De-clutter and Restyle Your Home

Firstly I owe you an apology for my lateness. If there’s one thing you can be guaranteed of with me it’s that I take too much on, and I’m always late. I owed you Week 9 – De-clutter and Restyle of my Quarantine DIY Home Projects two weeks ago. I hope it’s worth the wait.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may have seen that my husband and I bought our first investment property at the end of July – The Hygge Suite. We couldn’t be happier! It’s a one bedroom condo on a beautiful lake in northern Minnesota, and more importantly, it’s the first step on a path to becoming real estate investors and not just homeowners. However it also came at the same time as my return to full time work, and the tail-end of finishing our bathroom renovation. So things have been a little hectic these past few weeks, as we realize every day how much STUFF you need to set up a vacation rental!

So I will apologize for the lateness of the final two installments of the Quarantine DIY Home Projects, but I’ll hopefully make up for it by bringing you more content on how we set up our vacation rental business and how we completed a full renovation of a tired northern cabin into a modern Scandinavian retreat. Deal!?

Great! Now we’ve got the grovelling out of the way, let’s take a look at this week’s Quarantine DIY Home Projects – De-clutter and Restyle. A pretty broad topic, but another low / zero cost way to instantly make your room feel and look better.

House Doctoring

If you’re reading this and you’re British, like me, you may remember a TV show back in the late 90’s early 00’s called House Doctor with Anne Maurice a Californian Real Estate Stylist. If you don’t, then you’ve definitely missed out on a huge piece of TV gold! The popularity of the show led to the terms “house doctoring”, “curb appeal” and “de-clutter” to be common household terms in British homes. Her mantra was to de-clutter, de-personalize, then add back in some tasteful personality that we know today as home staging. This show had a profound impact on me personally and ever since I’ve styled my homes in this way to make them more sale-able.

scandinavian room interior with mockup photo frame and vase
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Now I’m not going to make this article all about painting your walls off-white and removing all personal belongings. That might be great for selling your home, but what if you actually want to live there? Having personal belongings and trinkets out is a must to make a home feel like a home, but you can and should be careful about how many and what you place on display. But where to start? Here are some tips to get you going.

1. Tidy Up

A great many of us have now been working from home, or at least in our homes more than we’ve ever been before, and that means one thing – messiness! Even if you’re the tidiest person ever, I’m probably betting that you’ve created at least some more mess than usual. So a great place to start would be tidying up.

If you’re like me and find yourself walking around from room to room in a daze getting distracted and overwhelmed when trying to tidy, read this from Apartment Therapy on 3 Tidying-Up Tricks Everyone Needs to Know Right Now for some solid tidying up tips. (She says while grabbing her laundry basket for all the crap…)

2. Sort

While tidying, you may find things that you no longer need or want, so instead of putting them back on the shelf, toss them to one side to sell or donate. For this task, you’ll probably need to dig a little deeper than surface level mess. What about the dreaded junk drawer? Or (shudder) the closet? You could go all Marie Kondo and throw all your clothes onto the bed to sort through them, throwing any that don’t ‘spark joy’.

anonymous black girl lying on stack of clothes in bedroom
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

However if that prospect scares you (yes!!) then at least skim the closet and donate anything you haven’t worn for at least a year. The same rings true with home furnishings. Trends change, and don’t tend to come back into fashion for a number of years. So instead of hoarding old decor in the cupboard ‘just in case’, donate it or sell it. With all the money you make from selling them, you could invest in some new updated decor!

3. Re-purpose

Not everything that you don’t want anymore needs to be sold or donated. What about re-using? Or re-purposing? Maybe that antique mahogany table would look great painted white? Or the floral armchair re-covered in a clean crisp white linen? Get creative! There are literally thousands of DIY hacks out there to inspire you, just try searching Pinterest!

Image Courtesy of Kendra Dare Home

A great DIY hack, and also a great de-cluttering hack is this one from Kendra Dare Home about Nooks and Crannies. Here she re-purposed an old media cabinet to become a tasteful and practical storage cupboard for all her mud room needs, and added tonnes of personality in a seemingly unsuspecting corner of her home.

4. If in doubt… baskets

If you’re not a naturally tidy person (like me), then the answer every time is baskets! Baskets come in all shapes and sizes and are super stylish for an array of different interior styles from bohemian to farmhouse. Toss children’s toys and games in there, dog toys, newspapers, magazines, whatever you have lying around that constitutes clutter. With a basket you can least hide the clutter and make it look somewhat disguised.

For my pick of the best baskets on Amazon here are a few to choose from. Please Pin It!

  1. BlueMake Woven Seagrass Belly Basket
  2. Goodpick 2pack Jute Hanging Basket
  3. Storage Basket Felt Storage Bin Collapsible & Convenient Box Organizer
  4. Sweetzer & Orange Large Woven Cotton Rope Storage Basket
  5. Extra Large Woven Storage Basket
  6. Spectrum Diversified Vintage Extra Large Cabinet & Wall-Mounted Basket
  7. Large Woven Rope Basket
  8. LUFOFOX Cotton Woven Storage Baskets

Thanks for reading!


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5 Tips for Creating an Effective Work From Home Space

During the global pandemic, those of us who are fortunate enough to work from home have been thrust into a new situation that we now call our ‘new normal’. While many of us probably worked from home occasionally, we likely didn’t work from home full-time, while trying to home school kids and concentrate over our partner’s continuous teleconferences. With the ‘new normal’ likely here to stay for the foreseeable future, it’s time to create an effective work from home space with actual furniture! Here are my tips to create an effective space without breaking the budget.

Get the Right Furniture

I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories of people working from their sofas, kitchen islands and even ironing boards! While this may work temporarily, it’s not good for the long term. Slouching, hunching over or laying down to work can play havoc on your body. It’s important to have the correct position when working at a desk. This diagram below from the Mayo Clinic shows the correct position for optimal ergonomics while working at a desk.

Office ergonomics: Your how-to guide - Mayo Clinic
Image courtesy of Mayo Clinic


Ideally you should position your home office away from sources of noise and distraction. So if your kids are yelling and screaming in the living room all day, or your partner is talking loudly on teleconferences for 7 of the 8 hours, try to find a space away from these noise sources, ideally with a door that you can close.

While blocking out distracting noises, try to invite in welcoming noises that aid concentration, such as birds singing, or the wind gently rustling through the leaves. You can do this by positioning your home office by an open door or window, or better still in a garden room like this one by Backyard Room.

Wooden garden office
Image courtesy of Backyard Room


Having the right amount of natural light is also important in creating an effective home office working environment. It’s also good for your overall health. This is one of the main reasons I enjoy working from home so much. In the office I have very little natural light, and I find it really drags my mood down and make me tired. At home I’ve positioned my desk in a room with plenty of natural light from large windows, which really lifts my mood.

However, you can have too much of a good thing. If your desk either faces a window or has a window behind it, you may find that at certain times of the day you may not be able to see your computer screen. If you can’t position your desk where the light doesn’t impact it, make sure to have blinds or curtains that you can close while the sun is affecting your view.

Image courtesy of Open Sourced Workplace


Have you ever heard the phrase “A cluttered space makes a cluttered mind?” Having good organization and storage solutions for your home office is not just important to help you find things more easily, but it can also help your mental health. Having a disorganized, cluttered environment can cause poor food choices, less effective thinking and generally poor mental health. So at the very least, clear the clutter off your work area, and ideally invest in a few simple storage solutions. Wall shelves, desk caddies, filing cabinets, or rolling carts can all help to clear up the clutter. Try IKEA for great cheap storage solutions.

Gina Rachelle Design Project Westlawn-DSCF9545.jpg
A tidy office with an affordable storage solution. Image courtesy of Gina Rachelle Design.

Make it inviting

Just because your home office should be practical, doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. Don’t forget to add some accessories or artwork to make it more inviting, and feel more like home. After all it is a ‘home’ office. Here are some of my favorite desk and home office accessories that are practical and also stylish.

  1. Codify Pencil Holder by Anthropologie, $48
  2. UBrands 150ct Wooden Push Pins with Jar available at Target, $5.49
  3. Marble And Gold Metal Maxwell Letter Holder by World Market, $24.99
  4. Lund London Nordic Modular Stacking Boxes Set of 3 available at The Container Store, $27.99 each
  5. Apothecary Black Wood Drawers by Kate & Laurel available at The Home Depot, $36.99
  6. Drona storage box by IKEA, $3.99
  7. Bigso Linen Marten Paper Drawers by The Container Store, $19.99
  8. White Marble Mix & Match Wall Shelves by World Market are available in 2ft or 3ft sizes, shelf brackets sold separately, $39.99-$59.99

I hope that with these tips you can set up an inviting, stylish and effective work from home space. Stay tuned for more posts this week on the theme of the home office.

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Thanks for reading,

Jo @britflipper