Want a Pretty AND Functional Home: 4 Ways How

Dec 18, 2019

Janelle and her dog, Mila, in their pretty and functional living room

I love following interior design accounts online and watching design shows on TV, but I always have one major complaint: they never show how to make homes livable.

Have you noticed that not one “after” home on HGTV includes a TV mounted on the wall?! I can’t speak for you, but I have a TV in every room in my home except the bathrooms, y’all. As pretty as it may be, it would never be realistic for me to live in one of those beautiful after homes.

And that makes me mad.

There’s definitely a way to live in a gorgeous home and still have it be completely user-friendly for your daily life. Check out my four tips to make your home both pretty and functional below:

MAKE YOUR HOME BEAUTIFUL & FUNCTIONAL

1. Keep surfaces clear

Clutter is the enemy of beauty. Having a straight-line view of a clean and open counter will naturally draw your eye throughout the room to see all the other beautiful details.

I feel like the number one culprit for clutter for most folks are kitchen counters and the kitchen table.

One way to cut back on clutter in the kitchen: have a designated spot for junk! For me, my kitchen junk ends up being mail that I have no intent to open. The designated spot for that should be the trash…but in the interim, the designated spot is actually a drawer in my kitchen that I store mail until I’m ready to sit down and sort through it.

2. Remove everything from original packaging

You know how on TV you always notice how beautiful and perfect the kitchens and pantries of the Kardashians’ appear? One thing that is unique in their space is that they remove EVERYTHING from its original packaging.

When I return from the grocery store, this is the first thing I do. I dump the apples out of the bag. I take all the water bottles out of the plastic wrap and line them up. I dump the almonds from their crinkle bag and put them in an airtight glass jar.

Anything to remove packaging and make the space look a little neater.

3. Use baskets and bins as much as possible

I am the QUEEN of baskets. Baskets, bins and trays not only create order but also give your space character.

I place baskets everywhere in my home: under my nightstand to hold the random knick-knacks, in the corner to hold all the blankets from the sofa and on my bookshelves to hold the small pieces that don’t look as pretty or have a proper home.

If you’re wanting to quickly organize your home and create a space that is both pretty and functional, adding in some baskets to the mix will get you there faster than you think.

4. Everything should have a useful purpose (and hopefully more than one purpose)

When I buy anything new for my home, I try to have the “user-experience” front of mind.

Sure, this sofa looks nice, but I like to lay down to watch TV, so is there enough room to do that?

Sure, these bar stools are nice, but I usually post up at my kitchen counter to eat dinner after the gym, so maybe velvet isn’t the best fabric…

If you’re looking to make your home a pretty and functional place to dwell, make sure when you’re shopping for furniture that you’re considering the intended use and the end users.

I always try to buy items that give me more than one use, if possible. For example: folks LOVE to kick their feet up when watching TV. With that in mind, I always look for coffee tables that give guests space to throw their feet up without feeling uncomfortable or out of place.


Making your home a space that you love to show off without being a showroom is v doable. Check out my top picks for functional pieces you can add to your home below. And if you ever find yourself in the market for more individualized help beautifying your home, head over to HJN Design Studio for a look at our package and service options. With a focus to create spaces that inspire wellness, pretty and functional is always top of mind for each of our projects, and we’d love to help you create the home of your dreams together.

With love, Janelle

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