Get Collected, Not Cluttered

I've just spent the last few hours going through bins of old photos and memorabilia with my mom. It was one of the very tasks I had been looking forward to since moving back. Well, I might have snagged a few things that were out in the open when we first got our house, but this evening was all about the deep search. Most of our stuff sat in storage boxes for over a decade while we were abroad. And the majority of which I thought was ridiculous to keep, but after being so disconnected from my family for so many years I can't help but want a piece of history and story in my house.

Many people live in fear of a cluttered house so they stash precious photos and memories in tubs in the basement. I'm a huge advocate of collected, not cluttered.

Forget brand spanking new rooms without soul and personality. Honestly, this method of diving into your own stash is actually quite economical and will bring your rooms to life.

So, here are my top ten tips for achieving a collected, not cluttered interior:

1. Keep smaller objects gathered for a bigger impact.

2. If you have a lot of art on the walls, keep the furnishings to a minimum. 3. Blend genres. A collected house doesn't represent one style or era but crosses borders and generations. 4. Balance your house overall with some oversized pieces, especially if you have a lot of smaller items in several rooms. 5. View your kitchen as another room, not just the place where you prep food. 6.  Don't be afraid to go bold with your wall color. 7. But white is very effective too. 8. Get creative with your hand-me-downs. Maybe a favorite seating area will come of those chairs your aunt gave you.9. Even the most mundane things, such as stacks of old magazines become art when you group them together.10. If you don't have great treasures lying in the basement, hit local estate sales and create a new collection for the next generation to inherit.