Seven Expert Organization Hacks to Help You Maximize Your Space

At HBFA, we know the secret to the perfect place is making sure it feels like home. Designing the ideal space is about combining the ability to express yourself with a function that fits your lifestyle truly. The best homes are a reflection of the people who live in them, mixing form and function.

We’ve collected seven tips from some of the industry and Bay Area’s best designers and organization experts to help you create a beautiful and practical home design.
Functional storages spaces in townhouse

Experts Weigh In on Functional Living

1. Prioritize – What really makes the space “you”

No two dream spaces will look the same because no two people are the same, and it’s all about creating a space that is uniquely YOU. While magazines and model homes are an excellent starting point to gain inspiration and begin crafting your preferences, to really make your house feel like a home, it must reflect your personality.

The good news is, that you don’t have to be an interior design expert to master this process, just an expert on you. Start by creating a list of what is most important to you while deeply considering how you will live in the space. From creating a crafting area to making sure you have ample space in the kitchen to display your favorite spices, functionality is key. After you’ve designated zones for the space, it’s time to weave in pops of personality. Award-winning Oakland designer Laura Martin Bovard explains that “Every Object Tells a Story” and emphasizes the idea of coming home to yourself. This includes displaying things that matter to you, like a trinket from your favorite vacation, a vase from your grandmother’s house, or that work of art you created at your last paint and sip night.

2. Follow the Function Over Form rule

The concept of “Form Follows Function” originated in the architecture space in the late 19th and early 20th by architect Louis H. Sullivan and essentially means that a space’s design should be centered around its purpose. Defining the purpose of your space is crucial when factoring in the function over form rule because sometimes style and function just don’t line up. For example, we’ve all fallen in love with the sleek lines and chic style of a modern leather love seat in the showroom; however, if the main function of your living room is to entertain guests, the function over form rule suggests purchasing a more sensible couch or sectional to fill the space. It’s also essential to take into account the right amount of space for traffic patterns.
Functional storages system using shelves in townhouse

3. Go Vertical

Shelves are the obvious go-to when creating a storage system because they offer such an array of versatility and even add their share of character to a space. Free-standing shelves bring together display and storage, allowing for a blend of decor and functional utility. While Integrating baskets with cubby-style shelves allows for discrete storage in a multi-purpose space. It’s the perfect way to keep up a visual aesthetic while hiding a bulky sewing machine, gaming console, or spare blankets.

Going vertical doesn’t just apply to storage options, think out of the box with a floating garden. When we seek inspiration from vertical planter boxes for herbs and vegetables, the ever-popular air plants, and of course traditional hanging plant holders the possibilities are endless.

Take your desk vertical by creating a command center in a space that you pass every day making it easy to incorporate into your daily routine, without the bulk. Traditionally these command centers have a large calendar on display and include hooks for keys and a slot to store mail and important documents.

4. Multi-Use Furniture

Elizabeth Larkin from The Spruce explains that a bed with storage underneath is the perfect solution for containing all of your miscellaneous items like extra linens, out-of-season clothing, collectibles, luggage, and more. This storage solution can be taken a step further by throwing a loft or murphy bed into the mix. Murphy beds have come a long way and make a stylish and space-saving addition to any room. Following in suit with the murphy bed is the pull-out table or desk. A wall-mounted table or desk allows you to fold it down when it’s not in use allowing you to maximize the space in a multipurpose room. Consider also trading a bulky entertainment center and tv for a projector with a screen that pulls down from the ceiling but stays tucked away when working or entertaining.

5. Go Paperless

Going paperless is an excellent way to increase organization and overall home aesthetic while saving time, reducing clutter, and being kind to the environment. Organizational psychology expert Amy Bloomer, MA weighs in on this topic “recycle cardboard packaging throughout your home, stripping excess cardboard packaging from nonperishable food items, toilet paper, medication, and frozen food, just to name a few.” As the founder of Let Your Space Bloom, Amy says that this method coupled with other organization hacks helps to create balance and bliss in your home. The fun-ctional bonus to this hack is that it Saves You Money! Many companies offer customers an incentive or discount for going paperless.

6. Play With Lighting

Not only can a light fixture really make a design statement, but layering lighting also allows for many different options when it comes to creating ambiance and changing the mood of a space. Amy Bell, an interior decorator at Red Chair Home Interiors notes that “Many people don’t pay enough attention to their lighting.” Having multiple different light sources in a room can create bright light when needed for work or focus time, and more dim lighting for movie nights and inspiring relaxation. Amy goes on to suggest “Living rooms and bedrooms should have at least three light sources in addition to the overhead light.”

7. Theme vs. Concept

A design theme includes the literal representation of an idea, whereas a concept includes inspiration from many ideas or thoughts pulled together to create an overall look and feel. When it comes to themes Jackie Hernandez, founder of The School of Decorating, knows a thing or two, “When you think of a theme, you probably think of a party theme. A super-coordinated visual look for a party centered around one topic or idea. A theme is great for a party. Even if it’s totally cheesy, it’s fun…for a day.” In summary, a theme may leave your space looking trendy and will grow outmoded sooner. Choosing to work with a design concept rather than a theme removes constraints and allows you to create a timeless feel that will grow with you.

Explore Your Homebuying Journey Today!

Homes Built For America makes purchasing your new home easier and more possible than ever before.

If you’re ready to make your dream home a reality, reach out to our team today.


Start Your Homebuying Journey Today!