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Stuart, FL
1421 S. Federal Hwy.
Stuart, FL 34994
772-221-8679
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
North Palm Beach, FL
910 North US Highway 1
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
561-626-6100
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West Palm Beach, FL
2324 N. Military Trail
W.Palm Beach, FL 33409
561-684-3225
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Boca Raton, FL
999 N. Federal Hwy.
Boca Raton, FL 33432
561-391-2012
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Tamarac, Fl
4711 N. State Road 7
Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33319
954-731-8830
Temporarily closed until further notice. Monday - Saturday: 10am-6pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Fort Lauderdale, FL
3740 N. Federal Hwy.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308
954-566-0266
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Dania Beach, FL
1025 S. Federal Hwy.
Dania Beach, FL 33004
954-927-0237
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-6pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Pembroke Pines, FL
13630 Pines Blvd.
Pembroke Pines, FL 33027
954-442-8788
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Naples, FL
15485 Tamiami Trail N.
Naples, FL 34110
239-513-2237
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Fort Myers, FL
4580 S. Cleveland Ave.
Ft. Myers, FL 33907
239-278-4401
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Port Charlotte, FL
4200 Tamiami Trail
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
941-624-3377
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Sarasota, FL
5301 Clark Road
Sarasota, FL 34233
941-923-4200
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Casselberry, FL
1024 FL-436
Casselberry, FL 32707
407-618-8000
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Jacksonville, FL
7760 Gate Pkwy
Jacksonville, FL 32256
904-493-2730
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Melbourne, FL
4260 West New Haven Avenue
West Melbourne, FL 32904
321-872-2377
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Pinecrest, FL (Miami)
7501 S.W. 100th Street
Pinecrest, FL 33156
305-668-8400
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Winter Garden, FL
12105 West Colonial Drive
Winter Garden, FL 34787
407-478-2237
Open Monday - Saturday: 10am-8pm Sunday: 12pm-6pm
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Less is more in home design: Simple is today's trend

By Marla Caceres, Tribune Content Agency

Sometimes, less is indeed more

Interior designers are noticing a new trend. Homeowners today, whether they are setting up a second home, buying a new first home, or re-decorating their current home, are not just focusing on the things they want to put in their houses. They are focusing on what they want to keep out.

Dining Set with Upholstered Chairs

“People now, you don’t buy books, you don’t buy music, you don’t buy DVDs. Most things you’re downloading. You have less possessions — you don’t need a place to store those things that you were buying,” says Wendy Rossi, an interior design in Boca Raton with Baer’s, a collection of fine furniture stores with 15 locations throughout Florida.

This means a focus on not just on de-cluttering, but on simplicity overall.

“Everything is going to a simpler and less cluttered lifestyle,” Rossi says. “It used to be just one generation thinking this way, but it’s everybody now.”

Less stuff, less stress

The emphasis on simplicity is not just about esthetics. Homeowners are realizing that owning too much stuff, and dealing with the clutter that can inevitably cause, can be a source of stress.

According to a 2011 survey conducted by Russell Research and Rubbermaid, 91 percent of respondents said they are overwhelmed at least some of the time by the amount of clutter in their house, while 88 percent said they want less clutter. Clutter can be so overwhelming that almost half of homeowners surveyed said their homes can be so cluttered they will not even invite friends over.

Space is limited

For many homeowners, the choice to have more stuff is just not an option.

“Real estate is starting to climb up again,” Rossi says. “Space is at a premium for people, so a lot of people are downsizing.”

Other homeowners prefer the live-simpler option of downsizing to a smaller house.

Rossi said baby boomers are moving away from the opulence and heavy, carved furniture popular in the past. “They don’t want the upkeep,” she said, adding that the younger generation agrees. “They want simple.”

Form follows function

Fortunately for homeowners, an emerging trend in home design is a focus on minimalism and simplicity.

Instead of a home filled with copious amounts of furniture, art and accessories, each more detailed and elaborate than the last, home designers are now encouraging fewer simple, clean-lined furniture pieces that support a handful of thoughtfully-chosen focal points.

“Homeowners are not buying these china cabinets anymore, all this heavy stuff,” says Anita Catsman, a Baer’s interior designer based in North Palm Beach. “They are buying more focal point pieces, like main pieces of art work. It’s a nicer, cleaner look.”

Quality versus quantity

Downsizing means making the difficult choice of deciding what stays and what goes. This applies not just to the objects that can clutter your home, but the objects that make up your home’s interior design, which can include furniture, art work and accessories.

Interior designers suggest taking a crucial look at not just the things you decide to get rid of, but the things you decide to keep as well.

“If people want their life simpler and not have so much clutter, everything should have a purpose,” says Helene Brown, a Baer’s interior designer.

An outside eye

Deciding what to keep and what not to keep can be daunting. That is where the objective eye of a professional — like an interior designer or design consultant — can help.

“Call your local Baer’s Furniture store and talk to a designer,” says Janet Graham, an interior designer for Baer’s Furniture. “They can come to your house and help you take out pieces that won’t work.”