5 ways to store more with style

Stuff. We all have it…

 

Don’t be overrun by Stuff – conquer it before it conquers you!

 

Once we add kids, pets, sports, backpacks, homework, the latest craft obsession (slime, anyone?), toys, and more to the mix, the “Stuff” that orbits our daily lives can invade every room in the house. Over time, it takes on a life of its own – like an unwelcome guest that won’t leave. So, we shuffle it around, thinking we’ll, “find a place for this Stuff one of these days,” until we stop noticing it’s there. And soon, Stuff becomes a fixture all its own. Sound familiar?

The good news is that it’s easy to stash your stuff with style… if you know where to look. Here are 5 smart, hard-working storage pieces you can add to every room that will conquer Stuff’s assault on your home once and for all – and as a bonus, take your design up a notch in the process!

 

1. Storage ottomans and benches

 

Storage benches can add a whole new level of design to your space

 

Ottomans and benches are the easiest way to add style, comfort, and storage to any room. In the family room, a storage ottoman does double duty as both a stylish coffee table and a place to contain all of those blankets, games, and crafts that tend to spill onto the floor. A slender storage bench tucked against a wall in the hallway allows guests to sit down and take off shoes while doubling as clever storage for umbrellas, hats, and gloves. In the bedroom, a plush storage bench at the end of the bed serves as both a place to put on your favorite slippers and contain extra blankets, books, and bed linens – all while rocking a cool designer vibe. You can even float a couple of fun storage cubes in the kids’ bedrooms to corral toys and use as extra seating when friends come over.

 

2. Shelving units

 

Shelving units can be used for open display or with baskets

 

Shelving units are the ultimate storage workhorses. Styled right, they serve as tall, silent butlers that hold a myriad of miscellaneous stuff, both big and small, in every room in the house. But if you’re not careful, Stuff will multiply and invade shelving units, too. So, to keep clutter at bay, stock the bottom shelves with bins and baskets full of small craft items, toys, Legos, and games that are easy for little hands to access (and put away!). Save the upper shelves for grown-up stuff like books, magazines, and those catalogs you keep meaning to peruse next time you get a chance to sit down (someday).

 

3. Consoles

 

Use pretty cabinets to hide the not-so-pretty mess

 

These are not your grandma’s behemoths. Today’s consoles are roomy and stylish without sacrificing space. Use a console in the family room under your TV to store DVD’s, video games, and all of those extra cords you aren’t sure what to do with. Tuck a console against a wall in the dining room to serve as a modern china cabinet or sideboard. Upgrade a small bathroom to store extra paper products and linens with a petite console. You can even stylishly stash bins of extra paper and files under the printer in the home office.

 

4. Storage beds

 

Storage beds – convenient and easy to use!

 

Bedrooms in modern homes, especially kids’ bedrooms, are usually short on space. It’s hard enough to squeeze in a bed and a nightstand, let alone dressers and extra storage pieces.You need to think outside (or in this case under) the box to take advantage of the wasted space under the bed. Consider upgrading to a storage bed that creates a whole new level of storage clothes, blankets, and extra linens. And if your kids share a room, then you especially need to make the most of every square inch with storage drawers for bunk beds that can store extra clothes or toys.

 

5. Bar carts 

 

Bar carts are so versatile with their uses

 

What? Bar carts for storage? Yes! Bar carts are one of the most under-appreciated, versatile storage mainstays in the home. A petite rolling bar cart in the bathroom topped with pretty storage bins corrals makeup, hair products, and all of those little items that clutter up precious counter space. Turn a lonely kitchen corner into a fun and funky coffee station with a modern bar trolley. And when the weather warms up, roll it outside to serve drinks al fresco! You can even convert a bar cart into a rolling homework station to keep extra supplies, papers, and books at hand – your dining room table will thank you!

 

As you now know, the secret to keeping Stuff’s assault at bay is to put your furniture to work. Keep your eye out for creative ways to exchange a few pieces in every room of your home with stylish, smart storage workhorses that do double duty – so you can conquer Stuff, once and for all!

 

 

 

4 Types of Furniture Wood That Satisfy Both Your Decor Needs & the Environment

When hunting for the perfect piece of wood furniture, we usually base our decisions on factors like style, size, how it will look in a room, and whether it’s trendy or classic. But how often do we pay attention to the type of wood it’s made of?

 

Solid wood pieces show the true beauty of the wood - especially when finished well.

Solid wood pieces show the true beauty of the wood – especially when finished well.

 

Most of us don’t realize that buying certain types of furniture wood contribute to deforestation and the wholesale destruction of earth’s precious ecosystems. If you believe that preserving the planet’s trees and forests is imperative, then you need to be aware of how to buy furniture that’s both beautiful and sustainable.

A sustainably-harvested forest will clean our air and provide timber for generations to come, without long-term damage to the environment. So, keep an eye out for these four types of furniture wood that will not only enhance your decor, but will please mother earth, too.

 

1. Mango Wood

 

Mango wood is strong and sustainable – the perfect combination for piece that last!

 

We’ve been touting the benefits of Mango wood for years. Mango wood comes from fast-growing trees that can reach heights of 80-100 feet in as little as 15 years, as opposed to traditional hardwoods like oak and maple which take 50-100 years to mature. Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits in the world and are grown in mass quantities on plantations. Once mango trees reach mature height, fruit production slows or stops, so the tree is cut down and sold for timber, and a new one is planted. Mango is just as strong as cherry and oak, but it’s inexpensive for manufacturers to work with and an affordable option for modern decor. Mango wood can be used throughout the home and comes in many colors. It makes distressed gray look sophisticated in a pedestal dining table or a rustic modern coffee table. It also pairs well with metals, and its “tiger-eye” grains and patterns add a layer of warmth to modern accent furniture, such as a modern industrial or mid-century modern accent table.

 

2. Sheesham Wood

 

IDRIS shelving unit

Sheesham wood has such unique wood characteristics – no two pieces will ever look the same!

 

Sheesham is one of the most durable and sustainable woods on earth. The tree, native to India, thrives in poor soil, severe drought, high rains, extreme cold, and temperatures over 120 degrees. All of this makes it cheap and easy to grow on large plantations almost anywhere in the world. It’s the second-hardest wood on the planet (second only to Brazilian cherry), making it an heirloom choice that will require little to no maintenance for years to come.  Sheesham is the ultimate multitasker. It’s the perfect choice for a piece that can be both the star of the show and withstand the rigors of daily life – such as a gorgeous wood counter stool or a dramatic but functional dining table.

 

3. Acacia Wood

 

Acacia wood is perfect for those looking for truly rustic pieces

 

Acacia is a fast-growing tropical tree that’s easy to harvest and reproduce on plantations in warm climates throughout the world. Similar to Sheesham, Acacia is a tough hardwood with beautiful grains that will last for many years under the rigors of daily life. Acacia’s rustic charm harmonizes with almost any decor. Colors can range from light amber to dark mahogany, and no two are alike. Look for acacia wood furniture that puts its originality on full display, such a rustic industrial coffee table or console table.

 

4. Pine

 

TRENTON console table

Pine wood pairs well with iron and metals to create a fun industrial look

 

Pine is a fast-growing tree that’s now mostly grown on sustainable plantations. This light-but-strong wood has been used for generations for everything from roof beams to broom handles. As a result, reclaimed pine is also widely available as a popular way repurpose the wood and enjoy it for years beyond its original function. Pine is the ultimate workhorse in any decor. It’s equally at home as a solid rustic console or a sleek, mid-century modern counter stool, and everything in between.

 

MOKA stool

Solid wood doesn’t have to be all live edges and rustic finishes – it’s easy to create more modern contemporary looks as well.

 

People are becoming more aware of the environmental effects of mass deforestation. Luckily, sustainable wood options are affordable, widely available, and fit into any decor. You just have to know where to look!