5 Sneaky Ways to Organize Your Home

5 Sneaky Ways to Organize Your Home

There are days when clutter seems to grow of its own accord, and you can’t seem to keep up with it. At some point, every little cache of stuff will have to be attended to. But, say the clutter-busters at Good Housekeeping Magazine, there are lots of sneaky things you can do to make your home look neat and organized even on its worst days:

Mail, receipts and miscellaneous papers. Set up a pretty inbox—an attractive, decorated box with a lid—on your kitchen counter to hold the mail, receipts and other paperwork you intend to get to within the week. If guests turn up, just pop the lid on the box to hide the clutter.

Recipes. If you’re a recipe collector who is slow to file those gems away, buy a few self-adhesive pocketed organizers to stick onto the inside of cabinet doors. Tucking recipes (or whatever) into the organizers will help keep countertops clear. You can also stick an erasable bulletin board inside a kitchen cabinet for posting appointment reminders, phone numbers, and more.

Kitchen Tools. If you can never find the zester or potato peeler when you need them, a set of expandable drawer organizers will allow you to put things in order in a matter of minutes.

Under the Sink. As with most homeowners, you likely have a stash of boxes, bottles, cleaners and other stuff under the kitchen sink and a tangle of paper goods and beauty supplies under the bathroom sink. Maximize the space under any sink with double-decker storage racks and bins.

Playroom. Is the playroom floor always full of small toys and puzzle pieces? Throw a couple hula hoops around a few of them and challenge the kids to stow away the stuff within ‘their’ hula hoop, continuing until everything is stored away. Alternatively, buy a steamer trunk or a lidded ottoman so that you can quickly and easily hide toys and games.

Source: Barbara Pronin

Design Don’ts for a Small Kitchen

Design Don’ts for a Small Kitchen

Whether you’re living in a sprawling mansion or a one-bedroom flat, the heart of any home is always the kitchen. You can count on family and friends to gather here for meal prep, late-night fridge raids, social gatherings or any number of memorable discussions, from the light-hearted to the life-altering.

That’s why it’s so important to maximize your kitchen space for both aesthetics and function, a goal that becomes even more challenging when you’re short on space. Interior designer Anne Hepfer shares what not to do in a small kitchen with mydomain.com:

  1. Don’t use small tile. The smaller the tile, the more grout there is to clean, so avoid using small grout tile, especially behind a stove where grease can splatter. Hepfer suggests using large tiles or stone slab behind the stove since keeping your kitchen sparkling clean is even more critical when it’s small.
  2. Don’t leave space between the cabinets and ceiling. This will create the illusion of lowering the height of the room, and also become a space that collects dust. Try cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, or use a fascia instead.
  3. Avoid honed-stone countertops. Referring to stone that has been ground to a smooth, matte finish, this material can stain easily. Instead, opt for polished granite, marble or quartzite. Hepfer also suggests avoiding butcher block countertops, which can stain easily and be difficult to maintain.
  4. Stay away from trendy materials. Hepfer suggests staying away from materials that will quickly become dated. Instead, invest in materials that will always be in style. This goes a long way toward resale value, as well.
  5. Keep clutter under control. Small kitchens have a low tolerance for clutter, so take steps to keep your countertops clear. Find a home for appliances within cabinets, except for those you use daily, such as a toaster or coffee maker.
2019’s Hottest Home Decor

2019’s Hottest Home Decor

Comfort is trending for 2019, a consensus of home decorators agree, with more people seeking warm colors, intimate spaces, and a casual but sophisticated lifestyle.

Designers looking to pair physical coziness with emotional comfort forecast seven trending decor ideas:

Scaled down furnishings – After years of favoring large furniture and open spaces, consumers are aiming for a ‘nesting’ environment and choosing smaller pieces arranged in more intimate settings. There’s a definite return to rounded edges, especially in furniture with big, soft, rounded arms.

Wall coverings – The return to traditionalism brings with it a return to wallpaper, fabric wall coverings and murals – and expect to see plenty of rich shades of green in fabric and wallpaper patterns.

Color changes – While blues and indigos have been huge in recent years, green is the new blue for 2019 and is likely to be used in everything from upholstery patterns to kitchen furnishings.

Color ‘pops’ – Yellow is the hottest color for small accents, from ceramics to lamps to sofa pillows. There’s also a trend toward ditching beige minimalism in favor of fun colors, especially in family-friendly spaces.

Warm woods and traditional styles – Antiques and even second-hand items are having their moment again, with consumers looking for skirted tables, wooden chests and other wood pieces with a sense of history.

Indoor and outdoor fireplaces – The trend toward coziness leads to indoor fireplaces, working or not, with homey hearths as a nice spot to gather. Outdoors, fireplaces are also preserving a sense of happy summertime barbecues.

Crafts and artisanal accents – In a world of increasingly mass production, there’s a move back to crafting, and to artisanal or boutique choices in pillows, wall hangings, quilts, and other accent pieces all around the home.

4 Ways to Bring Classic Character to Your Kitchen

4 Ways to Bring Classic Character to Your Kitchen

In today’s stainless-steel world filled with clean lines, sharp angles and sleek kitchen accessories, it may seem daunting to achieve the perfect antique style for your kitchen.

While it’s true that blending looks from the past with modern-day functionality can be challenging, you don’t have to be a famous designer to create the kitchen of your dreams. These tips can help you turn back the clock and design a kitchen with timeless character.

Strike a balance. When you set out to create your new look, it’s easy to go overboard, so remember that moderation is best. Make sure you’re choosing items that showcase your individual style while keeping in mind there is a fine line between Victorian Chic and your grandmother’s cookie jar collection.

In addition to knowing what elements to look for, it’s important to consider how the components can be integrated to create a harmonious look. Consider updating antique elements with more contemporary touches to create a fresh, unexpected aesthetic. For example, pair a set of ultra-chic dining chairs with an old wooden dining table passed down through your family, or upholster a simple dining bench or window seat with Victorian-patterned fabric.

Establish a focal point. If you’re overwhelmed trying to envision how all the details will come together, many designers suggest the first step is defining the focal point for your kitchen. In many cases, that will be the appliances.

Antique appliances lend themselves to a range of styles, from Victorian to farmhouse to cabin and cottage. While it’s possible to purchase refurbished antique models, if you want your appliances to include modern features and functionality, you might consider antique-inspired appliances.

Equipped with the latest in cooking technology, these appliances have been designed to meet the culinary standards of nearly any home chef, and include a selection of customizable ranges, refrigerators, microwaves, wall ovens and matching dishwasher panels.

Add accents with purpose. Once you’ve established the centerpiece (or centerpieces) for your kitchen, you can add smaller details as you go. Visit antique stores and flea markets to look for finds such as vintage kitchen tools, antique serving platters, and cast-iron cookware.

Antiques frequently show some wear and tear, so make sure any items you are planning to purchase are in good condition. Also, remember that vintage items can be delicate. If you’re planning to put an item to use daily, ensure it’s in good working condition and will be up to the task.

Incorporate rustic elements. Rustic home decor can turn something that was once rugged into something beautiful. An example of this is reclaimed wood accents, which can be functional, attractive and eco-friendly.

Use reclaimed wood to create butcher-block countertops, cabinetry or to design a one-of-a-kind kitchen table. Pine offers the most authentic rustic design, but it can be soft and susceptible to dents. Hickory, alder, and cherry can also deliver a cozy, rustic feel. “Live edge” tables and accents, which preserve the natural edge of the wood in the design, are another way to add a rustic but current aesthetic.

When you’re ready to retrofit your kitchen into perfect past-present harmony, remember these tips, give yourself permission to take chances and get creative to whip up the kitchen of your dreams.

Tips to Make Your Space Appear Bigger

Tips to Make Your Space Appear Bigger

Visual tricks are a very important tool of interior design. Colors, light, furniture and decorative pieces can be arranged the right way to make a statement or to make a space look smaller…or bigger. You no longer have to sacrifice comfort because you live in a small, enclosed place. With a few visual tricks and some key elements, any room can appear bigger than it really is.

The key is to think ahead and make buying and decorating decisions with one thing in mind-make the room appear more spacious and more comfortable. To do so, there are three main elements to take into consideration: color, decoration and organization.

Color:

Light hues will open up the space, and painting the walls white will definitely maximize that effect.

Go monochromatic. If all white doesn’t work for your lifestyle, try painting the walls, trim and detailing in different shades of one color. Pick from off-white, beige, any pastel or neutral color.

Match the color of the furniture with the color of the walls. Stay away from contrasting colors, especially in big pieces such as the sofa.

Decoration:

Medium-size furniture pieces work better than a big, prominent one. Avoid having many small pieces scattered all over the room, and arrange furniture at an angle to add visual interest to the place.

Track or recessed lighting works best for small spaces. Use a torchiere lamp to bounce light off the ceiling, and get rid of heavy drapery. Let the natural light come in as much as possible.

Mirrors are also a great way to make a room feel and look bigger. A big wall mirror right in front of a window will reflect light and color; so will a collection of smaller ones, distributed along one wall.

Organization:

Any small space – even a tiny closet – will look bigger if it’s clutter-free. Get rid of little furniture dispersed all over, and move around pieces that block the view and walkway space.

Designers recommend getting pieces of furniture with open arms and legs, as well as small glass-top tables, so the light can filter through.

Make the most out of the space with multifunctional furniture. Invest in good quality pieces such as drop-leaf or removable-leaf tables and ottomans for storage and sitting purposes, among others.

Home Maintenance: 5 Quick Exterior Fixes

Home Maintenance: 5 Quick Exterior Fixes

It can be easy for the exterior of your home to look a bit worn after just a few years. Maintenance tasks that need to be taken care of get put off due to time constraints, and the fact that you don’t necessarily see them every day. If you find yourself in this situation, consider these five outdoor fixes that’ll have your home in tip-top shape in no time:

Clean Your Gutters
Depending on where you live, your gutters may need a lot of help. Take a few minutes to do a quick overview of the condition of your gutters—cleaning them out is a great first step to making them more efficient in getting excess water away from your home. You should also make sure that all of the connections are in good condition and that downspouts are secure. Finish up by spraying them down with a quick power wash to restore them to their original color.

Dress Up Your Door
Your front door should look just like that—a front door. Be sure guests don’t have to guess where your front door is by dressing it up and turning it into a welcoming entryway. Consider repainting it with a fresh coat of paint or hanging a seasonal wreath. You could also add some touches like a welcome mat, or planting flowers in a pot underneath the doorbell. Dressing up your front door is an easy way to add appeal to your home.

Add Some Mulch
Is your yard looking tired? One of the best ways to instantly provide a fresh look to the exterior of your home is to add new mulch to flower beds and around trees. Mulch can provide a polished look to your yard, as well as offer plants moist insulation to keep them hydrated. An added benefit is that mulching also helps to deter weeds from popping up.

Spruce Up Your Mailbox
You may not think that people notice your mailbox, but it can be one of the first things that a guest sees when they drive up to your home. Spruce up your mailbox by giving it a fresh coat of paint or personalizing it with your last name. Other options include adding some flowers around the bottom of the stand, as well as making sure that it is secured in the ground and isn’t leaning to one side.

Install Window Boxes
Adding a few window boxes underneath the windows in the front of your home is a great way to instantly add interest and natural beauty to your home’s exterior. Choose from a wide variety of window box styles and colors that’ll compliment your home. Plant flowers that’ll add pop like daisies, marigolds, or even wave petunias that’ll cascade over the side of the box.

Fixing up the exterior of your home doesn’t have to become a week-long project. There are many different things that you can do quickly that’ll add beauty to the outside of your home. Consider making all of these quick fixes in order to spruce up the exterior of your home this summer!