer lost visually and make a powerful statement.
  • His college graduate diploma was on the floor by the door to the room. This is not an appropriate place for a college diploma. So it went in the center of the grouping to serve as the focal point and give it the status it deserves.
  • Since you want to separate audio speakers for stereo sound, their placement was necessarily on the outer edges of the grouping as a whole.
  • This young collector didn't have enough album covers in exactly the same palette, so the ones that were slightly different (with red) were placed in a row below the shelves to serve as anchors to the grouping.
  • While the grouping appears to be symmetrical, it also has some asymmetrical aspects to it for more interest.
  • .

DeCluttering Visually Without Sacrificing

What do you do with a room that has way too much in it? There is stuff everywhere. There is no planning and no design anywhere and it's driving you mad.

Here are some tips:

  • Start with a plan. Determine what stays and what goes.
  • Look for items that are similar in size, color, texture, nature and see if you can group them together rather than spreading them out all over the place.
  • This is just a small example of a DVD collection this client has and there were DVDs everywhere in the room. By putting them all together and even looking to color coordinate them at that point helped enormously to make the room appear more organized and de-cluttered - even though we actually did not remove any of the DVDs from the room .
  • Make sure that what you place on a shelf fills as much of the vertical space between the shelves as it does the horizontal space. A very common problem home owners make is to put items on a shelf that are much too short for the space. This can make the shelves look and feel displeasing to the eye.
  • One of the keys to successful decorating is the concept of repetition. By repeating the same type of element more than once in a room you create rhythm and the room appears more organized and unified. You can repeat furniture elements, but you can also repeat accessories.
  • Try to group "like kinds" together without overdoing it.
  • Too much of a good thing is simply too much, but when you really need to display a lot at one time, organization and color coordination is key to success.

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About the Author

Barbara Jennings is author of 14 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Staging Portfolio Secrets, Staging Luxurious Homes, Getting Paid: Financial Strategies for Home Stagers, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Where There's a Wall - There's a Way, The Secret Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!, and Wall Groupings!

certified staging specialist certified staging specialist

Barbara is also the director of the
Academy of Staging & Redesign, hosted at
the leading home study course in these two industries.

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