First is a storage solution. I don't know about your home, but here we have a problem with shoes. Typically, everyone comes in through the garage into the kitchen and takes off their shoes. I hate for shoes to be on the carpet. I hate for the shoes to pile up in my kitchen though. No matter how many times I would have the family put them away in their closet, the next day the shoes would appear again usually with a couple extra pairs in tow. I felt like I was tripping on shoes all day long.
The worst part came when the little man began crawling. Like all babies, he's drawn to everything nasty and dirty and loved to chew on shoes. Think walking to school, think playing in the yard, think boys school bathroom! YUCK! To solve the situation, I looked high and low for the perfect solution that would be affordable and durable and pretty. Durability and prettiness being key. This is what I found.
It looks great, it has a ton of room inside, and it's comfortable to boot. Love it! I know most people would put this at the end of their bed or to use as a foot rest in the living room, but I needed it in my kitchen.
Next, was a communication solution. I painted my kitchen cabinets a couple of weeks ago. They were a deep stain from the dark ages of the 1970's and I brightened them up with a nice coat of white. (Not fun.) I have one tall cabinet end that I painted with chalkboard paint to use as a message board. (So fun.) Now, the kids know what's for dinner, their daily chores, and how much allowance they have earned so far. Makes my life simpler, plus they have a great place to draw. That solves the artwork being thumbtacked around the house when I'm not looking, too.