There is nothing like 24/7 occupancy to call our attention to the need to streamline!

As we all stay safe by sheltering in place, many of us are also taking a good look at the space we call home. In this blog post, the Design Connection, Inc. team has curated a list of our top tips for decluttering.


When it comes to pillows, less truly is more.  Pillows can easily go from comfy to overwhelming on a sofa or sectional.

Design Tip: Limit the use of pillows and use them as accents to add color and texture to your room. A good rule of thumb is to place two pillows at either end of a sofa, and to use different sizes or coordinating patterns. These flanged pillows in a solid marine blue and a large-scale botanical print add just the right touch of warmth to the sofa!

The pillows on this sectional are a perfect complement for this sectional. They balance the the bold pattern of the armchair.

Storage on Kitchen Counter Tops

Kitchen counter top space can be in short supply for families working from home and attending school virtually. Counter tops can quickly become catch-all surfaces for everything from document files to vitamins to kitchen appliances.

Design Tip: Go for an open, expansive feel. Store smaller appliances that aren’t in daily use inside a cabinet. These swing-out shelves are a smart solution for keeping small appliances easily within reach without taking up counter space.

Design Tip: Do you have enough closed storage for your needs? Develop a checklist of closed storage  and cabinet organizer options. This clever storage for kitchen utensils is a great decluttering solution!


Baskets. Trays. Decorative items. The advice that applies to pillows applies to accessories: less is more! Too many accessories makes a space look and feel crowded.

Design Tip: Make sure you leave ample space around any decorative items so that they have visual impact. Consider groupings of two or three similar items, like these vases in different heights. They add pop of color and create interest.

Stacks of Books

Stacked booked have been a staple of design style, but too many books turn this accent into an unattractive pile. If you have multiple stacks of books around your home, consider paring them down. The display value of just a few books goes a long way!

Design Tip: Limit your stacks of book to a well-chosen collection of two or three. The two volumes on this coffee table blend seamlessly into this elegant environment.

Crowded Bookshelves

Bookcases are quintessential display and organization furniture, and also a classic clutter trap!  Don’t overload your bookcases with books and decorative items. Crowding always makes a space look smaller and less inviting.

Design Tip: Leave space between strategically placed books, objects and art on your bookshelves. In this living room space, the Design Connection, Inc. team blended our client’s personal art objects and mementos with decorative elements to create harmonious and inviting shelves.

Too Much Art or Unthemed Groupings

Art adds grace and character to a space – but too much art, or unthemed art, can diminish the appeal of any room.

Design Tip: Don’t cover every inch of wall space with art. Select a few pieces that coordinate with your color scheme or are thematically similar, and make them the focal point of your room. This painting’s singular placement showcases its beauty as a design element of the room.

For groupings of artwork, select art with similar subjects, themes, colors and frames to create a cohesive and eye-pleasing collection. In this living room, the art takes center stage and sets the tone for the room’s color palette.

To see more projects, view the Design Connection, Inc. portfolio HERE  – and on HOUZZ 

There is no doubt that we are living through unprecedented times – times that have changed how we experience our lives on a daily basis. The Design Connection Inc. team are all sheltering in place, and we hope that all of our clients, suppliers, partners and readers are staying well.

Our best to you all,

Arlene Ladegaard and the Design Connection, Inc. Team

We don’t design for what’s next. We design for what lasts.

Photography by Aaron Leimkuehler