trade tales | Apr 21, 2023 |
Spring cleaning: How 4 designers keep clutter at bay

Whether it’s your junk drawer, sample library or inbox, we’re all guilty of neglecting that routine cleanup, and there are bound to be areas that could use a Mary Poppins touch. We asked four designers—Judi Lee-Carr, Victoria Holly, Gillian Gillies and Esther Dormer—to share a glimpse into the parts of their businesses that could stand to be reorganized.

Spring cleaning: How 4 designers keep clutter at bay
Judi Lee-CarrCourtesy of Jubilee Interiors

Pile Up

“Physically, I need to get rid of outdated finishes like tiles, wallpaper, fabric—any materials that we have outgrown or that simply no longer align with our curated aesthetic. Digitally speaking, three years ago our firm did a computer migration, and I had this folder of documents in our drive that didn’t immediately belong anywhere, so I labeled them ‘To Be Filed.’ Since then, I haven’t opened a single file [from it]. Safe to say I should be getting rid of it!” —Judi Lee-Carr, Jubilee Interiors, Thousand Oaks, California

Spring cleaning: How 4 designers keep clutter at bay
Victoria HollyCourtesy of Victoria Holly Interiors

Use It or Lose It

“I desperately need to organize all my video and photo content for Instagram, including making space for new content. That is high on our to-do list because [it will create] a content library that’s easy to reference. We also need to get rid of all these fabric remnants. We have so many extra pieces of beautiful fabric—it’s too much to discard, and I don’t like to waste, but it gathers. The extra can always be used for throw pillows or accents down the line, but we’re building up quite the inventory at the moment.” —Victoria Holly, Victoria Holly Interiors, Los Angeles

Spring cleaning: How 4 designers keep clutter at bay
Gillian GilliesCourtesy of Gillian Gillies Interiors

Cloud Nine

“I am very diligent in not letting clutter build. I believe in the old adage that nature abhors a vacuum, and I always want to ensure we have space for what’s new. For example, we edit our sample library quarterly to make sure that what we have on hand meets our needs. We believe in frictionless living, and that starts with us being able to find what we need effortlessly in the studio—there is nothing worse than having to go through a pile of fabric samples only to find the one you wanted crushed at the bottom of the heap. Plus, all of our client files are stored digitally in the cloud, either in DesignDocs or Dropbox. This saves us so much physical space. I now have empty built-in file drawers that have been modified to be used for personal cubbies. Where there once was paper is now my team’s handbags and lunches!” —Gillian Gillies, Gillian Gillies Interiors, Toronto

Spring cleaning: How 4 designers keep clutter at bay
Esther DormerCourtesy of Esther Dormer Design

Out With the Old

“I could definitely declutter my hard drive. The design industry is so fast paced, and old or outdated design trends, materials and inspiration build up. It can be hard to separate what to keep and what to get rid of since trends are known to repeat, but I like to [keep things moving forward by creating space]. Working in Pittsburgh, a city that is constantly moving and changing, has affected my thinking in this way. Staying on the pulse of local resources and inspiration is important to me, so I want to make sure I have room for more ideas.” —Esther Dormer, Esther Dormer Design, Pittsburgh

Homepage image: Victoria Holly incorporates an architectural dining table in this bright California home | Lauren Engel

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