I was asked to do an in home color consultation with a client this week and during our time together the topic of minimizing clutter came up. This client had a wall to wall shelving unit with both open shelving and closed storage in her dining area at one end of the kitchen. On display were a large number of framed photos, an extensive collection of decorative items and other little pieces. It seemed that every space was consumed with something. I shared with her a tip I often use while decorating to free up open space on flat surfaces having a clutter minimizing effect.

When you’ve got lots of photo frames spread out consuming every available space on a table or shelf try layering them. By this I mean stagger them in a way that they slightly overlap each other. Start at the back using the larger frames first,then work your way forward with increasingly smaller frames, staggering and layering as you go, creating a pleasing arrangement of different heights and shapes. This technique creates a grouping, keeping the footprint of your arrangement smaller and more interesting. The frames don’t have to match but if you have a number of gold ones you might try them in one grouping, and create a separate grouping of all wood or all silver. Try to achieve an arrangement that doesn’t cover the subject of the photos if possible.

If you find that your arrangement looks too busy or colorful try using only black and white photos in your frames. Just take your favorite color photos to a photo shop and they can be converted to black and white – usually while you wait. Change up the photos occasionally and your arrangement can be new again. Once you’ve successfully created your first you’ll be inspired to do one in every room.

If you’re one of those people who tire of art pieces quickly like I am you are always searching for something that keeps you coming back for another look. Personalized scrapbook pages just might be the answer.

Scrapbook page wall decorLast summer I craved something interesting to hang on the dark paneled wall of our in-law’s cottage. I had taken a ton of “catch of the day” photos over the years that begged to be out on display. I thought it might be fun to create a tribute to all the fish who gave their lives to enrich the cottage experience of of our cottage guests. I knew I needed something large due to the number of photos so I set out shopping. I purchased a really nice and very large (about 3′ square) frame from a bargain rack at a decorating shop. It was discounted due to the missing glass. No problem, I scrap booked the cardboard inside the frame with beautiful paper, created a pleasing photo arrangement, embellished it a little with some fishing themed stuff to add texture and interest. It’s a great conversation piece and reminds us of all the friends who’ve visited and enjoyed their vacation time with us. Once I finished I brought up a photo album for others to add to so I have the next potential arrangement waiting in the wings!

Getting Connected


"Thank you so much for the dramatic redesign. Even though I have a knack for home décor myself, I was challenged by the space. Simply switching the placement of my dining area to the other side of the room, made the living room seem so much bigger yet more inviting. Your creative displays of the things that were special to me really completed the look. I am enjoying my home more than ever before."

~ S. Kirkman, Brampton

CRD Association

Canadian Redesigners Association