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By now you’ve adjusted to your home being more than just a “shelter.” Chances are your rooms have become offices, classrooms, or the occasional date night hub. You’ve probably also cleaned out spaces to make way for this new existence and maybe even felt a spark of joy in the process.   

Yay for you because there are easy, inexpensive ways to make your home feel fresh, curated and pulled together this spring.

1. Declutter.

Approach each room and ask yourself if you love every item in the space? If not, remove it (you can do this!) Less really is more. Did you know that your eyes want to rest on a clear space? In Design 101, we learn a clear space brings calm and can even help reduce anxiety.

2. Re-imagine the space.

Rearrange furniture to create a different focal point or sitting view. It might be as simple as relocating a rug from one room into another. A small chair containing books and a table lamp can make for a fun, new look. A simple change can create a fresh living experience which is something we all need right now.

3. Accessorize.

Image from Pottery Barn

Objects look best when displayed or grouped together, preferably in odd numbers for balance and rhythm. Have art? Create a collage on a single wall for visual impact. Need art? Etsy has great printable art, perfect to print and place in repurposed frames for a child’s room, office, or entryway.

4. Paint is your friend.

If you have an extra gallon sitting on a shelf, now is the perfect time to touch up any wall nicks or imperfections. Feeling bold? Add color to inject visual interest to the space.

My go-to is Chalk Paint. Easy to use, little prep, forgiving and provides impressive results. I recently painted my bedroom furniture charcoal grey, removed the heavy bedspread, and opted for crisp white linens and a luxurious European duvet, perfect for spring. You can use paint to re-purpose nearly anything.

5. Greenery.

Easily found in your yard, neighborhood, or local nursery. Fresh is best, but if you’re not a green thumb, fake it with faux. Add simple beauty with an oversized leaf in an interesting vase.

Image from Crate and Barrel

Bringing nature into your home is an easy way to brighten your soul. My favorite faux-go-to is the fig plant. It looks real, has enormous leaves and, when tucked into a textured basket, adds a pop of color and flair to any room.

6. Lighting.

The mood of a room can easily be changed with light. Swap out your luminaries from one room to another or splurge on a new chandelier. Consider placing your fixtures on dimmer switches where you can create a soothing space. Perhaps opt for a grouping of same-colored candles on an eye-catching tray.

7. Embrace the Outdoors.

Our enviable weather is about to warm up and for many, this means BBQ’s, lounging, reading or even social distancing with a friend six feet away. Take all this goodness from the inside and bring these same concepts outdoors to create a place to relax by adding graphic pillows and cozy blankets. Flickering candles add ambiance, as do solar string lights or how about a portable/odorless petite fireplace that runs on biofuel.

Now you know the little design secrets that can be used in your home. Borrow some or all of them to create your happy place. Kick back, relax, breathe in the new season, and enjoy your good life.

About Dasha Hervey

Award winning Principal Designer Dasha Hervey is Kitchen & Bath + Universal Design certified. She has served as Director with the American Society of Interior Designers and is an active member with the National Kitchen + Bath Association. 

Awarded First place from the American Society of Interior Design in the Design for Excellence Awards, 2020  

-Best of Houzz 2016 to 2021

-Published: San Diego Tribune, Ranch and Coast Magazine, Momstown

Service Area: From the Sea to the Sierras

Have you watched Marie Kondo’s hit Netflix series Tidying Up yet? Marie encourages her viewers to minimize their possessions and only keep the items that “spark joy” for them. Inspired by Marie, these organization tips will make your home life easier and can actually increase the value of your home.

Boost bathroom storage capacity.

When was the last time you cleaned out your bathroom cupboards? If it’s been a while, take everything out and consider each item. Toss any old or expired products. As for all those hotel soaps, shower caps and shampoos you’ve gathered over the years, donate them to your local homeless shelter. If your vanity has drawers, consider adding organizers for things like makeup and jewelry. You can install roll-out shelves or baskets in deep cabinets to maximize the space. As for the walls, consider mounting open shelves to store towels. A cabinet over the toilet can give additional room for supplies. All of these projects will give your bathroom a more custom feel, and minor bathroom remodeling projects tend to see a great return at resale.

Upgrade your laundry room.

Follow the same process in your laundry room — only keep what you actually use. Consider putting in a mix of cubbies and cabinets with doors so you can store detergents and other cleaning supplies. If you have space, a divided hamper or a nice set of laundry baskets can make the laundry process much simpler. Install a hanging rod or drying rack and a flat work surface for folding and ironing clothes. Let’s be honest, we all take a good look at the laundry room when shopping for a new home!

Fully utilize your basement or attic.

well organized jars of craft supplies including string and pencils

Basements and attics are notorious for becoming dumping grounds for clutter. First things first: do a thorough clean out of things you no longer need. If it’s not a family heirloom or memory, or if you haven’t used it in two years, donate it! Then think about how you can better use your basement space to meet your family’s needs. You could install cabinets and a table to make it into a craft room, or you could turn the space into a game room with a media center and ping-pong table. Add a cedar closet to your attic and use it as off-season storage space. Investing in your basement or attic will add more functional space for your family, but it can also deliver a solid return on investment when you sell your home.

Customize your closets.

I know, I know… I hate cleaning out my closet too! But doing this twice a year really does keep things more organized. Marie Kondo suggests creating a designated space for each type of clothing: high hanging rods for dresses and long jackets, lower rods for skirts and shirts, and shelves for folded clothes like jeans. Add racks for shoes, drawers for jewelry, hooks for hats, and shelves for handbags. A well-equipped closet can be a major draw for buyers — especially in Mammoth Lakes where everyone has tons of snow clothes and outdoor toys to store. It’ll make your life easier while also helping with resale value.

Install built-in bookcases and cabinets.

a pretty bookshelf well organized by color

Built-in furniture adds functionality and storage to a room while giving it a high-end look. Custom cabinets can be used in a living room to display media equipment and provide hidden storage. Built-in bookshelves can turn an empty room into a lovely office space. But remember not to go too custom — a design that only fits your taste can be a turn off to future buyers. Select standard sizes and classic finishes to appeal to a broad range of tastes.

Equip your garage.

Believe it or not, even if they’re fortunate enough to have a garage, some people in Mammoth Lakes don’t park their cars in their garages. The space can get filled up with snowmobiles, bikes, wood pellets or firewood. Consider adding organizational systems to keep your garage organized — hooks for hanging bikes, firewood holders or racks to stack pellets in, etc. A small rack to store yard tools can clear a lot of floor space, and a workbench lined with pegboard can keep tools neatly organized. Future buyers will want to see a garage space that serves as storage and a non-snowy parking place.

Cleaning and organizing your house is no fun, but the payoff is huge. It feels good to donate items to your local thrift store (I like Second Chance Thrift Shop and The Cast Off) — the proceeds from your donations will go to worthy causes and you’ll have an easier time navigating your space. PLUS you’ll be boosting your resale value in the meantime!


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