HOME FOR THE BUSY WOMAN
Homes are hard to manage.
That is the truth, and it gets harder the more you live in it. Maintaining a home with traffic means you need to make room for games, books and day-to-day clutter so that everything is stored safely and neatly.
With all this in mind, your home’s interiors need to be more functional to make life easier for busy households—furniture with no function causes double the trouble—so we compiled a list of interior-design hacks for all the busy households so you can live in a home with more manageable interiors. These are our designer-approved interior tips centered on needs and requirements, especially of those who have busy households. Women who spend their day shuffling between office work, household chores and day-to-day demands need a home that makes life easy, functional and comfortable. Most of all they need a home they feel happy to return to at the end of the day.
Functional Living and Dining Room
The living room is one of the most active areas in any home. It is the place where your guests gather and family and friends hang out. It’s the place we host Shabbos and Yom Tov meals. Therefore, this part of the house needs to look neat, organised and inviting. The first step to making things more convenient for you is to invest in modular furniture that is easy to maintain. Other interior-design hacks busy women can incorporate include keeping minimum furniture in the living area and opting for upholstery that is easy to keep clean. For those with young families whose kids love scribbling on anything they get, try to avoid choosing delicate fabrics; instead, go for plain and simple sofa sets and avoid glass-top center tables. Fabrics should be sponge wipeable or choose leather and faux leather as good alternatives. Eggshell paints and some oil paints are your best choice in washable paints.
- Choose easy-to-clean or washable wall paints.
- Go for stain-resistant fabric for sofas and chairs.
- Keep your vintage artifacts and silverware on the upper shelves.
- Arrange the furniture in a way that your kid gets enough space to move around easily.
- Select floor rugs that are easy to wash and avoid those that are soft or can easily be stained.
- Distressed leather as a sofa material is more durable and easier to maintain.
Every bedroom has a wardrobe; but for busy households, getting the right kind of bedroom wardrobe is a crucial interior-design decision. We recommend going for wardrobes with concealed dressing units instead of regular ones. The dressing unit, remains hidden when not in use. It has a variety of storage drawers and pull-out units to help you keep everything arranged neatly. You can use the dressing unit whenever needed and keep it under the cabinet locked when not in use. You can go for tall, wall-length wardrobes with loft storage that offer space-saving and organisation.
While choosing wardrobes with attached dressing units, make sure that the dressing section doesn’t have easily accessible shelves. If so, they can quickly get messy. Wardrobes with separate ‘his and her’ spaces can also be a good investment.
- Keep things minimal in the bedroom so there’s always enough space.
- Use a variety of storage options to keep things organised between his and hers.
- Use simple wooden beds with easy-to-maintain headboards, or ottoman beds with storage.
- Utilise the room’s vertical space with floating shelves or wall-mounted cabinets.
On to the essential part of a household: the kitchen. It is imperative for the kitchen to be functional. Therefore, the right way to design an efficient kitchen is to go for modular kitchen designs. Modular kitchens come with factory-finish cabinetry that provides maximum storage capacity. Also, modular kitchens can be customised and tailor-made to meet individual and kashrut requirements.
Go for modern storage solutions like handleless cabinets, corner cabinet solutions, pantry units, integrated appliances, and the like, to keep everything neat and organised. If you have small kids running around the house, you can try overhead modular kitchen cabinets for most of your storage needs. Go for factory-made, smooth-finish cabinets to avoid kitchen hazards. Overhead cabinets will come in handy to store expensive crockery or other fragile items. A bi-fold shutter is great, as it prevents any bumping or accidents, perfect for rushed mornings and a great way to store mixers and blenders, with easy access to you but hidden from the children. The thumb rule is to utilise all the space in your kitchen and keep things compact and within cabinets. Also, pay attention to the materials and finishes you choose for your kitchen countertops and cabinets. Select finishes that are easy to clean and maintain. A busy household will have little time to spend in the kitchen; hence, it’s important to create a functional and facilitating kitchen space. If your budget allows it, go for a granite or quartz worktop, which is water and heat-resistant and, therefore, makes it possible to place warm pots directly on the countertop without the risk of burn marks, saving you time when serving your household.
- Keep your kitchen countertop clean and organised and preferably use a heat-resistant worktop.
- Follow an easy and accessible kitchen layout for free movement (research the triangle principle).
- Label every spice bottle, cookie jar and cereal box and do the same for transparent bottles.
- Integrate the kitchen island for extra storage space.
- Use proper kitchen towels and always have paper towels handy to reduce laundry load.
- Use kitchen carts on wheels for your potatoes and onions.
The Kids’ Room
Mothers can end up spending a lot of time cleaning and arranging their kids’ room; hence, finding an efficient fix for your children’s room is a great way to avoid clutter and save time. The first thing you need is a simple layout to arrange the room as conveniently as you can. Next you need to find the right kind of furniture. Go for beds with storage where you can stack up all the toys. You can go for bunk beds with storage, like the ones in the image—they take up less space and are a fun addition to your kids’ room. You can also go for Murphy beds or a sofa-cum-bed to store things away or make more space for your kids to play around. Alternatively, a desk under a single bunk bed is a great space saver and multi-function purpose.
For wardrobes, choose modular designs with enough storage options. Kids grow up quickly and their belongings will soon overburden your existing storage unit. You can also invest in foldable and space-saving study units to make your kids’ room more spacious and airy. Opt for wardrobes with attached study units or study desks and floating shelves where your kids can keep all their school essentials. Having individual boxes to divide and separate the toys keeps it organised for you, and for the kids too.
- Keep minimum furniture to make space for movement.
- Use foldable furniture to keep things under the cabinets.
- Use kid-friendly tables and chairs with no harsh edges.
- Go with lively washable wall colours.
- Use functional storage boxes (can be used for any bedroom and toy room).
Chani Grunwald is an interior designer. She and her staff are based in Hendon and undertake residential and commercial work throughout London.
We offer residential interior design, interior architecture, project management and furniture design services for private individuals and property developers.
Our interior design service helps people to live better through interior architecture that solves problems, anticipates their needs and creates a home that works for them. Our service is tailored to individual expectations. We take the fear and that overwhelming feeling that most clients experience when researching for their project, inspiring them with confidence that their project will be taken through from initial inspiration to a completely finished home.