Organized Chaos = No Clutter
The subtle art of having things appear “clean” is really the practiced art of PLACING things.
My OCD brain has organized this segment into three types of placing:
A clump is a group of items that fit cohesively together. Usually tied together by function, size, and aesthetic.
- For example: A stack of the same size books, with a round vase placed on top
- Function – book storage
- Size – large rectangles offset with large round
- Aesthetic – elevated – books are same colour and there are two different shapes
Clumping is essentially stacking and grouping.
Group things together that have complementary colours (Ie: black/white with colour/metal) AND with opposing shapes (Ie: square with round, short with tall).
Stack things with opposing sizes (Ie: large mirrors with small candles).
- The variety of items adds dimension to your space and makes it appear BIGGER!
Okay, practice time. Let’s look at the two pictures and decide which looks better:
Let’s break it D O W N.
Which one do you like better?
Personally, I like the one on the right. Here’s my reasoning:
- Green vase and black statue are too similar of shapes to be stacked
- Round beige vase is okay with round thingamajig above BECAUSE of the square books
- Brass file holder parallels shiny-ness of round thingamajig and looks nice diagonal
Sounds pretty obsessive hey? Well hear me out, once you place something – it STAYS that way. When you begin intentionally organizing things, two things result:
- This habit becomes automated
- You DON’T lose things
Same principles as clumping, but with emphasis on overlapping.
The key to this is a variety of sizes, colours, and woods/metals. For each layered clump, try to have a shade (black, white, grey), an accent colour (mine is beige), and a metal or wood (I chose gold, big shocker I know).
It can also be fun to pick a theme! Above, I was inspired by the squiggle paintings so I threw them together and tied in the gold clock and candlestick to parallel the fireplace.
Here’s a simple chart to illustrate this:
- Pick your colour palette
- Center around an anchor – the largest piece that goes behind everything
- Include some greenery for contrast
- Have items of various levels (heights) to separate the space