In the 2010s, minimalism and neutral colors dominated the landscape of interior design. Since 2020, though, many homeowners have begun to embrace their homes as an opportunity for self-expression. While we may not see a trend toward the total maximalism that was all the rage in the 1990s, we are noticing that homeowners want to be surrounded by sentimental (yet selective) décor pieces, colorful paintings, and textures and patterns that please their individual artistic sensibilities.

Still, there is a middle ground between filling every available space and intentionally leaving gaping swaths of negative space. If you’re attempting to navigate a transition from minimalism to cozy individualism, you may be wondering how to embrace clutter without the chaos. Let’s look at several strategies to help you do just that!

Display Curated Collections 

Are you a collector of beautiful things? It’s only natural that you long to see your collection displayed within your home. Instead of placing your full collection haphazardly in available spaces throughout your home, dedicate a place to set up shelving that will hold a curated selection of your most beloved pieces. Add a few paintings that complement your collection visually and thematically, and your display will feel more like a museum installation and less like cluttered tchotchkes.

Embrace Color

Intuitively, it can seem correct to stick to white walls when one decides to display art and collectibles. However, a stark contrast between busy pops of color and an expanse of white can result in a cluttered look, even when the items displayed are organized and aesthetically appealing. 

Instead, choose colors that pair perfectly with your collectibles and artwork. You may choose to extrapolate a shade from what’s on display or opt for a contrasting hue instead. Either way, the key is to focus on the interplay between your display and your wall color.

You can take your work with color to the next level by repeating a very specific accent color throughout your collection and the room’s broader décor. This rhythmic repetition of a single color gives a space an overall cohesion that conveys a sense of deliberate design, making it impossible to mistake a collection for random clutter.

Consider Relying on Symmetry

For some collectors, it can be difficult to display vintage furniture, art, and objets d’art that adhere to a specific color story. The good news is that one may rely on harmonious, symmetrical arrangements of these pieces rather than cohesive color schemes to achieve a similar effect.

Keep in mind that absolute symmetry isn’t necessary. Rather, an overall symmetry across the room as a whole can do the trick. Consider the size, texture, patterns, and intensity of the colors of the items within the room, then work to arrange them in a way that balances each of these factors.

Pulling this off requires planning and a keen sense of design, so it’s not uncommon for homeowners to hire professional designers to help achieve beautiful results. If you’re struggling to create a design that brings you joy, it can be well worth bringing in a trained eye.

Technology Collections

Millennial video game enthusiasts and cinema fans have likely accumulated consoles, games, and hard copies of films. If that’s you, and you have the space, you may enjoy creating a media room that purposely displays your items rather than hiding them behind cabinetry. Incorporating art, collectibles, and lighting that fits the theme can take your den from cluttered to chic, even with hundreds of items on display.

A Kitchen with Character

In days gone by, kitchens were intended to be warm, inviting, and cozy. From 2000 to 2020, however, there was a strong trend toward bare, gleaming kitchens that resembled restaurant kitchens and operating rooms more than they did kitchens from the previous centuries.

In this new decade, homeowners are interested in creating kitchens that feel welcoming and encourage visitors to linger and socialize. Whether you’re creating a cottage-core aesthetic, vintage mid-century look, or just putting a warmer spin on a modern design, shelving is often the key component to avoiding a cluttered look and feel.

Keeping your countertops as bare as possible will ensure that your kitchen looks clean and tidy. To display items like potted plants, cookbooks, pottery, or vintage cookware, install shelving that suits the time period you’d like to invoke through your collection.

Alternatively, glass cabinet doors can create space to display items. This approach is perfect for kitchens that lack space for additional shelving.

The Takeaway

Because you’re creating a highly personalized, artistic theme within your home, it’s natural for it to take a great deal more time and effort than a minimalist interior ever could. Allow yourself time and space to experiment, then reflect on what’s working and what isn’t. Ask trusted friends for feedback. Consider sketching plans before you physically hang art, move furniture, and arrange your collectibles.

Homeowners, please sound off in the comments below. Have you begun to transition from minimalism to embracing your home as a canvas for individual expression? Are you happy with minimalism, and have no plans to change any time soon? Or are you perhaps someone who never attempted minimalism in the first place? We would love to hear from you about what works for you, what you’ve tried and hated, and what you’re longing to try.

Posted by Parks Real Estate on


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