It’s often the small things that can make life stressful - whether it’s misplaced keys, overlooked bills or dark, dull corners that seem to attract clutter.
Instead of just daydreaming about having a calm, perfect-place-for-everything home, journalist and mother-of-three Joanna Gosling decided to put her thinking cap on.
She came up with a series of simple-to-follow projects, all of which now feature in her new book Home Made Simple: Stylish, Practical Makes For Living And Giving.
She shows how, with a little effort and some basic DIY, you can furnish a well-equipped corner for sorting household finances (or enjoying hobbies), funky lights, and even conjure an attractive home for those wandering keys.
“I love making things for the home because it saves money, you can make nicer things than you can buy, and there’s the bonus of the ‘I made it’ satisfaction every time you look at it,” Gosling enthuses.
“As, like most people, I don’t have enough time to sit and spend hours crafting something perfectly, my mantra is ‘minimum effort, maximum return’,” she says.
Follow her photo key box project for a bright, business-like corner in your home...
“Giving your keys a home where you can stash and retrieve them in an instant is pretty good for stress levels,” says Gosling.
“This is a lovely place also to display photos and remind yourself of happy memories and, when closed, it doesn’t look like a key box, which is good for security.”
You need: Three-bottle wine box with a sliding lid. Source from wine merchants who often sell these cheaply as gift packaging, or search for them online; Emulsion or eggshell paint; Drill; Eight 1.2mm x 17mm screw hooks; Bradawl; Photos or images for the front; Spray acrylic sealant (optional); double-sided tape.
Method: Remove the rope handle, if your box has one. Leave the unfinished pale wood as it is or paint.
If you’re going to hang it, drill four small holes in the corners of the box for screwing it to the wall. Mark drill points 4cm up (or down) and in from the sides. Use a pencil to mark evenly spaced dots where the screw hooks for the keys should go. Do a row of three, then a row of two, then another row of three, and stagger the hooks so that the keys don’t bunch on top of each other. Pierce each hole using a bradawl and screw in the hooks. The back of the box is thin wood, so screw the hook through until the point is just poking through the back.
Choose photos with a sealed finish, or use an acrylic sealant, to go on the front. Fix to lid with double-sided tape.