7 interior tips for busy mums and career women
  • By Alick
  • In Tips & Tricks
  • Posted Oct 17 2016
It’s no secret, busy women are great jugglers. Putting out the bins as the lorry rolls up the street, then putting on your make-up on while commuting, or arranging for the car to have its MOT while calling a neighbour to ask them to take in that over-sized parcel and catching a bite to eat, all on your lunch hour of course.

Then on the way home, dashing to the shops to buy some “homemade-looking” fairy cakes for the school bake-sale your little one only told you about yesterday, and yet another pint of semi-skimmed because “someone”– who shall remain nameless - drank the last of the milk this morning and failed to mention it, but did leave the empty bottle in the fridge for you to find when you wanted a cup of tea. It’s true, there are days when you look back and wonder how on earth you manage to keep so many plates spinning… not to mention what would happen if you stopped.

Of all the things out there to manage, there is one thing that often slips down or off the list of priorities: your home. Luckily, however busy your life is, there are some cheats that will give you a home you can be proud of without it costing the earth.

The first step is to tackle the everyday areas that you probably don’t even notice anymore, and then add one or two special touches that usually take time and effort – in a flash.

1. Paperwork mountain to organised goddess

wooden letter holder By the front door, at the end of the table, or on a kitchen surface there is that pile. It includes unopened envelopes, bills to pay, payslips to be filed, notes from school and junk mail you’ve not yet chucked. Very soon, this stash of paper can grow to epic proportions, reminding you of all the things you haven’t yet done. It doesn’t look pretty, it doesn’t feel good and it doesn’t help you stay in control.

In and Out boxes are austere and best left for the office. Instead, try a vintage toast rack or this cute wooden letter and bill holder to keep things in order. Failing that, go for a retro magazine holder that can be tucked away by the side of your sofa, or even one that looks like a piece of modernist furniture.

cotswold company unit

2. Shoe chaos to shoe calm

Apparently, the average woman owns 21 pairs of shoes. That’s a lot, but when you factor in your partner’s footwear and any children’s shoes (wellies, ballet shoes, trainers, school shoes, summer sandals, and football boots) then it can feel like you’re running a disorganised shoe shop.

This requires a two-pronged attack – firstly maximise the storage in wardrobes for shoes that aren’t used daily. A hanging shoe holder per person should do the trick (and are handy for other items too, like sports kit or scarves).

Secondly, make sure your ‘by the front door’ shoe situation is neat and under control with an attractive shoe cupboard. This classic storage bench, in French Grey, will suit many interiors.

3. Secret storage

Just as you could do with more sleep, you could always do with more storage. So whenever you purchase a new item of furniture, be it footrest, bathroom stool, sofa or bed look for options with hidden drawers or compartments that will help you do a high-speed clean sweep before visitors or unexpected guests drop in.

4. Ban bland with vibrant foliage

Wallpaper with bold foliage patterns is all the rage at the moment, but if you don’t have the time to decorate then you can get that verdant jungle feel in minutes. A neutral, dull interior is brought to life with large plants such as the cheese plant, cycas or palm.

Don’t panic - you are probably far too busy for faffing with real plants. The artificial plants now available look incredible and require zero maintenance aside from a quick dust every month or so.

The added bonus of fake plants is that they will save you money – there is no feeding, repotting or treating for disease, so you can sit back and admire the instant effect. There’s no denying that lots of greenery makes us feel better, so this is a trend that will be here to stay.

5. Bathroom to spa

Freshen up the bathroom with new bath mats and a grout pen to whiten the greying or discoloured grout around your tiles. Lots of toiletries on display will always look messy, so consider investing in a mirrored cupboard over the sink.

6. Add a touch of gorgeous

By the time we’ve tidied and organised, it can be hard to summon the energy to add those little touches that make a home beautiful and sumptuous. Reward yourself by spending twenty minutes online buying a kit of gorgeousness and you will see the difference.

Your kit of gorgeousness

  • Three new cushions for the lounge. These don’t have to be pricey and you could save money by purchasing new covers for old cushions. Go for fashionable brights like fuchsia or orange, or bold geometrics. A small but striking contrast can liven up any room.
  • Two throws or blankets for your lounge – a light, summery one for the warmer months and a cosy, knitted one for winter.
  • Two scented candles for your bedroom – buy the best quality you can afford.
  • A stunning rose posy for your downstairs loo. It would look great on your dressing table too.
  • A new mirror or piece of art for the hallway – give a great first impression.

7. The personal touch

Finally, to make a house truly a home, it needs to reflect the people who live there. When you are busy, the photos languish on your mobile or a laptop. It won’t take long to choose your favourites from the last year and have them printed. Opting for canvas will save you time because there is no need to find suitable frames.

You are closer than you thought to a beautiful, relaxing and welcoming home. The only trouble is, no one will ever offer to help you out again… they’ll all think you’re superwoman, which of course you are!

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