By Jan Michelle of(www.janmichelleinteriors.com)
Nothing makes you feel more at home, and at peace, for that matter, than clean, well- organized spaces. In this regard, I’d like to share some tips that my clients have found useful or have enjoyed most in my design work for their homes.
When approaching a new design or a re-organization project, first establish a specific goal for your organizational needs. Is it filing paperwork, creating a drop zone, storing kids toys, setting up a neat arts & crafts station, pet supply area, or place to store bills to be paid? Next, take inventory. Empty your space and group like items together before putting them all back in their new, designated home. This is the best way to determine what you have, how much you have, and what you need. During this stage, ask yourself questions the hard questions such as, “When was the last time I used this? Is it broken or worn? Will I use this again in the future? Do I really need this?” The more honest you are with yourself, the easier the de-cluttering process will be. You’ll be surprised how much you don’t use and once all that stuff is gone, you’ll be amazed how much more relaxed you are in the room. Feel even better about getting organized and helping others by donating all those items you don’t need or want anymore. Put those donations directly in your car so they don’t lie around your house and defeat the purpose.
Another tactic toward organization bliss, is to think in terms of creating organizational zones that are convenient to your everyday life. If these areas aren’t easily accessible, you won’t use them and clutter will grow elsewhere. Invest in furniture that has shallow shelves and shallow drawers. Small and uncommonly used items tend to get lost, forgotten, and multiply in deeper shelves and drawers. Utilize all your space including the vertical height of closets, over the door, under the bed, and even under table skirts.
Get the kids involved in organizing spaces by taping pictures of their toys on the outside of well-spaced storage containers. This way the little ones can see where to put toys away and can do it on their own! Don’t forget to label everything. Once you’ve taken the time to put all of your items away in that perfect nook, make sure you can find them again and continue to properly store them. Label the outside of drawers, storage boxes, and file folders. I personally use a label maker to keep everything looking neat and consistent.
In the office (or desk area), look at everyday products for more than the intended purpose. For example, a clear over-door shoe bag is great for organizing jewelry and small office supplies such as rubber bands, paper clips, writing utensils and even a stapler. The clear pouches make everything easy to find. Hanging sweater bags are great for closets, but can also be used to organize office paper. Each shelf can store different types of paper: computer paper, letterhead, catalogues, and even large envelopes. You can also cut down on paper clutter by receiving and paying bills electronically. Bonus— you also save on postage!
Once you’ve de-cluttered, created organizational zones, and labeled everything, you can turn your attention to those details that make your home feel beautiful and special to you. Get rid of the old and chaotic and make room for elegant, comforting décor.
The home featured here was designed for a client who wanted to achieve an inviting, clean, sophisticated domicile. In the foyer, the simple center table with orchids provides a sophisticated but understated welcome, playing against the subtle gold leaves of the wall covering.
What the homeowners said:
“Jan Michelle was able to bring the lighter, airier feel to the rooms. Jan Michelle understood the level of sophistication that was appropriate for this home, while making it livable and comforting, as a beach escape should be, as well. We were very pleased with the uniqueness of certain items of furniture, accessories, and art work that were chosen as well.”
After consulting with the client, I felt they wanted to keep the penthouse looking airy and light, yet maintain a certain sophistication worthy of the elegance of the space. Often designers use the sea as their inspiration for colors used in residences by the ocean. But in this case, I knew of the famous sunsets of the area. They are quite beautiful and the colors can be vibrant depending on the cloud formations at the time. But almost always they include the beautiful glow of persimmon. That hue was my inspiration for the draperies for the main living/dining area.
About Jan Michelle
Atlanta based interior designer and native Atlantan, Jan Michelle is a graduate of The Art Institute of Atlanta and a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Jan Michelle first worked as a commercial lighting designer upon graduation. Working on both domestic and international projects, she created interior lighting designs for high-rises, hotels, resorts, and custom homes. Realizing residential interior design is where her passion lies, she gained experience working under notable Atlanta based
interior designers. Since opening , she has completed projects in Atlanta, Florida, and Washington D.C.
Jan Michelle believes in classic, elegant design that is timeless, no matter the style. She is
inspired by all designs, from classic to modern, and adjusts to the clients tastes and
objectives. Jan Michelle blogs at: