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Design Wednesdays - Planned Clutter

Posted by Tulika Bhatnagar on

For most of us, good home decor means a clean canvas. We value more clean visual lines and space, and meticulously placed brilliant pieces with their own spotlight. And that is how classic decor is. But like in every art, there are those who break the rules while redefining them. There are those who clutter with uncanny brilliance. That's what planned clutter is all about. 

Aesthetes have usually gone for this style for their own personal apartments or homes. It takes a lot of time and in depth understanding to achieve this look. Curating the right things that will go together perfectly well in a cluttered fashion, yet still giving a feeling of harmony at first look is a daunting task. 

There is a reason it's called planned clutter. It's basically adding patina to a space by adding classic things, while mixing a little bit with decor periods or styles. 

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of a planned clutter in a setting is the brilliantly done home in 'Great expectations,1998'. Of course everything about it is very classic. The furniture, the period style and what's even more commendable is the fabulous way they have mixed up all things classic. Miss Havisham's decaying classic villa with enchanting fountains, secret gardens, eclectic objectd'arts and classic furniture go together so magically well. I remember even spotting a Venetian hand painted commode somewhere in her exquisite scatter. great expectations

If someone were to say to you that let's go with ornamental plaster work ceiling and mix a bunch of Louis XVI chairs with english sofa and a very dramatic Italian grotto table and have maybe ten different classic frames with portraits as well as wall sconce in the same room, you might have shuddered.  But just look at the room on the left. 

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No, that is not a store room on the down left. It's a brilliant writing room with a secretary closet. And who can deny the charm of so many seemingly unplanned and not matching frames on the right. 

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Kitchens are such a great place to showcase planned clutter. You can add so much colour, depth and layers with good porcelain, maybe even a retro styled toaster and of course flowers or plants. 

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Open shelving in kitchen always adds a lot visually. 

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Sitting spaces can be made so warm and cozy by adding classic frames, monotoned or renaissance paintings and maybe even a tapestry. Placing small lampshades at different heights also add so much visual allusion to clutter, while keeping it put together. 

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Adding oversized plants to interiors always adds a beautiful dimension to any sized room. 

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Of course some people choose to commit to this style and let their home look like an an artist's studio. But I confess it looks gorgeous. Consider the sandstone sculptures mixed with classic and renaissance furniture in these rooms. 

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If you have too many books, don't hide them neatly. Instead, clutter them brilliantly. 

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Planned clutter is something that takes a lot of years, commitment as well as a very astute understanding of aesthetics to achieve. But that being said, it looks warmly inviting, eclectic,whimsical and adds a layer of informed aesthetic. 

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And lastly, pictured here is my daughter in a vineyard's relais that we stayed at in Italy last year. We couldn't get enough of these hand frescoed walls. 

Italian vineyard, veneto region. Relais

Happy cluttering. 


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