Utility. Functional. Practical. Useful. These words don’t exactly inspire thoughts of elegantly decorated homes. They might even bring to mind boxy, basic forms that you wouldn’t dare call design.
But there are endless ways to blend function and beauty in your home. By mixing textures and colors and new and vintage items, you can better bring style to your practical décor. You can start with these surprisingly simple, DIY home décor ideas that seamlessly build functionality into any room.
1. Put storage or décor on wheels with a decorative cart.
Functionality doesn’t have to stay stationary. You can move your practical home décor from room to room by using a cart with wheels. Decorative carts offer versatility, utility and aesthetic beauty.
Bar carts are a great addition for entertaining, especially when you lack kitchen cabinet space. They can stick in one room as a serving station where you proudly display your fine tastes and unique glassware. Or roll them into wherever your gathering goes to make entertaining easier in your indoor and outdoor spaces. Swap out the drinkware for dinnerware and you have a stylish serving cart that serves the same purpose.
If you enjoy crafts more than craft cocktails, use the same concept for a craft cart. To better organize and display your arts and crafts, place decorative storage bins on the cart shelves. This is an especially useful home décor idea for kids, giving them easy access to coloring and cutting fun in any room.
2. Get vertical with functional wall décor.
Wall space is the most underutilized area in every room. Walls are often filled with art, mirrors, family photos and other décor that brings life to your living space. But there are other ways to use that wall space artfully as well as functionally:
- Floating shelves offer additional storage or decorating space and are easily customizable for any room. And they offer the added benefit of decluttering cabinets, countertops and other flat surfaces. You can add a shelf or two to hold spices and cookware in the kitchen, books in your child’s bedroom or toiletries in the bathroom. You can even use them to hold your photos and decorations to fit more décor in while using less space.
- Decorative wall storage offers the same benefits as other shelving options, but with a bigger focus on design. Instead of flat shelves, you may find squares, hexagons and other shapes that liven up the wall more than standard shelves. Decorative wall storage baskets are another option if you need more storage space with a lesser emphasis on aesthetics.
- Hanging wall cabinets and storage containers can open space up on the floor while still providing a stylish space to keep your belongings out of sight. They also bring a lot of versatility. You can hang them above countertops or vanities, high up toward the ceiling or underneath bar tops to make efficient use of every inch of wall space.
- Decorative wall hooks provide a simple solution to hang items if you lack a front closet or have a crowded entryway in need of a clean-up. They are so small that you can place them and space them anywhere, one at a time or in bunches, wherever they are useful.
3. Turn your bay window into a bench.
You’re so used to looking out your windows, that you might be overlooking a functional décor idea that’s right in front of you: a bay window bench.
Bay and bow windows are unlike any other window style. They add extra space that you can use to fit your function. One of the most common uses is for extra seating — a desk in the office, a dinner table in the kitchen or a comfy chair in the living room. For the most functional use of space, turn your bay window seating area into a bench.
A bay window bench offers more than just a sunlit place to perch. You can use all of the space below the bench for built-in storage. Put the bay window seat on a hinge and open it up for a large hidden space. Or instead, carve out spots for drawers and nooks big enough for storage bins and baskets. Either option enhances the aesthetic of your bay window nook while functional as additional seating and storage.
4. Plant an indoor herb garden.
House plants provide a number of benefits — not just to your home, but also your health. Plants bring the natural beauty of the outdoors to brighten up or enhance the fragrance of a room. They can also help purify the air, keep pests away and improve your mood. Indoor plants can also provide sustenance because you can eat what you grow!
Add spice to your life by starting an indoor herb garden. Out of all types of functional décor, an indoor garden is the most useful and sustainable. You can grow herbs, spices — even fruits and veggies — in small pots on a window sill or any other spot that provides adequate natural light.
Start small with versatile herbs that are easy to grow like basil, lavender, cilantro, mint or chives. Some indoor herbs even flower up, providing a pop of color other than green. Whatever you decide to plant in your garden, make sure your plants have plenty of sunlight so they grow well and taste good. South-facing windows work best, but any window that lets in natural light for most of the day is a good bet.
The best part about these useful home décor ideas is that they are functional and versatile. You can combine several ideas to mix styles and uses. Plant your herb garden in decorative wall storage containers, hang them on wall hooks or display them on a bay window bench. Affix functional wall décor above the place where your decorative cart is stationed. Your creative customizations will make every piece of functional décor even more stylish and unique.