Sprucing up your living area with plants is an affordable, healthy, and easy home decorating solution. Not only do plants clean up the air, but they also make a house feel like a home, adding a living element that can’t be replicated with a trendy lamp or a colorful vase. This is doubly important for city dwellers, who often don’t have a yard and live in much tighter quarters. With a few carefully placed plants, you can make your home feel more welcoming and cozy, while spending almost no money. Below, we’ve listed a few home decoration tips for plant lovers and aspiring green thumbs.
Create a Succulent Arrangement
If you’re new to the world of plants, you may want to start by purchasing a few tiny cacti and succulents. They require almost no water, take up very little space in your home, and look great on a desk or windowsill. We recommend buying plants with contrasting colors, shapes, and textures, so that you create an attractive medley. Bonus points if you can select plants that play off the dominant colors in your room, such as your furniture and walls.
Place an Array of Plants
Using a bench, it’s easy to showcase a variety of plants in one area of the house. Benches are narrow enough that they don’t take up much space, but they’re also long enough to support a few plants side by side. You can also place plants on an end table, trunk, or bannister for a similar effect. We recommend choosing plants with differing heights and shapes, so that your arrangement is more visually appealing. However, there’s no right answer when decorating! Just have fun, be creative, and come up with something that brings you joy.
Transform Old Furniture into a Plant Holder
Home decorating is an ever-evolving process, and a sculpture or piece of furniture can easily be repurposed into a plant holder. For example, you might have a cool vintage chair that ties your room together, but isn’t actually comfortable to sit in. Why not embrace the chair as a decorative element, and make it even more beautiful with a hanging plant? This idea goes way beyond furniture, though. Try placing a plant inside an old picture frame, inside unused drawers, or inside a piece of driftwood to add green accents throughout the house.
Catch Moisture with an Orchid
Finally, our home decoration tips are relevant for every room in the house, including the bathroom. In particular, orchids thrive in a sunny and humid environment, so they’re great if you have a bathroom with lots of natural light. We recommend placing the pot in a glass cylinder filled with gravel, so that moisture is caught and reabsorbed by the plant. When choosing an orchid, look for bright greenery and only a few open flowers.
Working from home can be a struggle. You’re surrounded with so many distractions that keep you from focusing on the task at hand, and you don’t have a boss motivating you to stay productive. The mere act of getting out of bed, cooking breakfast, and turning on your computer (without surfing the web) can sometimes feel like a small miracle. However, there are plenty of ways to stay engaged when working remotely, and perhaps the best thing you can do is maintain a clean workspace. Below, we’ve outlined a few practical tips for home office organization, whether you’re dealing with a cluttered desk or a chaotic file cabinet.
First, collecting similar items in one place can help to reduce needless time spent searching for things, especially if you’ve come up with consistent categories. For example, you can put all of your office stationery, stamps, and envelopes in the same drawer, so that whenever you need to mail a letter, all of the necessary items are together. We recommend having a distinct area for your office tools, accounting information (i.e. receipts, invoices, tax paperwork), and mail.
Collect and Label Important Papers
Next, any personal documents or paperwork that you may need in an emergency (work-related, disaster-related, or otherwise) should be stowed in the same binder. If you have too many valuable papers to fit them in one binder, you can split them up into multiple categories, so that they’re ready to grab at a moment’s notice. This may include a binder filled with medical records, auto insurance/maintenance records, and of course, your most important office documents.
Install a Mail Inbox
When dealing with day-to-day work responsibilities, it’s so easy to let mail and other assignments build up into massive mountains of paper. To help control this daily influx of information, you can invest in a mail organizer with dedicated spaces for new mail, outgoing assignments, invoices, and other categories. Home office organization works best when it reflects your personal needs, so make a mail inbox with sections that you’ll actually use on a daily basis. When new mail and paperwork comes in, just file it into the appropriate section, and then deal with it when time permits.
Set a Day for Purging
Finally, it’s important to commit at least one day a month for purging unnecessary clutter from your workspace. This includes discarding or filing paperwork that you no longer need, throwing out junk mail, putting office supplies back into their proper drawers, and dusting your office so that it’s a pleasant place to work. If you have hoarder tendencies, ask yourself these 3 questions: Should I shred this? If not, should I file it away? If not, how can I complete this task today? Regular purging is perhaps the best thing you can do to maintain a productive work area in your home.
This year, the concept of bringing indoor comforts to your backyard is really catching on. People want a cozy place to relax, with native gardens and natural water sources around them. They’re also taking a more refined approach to technology, with energy-efficient lights, discreet TV installations, and other creature comforts. Below, we’ve outlined some popular home design trends that are taking place in backyards across the country, as well as a few outdoor design tips.
If you’re not familiar with the term “naturescaping”, just imagine a yard with natural flora and fauna. This helps the landscape to thrive, and it’s a popular approach with environmentalists, because those native plants attract the area insects and birds. It’s also much easier to maintain a natural landscape — rather than forcing non-native plants into the environment — because those plants are used to the climate. You end up using less water, while also not having to constantly watch over your plants. Add in a few solar-powered lights, and your yard will be almost fully sustainable.
Taking Advantage of Natural Water Sources
Next, it’s important to understand how water runs through your backyard, whether through irrigation or a nearby creek. In 2016, freshwater has become a focal point of outdoor design, with barrels to collect rain, retaining walls to guide water flow, and many other water features. Previously, stormwater was often seen as a nuisance that muddied up a landscape and needed to be dealt with, but today, the effects of rain have been embraced.
Using Dramatic and Detailed Lighting
Technology has continued to influence home design, with solar-power lighting that reduces energy consumption, as well as backyard wi-fi and television options. When it comes to lighting, there are countless methods to help your yard stand out, including color filters that set the mood, tiny lights that twinkle in the dark, and LED lights that last for 100,000 hours. Arrange a few of these lights in an imaginative way, and you’ll create a dramatic landscape while also using a negligible amount of electricity.
Bringing Indoor Life to the Backyard
Finally, outdoor design tips are only useful if they make a backyard more pleasurable for the homeowners. And what’s more enjoyable than a yard that feels like your living room? Adding a few weather-resistant couches and loveseats to your patio will make your family want to spend more time together outdoors. Depending on your pastimes, you can transform the yard into an outdoor leisure area, with a fire pit, horseshoe area, brick pizza oven, or anything else that excites your family and friends.
Organizing kitchen equipment isn’t rocket science. With a little common sense and a few practical techniques, you can transform your kitchen into a streamlined machine. Below, we’ve outlined 5 essential tips for upgrading your kitchen, without spending a lot of money.
1. Embrace Plastic Containers: Using Tupperware for leftovers is smart, but when it comes to organizing your pantry, plastic kitchen organizers allow you to see exactly how much you have of a particular ingredient. You can arrange all of your dried foodstuff (such as flour, sugar, and cereal) into separate containers, and then place them all on one shelf. Likewise, any small packets of sauce or spices can be grouped into one container, so they aren’t strewn around the pantry.
2. Only Keep What’s Useful: Every few months, you should go through the pantry and every cabinet, looking for any spoiled or unwanted food. Throw out the inedible items, and then donate the rest to a food bank or charity. Don’t feel bad about getting rid of food that you will never eat. It’s more important to have a clean, efficient kitchen with enough storage space for goods that you’re excited to cook with.
3. Hang Your Kitchenware: A few simple hooks placed under the stove and over the center island can help consolidate your pots, pans, and miscellaneous gadgets. Suddenly, you’ll have more space in your cabinets for plates, mugs, dried food, and small kitchen tools that usually get crammed into one drawer. Every kitchen has a unique layout, so use your best judgment to determine where the hooks should go. If you have available wall space, it might make more sense to hang your large kitchenware there, instead of using a ceiling rack.
4. Use a Whiteboard: Hanging a whiteboard on or near your fridge will make your kitchen experience much more organized. You can use this blank canvas to scribble an impromptu shopping list, remind yourself to use certain foods before they go bad, and write down recipe ideas as they come to you. When you’ve completed a task, simply erase that section of the board.
5. Lazy Susan is Your Friend: Not all kitchen equipment costs an arm and a leg. Typically, a lazy Susan is used at a large dining room table to allow easy access to dishes and condiments, no matter where you’re seated. This rotating tray also works well in a cabinet or pantry, especially when you’re organizing spices and oils. Place one in your fridge for condiment jars, one in your pantry for spices, and one in a cabinet for health supplements and medication. Give these kitchen organizers a spin.
Command hooks are deceptively simple tools — affix one to a wall, door, or cabinet, and you instantly have a place to hang objects securely. When it comes to home organization, command hooks can be used for all sorts of creative storage solutions, whether it’s time to consolidate your kitchen, bathroom, or family room. Below, we’ve outlined five practical ways to harness these hooks and free up more space in your home.
Hang Cooking and Baking Utensils
Many people collect their larger kitchen utensils in a drawer, which makes for a jumbled mess that’s hard to sift through. Instead, we recommend placing command hooks on a free wall or inside a cabinet, so you have a dedicated place for every kitchen tool. Not only does this reduce clutter in your drawers, giving you additional space for other items, but it also makes it easier to find the tool you’re looking for. If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can even refashion an old door into a storage set piece, providing a huge canvas for knives, kitchen towels, and spices.
Show Off Some DIY Window Vases
These versatile hooks are just as useful for hanging decorations around the house, such as handmade vases. First, choose a large window that needs some sprucing up, and attach between three and five command hooks to the wall above the window. With a roll of jute, some small mason jars, and fresh flowers, you can hang the makeshift vases on your hooks to create a gorgeous window treatment.
Create More Bathroom Storage
Command hooks are just as valuable in the bathroom, especially if you’re running out of available storage space. With four carefully placed hooks, it’s easy to attach a small wire rack to the inside of your bathroom cabinet, or even on the side of your sink. The best home organization ideas take place outside of the box, so take a look around your bathroom and find the most creative place to hang a new rack. If you’re installing a shower caddy, make sure that your command hooks are made with water-resistant material.
Hang Decorations Over a Doorframe
When command hooks are placed discretely above a doorframe, it’s easy to hang themed decorations on a whim. Place a hook above each corner of the frame, so you can string banners across the door. When a holiday is over and it’s time to pack up the decorations, you can leave the hooks in place and forget about them until the next party.
Customize Hooks with New Colors and Textures
Lastly, most of these hooks come in simple white, so if you’re looking for a more natural or weathered tone, just paint the hooks with your desired color. For example, you can spray-paint them in gold or silver, coat them in glitter, or use special “metallic” paint that makes them look like wrought iron. In a bedroom or bathroom, these little painted hooks will add cool accents to your existing décor.
The backyard can be one of the most neglected areas of a home, since it often doesn’t factor into the usual world of “home organization”. However, there are so many ways to collect those stray toys, garden tools, and other outdoor gear in one place, while adding style to your yard. Below, we’ve outlined a few tips and tricks for smart yard organization, without spending a ton of money.
Collect Toys and Towels in One Place
If children don’t have a dedicated spot to put their toys when they’ve finished playing, they will inevitably get strewn around the yard. The last thing you want is a minefield of plastic figurines hiding in the grass. Here’s a simple solution: purchase a few large bins that can withstand the elements, a wire shelving unit, and some chalkboard labels that you can write on. Each bin can be used for different items, such as “sports” and “outdoor toys”. This way, your child can learn to put their toys back in the right bin before coming back inside.
Use Scraps to Build a Shed
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars for a shed. The coolest yard organization ideas are all about finding creative solutions with whatever resources you have. In that spirit, it’s totally possible to build a garden shed using scrapped doors and windows.
Arrange some bricks or cinderblocks as a foundation, set your doors upright as the shed’s four walls (French doors work especially well), and bolt them to a row of wood planks at the base. For a roof, you can connect two windows at a right angle and then attach them on top. It’s the perfect place to put your garden tools, plant pottery, and other outdoor items.
Hide Trash Cans with a Four-Panel Screen
Sometimes, home organization is just about covering up the less appealing objects that take away from your cultivated décor, like the trashcans in your side yard. Outdoor screens are a great solution — they’re affordable, easy to install, and many of them look like a trellis or picket fence.
Wash Your Feet with a DIY Cleaning Station
When you spend a lot of time gardening, it’s hard to avoid tracking dirt back into the house, especially if you enjoy walking around the yard barefoot. Here’s a classy option: collect or buy a few dozen river stones (the smoother, the better), nail four three-inch wooden boards into a simple frame, and then place the frame on grass by your garden hose. With a few layers of smooth stones inside, you’ll have a place to stand and wash your feet, while watering the grass below.
Prepare the Yard for Winter
Finally, it’s important to get your backyard ready for those cold winter months, since you probably won’t want to spend much time doing it in February. This includes putting away your garden tools, planting spring bulbs, prepping the lawn with fertilizer before it starts snowing, and draining water from hoses and pipes so that they don’t freeze. This also goes for potted plants, because the soil can freeze in cold weather and cause pots to break.
Everyone has their own organizational quirks. This makes storing tools an open-ended prospect, which depends on how you like things arranged. However, there are general guidelines that can help you develop your personal tool chest or rolling cabinet, so that it’s catered to your taste. First, we recommend laying out all of your tools and then organizing them into similar groups, depending on their function, size, and/or importance. From there, you can decide where each group should go. Below, we’ve outlined some popular approaches for storing tools, ranging from simple to complex.
Buy a Toolbox!
This might seem obvious, but not everyone understands how important a toolbox can be for your workflow. Toolboxes range in all shapes and sizes, and if you don’t need that many compartments, you can start with a tool bag. Choose a toolbox that is light enough to carry around with all of your tools inside. It should also have a handle that doesn’t hurt to grip for long periods of time. Arrange your tools in order of importance, with the most essential ones on top, so that they’re easily accessible. For those that only use their tools in rare emergencies, you can make due with almost any storage solution, including plastic drawers and storage containers.
Save the Scraps
It’s wise to keep leftover parts and small tools, but try to be selective. Keep a special bin for scraps, get rid of any junk that you don’t need, and organize whatever is left. At first, you’ll probably only need one junk bin, but as your collection grows, you may want to add more bins for electronics, metal scraps, wood, and other materials. Even so, you’ll still want to set aside time every year or so for “spring cleaning”, and go through the bins again to throw out anything unnecessary.
Buy a Pegboard and Component Drawers
Unlike a toolbox, pegboards allow you to create a stationary work area, where all of your critical tools are within reach. If you have enough space in your garage or shed, a pegboard is an excellent hub for woodworking, DIY electronics, and general repairs. For those working with dozens of small parts, we also recommend investing in a set of component drawers. With an array of tiny compartments, you can organize all of your microscopic electronics, nuts, bolts, and fuses.
Make a Spool Holder
Lastly, we want to save aspiring craftsmen and engineers some agony when working with wires. If you’re using a variety of spools on a project, it’s easy for them to get tangled up in a giant mess. To solve this problem, you can slide the spools onto a wooden or steel rod, and then secure the ends with wood scraps so that the spools can’t come off. Now, you’ll have a row of different wires that you can quickly measure and cut.
Pegboards are amazing home organizers, allowing you to hang your most important items in one visible area. This can save you tons of time in the long run, and it’s especially helpful when cooking or woodworking. Below, we’ve outlined the essential steps for installing a pegboard set in your home or workshop. For less than $40, you can buy all the necessary items for this handy project.
What You’ll Need
- Pegboard (preferably around 2x4ft)
- Two 4-foot Wooden Planks (1x2ft)
- Six Drywall Anchors
- Wood Screws
- Tape Measure
1. Unlike other home organizers, a pegboard must be attached a wall, so it requires proper wood screws and drywall anchors. First, pull out your tape measure and decide where to place the pegboard on a wall. With a pencil, mark where the pegboard’s vertical edges will go. You can also follow this up with a level, just to make sure that your measurements are straight.
2. Next, mark where the drywall anchors need to go. Just measure an inch in from the vertical markings, and then draw a small horizontal dash. We also recommend putting an additional anchor at the midpoint of each vertical line. Use your level tool to make sure that the anchors are placed correctly, and then drill them into the wall.
3. Once all of your lines are straight, place a 1×2 wooden plank against the wall, and then use the wood screws to drill it into the drywall anchors. This will ensure that your pegboard set can hold serious weight, without the fear of everything falling off the wall. While you’re drilling the planks in, we recommend holding up the pegboard a few times to see that it lines up.
4. After drilling in both planks, hold up the pegboard so that the 1x2s run along it like a railroad. Next, start pushing wood screws through the peg holes that match up with the planks, and drill them in as you go. You should use at least 3 screws on each side, and if the pegboard doesn’t feel stable enough, you can always add more.
5. Finally, if you’d like to paint your pegboard a different color, now is the time. Use a paint tray and a roller to coat the board with thin strokes, so that the pegs don’t get clogged. Wait until the first coat is dry, and then add another coat so that every section of the board has an adequate amount of paint. Once it dries, you’re ready to place some pegboard hooks.
Below, we’ve shared some of our favorite DIY shelving projects, which can be built on a limited budget at home or the office.
1. Honeycomb Shelves: Using a miter saw, a drill and drill bit, wood screws, a rotary sander, and wood glue, you can cut 3 fencing planks at 30º angles to create hexagon shelving. Then, you can hang the shelves on a few simple brackets, providing the strength to carry books, plants, photos, or any other décor that spruces up the room.
2. Open Stained Shelves: With a few wooden boards, shelving supports, and stain, you can create a set of gorgeous shelves that span a wall in your dining room or living room. They’re perfect for displaying your best decorations, family photos, and fine china.
3. Industrial Shelves: By using industrial pipe as a steel shelving support, you can assemble a rustic shelving unit for your kitchen or garage. Paint the pipes with Rust-Oleum spray paint to complete the weathered look.
4. Leather Strap Shelves: Take two leather straps, wrap them around a recycled wood plank, and then screw the straps into a wall for a stylish shelving alternative. If you use leather scraps from a local store, this project costs almost nothing to build.
5. Wood Slice Shelves: For a more rugged, log cabin look, you can create simple shelves from the slice of a tree trunk. Purchase a wood slice from the store (or cut your own), some 4-inch L brackets, and some screws. Cut the wood slice right down the middle, screw the L brackets to the flat side of your shelf, and then screw the other side of the brackets to the wall.
6. Triangle Shelves: These stylish shelves are so easy to make — simply cut wood to your desired width with a circular saw, smooth the edges with a planar, and then cut the edges at a 30º angle with a miter box. Glue and then nail the wood pieces together, let them dry, and then sand them. Paint or decorate the shelf as desired, and then hang the triangle on a wall with a nail or screw.
7. Hanging Rope Shelves: These shelves use your typical L brackets for support, but they also have 3/4″ holes (use a paddle drill bit) drilled on each side, with twisted rope
fed through each shelf. The rope is only for aesthetics, but it will definitely give your shelving unit a rustic, unconventional feel.
8. Wall Storage Bins: Cut 5 pine boards into a hanging cubby for your shoes, scarves, hats, and umbrellas. This quirky design looks great in an entryway, and provides more than enough space for those essential items that you need when on the go.
9. Literal Book Shelves: It’s easy to take some colorful leather-bound books and turn them into impromptu shelving. First, find a few vintage books in great condition, and make sure the spines are intact. Measure each book’s width, and then drill two sets of brackets (one set for below the book, and one bracket above) into the wall, so that the book can slide right in.
10. Garage Wire Shelving: Lastly, you can take basic wire shelving and screw it into the wooden joists that run along your garage ceiling. In this case, wire shelves are better than a wooden plank, because it’s easy to see what’s being stored up there.
Resin storage baskets are cozier than your average plastic container. They allow you to quickly stash small items, look great in any room of the house, and can be put on display without sapping the style from your existing décor. If you’re trying to clean up your place before hosting guests, baskets and storage cubes will be your secret weapon. Below, we’ve outlined how to declutter your home with a few carefully placed baskets.
1. Consolidate Your Bathroom:
Storage baskets look amazing in a bathroom, and they provide an easily accessible place to collect toiletries and potpourri. At Seville Classics, we’ve created a Woven Hyacinth Storage Cube Basket, which has handles for quick access on a bathroom shelf. We use dried water hyacinth for the basket construction, and this highly durable material can handle exposure to water. For a damp bathroom, it’s the perfect storage solution.
2. Simplify Your Entertainment Center:
We’ve all dealt with a television setup that requires four separate remote controls just to play a movie. In this situation, it’s frustrating enough just figuring out which buttons to press, but it can become ridiculous if one or two of the remotes are lost. Eliminate this possibility by placing a storage basket next to the sofa. Here, you can store any remotes, video game controllers, and other important electronics in one place. Any time you need to turn on the TV, simply pull the remote out of the basket, and then put it back when you’re done.
3. Access Your Holiday Décor:
Over the years, you’ve probably accumulated a fair amount of random decorations for Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and every other holiday under the sun. A simple cardboard box or plastic container is fine, but neither of these storage solutions offers the accessibility of a storage basket. Your “Christmas” box might be perched at the top of a garage shelving unit, requiring you to use a ladder and move other boxes just to get to it. On the other hand, resin storage baskets are compact enough to slide out, grab the decorations you need, and get on with your day.
4. Create a Place for Stray Toys:
In every family home, you’ll find a playroom or special area that’s just for the kids, with tiny toys strewn all over the floor. Here, a few storage baskets can go a long way. Your children will have a place to stash their Legos, action figures, dollhouse furniture, and board game pieces. It will also reduce the mess, cleaning up your floor and reducing the possibility that someone slips on a sharp plastic object. Best of all, your kids will love having a place for their cherished possessions.
For more than 30 years, Seville Classics has been a leading innovator in home organization. After decades of experience in the storage business, Seville Classics is proud to continue crafting products that simplify lives. We hope you enjoy our baskets and storage cubes — visit our blog, Pinterest, or Facebook pages to get inspired!