Over-Design is Bad Design: Yet again, internet picures from a self-proclaimed designer and her TV plus blog exposure focused this entry. I was quite relieved that many of the comments posted online agreed with me and very few did NOT find over-filling the spaces with too many diverse items agitating.
Lots of furniture -- especially in lots of styles or colors, too many layers of windows coverings, too much (or too many) colors on the walls can bury you. It's all about scale and proportion (again). This time it's visual space and color in addition to the number of tables, chairs or bookcases piled into the room. Too many styles "combined" is just going to be unsuccessful. And, even though it's "in the eye of the beholder", it's not "eclectic", it's WRONG -- even when done by someone who should know better.
Hoarding stories are all over TV and the press, on Oprah and on specialty shows. We don't know if we should feel sick or feel sorry for those portrayed. Unfortunately, there can be a pretty narrow line between hoarding and over-cluttering, and there is more likely to be a emotional reason for the extreme cases -- the hoarders.
I love a mix of styles (see pic below) and I love good "organized clutter". It can add personality to antiseptic spaces and gives individuality to any room. If a completed space is missing photos, books or plants, and in most spaces, art, that home seems impersonal and unfinished. Often, I get asked by clients or friends to redo their stuff: rearrage and/or relocate it. Sometimes I tell them that 'stuff" has to go. Want to keep everything forever? You could do what a friend of mine does: allocate a closet to stuff/accessories/collections of small items and alternate what you place on the tables, mantels and shelves. Its fun and is a great idea if you keep it up!
When you arrange REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN ONLY LOOK AT ONE THING OR ONE GROUP OF ITEMS AT A TIME. Forgetting that makes your space look overwhelming and messy.
1. Group similar object or collections together...that means when you collect to keep that in mind...Carafes and perfume bottles (my own first collection) are both great collections, but look better when grouped by size, not all in one place. You'll NEVER notice the perfumes in that mix of sizes. I would prefer perfumes in a gorgeous bath, dressing area or bedroom anyway, right? Carafes belong in the dining room or by a bar. Moore Pottery fits here, as do Depression or Stretch Glass, paperweights, etc. You can display great individual pieces, but collections have impact together.
2. Photos can/should be hung in groups, but not too many little ones, OK? (see "attached" pic). Ask someone who hangs art professionally to help you figure this out (not that obscure OR expensive), or ask a REAL Designer who has experience. Photos also work well together on surfaces like mantels, credenzas, counters.
3. Kitchen objects like molds, clocks, tools, trivets, etc., hang well together or use a whole (smaller) wall for a variety of items, but remember to leave space inbetween. THEN leave your counters clear. Over-cluttered kitchens make me wonder if they are clean.
"Eclectic" design does not equal clutter. And ugly is ugly. It's not up to ChicagoNow to publish rants about lack of professionalism in my business, but the proliferation of bad design, especially this kind of bad design is ridiculous.