What is a drop zone in a house and do you need one? Learn what's usually in an effective drop zone.
I was honored to be quoted by Marianne Hayes, in Ownerly, an amazing online magazine with lots of tips and tricks for homeowners. I've cut and pasted the article here, but this is where you go to see the original article.
"We probably all agree that having a clutter-free home is a good thing. It’s nice to keep things organized, but everyday life can make that tricky. If your entryway is littered with shoes, backpacks, mail and the like, a drop zone might be just what you need. What is a drop zone in a house? It’s exactly what it sounds like—a space to neatly drop your stuff when you walk into your home.
A well-designed drop zone carves out a spot for everything you unload when you come through the door. It’s also meant to be aesthetically pleasing to blend with your interior design style. A drop zone is a simple way to tidy up your space, but it can easily become a mess if you don’t have a good system. Here’s what you need to know.
Drop zone in a house: What is it?
Drop zones are dedicated areas of your home that are either in or near your first point of entry into your home,” said Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interior Designs. “Imagine yourself laden with grocery bags, your mail, keys, lunch kits, sunglasses and your purse. You want to ‘drop’ everything on the floor when you arrive home. That’s your drop zone.”
Instead of dumping these things on the floor or your kitchen counter, they’ll have a designated spot that keeps your home free of clutter. Think of it as a catch-all for sports equipment, shoes or anything else your family routinely enters your home with. A drop zone can also help prevent essential items from getting lost in the shuffle.
“When choosing a location for your drop zone, consider a high-traffic area such as the entryway or mudroom,” said Jen Stark, the founder of Happy DIY Home. “This will help ensure you don’t forget items as you head out the door.”
Drop zone ideas
Focus on a busy walk-through area of your home, ideally near the most used entryway.
“Do you live in an apartment and enter through your front door? Or do you have a home where you enter through the garage?” asks McDonald. “Try placing your drop zone to the closest area upon entry.”
McDonald suggested a low dresser or console table that’s deliberately left empty and clear if you use your front door the most. You can drop everything on that flat surface if you walk in with your hands full.
“It’s a great idea to have your permanent storage right near that console table,” McDonald said. “Often my clients use the back of their hall closet equipped with baskets and hooks on the back of the door so that you can easily hang up a light coat or sweater, and there is a place for your keys, mail and purse.”
The most important part of a drop zone is having a clean, horizontal surface that’s big enough for you to unload when your hands are full. McDonald uses a low bookcase unit. She has a plastic container in one of the cubbies for her receipts, a small bowl for her keys and loose change, another bowl for her sunglasses and a space for outdoor shoes. Above the unit are hooks to temporarily leave kids’ backpacks, jackets or umbrellas.
“Baskets are also a great place to drop things,” McDonald said. “They keep things contained until you have time to place them away neatly. In a pinch, a bench seat with a basket underneath and hooks above can be a lifesaver.”
Keeping a drop zone organized
According to Stark, a well-designed drop zone should be both functional and stylish, providing a place to store your belongings while also adding to the overall aesthetic of your home. Above all, the goal is to keep this area organized and tidy—otherwise, it defeats the purpose. If you’re tight on space, you still have options.
“A narrow console table with baskets or bins underneath is a great way to add storage without taking up too much space,” Stark said. “Wall-mounted hooks are another option for small spaces for hanging coats, hats, bags and more.”
For a more substantial drop zone, look for pieces with plenty of storage, such as benches with built-in cubbies or hooks. Just be sure there’s enough space for everyone in your family to use the area comfortably.
“Label storage containers and baskets so everyone can easily find what they’re looking for, and consider using dividers or trays to keep things like keys and mail sorted,” Stark said. “If you have young children, be sure to choose storage containers that are durable and easy for them to use.”
From there, don’t be afraid to add some personal touches to your drop zone. This can include family photos or a fun doormat to make the space your own. Just remember that drop zones aren’t designed for permanent storage.
“It is simply a holding area that you can temporarily use to place items while entering the home,” McDonald said. “At the end of the night, it’s a good idea to put your shoes and coat away so that it is clean and available for the next day.”
Drop zone alternatives
There are a few reasons you might prefer an alternative to a drop zone. Maybe you prefer to keep your entryway clear and open. In any case, here are some solutions that might work for you:
Create a mudroom
A mudroom is an area of your home that’s specifically for removing dirty boots, muddy shoes and wet clothing. You might carve out space for one in your laundry room and add extra organizational systems for backpacks, keys, dog leashes, etc.
Convert a flex room
A flex room is typically a small space that may or may not be a separate room. It’s essentially a nook that you can convert into something like a home office or workout space. It might also make an ideal drop zone.
Use your garage
For those who enter their home through their garage, McDonald recommended setting up a landing pad right beside the door inside the garage. You can place hooks inside the garage wall for your coats and sweaters and set up shoe storage there.
Do you need a drop zone?
It really depends on your lifestyle. If you’re frustrated by constant clutter in your home and are looking for ways to get organized, a drop zone could be a great solution especially if your entryway has become an unloading zone for your family’s stuff.
A drop zone might also increase your home value. Every home and local market is different, so it’s best to consult an experienced real estate agent who understands what buyers in your area are looking for. Setting up a drop zone is inexpensive, so there isn’t much to lose. To appeal to future buyers, you might consider installing shelving units, a built-in bench or lockers for family members to keep their things. When you’re ready to sell, these formal touches could be attractive to buyers.
A drop zone is a simple DIY project that can help keep your home more organized. You can also dial it up a bit by installing fixtures that add to your home’s functionality and style. In the end, it could even increase your home value. " by Marianne Hayes
Let me know if you need help creating a drop zone in your home!
Don’t Stop at Walls! 23 Unique Places You Probably Haven’t Thought of to Add Accent Colors In Your Home I'm thrilled to be featured in Redfin!
Check out the recent Redfin article we were featured in:
Don’t Stop at Walls! 23 Unique Places You Probably Haven’t Thought of to Add Accent Colors In Your Home
Nothing refreshes a room quite like a fresh coat of paint. And although your walls get the most attention when painting a room, there are many overlooked areas in your home that can be brightened up with a splash of color. Whether you're looking to paint an entire wall or add subtle hints of color to perk up your living space, we've got you covered.
We reached out to experts from Vancouver, BC to Las Vegas, NV, who revealed unexpected places where you can get creative and add accent colors to liven up your home. Check out their ideas to get inspired!
1) Paint a mini accent wall behind floating shelves
For a perfect DIY décor project with little work but lots of impact, add a square or rectangular block of a bold color behind the shelves. If you're terrible at painting straight lines, you can frame the block with rail molding or use bold wallpaper. Include items on the shelves that coordinate and compliment the bold accent color. This allows your shelves to look bigger and gives an intentional feeling to otherwise plain shelves. -Amble & Awe Interiors
2) Bring character to your walls and surfaces
A splash of color on a feature wall can go a long way in giving your space a makeover. You can paint a design or lean on contrasting colors to completely change a room's look and feel. And even if you're a renter, there are plenty of products on the market specifically designed for renters with an eye for design who want to incorporate accent colors into their space. Use temporary wallpaper and stickers to change the appearance of your walls without falling foul of your contract. -Cobalt Blue 1802
3) Add colorful personality to your front entryway
You have your own personality, so why not have it also shine through your home? Your front entryway is your guest’s first impression when walking into your home, so let it stand out by adding a bold accent color. You can do this by painting a console table or even adding a bold printed wallpaper to a furniture piece or wall. -Kenna Mae Interior Design.
4) Pull color inspiration from your décor
Spruce up your boring walls by pulling a bold, bright color from an existing pillow or draperies in your space. You need to ensure that the bold color relates to something else in the room to give that true 'designer look' and tie the space together. For example, you can pull a bright orange from a pillow and incorporate it into a bench seat while also applying it to one of the walls. -Jil Sonia Interiors
5) Give your kitchen cabinets a bold makeover with an accent color
Adding a paint color can make all the difference to your space. For a bold and quick makeover, paint your cabinets using Sherwin Williams Universal Khaki (SW6150) to add that pop of color your kitchen needs. -Certified Interior Designer
6) Don’t forget the fifth wall - add color to your ceiling
Not sure where to add some color? Just keep your chin up. Take full advantage of the fifth wall by adding some color or pattern. The ceiling is often a forgotten space, but it’s the perfect accent wall because it covers the entire space. -Inside Stories
7) Add a pop of color to your powder room
If you'd like to add bold color to your home without overcommitting, try paint or wallpaper in your powder room. It can offer a fun, unexpected element to an area where friends and family typically spend a short amount of time. And don't stop at the walls; the ceiling is a great place to add unexpected color too. -Letter Four
8) Highlight hallways doors with accent colors
Hallway doors, while highly functional, tend to be mundane. Breathe life into your hallways by painting the doors in beautiful colors. Whether you unify them with one single hue, watercolor them with different shades of the same hue, or go all out in an homage to the rainbow doors of Ireland, this design statement will change the way you feel about hallways forever. -Gretchen Schauffler
9) Introduce accent colors to your kitchen cabinets
If you are looking to add a splash of color to your kitchen, consider painting your cabinet doors a contrasting color to the base of your cabinets. This will create another layer of color and add a new dimension to your space. Ramp it up a notch by replacing your cabinet panels with glass. -Lindsey Murillo Interiors
10) Add interest with a vibrant trim
People tend to think of a bold color for the wall paint - but it’s much more unexpected to do a pop of color on the trim. A cherry red, navy blue, robin’s egg blue, or even mustard would look chic on the baseboards, crown, and window molding. Pair with a complementary wall color, wallpaper, or a soft white for a unique and memorable look. -Maggie Stephens Interiors
11) Refresh your stairs with accent colors
Instead of leaving your staircase to fade away into the background, incorporate it with the rest of your home’s color scheme by painting it a vibrant color. Not ready to take the plunge? Test the waters by painting a lesser-seen set of stairs first - like your basement or attic stairs. -Arters Design
12) Use accent colors to highlight a focal point in your home
Accent walls are a great way to add unexpected excitement to your space. Use color to emphasize a focal point in a room, such as a fireplace, built-ins, or a large window. Balance an accent wall with a neutral color on the other adjoining walls in a light to medium neutral color. -Dwell & Oak
13) Personalize your space with colorful fabric
One of my favorite ways to add color is with fabric. If you’re a little scared to upholster your entire sofa, liven up your pillows with a fun pattern. Pillows are the perfect place to start, and you can always switch them out when the time is right. -Lauren Ashley Design
14) Add interest to your closet with a fun color or wallpaper
Consider revamping a closet with a fun color or wallpaper to create a beautiful space for an entirely different purpose. We painted our closet a deep shade of blue and outfitted it with a changing table, wardrobe, shelving, a rug, and décor to create a makeshift nursery for our new baby boy. Repurposing a closet to utilize as an office, craft area, kids play space, or reading nook are great creative options, too. -Liz Gaffney Design
15) Use your artwork as inspiration to form a color palette
Buy a piece of art or choose a beloved piece that you already own and pick out 3-5 of the brightest colors in the artwork to use as the accent color palette in your home. From there, you can take a leap and be bold when you are painting your home. Take color risks in smaller rooms like powder rooms and guest rooms, and paint the color you love on all the walls and ceiling (use a washable low sheen paint so the color appears more saturated).
Bonus tip: Nix the matchy-matchy. One common mistake is trying to match everything to each other. For your home, try to pick five colors you like together as a base for your decor. Three of them should be neutrals, and two can be bright accent colors! -Color & Design Collective
16) Add accent colors to a folding screen
In 2021, the use of folding screens has become very popular as we can use them as our Zoom backgrounds while working from home. I recommend that the screens be painted quite soberly on one side, matching your neutral wall decor, while the other can incorporate a more adventurous zing of vibrant color. I love Farrow and Ball's Yellow Cake or a neon-esque hot pink opera rose red hue like Benjamin Moore's Blushing Red. -Áine Atara
17) Refresh utility rooms with accent colors
Who said utility rooms have to be boring? Be daring with your color choices. Midnight blue cabinets with hot pink interiors set against a crisp white background will undoubtedly get you in the mood for cleaning. Complete the look with hot pink and luxurious gold decorative accents to really pack a punch. -L'atelier Kauldhar
18) Give your mudroom the attention it deserves
Make your mudroom colors a bold and welcoming accent to your home by incorporating bright colors, both on walls and millwork. Don’t be afraid to try classics like Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy or North Sea. Should you feel especially inspired, try a stand-out color like BM’s Admiral Blue. Add a whimsical touch by using a chalk paint for writing family schedules, shopping lists, messages, and inspirational words. -Luxe Design
19) Use a bold accent color to create a cozy atmosphere
Most have heard that dark ceilings make a room feel smaller, and while this is true, it doesn't make it a no-no in all instances. Sometimes when a room is too large to relax in, and you need a cozy, more human scale space, a dark ceiling can quickly reduce the large expansive feeling of a room to that of a perfect nook to lounge in. Bold saturated colors in paint or wallcoverings on the ceiling is a great way to personalize and humanize large spaces to feel more comfortable. -BMorCreative
20) Spruce up your wall trims
After the gloomy year we've experienced, color pops and accents are the perfect additions to making your room unique and happy. Pops of color enhance the feel and interest of a room, and adding bright trim paint to your room awakens the space and makes it shine. -Jenn Cameron Interiors
21) Add a wow factor to your entryway by painting your stairs in a bold accent color
Stairs are usually a boring feature in any home. Why not transform them into a statement piece? You could paint the individual spindles on your staircase in graduating shades or paint the face of each step in different colors for a rainbow effect. -Loving Quarters
22) Incorporate accent colors in high traffic areas within your home
A mudroom is a hectic space where families drop off their gear, whether it's a book bag, handbag, or briefcase, but it doesn't have to be left out. Painting the walls an accent color can lift the room, bring it to life, and make it the perfect first impression. I recommend Benjamin Moore Night Train 1567, Benjamin Moore Metropolitan AF-690, Benjamin Moore Hail Navy HC-154, Benjamin Moore Navy Masterpiece 1652, or Benjamin Moore Nantucket Fog AC-22 as accent color options for the space. -Bina Murphy Interiors
23) Frame fabric to create a colorful art piece
Do you have extra scraps of colorful upholstery fabric from past projects that you have tucked away in your home? Use the leftover fabric and place it in a frame with matting. Framed fabric art is a simple way to add interest and texture to your home without a lot of effort. -Jewel Marie Interiors
Originally published by Redfin
Let me know if you need help finding the perfect accent colour for your home!
Are you wondering What is the difference between an Interior Designer & Decorator?
It can get complicated, but here's a brief summary...
Interior design is the art & science of understanding people's behavior to create functional spaces within a building. They are often used for renovating kitchens and bathrooms. They know code and take all the details into consideration. They do not create architectural drawings for permits (they can hire out for that), but they do draw floorplans and furniture plans for discussion purposes, which is very helpful for clients & contractors.
Interior decorating is the furnishing or adorning of a space with decorative elements to achieve a certain aesthetic.
In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.
We'd be happy to design or decorate your home!
Update: For More information check out my video interview below from Oct, 2021.
I speak more about it around the 19 minute mark after discussing trends for 2022.
Well this is a great day!
I've just found out I was voted as one of the top 3 Interior Designers in Abbotsford, BC (as well as the top 3 in Chilliwack, BC).
Please let us know how we can help design your home, we're working virtually across Canada & we'd love to help you!
Hi, are you wondering how virtual interior design works?
I'm glad you asked!
I've created a short video below showing how our Online design services work.
We truly do not need to see your home in person.
But we do need just need a few photos and a rough measurement of the room.
We direct you to a quick online questionnaire asking you more about your taste and style, the function of the space, your budget & timeline.
Here's an example of a mood board we've made for a client's bedroom.
We then take it from there!
Need more info? Please click on the video below.
We'd love to help!
Wow what a crazy, uncertain time right now! Now, more than ever, we need each other. We need each other for truth, for support and to feel less alone during a time that can honestly feel quite scary.
Our willingness, as a people, to step up in the face of what we are all experiencing with COVID-19 is awe-inspiring.
We are being told to self isolate and engage in social distancing. That means many of us aren't leaving our homes, unless we truly need to.
We truly believe our home is a place of refuge and hope you can love your space while you turn to family and friends in an era of social distancing.
Perhaps we can think of some fun things to do, that otherwise we might have not had time to do.
Here's a few examples:
Let’s all be there for each other OK? I’ll be posting lots of great ideas of what to do design-wise while staying inside, on my "Jil Sonia Interior Design's Facebook group."
We’d love to have you join us!
Keep safe and remember to have fun!
Here is an outline of what a happy consultation looks like with me.
1. We meet and have a 2-hour consultation, either in your home or my design studio, we discuss your likes/dislikes, needs and priorities. We take into consideration all elements: colours, fabrics, floor plans, cabinets, furniture, budget etc.
2. I take notes, then transcribe them later (if you decide to carry on with my services), onto a worklist.
3. I provide you with an estimate of my design fees to carry out the design plan. You can choose to move forward yourself, or you can carry forward with our design services, whichever you choose (you don’t need to make that decision on the consult date).
4. If you move forward with our services, we email you the initial general written plan, which we call the Scope of Work. I update it with any additional items you’d like to include.
5. After I’ve finalized the Scope of Work, I create a mood board for most rooms, so you can see how items look like together.
6. We meet again to present the moodboards and ideas with you, using photos, and samples.
7. If you are ordering certain furniture, tile, etc. I do get trade discounts and share those 50/50 with my clients. These discounts can be substantial.
8. My fees are $395.00 for the first 2-hour consultation; then after that, my rates reduce to $175.00 per hour, and you can use me as much or as little as you like. GST is added to my rates.
If that's something that might work for you, I'd love to help. Together we'll come up with a great plan to create a home that you love.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions.
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.