It is no surprise that workplace has changed significantly due to COVID-19. It crucial for companies during these times of change, to create workplace settings that encourage efficiency and improve productivity while abiding by social distancing preferences.
This week's blog topic is a great infographic courtesy of guest blog writer, Skylar Ross with Avanti Systems. Discover the details of how a workspace can improve productivity through architecture and design with the below infographic.
*This post contains affiliate links
Recently I was given the opportunity to design a small apartment at a local assisted/independent living facility. This little apartment is going to be used a model/virtual tour for future retirees. I was so honored to take the project because several months ago I staged one of the independent cottages affiliated with the same company, for a Realtor who was referred by another Realtor...talk about a long list of referrals!!! That was what made it such an honor and so exciting!
Anyhow, this cute one-bedroom apartment was so much fun to design, but there was just one issue...it was small. So how do I make the space look functional for future resident's? That was my biggest challenge going into this project.
Starting with the living and dining area, these two rooms share the space; that there wasn't a lot of. I wanted to use a regular sized sofa and oversized accent chair, but what about the small dining area? Well the good news is there is a restaurant inside the facility for it's residents- so the dining area wasn't something I really wanted to play up. I used these fun gold barstools and a small bistro table and chairs set, allowing for at least 4 guests to sit comfortably in the dining area. Without having to sacrifice the living area, I added the ottoman that functions as a coffee table and storage- because yes, the top comes off! This piece serves 3 functions!
SMALL SPACE PRO DESIGN TIP- Adding texture to the room helps create dimension in a small space
That oversized wall art above the sofa- one wouldn't think incorporating something really big in a small space would be right. Wrong! Texture gives the eye something to investigate, something to sink its teeth into, something that makes the whole space feel a lot bigger.
I think texture is something most people forget when designing a small space. They focus more on storage solutions, often it’s intentionally overlooked for fear of cluttering up an already small space.
You can add some small extra home décor pieces to add textures to your space. Focus on the finishes of your existing furniture pieces too. Like the faux fur rug I draped over the ottoman, the gold side table and gold hammered lamp. It could even be a simple fabric couch with wooden arms and legs. The key to achieving visual balance and to keep visual clutter at bay is to have one or two pieces of furniture in similar textures. The faux rug on the ottoman ties into a larger faux rug under the dining table.
Another way to work in texture in small spaces is through adding texture to walls. Textures on walls make a big impact and they don’t take up any floor space. You can do so through a variety of ways including wallpaper, textured paint like Dulux’s Ambiance Paints (the paints can offer up anything from a rustic linen feel to a luxurious marble finish), wall cladding or wall moulding. In the living room I added a hanging ladder to a decorative hook then folded some textured throw blankets. An easy and unique way to not only store extra blankets, but also adds texture!
FINAL SMALL SPACE PRO DESIGN TIP: When adding textures to your space, use juxtapositions e.g. metallic vs matte, weathered vs smooth, see-through vs opaque. Keep in mind that textures don’t have to be felt to be sensed; they can also be visual to make an impact
So you are sadly looking all around the Internet for a way to make your small space look so much more than it is. It’s not that you want to make it appear like you live like Donald Trump, you don’t. Right? It’s just that you are really trying to live within your means now and you’ve scaled down appropriately, but you can’t figure out how to make it look nice and big. Big without looking like you have just squished a Hummer into a compact space. I got ya.
Show a little leg. You know how there are some couches where you can’t see the legs? Yes, they still do have legs under there. Really. They aren’t held up by some really strong dude. All day long. Sheesh. Come on.
So, find yourself a sofa or a chair, whatever you’re in the market for, and go for the ones that don’t have those cute little skirts. Yes, you will have to make sure you keep your floors from looking like the wild west of dust bunny tumbleweeds, but you can do it. It’s called a Roomba.
See-‐thru tops. I know you like to be modest most of the time, except when you’re shaking your moneymaker. This is one of those times where I need you to get a little loose. Glass top coffee and side tables are gonna help you out. While you’re at it, order up some glass shelves for the bookcases. What? Yeah, it will cost money, but you want your place to look light and airy like some waify super model right? Well, put up or shut up.
Lighten Up. You may be the depressive type and go for dark colors to get you thru your Nirvana phase. He’s dead and you’re not. Let’s pick lighter colors. Which just so happen to be my February Freebie right now- my top neutral paint colors! Things that would remind you of pretty fantasyland with birds and nice china. Not like Alice Cooper’s your personal stylist.
Skip the Hokey Pokey. Think of patterns like a hokey pokey. Nobody likes to do that stupid dance and you don’t have the space for it. Really, they don’t like doing it, stop asking. Hokey pokey is intrusive like patterns in a small place. Put your left eye here, put your left eye there, put your left eye here and swirl it all about. Jesus! You’re gonna poke an eye out with that kind of patterned nonsense. It’s too much. We need our eyes to swirl around your room like a smooth wave of bliss.
And before I forget, since February's topic of the month is Artwork- how do you incorporate it in your small space? You don't, you burn it. Okay, I'm kidding. But really, if space is not your friend but you have some fancy smancy artwork you want to show off, a bold piece of wall decor is all you need to bring character and visual interest to a room. Remember that less is more.
March is almost here, and we will switch focus...don't miss out on my February freebie! Sign up with your email when that obnoxious box pops up on your screen again!
I think we've all done it, you know, go on that much needed vacation to get recharged then start taking mental notes of all the exciting things you plan on implementing into your daily life once you arrive home. There is just something about changing the scenery for a week or two that makes us ready and excited for change. Perhaps it's the break away from work and how it makes you reflect on how much time you spend away from your spouse and children. So you tell yourself that as soon as you get home you won't go to the office on your days off like you used to, and you'll spend more quality time with your family. Or maybe you are finally able to relax while on vacation and as soon as you get home you'll carve out more "me-time" in your daily life. Whether it's a monthly trip to a masseuse, more reading, or even meditating more- but then we actually get home and reality sets in. And we end up doing the exact opposite of what we intended to do.
We go back to work, we go back to the same routines, and vacation becomes a distant memory. We end up getting stressed out, forget about that masseuse appointment because you've got meetings and deadlines, kid's school projects to help with, things begin to pile up and you don't have any "me-time". Before you know it your cup is overflowing and you are ready for another vacation...the cycle just repeats.
But what if there were a way we could make our vacation more intentional and nurture our entire lives (not just the week you're there)? This is where I really had to be mindful of what I wanted to get out of my vacations once I arrived home, but there are some things I needed to do before I left for my vacation as well. One of the biggest things I realized was the first day or two of my return are just as important as the week away. Honoring this transitional time is essential, not only for integrating all the nourishment I received on vacation, but also to ensure that my energy tanks remain full and it continues to support me as I move back into my day to day life.
How To Create A Safe Landing Arriving- Home Routine!
1. Give Yourself a “Buffer” Day
You can’t expect yourself to go straight from the beaches of St. Thomas to doing the normal hustle and grind in just one day — at least if you want to hold onto some of the beauty, peace, and relaxation you cultivated while you were away.
If you know you need to be back at work on Monday morning, plan to arrive home Saturday night, so you have one day to settle in, exhale, and get ready for “normal life” to resume. Traveling is stressful, and I won't even get into how hard it is when you are traveling with children — even if you relaxed on your vacation. We all experience that natural “dip” in our energy and mood after the happy change of pace from being away.
Use your “Buffer Day" as a time to just unwind, readjust, and reflect on the experience you just had.
2. Unpack those Bags!
I am definitely not that person who leaves my suitcase around for two or three weeks, after a vacation! (Nor do I let my children!)
I have learned: it’s SO important to unpack your bag as soon as you get home. When you leave it lying around, the truth is…. part of you is in denial that you are still on that beach in St. Thomas!
Unpacking closes the energy of a trip and helps your body and mind settle back into home-life. You are able to transition easier to real-life too!
3. Love & Clean Up Your Space
Like I stated before, there is a natural dip in our energy when we arrive home from a vacation. You may even get a little depressed (my husband is the worst, he actually sulks for days after we arrive home) Making sure your home is a beautiful place that you truly love makes everything so much better! After all: when your home’s a wreck, and you have nothing to look forward to, depression is a pretty normal response.
I ALWAYS clean my house before we leave for vacation.. But if you've ever left the mess for a week only to arrive back home to it- well, that is definitely not going to help your "end of vacation blues" I do all the laundry, wipe down the kitchen counters, make sure there are no dirty dishes left out, vacuum, make the beds...I think you get it. I make sure everything as beautiful as I can for when I arrive home.
Whatever you need to feel in love with your space, and focus on what’s great about being home.
4. Immerse Your Life with Vacation Lessons
I believe it’s so important to honor the beautiful experiences in our lives, and find ways to carry them forward with us — in our hearts and in our homes.
One way I do this is with my gratitude journal. I even bring it with me on vacation. I take a few moments every day to write not only bout what I am grateful for, but three feelings I experienced that day. You can also journal about what you loved most about your vacation, what you did to relax...make a list … and then, ask yourself…. “How can I create these feelings in my home and life right now?” Think about the areas of your life where you lose touch with these precious priorities, the daily thing in your life you can be grateful for. Come up with a few simple, creative ways to connect your vacation-world and home-world.
Your home can be beautiful support for this process as well! I always buy artwork from every trip we take, but you can pick a souvenir or photo from your trip that most exemplifies one of these qualities. Place it in a spot you’re likely to see, everyday. This will remind you of what matters most … and keep you connected to the beauty and experiences of your vacation, long after the sand is out of your shoes.
If your living room lacks excitement, then you should consider adding a rug to your room and your problem will be solved. A rug completes a room by binding all the pieces inside your room together visually. A rug has the ability to anchor and define any room, add fervor as well as puts a layer in the room’s decoration. Holly Clark, from Land Of Rugs, shares her trade secrets when it comes to choosing the right rug for your living room.
Below are 5 great interior design tips for living room area rugs that will help you to decorate your living room and add the required zeal to your room.
1. Pick the Right Size and Pattern of Your Rug
The first thing you have to consider while buying a rug for your living room is the rug’s size. In case of a living room, it should be longer or at least the same size as your sofa. If you are considering to put a rug under the dining table, then you should keep in mind that there is not only a table but also chairs as well. So, you need to pick a rug with a larger margin to move all those chairs back out of the rug. You also need to consider the pattern of your rug that suits your living room and the furniture in it. Rugs are available in various patterns i.e. rectangular, round, oval, square, etc.
2. Pick the Ideal Material of Your Living Room Rug
You must choose the material of your rug based on the room as well as your finances. For places like entrance, you should look for a bamboo rug, which is easy to sustain and extremely resistant. If you are looking to put a rug in your child’s room, then you should look for materials like acrylic, polyester or polypropylene that are easier to clean due to their synthetic nature. If you want to walk barefooted, look for a furry or long-haired rug to boost the soft feeling on the bottom of your feet.
3. Pick the Perfect Color and Design of Your Rug
Another important criteria for picking a rug for your living room is its design and its color. It primarily depends upon how you see it. Is it just an element of comfort or a designer item inside your living room? For the first condition, you can look for something plain in color and less flashy. For the second condition, you can look for some distinct patterns and hues that display your personality.
4. Pick the Ideal Thickness of Your Rug
When you decide to buy a rug for your living room, you have to consider the rug’s pile or its thickness. Low-pile rugs are more suited to high-traffic areas of your room as it can withstand more wear-and-tear and easier to clean. High-pile rugs are best for areas with less foot traffic. You have to decide which kind of rug is best suited for your living room based on the amount of traffic it gets.
5. Pick the Ideal Sheen of Your Rug
Another important criterion for picking a rug for living room that often gets neglected it the sheen of the rug’s fabric. A rug with high sheen fabric will give your room a luxury touch as well as brighten up the room.
This week my focus is making the most out of small spaces, and here with another guest article from Alice Robertson with Tidy Home Co. She is such a delight and savvy when it comes to using your small spaces in a more functional way, and let's not forget...still making a statement!
Over the course of time, we all seem to accumulate a lot of “stuff.” If your belongings are starting to pile up, or if you just could use a little more elbow room, some clever storage tricks can be the key to a more comfortable house. Here are smart strategies to help make the most of the space you have so you can have a home that’s tidy and efficient.
Look at the Big Picture
When it comes to making the most of your available space, it’s important to take a hard look at your entire abode. Whether you live in a small house or your home simply lacks storage, examining the space throughout can help you find the answers to your issue. Think in terms of evaluating every square inch — from the basement to the garage and everything in between — so you can best maximize your property’s potential. HomeAdvisor offers some excellent tips and resources for organizing your entire home.
Clear Up Your Clutter
One of the first steps toward getting more organized is to eliminate the things you don’t use. As you go through your home, you’ll want to look at items with the mindset of three sorting categories: items to keep, items to sell or give away, and items that need to be discarded. If you have things you’re on the fence about, you can always store them off-site while you contemplate life without them. Having those items elsewhere is a great way to test drive whether you really miss them. Or, if the job is simply unwieldy and you don’t have room for everything, you can book a self-storage unit while you pursue in-home storage solutions. A 5’x5’ storage unit in Colorado Springs can be rented for as low as $35 a month at Mini U Storage - Motor City.
Cupboards and Cabinetry
Making the most of the storage built into your home can be a huge boost in helping you get organized and stay on top of your storage concerns. Examine your kitchen and bathroom cabinets for opportunities to be more efficient. Put your commonly used items where they are handy, and use totes for cleaning supplies so you can grab them as you need them. You can set up separate totes for your various jobs, such as a bathroom cleaning tote and a kitchen cleaning tote, and keep them near where you will use them. Keep enough supplies handy to do what you need, but don’t purchase an abundance and have them taking up valuable storage space.
Make areas that are inefficient more useful with shelves, totes, or storage bins (can be purchased for $11.34). Lazy-susans and pull-out shelves can make deep, low-level areas more accessible, helping you reach and use the items you store there. Keep similar items together, such as dry goods together on their shelves, so you know where to look for them. In the bathroom, keep hair supplies in one area, first aid in a special tote or container, and makeup in an appropriate bag.
Are your closets cramped, dark, and disorganized? Most traditionally structured closets just have a bar for your wardrobe and a shelf overhead, which makes poor use of the space. Installing a closet system can help you get on top of the clutter and help you keep your clothing tidier. If funds are tight, consider checking thrift shops and second-hand stores for shallow bookcases or dressers you can slide inside your closets. Pretty them up with trim, paint, and shelf paper. It’s an inexpensive solution that can help optimize your space, and you will enjoy seeing your handiwork when you’re preparing for the day.
If your home doesn’t provide much in the way of closets, attic space, or other ready storage, adding attractive, built-in structures like open shelving and cabinets can put otherwise useless wall space to work. Pick up some bookcases and paint them all the same shade to make the most of small areas, or for an eclectic look, try a few hues that pull together your color scheme. Install attractive boxes and totes on the shelves, or along those same lines, you can hang boxes directly on your walls if floor space is already occupied. In your garage and basement, you can search salvage yards for second-hand cabinets to add better organization, and add storage protected from pests and weather changes. A good scrubbing and a coat of paint can turn even ugly and worn cabinets into useful and attractive storage solutions.
Double Duty Furniture
A great way to make the most of your belongings is to find furniture that can pull double duty. Instead of buying a traditional bed, purchase a platform bed with drawers underneath (you can buy a bed with drawers for $499.99). Turn a vintage trunk into your coffee table, or stack old suitcases next to the sofa so they can multitask as your end table. Look for desks and tables with drawer space, and opt for ottomans with hidden compartments. Rather than letting clutter accumulate on horizontal surfaces, add attractive trays and totes to keep things sorted.
Even homes with limited square footage or minimal storage can stay neat, tidy, and functional. Look for ways to make the most of the space you have, and create more storage where you need it. With clever strategies, you can keep ahead of your clutter and enjoy a more comfortable, efficient, and attractive home.
Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."
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