Editing Your Home: What Should Stay or Go?

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If you’ve read my complimentary guide on creating your ideal home, you will know that there are a series of worksheets that help you cut, cull and basically work out what you need to create change in your new life at home. Cutting out any sort of unwanted clutter or ‘baggage’ can make us feel like we have literally started all over again. The mind is cleared, and we feel a huge sense of relief the minute we part with the things that don’t bring us joy.

While helping you edit the possessions that support your new direction at home, I also thought it may be helpful to rough out some higher level considerations [if you have the ability to change things like flooring] as well as getting down to pieces that you wonder will still work with your new direction. You will find that once you can make the right decisions and take the appropriate action, you will be on the way to creating a beautifully unique home that you love living in.

Can you remove wall to wall carpet in high traffic areas?

If you are in the position to update your flooring, consider lifting that wall to wall carpet, specifically in the living areas. Apart from being impractical, carpeted living areas can feel heavy and dated. Hardwood flooring or large format tiles are really what should be covering large living areas, They are the first thing I would recommend anyone do to create an expansive and open appearance, as well as being easier to clean and maintain. Area rugs can be added but wall to wall carpet in living areas is almost a thing of the past. Have a look at the below ‘before’ of this open plan living area with carpet.

BEFORE. This apartment originally had wall to wall carpet throughout the open plan living room.

BEFORE. This apartment originally had wall to wall carpet throughout the open plan living room.

Check out the after below. Removing the carpet and adding this tongue in groove driftwood engineered floor boarding made the space feel expansive.

AFTER! Hardwood flooring makes all the difference.

AFTER! Hardwood flooring makes all the difference.

Too Coastal for Coastal?

The key to having a home that celebrates all things beautiful about a coastal environment, is to incorporate items that are more nuance’s rather than in your face elements. Get rid of anything that feels too literal for words. This could be everything from coloured coral to those large signs that list every suburb in a coastal area. Consider adding photography or artwork in your home that compliments rather than shouts the style that you appreciate.

The below before photo shows my clients home in their original coastal inspired style. I wanted to to get a little more bespoke and creative with the artwork, and create a new console for my clients that was more functional and much wider. I also wanted to see more colour and detail added and celebrate the coastal style in a less literal way.

BEFORE. A coastal photograph, blown up into a canvas is used in a very literal way in this before image.

BEFORE. A coastal photograph, blown up into a canvas is used in a very literal way in this before image.

Size appropriate furniture in the correct colour scheme.

The below image shows the same wall but without the beach canvas and with a much wider and dramatic console in blue. The art was changed from the canvas beach scene to an expressive palm leaf cut up and framed into three separate artworks.

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Over stacked bookcases or shelves?

You’d be amazed at how different your bookcase or open shelved area can look if you remove most of the books housed in them. If you can, store away books you can’t let go of, or if you are brave, donate them thoughtfully. Put on show only your best or most attractive book selections and strategically style the rest of the open space. If this feels like too much of a headache to tackle on your own hire a stylist for a few hours and work through this together. You will thank yourself for doing so!

BEFORE. A Mosman sitting room before. The bookshelves were calling for a more contemporary arrangement, but still considering keeping the client’s personal touches involved.

BEFORE. A Mosman sitting room before. The bookshelves were calling for a more contemporary arrangement, but still considering keeping the client’s personal touches involved.

The after image of this sitting area is shown with less cluttered open shelves and new accessories. The clients favourite reading selections were kept close at hand, and the rest was accessorised beautifully in a style that resonated with my clients quirky and fun style.

AFTER! Bookshelves are painted and the backs dressed in grasscloth for character,

AFTER! Bookshelves are painted and the backs dressed in grasscloth for character,

You can keep your standard, ‘non-puffy’ leather sofa.

The operative word here is ‘non puffy’. I have been able to work with countless sofas that are a decade old because they don’t feel like granddads recliner! If you have a sofa that is relatively streamlined, good condition and in a neutral colour, you most often will find that some new cushions and throws will be all you need to refresh and rejuvenate your living room areas.

BEFORE. This piece from King living is a blank canvas.

BEFORE. This piece from King living is a blank canvas.

The leather L Shaped sofa above has a simple formation, so can last a decade [or longer] if kept in great condition. What is missing in this before shot is the introduction of beautiful cushions and throws to add the pizzazz. See below for the transformation that wall colour and furnishings made to this lounge room space.

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How amazing does the leather sectional sofa look with a cable knit throw and piles of interesting cushions?

The key here is to change what makes a huge impact [like eliminating carpet in major living areas] and modify what you have to accomodate what you love. Be considered with Coastal! Let this be a feeling rather than a bunch or literal examples. Clear out the cluttered bookshelves and keep only your favourite books on show. Keep the leather sofa if it is cleaned lined. It’s likely to still feel current 10 or 15 years after purchase, as long as the leather is maintained and you continue to style it fabulously like the example shown above.

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Adam Scougall