This month marks one year since stay-at-home orders were put in place. While those were lifted, many people are still spending most of their time at home, and many are still working from home. Working from home definitely has its perks. But if you’re still making do with what once seemed to be a temporary situation, you might think of this as your cue to make some changes and upgrades to your home.
Living Room Furniture
The first place to start: Furniture. If you’ve been getting by with old furniture that’s no longer cutting it, you’ll want to replace some pieces. The biggest purchase—and likely most used piece of furniture—is the couch. You don’t want to skimp out here. You really do get what you pay for in terms of couches. Something cheap isn’t going to last. If you’ve recently upgraded your couch, now is the time to get some coordinating chairs that you’ll want to lounge in.
Think of your lifestyle and what you expect from furniture. Are you an avid TV watcher? Do you fall asleep on the couch or in a recliner often? Do you love to read? Do you eat dinner on the couch? These are all things you’ll want to take into account when furniture shopping. Think about comfort, colors, texture, material and price before masking up and heading to the store—or before opening multiple tabs on your browser.
If you want to shop local, you’re in luck. Stark County and the surrounding area is home to plenty of furniture shops boasting high-quality pieces. Depending on your style, you may want to browse online first to see if each store carries what you’re looking for. Laura of Pembroke, Casey’s Countryside Furniture, The Birch Tree Furniture & Boutique, John Strauss Furniture Design and Andreas Furniture in Sugarcreek all have high-quality furniture in varying styles and prices.
If you’re not comfortable browsing in-store, check the websites for pick-up and delivery options.
Another top priority along with living room furniture is your office space. If your kitchen table has been home to your laptop, documents, coffees, lunches, etc., then maybe a designated office space or a cabinet to hold all of your office supplies is in order.
If you’re working with a small space and a room designated for work isn’t an option, then finding an alternative to separate work space from home space is what you need. Depending on the amount of space you’re working with, you could buy a side table, console table or small cabinet designated to hold your work gear. Find a cabinet with shelves if you have lots to organize.
When it’s time for work, pull out all you need and head to the table. At the end of the day, pack up your laptop, documents and other work gear and store them neatly out of sight. This helps keep your home tidy and your mind clear of work when it’s off hours.
After finding the perfect cozy furniture and making office upgrades, it’s time to think about lighting. Task lighting and overhead kitchen lighting are often overlooked. With more time spent at home, these are especially important. Whether it’s moving lamps to better suit your needs, purchasing new bulbs or hiring a professional to install recessed lighting, it will be worth it in the end when you can better see what you’re doing. No more squinting to see the recipe in the kitchen.
Another lighting situation you may want to think about is lights for nighttime. Maybe dimmers or automated night lights would make things easier in your home.
One last thing to think about, especially those who are working from home and struggling to get out of bed, is wake-up lighting. There are tons of lamp models on the market that mimic the sun and gradually brighten to their brightest at the designated alarm time. This is especially helpful for busy families when the adults need to be up to get things going before waking the kids.
And last but certainly not least, don’t forget to make some changes in the kitchen. Your kitchen likely has seen more use in the last year than it maybe ever has. Quick fixes include buying new dish towels, drying mats, oven mitts, utensils, cloth napkins, etc. Replacing or buying new small appliances is another way to spice things up in the kitchen. Nothing makes you more grateful for your kitchen than a new fridge, oven or dishwasher. Shop locally at Home Appliance for great deals on high-quality appliances. Purchasing energy-efficient ones really can help cut your electric bill. And if you have the best tools, you will be more likely to enjoy your time in the kitchen.
Not everything needs done at once, and maybe you only want to upgrade a few things in your home. Either way, you’ll be happier in a home that you feel completely comfortable in.