Family Home Guide: Design, Decor, and Organization Ideas to Help Make Your House a Home

There’s no need to sacrifice elevated home design simply because you have a busy family in mix. We’re sharing some of our favorite home design, decor, and organization tips plus a look inside some stunning family homes to help you make your home as fun and livable as it is sophisticated.

See How Wallpaper Gives This Chicago Bungalow a Colorful Refresh

Claire and Luke Staszak bought a Tudor bungalow in 2016 knowing a couple of things: first, the house needed a lot of work; second, it wasn’t their forever home, so they had to be careful to not over-improve the house for the neighborhood. The house, which was built in 1932, “was a diamond in the rough, with good bones and lots of character,” Claire says. “But, it definitely needed updating in every room.” Read more.

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11 Items to Refresh Your Home Decor

Shop Local Chicago Home

Elevate your life, work and play with these stylish and practical items from Chicago and North Shore stores. Read more.

9 Hacks to Organize Your Linen Closet — And Keep It That Way

linen closet

Linen closets often become an overflow of bedding, towels, toiletries, and more. Make this commonly used space more coordinated (and stylish) with these clever tips. Read more.

PROjECT. interiors Reimagines a Raw Lincoln Park Space as a Sophisticated Family Home

project interiors

Connoisseurs of cultural trends, interior designers, Jennifer Kranitz and Aimee Wertepny knew exactly what their client meant when she asked for a “murdered out” powder room in her and her husband’s new Lincoln Park apartment. (The term refers to the black-on-black-on-black look that’s au currant among some car aficionados). 

“They loved black and brass, so we created intentional punctuated moments,” Kranitz says, of her clients, who had recently located from New York City. “We identified areas where those elements could be really strong and then backed out from there.” Read more.

How to Organize Your Kitchen Like a Pro: Tips, Tricks, and the Best Products to Help You Do It Right

kitchen organization

If your family is like most, your kitchen is the nerve center of your home, and therefore prone to excess mess and clutter. Since it’s the hub of your family’s day-to-day operations, it’s a good idea to take the time to periodically de-clutter and reorder plus develop some long-term organizational habits. Here’s a step-by-step guide to keeping your kitchen neat and orderly, which can in turn help keep your busy family on track.

How Toxic is Your House? 7 Steps to a Safe, Healthy Home

Is Your Home Toxic? 7 Steps to a Safer, Healthier Home

The beds are made, the dishes cleared, the clothing folded and put away, but do you know how clean — and healthy — your home really is? Research has shown that the air within homes can be deadlier than outdoor air. “Walking into a modern building can sometimes be compared to placing your head inside a plastic bag that is filled with toxic fumes,” says John Bower, founder of the Healthy House Institute. Among the most harmful toxins that can lurk inside your home are lead and pesticides, which studies have linked to brain and central nervous system damage, asthma, and even behavioral problems.

So how can you avoid excess exposure to these harmful toxins, dust, and chemicals? Here are seven things you can do right now to reduce the danger in your home. Read more.

10 Organizing Secrets Pros Don’t Usually Share for Free

10 Organizing Secrets Pros Don’t Usually Share for Free

If the calendar months had personas, January would be the drill sergeant that marches on in, demanding push-ups and tidiness.

Getting organized, after all, is one of the top New Year’s resolutions, according to the most recent survey from Nielsen. It tails behind fitness and budget goals.

Want to buck the trend and stick to your resolution to get organized? We’ve called in professional organizers for back-up, and they’ve shared some lesser-known organizing secrets that they don’t usually shell out for free. Read more.

7 Drama-Free Strategies for Getting Kids to Do Chores.

7 Drama-Free Strategies for Getting Kids to Do Chores

“No parent is full of more false hope than one with a new chore chart,” declared Simon Holland’s viral tweet that had parents everywhere laughing and nodding in agreement.

For a household to function, there are chores that need to be done. But trying to get your kids to help you accomplish them can be a losing battle. We asked parenting experts to share their foolproof strategies for getting kids to pitch in — without a fight. Read more.

4 Critical Fire Safety Tips for Your Family Home — See This Winnetka Family’s Stunning Rebuild After a Devastating Home Fire

A Winnetka Family Rebuilds After a Home Fire (Plus 4 Fire Safety Tips)

It only takes a few minutes for everything to change. That’s what a Winnetka family learned when their vintage Tudor Victorian home of only several weeks was consumed by a raging fire on an otherwise ordinary Saturday morning. Thick black smoke filled the interior, and loud popping sounds came from inside the walls. When the wife and mother of four (ages 12 to 19) ran out the front door, a bedroom window exploded.

While the event was devastating, it gave the couple an opportunity to rebuild with a more open, light-filled floor plan. For help, the couple turned to Morgante Wilson Architects. “From the very beginning, I knew that was who we needed to work with,” the wife recalls of an early consultation with the firm’s co-principal, Fred Wilson, noting that it was his gregarious nature that sealed the deal. “We were standing inside the burned-out house, and he actually had me laughing!”

Over the months that followed, the fire-ravaged home was brought back to life, its footprint expanded with a large new addition that connects to the original structure by a light-filled stairwell that looks out into the backyard. Inside, “there was almost nothing to save, so it’s all new furniture,” explains Morgante Wilson co-principal Elissa Morgante, who handled the interiors with the help of colleagues K. Tyler and Danielle Wyatt. “The owners really embraced the fun part of the process.” Read more.

11 Steps to an Organized Garage (Plus the Products to Keep It That Way!)

Is there any spot more desperate for organization than the garage of a busy family? Wayward basketballs, buckets of screws and nails, last year’s unused potting soil — you name it, if it’s an item you’re not sure how to deal with, it’s probably lurking in your garage. If the state of your garage causes you anxiety (and embarrassment) every time you open the door to park the car, it’s time to reclaim your space. Follow these 11 easy steps for a tidy garage you’ll want to show off to the whole neighborhood. Read more.

Neat Method: 5 Tips for an Organized Home

Neat Method: Ashley Murphy and Molly Graves

Moving — for those of us who enjoy both knowing where their stuff is and, you know, BEING ABLE TO ACTUALLY FIND IT — can be rather traumatic. You have boxes, you have closets, you have dressers and cabinets in varying degrees of total chaos, and if you’re anything like me, you feel absolutely and utterly overwhelmed.

There were times in my first few months in my new home that I became irrationally angry because I couldn’t figure out HOW to fit what we had into the Rubik’s Cube of storage options in our apartment. I would just stand and stare for hours, trying to work out the spatial requirements for fitting all of my crap (and my boyfriend’s) into the space with grace and maximum efficiency. My boyfriend, in a fit of Chip Gaines-esque masculinity, built shelves in my closet (which was downright heroic). I tried various permutations — and I made some progress — but mostly I felt like there were creative, HGTV-worthy organizational solutions that my brain just couldn’t hack. Read more.

Organizing Strategies That Actually Work for Kids

Organizing Strategies That Actually Work for Kids

Sure, kiddies are cute, but they tend to leave a trail of chaos in their wakes. Tackling that clutter is no easy feat – grown-ups have a hard enough time managing their own messes! Cue the experts. We tapped organization pros for some genius tips on reining in kid-clutter and teaching children good organization habits they can carry into adulthood. Read more.

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