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How to Build a More Functional Home

Modern living area with lounge and dining room

People often get lost in the beauty of homes watching celebrity house tours and Architectural Digest, but we often forget that a home should be not only beautiful but also functional. While we can all dream of a perfect home with beautifully curated furniture and art, there is also value in a home that prioritizes function. People come home to feel at peace, and one that is designed to make your life easier can be what makes the difference between a house and a home. Sometimes it is important to pull away from intricate furnishing and choose the pieces and style that will help serve a purpose in your home. Decorations can be beautiful and intentional!

A Good Entryway is the First Step to Success

Functionality should be prioritized the moment you step into your home. When creating your entryway, think of what is the best design for you. If you live in a colder area, consider constructing a coat closet or having a hanger for frequently used coats. Every clean-obsessed homeowner or minimalist apartment aficionado knows that keeping your shoes on a rack or in a closet in the front makes for a clutter-free home. Choosing the perfect rack for your home allows for creative freedom that prioritizes function without sacrificing aesthetics. Whenever you come home, try to discard the non-essentials at the door, such as hanging up your jacket and putting away your shoes. It also makes it easier to keep your home clean. Having your house slippers by the door makes life double as easy, and you will thank yourself for it later when it is your turn to mop the house. 

Ensure that you are thinking about yourself when designing your entryway. Consider a multifunctional rack if you often travel with keys and bags. A trash can for junk mail will be a gift unlike any other to your new functional home. If you have children, consider installing small cubbies against the wall for easy, unaided organization. If you live somewhere wet and rainy, consider a mudroom-hybrid entryway. Designing an entryway that fights clutter and has a permanent organization for your belongings will be one of the best things you can add to your home. 

 Close-up of glass door separating the kitchen from the living area

Machine-Washable Anything

Having children, pets, or being human can be very messy. If the majority of the items in your home are machine-washable, this will help you in the constant battle against grime and dirt. Many couches come with machine-washable sleeves, and innovative companies such as Ruggable make machine-washable rugs. If you know your family or you are not necessarily careful people, choosing items that are machine washable will be well worth the investment. Furniture that cannot be used or is easily stained can rack up a charge over your lifetime, so this is also an economically-friendly tip! 

As with everything on this list, be sure to choose what is best for you. It is not always possible to have machine-washable items but be sure to prioritize what you believe will get the dirtiest. Upholstery cleaners are a gift from the cleaning gods for those of us without machine-wash-friendly furniture. Rugs often are high-traffic items that store dirt, hair, and food, so be sure to vacuum thoroughly before tossing it into your washing machine. 

Have a Bin for Everything!

Clutter happens when people pull something out and do not put it back where it belongs. A great way to combat this is by having plenty of bins for items throughout your house. Decorative baskets serve as a great decoration piece for your living room and a great place to collect blankets or toys. If you cannot afford several minutes throughout the day to organize specific baskets, have a catch-all basket that is sorted at the end of the day. Instead of being overwhelmed by the clutter you create in a day, seek to declutter your home through the art of decorative baskets and bins! Life is easier when every miscellaneous item has a home in your home. 

Display Regularly Used Items on Tables

Most homes will have side tables and coffee tables, but they are not just for decorations. Living rooms often are high-traffic areas, and clutter can pour into the room and accumulate quickly. Be sure to use your tables intentionally. Reserve a certain side table to always hold your remotes and the other one for candles or as a magazine organizer. Have games that you regularly play on the coffee table. These items are decorative and help create a beautiful space, but that does not mean they have to be functionless. Having items readily displayed also helps you use them! Coffee tables with storage are even better for a functional home as they can house items specific to the area that is not regularly used. Who said practicality could not be stylish?