Simple Style Ideas for a Clutter-Free, Open-Concept Cottage

On-the-Market Inspiration
Photography by Stacy Z. Goldberg / Styling by Charlotte Safavi

By Charlotte Safavi

This realtor’s home exudes the polished charm of a ready-to-sell house. Tour the home for inspiration below and learn how to style bookcases like this homeowner’s with these tips.

As a realtor in a large market, Lauren Davis has seen her share of homes that are overwhelmed with “stuff.” That’s why she prefers her 1931 Tudor-style cottage to be simple, uncluttered, and calming. When Lauren decided to refresh her 2,250-square-foot space, making it more cohesive, she turned to a professional for help. “In my line of work, I’m in other peoples’ houses all the time, surrounded by their stuff. When I come home, I want my space to be serene and simple,” says Lauren, who shares her Chevy Chase, Maryland, home with husband Steve, 6-year-old daughter Georgia, and black Labrador named Blue.

Lauren began renovating the three-bedroom house by fully enclosing a side porch, creating a useful mudroom entry and a much-needed powder room. She hired Washington, D.C.-area designer Sandra Meyer to help select wallpaper, lighting, pillows, and other accents.

Realtor Ready
Photography by Stacy Z. Goldberg / Styling by Charlotte Safavi

“I’d never used a decorator before,” Lauren says. “But I especially wanted the first floor to feel cohesive, and I needed professional help.” The home’s main level is an open floor plan with the living room, dining area, and kitchen connected to each other. Previously, the whole space felt choppy, darker, and dated. The living room contained an L-shaped sofa that blocked flow, while the dining area had upholstered chairs that impeded views to the backyard.