With everything happening surrounding the pandemic right now, it can be even easier than ever to get frustrated with your surroundings. Having to stay inside for extended periods of time makes it woefully obvious where your interior design lacks and your “flow” gets hung up. We’ll talk you through a few interior design tips you can use even during lockdown to make your home a little less annoying to live in.
The Room: The Kitchen
The kitchen is often the heart and soul of any home. We entertain in the kitchen, spend hours cooking and baking, and do lots of other activities right in our kitchens. Using a kitchen extensively, especially with no breaks to eat out, can make your functional shortcomings all too obvious.
The Problem: Disrupted workflow
When you’re cooking, you want to make sure that you have a clean traffic and workflow. What this means is that your path is appropriately plotted and planned so you’re not darting back and forth to move things or get things, and you’re not being tripped up in the process. There is a theory called the “working triangle” that many designers use to ensure an appropriate kitchen traffic flow. This means that the three main areas, cooking (stove/oven), prep/chopping/peeling (sink), and storage (refrigerator, cupboards) are unobstructed by a kitchen island and are appropriately spaced.
The solution: Areas/Zones
The easiest way to fix a disruptive kitchen is to move things appropriately. Is your refrigerator behind a kitchen island? If possible, move it out so there is a direct, unobstructed line from prep to the refrigerator. This may not be possible in all layouts, so moving your oven may make more sense.
Can’t move your appliances? You can move the items surrounding them. For example, store your prep items such as knives, peelers, and more around your sink rather than further away. Define your zones and which areas are used for prep, cooking, and storage, and make sure everything you need for that particular part of the cooking task is contained close to arm’s reach. That may mean moving spices closer to your cooking area!
The Room: The Living Room/Family Room
Your family room or living room is likely getting a lot of use right now, whether it’s from children watching television, or you unwinding after a long day of Zoom conference meetings. You may even be using it to do other activities like games, puzzles, or your fitness routine. Issues with a family room can become glaringly obvious the more it is used.
The problem: Too much noise
If you live with other people, including children, spouses, and roommates, you may have noticed an uptick in the noise level coming from your family room, especially if it’s early in the morning or later at night, and people are going to bed at different times.
The solution: Break it down
What’s making too much noise? Is it generally the television, or perhaps loud voices? Figure out the main source of the noise. If furniture is banging against walls, move the furniture away and try to centralize it. Bring an area rug in to dampen the sound of feet against hardwood and tile flooring. If your television is always too loud, it may be located too close to an adjoining wall, or the speakers may be pointed down a hallway. Try moving or angling your television. Generally speaking, hard surfaces tend to “reflect” noise more, so adding soft curtains, rugs, and other furniture can disrupt the path of noise. Additionally, you can add door sweeps and draft stoppers to interior doors to help sound waves from bouncing around into rooms you don’t want them.
The Room: The Bedroom
Your bedroom is where you go to sleep at night and unwind for the day. Shouldn’t it be the most soothing room in the whole house? If your bedroom is less than inviting, you may want to overhaul your bedroom to help it usher you off to sleep every night.
The Problem: Too Much of Everything
There is such a thing as too much of everything, as many of us know. It’s possible for frosting to be too sweet, and ice to be too cold. When it comes to your bedroom, though, some problems can be: too much noise, too much light, and more that can make your bedroom just uncomfortable enough for you not to be able to enjoy some shut eye.
The Solution: Adjust and pare it down
For too much noise, try re-sealing your windows. Add a door sweep or draft stopper to your bedroom door. Slide your bed away from the noisiest wall, meaning if you share walls with the rest of the house or a neighbor in an apartment building, slide your bed instead to a wall that is shared by the outside or just everyone in your apartment. Place an area rug beneath your bed to dampen sound both going down and coming up from floors below. You can also layer the rug with a thick rug pad to help dampen sound even more. Install curtains that will absorb sound, and ensure that your ceiling fan is level and clean if you need to have it on and it ticks or makes noise.
For too much light, you will want to opt for light blocking curtains or shades. You may also want to dumb down your alarm clock if it is an obnoxious color, flashes, or generates too much light (or forego your alarm clock and use your phone instead). Draft stoppers will also help keep light from spilling in under your door, so make sure to make or grab one of those.
If your bed just isn’t comfortable, consider some of these items:
- Do you have too many pillows on your bed? Too many decorative pillows (especially if you don’t move them) are not only gaudy, but can interfere with your sleep. Sleep experts suggest only sleeping with one head pillow, and possibly one for between your knees if you’re a side sleeper. Pillows can slip out and move while you’re sleeping, so one really nice head pillow should do it for you.
- Are your sheets scratchy? Low quality sheets and comforters can irritate you and your skin. Investing in super soft sheets that give you what you want is important. Think about what happens when you sleep… Do you get too warm? You may want more breathable sheets, like cotton. Too cold? Perhaps a nice microfiber will help.
- Do you need a new mattress? Unfortunately mattresses only last so long, and you can’t really change this without going out and picking a new mattress. If your mattress has springs that have sprung out, sags, smells, or is stained, you should look into grabbing a new mattress when you can.
We hope these tips can help you feel a little better about your living space, and make your self-isolation or quarantine a little easier! Got some tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments!