Keeping It Clean!


{Image courtesy of Natuzzi}

Ahhh! Look how perfect  and immaculate this space is. So crisp, flawless, and … unrealistic? Perhaps. If you even know someone with a child (or a pet), you might want to rethink making your living space this stark. I love daydreaming about living in this utopia just as much as the next Elle Decor reader, but deep down, I know at the end of the day that this ivory interior would end up more ecru at best.

Now I know this is not everyone’s fairytale space (it does happen to be one of mine), but I think it well represents one common goal I see among many of my clients. They want their space to look “put together,” “complete,” …”clean.” By “clean” I’m not talking about disinfected and free from stains (although that’s always nice). It’s a look created by intention and a sense of thoroughness.

Thankfully, there are other ways to achieve this look other than the obvious choice above. I’m going to break it down into four scenarios that can create a clean and finished space, however there are numerous options.



{Image courtesy of Huntington House}

This is a very popular look and can work from the most traditional style into the more modern. What I refer to as “tailored” is a refined aesthetic created by tight-back upholstered sofas, tufting, scalloped corners, and nailhead trim. Perfectly coordinated with a fashionable fit.


{Images Courtesy of: Huntington House (Sofa & Chairs), Stanley Furniture (Ottoman & Drum Table), Oriental Weavers (Ariana Rug), and Currey and Company ( Floor Lamp).}



{Image courtesy of Barbara Barry}

Like the stark, white living space I first mentioned above, monochromatic (tones of one color) schemes are successful at creating a complete look. But it doesn’t have to be white … go gray, chocolate, or gold. Using one color really plays on this concept of a unified whole. Still want to add color? Its okay … you can! Just try to keep the goal in mind and don’t get too carried away. Having too many different tones and patterns creates separate focal points, and the eye does not know where to focus. mono

{Images Courtesy of: Huntington House (Sofa), Ferguson Copeland (Armchair), Century Furniture (Chair Side Table, Cocktail, & End Tables), Ferguson Copeland (Tapered Ottomans), Oriental Weavers (Knights Bridge Rug), and Currey and Company ( Table Lamp).}



{Image courtesy of Huntington House}

So what’s a clean line? I think the best way to explain it is to imagine tracing the item’s silhouette. Are you having to swirl around curved arms, intricate carvings, and other oversized, cluttered features? Clean lines are fluid, uninterrupted, and most importantly … simple. They allow Mies Van deer Rohe’s minimalistic approach of  “less is more” to create a clean, blank slate.


{Images Courtesy of: Huntington House (Sofa & Chair), Century Furniture (Side Table & Cocktail Table), Ferguson Copeland (Tapered Ottomans), Karastan (Plum Blossom Rug), and Currey and Company ( Table Lamp).}

{Image courtesy of Huntington House}
Proportion is one of the fundamental elements of design. Creating the perfect ratio of positive and negative space is crucial in interior design. A symmetrical space removes any doubt of whether or not this proportion has been met and creates a naturally appealing environment. Sometimes playing it safe and sticking to the basics is the best move to make.

{Images Courtesy of: Huntington House (Sofa & Chairs), Stanley Furniture (End Tables), Century Furniture (Cocktail Table), Ferguson Copeland (Dressmaker Ottomans), Momeni (Elements Grey Rug), Currey and Company (Wall Sconces), and Currey and Company (Table Lamp).}

As I mentioned earlier, these are just a few possibilities that can help you transform your room into an intentionally clean and refined space. Didn’t see one that clicked with you? I’d be happy to help you find one that does!

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