The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have you ever been tempted to overfill a particular area just because you’ve got the space?
It can happen anywhere… in our closets and cabinets certainly but also in home decorating, brochure and web designs, even in conversations (that’s a hard one for me).
One of the most enduring lessons I remember from a design class I took at the University of Florida (go Gators) is to leave White Space or Negative Space in my projects. This space around and between objects is critical to bringing attention to what is important.
This proved to be a crazy hard concept to get across to clients back in my graphic design days. Their thoughts were “If I’m paying for a brochure, we should cram as much information into it as possible, right?”
Wrong! In order to get the most value, there must be some space left so that the eyes can focus on what is important.
The same holds true for designing beautiful, pleasing and functional spaces in our homes. There needs to be some space (at Less For More Life we call it “Breathing Space”) so that what is important can be truly appreciated and used.
My current bedroom is much smaller than my previous one. When we moved in, it was hard to know exactly what would fit but we knew we needed to keep my older dog’s favorite chair (yes we unapologetically spoil our pets).
I wanted a table next to the chair too so I squeezed in a table that “just” fit between our dresser and the chair. There was no space between the three items and the feeling was claustrophobic.
Quickly I switched out the big table for a little plant stand. The improvement was immediate and dramatic.
Unfortunately our dog passed away so we traded out the big chair for a smaller rocker from our living area and now the area is truly inviting.
The moral of this story is that just because furniture does fit in an area doesn’t mean it should fit in an area.
Five areas that need more Breathing Space in our homes:
1. Places where the furniture is squeezed in – See above. If the furniture or object is barely fitting, it’s probably too big for the area.
2. Bathroom Counters – Do we really need to keep all our toiletries on the countertops? I used to think I needed to keep my contact solution and hair products and toothpaste all next to the sink. Then I woke up one day and asked “Why??” Now, it’s all kept out of sight. My bathroom is so much more appealing and peaceful!
3. Kitchen Counters – The same holds true for these counter tops. Yes that pink mixer is pretty but unless you’re using it every day, it needs to be put away. 🙂 Seriously, re-think what is out on the counter and stow away items rarely or never used. You’ll love the extra space that’s left.
4. Closets – There is not much that is more stressful and non-functional than an overstuffed closet. My husband found many shirts that he forgot he had (some with tags still on them) when we Calmed the Chaos in his closet.
5. Cabinets – If you’ve ever spent more than five minutes looking for a particular pot, pan, lid, dish or pantry item, you know how important this is! When there is some Breathing Space in the cabinets, they become so much more pleasing… and functional.
What about you? Can you think of any areas in your home that could use some Breathing Space?
Let us know in the Comments below. We’d love to hear from you.