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Storage, Storage, and More Storage: Elegant Solutions to the Problem

bedroom ideasIt is the eternal problem that all architects encounter, whether they are designing residential buildings, such as apartments and houses, or industrial ones such as office suites or factories – how to incorporate sufficient storage facilities so that contemporary needs are satisfied. In many cases the architects don’t succeed entirely, and it takes an interior design plan and some clever ideas to make sure that homes and offices are fit for purpose when it comes to storage. If you are searching for solutions to make the most of your home storage, here are a few trade secrets that may just help you succeed. 

Space limitations of modern homes

You might have noticed already that room sizes in contemporary apartments and houses seem to be shrinking year on year, while overall floor area in new residential buildings is doing the same. This is a trend that is both frustrating and difficult for many people as inevitably it means that built-in storage areas are also contracting. Families, in particular, suffer in these circumstances because with young children or teens in the household there is just so much more stuff to find a place for. 

Clever answers

In a kitchen/dining area you could build in two storage cabinets either side of a window – say about 20 to 24 inches deep – and install a cushioned window seat or banquette between them. This would provide an ideal bench seat for when you’re eating and, with a hinged lid, the seat could also operate like an ottoman and provide even more storage.

In an apartment, when a living area has to double as a bedroom, you can cleverly divide the spaces using freestanding closets with sliding doors that face the bedroom – these become your wardrobes. You can then cover the back of the closets with fabric to enhance the design features of your living space or display your favorite wall artworks. 

Bedroom secrets

Children’s bedrooms can be a nightmare and besides instilling some good habits, such as putting away one toy before taking out the next, it’s important to make it easy for kids to tidy their things away. Opt for low-level toy boxes and drawers – under-bed storage can be useful here – and child-sized wardrobes for clothes they use frequently. A high level shelf is a great place to store things that are not often used – try color-coded boxes so that you can easily find winter clothes, hats and boots when summer comes to an end. 

For adults, storage solutions for the bedroom can also be flexible, and using internal compartments in wardrobes and chests of drawers will help you stay organized so that you can find what you need quickly and easily.

Making the most of space means taking a critical look at what you’ve got and working out the best ways to make use of every corner and alcove, not forgetting the spaces above doors and below stairs and beds. Making the most of your home storage opportunities is both straightforward and extremely satisfying.

4 tips to makeover your home

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Good morning Loves.  Let me ask you a question, what’s your New Year’s resolution?  Maybe you want to be more active, maybe you want to start saving more or maybe you want to fix up your home.  Did you know that getting organized is the second most common New Year’s resolution after getting healthy?

If you want to give your home a makeover this year we can help.  Here are 5 tips to makeover your home without spending a fortune.

Add pops of color

Base colors are nice and give a room a homey look and feel but color is what makes your room stand out.  The base colors in our new apartment are dark brown and beige with white trim.  It looks cute but now we have to really make our rooms welcoming with some color.

Adding pops of color such as pillows, throws, rugs and curtains are a great way to give rooms some personality without making too much of a commitment.

Use accent pieces

I love decorating but my problem is I get bored really easily.  I like changing things every year or so.  That can be a very expensive habit so instead of redoing an entire room every time my OCD kicks in I just change around the accent pieces.  Sometimes I buy new pieces to add in and sometimes I move pieces from room to room.

Adding accents such as boxes, lights, art, statues and bookends to change the look of a room is a lot cheaper than painting.  If you’re not sure how to add accent pieces just pick something that people will talk about.

Light some candles

The smell and look of candles makes a home seem livable.  Candle light always sets a welcoming mood and there is nothing more comforting than walking into a room that smells good.  I prefer traditional pillar candles but they can be messy.  Large candles in a jar are a good way to go because it’s safer since the flame and the wax are confined.

If you’re having a party lighting candles can help set the mood.  Flameless candles are a good way to go if you’re having people over because there is no chance of an accident.  Flameless candles aren’t close to the real thing but they get the job done.

Bring some life into your home with plants

If you want to give your home a new look buy some vases.   Whether you go big with decorative floor vases or you go traditional with table top vases, bringing plants and flowers into your home can really update the look and feel of your space.

We didn’t have anything living in our old apartment but now that’s old news.  I grew up in a home with a backyard full of gardens and so did BF.  I would love to have our new apartment full of flowers all the time; I love the smell of fresh cut flowers and the colors make a home gorgeous.  However that’s expensive and they don’t last very long.  So we substitute flowers with plants, our home has a variety of plants from mini palm trees to bamboo.  Adding greenery gives any home a lovely touch.

Photo from Flickr

DIY decorating: My new living room

diy decorating

Good morning Loves.  Well I think it’s safe to say my New Year’s goals have set in.  I originally set my one and only goal to lose 30 pounds in the next eight months and I was good with putting all my focus onto one major goal.  But that’s the thing about goals – they’re addicting.

I now have a decorating goal for 2015

Since setting that one and only goal I’ve also added a pretty aggressive savings goal as well as a professional goal to master the art of SEO over the next 12 months, or at least get a really good grasp on it.  So that’s it, now I have three goals over the next year, that’s enough right?  Nope, not for me.  I also gave myself 12 months to get our new apartment looking exactly how I want it to.  However decorating is expensive and it has to be done all the while keeping my savings goal in mind.

So how am I going to do it?  Well I’m giving myself $100 of fun money each month.  That has to include my monthly manicure which is approximately $20 and the other $80 can be spent on pretty things for our apartment.  We need to decorate our bedroom and living room, we also need some cabinets for our kitchen.  Sounds easy enough right?  WRONG.  I’m the type of person who wants everything done like right now.  The concept of progression is completely lost on me.  I know it’s a bad quality and I’m working on it.  Waiting 30 days for my next fun money to come free is going to be torturous, but I guess I’m just going to have to live with it.

DIY decorating via Pinterest

What’s the other obstacle?  Pinterest.  Yes it seems that the little corner on the web called Pinterest is my DIY decorating nemesis.  Everything is so perfect and so pretty and I want it all – like yesterday.  I spent many days (and some nights) over the holidays scanning Pinterest and pinning pretty things I want in our new apartment.  It’s evil and beautiful and addicting and helpful all at the same time.

Decorating my living room

My living room will be the first DIY decorating task.  I think I want my living room to be yellow – it’s bright, friendly and welcoming.  It will also be a nice contrast to our dark wood accents and exposed brick wall.  Does having a yellow room mean that everything in the room has to be yellow from curtains to vases, does it mean that only the walls are painted yellow or does having a yellow living room mean that all accents are different shades of yellow?

I have an Uncle whose personal motto is “You can never have enough color.”  Although I definitely like the idea of having a picture perfect living room I definitely don’t want it to be overwhelming or tacky.  I want to fill my living room with art, mirrors, plants, an area rug and lots and lots of pillows on our new sectional sofa without having it look super tacky and overcrowded like I’m trying too hard.  Now how do I do that?

Please send me links to your Pinterest pictures or feel free to pin anything onto my boards that you want to.  All suggestions are welcome.  Please, please help me DIY decorate my new living room.

Are you pumpkin crazy yet?

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Good morning Loves.  Well it’s the last week of October and I don’t know about you, but I had a great month.  On October 1st BF and I moved into our gorgeous new apartment (I promise once we’re settled I’ll share pics) and on October 9th I turned 34 years old.

Decorating according to the season

I know I’ve mentioned this before but I just love fall.  It’s definitely my favorite season for a variety of reasons such as the beautiful landscape colors, the wardrobe options – I love sweaters and boots, my birthday and of course pumpkin.  I look forward to pumpkin flavored everything this time of the year from home scents to hot beverages – yes you know the one I’m talking about.

Oh yes I am one of those people who follow seasonal trends.  Right now our apartment is full of anything and everything that smells like apple orchards and pumpkin patches.  In the next few months I’ll switch it up and all rooms in my new apartment will smell like evergreens and Christmas cookies.  Oh yes I love this time of the year.

Are you buying into the pumpkin craze?

So here’s my question, have you gone pumpkin crazy like I have?  I know some people think the pumpkin hype is just a marketing tactic used by retailers to kick off the shopping season, and maybe they’re right.  I for one don’t care.  I love celebrating the change of seasons, this time of year I go pumpkin crazy, in the winter I buy new mittens (yes every year) in the spring I buy a fresh bouquet of flowers and come summer I get a pedicure to kick off the warm season.  Those are just my traditions and I like them.  So what if the anticipation of pumpkin season is all a marketing scheme made up by Starbucks and Bath & Body Works, I like my apartment to smell good and I like to enjoy a hot coffee to keep warm.

What pumpkin things have you bought so far?

Did you notice the so far?!  That’s because it’s not over yet.  We don’t have to start thinking about Christmas for at least another month, so let’s enjoy fall while it’s still here.  My mother takes the change in seasons to a whole other level; she decorates her house according to the time of year.  If you were to visit my mother right now you would find a fall wreath on the outside of her front door, Halloween decorations all over her house and a beautiful pumpkin inspired table center piece that most likely looks like The Horn of Plenty.  Maybe that’s where I get it.

So far this year I’ve indulged in half a dozen Pumpkin Spiced Lattes from Starbucks, there is just something so comforting about a hot beverage on a cold fall afternoon.  I bought a pumpkin pie for BF and I to eat as dessert on Thanksgiving (remember we’re Canadian so we celebrated Thanksgiving at the beginning of October), I have three fall flavored candles burning in my apartment right now and two other Wallflower scent diffusers that are filled with Pumpkin Cupcake flavored oil.  Then of course there is our actual pumpkin which is already carved because I wanted to roast the pumpkin seeds.  Now that I’m writing it all out I’m thinking to myself WOW that’s a lot of pumpkin.

What’s your favorite fall flavor?

Photo from Flickr