Keep it Simple: 7 Rooms That Show You How It’s Done

What I admire most in other designers is restraint.  Not every space needs to be filled.  Every room doesn’t need to be a different color.  Not every pillow needs fringe.  And some chairs don’t even need a pillow! Sometimes you need to pull back on things in order to give the design more power.  A lot of my clients like a wow-factor and typically wow-factors are achieved by going big with just a few things, sometimes the best effect is achieved with just with one bold thing.  Not 5 or 10 bold things.  The compulsion to fill every inch of your space comes naturally to some people (Hi!) – if you can pare it down and then pare it down again – you might be surprised by how pretty your room is.  You need to start with a few key things, but they’re not that hard – it’s the paring down that’s the hardest.

Simple dining room
Love the power of these blue chairs and the simplicity of the room. (Source)
  1.  Strong furniture:  If you incorporate furniture pieces with strong and interesting lines you can pull back a little on other elements.  Or, if you have an interesting antique piece – try not crowding it with other things – give it some breathing room.
dining stools
Tone on tone with some of the power of the design coming from the over-long banquette with the repetition of those cute stools. (Source)

2.  Keep your color palette simple:  Tone on tone is a really easy look to do (in theory) – texture will help you make it interesting.  Or, try using just 2 accent colors in your room instead of 5.  One accent color alone can be a powerful statement – like the blue chairs in the first image.

living room concrete floor
White with texture, strong classic and antique pieces and bold art is a great combination. (Source)
modern traditional dining room
Love the green Windsor chairs! (Source)

3. Good bones:  Solid interior architecture doesn’t need a whole lot of help in terms of decoration.  The same way that good skin doesn’t need to be hidden by much makeup.  If you don’t have anything interesting going on in your home, build it!

loft dining room
I love the lines of this support beam and the texture of the ceiling. (Source)

4. Strong art:  One piece of eye-catching art will also anchor a room and sometimes it’s all you need to create interest.

small breakfast area
A small, stylish breakfast area anchored by a bold piece of art. (Source)

5. Repetition.  Repeating elements (color or texture for instance) is an easy way to create unity in your home.

three pendants above dining table
The black chairs anchor the seating area beautifully. (Source)

“It is a common mistake to assume that the stimulating or satisfying power of a favorite color depends upon the area of the surfaces over which it is distributed.  A single ruby-red porcelain bowl against a cream or gray-green wall will have more power to satisfy a real craving for red than will a room done in crimson rugs, walls and hangings.” – Bernard Jakway – The Principles of Interior Decoration.
















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