Love your family room but tired of hanging in a cluttered, disorganized space? Here are some great, expert tips to keep your most relaxing room a place of both casual comfort and spacious structure.
According to James Swan, author of the new book, 101 Things I Hate About Your House, and Design Director at James Swan & Co., there are five different types of pieces one should incorporate into their family room for ultimate organization. Swan recommends beginning with big furniture pieces, such as armoires and bookcases, which can store a number of items in style. Next, Swan suggests closed, small pieces, such as end-tables, console tables and cocktail tables for the largest amount of hidden storage space. Jill Banks, Founder and Design Consultant of Happily Better After, believes that tables with shelves and drawers are great for storing thing like remotes, playing cards, batteries, and other small items. Merri Cvetan of MEC Design Studio, however, believes that ottomans should replace coffee tables for their multidimensional ability to act as a footrest, table (if topped with a tray) and storage piece.
In addition to large and small pieces, the experts suggest unexpected pieces, such as an upholstered trunk with a hinged top: something you can use both to put your feet up and store multiple items. Try utilizing trunks for stashing bulky items, like pillows and throws. One recommendation is to incorporate built-in pieces, such as window-seats with built in storage, or wall units with cabinets and shelves. Lastly, use temporary pieces, like baskets, which Swan believes are “life-savers for the things you need to store immediately.”
Jessica Dolan, the “Bringing of Order” for Room to Breathe, a home organizing and staging company, suggests using collections around the home for functional purposes. For instance, Dolan uses her own inherited pottery to store electronic wires, adapters and chargers.
Dolan says to take DVDs and CDs out of their cases and store in binders to save space. Containers could also be used to store such items. Dolan believes families already possess most of the storage items they need, and it is just matter of finding and repurposing such items.
According to MEC's Cvetan, flat screen TVs are great space savers that free up floor space. She advises clients to choose a credenza style cabinet with doors to hide video equipment and movies. According to Cvetan, “Anything behind closed doors makes a room look neater and bigger.” Additionally, Dolan cautions her clients to be sure the TV is not too big for the space.
Dolan recommends creating boundaries for the amount of space required to store objects such as toys. When objects start to spill over the parameters set, she advises getting rid of something old or no longer used.
In addition to using decorative pieces, take a few minutes out of every day to pick up any messes. All of the experts we spoke to say tidying up is the key to maintaining organization.
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