Small space? No problem! When you have a cozy space, your furniture needs to work twice as hard.
Instead of having each and every piece of furniture only perform a single function, let’s have furniture that does double duty. We love this oft-pinned image (above) of a bench / filing cabinet. How can your furniture do double duty for you? Perhaps your old steamer trunk could be your coffee table. Inside the trunk you can store out of season decorating items, extra linens, artwork you’re not hanging right now, and so forth. It can serve as very effective storage. Pop a piece of beveled glass on top and you have a double duty hard-working piece of furniture. We also love this bookcase / crafting table combo (below). When your space is limited, let all the pieces of furniture work as hard as you do.
DOUBLE DUTY SPACES. Remember the old murphy beds? If you have need for an occasional guest room, but don’t want the space dedicated 100% of the time to something that only happens twice a year, consider the updated Murphy bed solutions. There’s a company in Denver called BREDA BEDS that offers a murphy style bed that also contains an IN LINE sofa. It’s less than $3K at the time of this blog. This would allow you to have a sofa AND a guest space. .
We love furniture (and spaces) that do double duty.
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If you want your home to look cleaner, feel fresher, bigger, better…. Three words: LESS is MORE.
TAKE THIS TEST: When you walk into a room in your home, listen to how your heart responds to that room. Does the room lift your spirits? Or do you avert your eyes, because there is too much stuff in there? Do your shelves and surfaces contain objects that are full of meaning to you? Great! If your eyes don’t know where to look because it’s a tchotchke explosion, I would gently encourage you to only keep out a few things that really make your heart sing. LESS IS MORE
LESSONS FROM STAGING HOUSES: I’ve staged many, many homes for sale over the years, and in fact teach how to stage your own home. Whether the property was a cozy 900 sq.’ manufactured home or a generously sized 3K sq.’ home, there is one thing that they ALL had in common. Stuff. Clutter. Tchotchkes. Bric-a-brac. Keepsakes. Trinkets. Whatever it's called, it’s amazing how much stuff we all tend to have in our homes! The longer we’re in a home, it seems every surface becomes jammed, crammed, and stuffed full of knickknacks, dust-catchers and remnants of days gone by. When preparing a house for sale, I’ll have the homeowners pack up at least 50% of their décor. That’s right, at least 50%, and sometimes 75%. Then we keep out only a select few pieces for display. Every single time the clients will say, “Wow – it looks so much better in here!” In fact, I’ve had clients decide NOT to sell their house after all. Why? “We didn’t know this place could look this good. We don’t need a new place...... This feels like a new home!” You too can achieve this sense of euphoria simply by storing the non-essentials out of sight. Viola!
BUT I LOVE MY COLLECTIONS: Please do not misunderstand me. I love collections too. We need to have décor items that have meaning to us – but sometimes we have too much of a good thing going on. Let’s say you collect dolls or action figures. (Yes, they are two of the most collected items.) You don’t just have one or two - you have a collection of 100's! If you have ALL of them on the counters and on top of the kitchen cupboards, on shelves around the great room, spilling out of closets and filling up every surface, you stop seeing them after a while. Unless you have a museum, here is a simple suggestion for you.
EASY 3: If this is you, I would encourage you to go through and choose your favorite three from your collection. And put the rest away for now. A simple grouping of three is more visually stunning. Can you just see that in the middle of your coffee table? Delightful. Or perhaps you could display those three treasured items at eye level on your bookshelf, surrounded by a curated stack of books on either side, essentially framing your three treasures. Keep just those three out for the rest of the month. Every time you walk into the room, you’ll appreciate those three so much more. Next month you can choose a different three to display. Using this method of rotation, displaying only a few at a time, you’ll eventually see all of them. When you have fewer on display, your appreciation for them is far greater. And your place will look amazing. Don't be surprised if your friends ask if you have new furniture, if you redecorated or hired a designer.
FOR MORE INSPIRATION: If you want to take it further and could use some help dejunking and decluttering, I recommend the informative and highly entertaining books “Clutter’s Last Stand” and “For Packrats Only” by Don Aslett. If you’re thinking about downsizing, I recommend the book “Downsizing the Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go” by Marni Jameson. (Hint: the kids don’t want your stuff.)
Whatever you collect – when it comes to displaying your treasures, remember LESS is MORE. You'll feel like you have a new home.
The best part? It costs $0.