One Small Change for a Dramatic Impact

Oftentimes, we have to keep reminding ourselves that design does not have to be complicated.  I know I have to actively make myself snap out of it by telling myself “Don’t make this too hard.”  “Don’t overthink it.” My mom imparted wisdom on me a few months ago, and I thought I'd share with you this interesting perspective as well!  She showed me that sometimes making just one small change can multiply the impact that you were trying to achieve in the first place. I guess this can apply to more things than just design!  Here’s what happened.

I was trying to think of ways I can make my breakfast table a little more energetic. Since this was one of the most used areas in our house, I wanted the decor to be simple and practical. I didn't want any fancy table settings that I would have to move or clean multiple times a day in order to I didn’t want any heavy, elaborate centerpieces that my daughter could knock over, break, or sneeze a nose full of sweet potato all over it because let me assure you, she will. My breakfast table looked plain and blah to me with just a simple mirror centerpiece with a basket of decorative green pears.


Pretty blah and really sad looking, right? During a brief trip to Bed Bath and Beyond, I picked up these different colored leaf placemats perfect for the spring weather that cost $2-$3, hoping that these would add more oomph to my breakfast table.


Most people would do this with the placemats:


....which is exactly what I did. I mean it’s not horrible, but I guess it’s just expected. I brought the placemats home and placed five of these around my breakfast table as placemats and realized … geez it made the table look way too busy and scattered. It didn’t look right.

My mom stood back and thought for a bit. All I did was go to the bathroom, and I came back to this:

Whatttt? She rearranged the placemats, so they became part of the centerpiece. Perhaps this was obvious or simplistic to some of you, but for many of us, I think we would’ve just used the leaves as placemats. Needless to say, I was completely blown away by the simplicity of this tiny “think-outside-of-the-box-for-a-moment” change and how it transformed my breakfast table from plain to elegant. I used the same concept that my mom taught me and layered in some gold touches ;-) One small change from placemats to centerpiece enhanced the look of my breakfast table, just like that!

Takeaway #1:  When it comes to design, we don’t always have to shoot for thinking dramatic. Sometimes thinking simpler can result in a more dramatic impact with a lot less effort.

Takeaway #2:  You don’t always have to use an item for its intended purpose.  Sometimes thinking outside of the box and repurposing an item can add wonders and character to your design. In this case, placemats don’t have to be used as placemats, but rather, let’s use them at the center of the table.  

Takeaway #3:  Layering is not just a term for clothing and apparel, but can come in handy when it comes to home decor as well!

Thank you all again for reading!