Home Library and Reading Space Ideas Any Booklover Would Love

home library dark wood built-in cabinetry

In this increasingly tech-driven world, it may surprise you to learn that physical books still far outsell e-books.

50% of Canadian adults read or listened to at least one book in 2021, according to a BookNet Canada survey. Physical books were the format of choice for the vast majority of those readers.

Clearly, good ol’ fashioned paper books still have a place in the digital age.

Create a home library with form and function

Avid readers tend to own a large collection of already-read books that they hold onto for sentimental reasons and to loan to friends, as well as an ever-growing backlog of books they plan to read.  

Without a proper home library, it can be a challenge keeping large book collections organized. Most homeowners use storage systems like shelving and bookcases that are bought separately over the years as their book collection grows. Often, this variety of storage systems has a cobbled-together look that lacks any decorative cohesion and is more spread out in a room, instead of keeping the books in one place.

woman on ladder grabbing book off custom bookcase

The best solution to keep a large book collection more organized and also give your home a decorative boost is to create a home library featuring a custom built-in bookcase. And if you have the space, including a comfortable reading area where your books are kept is ultra-practical, too.

Do you envision a space where your books can be stored more efficiently and in stylish surroundings? And does having a cozy, quiet home space that lets you transport yourself to wherever the imaginations of your favourite authors takes you sound appealing? Then find out why you won’t regret your investment in a home library and reading space.

Aren’t home libraries outdated? No, and here’s why.

The concept of a home library nowadays may seem outdated to some, but lots of people don’t subscribe to the idea that their entire book collection should be stored on an iPad. Plenty of readers want their favourite books to occupy square footage in their home, not gigabytes of memory space on a tablet.

In fact, most readers prefer the tactile, more personal experience of holding a book, appreciating the cover art, turning the pages, placing and removing a bookmark, and that satisfying feeling when a completed book is closed for the final time. And no charging is required!

This Statista infographic, which unfortunately doesn’t include figures for Canada, shows how physical books continue to have enduring appeal around the world:

Research and infographic from Statista.

Another reason physical books still matter to people is the experience of book shopping at a brick-and-mortar store. Many music lovers (including myself) miss the unique anticipatory experience of visiting an HMV or Sam The Record Man store and leisurely browsing through the racks for the newest amazing CDs or records to add to our music libraries. Digitally shopping at the iTunes Store just ain’t the same in comparison.

The book shopping experience is very similar. For many bookworms, shopping in-person at an Indigo store or a favourite small bookstore and browsing their selection of titles is still an enjoyable, satisfying part of the book owning and reading experience.

And all of those physical books still being sold end up somewhere in people’s homes. So why not keep them somewhere that’s a cut above a cheap, self-assembled bookcase or in boxes or storage bins?

Avid readers and book collectors take their hobby seriously. It’s usually one of their main passions and a fundamental part of their daily life, so it only makes sense to store the things that give them so much joy with care.

The satisfying in-person book shopping experience is one of many reasons why physical books remain the medium’s dominant format.

Six more reasons to consider adding a home library

In addition to bookcases keeping a collection of books tidier, here are six more practical reasons to consider creating a home library:

  1. A custom-made built-in bookcase revamps the architecture of a room and transforms it into vastly different space.
  2. Bookcases allow your most cherished books to be displayed in an artful manner.
  3. A book-filled, personalized home library makes a room feel more lived-in.
  4. The books you own and display reflect your personality (as Walter Mosely wrote in his book The Long Fall, “A man’s bookcase will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about him.”)
  5. An attractive bookcase can be a great conversation starter.
  6. Giving books a proper home is the best long-term storage solution to preserve them (as opposed to moving them around occasionally or storing them in less-than-deal conditions in a basement).

The benefits of keeping books in the home

It’s an age-old debate about whether or not it makes any sense to keep a book you’ve already read. Just like the e-book vs. physical book discussion, it’s all about someone’s preferences and taste.

book at bedside table

Ask anyone who chooses to hold onto most of the books they’ve read about why they do so and you’ll get a lot of different answers. Here are some of the reasons they might give:

  • Memorable books have deep, sentimental value.
  • Book collections add a sophisticated touch to a room and instantly make a statement that you’re literally a well-read person!
  • You can share an enjoyable literary experience with someone by gifting or loaning them books.
  • Just like paintings, drawings, and photographs, books are works of art that are equally worthy of displaying and being appreciated more than once.
  • Scientific research shows that book-filled homes have a positive impact on the academic development of kids.
  • The distinct smell of old books (which is caused by a book’s chemical compounds breaking down as it ages) provides a satisfying sensory experience.
  • The sight of rows of neatly organized books simply appeals to some people’s visual taste.

Some reading benefits you might not know

We’ve already listed a number of reasons reading and keeping books gives so many people pleasure. Reading has numerous positive health benefits you may be unaware of, too. Research has shown that reading regularly can:

  • reduce stress
  • help you sleep better
  • slow down age-related cognitive decline by keeping your brain more active and sharp
  • lessen the effects of depression
  • improve your ability to empathize with others
  • increase the likelihood of your kids adopting reading as one of their leisure activities

Invest in a custom bookcase for your home library

A new bookcase from Ikea or Amazon is where most people will turn when they’re looking for a home book storage solution. If you’re really serious about creating the perfect home library design, however, it’s worth it to spend a little more for a custom-made bookcase with a higher-end look.

It’s the bookcase, after all, that will define a home library space and commonly become the room’s focal point. No mass-produced, assemble-it-yourself bookcase product can match the quality of a customized cabinetry piece that is precisely designed, crafted, and professionally installed to fit your living space, storage needs, and design taste.

With a custom bookcase design, you’ll have infinitely more layout, finish, and style options to choose from to complement your décor. You’re not limited to just a few basic design options chosen by a large furniture manufacturer’s design team that are aimed at mass consumer appeal.

A bespoke home library bookcase can be designed to virtually any dimensions you want, whether it’s a large, wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling size or something smaller. Customize the heights, widths, and depths of the shelving. Get creative and have your designer incorporate open spaces in specific areas so you can decorate with things like plants and candles. Add upper and/or lower cabinets if you desire.

Because a bookcase is holding a significant amount of weight, the quality of the materials and craftsmanship matters if you want the furniture piece to last a long time. Once again, a custom-built bookcase will be superior to the mass-produced products you’ll find from a big-box or online retailer.

home library bookcase

A custom-made bookcase is more attractive than a low-quality bookcase you assemble yourself. Built-in bookcases also look more like a part of a room’s architecture.

A built-in bookcase optimizes a room’s space

Built-in custom cabinetry is designed to make optimal use of a room’s space, which helps make the room feel bigger and provides a visually appealing architectural element.

Unlike a freestanding bookcase, a well-designed built-in bookcase looks more like a carefully considered part of a room’s architecture, not an afterthought.

By taking the existing architecture of a room into consideration in the design process, built-in cabinetry eliminates or reduces the amount of wasted space, particularly in awkward corners and nooks.

Compared to a freestanding, off-the-shelf bookcase product, this leaves you with more storage space for books and decorative items.

Choosing the right location for a home library

A home library can take on many different forms. If your book collection is large enough and you have the room, a home library can take up an entire room (typically a spare room).

Ideally, you’ll want to situate a library on the main or upper floor. Although the basement likely provides more privacy in your home (which is a significant consideration if you’re combining a home library with a reading space), its cooler temperatures and lack of natural light may feel too inhospitable.

Many home libraries work in tandem with a room’s other functions. Home offices are a natural fit for a paired library space. A home office bookcase can share space between your work-related books and the leisure reading books you own.

home office book library white built-in cabinetry

Maybe you have a home office, guest room, or hobby room that isn’t used regularly. Get more use out of them by adding a bookcase to maximize the room’s functionality. A wide hallway or a large stairway landing area are other areas you could potentially have a built-in bookcase or bookshelves installed. 

Limited home space? Create a book nook!

You don’t need an entire room or half of a room to create space to store books and even room to read. A book nook can be added in many areas of the home that are underutilized, specifically a small corner, recess, or alcove.

The corner of a large bedroom, home office, or any other room can be used. You could set up a small book storage and reading space around a window and have a comfortable built-in window seat added so you can enjoy your books in a cozy sunny setting.

Another option is to make better use of the space underneath a staircase, which is loaded with organizational and storage possibilities. Most staircases are near the front entryway, so remodelling this area with a book and reading nook is a great way to give the space a decorative upgrade.

home window seat and bookshelves

This built-in window seat provides a cozy home reading space. The flanking built-in bookshelves can be used for book storage and displaying decorative items.

Set up a cozy home reading space

According to a recent Indigo survey, Canadian adults spend an average of six hours per week reading as a leisure activity. If you’re in your happy place when you’re reading every day or just a few times per month, why not create a home space that is dedicated to one of your passions?

A home library and reading space that is set up for maximum comfort and minimal distractions will enhance your reading experience and inspire you to read more often. If possible, locate your reading area in a more secluded area of the home that is relatively quiet and private. 

You don’t need much space to set up a cozy reading area. It only requires room for a chair that is comfortable enough for those extended reading sessions, a lamp, a side table, and perhaps an ottoman if you like to stretch out while reading. If you enjoy mixing in listening to audiobooks or podcasts with your book reading, consider choosing a chair that can be reclined for more comfort.

Augment the room’s ambient and task lighting (which should be warm and soft) with accent lighting on the bookcase that showcases the beautiful cabinetry. Consider giving the room even more of a true library look by installing a rolling ladder for the bookcase. The ladder adds a sophisticated decorative touch and helpful functionality for accessing the upper bookshelves.

Decorate by styling your bookshelves

There are many ways to display a book collection. Sorting them by genre, author, or alphabetically makes the most sense from an organizational point of view.

Lots of people, however, like to get creative and prioritize giving their home library some extra visual appeal by storing their books in a variety of artful, interesting ways. Here are a few examples of how books can be playfully arranged to add visual interest to a room:

  • organize them by colour to create a rainbow look
  • arrange the books by height
  • display your favourite books by turning the covers outwards
  • mix in stacks of horizontally arranged books with your vertically stored books
  • display books with the spines turned inward (we don’t get it, but this understandably divisive trend is apparently a thing)

A home library’s bookcase shelves have more uses than just storing books. Bookshelf styling is an art all by itself and has become more popular in recent years. It allows you to create an infinite number of interesting looks by using decorative items like photos, plants, vases, candles, and other knick-knacks to express your decorating style.

home library bookcase

Bookshelf styling has become a popular way to decorate.

Create your bespoke home library and reading space

If that vision of having your own home library and reading space just won’t go away, there’s no time like the present to turn that dream into reality.

Organized Interiors specializes in providing beautifully designed custom cabinetry solutions for your home. Let’s collaborate on a bookcase design that is fully customized just for your home.

Schedule a free design consultation with one of our designers today.

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16 Cozy Home Ideas for Maximum Comfort This Fall

cozy home den with white built-ins and window seat

As the days get shorter and the cooler fall weather nudges us back indoors for the next few months, it’s the perfect time to think about how to create a more cozy home.

A cozy home atmosphere makes the cold weather months a little easier to get through by upping our comfort level and allowing us to get more enjoyment from our living space.

It’s often the simple pleasures that make us feel more cozy and comfortable at home. It can be things like curling up under a warm blanket on a chilly day or reading a good book in a comfy chair while enjoying a hot beverage or glass of wine.

Feeling cozy and content is what the Danish concept of hygge is all about.

Creating a more cozy home with hygge

Until a few years ago, few people outside of Denmark had ever heard the word hygge (which is pronounced “hoo-gah”). Hygge has recently taken the world by storm and been embraced by anyone searching for ways to nurture their well-being.

Hygge is not just a trend – it’s a way of life that emphasizes maximizing your comfort level at home and allowing yourself to slow down and enjoy all the goodness that comes with feeling cozy.

The hygge concept isn’t new. The Danes have made it a foundation of their culture since it was introduced there well over two centuries ago.

Denmark is consistently ranked at or near the top of yearly lists of the happiest countries in the world, so clearly they’re on to something with this whole cozy thing. And remember, this is a country whose brutal winters rival our own!

How to make your home feel cozier for fall

Creating a cozy home that looks and feels warmer and more inviting can be done by making just a few simple additions and adjustments in your house or condo.

The autumn season’s beautiful colours and evocative scents are a perfect resource to tap into to immerse yourself in cozier surroundings.

Get some inspiration to create a more cozy home this fall with these ideas and tips.

1. Incorporate autumn colours into your décor

Almost everyone’s favourite thing about the fall season is the changing of the leaves and the amazing, colourful landscapes we get to appreciate for a couple of months.

Why not incorporate the many magnificent colours of the fall season into your décor to make your house or condo feel homier?

autumn colour palette in library

The extensive autumnal colour palette provides lots of flexibility and choices to coordinate with your existing décor. Add dashes of fall colours like red, gold, brown, olive green, burgundy, bronze, and orange throughout your living space by:

  • laying area rugs on hard surface flooring
  • adding throw pillows to beds and seating areas
  • using throw blankets and quilts with seasonal colours and patterns decoratively
  • hanging and laying out fall-inspired decorations
  • switching to bed sheets that reflect the season

2. Decorate with throw pillows

Using accessories like pillows and blankets that add appealing fall colour to the home is only one way they help make our living space feel cozier.

Placing extra throw pillows on a sofa, bed, or window seat makes these areas look more warm and inviting because we instantly make the connection that pillows are comforting.

cozy throw pillows on bed

Pillows add texture and depth to a space as well, especially pillows with covers that have more surface definition like chunk knit, ribbed knit, and textured velvet designs.

Decorating with pillows is one of the easiest ways to give your décor an instant refresh. There are so many pillow colours, patterns, and textures to choose from that the number of decorative combinations is endless.

3. Set up a hot beverage station

Enjoying a delicious hot beverage in the comfort of your favourite chair on a crisp October or November day is as much a part of the fall experience as raking leaves.

A good cup of coffee or hot chocolate just tastes better at this time of year. It’s not just about enjoying the taste of the drink, it’s the warming effect it has on our body and the comfort it brings, which puts you in prime hygge territory.

woman holding warm beverage

If you have some extra kitchen counter space, set up a hot beverage station with space for anything you use to make your favourite autumn and winter hot drinks.

Add a coffee maker, kettle, single-serve beverage machine, and an espresso or latte machine. Make room for spoons, sugars and sweeteners, and your coffee pod rack filled with a variety of flavours, including pumpkin spice coffee and pumpkin spice latte (naturally). Buy some fall-themed mugs to go with your fall-inspired drinks.

If space allows, dig out that rarely-used slow cooker and add it to your beverage station to brew up some tasty, ready-to-pour hot drinks that suit the season like cranberry apple cider, wassail, and mulled wine. Bonus: not only are these beverages a nice change from your usual hot drink fare, but their delightful scents also add to your home’s cozy atmosphere!

4. Change up your bedding

If you haven’t switched out your lighter summer bed sheets yet, now is the time to do so. Don’t just grab any of your heavier bedsheets, though. Use flannel, fleece, and duvet bedding with seasonal patterns and colours that tie into the season.

new cozy bedding

Since the bed is the focal point in a bedroom, the choice of bedsheets and coverings has a big impact on how a room looks and feels.

Lay out an extra blanket or quilt and pile some décor-complementing throw pillows at the foot or top of the bed to add a cozy touch to the space.

5. Add some area rugs

Few things kill a cozy vibe like your feet turning to icicles after stepping on a cold floor. To add warmth underfoot on hard floor surfaces like tile, hardwood, and laminate, lay out some area rugs that add decorative flair and soften up the space a little.

cozy area rug in condo

Place them in high-traffic areas and lounging spots such as beside the bed, in hallways, by your favourite reading chair, in the kitchen, and under the dining room table.

Layering textiles is an effective way to cozy up a room, especially during the fall and winter. Don’t hesitate to even put down a rug in a carpeted room if the rug’s design aligns with your decor – it’s not as uncommon as you might think!

6. Swap out your seasonal clothing

Swap out your spring and summer clothing to make your fall and winter wardrobe easier to manage by keeping your cozy clothes organized and easy to find on a chilly day.

closet storage

Follow these five seasonal clothes storage tips in the fall and spring when those bigger wardrobe changeovers occur:

  1. Pare down your wardrobe: clothing that doesn’t fit, is out of fashion, or is damaged beyond repair clutters up your storage spaces. Donate or get rid of anything that isn’t being worn at least a few times a year.
  2. Don’t use prime closet storage space for storing seasonal clothes: unless you have the luxury of owning a spacious walk-in closet, there are better spots than the bedroom closet to store your out-of-season clothing. A spare room’s closet, the basement (be mindful of moisture levels), or beneath your bed in drawers or storage bags are ideal spots.
  3. Wash and repair clothing items before storing them: seasonal clothing should be properly washed, folded, or dry cleaned before being packed away. Taking extra care with your clothes in the fall will leave them fresh and ready to go when spring arrives.
  4. Store clothing in a climate-controlled space: ensure your seasonal clothes are being stored in a climate-controlled area of the home (the garage is a no-no). Stable storage conditions with consistent temperatures (preferably cool) are recommended to keep clothes well-preserved.
  5. Use plastic storage bins: never store clothing in cardboard boxes. They’re not as sturdy as plastic storage containers, are more susceptible to infiltration from rodents and insects, and can cause clothes to develop white or yellow stains over time. Don’t overstuff the storage bins or pack clothing too tightly to allow some air to circulate.

7. Add some new plants and flowers

Fresh plants and flowers are a great addition to the home at any time of year and another way to add colour and texture to a room, as well as functioning as a natural air purifier.

One of the fundamentals of hygge is adding natural elements to the home, whether it’s using a wood picture frame, wool blanket, decorative mini pumpkins and gourds, or plants and flowers.

Fall-blooming houseplants like the amaryllis, Christmas cactus, goldfish plant, and African violets are perfect choices and will beautify your home with their attractive organic colours.

If you don’t have a green thumb, even getting some fake plants and flowers (or faux greenery, if you prefer) can help make your home feel cozier. There are lots of incredibly lifelike faux greenery products out there that require far less maintenance than the real thing – just dust them off periodically.

Put some extra thought into the colours and styles of the planters, baskets, and pots you use because they’re yet another home decorating tool at your disposal!

8. Treat yourself to a new sweater

If it’s been a while since you last added a sweater, hoodie, or fleece top to your wardrobe, treat yourself to something new for the fall.

We’ve been talking about “cozy surroundings” and it doesn’t get much more surrounding for us than the clothes we wear!

If wearing something makes you feel cozy, that’s hygge. Even wearing a ratty old pair of sweatpants qualifies as hygge. The Danes have thought this whole thing through so much, they even created a word to describe a less-than-presentable piece of clothing you love wearing at home, but would never wear in public – “hyggebukser”.

9. Add fall-themed decorations

Bring some natural fall decorative elements into your home to enjoy the sights and smells of the season from the warmth of your living space.

Attractive decorative arrangements using items like pumpkins and gourds in a variety of colours, pine cones, and dried grasses, leaves, and branches can be DIYed or purchased from crafting specialty retailers.

Use them as table centrepieces, in a wreath, or as fall accent pieces to adorn the fireplace mantel and windows of your home.

10. Enjoy the fall colours from a cozy window seat

The comfiest place to sit at home isn’t necessarily always on traditional furniture pieces like an armchair, loveseat, sofa, or upright in bed. 

Sometimes the coziest perch is on a window seat, where you can take in the glorious fall colours from the best view in the home.

Here are some of the benefits of built-in seating:

  • add extra seating anywhere in the home (it doesn’t have to be by a window) like an entryway, bathroom, bedroom, or living room
  • gain extra storage space below the seat with drawers or a lift-up top
  • they provide an alternative seating option
  • a window seat lets you enjoy more sunlight, which is an effective mood booster during the shorter fall and winter days
  • add a stylish design touch to an unused home space

11. Get baking and cook warming dishes

We can’t talk about all things cozy without bringing food into the conversation. After all, cozy and good food go hand in hand.

You don’t need to have Jamie Oliver-level cooking skills to enjoy all the goodness that comes from creating the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread, cookies, and pastries in your home.

Stick with easy baking recipes, buy high-quality frozen baking products, or simply reheat fresh store-bought baked goods to fill your home with pleasant smells and your stomach with some comfort food.

Fall is also the perfect time to enjoy warming dishes like soups, chilis, and stews. Try making some of these in your slow cooker. The slow cooking process really brings out the flavour in food and is another way to make your home smell fantastic. Try these three slow cooker recipes that will make your home smell like fall.

12. Make your living room more inviting

To make your living room more inviting, consider giving the décor a refresh to encourage more family time that can be spent in a well-appointed, cozy home space.

Add a comfortable new chair or sofa and give the walls a fresh coat of paint in calming, cozy-friendly colours like creamy white, clay beige, or sea green.

entertainment centre in condo

Watching movies and TV shows is one of the main reasons we spend time in the living room, so give your home entertainment hub an overhaul. Have a built-in entertainment centre custom-made to contain all of your audio and video devices and give the room a modern, upscale appearance.

To really give the living room a new, exciting look, also think about adding a feature wall with an electric fireplace.

13. Break out the blankets and quilts

When it’s cold and wet outside, what is cozier than curling up beneath a warm blanket indoors?

Break out your favourite quilts, blankets, and comforters when the fall rolls around so they’re at the ready when you’re feeling a little chilly.

Use them to make your home feel cozier by placing throw blankets on your furniture as decorative accents.

14. Organize the bedroom

If your bedroom is clean and organized, you’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep and feel less stressed. That allows you to enjoy your cozy home more, without wasting any of your brain bandwidth on worries about a looming bedroom cleanup project.

Make the best use of your bedroom storage space with a closet organization system, a standalone wardrobe closet, and bed storage cabinetry.

15. Soften up your lighting

Lighting plays a role in creating a cozy home feel, so think about making a few adjustments for the fall and winter.

Harsh overhead lighting isn’t ideal. Try to use LED lights with a softer, warmer glow in your rooms. Lean on table and floor lamps that use warm bulbs more to make your living space feel cozier.

Take advantage of the natural light your home gets as much as possible during the shorter days of the year. If you need to reposition some of your furniture to grab a little more sunlight, go for it.

16. Add fall-inspired scents and fragrances

Smell is another element that changes our mood, so if you’re looking to create a more cozy home, introduce some fall-inspired scents and fragrances indoors.

In addition to the other scent-related ideas we’ve mentioned (like foods and flowers), candles are an obvious choice. They have multiple benefits because they scent your home, add a decorative element, and create ambiance, all of which are effective mood boosters.

Here are some ideas for a few calming candle scents to try, along with some fall-scented candles that are ideal for this time of year:

  • lemon
  • clary sage
  • vanilla
  • acorn spice
  • pumpkin spice
  • amber and smoke
  • apple orchard
  • pumpkin pecan waffles

Cozy up your home this fall

Organized Interiors are experts at making homes feel cozier with our high-quality organization and storage systems and stylish custom cabinetry designs.

Schedule a free design consultation with us so we can get started on creating the custom solutions that will boost your home’s comfort level this fall.

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Organize Your Home: 20 Living Space Upgrades for the New Year

When the calendar flips over to January, about 60% of us make New Year’s resolutions.

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to get in shape, eat healthier, and learn a new skill. Right up there with them is the desire to organize your home.

The concept of home comfort has taken on a new level of importance in our lives over this past challenging year. Spending so much time indoors has made us rethink how we use our living spaces.

Many of us have become more mindful of how our homes look and function. Are they contributing to our quality of life or adding more stress to it?

organize your home, woman in walk-in closet

Organize your home by fixing once space at a time

Almost every home has at least one area that needs some TLC. If your home has a few areas in need of some upgrades, don’t take on too much at once. That often leads to a less than satisfying outcome.

Pace yourself and have a smart plan you can stick to. When you set out to organize your home, commit to improving one space at a time. Then you won’t need to go back and tweak or improve your home upgrades, which isn’t productive.

Organization expert Christina Scalise once said that organization isn’t about perfection. Organization is about:

  • better home efficiency
  • reducing clutter and stress
  • saving time and money
  • improving your overall quality of life

How will you organize your home this new year?

Right now is a great time to upgrade and organize your home. Interest rates are low. You may qualify for a home renovation rebate or a work from home tax deduction as well. These can help offset some of your home remodelling costs.

And most importantly, you’ll boost your home comfort level by upgrading your organization systems and refreshing your décor.

But nothing happens without taking that first step.

So where will your efforts to organize your home this year start? Here are 20 areas in your house or condo that are worth upgrading.

Home office

The most popular home design trends of 2020 have been the addition of exercise spaces and home offices. The latter is one trend that will have staying power.

Even after the pandemic ends, remote work will remain the way many of us will earn our living. Forbes.com reports that homebuilders have seen more demand for residences with extra space that can be used as a home office.

Using a proper workspace is better than a makeshift setup of working or studying at the dining room table or on the couch. You can set it up in a part of the home that gives you more privacy.

Talk to us about personalizing your home workspace and designing it to accommodate your work needs. This will provide you with a more comfortable work environment that leads to better productivity.

organize your home office

Reach-in closet

Is keeping your closets organized a constant battle you can never win? If so, look at some solutions that will make it easier to maintain tidier reach-in closet spaces.

Our closet organizer systems will maximize your wardrobe storage space. We have customization options that range from simple to extravagant closet designs.

Do you need a tower of shelves and drawers in the closet’s centre? How about extra hanging rods? Are your closets in need of some sprucing up? Decorative touches like new baseboards, crown moulding, and stylish hardware will help in the latter area.

Just ask us and we’ll work our magic to create a reach-in closet space you’ll love.

two organized reach-in closets in home

Walk-in closet

You’ve been eyeing that spare room and hoping to eventually transform it into the dream walk-in closet you’ve always wanted. Make this the year you finally take action.

A traditional reach-in closet space can’t always meet your storage needs. A walk-in closet provides valuable extra storage space for all of your clothes. It eliminates the headaches that come with managing a large wardrobe collection.

Customize your walk-in with a variety of features for better functionality and stylish appeal. Create a private,  personalized space for getting dressed and more efficient wardrobe storage with:

  • wall-to-wall cabinetry
  • a makeup area with a vanity
  • handy closet accessories like a jewellery drawer and pullout ironing board
  • an island with extra storage space
  • a full-length mirror

Entertainment centre

Our home entertainment rooms got a real workout in 2020 as hours upon hours of TV, movies, and streaming content were watched. Could your home’s main entertainment space be improved?

A small, simple TV stand with a few drawers or shelves may not be enough to meet your needs. A home entertainment setup must accommodate the wide array of audio and video equipment and accessories we use every day.

A built-in entertainment centre is the solution.

A custom home entertainment centre keeps all of your devices and cables organized. Physical media can also be stored on open shelves or hidden behind cabinet doors.

You can even add an electric fireplace to your entertainment centre! There are plenty of custom options available to create a home showpiece that becomes the focal point of your living room or home theatre.

Choosing a custom entertainment centre over a prefab furniture unit has many advantages. Find out why custom entertainment units are better than prefab units from big-box stores.

entertainment centre in condo

Study space

Kids were certainly impacted by the shift to remote learning in 2020. They’ll benefit from having a private, more comfortable area to study in with fewer distractions.

We can transform a spare room or even a small area of your house or condo into a productive home study space. If space is an issue, a study area could also be combined with a home office as part of a multi-purpose room design.

Find out more here about creating a learning-friendly study space in your home.

Sliding closet doors

Sliding closet doors have multiple types of applications. They can be used as sliding doors for a traditional reach-in closet. We can also install custom-built gables and sliding doors that add instant closet storage anywhere in your home.

Sliding closet doors are ideal for using as room dividers, too. This lets you partition off an area of your living space for more privacy when needed. With families quarantining together, interior designers have seen an increase in demand for sliding doors being used for this purpose.

Have your sliding doors custom-made so you have a large selection of design options to choose from. Organized Interiors has a wide range of custom options for door frames and glass, mirror, or melamine inserts.

closed sliding closet doors

Guest room with a Murphy wall bed

Another spare room idea worth considering is turning it into a useful guest room. Including a Murphy wall bed in the room’s design is a great idea, too.

A Murphy wall bed’s biggest benefit is that it takes up very little space. Until they’re needed, the bed stays folded up and out of the way. You can surround the bed within beautiful custom cabinetry that provides storage space for your guests’ linens and pillows.

Having a guest room always-at-the-ready is a wonderful thing to have, not just for unexpected overnight guests, but any time. Your guests will appreciate sleeping on a comfortable mattress that’s a lot friendlier to their backs than an air mattress or lumpy couch.

organized room with lowered Murphy wall bed

Wardrobe closet

Your main bedroom closet has gotten the makeover treatment and you’re still not satisfied with how much storage room is available for all of your clothes. What can you do?

Let a wardrobe closet be your clothes storage saviour! Custom wardrobes can be built to the size you need to fix the problems caused by an overstuffed bedroom closet.

Whether it’s for extra shoe storage, more hanging space, or extra accessories, wardrobes are ideal as a supplementary bedroom storage solution. They can be designed as a built-in or standalone furniture piece.

And if that shared closet space with your partner just isn’t working out, eliminate the frustration you’re both feeling by getting a wardrobe that one of you can use.

open wardrobe closet in kids room

Laundry room

Laundry tasks can be a whole lot more miserable to tackle when the room you’re working in feels like a dungeon.

An increasingly popular way to organize your home and improve one of its hardest working rooms is to update the laundry room’s appearance and functionality.

There are numerous ways to upgrade your laundry room:

  • max out the room’s storage with custom cabinetry
  • update the décor of the room
  • add more usable countertop space
  • upgrade the room’s lighting
  • add convenient helpers like laundry hampers and extra hanging accessories

washer and dryer in laundry room

Wine room

Is your wine collection in need of more storage space? Perhaps your wine collection has never had a proper home and is being stored on wine racks in your basement or living room.

The perfect solution is to turn your spare room into a walk-in wine cellar or a wine room that’s stylish enough to use as an entertainment space.

For smaller spaces or more modestly-sized wine collections, a reach-in wine closet is another option to keep your bottles organized and in ideal storage conditions.

Wet bar

With a little imagination, inspiration, and customization, you can set up a wet bar in almost any room in your home.

Custom bar cabinetry is a great way to keep your liquor organized. It also adds an aesthetically pleasing touch of class to any room.

Entertain in style with one of our custom-designed cabinetry units, island-style bars, or mini-bars.

holiday home organization tips bar cabinetry

Linen closet

The linen closet doesn’t get a lot of home improvement attention. It’s often overlooked because it’s a utilitarian storage space that’s typically small and has a fairly straightforward layout.

That’s exactly why you should think about a linen closet makeover, however. There’s plenty of room for improvement in most reach-in linen closets, which do their fair share in helping to organize your home.

You can have the closet redesigned to freshen up its appearance, maximize its storage space, and keep up with the daily use it gets storing the many linens in your home.

Discover more linen closet ideas here.

Built-in bedroom cabinetry

For a stylish solution to a good night’s sleep, look no further than built-in bedroom cabinetry that is custom-designed for your space, creating a seamless blend with your bedroom’s decor.

Our bedroom cabinetry combines your bed with surrounding built-in storage below, above, and around your sleeping space in a smartly designed integrated furniture piece.

built-in bedroom cabinetry in home

Makeup table

With makeup application being such a staple of the daily routine for so many women, it makes a lot of sense to have a makeup table in order to streamline the process.

A posh makeup area where your beauty routine occurs almost every day is certainly practical, as it helps you to stay organized. It’s also nice to have a personalized space to complete your beauty ritual more comfortably.

Learn more here about why a bespoke makeup table could make a great addition to your walk-in closet, dressing room, master bedroom, or bathroom.

Mudroom

Mudrooms are rather under-appreciated, but they’re quite valuable when it comes to helping organize your home.

The National Association of Realtors believes that the mudroom may even become known as the “disinfection room” in an era of a pandemic. As they wrote in a recent blog post, “The mudroom is gaining prominence as a spot to sanitize before heading further inside.”

A mudroom can come in variety of forms. It might be a small room near an entrance or combined with your laundry room. Even a dedicated space in the hall of your home’s entryway can be considered a mudroom.

Organized Interiors can help keep this transitional space in your home more orderly. We can design a mudroom that creates a proper home for all of your shoes, umbrellas, jackets, and other outwear using hooks, custom cabinetry, shoe racks, and other solutions.

organize your home, bench in mudroom

Basement

Basements provide ample room for home storage, but they’re rarely given much consideration to keep the things you’re storing organized and easy to find.

Adding better storage systems like custom cabinetry to maintain order and to eliminate visual clutter will help make the basement look more presentable.

An unfinished basement leaves a lot to be desired in the looks department. Make the space cozier by:

  • finishing the walls and ceiling and upgrading the basement’s insulation
  • adding a raised “floating floor” that is more comfortable (temperature-wise) to walk on
  • replacing old carpeting with new carpeting, carpet tiles, or interlocking floor tiles
  • reducing the chill in the basement with an energy-efficient electric fireplace

electric fireplace flames

Library/reading room

If you’re an avid reader and have a large book collection, dedicating a spare room or smaller part of a room for storing books on custom cabinetry shelves keeps things looking tidy and easier to organize.

Make a few more practical additions to the room by complementing your books stored within stylish furniture with some of these ideas:

  • a comfortable accent chair
  • a high-quality reading light
  • an ottoman
  • a side table for beverages

Now you have the ideal personalized space where you can indulge your passion for reading in privacy and blissful comfort!

Craft room

2020 was the perfect year to learn a new hobby. 2021 can be the year you dedicate more time to a new creative pursuit or one of the hobbies you’ve been enjoying for years in the comfort of your own craft room.

A craft room is another great way to use a spare room more effectively. If you or anyone in your family is the creative type, a craft room provides you with a space that is dedicated to your creative passions. You can use it as a room for:

  • sewing
  • scrapbooking
  • playing music
  • drawing or painting

craft room

Closet accessories and decorative hardware

To get even more out of your closet spaces, take advantage of the many helpful closet accessories Organized Interiors carries.

Accessories like extra hanging rods, valet rods, pullout shoe racks, and racks for ties, scarves, and belts elevate a closet space’s functionality to the next level.

Decorative hardware that accentuates the custom cabinetry and complements your décor is also an important consideration when having your storage systems designed.

The garage

Plans to organize your home in 2021 might include getting your garage in order. If your garage clutter has left your vehicles parked in the driveway every day, talk to Garage Living.

They specialize in transforming disorganized, visually unappealing garages into highly efficient storage spaces that look as stunning as a luxury car showroom.

Let us help you organize your home this year

It can be difficult to decide where to start with your New Year’s home organization project.

For some homeowners, it may also be a bit overwhelming trying to decide what storage solutions and design changes are most practical for their living space.

Rely on a pro like Organized Interiors to help you organize your home this new year. Our storage solutions and expertise are abundant and available!

Get 2021 started off on the right foot and schedule a free design consultation with us today.

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Skip the Storage Container Sales This January and Get Truly Organized

storage container sales

Some things in January are as predictable as clockwork.

New Year’s resolutions. Regret over how much we consumed during the holiday season. Packing up the holiday decorations. And storage container sales at seemingly every store around.

Being inundated with reminders that we need to buy more plastic storage containers, bins, tubs, totes, or whatever you call them (and at a deep discount!) is admittedly smart marketing by retailers.

Many of us are feeling that urge to get our homes organized to start the new year off on a positive and productive note. And picking up some more storage containers probably seems like a practical way to help us do that.

But are storage containers really helping you get organized or are they actually (and ironically) adding to your household clutter?

Here’s why you should think twice before buying from any more storage container sales.

Buying from storage container sales won’t help reduce clutter

Merriam Webster defines clutter as “to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness” and “a crowded or confused mass or collection”.

Merely moving loose, scattered things on your floors or in your closets into storage bins doesn’t subtract from that confused mass or collection, however.

An average-sized storage container holds approximately 50-60 L. Its length is about 16″ wide and 24″ deep. That means the container alone takes up about 2.7 square feet of space.

Even if that container is filled to capacity with other clutter, the overall footprint of the amount of “stuff” in your home logically increases with each new storage container that’s added.

Storage containers really just give you the illusion of being organized. You think you’re managing your clutter by providing a mini storage space for it.

In some cases, there’s a certain level of practicality and organization involved when using them. A couple of examples would be when containers are used for storing out-of-season clothing or a bunch of toys that your kids regularly play with.

But more often than not, they’re used to quickly stash unsightly clutter in order to make a home more presentable for visitors or to store odds and ends we just can’t find the time to properly go through and declutter.

Storage containers don’t encourage you to declutter

Even Marie Kondo had to learn that storing more things than she really needed in an organized manner didn’t lead to fulfilment with her living space. As the organizing guru wrote in her 2012 bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “Why does my room still feel cluttered when I’ve worked so hard to organize and store things away?”

While researching this blog post, I came across a thread on Reddit (the world’s biggest online forum platform). Someone was asking whether or not it might be a good idea to start a business renting out plastic storage containers to people who were moving.

One of the responses perfectly summed up why storage containers don’t solve clutter issues: “I like the plastic boxes especially for long term storage. About half my belongings are boxed up and they have been for years.”

While this is just one person’s viewpoint, it undoubtedly reflects how many of us are fooled into thinking that storage bins help keep our homes organized. We would ask the person quoted above “Why do half the things you own have so little use to you that they can be stored away in containers for years on end?”

Using storage containers doesn’t encourage you to declutter. Instead, they facilitate an out of sight, out of mind mentality for a lot of things you’d be better off just getting rid of.

plastic storage container with wires and cables

We’re pretty sure every home has at least one of these – the plastic storage container or cardboard box filled with ancient wires, cables, remotes, and computer peripherals you’ll never use again.

You’ll eventually need to deal with the root cause of your clutter

It’s not a stretch to say that in most circumstances, storage containers are essentially a clutter enabler.

As an example, take that tote or cardboard box filled with miscellaneous cables, wires, remote controls, and old computer peripherals that virtually every home has (and a lot of homes probably have more than one of them).

There’s probably several rolls of previously used phone line and coaxial cable alone sitting there that you’ll never use again. The same goes for that VCR remote, pre-2K wired mouse, and USB 1.0 and 2.0 hardware and cables that would be torturously slow to use today.

More common items we needlessly keep in storage containers include:

  • old toys
  • outgrown kids clothing
  • sports equipment that’s no longer used
  • linen sets with missing pieces
  • clothing we hope to fit into one day
  • odds and ends like a glove without a partner or a pair of broken heels you never got around to repairing
  • things that hold sentimental value but are never (or rarely) looked at

Why do we hold onto most of this stuff? We suspect that the fact they’re all hidden away and have a “home” in a storage container (even if that isn’t a true home) isn’t helping matters.

Eventually, you’ll need to deal with the root cause of your clutter and start purging the excess items you never use and probably never will. Any thorough decluttering project involves some tough decisions with those items you’re on the fence about keeping, but that’s part of the process.

Clutter is known to be a contributor to higher stress levels, so eliminating as much of it as possible from your home will only benefit you. That includes another quality of life improvement like freeing up space in the home to do something more productive with a room.

This could include adding a new furniture piece or some plants to a room, or simply leaving a decluttered area empty to create a more open space.

Storage containers have their uses. Just don’t over-rely on them.

Don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying that storage containers have no place in the home whatsoever.

Compared to using cardboard boxes for storage, plastic totes are more stable when stacked, don’t require tape and have lids, provide an airtight seal for their contents, and are much more durable.

Fabric storage baskets or handwoven baskets are pricier, but provide a homier, more stylish look of your storage containers compared to the dull, utilitarian look of standard plastic containers.

Storage containers are ideal for the long-term storage of things you absolutely can’t part with, such as physical photos, treasured family mementoes, and important documents.

They’re also practical for storing things that aren’t used every day, week, or even month, but are used at least yearly – holiday decorations are a good example.

Seasonal clothing is also commonly kept in storage containers, which makes a lot of sense. Keep in mind that the long-term storage of clothing and linens (for years at a time) in sealed plastic containers isn’t recommended, as the fabrics need to breathe a little.

While storage containers can be useful, it’s important not to over-rely on them for too many of your storage needs.

Because it’s so easy to just toss something into a spare tote and plan to give it a proper home later, you want to avoid having too many storage bins that have essentially become junk drawers filled with odds and ends that won’t be easy to find when (or if) they’re ever needed.

Storage containers in garage overhead rack

Although plastic storage containers are useful, don’t over-rely on them for your home storage needs.

Consider the environmental impact of buying more plastic

Another reason to reconsider buying more plastic storage products for your home is the environmental impact they have.

On top of the carbon footprint from the container’s manufacturing process, unrecycled plastic takes an eternity to break down naturally (it can take hundreds of years or more).

It’s estimated only 10-20% of the world’s plastic gets recycled. Plastic storage containers can be tricky to recycle because they’re usually too big to fit in a recycling bin. Some municipalities accept large plastic products for recycling at a depot (not unlike where you would drop off old electronics), but that’s not a guarantee wherever you live.

And unfortunately, that extra little bit of effort required to dispose of bigger plastic products only increases the likelihood they’ll just get put out with the regular garbage for pickup.

Another recycling problem is that older plastic products may be made from materials that make them impossible to recycle.

If you do need to buy plastic storage containers, be sure to buy products made from recycled plastic.

What about your unused storage containers?

After successfully eliminating some of your home’s clutter, you may have a bunch of now-empty storage containers left over.

Sure, it makes sense to hold onto a few empty containers that will come in handy down the road, but don’t keep more than you need.

Because empty storage containers conveniently nest inside one another, it can be tempting to keep a few stacks of them around because they don’t seem to be taking up much space when stored that way. Once again, only retain what you think you’ll actually use.

Remember, those stacks are still taking up space, will need to be vacuumed around (or moved when you vacuum), and are going to collect dust that you’ll have to eventually clean.

Try recycling them as recommended or try to donate them to a local charity.

Try renting storage bins when you move

One undeniable benefit of plastic storage bins is their sturdiness, which makes them ideal for using when you move.

Before stocking up during one of the storage container sales you come across for a future move, check to see if the moving company you’re using or a local business has storage containers for rent.

Cardboard boxes remain the most cost-effective and practical way to move your belongings. They’re easy to recycle, cheap (free in some cases if your local grocery store makes them available to their customers), and can be flattened to take up less space when not in use.

Corrugated plastic boxes are a little less common and still contain plastic, but they’re more rugged than cardboard and are a slightly more eco-friendly option than plastic containers.

Get rid of some of those old food storage containers, too

food storage containersThose storage container sales going on during January might also find you contemplating picking up some new plastic food storage containers. 

We’ve always wondered – do food storage containers multiply in our pantries? Because it seems like we have way more of these things than we actually need or will ever use.

The main reasons food storage containers accumulate to the point where we have too many is because:

  • we’re unsure if the plastic is recyclable
  • friends and family send you home from a dinner with leftovers in containers that don’t get returned
  • attractive sales that seem too good to pass up lure you into buying more of them
  • we hold onto higher quality plastic take-out containers that seem wasteful to throw out

Like larger storage containers, containers for storing your food are obviously perfect for sending leftovers home with a dinner guest, taking leftovers to school or work, or just storing your own leftovers in.

We’re just saying that you don’t need a hundred of them stored in your pantry.

Even with something as unremarkable as food storage containers, a by-product of having too much of anything is the guarantee that it will be more difficult to make a decision on choosing a container when the time comes. It’s something that goes by a few different names including overchoice, choice overload, choice paralysis, analysis paralysis, and the paradox of choice. 

Before buying from any more food storage container sales, take stock of how many containers you currently have. Decluttering your pantry will free up valuable storage space and save you from wasting time looking for that one particular container and lid hiding amongst everything else.

Can’t mind a matching lid or the container for a lid? Has a container started to disintegrate from one too many trips to the microwave? Away they go.

Getting rid of storage containers that have started to break down is recommended because chemicals from the plastic can leech into your reheated food. Even if a container and lid is still in good shape, but just really old (we’re talking 70s Tupperware old), it may not be as safe to use as you might think. Ceramic and Pyrex food storage containers are always a safer storage option for food than plastic.

Skip the storage container sales. Use real organization solutions.

Avoid the disappointment of admitting defeat with your New Year’s resolution when you realize those purchases from January storage container sales haven’t translated into a more orderly home in February.

Talk to Organized Interiors for real solutions to your home organization problems instead of relying on stopgap measures that aren’t effective in getting your home tidied up.

We can suggest more practical and efficient ways to maximize your home’s storage and organization capabilities.

For example, our built-in bedroom cabinetry has under-bed drawer storage, which is an upgrade over using flat rolling plastic storage containers that get covered in dust bunnies.

Are you currently using cheap plastic storage towers with drawers in a closet or the corner of a room? If so, you’ll be amazed at how how much nicer our custom cabinetry storage towers are, both in terms of looks and functionality.

It takes less than a minute to schedule a complimentary virtual or in-home design consultation with us.

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Donate A Coat: Winter Coat Drive

Organized Interiors is pleased to once again be participating in The Children’s Breakfast Club’s Winter Coat Drive.

Our goal is to collect 55,000 clean, gently-used coats, and warm clothing items. All donations will ensure that no child in the Greater Toronto Area is cold this winter.

About The Children’s Breakfast Club

The Children’s Breakfast Club is a non-profit charitable organization that began in 1984. They believe every child is entitled to a nutritious breakfast and currently has more than 20 clubs in the Greater Toronto Area. An estimated 4,000 meals are served by the organization every week.

The Children’s Breakfast Club’s other objectives are to:

  • encourage children to develop healthy nutritional, behavioural, and personal hygiene habits
  • provide children with emotional support and social and intellectual stimulation
  • encourage and develop the skills of staff, volunteers, and other community members

What is the Winter Coat Drive?

The Winter Coat Drive collects and distributes new and gently-used winter clothing to children and their families in need of proper winter attire. The Children’s Breakfast Club began the Winter Coat Drive in 2014.

2015’s Winter Coat Drive collected more than 30,000 items of winter clothing. That number grew to more than 40,000 pieces collected the following year. 2017’s Winter Coat Drive was another huge success. Each year we receive more and more coats, thanks to the generosity of our local community.

All donations end up at The Children’s Breakfast Club’s Coat Warehouse, which operates throughout the winter season.

Toronto Police will hand out vouchers to families they encounter who are most in need of this winter clothing. The vouchers can then be redeemed by the family members for a winter coat or item of clothing they’re most in need of.

Organized Interiors’ involvement in the Winter Coat Drive

Since 2015, Organized Interiors has been collecting coats for this worthy cause.

Our participation in the Winter Coat Drive was inspired by Toronto’s very own alumni, NBA all-star, assistant coach and community ambassador of NBA champions, the Toronto Raptors, Jamaal Magloire, who challenged all of Toronto to “donate a coat and warm a heart”.

Five truckloads of winter clothing were delivered from our showroom to the Coat Warehouse last year!

The drop-off centre at Organized Interiors is the first in Vaughan. Help us fill our bin with warm winter coats.

How you can help

You can get involved by making donations for the Winter Coat Drive at the Coat Drive drop-off centre in the Organized Interiors showroom at 201 Chrislea Road in Vaughan.

Along with new and gently-used winter coats, we’ll also be gratefully accepting donations of any of the following (in all sizes) until December 31st:

  • hoodies
  • sweaters
  • hats
  • mitts and gloves
  • scarves
  • all sizes from children to adult are accepted

Donate a coat and warm a heart

Warm winter clothing is something most of us take for granted. But consider the ways in which inadequate winter clothing can impact a child’s daily life.

Inadequate winter clothing can cause kids to get sick more often, which may affect their school attendance. Unsuitable winter clothing also limits the ability of children to participate in outdoor winter activities.

Your generous donation can help make this winter a little more comfortable for someone in need. We look forward to seeing you at the Winter Coat Drive drop-off centre in our showroom!

Please help to spread the word about the Winter Coat Drive by sharing this post with your family, friends, and co-workers.

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