Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kid Decor with Class

It's not just a pretty flower. It can live, forever fresh and lovely, on your wall.
Lately, I've seen these tv ads for some company called Fathead, selling really obnoxious wall decals. I don't like the ads, or the particular decals it pushes, but I did think the idea of instant decor was a good one. Especially for nurseries and little kid rooms, where you might want to make a big fun splash, but maybe don't have the time or money for a mural or insane theme room (or maybe you don't want to look at it while you're stuck in that room for hours with a newborn).

So then I looked around and found Wallflower. This company offers wall decals you really can live with for a long time. They will not offend. And there's scarcely any cheese in sight, although the overpriced lions come dangerously close to dairy territory. I mean, just about anyone would like a photorealistic giant flower, or butterfly, or even a seashell stuck on the wall. There's also these fascinating abstract splashes of liquid that have some decor potential; although a toddler might get the wrong idea and start hurling drinks at the walls to add her own artistic statement.

The real plus is that these decals start at under $50 and peel on and off easily. That means no mural painter, no DIY stencils, and no smelly fumes in a kid's room. The dahlia above is about $95, and an entire wall decal will set you back a grand, which might be too grand for your progeny. At Wallflower.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Landing Strip, Part Deux

Sure, they look simple, but these Gym Hooks store stuff in style.
Yes, I know. You thought I was done with my neurotic quest for order in the foyer. But I wasn't done.

After I installed the fantastic switch plate I wrote about in the last post, I realized it wasn't quite enough to keep my clutter corralled. Thus, I turned back to the venerable A+R for another solution: the Hay Gym Hook. These hooks look simple, but function in multiple ways. You can hang a heavy bag on it, while looping your scarf or sweatshirt through the middle of it. They come in lots of pretty colors (I chose the natural wood, but if I were hanging more than one I'd do a combo). And they're beautifully, sturdily designed and easy to hang. After installing the Gym Hook, my belongings look organized and deliberate, not a pile of junk abandoned in a heap.

These hooks run around $35, which might seem steep, but this is a case of getting exactly what you pay for. Worth it! At A+R.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Instant Landing Strip

Hang your keys or an unruly small child from the Walhub's handy hooks.
In my never ending search for home efficiency, I've recently turned my toad focus to the landing strip. You know what I'm talking about (wipe that smile off your face; it's not that landing strip), the area right inside the door where all your going out stuff congregates: your keys, his/her keys, your jacket that never makes it into the closet, your phone, and, in my case, aerial odds and ends like socks. It's a damn mess, all the time. And unless you have some ultimate foyer, it's likely to remain that way unless you take action.

Barring construction for a hall closet you can't afford, or buying some Abstrackt/Malm IKEA thing it'll take an army to assemble, your options for a landing strip are sadly limited. So, when I ran across one small affordable step in the strip solution, I was thrilled. The Walhub faceplate fits over the existing switch plates in your house (hopefully, in your entryway), and turns any light switch into a mini storage unit for keys or a small purse (one even has a slot for storing outgoing mail). Venerable modernist mecca A+R featured the Walhub at the Dwell show in L.A. recently, to great acclaim, but of course I needed to try it out. Sure enough, the thing makes a difference. Between the Walhub and some hanging hooks inside the door, I might be able to create foyer order out of cluttered chaos.

The best part? These brilliant space savers start at $16. When's the last time you bought anything innovative and stylish and useful for just $16? Try never. At A+R.