Today’s reader Q & A comes from another college friend, Christy (Carnegie Mellon represent!). She, her husband Chris and their adorable daughter Hazel just moved cross-country from a condo in the heart of Chicago to an incredible tree-lined property, complete with horse barn, in Seattle. But between two grown adults that work from home, a baby on the verge of walking and a menagerie of pets, they are in desperate need of storage until they have the opportunity to start the large renovation they’ve been planning.
As a result, they’re not looking to spend a lot as most of these solutions will be temporary. But, as both Christy and Chris are both very design-minded and crazy artistic, I’ve been charged with the request that my solutions “can’t look ugly” and in terms of style, Christy said “I hate that country shit.” She is also definitely not a fan of wicker (so there goes most of my basket ideas).
Here’s a little bit more about Christy’s design storage dilemma, in her own words:
OK, so here’s the deal:
I spend most of my time when I’m at home in these two connected rooms: the family room and kitchen. The family room serves three purposes: 1) Hazel’s play room, 2) My office, and 3) Relaxing on the couch in front of the fireplace (sadly, this rarely happens).
Underneath their new console or their coffee table, I would add some Christy-approved baskets for Hazel’s smaller toys. These from CB2 and Crate & Barrel would fit right in to their mid-century modern style:
For that long wall filled with Hazel accutrimont, there are two ways Christy could go: the budgetary/immediate option or the pain and gain option. My first inclination is to spend a little more on some pieces that Christy and Chris can keep and use after the reno such as a mid-century modern George Nelson-style shelving system. It would require some rearranging of their artwork, but this option would provide the additional storage they need in the living room and still provide lasting value to their overall furniture collection.I see this as something that would be a great piece in Christy’s future office to display her artwork, stacks of books, and pictures with her favorite red-headed friend, kind of like this one:
(Yes, this picture is now 10 years old… I suddenly feel ancient)
Alternatively, Christy could go with the lower cost option that is still made of solid wood and would not require her to put giant holes in her walls (or break her budget). I’d suggest going with the World Market Espresso Charles Slanted Bookshelf. The style is simple enough that it could blend with the current furnishings and as it’s moveable, could be reused post-reno. Also good for resale on Craigslist if she chooses not to keep it.
A third option would be to go the budget friendly, industrial route. This option from Ikea would add a significant pop of color and hide toys behind closed doors. Another great piece that could be carried over to the future space, repurposed in Christy’s art studio, or resold.
Beyond furniture, there are a few other options Christy could opt for that would help corral throw blankets, magazines, and the stray dog chew toy. I’m loving this basket (Christy, trust me on this one) from Crate & Barrel.
This storage ottoman from CB2 would provide storage as well as an additional seat for when the house is filled with more grandparents than chairs, which from what I hear, is a likely scenario.
So what do you guys think – any other storage options you’d suggest for Christy? And in case anyone doubted that a bunch of sorority girls knew how to drill (get your minds out of the gutters people!), here’s exhibit A:
(This may be my favorite picture of this girl. She’s kind of bad-ass. Although I’m slightly afraid that she may be revoking my design privileges for posting this…)