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 create and 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.
All the materials used in her projects are inexpensive - old wine boxes are transformed into a desk, storage and a key box, for instance.
"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.
"I've worked out the quickest, simplest way to do things that are useful, decorative and bring character to rooms."
Follow three of her projects for a bright, business-like corner in your home...
Photo key box
"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."
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
Eight 1.2mm x 17mm screw hooks
Photos or images for the front
Spray acrylic sealant (optional); double-sided tape
If you're going to hang it, drill four small holes in the corners of the box for screwing it onto 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.
Wine crate desk
"I love this desk. It's such a practical design, with its internal storage, big surface area and castors, which make it easy to move around," says Gosling. "It's a perfect work space for anything, from writing to crafting.
"My version is a combination of wine crates and cheap MDF. It means it's not entirely free to construct, but it's still far cheaper than buying anything even remotely as stylish."
Add matching storage with painted wine boxes, and glue household pegs on the sides of them so you can clip on paperwork or photos.
Strong wood glue
Four 12-bottle wine crates
Two sheets of 30mm MDF measuring 505mm x 175mm, and one sheet measuring 505mm x 1460mm (or however wide you want it to fit your space)
Eight 50mm castors
32 x 1cm screws for the castors
Drill with 2mm and 4mm drill bit
12 x 6cm screws
Paint, preferably eggshell
Roller and small paintbrush
Place the large sheet of MDF on the floor. Position one small piece of MDF at either end of the large piece and align the edges. Glue the small pieces in place using plenty of glue. Now position the end supports on top of each of these small sheets of MDF, ensuring the interiors of the crates are facing inwards. Glue these in place. This is the basic construction of the desk upside down.
Position four castors on the corners of the base of each end support and screw them on. Using the 2mm drill bit, drill small holes into the wood through the holes in the castor plates for the screws to go into.
Now switch to the 4mm drill bit and drill six holes through the top wine crates into the MDF (one at each corner and two in the middle for strength). This is for the 6cm screws, to fix the base to the desk top. Position the screw against the drill bit when you fix the bit into the drill. Make the length of the drill bit slightly shorter than the screw, so that you don't drill too deeply and go right through the desk top. Screw together. Once the glue fixing the wine crates together is dry, flip the desk over. Finally, paint the desk using a roller.
Fabric cable lights
"If you can wire a plug, then you can make one of these brilliant lights very easily, and they're so versatile and useful," says Gosling. "Make the cable as long as you like and, with a couple of hooks on the ceiling, you can fix them to light up anywhere in a room. You can position them high or low, as you want."
NB: Ensure finished light and bulbs are not positioned near anything flammable, such as fabrics or upholstery.
Switched metal lamp holder
Fabric-covered three-core cable - measure the length you need (historiclighting.co.uk has a good range of colours)
Cable stripper and small screwdriver
Bulb (make sure it is compatible with the lamp holder - screw or bayonet)
Screw hooks to suspend the light from the ceiling
Make sure you connect the wires to the correct points - double-check the correct wiring by doing an internet image search on 'how to wire a plug'. Screw the two parts of the lamp holder together.
Strip the wires at the other end of the cable and connect to the plug.
Home Made Simple: Stylish, Practical Makes For Living And Giving by Joanna Gosling, photography by Rachel Whiting, is published by Kyle Books, priced £19.99. Available to readers for £16.99 (inc p&p), UK mainland only. Call 01903 828 503 and quote ref KB HM/PA