Rooms should not only look beautiful, they should also function.  Often, a client will tell me they want to redo a room, so they will use it more. They are often surprised when I ask them some ‘hard’ questions, “Why do you think you will use this room more by changing the couch fabric?”  I think they are surprised, that I seem to be talking myself out of working for them.  What I am really trying to get at is, you don’t really use a room more, just because you have updated it.  People use rooms more because they have thought about how they function for them and the others who live there.  What will draw residents and guests into a room?  How will the room stay tidy, so everyone still wants to go into the room?



We all have STUFF, things that we use, like, or want.  For example, if you have a space that you want to read in or want family members to read in, it is important to establish a place for books.  As a family of 6, with 4 avid readers, we have lots of books.  I wanted a place, aka zone, that everyone could put there books in or on.  Especially when I see a book out of place, (on the infamous kitchen counter)  I want my kids to know what I mean, when I tell them to put the book away.  We keep all of the books we are in the middle of or about to get to on this vertical book shelf from cb2.  It takes up little space, keeps the books organized and the counters clear!

cb2 bookshelf keeps our books in one place

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and off the kitchen counters (Yes! I tidied up for this photo).



Dear Lord, we have shoes!  To think of how many more we would have if we lived in a four season climate!!  I have a big organized rack for shoes in the garage, but that is a whole other blog.  However, there are some shoes that simply can’t live in the garage for a variety of reasons. We have tucked a low basket under our console for that reason. Shoes cannot get lost in the basket, it is not deep enough.  However, everyone knows that you just cannot leave your shoes anywhere.  If I see them and you are not home, I will put them in the basket.  If you are home and I ask you to put your shoes away, it is so easy to put them there!  The same applies for backpacks.  My kids like to do their homework at the kitchen table.  Yes, everyone has a zone in their bedroom for homework, but they all seem to end up in the kitchen.  We just like to hang together!  Noone wants to bring their backpack upstairs when they are done, they are only going to have to bring it down again in the morning, so I made sure the console was long enough for everyone to tuck their backpack under.  No more stray packs hanging around the family room.

A long low console is the perfect place for kids to stash away shoes and bags

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Yes, I L.O.V.E. accent pieces and I love to be able to change them up with the season, mood or when I find a new goodie.  I knew that we needed a large coffee table.  My youngest is 11, 9 when I rethought my space, so we no longer needed a huge amount of floor space.  I wanted a table that was big enough to display items, as well as play games on and we could put our feet up on.  After all, we live here and I want everyone to be comfortable.  I did not want a fabric ottoman, since I adore pillows and wanted them to be the focal.  I also did not want to worry about stinky feet on fabric.  I found this vintage Pennsylvania House coffee table with brass trimmed legs and knew it was for us.

Really, put your feet up!



People who know me, know that I am a swivel addict.  A piece of furniture that can function 360 degrees in a room is a total winner!  Even more so, when it is comfortable. I love the fact that whoever is sitting in the swivels can turn around and be facing someone in the kitchen, it really makes the whole space function as one.

Swivel sitters can turn and see the kitchen too!

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I am so excited that swivels seem to be back on trend, even though I have used them forever.   I found these Italian Vintage Swivels and knew a gem was hiding.  The base is a very hard to find solid base, that can withstand kids spinning around.  My husband  thought I had left my mind at home when I paid asking price for them (they were gross and I rarely pay full price )!  I decided to recover them in this sumptuous raspberry.   The color just makes me happy and our home is really filled with such happiness.  It is an unexpected pop of color.  We are such an unexpected family, but the Diversity Design Blog is also for another day!

A pop of swivel

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