Room to Breathe

November 1, 2016

One of the most important concepts in good design is giving important art, furniture and objects room to breathe. That means leaving enough space around them so that you can appreciate them, either consciously or subconsciously. While it’s tempting to display every piece of art, travel memento or meaningful gift all at once, if you have a lot of things that you love you might consider putting them on rotation. Think if a room like a symphony – if the musicians play whatever they want all at once, it’s just noise. However, if some play their parts while others rest, it’s music. Here are some examples of how we gave art, objects and furniture plenty of room to breathe:

In our Sophisticated Beach House, this driftwood seahorse resides over the fireplace mantle. While it’s tempting to arrange other objects on the mantle, the seahorse by himself makes a calm, simple vignette and his shape and texture can shine.

sense of place

In our Modern Kiawah project, the clients had a wonderful collection of eclectic art. By finding just the right place to display each piece, and giving it plenty of room, you get the full effect of its whimsy, which contributes to the personality of the home.


Our Turtle Shore project is a great example of how to let furniture breathe. In the living room, these yellow chairs create a comfy vignette. The pattern gives the room plenty of energy and motion – you don’t necessarily need a tablescape of coffee table books, art, or throw pillows.