Lighten it up, balance it out

by jenny on 12 April 2012 - 05:17pm

While we’re on the subject of visual clutter, I thought I’d share an old project involving my entertainment center. Sorry for the terrible image quality… these are before I started using the new camera... and it’s anyone’s guess why they’re at such an odd angle. ;)


So here’s the before shot. There’s an awful lot going on visually… you find your eyes kind of darting around from item to item with nowhere to “rest”. Also, the shadows at the back of each cubbyhole suck up a lot of light and make the whole space look dark.

Ha! I’m starting to sound like I know what I’m talking about. Rest assured, I’m just parroting the design blogs I’ve been reading…. but some of it is starting to sink in!

Over on YHL, they talk a lot about “breaking up the space” and bringing in “visual interest” in the form of interesting textures. Enter pretty clutter-hiding baskets.


Definite improvement, and the light color balances out the dark spots nicely.

But something’s still amiss here, am I right? I couldn’t quite put my finger on it for the longest time. I’ve always liked the asymmetrical shape of this piece because it’s interesting, and yet something about it always felt wrong. Balance. It’s all about balance. While an exact mirror image can feel boring and expected, something completely out of balance can feel jarring. I wish I had a non-angled/straight-on before shot since it’s not quite as jarring at this weird angle. Try to use your imagination.

Anyway, I ended up putting a plant on the shorter of the two towers that’s just the right height to visually balance it with the taller tower.

And this is how it looks today (using the nicer camera).


Notice I also got rid of that large boxy picture frame inside the large boxy space above the TV. Apparently, that’s a design no-no. “Competing boxes” I believe they call it over at YHL.

Is it perfect? Nope. Is it better? Way better. And that, my friends, is what we call success.