The pandemic has upended the way we as people interact with space. For 2021, there is going to be a trend towards making homes feel more cozy, peaceful, warm and private. Open floor plans are losing favor to putting walls back up and cool whites and grays that were popular in years prior are being updated with warm calming neutrals like beiges and browns.
With families now staying at home nearly 24/7, the needs and consequently daily messes of that increased indoor activity can be reigned in by getting more organized. It’s time to update underutilized spaces to do double duty and more. Like many who are hosting and entertaining much less this year (if at all), it’s time to convert underutilized spaces into something more valuable for you and your family, whether it’s converting a dining room into a peaceful library with bookshelves and comfortable seating, or a bedroom into a productive remote work and learn space.
Here are 3 ways to get more organized this year.
1. Transform Casual Landing Areas into a Proper Entryway
Create an amazing entryway with just a few key items. For an effective use of space, storage and organization will be critical elements if your home is lacking proper built-ins. Think furniture items that can perform double duty: a beautiful ottoman or bench that also acts as storage, or a console table that acts as a landing for keys and decor but also has drawers or trays to mitigate the mess.
Source from Studio McGee
Studio McGee designers are experts at entryway style. But style doesn’t have to come at the cost of storage solutions. Here they’ve utilized a console table with built-in drawers. If you have a similar console table, the bottom shelf decor can be replaced with attractive baskets for additional storage space for shoes, scarves and more.
Bonus: If you don’t like the default hardware your furniture comes with, Hickory Hardware has you covered with thousands of cabinet knobs and pulls in dozens and dozens of finishes to choose from.
Source from Pinteresting Plans
If your console table doesn’t have a lower shelf at all like the one above, a couple of storage ottomans can be tucked underneath, or a single backless bench, creating a beautifully layered but purposeful look. A bench or ottoman works great for guests to sit and take off their shoes and boots year round.
2. Update Tight Awkward Spaces with Mini Mudroom Concepts
Featuring Skylight Hook Rail in White and Brushed Golden Brass. Shop this design.
For a budget fix, consider incorporating hooks and hook rails, which are perfect for hanging away coats, masks, dog leashes and countless other miscellaneous items, making it hard for guests and family to find the excuse to drape these items over sofas, chairs and tables. The idea is to get the mess off much needed surfaces into a special landing place of their own. Wall hooks and hook rails are an excellent solution.
You can also upgrade small spaces with single hooks. Single Hooks are a great solution for small spaces that may otherwise be plain and underutilized dead zones in a house. Incorporate single hooks to hang up towels within a small bathroom or for grocery totes and masks near the door. Single hooks allow for customized spacing, use as few or as many hooks needed for your project.
For renter-friendly no-drill, no-installation organization, consider incorporating a simple over-the-door hook. It collects clothes and other miscellaneous articles out of places where you don’t want them into a single, easily accessible destination. No drilling or hardware required, just hang over the door! For all of Hickory Hardware hook options, check out this page.
Featuring Hickory Hardware Over the Door Hook
3. Turn Underutilized Spaces into Something Truly Special
Source from Gantri.
The current lifestyle reality for many, and that may continue post-pandemic, is that kitchens and living rooms have turned into work and learning spaces, spare bedrooms (for those of us extra lucky) have become remote offices. For those that have limited spaces to begin with (small and studio apartments), those living spaces have always had to serve multi-purpose functions, as an entryway, an office, a living room and perhaps too as the dining room. Time almost feels like a surrealist construct these days and if you’re spending a good 8-12 hours in the same room in the same space, it can start to grate on you mentally, staring at the same screen, the same walls, the same decor or furniture… All of these things are made more difficult that our interactions with people outside our households have diminished drastically and the pandemic has disrupted product supply chains everywhere.
Source from Orlando Soria.
It may be time to declutter your multi-purpose space or to convert extra spaces and rooms into something more personally useful and enriching mentally and perhaps physically (I highly recommend giving Orlando Soria’s blog post on his bright, cheerful and pink gym reveal and candid struggles a read, fair warning on the heavy subject matter as it dives into body image issues and touches on race).
Why dedicate a space such as a dining room to events that only happen a handful of times a year? Creating new areas for reprieve and relaxation is important, if anything to create a mental recess from staying in the same space day in and day out. This can be achieved by changing up the purpose of other areas in the home.
Above is my work in progress of the dining room example turned into mini-library/relaxation station. In the mirror reflection you can see the bookshelf. I promise there are books there on the lower shelving! These shelves have helped tremendously to give a home for my growing collection of books rather than dumping them away in a closet somewhere.
Source from Gantri.
As an aside, it is so important to have accent lighting as opposed to purely harsh overhead lighting from the ceiling. Think floor lamps and table lamps that you can incorporate to give that soft atmospheric glow. It’s important to also convert harsh fluorescent bulbs that give off white or blue light into soft white bulbs.
Lighting has a huge ability to affect mood and space. You may also want to go warmer on the temperature of the bulb if your lamp shades are white, as it will cancel out most of the yellow warmth in soft white light. Blue and white light should be reserved for garages, warehouses and similar spaces where accurate visibility is important. In the home though, soft white light is usually sufficient in most situations especially for areas for relaxation and dining. It makes sense now that many mobile phones have a “reading mode” feature that converts the blue light on our screens to yellow, making all-white web pages and articles easier on the eyes to read at night.
Source from Made Trade.
Get more out of your workspace by turning it into a space where you want to work. Personalization is key in addition to organization. This wall pegboard is great for showing off and visually organizing aesthetic items. Plants, both real and faux help to soften sterile spaces by adding a naturalistic element. Scent can also play a powerful role in uplifting moods. Here an essential oil diffuser is incorporated into the space along with candles.
Source Poster Store.
In this home office, a stunning classic Oluce Atollo lamp is placed for additional lighting on the desk. Owning a similar lamp, I can tell you it is wonderful to switch a lamp like this on the early winter mornings when it’s still dark outside rather than to flip on a harsh overhead ceiling light. It helps me gradually awaken without the harsh on/off switch of an overhead lamp. This work space is then personalized with wall prints, books and vases filled with dried florals. A basket sits nearby perfect for organizing extra throws or any other decor items.
My home office is a bit bare at the moment but I’m happy to share this little corner of visual joy and beauty which is important to inject into any personal space. These faux flowers imported from small boutiques have served me well for over 2 years. To keep things fresh I will occasionally rotate vase styles and colors or move certain sets of florals into different rooms.
We’ve learned to:
- Transform Casual Landing Areas into a Proper Entryway
- By using purposeful furniture that is not only beautiful, but can act as storage.
- Update Tight Awkward Spaces with Mini Mudroom Concepts
- By incorporating hooks and hook rails to get mess off other surfaces and onto an organized spot on the wall.
- Turn Underutilized Spaces into Something Special
- By converting once seldom used rooms into something useful.
- By incorporating soft lighting.
- By injecting moments of joy and personalization into our spaces.