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Stylish and practical decor

Kelli Uhrich is a busy writer and active career woman from Phoenix, Arizona. When she's not writing, she enjoys diving into hands-on projects, reading and blogging. To connect with Kelli, visit her blog, A Happy Place Called Home or Tw...

Beauty and function in one

Who says practical can't be stylish? When great design and added function go hand in hand, you've got the best of both worlds! Get the most out of your home decor by choosing items that get the job done, and look great doing it. We've selected eight products to get you started.

1. Serving trays

It may surprise you, but there's more to do with a great looking tray than serve up breakfast. Decorative trays, like these square lacquer trays from West Elm, can be used throughout your home to create visual boundaries for accessory items. Use them on the kitchen counter to group crocks holding cooking utensils, on the coffee table to organize books or on the dining table to hold a centerpiece of decorative vases.

2. Storage totes and ottomans

Storage products with lids are great for keeping cluttered spaces in check. Place a small tote on the kitchen counter to collect mail or on your nightstand to hold your favorite evening reads. Use a storage ottoman in the family room for a convenient place to stash blankets, gaming equipment or even seasonal throw pillows. We love the Marcella storage tote in aquamarine from Z Gallerie.

3. Standing fans

With summer temperatures heating up, keep things cool with standing fans. These fans are practical, convenient and eco-friendly, and they're also available in many decorative styles. You'll save money on your electric bill by cooling only the rooms you need. We love Dyson's new blade-less fan designs for their sleek and polished look!

4. Placemats and napkins

Dress up the table with these stylish accessories. Not only do they protect your fine furniture, they can easily be exchanged to correspond with various seasons and events. They'll add color to your space with no need for long-term-commitment anxiety. For a summer table, try the Cool Blue placemat and napkin set from Target.

5. Modern sound systems

The modern-day boom box features clean lines and smooth finishes -- it's the perfect way to play your favorite tunes straight from your iPod. These elegantly designed gadgets, like the Geneva sound system, eliminate the need for bulky cords, which keeps them looking great alongside your existing decor.

6. Fabric crates

As popularity for open-shelf storage has grown, so has the need for decorative storage. Luckily, fabric-covered crates can hold your odds and ends like models on the runway. Their decorative patterns, wide range of color selection and affordable pricing make them the go-to pick for functional storage. We're fans of the ClosetMaid Mini Fabric Drawers from Bed Bath & Beyond.

7. Decorative rugs

Rugs might just be the power players of home decor. They define living spaces. They reduce sound echo and improve interior space acoustics. They can even serve as inspiration for an entire color scheme. But most importantly, rugs keep a room grounded and enhance your personal style. Add a sea-like vibe to your room with Ikea's Malin Blad 4-foot by 6-foot rug.

8. Light fixtures

Great lighting will make any room shine -- especially when added in layers. To create layers of lighting in your home, you'll need a few lighting options in each room. For example, combine a hanging pendant chandelier with a few recessed can lights in the dining room. Use dimmers to control the intensity of light from each fixture and create different levels of ambience. We love industrial style fixtures, like the Cozy Light Pendant from Homedecorators.com.

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