Hack Your Home: 10 Tips for Hiding All the Ugly Stuff in Your Home & Keeping Your House Clean

ahh…That feeling you get when your house has been spotlessly clean. It’s refreshing, relaxing, it feels like your home is brand new. It’s ready to grace the pages of Architectural Digest. But then the kids come home from school and litter countertops with school papers; you have to make dinner in a rush and have another new sink full of dishes, then the dog tracks mud through the living room, and that wonderful, accomplished feeling of cleanliness subsides. But it doesn’t have to be that way! What if we told you there were ways to maintain a tidy home? Here are 10 tips to implement in your space:

10 Tips for Hiding the Ugly Stuff in Your Home and Keeping Your House Tidy

1 Cord Corrals & Hooks  

We’ve written before about how easily untamed bundles of cords can ruin an otherwise beautifully designed room. For media rooms, home offices, or other spaces where you have ugly cords, consider taming them with cord corrals and desk hooks to keep your home’s streamlined aesthetic.

Ultra Charging Station & Cord Coral

2 Utilize Art

Install art or a mirror on hinges so it swings like a door over unsightly thermostats or home security systems installed in walls.

3 Varied Cabinets

Include a variety of storage options in kitchens and bathrooms for organizational purposes and maximum functionality. Clear-front storage will entice you to keep both the interior and exterior of the cabinets clean. And you want to be sure your shelving is not too deep, so you don’t run the risk of accumulating expired products that might get neglected at the back.

4 Drawer Charging Stations

Top Desk Drawer charging stations: Install a charging strip at the back of the top desk drawer to utilize as a charging station that keeps devices and chargers off your desktop.

5 A Place for Everything Mentality

Embrace an ‘everything has a place’ mentality to aid in habit building, purge everything else, which includes pets, shoes, things that come and go from your home like keys and bags.

6 Custom Built-In’s

Consider working with a designer and contractor to design custom built-in’s for odd items that don’t need to sit out on counters, but don’t usually fit in general storage space, like printers or computer routers in home offices, purses and shoes in closets, trash cans and smaller appliances in kitchens, laundry baskets or hampers in laundry rooms, etc.

7 Easily-Maintained Building Materials

Consider that in the design of your home, the storage materials, countertops, and flooring should be as easily cleanable as their contents. Avoid dust collectors or things that show spots. Ensuring everything is installed and sealed correctly, by a professional contractor, will make maintaining your home easy.

8 Accessible Cleaners

Keep a green, all-purpose cleaner within reach of places in your home that need them most frequently, rather than with the other cleaning supplies, hidden away in a closet or the garage far away, which you don’t use all the time, like wood or mirror cleaners.

Gabriella System from Pottery Barn

9 Think Vertically

Don’t waste any space! Embrace vertical wall space with wall hooks for coats and hats and install a collapsable wall drying rack in laundry rooms, hand ironing boards on a wall or build one into a closet that can retract.

10 Decorative Organizers  

Decorative chotchkies and art objects or books and magazines should fit on or in your coffee top table tray, and any that don’t, have to go. Similarly, keys should go in a catch all tray or hung on a key hook by the door so they’re never lost!

5 Design Tips to Makeover Your Fireplace

1. Accents Around a Fireplace

Some of the tips we’ll give you will be more time consuming and involve construction or more intense design efforts to implement. This first one, though, is easy: accessorize the space around your fireplace –maybe even with items you already have: create symmetry with planters or sculptural objects on the mantle or on either side of your fireplace. 

If you’re a fan of a cleaner, more minimalist aesthetic, consider one large-scale work of statement art for above your fireplace. Think about log storage as well: if you want to take your fireplace to the next level, consider built-in log storage.

2. New Fireplace Surrounds

Plaster, cement, tile, stone, and brick– we love the variety and creativity that redesigning the space around a fireplace allows us. As far as construction/home improvement projects go, making over your fireplace surround is one of the easiest things to do to completely transform a space and make a loud design statement.

Putting a little extra attention into revamping your outdoor fireplace is a great way to create an outdoor dining or living room that’s as luxe as an interior space!

3. New Paint

Painting is perhaps the easiest and most cost-effective upgrade in any space, and it’s a great way to revamp a fireplace, making a statement with color! People often shy away from painting a whole room a bold color because that’s a lot of change– painting a fireplace or the area just around it is a great way to begin experimenting with color and implementing a big design choice.

4. Make a Style Statement 

Consider an ultra modern OR vintage fireplace to contrast with the surrounding space for a dramatic, highly stylized design statement. EcoSmart Fires, for example, are one of our new favorite fire-features that completely transforms a space. This is a gas fireplace for which you don’t needing a gas line.

They’re great for condos and small spaces, a modern shape as a room’s centerpiece can also work in more traditional spaces as well as deliberate design statement. If you do have a traditional fireplace, but want to give it a modern twist, consider utilizing something other than traditional logs, like chic concrete fire balls.

5. Mix Materials

Mixing materials is a popular design trend right now, that we don’t anticipate going anywhere anytime soon! Contrary to the popular matchy design stylings of the 80s and 90s, mixing materials in the kitchen, baths, and around fireplaces elevate the rooms with an extra designer touch. Use this as an opportunity to play with patterns in the same colors to give your space a monochromatic look or starkly contrast materials AND colors for high drama!