Lauren Edith Andersen/Special to the Town Crier
Editing a room and getting rid of unnecessary items can help create a calm, streamlined space.

Whenever I walk into a client’s space, the words that go through my head are “edit, edit, edit.”

Our instinct with design can be to think we need to just have more, but often, less is actually more. Rather than filling every room of a home with furniture and decor, I recommend taking an inventory of your space to decide what to keep, reupholster, edit and organize. Good design doesn’t have to be expensive; it’s something that everyone can do with what they already have.

There is beauty in void spaces. It may sound like a paradox, but open space in your home creates a sense of peace and calm. Whether we realize it or not, our bodies and minds respond to our surroundings. Devoting just 15 minutes a day to edit a room or clean out a messy drawer makes a tangible difference and ensures that each item in your home has its function. Getting rid of unnecessary items will allow you to rest better in your space. A streamlined, clean space brings a sense of order, while a cluttered space can feel chaotic.

Simplify your space

Beautiful spaces involve a series of intentional design choices, so quality over quantity is an important part of my design ethos. Following are some tips to help you achieve that effect.

Start where you spend the most time. Think about where in your home you tend to spend the most time. Is it the bedroom, kitchen, office or somewhere else? Begin in that space. Our environments are important, and our minds respond positively to being surrounded by things that are beautiful to us. Consider what you’d like your environment to communicate about you and your personality.

Create a bedroom oasis. Bedding doesn’t have to be expensive to be luxurious. Opt for high-thread-count sheets and fabrics that feel pleasing to you, whether it’s cool linens, smooth silk or soft cotton.

Turn your bathroom into a spa. A basket of fluffy towels next to a standing tub creates an instant spa feel. A loose bunch of eucalyptus hung from a showerhead releases a subtle fragrance and adds a pop of color to the space.

Embrace your inner creative. We are all creative, even if we don’t see ourselves as artists. Select a few pieces of art or meaningful family photos and place them where you’ll see them on a regular basis. Bring the outdoors in with flowers, plants and elegant branches – let your own backyard inspire you.

Create a mood with color. Think about the mood you want to create in each space and choose color accordingly. Warm colors such as red, orange and yellow add a sense of energy and intimacy. Cooler colors such as green, blue and gray create a sense of calm and peace. Leverage neutrals such as brown, black and white to balance out brighter colors. A recent project in a friend’s home began with using color to change the feel of the kitchen. The original kitchen had emerald-green cabinets and black-and-white chevron walls. We wanted a cleaner and calmer feel, so we painted the cabinets and walls white and added white zellige tiles from Morocco for texture. We lightened up the floors with natural wood, while keeping the space inviting and warm.

Celebrate the everyday. Adding the above elements to our spaces helps us to love where we are. The psychological effect is mindfulness and cultivating gratitude as we prompt ourselves to slow down, celebrate everyday life and surround ourselves with beautiful things. Don’t wait for special occasions to pull out meaningful items. Using your favorite artisan ceramic coffee mug or antique china teacup each afternoon brings joy to a daily ritual. We can use and enjoy extraordinary pieces in the midst of ordinary life.

Embrace mindful design. Let your space be somewhere that you look forward to slowing down and being mindful. Enjoy the space that you’ve created and let it remind you of the places and things that inspire you.

Celeste Randolph is an interior designer in Los Altos. For more information, visit