Pretty Functional: Out of the Ordinary Storage Solutions

Have a design question? KariAnne has the answer! Get advice for incorporating attractive storage into your kitchen.

KariAnne's kitchen at Thistlewood Farms is tidy and pretty.
To integrate storage into your decor, find options that are both attractive and functional.

Q: I want to be more organized this year, but all the storage bins I find look ordinary. Can you suggest some creative ideas for containers?

You want to be organized, but you need a little inspiration to stick with it. Here are some clever ideas for stylish storage to keep everything in its place:

  1. Customize baskets spotted at yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets and dollar stores. Spray paint a number on the front, tie on a dish towel for a liner and sew a ribbon with buttons around the edge to make it your own.
  2. Add vertical storage with a peg board. Paint it to match your décor. Then, add hooks to organize your accessories. This also works for ribbon and wrapping supplies in a giftwrapping station.
  3. Maximize every inch of space with rolling drawers. Repurpose dresser or desk drawers, add casters and a handle, fill with extra linens and roll it away under the bed.


Q: My kitchen is always so messy. What are some easy tips to keep it organized?

The kitchen is where all the spoons and forks gather and show up with friends. A silverware convention can get overwhelming, especially if the drawers and cabinets are overflowing with odds and ends. Try these tips:

  1. Use your kitchenalia as decor. Display everyday dishes in a hutch or on open shelves. Stack dish towels in baskets. Group wooden spoons in an urn on the counter. Organize silverware in mason jars with chalkboard tags.
  2. Double your cabinet storage by inserting inexpensive stackable shelving.
  3. A jumbled utensil drawer solution, use adhesive to adhere a piece of cork to the inside of a cabinet door and add hooks for hanging measuring cups and spoons on the inside.
  4. Display linens in style and keep kitchen towels within easy reach by installing a towel bar to the side of a lower cabinet or kitchen island.KariAnne Wood is a home decor blogger and author of two books, So Close To Amazing and The DIY Home Planner. For more on KariAnne, visit

Send your questions to

Christmas Decorations: How Soon is Too Soon?

Some can’t wait to pull out the twinkling lights and others feel each holiday needs plenty of breathing room. Where do you stand?

Christmas comes but once a year, but how long does that season last at your home?

When does the Christmas season officially begin? Is it after Halloween, when we’ve cleared away the faux cobwebs and tossed our jack-o-lanterns? Or once the Thanksgiving turkey has officially become leftovers? “Christmas creep,” or the way holiday merchandise trickles into our lives earlier and earlier ever year is at the center of this hot topic. There are two sides to every issue, and plenty of gray area in between.

Make the Magic Last

Some of us cannot wait for Christmas to arrive and will try to make the season last for as long as possible. The enchantment of the holiday is wrapped up in childhood nostalgia, feelings of good will toward all and delicious treats like eggnog and gingerbread that we reserve exclusively for this very season.

It can feel Scrooge-like to postpone experiencing the most wonderful time of the year when holiday songs are already on the radio and Christmas shopping can be completed before the mad rush starts or, in some cases, the Thanksgiving turkey is even purchased.

Everything in Turn

However, we also see the benefit of enjoying each holiday as it arrives and giving these special days dedicated space in our lives and home décor. Some of us believe it’s most appropriate to reserve the of buying and decorating of trees, the baking Buche de Noelle and the decking of halls until after Thanksgiving.

After all, wouldn’t it be awkward to pass the mashed potatoes and gravy around a table set, not with a representation of harvest’s bounty, but reindeer and Santa’s sleigh? When fresh options only last so long and nothing is less festive than a brown and brittle tree, there is plenty of time to appreciate pumpkins as well as pine trees.

Either way, it is completely a matter of personal or family tradition to decide when the Christmas season will start and what it will look like when it does. We all enjoy taking our time to plan for the holidays, decorating to suit the spirit of the occasion when the mood strikes and gathering together in celebration at every opportunity.


Romantic Home Essentials: Color

Color palette has arguably the greatest effect on the mood of any given space.

7 Essentials for Cozy Farmhouse Style

The autumn harvest season is perfect for infusing farmhouse charm into your decor

This red barn is a beautiful backdrop to a harvest-themed tablescape

The farmhouse aesthetic strikes the right balance of casual and chic to make any home feel relaxing throughout the year. Just a few cozy details make it all come to life.

Here are some key elements to recreate the look in any space in your home and even outdoors.

Rustic lanterns:
Nothing says farmhouse better than an old metal lantern. Whether copper or bronze, lanterns enhance the ambience, especially with the warm glow of candles inside.

Dainty candleholders:
Another way to set the mood, antique pillar candleholders add old-fashioned charm.

Pretty posies:
Fresh flowers bring color and natural beauty to any space, and are an absolute must when creating a romantic-rustic vibe.

Natural fibers:
Choose natural-fiber fabrics made of cotton, linen and wool for accents and upholstery. Un-dyed and less processed cloth will offer a more rustic look, while vintage fabrics add a touch of history wherever they are used.

Patina-ed pieces:
Decorate with antique and flea-market finds that show some wear (the rustier the better).

Time-worn woods:
Perfectly imperfect wood furniture pieces bring character and warmth to any space, weathered finish and all.

Agrarian flair:
Accent with barn-style accessories such as antlers, horseshoes and old metal pitchforks as the final authentic touch on your farmhouse decor.


Less is More: 3 Tips to Edit Any Room

Overrun with stuff? Follow these short and simple tips to edit out unnecessary extras.

Heirloom pumpkins add color to Courtney Allison's curated collection of servingware
Courtney’s hutch is carefully curated with her collection of servingware and styled for fall with heirloom pumpkins.

In spaces big and small, maximizing your space and clearing clutter are musts. No matter your home’s layout or style, work with the space you have and highlight the details that matter most to you. Follow these tips to edit each room to look its best.

Minimize everything: Reduce each room to the most basic furniture pieces (multifunctional pieces are ideal) and only decorate with a few key accents to truly shine.

Make it personal: Personal and sentimental touches, from children’s art to sweet family photos, make a house feel like home.

Seasonal flair: Bring the beautiful colors and textures of the season to your home with freshly picked flowers and fruits for an extra dose of color and whimsy.