Smart Storage Solutions for Small Homes

organizing small home

Small homes are, in most cases, less expensive and easier to maintain, but they often lack sufficient storage space. So if you are planning to move to a small apartment closer to your workplace or just looking for ways to maximize storage space in your existing apartment, don’t forget to have a look at our top 5 storage ideas for small spaces.

Multi-utility furniture

Multi-utility furniture offers you a smart way of maximizing storage in a small home, without taking up extra space. For example, a kitchen island with built-in storage shelves not only functions as a convenient workspace, but also gives you a handy space to store your wine bottles, mixing bowls, extra dishesand so on.

So if you are planning to go furniture hunting, look for items that serve multiple purposes. A kid’s bed with pullout storage will give you plenty of space to store toys, books and other kid paraphernalia. Anantique trunk with a flip-up lid can be used as a coffee table and for storing blankets or board games.

Up and Down

From built-in crockery shelves to a cozy home office, the space under your stairs can be used for a dozen purposes. But did you know that the space over the stairs, or for that matter, the steps, themselves could be used for storage? The website has some smart ideas to turn the not-so-properly-utilized space surrounding the staircase into bookshelves and to use hidden drawers under the bottom steps for storing shoes, books and so on.

Hang them up

If you are falling short of storage space in your new home, make hooks your new best friend. Avoid clutter in the hallway by using hooks to hang coats, scarves and jackets. A pocket organizer hung on the door of the closet can be used for storing small items such as socks, scarves and belts. Save precious storage space in your kitchen cupboards by hanging pots and pans on hooks on a metal rod above the sink. No floor space in the garage for your bicycles? Hang them up on the ceiling or on the wall using a pulley system.

Add more shelves

Break up the vertical space in your existing closet by adding shelves, clothing rod extendersor dividers. The space above clothing rods in most wardrobes can be used to add an extra shelf for storing shoes. If you have a recessed window in your bedroom, add a hanging bar below it and use it as open storage for your clothes. In the kitchen, add wire organizers to the inside of cabinet doors to store plastic bags and other light items.

Under the bed

While beds with built-in storage are always a good idea, don’t fret if you don’t have them. You can still make use of the under-the-bed space by buying open bins on casters – they make excellent storage for out-of-season clothes and extra bed linen. Just make sure that you cover your stuff up properly to keep them safe from dust and pests.

Kurt Jacobson is a writer and vacation rental manager. Knowing what it takes to maintain pristine appearances for customers, he thrives on sharing what he’s learned from his experience. When he’s not managing a property, he writes about home cleaning in Plymouth for Professional Home Cleaning Inc.






You Can Have Window Treatments and Pets

cat at window

Don’t let the sight of your kitten climbing the shear draperies on your floor-to-ceiling bay window make you swear off window treatments altogether. It’s true that between the safety issues and the temptations they present, window coverings are often a pipe dream for pet parents. But you can find window treatment solutions that are attractive as well as safe for (and from) your furry four-legged child. Furnishing your home with him in mind is considerate and logical.


If you have the type of windows that require drapes, or if it’s a simple matter of your preference of drapes over other window treatments, don’t despair. Draperies are still an option for doting pet parents. You just have to know which fabrics will work and which ones won’t, and take a few safety precautions.

Keep the length short, if possible. A floor-to-ceiling window will obviously require full-length drapes, but normal-sized windows are better off with shorter curtains. Definitely make use of the child-safe cord savers if you opt for window coverings that require cords.

Silk and shears will snag and shred easily, even if your pet doesn’t attempt to climb them, so avoid light, wispy fabrics. Heavy duty fabrics are long-wearing, but steer clear of velvet if you don’t want your pet depositing a streak of fur every time he brushes against your drapes. No fabric is pet hair-repellant, so coordinate your window treatments with your pet’s fur color to limit the number of times you have to vacuum them each week. And look for drapes that are made from pet-friendly fabrics like William Wegman’s Crypton. You can even get a luxurious and supple look that’s machine-washable when you use a microfiber like Ultrasuede.


Dropping the drapes to install blinds instead will take care of a whole slew of pet-related window treatment concerns. Avoid fabric blinds and go for the ones made of wood (either real or faux) or get the ones made from aluminum. Mini blinds co-exist with pets pretty well, but you should remember to hoist the ones on your pets’ favorite window all the way up during the day so he doesn’t get tangled and break them when he wants to see what’s going on outside.

Whatever choice you make, cords are still a concern. There are always the child-proofing products that double as cord savers, but the best solution is cordless blinds. They’re easier to operate and you’ll never have an messy and dangerous tangle of cords dangling down your window frame.

Valances and Shades

The ideal answer to the pet-window treatment problem are short window coverings that only go down as far as the sill. Shades are exceptionally useful, because they roll up out of reach when they’re open and they don’t have enticing cords or fascinating tassels to encourage window covering destruction. Pair a decorative fabric shade with a valance in a complimentary color and fabric for an aesthetically pleasing look that is pet-proof. The valance need only reach down as far as the windowsill, too and, like the shade, it doesn’t have to have any tantalizing bobbles or doo-dads that are hard for kitties to resist.


Larissa Jester

Larissa is a vet tech who has three dogs of her own. She loves to write about animal care and environmental issues.






Peacocks Inspire Eccentric, Chic Bedroom Décor

Peacock-InspiredSince ancient times, the peacock has been a symbol of wealth, royalty and rebirth. From their origins in India, cultures across the globe have adopted the peacock as a symbol of prosperity and decadence. Since the late 1800s, the peacock has been a popular piece of iconography throughout the western hemisphere. The rich, saturated hues of the birds’ body and feathers make the peacock the ideal inspiration and palette for a chic and sumptuous bedroom design.

Peacock- Inspired Bed

Spruce up your bedroom décor by adding chic peacock-inspired accents. Decorate your bed with a variety of throw pillows in peacock blues or feather prints. You can even use decorative pillows that feature a couple of peacocks. This will add some spice to your bedding. Look for luxurious sheets with a high thread count in a deep purple, rich blue or vibrant green.

Try using complementary colors such as shades of orange to accent the blues in your bedding.

Photo by WickerFurniture via Flickr

Beautifully Colored Accents

You don’t have to always decorate with peacock-patterned everything to pull off the eccentric peacock look. Use decorative candleholders for some flair. Incorporate furniture into your room with royal blue touches and burnt gold. If you think these colors will be too bold for your furniture, opt for a coal black instead, which will tie in all the colors of your room harmoniously. You don’t have to go out of your way to buy all new furniture, either. Do you have old furniture tucked away in storage? You can easily transform old furniture into a DIY project with some paint and new hardware. Look for inspiration in other parts of your home, too. If there are items that don’t mesh with your new theme, re-purpose or donate them. If you need to, look for a self storage unit for rent to store these items until you can get rid of or replace them.

Photo by BarCar via Flickr


You don’t want to overpower your room or make it feel supercharged; select drapery in a fresh, clean and crisp white. Using white curtains will allow your space to feel open and calm while complementing blues, greens and purples.

Rich, Deep Colored Walls

For the ultimate peacock-inspired paradise coat your walls in a deep royal blue paint to create a rich but restful canvas. Add accents in peacock blue and black with hints of royal purple and burnished gold. If you’re looking for something more subtle, try painting your walls in a calming light color and paint one accent wall in a royal blue or emerald green. For a trending accent, try using peacock wallpaper or a wallpaper stencil instead of one solid color. Decorate your walls with artwork featuring peacock hues and prints. For a simple, chic and elegant look opt for a simple feather silhouette print in teals and whites.

Photo by Koka_Sexton via Flickr

Lighting Makes All the Difference

Try using chic and elegant chandeliers in your room! Instead of hanging them from the ceiling, use a light fixture that attaches to the wall, which will add some decorative flair to your room. If you want to stick to a more traditional style, choosing a lamp with a crystal vase and white lamp shade will keep the space feeling chic.

Photo by Monica.Renata via Flickr

Another fun way to incorporate some lighting is to use some chandelier-styled candle wall sconces in an elegant white to pair with the peacock-inspired walls. Try placing a complementary color like coral for the candle sticks.

Jane Swenson

Jane is an artist and freelance writer who lives in Austin, Texas.






No Green Thumb? Bring Nature Indoors With These Decorating Tips

White stone heart surrounded by other stonesWant to bring nature indoors but can’t seem to keep a plant alive? No worries. There are plenty of ways to incorporate nature into your home without even bringing a plant inside.


Grab your camera and take a trip to your favorite park or the beach. Photograph the landscapes you love. Then take them to be developed into an 8 by 10 inch or larger glossy print, get a nice frame and voila, nature indoors.


While at the beach, go on a treasure hunt for shells. Grab a tide chart and head out an hour before and after low tide. Also, collect sand to put inside jars and use as candle rests. The beach is an ideal source for design ideas.


Peaceful energy can be achieved through the addition of an aquarium where the life and graceful movement of fish balance energy.


Simply add river stones to your decor and instantly give the space a serenity representative of the deep forest. Individually place rocks on a windowsill, add a group of stones to a tabletop waterfall or if you’re really ambitious, add stacked stone to an accent wall. Do it yourself by picking up some veneer panels composed of cut stone pieces. You can install them easily yourself because no grout is necessary. The panels are attached to a backing and are installed into modules like tile, explains Stacked stone is a unique way to add warmth and texture.


One of the easiest ways to add a more organic landscape into your home is through wood elements. Tables, chairs, floors, window dressings, lamps … they can all be made from some form of wood.

If you want to go big, exposed wood beams gracefully open a room and add a natural feel. Whether stained a dark shade or left unfinished, beams bring a comfortable, rustic style to any space. Pay tribute to 17th and 18th century design by adding wood paneling to a wall. By simply adding pine wainscoting, rich hardwoods or reclaimed wood, you are giving your home a charm Mother Nature would appreciate.

If using railroad ties or other forms of wood timbers, keep out of reach of people and pets in case the wood has been treated with chemicals like creosote or other preservatives. Also, have a pest control service like Orkin search for termites, spiders and other critters before bringing indoors.

Fresh Air

Screen your windows and entryways so you can open your world to the refreshing outdoors. Soak in the natural light and oxygen that shines through. If it’s not possible to keep windows open, clean your home with all natural products and bring in essential oils that emit aroma of plants, grass, flowers, fruits and woods. Play nature-themed music.


Balance the serenity of water, air and earth aspects with elements of fire through candles, a fireplace or integration of warm colors (reds and oranges) into your color palette.

With the ever-increasing awareness of adopting sustainable practices into our lives, bringing natural elements into your home is a way to bond better with nature, feel the energy of the earth and keep everyone in the family cool and calm.


Veronique St. Pierre

Veronique studied at the Sorbonne and fancies herself the best pastry chef in the Northwest. When she’s not cooking for her children, she spends her time writing about DIY crafts and green living solutions.