by Sarah Lyon
We’re just over a month into the new year, and now that the kids are back in school and work is in full swing post-holidays, you may be finding that some of the go-to spaces in your home could use a bit of a refresh. In our experience, the home office, bathroom, and laundry room can take the biggest hit when things start to get hectic. We’re here with some expert advice to help you streamline your belongings and usher in the rest of 2022 feeling a bit more calm and organized.
Colore 10" Triangle; Design: Plaid Fox Studio; Photography: Ema Peter Photography
For many, working from home is here to stay, at least for a couple of days per week. This means that it’s all too easy for a small living room desk to become overwhelmed with cords, notepads, receipts, you name it! However, this is something that you’ll want to avoid at all costs. “Keep your workspace clear and functional,” urges Dawn Cook, co-founder and designer at BLDC Design. “Be aware of cord management—tuck away unsightly cords.”
And think about not just what is in your immediate line of sight but what your coworkers will see behind you during video calls. “Zoom still rules, so create an organized background with artwork and closed storage,” Cook adds. No one wants their boss to see piles of unfolded laundry in the background during a check-in, so make it a priority to conceal clutter once and for all to assuage any pre-meeting fears!
Savoy Hive Mosaic in Paperwhite
To take things a step further, consider setting up a small filing system on top of or next to your desk so that you can end the day with a clear desk and mind alike.
Bathroom storage can be tricky, whether you’re residing in an apartment alone or sharing a larger space with family. Across the board, baskets are your friend, Cook says. “Baskets are key in the bathroom for easy access to towels, toilet paper, and cotton balls. For kids, baskets are an easy and quick way to clean up bath toys. For teens, baskets are a must for hair products and makeup!” Before placing items inside these baskets, though, you’ll want to do a quick cleanout. Discard any expired skincare products or medications and make a list of any essentials that need to be replenished. Determine how many travel sized goodies your family really needs and donate the rest of these unopened products to those in need.
Gem by Kelly Wearstler 8"x8" field, Design: Helen Bergin Interiors; Photography: Jared Kuzia
Don’t forget to think about that valuable under-sink area, too, Cook shares. “Today, there are unique under cabinet storage ideas for tools, and even clever solutions for organizing around sink plumbing.”
That said, not every bathroom features an under-sink storage space. This is when the area above the toilet comes in—this spot, too, is critical, Cook notes. We suggest installing open shelving or even a medicine cabinet—if your bathroom doesn’t already feature one—in this area in order to maximize product storage and accessibility.
And because a bathroom shouldn’t just be utilitarian, Joseph A. Tsedaka from NOMI, a company that specializes in bathroom remodels, offers a few tips. “The best way to make your place feel like a sanctuary is to incorporate aromatherapy features in your daily shower,” he says. “We install an oil diffuser into our customers’ steam systems. Those botanical oils make magics to your body, open airways, and relax your body.”
White Thassos 3" x 6" field in honed finish
Maybe, after completing the above organizing tasks, you’re still finding that your bathroom is looking a bit dated and are open to undertaking a more expansive redesign project. Tiles often show a bathroom’s age (we’ve all seen those pastel colored ones that scream “1970s”, after all!). If you’re looking to replace tiled wallcoverings or flooring, we suggest searching for a style that appeals to your tastes, whether that means opting for a colorful geometric tile pattern or choosing something modern and sleek.
Even if you’re convinced that laundry just won’t ever be your favorite chore, there are ways to make your washer and dryer area much more appealing and enjoyable to utilize, because let’s face it, doing laundry is an inevitable task! “If you don't already have them, adding upper cabinets above the washer/dryer is a game-changer,” explains Stephanie Purzycki, CEO and Co-Founder of The Finish. “You can hide away all of your detergents, soaps, fabric softeners, etc, and it also gives you space on top of your machines to add a countertop for folding clothes.” Whether you choose to hire a pro or undertake this task as a DIY project is up to you.
Casa Mila 12" x 12" field in diamond blanco, Design: Studio Munroe; Photography: Thomas Kuoh
If your laundry space already features usable open shelving, think about ways that you can pretty it up while maximizing function. “Open shelves are nice for clear canisters for laundry pods, wool dryer balls, and fabric softening sheets,” Cook says.
And just because the laundry room’s purpose is more functional than fun doesn’t mean that the space has to appear blah, Purzycki adds. “To add some style to a space that's all about utility, look for unfinished spec cabinetry—you can find it at most big box home improvement stores—and paint it in a bold color like deep green or blue, and add some fun cabinet hardware,” she advises.
Context Pillowed Mosaic in Metallic Black; Design: Grace Blu Interior Design; Photography: Ryan Garvin
Once again, tile can make for a wonderful addition to any laundry room that’s in need of some pep. Tiling even just the perimeter of your room can help it better blend in with the rest of your home’s decor and subtly reflect your general design aesthetic.
Take advantage of these chillier days and get started revamping your home office, bathroom, and laundry room; you’ll surely thank yourself later!
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