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6 Interior Design Tips that Save You More Time at Home


If you’re a high-achiever like us, you’re always looking to save time. You get your groceries delivered. A nanny helps with school pickups and drop offs. Next-day shipping ensures the kids smile on their birthdays. You get the idea — life requires a little help.

What if your home’s design could save you time, too? What if its function and flow worked with your family instead of driving you up the wall? What if the right features meant you could be involved in your kid’s activities and have time to recenter with a good sweat on the Peloton? 

Yes and yes. All of this is possible. Better yet, your home can be designed for what you personally need

Today, I’m sharing 6 ways great design can save you time. Whether you’re looking for a shortcut you can implement yourself or working with us on a life-giving, full-home design, there’s no time to waste…


From our Beach House project. Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

Tip 1. Opt for Low-Maintenance Finishes & Fixtures

Keeping your house clean feels like a full-time job, and you already have one of those. Yes, you can hire out (I do) but your house cleaner probably isn’t there every day. In the meantime, you could benefit from low-maintenance, easy-to-clean features built right into your home itself. 

Ideas? We got you. Try low-maintenance countertops (quartz, Corian), large shower tile with minimal grout lines, drawers with soft-close features for easy (not violent) closure, or choose sturdier porcelain tile over ceramic for high-impact spaces. 

(P.S. There’s much more where that came from, and our suggestions depend on your lifestyle. Talk to us.)

Tip 2. Create Rooms You’ll Actually Use

Next, don’t be afraid to break the rules! If you have a room that you NEVER use, like a formal dining room, turn it into a room you will use, like a family room, game room, or office. Wasted space is wasted time (is wasted money).

Another room we like to break the rules in is the breakfast nook. If no one uses the breakfast nook, take this quaint fixture and turn it into a reading nook, a sun-lit office, or a playroom. Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all when making your house fit your family’s needs. You choose.

Tip 3. Add Organizational Features to the Kitchen

Families spend a lot of time in the kitchen, whether you’re cooking, doing homework, or using it as a second office. It’s the hub of the home. When your kitchen doesn’t have the right organizational features, you feel it. Cabinets become cluttered. Things are impossible to find. Tempers are short…

Installing organizational features into your kitchen not only keeps you sane but also makes better use of your space. You could try:

  • Pull-out corner shelves for that awkward lower corner cabinet
  • Adding a charging station in your kitchen (so you won’t have to waste time hunting down your phone charger)
  • Built-in spice or utensil racks
  • Tilt-down drawers under the sink
  • And more…


From our Beach House project. Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

Tip 4. Integrate Smart Home Tech

If you haven’t made the plunge yet, let me tell you that smart home tech is worth the learning curve and can do some pretty amazing, time-saving things.

Smart window treatments can be programmed to open and close during certain times of the day, based on sunlight. This energy-saving feature also lengthens the life of your furnishings because they won’t be sun-damaged. Check.

Smart cleaning? Bring in a Roomba and program it to vacuum certain rooms or at specific times of the day. You may have a house cleaner that helps you regularly but having a Roomba is excellent for the cracker crumbs your son trails through his room or last-minute science project messes. 

If you’re ready to invest, you can also update your kitchen appliances and make them smart, too. Need to preheat the oven? Adjust temperature settings? By controlling these features on your phone, you save time in the kitchen — and don’t interrupt your current workflow or memory-making moment with the fam.


From our project in Woodside.

Tip 5. Create Multi-Functional Spaces

Multifunctional spaces are rooms that serve two totally different functions. For example, a guest bedroom masquerading as an office. The problem is that you use your office space daily, and it’s only used as a guest room during the holidays. So which do you design for? Both — but who wants a bed in their office?

We recently solved this dilemma by installing a sleek, modern wall bed in a client’s guest room to make it double as an office. (Those Zoom calls just got way more professional.) You, too, can find creative solutions for any number of multi-purpose goals.

Tip 6. Save Time With Efficient Flow

The best way to decide on the functional elements for your space is to think about how you move and flow through the house. Ask yourself questions like: Where do we keep our shoes, coats, and bags? Is there a clear pathway from the car to the kitchen for groceries? Where does the laundry go?  

Then, keeping your routine top of mind, decide what elements your family needs to function best and where to put them. Map it out with paper and a pencil, and pay attention to those moments when you need something (like a spatula) and it isn’t close at hand. Design for that, and you will save time each and every day.

For a home that saves time at every turn…

That’s just the tip of the iceberg on functional design for a home that supports your daily life. In fact, the way we design changes for each client based on their individual lifestyle. So how do we do it?

We get nosey. We send out a detailed questionnaire that asks where you eat, where your pets eat, what you would grab in a fire, what your pets and kids like to destroy, and more. Knowing these details helps us design your space around you and your family’s needs, not what we think you need (*cough* like some designers). 

If you’re ready to save time at home (and during your next design project), let’s chat and make it happen.





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