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Tips for Organizing your Kitchen

Clear Things Out

When it comes to organizing your kitchen, it can be hard to know where to begin. We suggest starting by clearing everything out of your cabinets, drawers, and refrigerator. Get rid of anything that is expired or items that you haven’t used in a while. Consider donating unwanted items like pots, pans, plates, glasses, and silverware.

Where to Place Most Used Items

Once you’ve cleared everything out, it’s important to think about what items you use most frequently. Then, consider what shelfs, cabinets, and drawers are most convenient to use when working in your kitchen.   Some of your placement will naturally fall into place – spices, oils and vinegars near your range or cooktop along with pots and pans nearby. Remember the most convenient spaces should be reserved for the most often used items.

Add Organizers

You may need decide you want to add organizers to your cabinets or pantry so a measuring tape will come in handy.   Measuring is especially important if you plan to purchase lazy susans or shelves to stack plates or glasses. These organizers will increase the functionality and might be the most economical way to organize things and make the most use of your space.

Tackle Your Kitchen Junk Drawer

We all have that pesky junk drawer. Clearing it out can be  very satisfying!  Again, clear it out, throw out what you don’t need or , want, even those dried up pens. After a little categorizing, add drawer dividers to create a home for everything. This helps keep each area in order. Tip – There might be other places in the house to store some of the things you’ve dumped in the junk drawer. We like to keep like items in one place in the house. It’s much easier to remember that you keep all your batteries in one place in the house rather than having to scavenge the house wondering where in the world did you put those darn batteries!  

Photo by Jacqueline Marque

Electronics Charging Station Ideas

What should you do to get the charging cords off the counter?  If you have a drawer that’s being underutilized, consider making it a charging drawer! We love this setup to keep your kitchen decluttered.

Cutting Utensils Need a Home

Keeping knives in a drawer is another easy way to clear counters. There are a ton of knife organizers on the market; we love this one because it also creates space to store cutting boards!

Perfectly Placed Pots and Pans

Pots and pans can be challenging to organize, with the variety of sizes and all of the accompanying lids. For smaller cabinets, an organizer like this is probably your best bet. If you have larger cabinets, try a pot rack. We love the hook for ladles or pot holders.

Easy to Find Spices

When it comes to storing spices, we all have different preferences. If you like to keep spices in a cabinet, this pull-out might be a big help! If you prefer your spices in a drawer, we love this organizer. If you don’t have much storage to spare, a counter spice rack might be the answer for you. 

Out of Sight Appliances!

But what about those small appliances that we use every day? The coffee maker and toaster oven need a home, too. Have you considered an appliance garage? They are a great way to keep your counters looking clear and your appliances easily accessible but out of sight when they aren’t in use. 

Susan Currie Designs - Modern Kitchen Remodel

Organizing your spaces shouldn’t be intimidating. Take it as slowly as you need!In the end, you’ll be happy you spent the time getting everything in order. 

Susan Currie Designs

How to Create the Perfect Living Room

Creating the Ideal Living Room 

Building and designing your perfect living room can be challenging, so we’ve pulled together our top tips to help you create your dream space! Whether you’re developing your home with an architect for the first time or are updating a room that has been well loved and lived in for years, we’ll walk you through everything to keep in mind as you put together your living room.

Once you’ve read all the practical advice, be sure to check out our kitchen design tips for a total kitchen-to-living room refresh!

HOW TO ARRANGE THE FURNITURE

Determining the layout is the first step in designing the living room. We’ve found that most of our clients want to arrange their furniture around the TV. Whether you have a small space or a large room with a lot of flexibility for furniture placement, the TV ends up being the focal point. 

We suggest creating ‘purposeful zones’ for the living room. This way, you have some areas for activities other than watching TV, to keep the living room from turning into ‘the TV room.’ Feel free to include a sofa or sectional for the TV watchers, especially if you want to have separate areas for other activities. We’ve found that armchairs, poofs, and other seating options will inevitably be dragged to face the TV, so plan ahead by setting up a couch and coffee table in advance. 

If there are readers in your household, we recommend including a designated reading nook with armchairs. And now that so many of us are working from home, we’ve started including specific workspaces in our clients’ living rooms. We love to utilize space-efficient options like fold-out desks that can be tucked away when not in use, but creating a whole corner for your home office is a great option if space allows.  

Top tip: If you don’t know where to start with your living room layout, use a painter’s tape measure to size up the room. From there, you can sketch out a floor plan and draw a few different ways your furniture could be arranged. If you’re still trying to figure out how to balance between TV vs. no TV, we recommend The Frame TV from Samsung. It looks like a gorgeous piece of art when not in use and comes with a library of over 1,200 pieces of artwork from world-renowned institutions. It instantly becomes a TV when you want it to, and then can be switched back to displaying art when you’re done. 

ADDING YOUR PERSONAL STYLE TO YOUR LIVING ROOM DESIGN

Once you’ve planned your furniture placement, you can move on to the fun stuff – choosing the style of your living room! This is a room you will spend a lot of your time and should be a mixture of your personal style and the comfort level you desire. A formal living room can be a great option, but if this will be the room to kick off your shoes and enjoy a glass of wine each night, we recommend prioritizing comfort over formality. 

Your living room design style may be somewhat dictated by your property’s age, your home’s inherent architectural features, or the style of the rest of your home. However, the space needs to fit your lifestyle, too! In other words, if you have a house full of kids, decorating a living room with ornate antiques might not be practical. A modern living room might be more fitting. 

At Susan Currie Design, we love to experiment with pops of color. Living rooms can be a great place to do this, because you can tie in elements from across your home. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Doing so will create a less constructed, more relaxed feel, and, after all, it’s the room you unwind in at night, so it should be a true expression of your taste. That said, we love a gorgeous neutral space as well. If you opt for a neutral palette, you have a great opportunity to play with different textures in similar colors. A variety of textures helps create a soothing space without it becoming boring.

CHOOSING A COLOR SCHEME 

We touched on this a bit in the previous paragraph, but before you start purchasing items for your living room, decide on the color scheme you’re going to use. Think about the room’s size and the height of the ceiling when you are making this decision. These tips may be Interior Design 101, but use lighter colors for smaller living rooms to create the illusion of more space and darker colors for larger rooms – especially on ceilings – to create a more intimate, cozy vibe.

If you are lucky enough to have a larger living room, you can be more adventurous with color. Try experimenting with a darker decorating palette, add a striking feature wall, or get creative with wallpaper or a bold paint color.

Bear in mind that the natural light your living room receives should affect your color choice. North- and east-facing rooms tend to get cooler, less radiant light, so warmer shades of all colors, including anything from white to blue to grey, will make them feel more welcoming. South- and west-facing rooms usually get lots of sunlight, so you may want to choose cooler colors to keep them feeling restful. Avoid using dark fabrics if they will be in direct sunlight, as they may get hot and/or fade in the sun. 

FLOORING FOR YOUR LIVING ROOM

The living room floor can be a high-traffic area. Be ready for dirt, water damage, spills, and other stains. If you’re going with a light-colored carpet, make sure it’s a durable fabric that’s easy to clean. All white, monochromatic looks are possible with kids, but the magic is all in the fabrics you choose. We recommend wool and nylon rugs and carpets. Or, if you’re willing to try a pattern, rugs with bold prints can excellent choices for spaces prone to spills. A pattern can disguise minor mishaps because there’s so much more happening on the floor!

If you have hardwood flooring, consider adding a coating to protect the wood, or opt for an area rug. Natural floor covering materials, such as sisal or jute, are another option that looks great on a hardwood floor and can add a layer of protection from scuffs and scratches.

If you’re an apartment dweller, it’s a good idea to add a thick rug pad beneath your living room rug. This adds an extra level of noise protection between you and your downstairs neighbor, as well as a little extra cushion when you’re walking around barefoot. Pet owners might want to consider a carpet that will disguise pet hair (and maybe a robotic vacuum, too!). 

HOW TO CHOOSE FURNITURE

Selecting your furniture can be one of the most challenging steps when designing a living room, but since you’ve already decided on a color scheme and measured your space, determining what works should be considerably more manageable! Furniture will probably be the most expensive aspect of your living room redesign, so be picky about what you need. Start with the basics and assess what furniture your living room really can’t do without – and how you might make it more versatile with hidden storage, for example. 

Also, think about how durable each piece needs to be and what’s worth investing in – soft furnishings get the most wear, so get the highest quality you can within your budget or opt for removable slipcovers that can be thrown in the washing machine. 

Be sure to choose furniture that will stand the test of time, not just in terms of physical durability but stylistically, too. Don’t go with shapes, colors, or patterns that will become dated or that you will tire of too quickly. 

WINDOW DRESSINGS TO ACCENT THE ROOM

Window dressings are important – they offer a feeling of comfort, privacy, light control, insulation, and, if chosen well, can pull your whole room together. 

What you choose will primarily come down to your taste and budget. If you want to add a touch of luxury to the living room, shutters or roman shades beneath lined curtains are a great combination. In a contemporary living room, shutters are an easy-to-coordinate option with plenty of curb appeal. Plus, if you’re on a tight budget, adjustable shade options are a much more affordable option than custom. 

BRING THE OUTSIDE IN 

Plants and flowers to brighten up any space. A few of our favorites for new plant owners are Snake Plant, Monstera Deliciosa, ZZ Plant, Rubber Tree, and Pothos. These are easy to take care of and have also been shown to filter out nasty chemicals in the air, like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene! You will breathe easier with these potted pals in your home! 

We’d love to help you design your ideal living room space. Email us at susan@susancurriedesign.com with any questions, comments, or tips you think we should share! 

Interior Design in New Orleans

About

Big pictures are made of little details, and that’s what Susan Currie is all about. She brings her unique, detail-oriented
expertise to your design project and creates truly fabulous New Orleans interiors. But, don’t let this attention to
detail fool you, Susan also brings a lot of fun and funk to her projects to ensure each one is unique to her clients,
their lifestyle and personality.

keep reading

Bathroom Shelves Are Space Savers

While we a plethora of of examples of large, sprawling, spa-like bathroom design in magazines and websites, but the reality is most of us have at least one smaller bathroom in our lives. Bathroom storage space is often a premium, which is why shelves can be so handy. They are space savers as well as decorating opportunities for your bathroom.Bathroom_Shelves_A

No wall’s too small. Take a look at blank wall spaces and see if shelving is a good option. Shelving material can be cut to any size, and painted any color, making them a versatile storage option. Even the narrowest shelves can hold an item or two.Bathroom_Shelves_B

Try glass. For a more contemporary look, you can install glass shelves. They are easy to keep clean and work with any color or design, which means they can remain a permanent fixture even as your design tastes and colors change over the years.Bathroom_Shelves_C

By the tub. Hanging shelves along the tub wall is a wonderful way to house candles, bath salts, bubble bath, and provides a place to rest your glass or wine or a book.Bathroom_Shelves_D

If you have a small space that would benefit from space saving tricks, contact me at Susan Currie Design today!

Photo Source: Houzz

Singing the Blues

It was interesting to learn the history of the color but more importantly the symbolism and psychological effects it has on people when they see this particular hue. What do you think of or feel like when you see the color blue?  Blue has been shown to be a color of loyalty and fidelity, it’s the color of water and air therefore it leads consumers to clean and fresh    Blue is also associated with calmness and sadness.  This idea not only correlates with interiors but it’s recognized in our everyday products.  Think about water bottle labels or some of the popular banking branch logos.  Most of them have the color blue- this is going back to the idea that blue represent loyalty, faithfulness, and cleanliness.  Forty percent of people in the world’s favorite color is said to be blue.  Who knew Blue was so interesting.

Pillow Talk

Pillows add visual interest to any room. They can dress up a bed or transform a sofa in to a real showstopper.  If you are you looking for perfect pillows for your house, consider adding one-of-a-kind, custom pillows.

Photo via Cote De Texas

Photo via Cote De Texas

This week Rebecca Vizard of B. Viz Design spoke in New Orleans about her love of antique textiles and how she creates exquisite pillows from embroidered fabrics from Turkey and Europe. She travels the world to find the perfect fabrics for her creations. When back in her studio, she designs the pillows for her team of needleworkers to create. Seamstresses carefully cut the embroidered patterns from the textiles; then appliquéd them on to new fabric. A larger pillow can take up to 60 hours to make!

Embroidered Pillows from B. Viz

Embroidered Pillows from B. Viz

There are some many ways to create unique pillows for your home.  So if want to do a quick room makeover by adding new pillows, contact Susan Currie Design for some “Pillow Talk” to design one of a kind pillows just for you.