When you think of noise, you might picture a car horn blaring or a jackhammer pounding. But there’s another type that can be similarly distracting: visual noise. Like the way unwanted sounds irk your auditory senses, visual noise encompasses everything that is annoying to the eye, from jarring colors to spaces overloaded with home decor objects. Here AD offers seven easy tricks that help eliminate visual noise and bring order to your living spaces.
1. Don’t overload spaces
One of the first steps to take when eliminating visual noise requires some reflection: Look at a particular space and think about the feelings it provokes. Do you really like the color of the walls? Are all those books necessary? Would more storage space help with organization? We often think that we want spaces to feel completely full, but the truth is more complicated. “Less is more” is not only the dogma of the minimalist, but also practical wisdom that often makes our lives easier, more efficient, and happier.
2. Be careful with colors
Colors play an essential role in our emotions and feelings, which is why you want to make sure to choose the right ones. You can follow your personal preferences, but you’ll also want to use those that help to amplify the natural light in a space. The colors you use should create a feeling of harmony and work well with the overall decor of your home. “Color can really influence your behavior and your mood,” says Tash Bradley, a color psychologist. So when considering how to eliminate visual noise, spend time thinking about how the colors in the can make the room feel the way you want it.
3. See the light
Light is another key element of visual noise, especially when you have either too little or too much of it. Pay attention to the small details: Has a bulb in the bathroom burned out? Do you think a garland of lights would bring more harmony and a festive touch to a terrace? Would glass doors allow light into a foyer? Apply both small and big changes to redirect the light in each space to create rooms with the atmosphere you want.
4. Commit to a deep clean
One of the best ways to cut through visual noise is to provide a tune-up to spaces, so it might be time to consider implementing a regular deep cleaning schedule. When you do this, make sure you’re not only cleaning up your space, but cleaning them out too—like a seasonal pantry or closet clearing. Discard anything that you don’t find yourself using, and add new items only when necessary and only if they make your life better. And don’t worry, this doesn’t have to take hours on end. In fact, there are plenty of deep cleaning tasks you can do in under an hour.