In design, there is a fine line between sparse and perfectly populated, which can sometimes be difficult to determine. You want just the right amount of furniture and décor to make your space feel “done” without gingerly stepping over that line into “too much”. Great design is about restraint, so what is the maximum amount to fill the space without overpopulating? Therein lays the question du jour, LOL!
Empty space within your home can sometimes be valuable real estate, but just because that “corner” is available it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to fill it (yes, this also applies to bookshelves, consoles, buffets, bar carts, etc…). Many attempt to place things in seemingly barren spaces because they think they need to have something there. This typically tends to be a piece that looks cool, but really has nothing to do with the rest of the design. The problem with this kind of “statement piece” is that while it’s just used as a filler, it can tend to feel awkward (or dare I say cluttered). When this happens, it probably means you have stepped over that line.
Designing a home truly comes down to balance between positive and negative space…Without the negative, you won’t recognize the positive. As I am sure you already know, I am not only talking about positive space as being “a happy place to read” and negative being a “dreary bathroom with no natural light”. No! I am talking about positive and negative space more in the sense of foreground and background, though there is also a bit of that “feel good” aspect that walks hand in hand with this concept. As a consequence, if there isn’t enough “background” to the design of the space, then everything will be in the “foreground” and the look will become boring and one dimensional (which is not very positive!). See what I did there J!
By exercising restraint, we can add more dimension to the design, letting the positive and negative space complement one another, and really showcase the depth of the vision without muting it with clutter! So, if you find yourself attempting to fill every nook and cranny, just say “No!” (Unless you’re talking about the butter for a delicious maple French toast English muffin!)
Chic on the Cheap