Using graphics and editing in home décor & writing

“White space and margin and editing are all things I’ve learned to appreciate in many areas of my life. Especially our home. Lately I’ve felt like our home needs some breathing room….And I’ve been wondering what it would be like to clear out my house a little longer than my usual quieting of a space. I want to have a month without accessories in our house….I feel like it will give me a fresh perspective of the beautiful things I use in my home.”


DSC05836Immediately after reading that on The Nester’s blog, I saw a comment from Sandra Heska King on Facebook: “*I* need some breathing room,” she wrote. “Some white space. I’m in. This quest for simplicity–it never ends.”

The reference to white space, margins and editing are familiar to any writer or graphic artist. We know how important they are. But in our homes? I had to think about that for a bit before acknowledging that lack of bare space in both my home and my life causes me stress. I can’t write if my office is a total mess. My mind tightens up when surrounded by clutter and the words end up trapped inside. When housework piles up I get frazzled.

And yet I’ve always thought simplicity is found more in a state of mind than in an environment.

I love browsing through home decorating magazines and websites. Through the years I’ve learned I’m not a minimalist when it comes to home décor. I like having meaningful objects and artwork around, but can’t tolerate being smothered by an abundance of them.


Dark walls and white accessories help keep this room serene.


I had to edit items from this room — there was too much clutter for me!

I think personality determines the style or décor we’re comfortable living with in our homes, and it shows up in our writing, too. Some of us write sparse, streamlined prose with an emphasis on plot. Others dish out setting that captivates the reader with sumptuous, down-filled description.

Until I re-read some of my fiction I’d never realized how closely my writing style parallels my home decorating taste.

What about you? What’s your style?


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6 thoughts on “Using graphics and editing in home décor & writing

  1. Judith Robl says:

    My first home was decorated with late-basement/early-attic hand-me-downs. As time went on, I acquired family heirlooms. My large furniture purchases were an Ethan Allen extension dining table and a Gulbransen studio piano. Very little in my home is newly purchased. The fiction I’m working on is based on nuggets of family history from my mother’s genealogy forays. Hmmm. Do I begin to see a “Roots” pattern here?

  2. Cate Graham says:

    Thought provoking. I had never thought about my cluttery surroundings affecting my creativity but I am sure you are right. I am a cluttery person and sometimes it gets to be way too much and I can’t function. It probably reflects my cluttered mind that often feels overwhelmed with too many things demanding attention. My lack of focus is a flaw that I need to constantly focus on. Haha!

    Right now I am in the process of moving all my scrapbooking stuff to a workshop in the basement which will help since this living room is such a disaster. It depresses me when it gets like this and being creative becomes even more elusive. Your post was timely for what I’m going through at the moment.

  3. Jenn Hubbard says:

    I’ve been trying to de-clutter my house over the past few years. Unfortunately, my husband collects even more clutter than I do, but at least that clutter stays in certain zones of the house (the basement, his office, his side of the bedroom, his kitchen chair …) I used to be much more of a collector when I was younger. Now I’m trying to let go of more and more stuff.

  4. I de-clutter last spring when we put the house on the market again. I finally dug out one of our photographs to remind me it was still my house. I like things put away in their place. I think I’m like that with my chapters, just the basics, with enough tone and emotion and setting to grab your attention and lure you in.

    Your rooms look so welcoming, Carol.

  5. Carol says:

    Despite my dislike of clutter, I know not everyone feels the same way. A home should reflect those who live in it, and sometimes being surrounded by treasures that have been collected through the years is very comforting. Hence, “meaningful clutter” can be beneficial for some. I guess the important thing is to recognize what we need to function effectively and with contentment — to understand ourselves and our “style”, in both life and writing.

    I’m glad to welcome each of you and your comments today. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  6. I’ve learned that the more stuff I have the more work I make for myself. All of it has to be maintained. I once read a blog post about “curating” the collection. Keep those things you really love, store a few things for future reference, and get rid of the rest.

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