Putting the final finishing touches on a room’s décor can be immensely satisfying—until you realize you can’t remember what the room is for. Here are some ways to make rooms in your home more functional.
Remove Items That Don’t Match the Room’s Intended Use
The kitchen is for cooking, the dining room is for family meals or dinner parties, the living room is for, well, living, and bedrooms are for sleeping. If you’re lucky enough to have a separate home office, it should be strictly devoted to productive work.
So get the toys off the living room floor, the paperwork out of the kitchen, and the crafting supplies off the dining room table. Keep items where they will (or are supposed to) be used, and enlist your family’s help in using things in the rooms where those things belong.
Use Multi-Functional Furniture
Multi-functional furniture can help you avoid overcrowding a room. A large ottoman that has hidden space inside for storage can help you declutter. In fact, it can also serve as a coffee table when you add a tray on top. Some bookshelves have drawers, and sofa sleepers with trundles can take the place of two beds in the guest room.
Take Advantage of Vertical Space
High-ceilinged rooms add drama to coastal homes, especially when they feature large windows with ocean views. But high ceilings require tall walls, so don’t waste all that wall acreage. Use vertical space by adding tall bookshelves, and hanging TVs and lights on the walls. Getting things up off the floor clears the natural pathways through a room, giving it some breathing room and a way to truly enjoy the volume of the space.
Mind the Lighting
Make a plan for each room’s lighting that respects the room’s function. A kitchen will need brighter light than a living room or bedroom. A reading nook needs a reading lamp, but not a lot of extra overhead light fixtures. Use lighting to define space and facilitate how you use a room.
Keep Clutter Out
Everyone advises you to “de-clutter,” but did you ever ask yourself how all that clutter got there in the first place? Before you add anything to a room, ask if the item is necessary: is it something you will use frequently in that particular space? Don’t let that stack of “I’ll get to it later” junk mail fester for months. Spend less time on the “de” side of declutter by keeping clutter out of your home in the first place. Recycle ruthlessly, and resist adding new objects unless you also remove an old one.
Try some of these ways to make the rooms in your home more functional. Maybe you’ll finally find yourself sitting in that perfectly decorated room that’s free of clutter and crafting supplies.