4/4/14

Guest Post | De-Stress the Spring Mess: Fun and Functional Pieces

Today's guest post comes from special guest Steven Athea: co-founder of Modani, the ultra-modern furniture company. Known for his eye for design, Steven has helped launch Modani into national success – even attracting the attention of celebrities including Lady Gaga and Sean Combs. We welcome Steven to The Lovely Side today with his expert organizing tips for creating a fun and functional space. (Pssst! You can also leave storage, organization, and design dilemma questions for Steven in the comments!)

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De-Stress the Spring Mess: Fun and Functional Pieces
Guest Post by Steven Athea, Co-Founder of Modani



Clutter is a major distraction – something we can't afford to have when we need to be productive. As responsibilities and deadlines pile up, the chaos can cause even more stress! Get a breath of fresh air this spring by bringing these fun and functional organization pieces into your living space. These budget-friendly ideas are guaranteed to relax the racing mind!


You sit down to your desk only to find a mess of wires, papers, books, and the random contents of your purse lying in disarray. This will make you anxious, rather than calm and relaxed, when you need to get things done! Place a small decorative dish in the corner of your desk to catch everyday items like your keys, wallet, and cell phone. This not only reduces the clutter, but makes mornings less stressful – you'll always know where these everyday necessities are! Place a small cup or jar for pens, pencils, and highlighters that you use on a daily basis. Items that are used occasionally can be stored in your desk's drawers.

Replace tragedy with tranquility by clearing your room of the paper storm. Think vertical: incorporate a shelved paper tray to the corner of your desk for filing important papers. Small desk got you down? Utilize your wall space by installing wall-mounted file organizers to keep papers organized and off the floor. There are many fashionable options – from wooden units to colorful cloth displays – that can work with any budget.


Cords, chargers, and power strips, oh my! Those intertwining wires are causing a commotion. Start by labeling the wires plugged into your power strip. This way when you're in a rush, you can unplug the right wire without the stress of which wire belongs to what. When the wires seem to knot up on the floor, install a wire tray underneath your desk or on the wall to minimize appearance and disorder. There are also charging stations, retractable devices for those way-too-long wires, and cute accessories that can manage these cable clusters.


While a large bookcase can easily store all of your books, this may not be the most affordable (or creative) option for your living space. Keep the books you use most often on or close to your desk. The rest of your collection can be incorporated into your decor. Separate books by color and add small piles for pops of color on the windowsill, nightstand, or coffee table. For additional items that need a home, decorative boxes and baskets are a great way to add style to your storage needs.


No wonder children fear monsters in their closets – a closet can be quite the scary place as it erupts with clothes, shoes, and loose ends. Save closet space by putting some of your favorite items on display, like a collection of scarves, hats, or jewelry. For an eclectic feel, hang accessories from a mismatched doorknobs found at a local flea market or thrift store. Remember, there's an opportunity behind every door! Use behind the door storage solutions for shoes, clothes, or even a make-up station. Keep in mind that not everything has to dangle – mount magazine files to a closet door to store beauty tools, cleaning supplies, and accessories. For smaller items, use a spice rack. These mini-shelving solutions will increase your storage space, keep you organized, and save your sanity.

Is your bathroom counter overflowing? Make the most of your bathroom's vanity storage by introducing stackable cubbies or plastic drawers. These can double (or even triple) the storage space below. A freestanding sink may feel like an additional obstacle. Don't fuss! Put that towel rod to good storage use. Hang baskets from the rod to house clean towels, toiletries, makeup, and hair tools. A small chair or stool against the wall can also clear counter space. Arrange and display perfumes, fresh flowers or your favorite scented candles.


Time to roll in the reinforcement: add a wheeled kitchen cart to your living space. The mobility of this piece is great for adapting its use to your wide range of needs. Increase counter space and keep your cooking area prepared for trying out those new recipes. Use the shelving underneath to store kitchen gadgets, snacks, and dinnerware. Entertain guests around this new-found serving space or use it for relaxing nights of dinner and a movie.

As a mess dissipates, so does your stress! Feel sane this spring by merging structure and style in your home. Try these simple organization pieces to make your home blossom this spring. With a wide range of design and price options, they're sure to work with any budget.

Steven Athea is the co-founder of Modani, a contemporary furniture store with locations across the U.S. Steven has a degree in Design and Architecture from The Architecture School of Antibes in France. He has designed and decorated several high-end night clubs and restaurants in Miami Beach. Steven's eye for design has helped launch Modani into a national success, attracting the attention of celebrities such as Sean Combs and Lady Gaga

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Now it's your turn. Got a design dilemma? Stumped by storage in your small space? Overwhelmed by organizing? Leave your question as a comment below to have it featured in an upcoming special Q&A session with Steven!

Feel free to email me your questions along with pictures if you want to elaborate. :)


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