Make Your Space Functional AND Beautiful

Personalize your workspace: add color; look for storage ideas in non-office supply like kitchen, bedroom, and gardening; and search for boutique brands.

Traditional Style Living RoomPersonalize your space by organizing in creative ways.

When I’m working with designers and other creative folks, I frequently hear this refrain: “but the organizing tools are so ugly!” Unfortunately, it’s mostly true—many of the containers and other organizing gizmos out there are pretty bare-bones and focus on functionality over form. That said, there are ways to make sure that your organizing tools match your aesthetic sense. Here are three tips:

Add some color. One technique I like to use is to get clear containers and then line them with decorative paper from a high-end paper store. By doing this, you can completely customize the look of your storage, rather than trying to find an off-the-shelf solution that fits.

Get out of the office supply aisle. There are lots of containers for lots of different things, and they don’t all exist in the office supply section of the store. Take a stroll through stores like IKEA and look in their kitchen, bedroom, and gardening sections. There are baskets, jars, metal planters and bins—all of which might fulfill your storage needs in an unexpectedly pretty way.

Look for boutique brands and stores. Chain stores like Office Depot can be convenient but are often sterile. Your local paper or office supply store might carry products by smaller, more creative companies. You can also look online at companies like Knock Knock or Muji, or follow design blogs for inspiration.

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