clutter or convenience?

card mess at home.jpg

I like to write on Quora, a website for contacting professionals to ask them questions. Sometimes I ask. This time I answered. William Vietinghoff asked: Would you rather have a home that is functional, but cluttered and messy, or a home that is furnished sparingly like a showplace, but inconvenient for day-to-day living? It was an excellent question and one often asked by my clients.

Here was my answer to William:  

The difficult part of the question is whether cluttered and messy is functional. To some it is and to others, no. So first we find out, especially if there is more than one person living with you. We take an inventory. If you are living alone, then what are you looking for, a bit of both?

 I doubt one would choose inconvenience, so the first part of your question might be considered bias towards the last part.  Here’s a few questions for you: Do you know the constraints of what is your messy? Are there containers for your type of ‘mess’? Do you appreciate clean sparing modern design? How do you see the two worlds living together? If you can’t answer these questions, you probably need a good designer! I’ve solved this kind of situation time and time again. It’s called designing for the ‘normal client’! 

Here is William's response:

Carolyn, you are right. There are always better places to put things to avoid the “cluttered” look without wrecking the functionality.