How to Add Comfort, Not Clutter

Living in a small space can have it’s issues, but having a comfortable home needn’t be one of them. While it’s true that adding comfortable touches to a small house or room can create a cluttered look if you aren’t careful, I’m here to guide you to a home full of comfort, not clutter! Follow these guidelines (remember, I don’t believe in “rules”) and make your space comfy, relaxing and clutter free.






Decide what comfort means to you. Do you want a space thats wraps you in warmth? Or an airy, fresh room full of bright light? Do you spend time cuddling on the sofa with your kids or a good book, or is your space mostly for entertaining? Knowing what you want out of a space will tell you what kind of comfort is most important. For instance, a book cuddling family will think “comfort” by seeing fluffily sofa pillows, while the entertaining family will feel comfort knowing there is plenty of seating for all their guests.




Work with color first. Color is the fastest way to set a mood in a room, and so you need to determine what color schemes make you feel comfortable. Cool blues, greens and pinks are relaxing and calming. Warm corals, yellows and browns can make you feel,well… warm! What is comfort to you, in this space? There is no wrong answer, just what speaks to you and your family. I like to use color on the walls, then keep the accessories minimal in contrast to keeping the look clean and un-cluttered.



Seek comfort for all the senses. Visual is a given, but do you need to install heavier window coverings to keep the room from overheating in the afternoon? Move the family game space away from the baby’s room to keep down the noise? Add a tray for serving snacks next to the fireplace? Scented candles? Remember, the sense of touch is psychological, not just physical… The eye sees a soft cushy chair or bed, and you actually “feel” the comfort in the mind! Photo by Kate Collins Interiors.



Try to prioritize adding comfort items, and add them in as simple a form as possible to prevent a cluttered look. Instead of candles scattered all around the room, try lining up 5 or 7 simple ones in a neat row on a table. Keep pillows all the same value, if not the same color. Keep pattern to a minimum, but add texture to keep things interesting. A fuzzy throw blanket? Matching square baskets to hide clutter? A warm area rug to cushion the footsteps?



Finally, add living things to your room. Fresh green plants or fresh flowers change the feel of a room in the way no other things can. Personal photos of the ones you love, recalling fond memories. Fresh, delicious food. Remember comfort is all about what’s important to you!



The most successful room design always pay attention to how comfortable the room is… so make sure you spend a little time creating comfort, not clutter!

Image Credits: HGTV, Ikea, Pinterest, Pinterest, BHG, Kate Collins Interiors, Pottery Barn

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Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates & Steve Bates (co-owners) – Woodard Bates Media LLC consisting of three blogs:, and

Kathy Bates’ previous writing credits include:

Former home decorating expert for Lifetime TV, Galtime and Country Woman Magazine.

Her book spent time at #1 on Amazon’s Home & Garden Topseller List in 2002.

Published or featured in numerous national publications, including:

Country Sampler’s Decorating Ideas magazine, Woman’s Day magazine, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Marketwatch, Decorating Solutions magazine, Decorating Ideas magazine, The Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City News, The Oklahoman, Akron Beacon Journal, Pensacola News Journal and The Telegraph.


  1. christina
    August 19, 2017 / 4:14 am

    WHERE is this velvet sectional from???? It’s PERFECT!

    • Kathy Woodard
      September 19, 2017 / 1:25 pm

      Sorry, no idea! Anyone else seen one like this anywhere?

  2. Shelly
    October 10, 2014 / 10:39 am

    Hello Kathy, I loved this article. It seemed to have found me at just the right time. I am in a ‘purge’ season, and i am guilty of having the 15 items instead of the five, lol. This has happened to me just after the revamp of my kitchen, white walls with soft black cabinets, and a purge like i have never known.I have removed all but one art piece in my kitchen and I am letting the clean of the white walls speak to me and i like it! ! This purge and feeling is some how flowing into the hall and around the corner to the living room. Although my living room is a soft sage green, I am incorporating the softness and cleanliness of white and the drama of soft black. This has been a complete turn around for me in my decorating style as well as quite a challenge. I am repurposing, reusing and giving my children the items i can no longer hold on to. I’ve also kept the storage to a minimum, I have one drawer for items i will swap out for other items that I love so that they each get used but independently of eachother instead of all at once! I am so glad I found this article and i hope to eventuallu find my home as warm and welcoming as it has always been, without all the clutter!!!

  3. Constance Bevitt
    September 17, 2014 / 7:02 am

    I love this article. I find that people often under accessorize (and the space feels harsh or uninviting) or over accessorize (why use 5 when 15 will do?). Editing is the toughest thing for people to often do. By focusing upon comfort and livability, you have given a very clear focus. Just lovely. And who doesn’t like the classic black/white combo. Leaves room for a variety of color accents.

    Thanks for this!

    • Kathy Woodard
      September 23, 2014 / 8:21 am

      We agree! Thx Constance!

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