Are you now listening louder to what your home is telling you and everyone else? You are going to love knowing these 3 ways to make a huge difference in your home’s message!

1.      Control the clutter

Last week’s post discussed what is your home’s message for you and for others including entering into your home. This first image is the ”in progress ” entry that I designed for an exceptionally long hallway/entrance. My goal was to create a visual composition through this custom made unit of large chests with a connecting bench. I added electrical wiring in the chests so these goreous lamps would not have unsightly cords. Large custom mirrors were framed in the same gorgeous red finish.

Of course, most of us will not have this super huge entry space to deal with but the design principle goals are always consistant incorporating scale and proportion, lighting, and controlling the visual clutter.

Does your home have visual fatigue from not controlling the clutter? Another definition could be defined as sensory overload from consciously or unconsciously trying to absorb each items or element in a space. Consider walking through your rooms as a stranger, I know, hard to do, but please try. Look at the amount and placement of every single accessory meaning lamps, plants, walls, furniture, every single thing in your rooms. What is your honest reaction? This my friends is exactly what others see and feel when they come into your home.

Is this important? You betcha this is very important and if you’re not sure, please read last week’s blog on the why’s your home holds the potential for healing those daily stresses which is so necessary for your health and well being. We all know that stress is a cause of inflammation which is a cause of tons of diseases. Therefore, yes, this is very important information.

Check out last weeks blog post here!


Perhaps the biggest mistake homeowners make in their homes is not understanding the impact of scale and proportion. This is why in my book, Design Smarts, in the section on Space, I discuss this design principle at length. What does clutter have to do with scale and proportion you might be thinking? Too many small tables, chairs, and accessories visually convey a sense of confusion versus a calming, orderly, and nurturing message.

Clutter controlled 

2.      Control the lighting

Is your lighting sabotaging your home’s message of being a peaceful cozy place to restore and regroup? I believe this one factor alone is the major cause to not feeling the intimacy of any room at any given time of day. I also believe that overhead lighting is the major culprit. 

Whatever happened to having lamps strategically placed and better yet, turned on! I have tried every single type of ceiling can or chandelier light bulb on the market today. How can I claim this statement? Because I am a lighting fanatic so to speak. Using lamps in combination with overhead lighting (on dimmers of course) goes a very long way to address most lighting needs plus achieving the effect you desire in your spaces.

Now you must know that my home is not done as in window treatments. But this image is to show how lovely and necessary table lamps are to achieve the peaceful serenity so essential for our restorative down times.

Lighting is my quest to make our living spaces give that soothing, renewing experience when home, even kitchen lighting is super important plus having dimmers too!

Our Ohio kitchen in the process of being upgraded with painted cabinets, new light relfecting backsplash tiles, upgraded under the counter lighting.

3.      Control the space planning

Very few consider how furniture placement affects everything and not merely the look of the space. If I came over to your home or apt or condo for a visit, where would we sit to have a chat over a cup of coffee? Would the only option be your kitchen on bar stools or perhaps in a large great room with furniture placed far apart?

I purposely designed the furniture layout, or space planning in our living room with this cozy arrangement for two people to have a place to connect.

Where do you land for your restorative down time in your home? Are there comfy chairs or properly scaled sofas, a good reading lamp with a correct height and size table? Cozy fabric versus leather for textural comfort?

This was one of our favorite spots to work, eat, or unwind. It has everything whether working or simply hanging out.

It is really, really surprising to me to discover or observe that most homeowners do not consider this extremely essential space planning basic when buying or placing furniture in their homes, apartments, or condos. But you can be the exception with learning and understanding these Design Smarts principles. Take a look at this cozy but functional great room and see if you can identify these design points from this post.

I designed this great room adding both ceiling ighting on dimmers of course with table lamps on the functional end tables. The ottomans are for comfort along with extra seating if needed, area rug to define the space, red leather bench as an ottoman, adds color, but again, functions as a as coffee table if needed.

You all must know that your comments spur me on to keep delving into what can make your lives richer both in your homes and your lifestyles. When I receive comments like this one from Dell, I am so pumped to do even more for you all because she totally understood her need to change her home’s message when she returns there.

“I toured the Junior League Showhouse in High Point NC on Monday, after reading Hear Your Home. The very small laundry area was wild with patterns and colors. I enter my house from the garage into my laundry room. So it was like, between your article and that tour, my drab laundry room was telling me to get with it! Bought beautiful bright fabric today and paint in a bolder color than I would otherwise have used. Now to get out the paint rollers and sewing machine!”

~Dell Nichols

Stay tuned you all for the next post and additional ways you can make your home something exceptionally special for you and your friends and loved ones.

Thank you so much for being on this ageless pioneering journey with me!

Living and Loving life together,

To order your very own signed copy of my book click here!

Mitzi Beach DesignSmarts Front Cover

P.S.  And again, Please Be sure to follow me on InstagramYoutubePinterest, and like my Facebook page


  1. shannon ggem

    I love that idea! I will be following your advice for myself.

    • mitzi beach

      ‘Thank you Shannon for commenting! It really means a lot to me when I read that my posts transfer to my follower’s every day life to enhance their quality of home life or lifestyles. xoxo Mitzi

  2. Mary Ann Benoit

    Excellent tips! I especially love controlling the clutter and great lighting can totally transform how a space looks and feels!

    • mitzi beach

      Aesome that you understrand these tips on their amazin effects, Mary Ann. Yes, is it really a ,iscalculation by most how lighting and clutter can either enhance a home or seriously detract from a home’s potential.
      Thank yu for commentin! xoxo Mitzi

  3. Gail Derreberry

    Hi Mitzi, I know you are all about function, comfort and then beauty. With that in mind, what type of lightbulb do you recommend for can lights that are on dimmers? In hallway areas? Kitchen? Closets?

    • mitzi beach

      Hello Gail! You have asked the major question that everyone is struggling with today! In order to help the environment like you are all about too, I am using the LED in all areas. But not all LED light bulb are the same as there is as of yet, not standard on the numbering identifying the color tonality. In general, 2700 is a warmer light closer to an incadescent bulb. A 3300 bulb is much brighter with a blue undertone. However, If you go to Lowere’s or Home Depot, they have a light box display to help guide your selection.
      Just like paint samples, I take many home and try them out to see what effect the different ones give to my spaces. Good luck Gail! This is a challenge for us all right now.

  4. Dell

    Mitzi, I am flattered that you used my comment about redoing the laundry room/garage entry! The work is complete, and I have also purchased containers to control the items we must keep close to hand but tend to create unsightly clutter. What a transformation! I now feel so good about a spot in my home that was formerly treated as an afterthought. Thanks so much!

    • mitzi beach

      I looked at your bfore and afters Dell and I am so impressed ! You addressesd the visual clutter with a very smart but beautiful way to conceal the detergents and etc. Your reward will be an on going delight to greet you every single time you enter your home. Your design choices on paint color and fabric are so unexpected which makes this space even more awesome. Bravo!!

  5. Linda Merrill

    Lighting is so important! I always tell everyone who will listen that every light where possible should be on a dimmer. So much flexibility from good lighting for work to lower levels for rest. Good tips!

    • mitzi beach

      Thank you Linda for your valuable opinion being an accomplised artist that certainly knows the importance of appropriate lighting. Your comments are spot and I appreciate you taking your time to reinforce my premise on lighting with your experitse. xoxo Mitzi

    • Mitzi

      Linda I am not sure that my reply worked so I want you to kmow that as an artist, you of course are an expert on lighting’s effect on absolutely every detail in interior spaces.

      Dimmers are so inexpensive but yet make such a major difference. Thank you for your comment! xoxo . Mitzi

  6. Linda Holt

    One of the first things we did after moving into our new condo was to put dimmers on every single light. It made such a huge difference in the feel of the home. Glaring bright light is not flattering to anyone and I see no value in it unless it’s in the OR!

    • Mitzi

      Thank you Linda for your valuable opinion being a high lievel photographer that certainly knows the importance of appropriate lighting. Layer on your interior designing world, I bet you try to educate your clients on how the correct lighting will actually make or break a space ,but for sure will affect the moods of a space.
      Yes, dimmers everywhere and why not? they are so inexpensive but the effect is undeniable.Good for you to put the dimmers on everything in your “new life”. It is challenging enough to transition to new lifestyles without the lighting being another thorn in our side.

  7. Janet R Lorusso

    The right lighting!! Absolutely my #1 pet peeve and the single easiest and cheapest design problem to fix! Loved the way you laid out these tips, Mitzi! Scale and clutter, and space planning for inviting furniture arrangement…I always describe the seating furniture pieces as needing to talk to each other – that way they never too far apart for comfortable conversation when someone actually sits in them LOL!

    • Mitzi

      Love, love, love your comments Janet! It is like you and I speak from the same designer voice to our clients. It is our professional responsibility to introduce these essential elements to our clients in the hope that they will not only listen, but receive our advice to make their spaces the rooms to give them more than a beautiful design but a beautiful experience as well. Thank you for commenting Janet!

  8. Sheri Bruneau

    From controlling the clutter to lighting – these are all ‘jobs’ can be easily done. And man, do they make a HUGE difference. Wonderful tips.

    • Mitzi

      Exactly Sheri, you of course are the professional type of designer to do more for your clients than your beautiful designs, you give them the ever so important layering of the why and how to make the clutter, lighting, and space planning a top priority. Thank you for your spot on comment! xoxo Mitzi

  9. melanie silk

    Another great post in your series. When we remodeled our home, we made a sitting area off the kitchen and put 4 chairs there. I thought it would be where we could hang out with friends before dinner is served for conversation. It’s not working how I hoped. Missing is that warm, cozy feel and after reading this, I think I need to add some lighting. I tend to be a person of order and little clutter. Trying to decide on a happy medium for that space. You’ve got me thinking…thank you!

    • Mitzi

      I think that you totally understand how lighting can make oe break a space Melanine so you are on the right track to make your comfy spot speak a softer message. And you also realize that adding dimmers to ceiling cans or pendants can make a very comforting difference.

      What about an area rug? Are there tables and possibly options for lamps? Are these chairs around a coffee talble ? If so, adding candles, a real plant , favorite books can also personalize this potential awesome space for you and others.

      Thank you for commenting! xoxo Mitzi

  10. CinDiLo

    Very inspiring! Just downsized and got rid of most of our old furniture and started new. These tips work well in any living space. Thank you!

    • Mitzi

      I love it that you are starting from scratch so to speak, what a cool place to be! I would love to hear how you work your “new life spaces”.

      Your comment is so appreciated! xoxo Mitzi


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