Sure, you can put some fancy European handles on your kitchen cabinets or install track lighting, but designer Christopher J. Grubb also recommends this approach (this quotation came from today’s New York Times and the link may only be temporarily available):
The fastest and least costly way to update your kitchen is by removing clutter. “Do you really need the canister set, breadbox and all of the appliances out on the counters?” Mr. Grubb asked. “Put things away and leave out a bowl of fruit for color, a tray of oils and other beautiful bottles you cook with or use. One chic spice set and a plant is always a great way to add life to a kitchen.”
I would bet the average designer secretly thinks everyone has too much clutter. It’s refreshing to see decluttering offered as an inexpensive and easy alternative to spending money on decor updates!
Of course, you can apply this technique to the whole house. You don’t have to throw things out, just put them away. That way, your eye (and those of your guests) will be drawn to the lovely vase on the shelf or the beautiful color of your sofa rather than flitting restlessly around a crowded room where nothing stands out except excess.