5 Ways Of Creating The Craft Room Of Your Dreams

Creating something new is such an exciting event.  With new creations, comes new vista’s and new ways of doing things.  Sometimes it is hard to remember how great creating is when we are spending all day at work.  Much research has been done on the benefits of having a hobby.  Whether you collect insects, or like to sew in your spare time, having a room to contain your hobby is a great bonus.

At Showhome Furniture, we try to help each of our customers pick out the perfect furniture for each of the rooms in their homes because we know that the right furniture can make all the difference.

At Showhome, we are excited about letting our children explore their passions, interests and crazy crafty side.  Many years ago, we decided to homeschool our kids in order to help tailor their education to their strengths.  Home schooling 6 girls definitely has it’s challenges, but looking at my 16 year old daughter I can honestly say that it has been worth all the challenges.

First decide where to do your hobby.  Is it an outside hobby or an inside one.  Most crafters would appreciate a room with lots of space to keep their supplies and allow them room to work.  A good desk or table is invaluable.

My sister has a 10+ year old kitchen table we gave her.  It is gigantic and has room for all the kids to work on their projects together.  It was one of the earliest furniture pieces that Showhome used to carry and even after 11 kids using it regularly it is in incredible shape.  We joke that well made furniture like her table will outlast everyone in the family!

A great craft room will have a lot of storage and room to contain all their mess.  This lets you work on a project for a few hours and then leave it without being in your way for the rest of the time.  Some key elements in a successful craft room is organization.  Having great bookcases, dressers to hold pens and paper, and adequate storage units are a must.

Third, make sure your craft room is inspiring.  We love a room that is painted in bright colors and full of windows.  We have found that not only does natural light make a room look great, it also is a great way to feel naturally happier.

Forth, a comfortable place to sit is a must.  A nest chair or a comfy couch is perfect for a craft room.

Lastly, accessorize your craft room to make learning funner. I love a craft room that is accessorized with useful looking product.  A gorgeous clock wall (that you can set to different places in the world) antique globes, and wall maps add an exciting feel to creating.

We all know that hobbies are fun, at Showhome Furniture we believe that great creation are made in great spaces.



5 Steps To Create The Perfect Man Cave–Going Beyond The Big Screen!!!

Show Home Furniture knows that whether you are a guy or a girl, life can be busy sometimes and having a place to go to refresh one’s self is a vital part of life.  For me, I love to find rejuvenation in nature when ever I can.  For my husband, he loves to hit the gym-any gym for a good game of ball or join me for a long family hike.
Unfortunately, in Canada, thanks to the weather, going outside is not always an option, and for most men, hanging out with the guys every night is not an option either.  This is why Show Home Furniture believes that creating a place of relaxation for both men and women is very important.
Today, Showhome Furniture is going to help you create the perfect “Man Cave”.
Often, when people hear ‘Man Cave’ they think of a dark place where a huge TV screen is set up with a ton of loud speakers and maybe the latest video games. There is nothing wrong with these types of rooms.  And when used properly, they can be a great place for a guy to escape the worries of the day.  At Show Home Furniture though, we believe the perfect man cave can be so much more than just a place to escape.  We believe that when properly designed, a “Man Cave” can be a place where men truly can connect, and renew theirselves, thus becoming more efficient, healthy and successful in all area’s of their lives.
Recently we were reading an article about some “Man Sheds” (similar idea to a man cave), where a town created a community ‘shed’ for men to come, hang out, talk about their lives, connect, and get support all while building something.  The effects were wonderful and this model has been re-created all around the world, helping men combat depression, become more successful at work, and generally happier.
With these idea’s running through our head, our team at Showhome Furniture design team has come up with 5 essential things needed to bring the stereotypical ‘Man Cave’ into one of the best places in the house!
First, you need a room!  It really doesn’t matter what size of room you have, any size is good.
With all rooms, think about what is the main purpose of your room.  Is it just to be used as an escape?  Do you want to include tools to work on a hobby?  What about some book shelves for reading?
If using your Man Cave as just a movie watching place then obviously your main focus of the room will the TV.  If you want your room to be more than a quiet place to zone out, then you get to be creative.
Second, get the best furniture you can.
At Showhome Furniture, we love comfortable, well built, easy to care for furniture.   That is the first thing we always start with because if you are not comfortable then how can you enjoy your own space?  Look for furniture that will stand up to a bunch of guys lounging around.  In the middle of a rousing game of ‘Settlers of Catan’ or lively debate you do not want to have to worry about your furniture.  Your furniture are the pillars of your room.  They are there to hold the whole room together and make if function well.
Most men (and women) do not like spending a lot of time cleaning and so when designing a “Man Cave” we leaned towards furniture that have clean simple lines.  Clean lines makes it easier to clean, and helps a room feel less cluttered.
You want to be able to relax in your cave, and so making sure that the furniture is well-built is a must.  At Showhome, we believe that being well-built is better than being trendy (even though we carry a ton of trending styles at all times).  Another great place to buy well built furniture is your local thrift store or a garage sale.  Those loved pieces might need a good make-over before they fit their role, but if you are discerning you are bound to get a deal!!!!
We prefer furniture that have less sharp edges and are a bit softer because I hate bumping into the edge of a pointy table and getting bruised.
Third, if you buy your furniture new, make sure you have a protection plan on it.  There is nothing as depressing as spending hard earned money on a new furniture, just to have someone spill some juice on it in the first month and have it ruined.  Our protection plan is affordable and easy to use.  It will make owning new furniture a lot more peaceful because you know that if anything happens, we are there for you.  This is one step you should not overlook!
Besides couches, the perfect man cave should have a coffee table to hold drinks and play cards on.   A small bar, with a mini fridge is perfect for storing your favorite drinks and snacks.  If you have kids, be sure to lock them up (or have a lock for your whole room-just make sure your wife has a key) because nothing is so fun for kids as finding their dad’s snacks!!!
No room is complete without a bookshelf.  Even if you are not a big reader, it is a good thing to always have a handful of great books to read.  Reading is becoming a lost art, but it is essential to being able to keep your mind sharp.
Fourth, do you have a favorite hobby or a skill you want to work on?  Maybe it is leather carving, playing golf or puzzle making.  Whatever it is, try to make room for at least part of it in your cave.  This is supposed to be a place where the best of you can be nurtured.  There is no point spending on money that is just going to tempt you to waste your time.  You want to be improving all the time (and yes, watching Lord of Rings for the 10th time could be the perfect thing you need at that moment to be a better person!!).
Lastly, think about your friends, and wife (yes she should definitely be one of the first people invited into your cave!).  What do they like doing?  What do you like doing together.  For too long, our society has neglected acknowledging the fact that men need connection just as much as women.  Sure they do it differently, sometimes all they need is a good game of ball, but regardless of how they do it, men needs friends too!!!  So don’t neglect this aspect of your “Man Cave”.  Yes get an extra set of controls for your buddies, but think higher than just gaming.  Staring at a screen is rarely as bonding as actually doing something.  Get a stash of cards, board games, darts or whatever you enjoy.  Be bold and initiate a book club.  Girls do it all the time, why let them have all the fun?  There really is something awesome about a group of guys around a table of yummy food debating their latest read!!!
These are just a few suggestions and things for you to think about as you design your own “Man Cave”.   As you think about creating a Man Cave that goes beyond the big TV you will find that the possibilities are endless!!

10 tips to make this year extra special. 

Merry Christmas to all you lovely people!

How many of you are so busy shuttling the kids, finishing projects and working the daily grind to decorate for Christmas?

Here at Showhome, we understand that struggle.

In the world we live in there is so much pressure to present the “perfect” image.

Chestnuts roasting by an open fire and all that bit.

So when you actually have time to spend on celebrating the season, instead of binge-watching the Crown in your bedroom, why don’t you try some of our tips?

Below we have a list of some of our favorite Christmas-time traditions of our families that we want to share with you!

And don’t forget to read until the end for a fun DIY!

10 Top Tips!

1. Get together with a group of your friends and do a cookie exchange.

Not only is it a ton of fun, but you will also have delicious cookies to share throughout the season!

2. Secret Santa a few neighbors (kids especially love this)

And it doesn’t need to be anything crazy, just visit the local Dollar Store for something to gift!

Identify a few homes you want to go to, bring your gift, ring the doorbell and RUN!

3.  Find the elderly or lonely in your community to go caroling to.

(Nursing homes are always welcoming)

While it seems nerve-wracking, the joy you bring to other’s lives is worth the fear.

Bring along a speaker with your favorite Christmas music, to help you sound fantastic. 😉

4. Make a hot cocoa bar in your kitchen and have some device-free time sipping cocoa with the family and reading Christmas books.

5.  Go ice-skating! Bowness Park is always fun if you are in Calgary, or hit up some skating wherever you live, plus it counts as exercise!

Bowness Park

6. Do a photo shoot with your friends.
When this winter weather makes you want to stay bundled and warm, cuddled up in your bedroom furniture, you have to put forth effort to actually get out of the house.
Text your friends and make a plan to do a winter photoshoot together!
It seems like everyone I know is an aspiring photographer.
If you have those “soon to be actual photographers” in your life why don’t you hire them for cheap to do a quick photoshoot for you?
It helps them build their repertoire and you get good quality photos out of it!
7. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
There is no better way to keep the spirit of the season than by serving others.
8. Come visit us at Sunridge Mall.
 Browse our store, share some hot cocoa and cookies and remember we offer interest-free/no payment for one year plans.
PLUS all our accessories are currently 30% off!
9. Play board games!
While some games (like Uno) have the ability to tear a family apart, overall playing board or card games with your family or friends is a great bonding experience.
Sometimes we get so busy getting gifts for those we love we don’t actually spend time with them.
Change that by picking up a classic game and playing with your family.
10. Bake cookies.
I don’t know if you are aware of the Six Sisters, but their recipes are always spot-on!
My favorite is their Soft & Chewy Ginger Cookies that I’ll be sharing with you today.
When you have a minute check out their site: Six Sisters

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • Sugar, for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and one cup sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in egg, then stir in water and molasses.
  5. Fold in flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt and mix until well combined. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in sugar and place 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack.


How to make an adorable Christmas wreath in just a few easy steps!

1. Go to the dollar store and buy a plain wreath for cheap

2. Pick trimmings from your tree and add them to the wreath

3. Add snowflakes and a bow

4. Spray with fake snow or sparkles

Now that you have such a beautiful wreath, post a picture of it onto Showhome Furniture’s Facebook page before you give it away or hang it up to make your home more festive!


Take your kids to a live nativity and remember the reason for the season.

Google “live nativities near me” and you will find some great ones!

Calgary Nativity Pageant

This time of year can be hectic and crazy, but we want you to know that Showhome loves you!

Have a very merry Christmas!

Thanks for reading and be sure to share with us your Christmas tips!

Small Bathroom, Big Statement!



Do you have a small bathroom that needs an overhaul?  Or are you in the middle of building and need some idea’s for a small bathroom?  Either way, Showhome Furniture has some great idea’s and tips for you to make the most of your small bathroom.

When I was 7 month pregnant with my twins, I was renting a very tiny house and sharing it with my pregnant sister who was 7 months pregnant as well.  I had two kids already, and my sister had three and our husbands were gone all day trying to find work and trying to start a business.  Those were crazy days, and the fact we only had two small bathrooms for all 9 of us (two being pregnant remember. . .you know how a pregnant lady needs that loo!) was interesting to say the least!

At the time, I had no idea how to arrange our bathrooms to fit us all, and house all our stuff.  Seriously our bathroom was a disaster even before one of the kids got a toothbrush stuck down the toilet!!  Now, after decades of being in the furniture business, we are experts at turning that tiny toilet room into a functioning family bathroom.

At Showhome Furniture we have found 7 things that will make your time in the loo, especially a small loo, more enjoyable.

Storage:  Storage in a small bathroom is the number one issue.  Before filling your bathroom with accessories and decor, look carefully at what space you have available to add some storage.  Sometimes you can find space above the toilet, or along one wall where a pretty storage unit can be installed.  Hooks are a great way to get more storage and make the bathroom more functional.

Mirrors!!  Mirrors are beautiful and have the lovely trait of making a room seem larger.  Since your bathroom is going to be a bit cramped anything you can do to give the illusion of size is something you should consider.

Think Big!!!  With such a small space, decorating a tiny bathroom can be very affordable.  You can’t fit much in it so think big.  Splurge a little on the mirror, the wall paper, maybe buy a luxurious light, or awesome picture.  Pick a few things that really “Wow!” you and go for it.

Embrace Color!!  In small spaces, bright colors work great.  They catch the eye are fabulous at making your small bathroom seem bigger!  Contrast the color with white for a brighter effect.  This is especially wise when there is no window in your bathroom.

Use a Glass!!  If you can replace your shower curtain with glass doors you will open up the bathroom a ton.  Glass doors are super easy to clean if you keep a squeegie in the shower for occupants to wipe down quickly after each shower.

These are some of our most important tips when trying to make your small bathroom function and look beautiful.


Nursery Rooms That Grow With Your Child


At Showhome Furniture we love unpacking a new crate of furniture from around the world.  We work hard to find treasures in Canada and abroad.  You just never know exactly what is going to be coming in each crate, how it will measure up and whether or not our customers will love it.  It is kinda like having a baby-not really, but just like we love a new crate of furniture, we also love the idea of getting ready for a new baby!!!  Having had 6 babies of my own, I know what I am talking about.


When planning for a new baby it is important to think long-term.  Your sweet baby is not going to be a baby forever, so it is wise to spend time and thought on how to make your hard work of decorating their room last for as long as you need it to.

Of corse every nursery needs a crib!  There are cribs in furniture stores all over the city that fit everyone budget.  Personally, we would suggest you not spend too much money on the crib as it will not be need after a year or two.  It would be more economical to buy a basic crib and spend money on other furniture like a nest chair.


A nest chair is perfect for so many rooms but especially a nursery, then toddler room, where mom and dad can cuddle up with baby to read a book or sing a song.

Some people are concerned about getting new furniture for childrens rooms.  We, at Showhome Furniture realize this, and that is why we offer an affordable no hassle furniture plan.  With a good furniture plan you are able to buy knowing that your investment is secure. In addition to our protection plan you are sure to find some great deals at Showhome Furniture as we are constantly having furniture sales.


Getting a classy dressers for baby clothing is important.  When my sister had her first baby she spent hours painting Peter Rabbit all over it.  It was adorable, and took a long time.  Unfortunately only a few years later the dresser was outdated and broken.  Had she bought a basic but well-built dresser like my other sister did (I have 5 sisters) then even five or six later the dresser would have been in great shape and versatile enough to have been used in the kitchen, the living room, the baby’s room, and lastly the teen-agers room.


Beyond a dresser, most nurseries would benefit from some additional storage units. Bookcases are great as well as little caddy’s.  Some fear that bookcases are and caddy’s are boring, but with the great selection at Showhome Furniture, you are bound to find something that suits you perfectly and are far from boring.


These are some of our essentials for an amazing nursery.  If there are somethings that we missed (after all it has been a few years since I have had a baby), please let us know.


Let Showhome Furniture Help You With Your FIXER UPPER!

 So here are some of our ideas on how you can put that look in your space.  Read to the end of this blog and comment for a chance to win Chip and Joanna’s new book – ‘THE MAGNOLIA STORY’

Chip and Joanna Humble Moment

Chip/Joanna Gaines’ shop, Magnolia Market, before it all began | joannagaines / instagram

Before I knew a thing about Chip and Joanna Gaines, I fell in love with the Fixer Upper style.  Discovering that the look I loved was created by a down-to-earth and funny couple only made it more appealing.  The clean, simple lines and rustic touches that join contemporary with nostalgia rings a bell with today’s homeowners and, while I’d love to import Joanna to style your space, instead I can help you learn how to create the look yourself.


joanna gaines finish product

photo by www.countryliving.com
Although each home they do is tailored to their individual clients,  Joanna’s aesthetic is open, airy and simple with a great flow between rooms.  Walls disappear or are scaled back so that the space is filled with natural light and there’s a lot of communication between designated task areas.  Paint colors are generally subtle, fading into the background to let the overall design shine.


chip and joanna gaines lighting fixture ideas

photo by hgtv.com/shows/fixer-upper
What caught my eye with their very first renovation were the pendants over the island – just beautiful oversized bells of gleaming glass.  So simple but so elegant.  Joanna uses a lot of clear, farmhouse-style lighting but also looks for unusual shapes that recall lighting fixtures from years gone by – lantern pendants, schoolhouse ceiling- mounted orbs, wooden chandeliers etc.  Many of her choices have metal with an intriguing patina or chippy wood.  And the character of the fixture is frequently enhanced through the use of Edison vintage bulbs.


chip and joanna gaines WALL ART ideas

Photo Credit: HGTV Fixer Upper
Metal signs with meaningful quotes, chalkboards framed in distressed wood,  rusty or patinaed farm or industrial pieces, antique baskets, chunky woven wallhangings, huge clock faces and other vintage finds bring warmth and interest to the walls, which are generally painted a light neutral color.


joanna gaines TEXTURES FIXER UPPER ideas

Photo Credit: www.magnoliamarket.com
I love the way Joanna brings interest to a space with her use of textures.  Her color choices are often uncomplicated and the whole space might be clad in various hues of the same light neutrals.  It’s never boring, though, because she introduces so many different textures – heavy woven wools, delicate muslin ruffles, burlap lampshades or cushions, rough barked stump sides tables, honed stone countertops.  The juxtaposition of silky and nubby, rough and varnished make the spaces inviting.



Image Source: Instagram user joannagaines
Using the same concept of contrast, Joanna keeps a keen eye out for vintage architectural finds – like chippy corbels, chicken feeding baskets, worn wooden tool carriers.  The naive feel of these elements marries beautifully with more sophisticated elements such as polished stone or linen bedding.  Her interiors shine with unusual floral elements cozied up to well-used items that tell a story.  By using items from your own past or ones that appeal to you, soon your modern house will tell your own story, one you can share with everyone who enters your special space.

Showhome furniture is constantly travelling the earth with our six little children (who aren’t so little anymore) trying to bring calgary unique pieces that tell a story and have a rich past. We ❤ love seeing pics of showhome in your home! Send us your comment and let us know if you love this “FIXER UPPER” style as much as we do??

Share your pics on our Instagram and Facebook page and use #ShowHomeFurniture – instagram.com/showhomefurniture | facebook.com/ShowHomeFurniture

Remember to comment so you can win Joanna’s new book.

Showhome Family




Photo Credit: http://scottmcgillivray.com

Raising six beautiful girls in our home, our family’s gotten a lot of practice planning a kid’s game or play room.

Unlike other rooms in the house, decorating for kids can be even more challenging because you need to design a space that suits their personality now but won’t be something they will outgrow too quickly. In addition, the room needs to flow with the rest of your house and not stick out like a sore thumb.

We get inspiration from several design “miracle workers” (many of which you may recognize from HGTV). Here are a few of our favourite design inspirations that mix style, practicality and fun!


When customers come into our Calgary furniture stores asking for ideas on how to create a practical game or playroom for their kids we often recommend they check out, “The Magnolia Story” by Joanna Gaines. Aside from sharing her family’s amazing story she does an amazing job describing how she carefully plans space(s) in her home for her kids.

Often times, we make the mistake of worrying too much about the design of the room and less about the functionality and true purpose of a playroom. On page 130 of her book she talks about the playroom for her kids and says:

“The whole place needed to be practical and functional for them so they could have fun and be themselves. It’s about children feeling that they can be at home”.

It’s important to remember to keep the design simple, functional, and fun! Check out the Joanna Gaines inspired space for kids below.


Another great resource is lifestyle expert, Elizabeth Mayhew, who understands the challenges and needs of decorating kids’ rooms. I recently came across an article she wrote for thestar.com and how you can spend time at your computer searching for some great ideas online to put your child’s room together efficiently and in a budget-friendly way! In her article about “Do’s and Don’ts for Decorating Kids’ Rooms” she also cautions against following current fads, designing the space to meet your personal needs, and keeping the design simple and uncluttered (for example, she advises narrowing down your fabric or furniture choices to two or three colours).


One of the most common questions we get asked from our customers when designing their kid’s rooms is, “Can you help me with storage ideas”. The space is where kids will want to have access to toys, arts and crafts, electronics and books. Without creative storage options to keep all of these things neat and tidy, yet easily accessible, the room could get out of control in no time!

The trick to accomplishing this is to creatively mix open and closed storage options to keep a space open and organized, too. For example, having shelving with closed doors and areas for wicker baskets to keep toys and art supplies easily accessible.

Scott McGillvray, real estate investor, skilled contractor, and award-winning HGTV series host, certainly knows about planning and putting together a kids playroom or game room that you will be proud to show off and that your kids will love to spend hours in every day. Check out the article on “Smart Playroom Storage Tips” at www.scottmcgillivray.com for more ideas.


ACTIVE PLAY FOR KIDS AT HOME - Calgary Furniture Stores

Photo Credit: http://sifu.thezoolegacy.com

Depending on where you live, the winters can be cold and stretch out for several months, keeping families indoors where it is safe and warm. This is the case for us here in Calgary, Alberta. Although it’s easy for kids to stretch and move outdoors in the summer time, where playgrounds and recreation areas are accessible, this is not always the case at home. If you have the space, putting a swing, small trampoline or climbing structure in the room is a great way to keep the kids active all year long.

We adore the four small structures in the picture below. They are creative, fun and add flair to any space!


Photo Credit: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com


In my opinion, every playroom needs a chalkboard wall. It gives your children a large area to be creative and let their minds explore through chalk (which is easy to clean and safe to use). In addition, chalkboard paint is inexpensive and offers hours of endless possibilities to let kids use their imagination. This helps to truly let your children be a part of designing out there space and keeping the area fresh and new, too! The best thing is, when your kids outgrow the chalkboard wall, you just paint over it!

Check out some of the ideas below from www.scottmcgillivray.com.


Photo Credit: http://scottmcgillivray.com

Photo Credit: https://julieloveshome.wordpress.com


Hopefully this gives you some insight and helps to provide some useful direction as you are planning out your kids game room or playroom. Just remember that the key to designing the space is to keep it simple, let it be a space that will evolve and grow with your kids … and be a place for the whole family to be proud of and enjoy!

Master Bedroom Design Ideas

Whether you are staging, your home for sale or simply decorating for you and your family, one of the most important rooms you can focus on is the master bedroom. A retreat a relaxing peaceful place to begin and end your wonderful day! Sometimes we put this room at the end of our to-do list, concentrating on the public spaces of our home first.   But our souls crave an area of beauty and order.

By making your master bedroom a priority, you give yourself an oasis – just the tool you need to finish the other parts of your home. As the inner sanctuary of your home, your bedroom and should be a place of peace and rejuvenation. In the relaxing atmosphere of a well-designed bedroom, you can reconnect with who and what matters the most.  You can recharge and refresh.

Your bed should be cozy and well-structured to give you the night’s sleep you need to handle your busy days.  Enticing, easy-care bedding helps, as does a well-structured mattress big enough for you and your partner (and whatever little people might make their way to your room in the night).   If possible, there should be plenty of natural light, and adequate artificial lighting, too.  Even if you like waking up to a darkened room, there is nothing quite like the lift you get from opening blinds or curtains and letting sunlight flood your space.

 Master Bedroom Design Ideas

Furnishing your bedroom should be fun and purposeful.  For your furniture,  rather than simply utilizing castoffs from other places in the home, choose pieces that are both beautiful and practical, ones that will not only help maintain order but will tell some of your story.  Once the main items are in place, consider choosing accessories, maybe whimsical and playful, that delight you and that you want to wake up to each morning.

Properly designed and decorated, your bedroom should remind you daily of the things that are really important in life and offer you a place of refreshment, a place that will welcome you at the end of the day.  By investing time to create a space where you can rest, dream, plan, giggle together and create bonds, you will enjoy your bedroom more and feel more connected to it.

You deserve to have a beautiful space!  We hope you have fun creating and styling your masterbedroom and transforming it into a place of rest!  We would love to see a pic of what you you done with your space.



Organizing Your Pantry

If the kitchen is the heart of a home, and the pantry is the heart of the kitchen, then we really need to make this space work for us.  I love having an organized pantry, and it isn’t as hard as you might think to make that happen.

The important part is to just start. Analyze what you buy and choose certain areas for different category of items.  Designating areas for snacks, weekday meals, baking, lunches, etc makes it easy to use up what you have and see what you need, not only saving money but cutting down on meal prep time.  Now that is a true win!

It makes sense to put items you use most often in areas that are easiest to reach.  Don’t overcrowd your shelves or you won’t be able to see what you have.  If you have an excess of certain items, you can store those in cabinets in the rest of the kitchen or maybe even the laundry room, garage or basement.  For goods staying in your pantry, you can achieve a classy look by using matching containers for your storage. Rectangular containers (glass jars, plastic bins, baskets ) make the best use of your space.  These can be as expensive or not as you please.
It’s the uniformity of the containers that will give you the correlated, high end, look you want.  Labeling the containers well will save you time and frustration and, with the variety of attractive labels available at craft and stationery stores, you are sure to find something that fits your personal aesthetic. Once your pantry’s all in order and you learn to keep it that way, you’ll be surprised how satisfying it is.

Decorating a Small Space

Once you’ve decided what roles your space needs to fill and outfit it with the appropriate furnishings, you’re on your way. Then the look you want can come after you’ve ensured that the different elements work for you. If you don’t want your room’s size to limit what you can do, purchase furniture that meets your needs and then add customized elements like free-floating shelves or odd-angled bookcases. It helps to work with a designer who can visualize the great ideas you have and pare them down on paper so you can get an idea of the end result before you go shopping for your major furniture pieces. That way, you save money by making wise design decisions without the influence of impulse buying.

Versatile furniture that serves dual purposes or that folds away when not in use allows your rooms to act as if they were more expansive. For example, in a small bedroom you might want your nightstand to actually be a desk, or you may need your nightstand to function as a dresser. Purchase a piece of furniture that allows you to do the most: make sure there are drawers to hide things, a sturdy surface, and that you can get what you need during the night.

Small spaces do better with excellent organization. Maybe you’ll have to pare down your belongings. Hiding things (such as power cords, cozy blankets, office supplies) will make your room look less cluttered. Consider attractive baskets or wheeled crates stored in the unused space under beds and tables.

When square footage is at a premium, creative use of wall real estate can save the day. Raising artwork to increase the apparent height of a room can provide space for hanging racks, narrow shelves, fold-down tables etc. Judicious use of mirrors can create an illusion of greater space and bounce light around to illuminate dim corners.

Although space may be limited, you should be able to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of what you have. Even tiny spots can be comfortable and inspire you to enjoy the time you spend in them.