WRITER | JEANINE MATLOW
In conjunction with spring cleaning, the season that is synonymous with renewal can be the perfect time to refresh and assess your possessions. For starters, you might consider replacing purely ornamental items with practical pieces that make a decorative statement while serving a functional purpose in your home.
Collecting more trinkets may be tempting, but there are plenty of elements that are twice as nice when they combine function with form to make your rooms more useful and beautiful. Take mirrors, for instance, that act as art for your walls while letting you check your reflection or highlight other objects. They look great in a grouping, especially in a dark space like a dining room, where they can reflect light and make the area feel larger. Assorted sizes and shapes add a touch of the unexpected.
Keep an eye out for other functional wall art, such as corkboards and chalkboards that offer a way to showcase mementos and messages ― magnetic surfaces can have a similar effect. A series of shelves or wood cubes can be installed on a wall to rid your tabletops of tiny treasures, with shelves displayed together for more impact.
Wall clocks come in handy just about anywhere in the home, from a laundry room to a kitchen or basement where they can be seen from a distance. Tabletop varieties that complement your aesthetic can help you stay on schedule as they decorate your space.
Woven baskets can corral pillows and throws, while round or rectangular trays stash books and magazines. These sensible yet decorative pieces can also be a good fit for kids’ rooms, where they keep toys and sports gear off the floor. In bathrooms, they can hold towels and toiletries in an organized fashion.
Storage containers deliver the pretty with the practical, such as photo boxes that keep smaller objects like travel souvenirs tucked away while contributing to your preferred palette through their colors and patterns. Get a couple for each family member to hold sentimental items or craft supplies such as greeting cards and ribbons.
Wall hooks can be helpful all over the home. They come in various styles, including those with whimsical shapes like hearts and stars, making them the perfect pick to hold purses and backpacks, and personal items that might otherwise end up in a pile on the floor. They also work well in mudrooms or bathrooms where they can hold towels and robes. In a bedroom or a closet, over-the-door hooks save wall space. In a kitchen, they can be installed on an island to hold pots and pans on one side and oven mitts on the other.
Some pieces with a purpose take basic necessities to another level with their clever designs, such as tissue box holders in fun shapes such as a house with a chimney that dispenses tissue “smoke” or a face with a nose for the opening. Eyeglass holders that feature quirky characters like alligators and owls make whimsical accents on a nightstand where you can secure your spectacles. Jewelry boxes also come in different colors and configurations to keep your baubles at bay in a bedroom.
In more social areas of the home, display pieces like plate racks and easels offer a place to highlight your collections, such as cookbooks in a kitchen or seasonal plates in a dining room, where they can rotate depending on the season or mood. In turn, this will free up your cabinets for other essentials.
For a workspace, desk organizers from pencil cups and file sorters to magazine holders, keep your office supplies neat, tidy, and accessible. Sensible pieces like these can also establish a more cohesive theme with a fun color or a playful pattern that creates a lighter mood to ease the pressure of your workload.
When outfitting a bathroom or a powder room, many functional products like woven toilet tissue holders and tiered trays for cosmetics will elevate your space. Boxes with lids can hide unsightly items and stash surplus.
Practical elements can also enhance your tabletops when entertaining, where they can be reinvented throughout the year. For instance, candle holders and bowls can hold seasonal ornaments or decorative orbs, depending on the occasion.
From bookends to wine racks to coasters to lamps, the possibilities are endless when it comes to functional objects. Whenever you plan to add new accents to your home, consider those that pull double-duty with décor that serves a purpose.