Moving words Melissa Penfold’s mind.
‘SMART SPACES’ that feel spacious and ignite admiration for their intimacy and efficiency are about making the most of the area, emphasising their style potential and getting clever with your possessions. BE STRICT WITH YOURSELF The more pieces, possessions and patterns in a room, the more cluttered it will feel. AVOID TOO MANY OBJECTS At least group them so they read as an installation. Eschew busy patterns and loud colours. Be intentional about what goes into the room. SPACE IS PRECIOUS Clearing and keeping your home fresh is a form of visual, and mental, health. BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO Be strong. Wrap your head around the task of throwing away your past before you move. Bin everything you own that compromises your taste. Avoid creating a limbo land of storage boxes. They only encourage you to keep stuff that deserves to be thrown away. You need to deconstruct to reconstruct.
Downsize your wardrobe, office, kitchen, and living room in stages to work out what items you want to keep without making rushed decisions. People think they can reorganise their entire house in a day. You will get frustrated. Focus on one task at a time. Anything not essential to you doesn’t make the move. BLINDNESS People often fail to see what is good and what is bad in their homes. Blame sentimentality or sheer force of habit. Ask friends with taste and no agenda over to pick out what to discard or keep. ASSESS YOUR POSSESSIONS Make executive decisions. Is that bowl something you’ve always secretly detested? Let it find true love with someone else. DO AN INVENTORY Call a good auction house. They can give advice on assets. WHAT TO CHUCK Get rid of anything you wouldn’t pay to move. Old towels. Unwanted gifts. Art you don’t love. ‘Only when’ clothing. Unused cosmetics. Books you’ll never read. Old electronics. Dead gym gear. DIY projects that will never happen. Shoes you don’t wear. Fusty old magazines. Perfume that makes you sneeze. WORK OUT WHAT TAKES UP SPACE Don’t take things like a bulky ironing board – a hand-held steamer might work better and take up less room. THE POWER OF A SINGLE IDEA How will pieces work together in your new space? If the goal is a calm setting, then things should be simple and work together in a harmonious way. Everything can’t say, “Look at me!” PLAN Having a sound design plan is important in all spaces, but especially so when downsizing or sidesizing. Small spaces require careful thought, and every centimetre counts. Avoid furniture with dramatic arms. EDIT Don’t try to squeeze too many elements into your smart space. Go with one theme for harmony and build from there, which doesn’t mean limiting style or drama. The main idea is to use fewer pieces but select the right ones with impact and that give character to the room.
1 Meridiani ‘Norton’ sofa, $12,253, studiocavit.com. 2 ‘Marlow’ sideboard, $1899, livingbydesign.net.au. 3 Vintage mirror, $3962, 1stdibs.com. 4 ‘Amadeus’ rug, $4950, designerrugs.com.au. 5 House of Orange bench, $1199, hkliving.com.au. 6 House of Orange lamp, $999, hkliving.com.au. 7 ‘856A’ pitcher, $10,560, georgjensen.com/au. 8 ‘Ata’ baskets, from $110, orienthouse.com.au. 9 House of Orange cabinet, $3995, hkliving.com.au. 10 House of Orange chair, $649, hkliving.com.au.