Showing posts from: organization tips

Ten Things Every Home Needs

Every home is different, always expressing the individuality of every owner or renter. But just like the classic staples that should always be found in the kitchen, every home should have a few basic necessities. These are the essentials, the “key ingredients” that make up the foundation of a good home. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been a homeowner for decades, make sure your home has a version of these items:

1. Good lighting for every room. This typically means three light sources for each room unless the room is very small. This will help you avoid a dimly lit, shadowy home.

2. An “empty surface zone,” a surface in your home that you decide is no longer a home for things… the kitchen island, the coffee table, anywhere that tends to collect clutter.

3. A good, reliable vacuum.

4. One matching set of dishes and “real” napkins.

5. At least one piece of completely unique furniture that you love.

6. A piece of art that you love, whether it’s a $20 print or a $2,000 painting. Hang it so its center is about 57” off the floor.

7. Candles to light during the evenings or at mealtime. There is something calming about lighting candles after a long day, especially at dinner time. Pick out some candles in your favorite scents, such as lavender, to soothe you.

8. Comfortable bedding. Whether that means crisp white cotton sheets and a duvet or soft flannel sheets and a light blanket, your bed should always be made with bedding that will help lure you into sweet slumber.

9. A designated workspace. Whether it’s a full home office, a small desk or a designated corner of the kitchen table, having a place set aside to work or pay bills will allow you to associate the rest of your home with relaxation.

10. Proper fire alarms and a fire extinguisher. This goes without saying, but your home should be as safe as it is beautiful.


Posted In:design tips  /  organization tips

Get Ready For Guests

Now that summer is here, people will be traveling more which means you may find yourself expecting guests. Whether you’re anticipating visits from close family members or distant friends, it’s easy to stress over the state of your home instead of enjoying their visit. Rather than spending days redecorating and cleaning, relax—there are only certain things your company will even notice. No one will mind if you haven’t painted the walls in awhile or you forget to dust every light fixture.

Follow this list for getting your home ready and then start planning your summer itinerary with your loved ones.

1. Organize your entryway. Your foyer or entryway is the first thing your guests will notice upon their arrival. It’s also where they’ll be dropping off jackets, shoes and umbrellas or any other gear. Make sure the area is clean and well-organized. If you’ve got the room, our Tropical Salvage Shagrila Bench gives guests a place to sit and take their shoes off (and some space to stash them underneath).

2. Declutter. Even if you don’t have time to deep clean your rooms, you can organize your clutter. Go through piles of papers, sort them, and decide what to toss and what to put away. Recycle old magazines and newspapers. Get a tray or basket for every room to stash odds and ends like remote controls and keys. Decluttering your space makes your home feel more relaxing.

3. Clean the bathroom your guests will use. If you only have time to deep clean one room, clean the guests’ bathroom. Just because it’s summertime doesn’t mean they may not want to take relaxing bubble baths. Keep freshly washed towels, toothpaste and other toiletries handy.

4. Replace shabby furniture. There’s no need to refurnish your entire home just because you may be expecting guests. At the same time, the thought of entertaining friends and family might motivate you to replace a piece or two that has seen better days. If your living room needs a decor boost, replace your old couch with an Ethan Allen sofa. Or add some extra seating with a comfortable chair or two.

5. Get your guest room ready. Whether you have a full spare bedroom or a quiet office alcove with a pullout sofa, get the space ready before your guests arrive. You don’t want to be awkwardly changing sheets or scrambling while they stand there with their suitcases.

6. Stock your bar. After greeting your guests and letting them get settled, you’ll want to offer them a drink. Make sure you have the basics covered for a few classic cocktails from the bar, and keep at least one non-alcoholic alternative handy.

7. Add some fresh flowers. There’s nothing like a beautiful bouquet of flowers to make any home look better. Add them to common areas like the living room coffee table and dining room table, and place a fresh bouquet in the guest room.


Posted In:design tips  /  DIY  /  home improvement projects  /  organization tips

How To Get Your Home Ready For Summer

Here in Seattle, we wait all year for summertime. While other parts of the country may be overwhelmed by sweltering heat, we enjoy moderate temperatures and perfectly warm, sunny days. This weekend, we’ll welcome the beginning of another great Northwest summer. Make sure your home is as ready for the warmer weather as you are.

1. Since you’ll be opening your windows more, keep a few houseplants in your home to filter the air. Snake plants, spider plants and English ivy are great picks.

2. Clean your screen doors and windows thoroughly to comfortably allow those warm summer breezes inside.

3. Clean out your closets, packing away or donating your winter items to make room for swimsuits, sandals, shorts and tees.

4. Freshen up your guestroom. No matter where you live, summer is a popular time for visitors. Replace any worn out furniture, spruce up the decor and make sure the bed linens are freshly washed.

5. Change the bedding on your own bed, too—that down comforter you enjoyed snuggling under in February won’t be so comfortable in July.

6. Make sure you’re prepared for scorching days by buying any fans or air conditioning units you may need. Check ceiling fans to make sure they’re functioning.

7. If you have the space, plant a garden. Tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce grow well in hot weather and will make great accompaniments to your barbecued meals.

8. Prepare your patio or backyard for outdoor entertainment. Get some gas for the grill (or get a new one if need be), make sure the outdoor furniture and common areas are clean, replace any pieces that have seen better days, hang some string lights or incorporate some decor. You’ll be hosting happy hour at your place before you know it.

We hope you have a great summer!


Posted In:design tips  /  home improvement projects  /  organization tips

Ten Creative Organizing Ideas

Hopefully by now you’ve tackled the major spring cleaning tasks your home needed—and if not, don’t worry, we’ve still got two months until summer. Once the dust bunnies have been cleared from the corners and the patio furniture is ready for those backyard parties, our focus turns to organizing the clutter we’ve collected.

Having a well organized home not only looks nice, it feels nice—your home should be a peaceful retreat, and it’s hard to relax with endless stuff sitting everywhere you look. But paperwork piles up easily and sometimes we need to get creative with our storage needs, especially if we live in small spaces. Here are ten creative organizing ideas for every room of your home:

1. Use tables with skirts or curtains to help hide clutter. You may have space under your counters and tables you’re not properly utilizing. Add a skirt or some curtains for some creative concealment.

2. Old dressers and chests make great storage options for any room. Sometimes all they need are a coat of paint and a little creativity to fit in with your decor. Use one in your family room to store blankets, board games and movies, or set one inside a closet for extra storage options.

3. Designate a spot in your foyer for keys, wallets, sunglasses and guests’ shoes. This can be something as simple as a small table with designated baskets on top and shoe space underneath. Hang a mirror above the table for last-minute checks on your way out the door.

4. For bills, bookkeeping and correspondence, get a desk. Having one place to store all things accounting related will keep your other countertops from turning into a cluttered mess. If you have children, this means they’ll always have a place to do homework.

5. Keep living room clutter at bay by buying an ottoman that can be used as extra storage.

6. If you’re short on bathroom storage, hang a small shelf above the sink or surround the vanity with fabric and stash things underneath.

7. Get a whiteboard and use it as the family message area. Hang it in the kitchen, home office or anywhere that you know everyone will see it. This will prevent handwritten notes from cluttering up your counters.

8. Hang cooking utensils and potholders in your kitchen to clear up counter space.

9. Get some beautiful decorative boxes and use them to store old bills, receipts or other important documents. Set the boxes on open shelves so you’ll have easy access to them.

10. Install a tension rod under your kitchen or bathroom sink and use it as a hanging rod for spray bottles. This will free up cabinet space for other items, and you’ll always know where your cleaning supplies are.


Posted In:organization tips