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!
Holidays are so important to all of us. Is the time where family and friends gather to show our gratitude for each other and to celebrate!
This year we're keeping it simple, gone are the years where elaborate decorating was de rigueur. We are now featuring more texture, adding earthy elements to the table such as olive branches, eucalyptus, or fir branches. Candles are still a must, Remember, we don't need facelifts or Botox, we just need beautiful candlelight!
Springs of Cedar, rosemary or thyme can be tucked into your linen napkins and tied with a piece of hemp rope for a casual, yet elegant appeal
Try switching up your cutlery - black or gold cutlery can make quite a statement and can be used for years to come.
Forget the Santa napkins or reindeer napkin rings. Let the food speak for itself.
Sometimes all you need is sparkling glasses, candles, natural elements running down the length of the table and of course brilliant conversation!
Really, that’s what the holidays are all about.
Let us know if our interior design firm can help with any last minute decorating, we'd love to help!
Interior designers get a lot of emails from our wonderful suppliers. I look at each and everyone of them as I need to know the latest trends in kitchens, bathrooms, exterior home finishes.
The email today from Marathon Hardware didn't disappoint! The Eurocucina 2022 Design Show was held in Milan, Italy from June 7-12/22. The show featured many of the latest design trends and innovations for kitchens, bathrooms, and every other room in the house.
Watch this quick kitchen video above showing the latest and greatest in kitchen design for 2022.
Did you know countertops are moveable? Well yes they are!
Let me know if you need help with your kitchen or new build, I'd be happy to help!
Creating a perfect home design is one of the essential contributing factors to modern homes. Besides the fact that it helps to improve general appearance, it also increases the value and creates a soothing atmosphere.
Interestingly, creating a perfect home design is not as tedious as many assume.
Do you want to create a new design or remodel your home design? Are you keen on giving your interiors a facelift without breaking the bank? You are in the right corner! This guide offers a list of essential décor items that will help to improve and remodel your home design.
1. Wall Art Paintings
Wall art paintings and photo prints are essential décor items that should be present in any modern home design. Paintings are one of the oldest means of creating fantastic home designs, and these paintings play vital roles in creating harmonious color flow and adding completeness to your décor flow. Also, they help to create focal points, improve texture, and add aesthetic value to your space.
Depending on your preferences, there are several types of wall art paintings you can explore for your home designs. It is best to consider primary factors such as theme, color, size, and design. You can choose flexible options such as butterfly wall art paintings with beautiful color mixes that will fit into any space. Alternatively, you can opt for personalized paintings specific to your design theme.
2. Colorful Area Rugs
Area rugs are essential décor items that can add more value to your space than you imagine. This décor item adds colors, creates a warm atmosphere, and offers a soft comfort under your feet. It is also one of the ways to complement your wall décor, improve texture, and personalize your space.
Area rugs make significant contributions to your home design color; hence, it is best to opt for one that flows with other décor items in your space. These rugs are available in infinite patterns, textures, colors, and styles. Feel free to choose one that best suit your needs, design, theme, and preference.
3. Add Touch of Nature with Plants
Do you wish to have a feel of nature in your space? Explore the various options of natural plants suitable for indoor decorations. Adding natural plants will improve the appearance of your home design, and it will also act as a natural air purifier. These plants can absorb oxidants often emitted by paints and some furniture.
You can enhance the quality of the natural plant by using decorative plant beds and flower pots. You can explore any of the several indoor plants available. However, it is best to remember that using natural plants requires proper monitoring, nurturing, and maintenance.
Light is another important décor item that must be included in any modern home design. Using suitable lights in your interior design helps you create cozy spots and add depth to your design. It also enhances relaxation, creates a personalized atmosphere, improves mood, and adds dimension to your space.
Consider exploring multiple colored LED lights for enhanced flexibility. Other types of lights, such as decorative chandeliers, floor lights, pendants, and lamps, will also contribute to the decoration of your home. Also importantly, don’t forget to create room for natural lights while fixing your home design.
The functionalities of mirrors in your space are not limited to admiring yourself each time you pass by. It is an essential décor item for adding brightness to your space, enhancing dimension, and creating beautiful reflections. Mirrors are also a great way to make small spaces appear bigger.
Getting the best out of mirrors in a home design deals with strategic placement, size, and type of mirrors. Avoid placing mirrors directly across bright lights to avoid harmful reflections.
Creating unique and personalized home designs is not rocket design. It only requires creative and harmonious integration of essential décor items. Feel free to explore the décor items above and many more but don’t over-stuff your space!
Our tip is to ensure you have everything in front of you, kitchen cabinet samples, tile, flooring, hardware finish, etc. Then ensure you select the paint colour that works seamlessly with those samples!
It's essential to have everything in one place, then once you've narrowed it down to 2-3 choices, use large painted samples to see just how it's going to look!
Contact me if you need help!
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.
With the Covid-19 lockdown, we've been doing more and more online design. We use a program called Design Files, which we love. It's a wuick and easy way to show our designs and to organize our interior design mood boards.
Here's how we use it with our amazing clients!
We'd love to help you with your Interior Design projects - Online!
Here's just a few to choose from. Click on the highlighted text to learn more.
Determine your perfect design package by clicking on any of the items below...
Any questions? We're happy to help!
I'm thrilled to be featured in Canadian Home Trends magazine for January 2020.
There is a contest with great prizes to be won!
More and more of my interior design clients are wanting Navy couches and sectionals. It's a timeless classic colour, but still feels fresh!
I've added this rug and beautiful gold lighting and accents to make it pop!
Lots of fun pillows just add to the charm!
Wicker baskets hold cozy throw blankets and the wood toned end table and chair create a warm look!
So honoured to be able to compete. The other designer created a beautiful mood board, soft pinks and whites in a beautiful bedroom. See the whole article here :)
Happy Decorating! If you need help completing your living room, I'd love to chat!
Well, can you imagine my surprise and utter joy to receive an email from HGTV yesterday?
I'm honoured and absolutely thrilled to be featured as one of their Interior Design Professionals.
I'd love to have you check out two of the rooms I recently completed for a fabulous client of mine in Surrey, BC.
Just click either of the Room photos above, and join the fun!
Jil Sonia McDonald is an interior designer working in the Lower Mainland, and Fraser Valley, BC.
Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, I'm thrilled to announce I won the best interior designer by Houzz for 2019.
Just a little note, I've won this for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and now 2019. Feel free to click on the link above for more info!
If you'd love to get professional, interior design advice, please email us.
Have a great day!
Hi, my name is Jil Sonia McDonald of Jil Sonia Interiors
I am thrilled to have been asked to guest post for Maria Killam while she is away vacationing in the land of the Tuscan sun. I've copied the post here.
I have been a professional Interior Designer for the past 12 years, located in beautiful Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada.
I am absolutely passionate about Interior Design and it gives me great joy to create dream homes for my clients. I love what I do!
Maria had a few questions for me.
1. What’s your favourite colour? Why?
I have to say my favourite color is "Simply white" OC-117 by Benjamin Moore. It is the perfect white for walls. It is not too creamy, not too gray, not too "pinky".
Being an Interior Designer, has me working with paint, furniture, fabrics, carpets and tiles, everyday. Simply White is the color that allows me to change up my accessories with clients, and even at home - whenever the mood hits me. And as other designers will tell you; we love updating our own home and work spaces.
I have found that when using white walls, it is important to add texture to the room, such as this lovely coffee table in a distressed wood from Restoration Hardware shown below, or this rattan end table. I have seen that when we use all flat, smooth, finishes white paint can look like primer – definitely not what we want.
2. What was your biggest colour/design mistake?
I work with a 15 step design system, which doesn’t leave room for mistakes, but sometimes it’s the little things that really ‘make’ a room. I once decorated a client’s home and it turned out beautifully, client was thrilled, but it didn’t have anything with ‘meaning’. Now, I always try to add something that is personal to a client, such this client’s great, great, grandmother’s silver cutlery. Our client had these beautiful pieces mounted in a shadow box, and now they are a wonderful conversation point – brilliant idea!
3. What is the most important colour lesson you’ve learned?
When I started out as a designer I had no idea about undertones in colour selection. I thought a beige, was a beige. I discovered with the training and mentorship program from Maria Killam's course “Specifying Undertones”, that there are many undertones of beige – pink, yellow and green, to name just a few! She taught me to compare colours, so that we, as designers, can know exactly how to give our clients, or ourselves, the PERFECT colour. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. Such a great professional development experience that one can add to their role as an Interior Designer.
4. When it comes to colour, what’s hot?
Grey is still hot – but I see white over taking more and more! Clients are all asking me for light and bright. White walls with pops of coloured pillows, throws, and accent trays, as pictured below. I just love it!
5. Which colour do you think is timeless?
I think a grayed blue is timeless. I strongly recommend you use a very grayed blue — so grey looking that on the paint sample chip itself, it looks gray, not blue! Colour appears twice as bright on your walls as on the chip, so we always need to select muted gray blues unless we want in-your-face baby boy blue.
One of my favourite grays with a slight blue undertone is Stonington Gray HC-170.
6. Which colour trend would you love to see disappear?
If I had a magic wand I’d banish the world of pinky beige carpet. I’ve discussed this with carpet manufacturers – they were blissfully unaware! Pink beige can clash with so many other colours – especially yellow!
It’s one of those non-descript, all pervasive, colours that look too much like skin tones and doesn’t give clients the fresh, bright colours that we’re all yearning for today. Often builders who don’t hire professional designers, think it’s a neutral colour, but it’s far from that!
Here, client’s dog Bella, shows off her timeless medium brown flooring – isn’t that much lovelier than pinky beige carpet?
7. What do you think is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make with colour?
The biggest mistake homeowners make on their own is trying to select a paint colour first. Really, we should be first selecting our hard finishes, and in the following order: countertops and tiles, flooring, furniture, draperies, pillows. Paint comes last.
We have thousands of paint colours to select from. It is absolutely vital that homeowners choose wisely, with the help of a great interior designer. Paint colours should be a beautiful backdrop for the other items we have selected, unless the paint finish is a beautiful metallic or lacquered finish.
Here, we’ve added a darker, grayed blue table, which just pops against the Simply White walls.
8. Which part of participating in Specify Colour with Confidence™ created the biggest breakthrough/aha moment/insight for your business, and how did it help you move forward?
I realized just how important it is to compare colours. It is almost impossible to determine the undertones unless you compare samples side by side, with a pure white background behind them. A simple piece of white poster board is such a great tool to have on hand when choosing colour.
Now, I meet all my clients with absolute confidence. I know that I will help them choose the most amazing paint colours, fabrics, tiling, and more, making their home perfect!
For more great tips, interior design insight, or to see more photos of my work, please check out this blog. I’d love to see you there!
Maria, thank you for this exciting and amazing opportunity to guest blog. I’m eternally grateful for all the colour instruction that I’ve received from you. I’ve just not found this instruction anywhere else!
Now, I'd love to know... Which white is your favourite right now?
It's always nice to be featured in different publications and magazines!
Beckenstein Fabrics was kind enough to ask me to present my recent projects. I was happy to be featured with 2 other amazing interior designers.
Feel free to read more here https://www.beckensteinfabrics.com/3-talented-interior-designers-share-the-projects-they-completed-this-past-summer/
Thank you so much Beckenstein for your kind words and for featuring our designs!
Here's a few quick tips on lighting placement for your dining room chandelier or pendant.
Specifically, how high do we hang the bottom of our pendant or chandeliers, above our dining room tables?
Well, this depends upon the height of the room.
Here's a few quick examples:
8' high ceiling - hang the bottom of the light, 32 - 36" off of the table.
9' high ceiling - hang the bottom of the light, 36 - 40" off of the table.
10' high ceiling - hang the bottom of the light, 40 - 44" off of the table.
Hope this quick tip helps!
Let me introduce you to my new e-Design platform! We provide interior decor services for all rooms of your home, including paint, furniture, tiles, flooring and more.
We'd love to help you, please click below!
Can you predict the future? We think we can! We’ve looked at recent trends, at popular searches and more to come up with these bedroom design trends for 2018. Looking to update your bedroom this year? Try implementing some of these ideas for a comfy, trendy bedroom you will love.
For years, consumers have looked online for inspiration when it comes to their bedroom decor. As more and more furniture and mattress companies become online-only, we predict that consumers will begin to search there for actual pieces, rather than just for ideas.
When people find something that’s perfect, they tend to buy it, no matter the method of purchase. If they see the same mattress or piece of furniture recommended over and over again, they’ll be ready to buy when they find it online. This is especially true now that many sites are policing their reviews to make sure they’re coming from actual customers. When buyers know they can trust what they’re hearing, they’ll buy online more and more often.
Cooler Color Palettes
Many of the bedrooms featured in popular magazines, on TV, and in the movies demonstrate the extensive use of whites, grays, and light blues. All of these combine to form a cooler color palette for the bedroom than we’ve seen.
These colors go well with the minimalist look. If that appeals to you, this may be a trend you want to follow. Painting your walls is one easy way to change the tone of your room, but you can make your existing palette cooler by adding drapes, blankets, a bedspread, and more in your chosen cool colors.
A Relaxing Backdrop
We predict that empty minimalist walls are slowly going the way of the dinosaur. Not completely, of course! However, more and more featured bedrooms have one or two walls given over to some sort of nature scene. These can be painted on, printed on fabric and then hung, or brought in in the form of vinyl wall decals. No matter the method, bringing the outdoors into the bedroom is becoming more and more popular.
Four Poster Beds
These have been in the magazines and on popular blogs for a while now, but many people have been unable or unwilling to implement them because they take up a lot of space. They also make a room look smaller. With so many people buying brand new homes, though, we predict that they will make sure their bedroom has plenty of space for the beds they’ve loved for so long.
Four poster bed frames are also changing. They used to be heavy and awkward, but now are becoming lighter and minimalist. In their new form, they don’t seem to take up as much space as they used to, making them more practical for the folks who have always loved them.
If any of these trends appeal to you, implement them soon to beat the rush. Be the trendsetter among your group of friends, not the follower!
Myra Campbell is a researcher for the sleep science and health organization Tuck.com. Her passion for art and design brought her into the field. She began by researching how to create a relaxing bedroom and learned that great design can help improve our health and well-being. Myra lives in southern California and shares her queen-sized bed with two rescue dogs.
Who else loves mid-century modern finds? I love anything from the 60s - the clean chic look just fits into our lifestyle.
I was introduced to Max Sold lately. This is an online auction house, which sells every thing from couches, tables, art, and even the kitchen sinks! Being an Interior Designer, I couldn't wait to check it out.
I had scoped out Max Sold in our city of Chilliwack, BC. There was a family downsizing and had amazing well cared for items. I bid on a few items, keeping track of it each day - Max sold can email you when someone else bids higher than you. I had my eye on Christmas items from the 1960s. The pictures were clear and concise and I could see exactly what I was bidding on!
I ended up getting vintage Christmas lights that all worked (no I didn't leave them burning in the box) , those tin light reflectors, an aluminum tree topper and a gorgeous silver tree, which was just the right size for our home - all for $6.00. I cannot wait to put it up next Christmas, especially with the mid century modern ornaments that were included. Take a look at maxsold.com to see what's available in your area!
Let us know which great items you find!
As interior designers, our 'go to' pieces for interior decor are often toss pillows. I find they are a great way to pull a room together or to be used as inspiration for a whole room. Here's a few ideas for your room!
I haven't seen this wave edging before - I love her attention to detail.
It was very, very difficult to chose, but here's a gorgeous teal one that I selected for our living room. I think it looks great on my mother's vintage chair which I had reupholstered.
Therese can be contacted on Etsy, I highly recommend her and will be using her for my clients in the future!
I was recently introduced to Therese Maria Designs from Etsy. She creates beautiful pillows in an assortment of sizes and colours.
Loving this pink and orange one above!
This gray one looks so pretty, I'd love to use it year round!
Need help choosing the perfect accent pillow? We'd love to help use our "Ask a Designer service", we answer any question, other than paint colour, which is another service, for just $95.
Jil Sonia McDonald - Interior Designer of Jil Sonia Interior Designs.