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!




3 Design Tricks to Get Your Home Ready to Sell!

It’s no secret that staged homes sell faster and for a higher price than others. Hiring a home stager can become costly but often pays off in the long run. Whether you decide to put in a little elbow grease and DIY it, or hire some help to get it done, you’ll see the effort pay off. Here are 3 design tricks that will help you get your home ready to sell and give you the edge you need in today’s hot real estate market.


Hiring a professional stager can be expensive but will pay off in the long run.


1. Declutter & clean


A sleek storage ottoman will easily let you stash clutter when showing the house.


When it comes to getting your home ready to sell, cleaning and decluttering is half the battle. As soon as you decide that you will listing your home to be sold, it’s time to start decluttering and stowing away personal belongings. Take down all personal photos and memorabilia and clean out at least half the items from closets and cupboards (you have to pack up everything when you move, anyway). Swap out your coffee table for a modern storage ottoman that will hide away blankets, toys, and magazines in a hurry.


A console cabinet is an easy way to corral items that you still need daily but don’t want to leave lying around.


Streamline a shelving unit with stylish baskets and bins to stash memorabilia or kids’ crafts and create a uniform look. And tidy up a messy-looking entertainment center with a sleek media console. After all, buyers don’t want to visualize you in your home. They want to picture themselves there.


A clean home will sell faster than a dirty or cluttered home


Once things are packed away, get out your cleaning supplies and prepare to use a little elbow grease. A sparkling home shows pride of ownership and sends a message to the buyer that you’ve taken good care of it over the years. And clean, decluttered spaces make your home feel larger, even when compared to other homes the same size. So, get to work – or better yet, hire a professional cleaning service. Many of them offer “ready-to-sell” cleaning packages.


2. Give every space a job to do


Try to increase the functionality of every corner of the house


Imagine walking into your home for the first time. Would you know that the empty wall by the front door is a magnet for backpacks and shoes? Could you determine at a glance if that spare bedroom, currently used for crafts or storage, could be a child’s dream bedroom? Don’t make buyers work to interpret spaces in your home. Instead, show them that every space has a job to do. Clear out clutter from a spare bedroom and stage it with a nicely-made bed, nightstand, and a fresh bouquet of flowers. Tuck a hall tree and bench in the foyer to help buyers imagine a place where they can drop their keys and take off their shoes when they come home. Do you have extra space in a master bedroom or under the stairs? Don’t make a buyer wonder what to do with it. Fill it with a modern desk and chair, so they’ll look at it and think, “Ah, yes. This is the perfect place for an office.”



3. Appeal to buyers’ emotions


Creating cozy and inviting spaces in your home will appeal to the buyers’ emotions


Buying is an emotional process, and there’s no buying experience more emotional than a home purchase. So it’s important to not only make sure that your home looks appealing, but that it warms the heart, too. Create little scenes throughout the home that will help buyers imagine themselves enjoying special moments. Tuck a bar cart along a dining wall and accessorize it with coffee and pastries so they can visualize having a tranquil breakfast there. Or create a reading nook with a cozy chair and ottoman in a corner of the master bedroom and stage it with a book and a comfy throw. When a buyer is looking at several homes, they will remember the ones that give them a window into these little moments of what life would be like to live there.


By rolling up your sleeves and turning a fresh eye to every space, it’s easy to take buyers on a visual journey and show your home to its greatest potential. Are you planning on selling your home anytime soon? Have you sold recently? We would love to hear about your experiences with prepping your home and buyers’ reactions in the comments below.