Make your space feel instantly bigger and give it the detox it deserves with Topology’s top 10 tips on decluttering.
Does your small space feel messy? Don’t panic. With some simple changes you can combat the clutter to make your space feel immediately less cramped. We’ve teamed up with Athina Bluff and Amy Brandhorst of Topology Interiors to share some genius tips and tricks on how to transform your home into a calming, more balanced space, without breaking the bank.
TIP 1: PLANTS
If you’re naturally a messy person who accumulates a lot of clutter, add more plants to your space. Interestingly, research has found that injections of greenery are more effective in cluttered spaces than tidy spaces as they balance the atmosphere between the furniture and the little amount of free space. Aside from this, we all know that plants are good for us physically, but do we actually know why? Firstly, it’s been said that plants may purify the air of a space by removing toxins within 24 hours of adding them. They can help us breathe better, which is key to our feelings of calm and relaxation. Plants also can release water into the air, which increases the humidity – this helps to reduce dry skin, coughs and colds.
TIP 2: ROUNDED SHAPES
Use spherical shaped or rounded furniture/homeware in your space, to create a sense of balance, harmony and calm. Scientific research has proved that receptors in the brain light up dramatically when people are around the presence of curved or round objects rather than angular or jagged shapes. Thus our psyche has a greater appreciation for furniture or homeware that has this soft, round appearance. If you want to apply this small home hack, think about ways in which you could introduce rounded/curved furniture. Something as simple as using a round mirror above a bed would be a great example as a bedroom is a space where we want to create an oasis of calm to induce a better sleep. Or alternatively, consider other popular items such as a rounded pouffe, spherical pendant lights or a round coffee table in your home where you want to provide a sense of balance and serenity.
TIP 3: THE THREE COLOUR RULE
Stick to a simple colour scheme if you want to prevent your space from feeling chaotic or busy. Home detoxing is all about creating spaces that are positive environments for our well being, ones that are relaxing and serene. So, instead of using lots of colours, pick 3 main colours that you’re naturally drawn to. From within these 3 colours, choose different shades and tones to create your colour scheme. To put it into an example, if one of your main colours is ‘blue’ think of shades you can use such a teal, navy, sky blue etc. By keeping your colour scheme to a minimum, the space will feel much more understated and tranquil but will still be full of depth. To take this one step further consider looking into colour psychology to enhance your home design. Certain colours can have profound effects upon us, simply by the sight of them. Blue in particular has been scientifically proven to lower your blood pressure so is a great colour to use in a home where creating a sense of calm is important. Equally, the presence of green is said to subconsciously connect us with nature, so again is another interesting tone to use if creating a happy, conscious home is important to you. Work out what colours work for you and you’ll soon feel drastic improvements.
TIP 4: INTRODUCE MORE NATURE
Based on the concept of ‘Biophillia’, we are significantly happier when we are surrounded by nature. Bring nature into your home by using natural materials such as wood, rattan, jute, ceramics, earthenware, linen, marble based lamps and objects, stone worktops and woollen cushions and blankets. The more natural materials we have in our home, the more connected to nature we feel, which helps us to feel calm. Try implementing natural materials in an area of your home that you might experience stress. For example, in a workspace you could introduce a solid wooden desk, wooden shelves, earthenware pen pot, rattan chair or linen cushion.
TIP 5: STORAGE IS KEY
Similar to many aspects of our lives, simply getting more organised is one of the best ways to feel more at ease. The same goes for storage in the home – once you organise your possessions down to a tee, you’ll notice just how much it improves your mood. It may sound obvious, but it works! Our first small home storage hack is to try adding furniture with integrated storage where possible – we’re talking about beds with drawers underneath, coffee tables or ottomans with built in storage – these are a game changer when it comes to storing items that you might not use so often. A basket in your living room is also a great solution to hide electronic devices and items such as cables and wires – the sight of these disrupt our feeling of calm. Great kitchen storage solutions are organising and labelling your spice cabinet, introducing drawer organisers and opting for closed kitchen cabinets as opposed to open shelving, which can make the room feel busy. Lastly, one of the main culprits of clutter are shoes. A closed shoe rack or shoe storage cupboard is one of the easiest and effective ways to ‘quieten’ the chaos of a cluttered hallway.
TIP 6: LIFT ITEMS OFF THE FLOOR
By simply lifting furniture, clutter and everyday objects up and away from the floor, a space can instantly feel lighter, detoxified & more uplifting. This small home hack works because if we can see more floor space and light through and around objects in a room, a space can feel much more weightless, clutter free & calm. A way you could try this at home, particularly if you’ve got a small space, is to consider a sofa or chair on high legs. This will ensure the sofa appears light rather than bulky and adds more visible floor space to make the space feel bigger & cleaner. This can be applied to storing items on the walls too. Utilise walls space with shelves and bookcases to lift up possessions (think magazines, plants, ornaments, toys, lamps etc).
TIP 7: DESIGNATE A CLUTTER DRAWER
This hack for small homes is for those of you who seem to accumulate clutter, regardless of how storage savvy you are. The idea is to select one drawer and allow it to become a place to store unsightly items that do not have a place in the home yet you do not want to throw them away. This is also helpful in small homes as you may not have the luxury of ample storage in large wardrobes or cupboards. Examples of items that you may put in your ‘clutter drawer’ are cables, newspapers, children’s toys or throws. These are items that we would typically leave lying around permanently that interrupt the serenity of the space. Storing these items in one place still enables them to be easily accessible, yet removing them from sight helps restore calm in your home.
TIP 8: CREATE A MULTI-SENSORY HOME
Creating a multi-sensory home can make us feel more comfortable. This means designing a home that appeals to all of our senses: visual, scent, touch, audio etc. If we’re able to feel a variety of textures, smell the aroma of our space and see colours, furniture and accessories that are pleasing to the eye, we feel much more in tune with our surroundings. In general, the scent of lavender and vanilla and soft fabrics such as cashmere make us feel comforted. However, it’s important to remember that what makes each of us feel ‘good’ is individual to our own experiences. Experiment with different colours, textures, fabrics and scents – pay attention to the colours and scents that you are attracted to when you’re shopping. Think about it like this: you’re doing research in order to find out how to create the best design that works for you. After all, our homes should be personal to each of us and adhere to our needs.
TIP 9: FENG SHUI
Feng shui is a term that’s been around for centuries and is centred around the belief that the specific arrangement of shapes, furniture and objects within our buildings and homes can have an effect on the unseen energies around us and thus combine to harmonise and balance a space. So in a society where we’re constantly on the lookout for ideas on how to create a more positive environment at home, it’s never become more important than now to consider. There are many feng shui laws worth exploring but if you’re interested in introducing some basic concepts into your home, why not consider the orientation of your home office, desk or work space. For those who need a work space at home, place your desk in the centre of a room or opposite a window. According to the laws of feng shui this enhances creativity, energy and productivity and is much better than a desk facing a wall which blocks or stunts our energy forces. Or alternatively, consider removing any unnecessary debris or clutter from your entry hallway. This is down to our doorway being the entry point of the home or ‘the mouth of qi’. By keeping this area tidy, spacious and inviting it’s a great starting point for good feng shui and positivity within the home. Lastly, another simple tip to achieve good feng shui is to regularly clean your windows! The cleaner our windows, the more light can enter into a space and as a result of this increased exposure to light, we can feel more energised and our moods are boosted.
TIP 10: DECLUTTER
One of the main ways to detox your home, is to quite simply declutter! For some this can be a challenging process, especially if we have emotional attachments to items, but this is why decluttering and ridding ourselves of possessions we no longer need can be a cathartic process for both yourself and your home. In order to de-clutter properly and sustainably, first you will need to distinguish between actual unnecessary clutter vs. items worth keeping. One effective way to do this is to consider whether you’ve used the item within the last year. If you haven’t, perhaps it’s time to donate it to charity, offer it to friends or family, sell it, recycle it, up-cycle it or if none of the above work, responsibly throw it away. The second part of decluttering is all about reorganisation. Now you’ve freed yourself from many items you no longer require, it’s time to reorganise the area where they were stored i.e. your cupboards, spare room, garage, drawers, wardrobe etc. Once this process is complete, although you’re unlikely to see the visual difference from the outside (i.e. wardrobes / drawers / cupboards closed) you will most certainly feel uplifted at home and emotionally free of clutter weighing both you and your home down. If you need further inspiration, decluttering expert Marie Kondo might be worth turning to!MORE SMALL SPACE INSPIRATION » SHOP SMALL SPACE FURNITURE »
Feeling inspired? Topology will be hosting special interior design consultations in our Tottenham Court Road and Finchley Road flagship stores through March.BOOK YOUR PLACE »
We’ve also teamed up with Conservatory Archives who are putting together plant workshops to make your homes a greener space in our Tottenham Court Road and Finchley Road flagship stores across March.BOOK YOUR PLACE »