By Dominique Hill
Some times you can just feel it. That something that is missing in your home that you just can't put your finger on. It may be color, it may be character, or it could be one of these three things below:
1. Defined and Designated Pet Areas
We all love our pets, but for many of our four-legged family members life often means finding their way around human furnishings and decorations. Their spaces are often an afterthought, but remember all pets need a place to eat, sleep, and self-sooth. For indoor pets especially, designated areas can keep them from having accidents or mistaking human objects for self-soothing tools. Also, the more intentional the space looks, the more it feels like part of the design for your home.
Eating Space: consider a corner in your dining room or kitchen that doesn’t require your pet to go through a maze of furnishings. Have a kitchen island with seating? Consider making that a place for your furry friend. Place their bowls under the island. Put up a picture of the pet so visitors understand that it is an intentionally designated space for your four-legged roommate.
Sleeping Space: This is also important for your pet as it doubles as a safety space in times of high anxiety. Never use is as a punishment. Is there a spot in your living room where you can designate a space for your pet to be close to you? Maybe there is a space in your bedroom like the foot of the bed. Wherever it is be sure it is easy to get to when your friend is tired and worried.
Self-Soothing Space: It’s not unusual for anxious pets to claw or chew the first thing insight. From furniture, to books, and even drywall (YES DRYWALL) worried pets find themselves destroying the oddest things. Try placing their toys in a bin that is easily accessible. Perhaps near their sleeping quarters but refrain from placing them near their food where it could be a distraction.
2. The Perfect Breakfast Area
Mornings can be chaotic. However, between waking up and morning traffic there lies an opportunity for order and a happy belly. Creating the perfect breakfast area is about making your home functional as well as getting you out the door in a better mood. Choose a space in your kitchen, preferably, close to your refrigerator. In that space consider placing the following:
A coffee pot, blender, or electric kettle: Start your day off with your drink of choice. By having everything you need within that space. Even keep your favorite mug or a glass handy so you don’t have to shuffle through your kitchen. Better yet, use the cabinet above the countertop for your drinkware.
A tray with your morning goodies: This serves to contain all (if not most) of your teas, coffee, and additives in one place. Sure, you could place it on the countertop or even in cabinets, but a nice tray containing your morning must haves gives you the ability to navigate quickly and with ease. Plus a tray looks more orderly and less like clutter on your counter top. The idea is to make the space look intentional, organized, and dedicated to your morning routine.
A breakfast appliance: Add a toaster, an egg cooker, or other breakfast making appliance. Just like your morning beverage, it’s important to be able to navigate breakfast efficiently and with minimal effort. Imagine getting to work energized and full… it’s a game changer.
3. The Option To Go Green
The idea of going green can seem overwhelming. How much time, money, and energy must be invested? How will this impact your daily life? Where do you start? Those are all good questions and the answers to those questions are less elaborate than you may think. Here are some simple and affordable ways to help the environment with little investment on your part:
Bidet Attachment: Save paper with an inexpensive bidet attachment to your toilet. Not only do they come as cheap as $25 they are easy to install and leave you feeling cleaner than paper products alone. You will save hundreds of trees in your lifetime and use less water when flushing. Also, it just makes your bathroom feel a little fancier!
Bar Towels: Before paper towels became widely available, reusable cloths and rags were used for cleaning spaces in the home. As it turns out, the introduction to paper towels has made less than friendly impact on our environment. For an investment as little as $15, a set of simple white bar towels can do wonders for reducing the amount of paper towels that you use in your kitchen. Keeping them sanitary is as easy as washing them with a little detergent and bleach.
Recycling Bin: Much of the trouble around recycling in the home is that many people only keep one waste bin where they throw out all of their trash at once. However, if you keep a recycling bin near your trash can you’ll find recycling can turn into an effortless activity. And in truth, you don’t even have to purchase a blue bin. Use whatever tote or bin that you have and empty it into a blue trash bag for easy take out on your trash pickup day.
Photo Credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova