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Old 09-05-2014, 08:40 AM
Location: Chicago
3,281 posts, read 4,966,263 times
Reputation: 4068


Originally Posted by jamiecta View Post
I think some people in here might be surprised at how our house looks on a fairly regular basis. Nearly zero cords visible anywhere with the exception of some movable or table-top items like coffee pots, laptops as needed, etc. All our cords are routed out of site (in walls, in the depth of the floor joists, etc.). We also keep an extremely neat house, but it is just two of us and a dog. When something gets used it gets put back when it is done for example. We are not obsessive *cleaners* (scrubbing, vacuuming, etc. are not done super frequently) but we are both very detail driven and just enjoy keeping a neat house. And surprisingly for us at least it isn't very hard at all if you have routines. Now, I do understand that not everyone can or even wants to live like that. For us it is easy and keeps the house relaxing and stress-free.

Now, that doesn't mean we don't have the occasional dog toy stranded throughout the floor

I posted a thread on our living room makeover awhile back - that's pretty much what our living room looks like, minus the exact position of a couple pillows or the occasional coffee or adult beverage on the coasters. But some people here would probably think we had to straighten for the 'magazine' type effect. It's just our personal quirks of neat and orderly.
Originally Posted by jamiecta View Post
We have a lot of interests, but you're right that most of them don't require a lot of stuff sitting around. One of the biggest reasons is that Architecture, interior design, art, and furniture design are all interests of ours. My wife and I spend a lot of time on DIY projects around the house (built-ins, moulding, flooring, artwork, new lighting, etc.) - that is a major hobby of ours. So quite literally, you ARE looking at a lot of our interests when you are looking at our house but you wouldn't even realize it!

But for our other interests, yes they stay tucked away when we aren't utilizing them or simply don't take up much space. Reading for instance is big for both of us, but they just become another piece of the decor when not being read.
My husband and I are the same. We don't even have a dog though, so it's that much easier to keep things looking a certain way. Woodworking is his hobby and it's slowly ending up all over the house (he's only had a workshop for about a year); the shelf over our bar, our kitchen table, my work bench, etc., that stuff IS his hobby. My hobbies are interior decorating and making jewelry and soap. The soap stuff is ugly and goes in a closet when not in use. For the jewelry I have a work bench upstairs that is always in a state of controlled chaos but is a beautiful piece of furniture so that helps it to not look crazy messy. It's in a room no one has any reason to go in though (except for me).

Originally Posted by Mnseca View Post
I know a lot of people with magazine cover homes, but they all have a lot of money and no kids (or grown kids). We have one decent room that I made with help from an interior designer, but the rest of the house is kind of a mess in every way. I didn't pay much for the designer - you can actually get a consultation for a couple hundred dollars and they'll tell you what to change to improve your house. You can also pay a bit more and they'll come and redesign your whole house for you just by moving your furniture around.
This is basically our case. We're planning on having kids though and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about how that will mess up the house at least a little. It's not a big concern, but I love coming home to a clean and organized house and take a lot of pride in how the house is decorated. My sister is the same way though, and for the most part her house is still that way after having one kid. Who knows what will happen when he's older though (he's only 6 months now).
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:16 AM
Location: Wonderland
50,426 posts, read 39,960,143 times
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I am not sure our house looks like a magazine layout but it really does look very polished, and neither my husband nor myself can stand stuff being out of place. For instance, though you may find the occasional pet hair or dust bunny, what you will NOT find in our house are:

1. Drinks sitting around - when we're done, the glass or cup goes in the sink or dishwasher immediately.
2. Coats or hats or whatever laying around - they are immediately put in their place (in a closet).
3. Papers, magazines, books, etc laying around on tables or furniture - we have ONE spot in the kitchen where we lay items that we're taking care of that day and one tray in the office where we put items that need to be filed.
4. Hobby stuff is put up in the right closet or cabinet till we use it - then put back when we're done.
5. Pet paraphernalia - we hang our dogs' leashes just outside the back door. Their food and water bowls are beneath the kitchen counter so I guess that doesn't look quite like a magazine, but then magazine kitchens don't have coffee makers or toasters out on the counters either. Cat "station" is out in the garage with a cat door leading out there. Oops, we do have the dog beds in the master bedroom but we put them under the bed during the day if we have company.

My point is that our table tops and counter tops are always clean unless we're using them at that very moment. We just don't leave things laying around. And like jamiecta said, we're both very into DIY and interior design and decorating. We both like for our home to be uncluttered and very clean but beyond that, we love for it to be beautiful and peaceful. We are very strategic about lighting and placement and flow and balance and we like to keep it that way.

And we don't have kids living at home anymore so that makes it easier. However, even when we did, our main living areas and our master bedroom were always, ALWAYS spotless. The kids' rooms - not so much but even those we had a pretty high standard for - beds made every morning, floor always picked up, clothes hung up in the closet, bathroom clean when they left it in the morning.

When the kids were very small, I had a big basket in the living room, and that's where their toys went when they were done playing with them. That made for a very quick pick up when anyone was coming over as well. My kids were taught to pick up their toys about the time they started walking. And I was never big into all the baby paraphernalia that people seem to think is obligatory now. High chair or booster seat, stroller in the garage, and a baby bouncer or walker as age appropriate but those days are relatively sort in the total scheme of things. Everything else could be chucked in a big basket in the corner at a moment's notice.

I cannot bear clutter and mess. I HATE having to step over things to get from room to room, and I have zero tolerance for clothes laying on the floor. And if you're not sleeping in that bed, make it up!
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:04 AM
Location: In the woods
3,315 posts, read 9,014,500 times
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When someone says to me. "His house looks like it came straight out of a magazine", I figure that that person (a) has no kids or pets, (b) isn't there much, (c) doesn't get many visitors, (d) is trying to impress everyone with furnishings as status symbols, or (e) all of the above.

That said, I do like how clean, bright, and streamlined in such photos. But remember, these are rooms designed as models, something to inspire or attain to-- not rooms that people really live in.

However, I get your gist. After years and years of collecting and traveling (and designing rooms with textiles, ceramics, and wares from around the world), we moved to the new house where virtually none of it is on display. Our newish house is very different than the former -- much bigger, but older (1929) with great building elements (i.e., original hardwood floors, pocket doors, french doors, wide molding, paneled doors, 10' high ceilings, etc.). So, to me, the architectural features take center stage, not the furnishings.

So here's what we do:

* Quality materials
* Low maintenance fabrics
* Few objects on display
* Furniture designed for storage.
* Furniture on a smaller scale.
* Furniture that is multi-functional.

For example, by quality materials we only use area carpets that are 100% wool. Why? Easier to clean, wears well, vibrant cools and beautiful weaves. We live in Virginia and although we keep the house tempered, it can get hot and humid during the summer which affects certain materials. We have nothing made of composite/plastic or that newish-fake wood-stuff they sell nowadays. Everything is either wood, metal, glass, ceramic, stone, wool or other natural fibers.

Furniture designed for storage: Everything from coffee/tea tables with drawers to ottomans with lids -- there's alot of stuff out there that's attractive but will hold all the miscellanous stuff laying around.

Furniture that is Multi-Functional: For example, we have a diningroom set with 6 chairs, two are arm chairs. The dining table seats the 4 armless chairs and the 2 arm chairs sit in the front parlor, not dining room. These chairs can be moved to the diningtable when needed and moved back to the parlor for guests. We are re-doing our back parlor now and thinking about putting the armchairs in front of the fireplace. We'll see.

Collect photos of rooms that inspire and keep them in one spot. Look over them routinely and sooner or later you'll get a feel for styles and colors you look. Keep a lookout for various methods of storage. Have fun! Your home is your sanctuary and it IS possible to create a space you love!
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