It’s no secret that clean, uncluttered spaces help to promote relaxation and can have a positive effect on our cognitive abilities. In a world filled with millions of design options, how can one pare down the selections and create rooms with a more streamlined, purposeful approach? The answer is to embrace simplicity.  Try these ideas for a simplified, clean and fresh look:

Declutter your home – If you haven’t used something in the past year or more, you should consider letting it go.  Do you use that exercise bike or treadmill that clutters your bedroom or has it become your clothing rack? Things that take up floor or counter space, that are no longer used, should be thrown out, sold at a garage sale or on a resale website. Find a place for personal items, such as laptops, tablets, mail and keys so that they are not left on countertops or furniture.

Create one focal point – Multiple focal points can cause the eye to jump around the room. Instead, opt for one standout feature like a series of colorful art panels grouped together for one impactful statement. The room’s other furnishings and accessories should fade softly into the background for a functional, non-competitive look. A beautiful window treatment, an unusual piece of furniture or a great lighting fixture could provide the same affect.

Start by selecting your standout feature.  Then choose a color scheme, furniture and decorative items that will compliment this special item, not blur its beauty.

Take in nature – If you have an amazing view, keep your interior furnishings minimal so that your attention is directed towards the outdoors. Limiting furniture pieces, art, and accessories and opening up your room with large scale windows is an easy way to remain mindful of nature and enjoy a more simplified home.  Plus, you’ll have the added bonus of natural light.

To further accentuate the outdoors, consider bringing some of those elements indoors.  Decorate with flowers and wooden or stone accents to create a natural transition between the inside of your home and the outdoors.  Think of the best spa that you have visited.  Didn’t the décor scream nature and clean lines?  That was achieved by capturing natural elements, and bringing them inside.

Cleanse the palette – Pick one palette and use shades within it for your walls, cabinetry, furnishings, and accessories. A monochromatic scheme can invite a calm atmosphere. Limited colors can make design choices less complicated since you have already narrowed the selections to one range of hues.

Try Nordic white walls – While sticking to just one or two colors can help to simplify any design, choosing white, which is associated with cleanliness, is the ultimate in simplification. When used on walls, the color creates a backdrop you’re sure to love for years to come no matter how your style or furnishings may change. Select other neutrals (such as grays) for your flooring, furnishings, and ceiling to continue the clean and fresh feel. Use pops of color on pillows or accent pieces to give your room a little life.

Limit accessories – Eliminate visual clutter by using minimal accessories. Remove small appliances from your kitchen countertops and find a place for them in a nearby closet or cabinet.  So many non-decorative items make their way into our living spaces, it is important to find places for those items to be neatly tucked away. Add only special, significant decorative pieces that will enhance your room’s décor, not clutter it.

Sonny Golden, President of Golden Key Interiors, Inc.

(718) 761-2366