Welcome to Krrbside Questions, a column created solely to answer your queries about living local and being the good neighbor we know you all are. Taking a stab at your home decorating woes this time around is Megan Meany, televison host and secondhand hobbyist. With her finger on the pulse and a knack for turning furniture from drab to fab, we’ve asked her to answer your burning questions. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any.
Q: Our bikes have been in storage all winter but now that it’s warming up, we want to use them. My problem is that I can’t stand the idea of bikes crowding the entrance area and leaving them in the hall of our apartment building isn’t really an option either. What should we do?
A: Think up! Hanging your bikes on the wall is, number one, a great space saver. Number two, the bikes act like a piece of sculpture. They bring visual interest to a room. You could buy brackets that allow them to be stored horizontally against the wall by their frame or you could hang them from ceiling hooks by the wheel.
A simple google search for bike brackets, bike hooks and bike storage turns up all kinds of hardware. Check out this wall mounted bike rack with a wire shelf for sale on Krrb.
Depending how creative you want to get and what your budget — you could also find a handyman or contractor and ask them to build something for you to store the bikes on — whether it’s on the wall or ceiling.
Another option is to scoured vintage shops and flea markets for an old outdoor bike rack from a school yard or playground and put it right in your living space! It would bring some history to the room and make for a great conversation piece. Decor should never be too serious.
If you don’t like the idea of seeing your bikes — have you investigated the width of your closets? I’m always amazed at what I can fit beneath hanging coats — a mini trampoline, two air conditioners, a cooler, just to name a few!
Q: We’ve been thinking of buying some art for the home and I’m finding that I’m attracted to fun, bright colors and modern pieces. I’m hesitant to make any purchases because I’m not sure how to mix those with our small but cherished collection of darker, moodier works my husband made in art school. Are there any guidelines to follow? They make it look so easy on decorating shows.
A: The good news is there really are no rules. Eclectic decor is embraced in 2013. Your art collection doesn’t have to match. Buy what you love. But here are a few styling tips that may make the bright vs. dark art look like a family.
Get continuity by choosing similar or like frames, even if it means reframing pieces. For example, use thin, simple frames but mix up the colors.
Keep the two collections separate. The bright art on one wall or in one room and the dark pieces on another wall or in another room. There’s power in numbers so the more you group one type the more of a statement it makes.
Now that doesn’t mean you can’t mix different works. You could mix the modern pieces with the moodier ones but do it in a pattern so every other painting is dark or the top row is dark and a second row that hangs beneath is bright.
For best results, try mapping out these suggestions on the floor before committing to hanging art on the wall. But don’t worry, it’s ok to rearrange art after it’s hung if you come up with a better arrangement.
Q: I recently purchased a Parsons console to make an impromptu office in a corner of our home. I want to avoid overloading it with papers and files. Any advice on keeping my so-called desk organized and looking not-so-desk like?
A: Keep a few essentials on the desktop like post-it notes, pens, a pad of paper, stapler and an incoming paper tray for mail, bills, invitations. Use the wall above the desk as your long-term storage space.
Bracket shelving is one way to go. Just measure your space and choose accordingly. You or a handyman can easily install them in a vertical line up the wall above the desk. Buy boxes with lids that have hanging files inside to place on the shelves. This way everything is organized but visually hidden. Remember storage can be stylish and functional, I like the options available at See Jane Work.
Another option is investing in a stylish file cabinet on casters to slide underneath the Parson’s console to give yourself more drawers. Check out this secondhand IKEA filing system for sale on Krrb. And though it was originally intended for plants — Urbio, the urban garden modular system that hangs flush to the wall actually makes a cool, modern looking clutter control systerm.