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Here are 8 clever ways to store books around the house.

Which one is your favorite?

Guest post by  Michelle Lee, Houzz

Although reading books can seem like a long lost art in the days of digital devices, there still remains something special about the smell of a brand new novel and being able to flip through physical pages. For dedicated bookworms with cherished collections, it can be a struggle to store and display your favorites without a dedicated home library. Follow along for eight ways to stylishly integrate books into any room in the house.

In the Kitchen

This is not just limited to cookbooks. Any books you’ll want to read over a good meal or while waiting for the oven to preheat are just as applicable. There are many ways to add a homey vibe to your space by installing open shelves beneath a kitchen island or along a blank unused wall. Just make sure to keep the books away from appliances so the pages and binding don’t get damaged by heat.

 

In the Bedroom

As we venture further into fall and winter, many bookworms will want to curl up under the covers with a hot cup of cocoa and a new novel. Keep your reading list at arm’s reach by storing books along a windowsill or stack them up in a corner of the room. For a more permanent solution, buy a new headboard or nightstand with built-in storage.

 

In an Unused Fireplace

Fireplaces make a lovely focal point in many living rooms, but can be a hassle to maintain and use. You can breathe new life into this space by cleaning it thoroughly and stacking books in the empty space. The different bindings will create visual interest and bring color to the previously black abyss.

 

In the Bathroom

One of life’s luxuries is being able to read a good book in a relaxing bubble bath at the end of a long day. This can be done by building recessed shelves above a freestanding tub. For renters, there are plenty of budget-friendly over-the-toilet storage cabinets that accomplish the same purpose. Be sure to take proper precautions against warped pages caused by moisture with an exhaust fan.

 

Above a Desk

In many home offices, the space above the desk goes largely unused. Simply look up for more space. You can create a home for a decently sized collection of books by installing open shelves above your computer all the way up to the ceiling. The transitional Philadelphia space shown here illustrates the idea nicely.

 

Under the Stairs

If you still haven’t found the right fit for what to put in that little nook under the stairs, look no further. Bring in an asymmetrical or diagonal bookcase to house your collection or carve out an alcove to recreate a Harry Potter vibe. Bring in a comfy chair or cushions and you’ve got the perfect personal hideout space for the season.

 

Around an Entryway

This one requires the expertise of a skilled woodworker or architect. Frame any doorway in your home with a gorgeous collection of novels that surround it left, right and above. Add a rolling library ladder to reach the highest shelves and bring rustic charm and character to any space, as seen here.

 

In Your Front Yard

If you’re really unable to squeeze any more space out of your home to store books inside, consider moving outdoors for a unique solution. The Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that seeks to bring communities together and share books with one another through a house-shaped box in their front yard. Fill it with a few of your favorites that you’re willing to share and encourage your neighbors to take one, leave one of their own or both. Although this is not quite a storage solution, it’s a great way to connect with your community and discover new reading material.

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What Is a Lazy Susan? How a Traditional Turntable Can Help You Tidy Up

lazy-susan

What is a Lazy Susan? In its simplest form, it’s a spinning tray that sits atop a table or shelf. Add compartments, and it becomes a brilliant storage solution that makes everything from ketchup bottles to cotton swabs easier to reach. Lazy Susans are available in just about any material: wood, bamboo, glass, or acrylic.

Wondering how well a Lazy Susan would fit into your home? You can spin the concept a multitude of ways in just about every room. Here’s how.

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Lazy Susan for dining and entertaining

Photo by Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

You may have grown up with a Lazy Susan on the kitchen table. It probably made passing the salt or the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter buttery spread easier for everyone. But tabletop turntables aren’t just for “Brady Bunch”–size families. A Lazy Susan made of dark wood or marble ($99.95, crateandbarrel.com) can be a chic, convenient solution for a formal dining table.

Lazy Susan for pantry organization

Lazy Susans in the pantry
Lazy Susans in the pantryRia Safford/RiOrganize.com

“We use Lazy Susans, also referred to as turntables, all the time,” says personal organizer Ria Safford of RiOrganize. In particular, she likes them for hard-to-reach corners of pantries, “because they allow you to maximize the space, while also making all of your items easily accessible,” she says. Her company uses turntables in the pantry for items such as oils, vinegars, spreads, and sauces.

For pantries, she recommends the bamboo turntable from The Container Store ($10, containerstore.com).

Certified organizer Amy Trager likes how a Lazy Susan can make use of deep corner cabinets.

“It’s just so much easier to reach and see what’s in there” with a turntable. She finds them less helpful in shallow cabinets, though.

“Putting a circle into a square or rectangle leaves corners unused on all sides,” she says. “It also means that items can’t be stacked, to take advantage of whatever height might be available in the space.”

Shortfalls of Lazy Susans


Photo by The Closet Works Inc.
Not everyone’s a fan, however.

“From an organizing point of view, I don’t like Lazy Susans,” says Ben Soreff of House to Home Organizing in the Northeast. “We see a lot of them in corner kitchen cabinets, and they never seem to work.”

It’s not easy for items to go in and out of those spaces. Worse, items such as container lids and spices can fall off the surface and get stuck underneath—Soreff calls these “Lazy Susan killers.”

That said, Soreff does recommend using a Lazy Susan as an appliance garage for juicers, mixers, and other “larger, bulky items that won’t fall over during the spin.”

Lazy Susan goes beyond the kitchen

A turntable makes sense of your personal items.
A turntable makes sense of your personal items.Ria Safford/RiOrganize.com

A Lazy Susan can be used in pretty much any space that needs more storage.

“Our favorite turntable to use all throughout the house is the Linus Divided Turntable ($16.99–$24.99, containerstore.com),” says Safford. “We use this product in pantries, medicine cabinets, and bathrooms. The divided compartments can hold loose items like cough drops and cotton swabs, and the raised exterior keeps them from falling over.”

Lazy Susans with compartments similar to these also work well under for under-the-sink storage.

Under-the-sink storage made more accessible
Under-the-sink storage made more accessibleRia Safford/RiOrganize

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Five Things You Need to Know About Selling a Condo

Thinking of selling your condo? Whether you live in the condo or own it as an investment property, if you’re ready to sell your home, it’s time to talk to a qualified real estate agent in your area.

Thinking of selling your condo? Whether you live in the condo or own it as an investment property, if you’re ready to sell your home, it’s time to talk to a qualified real estate agent in your area. By evaluating several criteria, including regional markets, time of year, features of your condo unit, as well as your specific needs as the seller, he or she can create a customized marketing plan for your condo. Here are five important topics to discuss with your real estate agent if you want to sell your home:
1. Best Time of Year to Sell Your Condo
The specifics of your area do more to determine the best time to put your home on the market than whether you’re selling a condo or a house. While the conventional wisdom is that spring is the best time for selling a home, this belief simply doesn’t ring true in every locale. In recent years the historic patterns have eased, and in some cases, totally disappeared. Still, different parts of the country have periods when sellers can be more aggressive with their pricing. And your real estate agent may suggest a distinct timing strategy for condominium sales, especially if your condo is in a resort destination.
2. Open House Strategy and How to De-Clutter
A condo that shows well will sell faster and bring a higher price. Small cosmetic touch-ups can make a big difference. Buyers often suspect that more serious problems may exist if they notice the need for minor repairs. If you want to sell your home, it’s important to make sure your condo is clean, tidy and free of personal clutter. Clear sinks and counters of dishes and toiletries. Neatly stack office supplies and organize storage areas. Replace dim light bulbs and clean windows. Even though your garden area may be commonly owned, do your best to create curb appeal by cleaning front steps and porches, and clearing lawns of toys or equipment.
3. Features to Accentuate
One of the best features to accentuate when selling a condo is the lifestyle of ease that comes with condominium ownership. Many buyers are looking for the hassle-free living experience that they can’t find with a single-family detached house. Another important attribute of any condo is the amenities of the association, which can include a hot tub, fitness center, owner’s lounge, covered parking and even concierge services. If you’re considering selling your condo, take the time to walk through it methodically with your real estate agent. Together you can point out which features of the actual condo unit should be accentuated. Does your unit have a wonderful view? Perhaps the location of your condominium is unique and desirable. Your real estate agent can help accentuate these features in sales and marketing materials.
4. Desired Price and Bottom Line Price
When setting the home price for your condo, it’s important to identify your desired price and your bottom line price. By assessing recent condo sale and listing statistics in your area, your real estate agent and a licensed appraiser can estimate your house value and recommend an appropriate target price range. Working with your agent, you can set an initial asking price, as well the absolute lowest home price you would comfortably accept. One advantage of selling a condo is that by assessing the prices of other units in your association that have recently sold or are currently listed, your real estate agent and the appraiser can determine a very accurate house value.
5. Disclosures
When selling your condo, you may be obligated to disclose problems that could affect the property’s value or desirability, as well as to disclose HOA minutes and costs of common insurance and utilities. In most states, it is illegal to fraudulently conceal major physical defects in your property, such as a water heater that leaks severely. And many states now require sellers to take a proactive role by making written disclosures on the condition of the condo unit. Ask your real estate agent for the particular laws of your state.
After reading this article, read more tips on selling a home and make sure you get the best value on your property on Coldwell Banker’s Seller Resources.
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