Sorry I haven’t written in awhile (I think its been 7 weeks or so I have been so busy with 2 moves in 2 months that I am finally getting around to things) Here is a 5 basket storage unit available from Target.com and is affordable and provides great organization in a hallway (store shoes in the baskets and keys, phones, etc. in a small bowl on top.) Or it would be great in a small nursery with limited storage (some older homes have small closets as do new condos) so you could put diapers, wipes, crib sheets, onesies, etc. all in different baskets. Or maybe you have a toddler and are looking for a way to keep their favorite toys off the floor when there not playing well now you can easily place them in the baskets and still have a clean family room. I added the link below in case you want to know more about the dimensions, price and see additional photos.
Over the years houses styles have changed and room functions have as well. Most people in the USA have a home of approximately 2,500 square feet. Depending on where you live may determine the specifics (basement, attic, crawl space), however many people have moved toward more informal living arrangements and now prefer the open concept. There are pros/cons to both. If your a messy person sorry but you don’t belong in an open concept house just picture it when you open the front door it would look like one big mess had engulfed the entire space. What about rooms that didn’t exist years ago? Well many people didn’t use home offices (unless they were self employed or worked from home) moms usually paid all the bills from the kitchen table thereby eliminating an extra bedroom just for surfing the web and bill paying. The formal dining room that gets used only on Thanksgiving or Christmas is wasted space – for the regular entertainer who spends time dining with their guests its a necessity. So here are some ways to make the open living concept work for your family…and yes sometimes open concept means feeling more spacious even though there can be a lack of storage.
A sofa table can provide great extra storage, serve as extra lighting for reading, use solid baskets to hide the stuff so shelves don’t look crowded. And during the holidays its an easy place to reach to put up some extra Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.
For those of you who find yourself always eating in the kitchen or family room and find the dining room as the black sheep of the house then by all means try re-purposing it into something useful for your family. Here’s a few suggestions: even if your eliminating your dining room table (if you have one in the dining room) make sure to have some built ins designed for the space (whether they’re ikea or custom is up to your style/budget)
Why the built ins? well you unless you have a massive kitchen or plenty of closet space a built in provides the extra storage for those items that can be seasonal (turkey platters, carving boards) and for all those wedding gifts that don’t have space in maybe a small kitchen. Also with the floor space freed up you still have storage so you can turn the dining room into a library (built ins are great for books) or a home office for the self employed.
Or maybe your in the opposite position and find yourself without the formal dining room and your kitchen, dining room, great room are really one big space…talk about open concept challenges. I suggest removing your kitchen set and having just a larger dining room set. If you have a table that has leaves then it can easily go from 6 people for family dinners to 10 or 12 for holidays.
Consider what rooms you use and how often and for what – ignore the labels for a moment and see if that basement can be turned into the kids playroom or that dining room into the home office for the self employed or maybe an attic can provided needed storage for a hobby room.
Since many families move over the summer and right before school goes back I figured now was the time to share this posting. If you recently moved into a new home (or plan to in the future) here’s some advice on how to make it less new and more family feeling.
First off congratulations on your new home many people are so excited and busy with all the packing/unpacking that they tend to ignore the little details.
- Go ahead and plant some flowers in the front of your house – this is a great way to add curb appeal and distinguish your house from the neighbors in large housing developments/MPCs
- If you have a front porch consider painting the interior ceiling a calm, blue (like the sky) it has helped many homeowners prevent bugs
- Why not head over to Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy some solar powered lights for your driveway – they won’t cost you anything to run since their solar so its a one time expense (and luckily won’t show up on your electric bill)
- If the outdoors are your thing – then try planting a veggie/fruit garden in your backyard (doesn’t have to be large just enough for your family to enjoy it) – also consider planting items like Basil, Thyme, Parsley or Oregano because they add great flavors to the dish and are so much cheaper to grow than buy (also if you end up growing a lot of herbs consider clipping them, putting them in a ziploc bag with a paper towel and freezing them for when there not in season).
- Also consider hanging a clothes line this may seem dated to some of you but to me there’s no better smell than laundry from the line (sorry all the fabric fresherner just never smells that fresh)
- Roll out the welcome mat or my personal favorite have an area in the front hallway/foyer to remove shoes and keep your floors clean (and your new house looking new)
- If you have a dog and trees in your back yard connect a dog line between the two trees so they too can enjoy the outdoors
- Absolutely make sure to paint the interior of your home (I say this incase white or builder beige isn’t your thing) painting walls helps to define areas, personalizes it, and makes for a lived in feel
- I know sometime technology can be great but what about all those photos on your digital camera/memory card have you thought about going through them and picking a few to print and frame for your new space
- Have a moving in party with family and friends is great – why not if you plan to live in your new home for a long time have a party where you invite over the neighbors just print off a flyer (address, date, time) and have some easy food (cookies, brownies, coleslaw, hamburgers) the food doesn’t have to be expensive if your anticipating lots of people keep it simple and cheap but make it welcoming (if someone invited offers to bring something graciously accept but don’t tell them what to bring unless they ask)
- Enjoy your new house and make new memories in it and it will become a family home