Decorating to Declutter: A Picture Tour of My Home

Last week we started talking about Decorating to Declutter, and I mentioned that my husband often builds a custom piece of furniture to meet a function I’m looking for while still fitting with his modern, funky style, thereby balancing our individual preferences for form and function.

What I love most is that he is able to make many of these things inexpensively, saving us money while still decorating our home in a way we love.

I was going to make a vlog to take you on a tour of my home, but it was never really quiet enough around here to do so, so I thought a picture tour would work just as well. Here we go…

couch-table
Couch Side Table

Because of the layout of our house is an open floor plan, we can’t really put a side table on this side of the couch because it would be in the “traffic lane” and most likely get bumped and run in to regularly. However, setting glasses on the arm of the couch –  despite it’s wide, flat shape – often resulted in a spill.

Sean made the table above using the same butcher block wood from our kitchen counters, and it fits perfectly against the couch, providing a little table for setting drinks on or using as a writing surface. It is probably my favorite thing he’s built to date because it’s so useful, and it’s really beautiful in its simplicity as well.

Book Shelf on the Stair Ledge
Book Shelf on the Stair Ledge

When I first realized that the ledge on the outside of the stair railing would make a perfect shelf for many of our children’s books, I didn’t even think of making an actual shelf for them to sit on. However, Sean didn’t want it to look just like we had randomly stacked books on a too-small ledge, so he used the same butcher block wood to make a coordinating shelf, and it has proved to be one of the most useful pieces in our home.

Side Table
Side Table

I absolutely love this side table that Sean built out of individual pieces of 4×4 treated lumber. It’s funky and unique all by itself, but what makes it even better is the secret feature he added just for me…

Hidden Compartment in Back of Side Table
Hidden Compartment in Back of Side Table

You see, I had been looking for a way to keep my Bible, journal and devotional next to my chair for easy access, so he built this little compartment in just for that purpose. (And it worked great until our 18-month-old discovered it. Now I just have to wait a few more months to put them back because it’s not worth the constant battle of keeping her away from the hidden treasure at this age!)

Floating Shelf in the Foyer
Floating Shelf in the Foyer

Our entry way is not very wide. In fact, in this picture, you see how wide the wall is to the left of the door, and immediately on the right side of the door is the closet. Because it’s on the narrow side, putting a full-size table with legs would have made it feel way too claustrophobic for our tastes, but we knew we needed something to put our keys, mail and other miscellaneous doodads on when coming in the house with our hands full of kids and stuff!

I love this floating shelf because it provides the surface we needed, and some added decoration, without taking up too much space or cluttering up the entryway.

Custom Baby Gate on Our Stairs
Custom Baby Gate on Our Stairs

And finally, when our toddler became obsessed with the stairs, we knew we needed a baby gate to keep her off of them. We quickly grew tired of a regularly baby gate, which was neither pretty nor easy to step over because of its height.

Because we have a custom stair railing, a commercial swinging gate would not work. Sean, however, was able to build this custom gate – at a height that allows the rest of our family, even our older girls, to step over it while keeping the baby off the steps. Even better, it matches our stair railing and looks as if it is part of the decor.

Thanks for stopping by! Now it’s your turn…take a picture of an item in your home that shows a balance between form and functionality. Post it on your blog and then come back and leave us a link in the comments so we can all see!

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