Top Storage Ideas for a Clutter Free Home

Top Storage Ideas for a Clutter Free Home

There’s one thing that is guaranteed to detract from the look of a home, or a room. You can have it tastefully decorated, tastefully lit, and furnished with the best around… But if the room is cluttered then the effects of your good taste are hidden, spoiled and lost. Never has the expression “less is more” been more appropriately used than in the home room setting.
No matter how much you love knick-knacks, ceramics, amusing objet d’art and the like, if you overdo it, you’ll break the “more is less” rule. If you are a collector and want to have your collections on display, put a side one room for them… don’t have them littered throughout your home, I suggest.
It’s not just that you and your friends may find the net effect of a cluttered room visually unappealing, it can also be a major distraction. This applies whatever you’re doing- cooking in the kitchen, relaxing watching television in the sitting room, trying to work in the bedroom/study. Having too much around you can pull your focus away from whatever your activity is. But what can you do?
The first thing is to get rid of what you don’t need. So many people get attached to things that they don’t really like and it becomes a wrench to let go. Why not recycle them via the local charity shop? It’s also a problem if you have children. Their toys games, clothes and the like tend to creep from their bedrooms to the other areas of the house.
One way to contain rather than remove items of clutter is to have efficient storage systems; in other words those that make the most of the available space in a room. Sliding doors take up far less room that conventional wardrobe doors and should always be your door of choice for wardrobes and built-in wardrobes. Another tip is to have floor to ceiling storage. Whether it’s clothes books, games & toys, the higher you go, the more space you have. Of course you may need to have a small folding set of steps or a stool to reach those items at the top.
If you have clear flat surfaces such as on the top of a chest of drawers, why not use attractive storage boxes (which can be made of cloth, cardboard, wood or plastic) which can house and hide items and give symmetry to the room which is pleasing and unfussy.
If you do have doors, then festoon the inside of them with hooks so that they can accommodate handbags, shopping bags, wrapping paper, and rough clothes that you don’t mind creasing.
Finally, use a Divan rather than a normal bed- you can store sheets and blankets in the drawers. Also look at the modern pieces of storage furniture that can fit under your open stairs. These can look tasteful and elegant. If you have a coffee table, consider replacing it with a more solid one with drawers or shelves underneath.
Take a look in magazines (either specific interior decorating or furniture magazines/brochures or the Sunday “glossies”) and you’re bound to see some good ideas for storage that will help you in your de-cluttering quest!

Update Your Home Flooring for a Summer of Entertaining

Update Your Home Flooring for a Summer of Entertaining

Have you had a spring clean already this year? Regardless of that, have you considered sprucing up and reviving your kitchen and dining areas with a new-look floor? It is sometimes a part of the home that is overlooked. Summer in Britain is traditionally a time not only for holidays, but also for entertaining, inviting friends round, barbecues, and having great dining and conversation.
When you decorate a room, you’re always told to start at the top (the ceiling) and work down to the floor. By the time you reach the floor the colours and styles have all been fixed, and unless you’ve done some pre-thinking, the floor will either have to stay just as it is, or be ruled by what has gone before.
So my suggestion is look at your floor. Flooring is typically overlooked when thinking of ways to make a room modern and new, and most people tend to just do a subtle paint re-touch or buy a new collection of home accessories. That’s all well and dandy but to really give a room a long-term update, start (and finish) at the bottom. Look at your carpet. Is it tired, stained? Was it chosen for a decorating scheme that has since been supeceded. Yank up your tired, over-trampled carpet and try something different. Have a look at the modern laminates that are now available. It will give a clean fresh brand new look to your dining room or kitchen.
Laminates come in a variety of styles and colours. From a sleek white oak laminate that gives a bright understated minimalist feel and that will go with almost any other décor, to a rustic wood effect that look great in cottage kitchens and dining rooms in older properties where you want to keep the feel of the history of the place.
Consider the pros of laminate flooring as compared to carpets or tiles. First up laminate flooring is usually cheaper than tiles. Secondly laminate flooring is warm (or at least not cold) to the touch in winter and cool in summer. That’s great when you float around the house in bare feet. Thirdly, laminate floors are more durable and robust. Drop a heavy casserole dish onto your tiled kitchen floor and the chances are not only will it smash, but it will also crack or chip the tiles. Do you have a spare? Can you fit a replacement in snugly? These are not issues for a laminate floor. Turning to the dining room, with a laminate floor you can relax if the kids spill food or orange juice on the floor. With just a wipe with a wet cloth and it’s got. Red wine glass fallen off the dining table? Relax with a wipe, it has gone. Now imagine what the palaver would be with red wine spilt onto a carpet- rush to get the salt, the warm water, the bowl and cloth, and start rubbing vigorously. Chances are there will still be a mark left.
Also the maintenance required for a laminate floor is very easy. Just a sweep at the end of the day, and a mop with a mild solution of washing liquid perhaps once a week or fortnight. What could be easier?

Update Your Home Flooring for a Summer of Entertaining

Update Your Home Flooring for a Summer of Entertaining

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s summer. Which usually means more sun, less rain (can’t guarantee this of course). Did you have a spring clean? No?? Well shame on you, but it’s not too late to do at least one room in your home. But which room? Most people think that they spend most time in their lounge or sitting room, with the kitchen up next. No. You spend a third of your life sleeping and it’s more on the cards than not that you spend most time in your bedroom. Ok you may be asleep for a lot of that time, but a great bedroom can help you fall asleep more easily and delight you when you wake up.
So make a resolution to upgrade your bedroom. It doesn’t have to cost the earth. Look at the internet; you should be able to pick up furniture bargains, and your local hardware store or superstore will often have great deals on white emulsion in bulk. White? Yes; if you want to go for real chic, then it will be French chic- and that means mostly white walls and ceiling, and the splashes of colour come from colour in the lampshades, bedding, curtains, carpet and furniture. But don’t overdo it. Too many splashes of different colours and you’ll begin to lose the subtle contrasts and easy-on-the-eye effect to visual clutter and confusion.
Look up Elle Décor which is always a useful online publication to follow for inspiration in the sprucing up of your bedroom!
One of the items of furniture that is making a comeback in the bedroom is the armchair. Armchairs seem to be very fashionable amongst French chic rooms as they provide a certain homely yet elegant feel to the room. Yes, you can sit in a bedroom; you don’t have to lie down on the bed. As the bedroom is a place of peace and tranquillity, you can use it to rest, relax and perhaps read in a comfortable armchair. Of course there are many stores that provide furniture (including armchairs), but you can also find armchairs from charity shops and second-hand furniture shops. These can be reconditioned and re-covered professionally and you end up with something exclusive and special.
Treat yourself to a bunch of flowers from the local market to place in a vase on your windowsill as nothing beats the freshness and colour of beautiful flowers.
Lighting is very important for a bedroom. Whilst you will probably want some kind of spot light or reading lamp for you to read in bed, the norm should be low level hidden discrete lighting. Probably coloured, like pink or green, to create that almost ready to nod off to sleep ambience. These days there are many LED light creations that can help bolster that French chic look.
Finally, have you thought about some ambient sounds in your bedroom? This is not some hippy-dippy tree-hugging thing, but it has been proven that a quiet undercurrent of natural sounds, from a concealed speaker can be the perfect thing to send you off to slow and greet you next morning. Sounds of a wood are popular (mostly birdsongs) but some people swear by lapping waves, chirping cicadas or even humpback whale sounds. Experiment! I guess if you really want French chic, than the sounds of a French market might be appropriate, but that may be just too busy for you!