Posts tagged ‘Closet’

It’s a woman’s prerogative, right?

People used to ask me how the condo was coming along, and my answer almost always seemed to be “Really great, we’re almost done decorating!” I would laugh along when they replied “You’re never really done. And when you are, it’s time to move.” But in my head I would think how every decision I’ve made thus far is beautiful and wonderful and I’ll never grow tired of it.

Apparently never is equivalent to 8 months in the life of a decorator.

I’ve slowed down considerably in the past few months, happy, nay – ecstatic, with the way things were. But now as the holidays have become just a memory and the decorations are stored away in the office closet, I’m charging full force back into condo decor.

Our bedroom has become dull and lifeless.

Our office is lacking a craft space.

 

 

Our bathroom resembles an olive. 

You’re probably shaking your heads, some of you knowing this feeling all too well, some of you bewildered with my seemingly sudden change of heart. But fret not! All these rooms need are a little tweak here, a pop of color there, and I will be back on my honeymoon!

We moved here in May. With the whole summer ahead of us, I was out every night gathering inspiration and creating magic (aka beautiful decor), thanks to the sights and scenes that can be taken in while enjoying outdoor seating at 1 of the many restaurants on our block.

With the winter months upon us, all I want to do is go home and cuddle up on the couch in my snuggie. A boring home makes me sluggish, a sluggish me makes a boring home, what a conundrum! Well Mother Nature can’t get me down! Effective immediately, I will be assigning myself homework and deadlines. Follow me on Twitter or Like me on Facebook to keep up with my daily homework assignments and to offer suggestions for projects.

Viva la Condo!

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What dreams are made of

I’ve had all kinds of closets in my 24 years. My first adult closet was a “walk-in” where the ceiling went from 6 feet at entry, to 2 feet in the rear. It was only 3 feet wide and 4 feet deep. It was more of a crawl-in.

My 2nd could hardly be defined as a closet. At 3 feet wide and 1½ feet deep, it was smaller than my current pantry. The bar was so close to the door that a hanger would prop the door open. To make do, my whole 12′ x 10′ bedroom became a closet. I had racks of clothing against the wall, shelves for jewelry and hats, as well as bureaus and baskets for additional clothing storage. My bed became a substitute for that cute little stool commonly seen in luxurious dream closets, upon which you rest to dress your feet.

My present closet was nothing but a long pole under 1 long shelf before I got to it.I installed the center compartment for shoes, gym clothes not pretty enough to be displayed, jeans and decorative accessories. The shelves down below are additional storage and allow just enough room for my bathing suits and socks to fit beneath, in the canvas drawers.

This is all good and well. Everything is within sight (except for fancier dresses and seasonally-inappropriate-but-too-good-to-stash-until-next-year-clothes that are toward the back). The point is, it works for now. I wake up, stare into my closet until I decide on something, and then I dress easily and without a struggle, unlike with previous closets. I’ll take it…for now.

But it doesn’t hurt to dream. In fact, experts say day-dreaming exercises the brain. I think I read that somewhere. So let me concoct my dream closet for you.

It’s got to have an island, with drawers. Similar to the Victoria’s Secret 4 for $20 underwear display.

It needs ample seating. Practically a living room for me to retreat to for inspiration, cat naps, social gatherings, etc.

Plenty of natural light, and mirrors also to bounce off the illusion of even more natural light.

A luxurious chandelier.

A fancy writing desk with beautiful stationery because my dream closet will give off so much inspiration I’ll need to instantly write down new ideas every time I enter.

Of course my mannequin Bella will be there, and she’ll have a friend so I can display outfit choices for the day…it’s all about organization.

While we’re displaying outfits, let’s throw in a few pedestals. If I’m going to have friends in here we’re going to be trying on clothes. And because…well why not?

Lastly, I want a wine bar. Because what’s a social gathering without wine.

This dream closet is a far cry from all previous spaces my clothes have resided in. It’s undoubtedly excessive, completely unnecessary, and in no way is it frugally smart. But how boring would dreams be if they stayed within our budgets! While it is responsible and mature and, some would argue, mandatory, to make smart financial choices, if I didn’t dream big I wouldn’t have the desire to make champagne out of beer. Where would we be then?

Reach for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll still be among the stars.

You’re all invited to my closet party in 2021. Please RSVP by 2018 so I can build accordingly.

Pictures from top to bottom:

My closet: My camera

Island: Closets by Design

Seating: Fabulous Bridal Boutique, Cincinnati, OH

Mirrors: Stylistsinthecity.blogspot.com

Chandelier: Maison Classique, $6100

Desk: Horchow, $1399

Mannequins: Paris.unlike.net

Catwalk: Blush Bridal Boutique, Las Vegas

Wine bar: Baller Toys, $2025

Pretty Practical

I am on a constant lookout for new ways to stay organized. Owning a piece of property will bring out Danny Tanner-esque habits that one never knew existed. In previous residences, I never put much time into storage and de-clutter because the lease expiration date was always looming in the distance. I was always thinking of moving. Knowing that I will be staying where I am now for several years, I have no qualms about improving the space. Really, organizing is just a way of making a space easier to keep clean. Who doesn’t love that?!

Better Homes & Gardens really gets me. They know what I’m about. That’s why they’re always sending me emails with new storage ideas. Of course, some of the slide-shows they send me are a complete waste of time, especially when they fore-go instructions for a measly “Find a decorator in your area” link. But every relationship hits rough spots. They always make it up to me with flowers (I’m talking beautiful centerpieces in my email).

I can’t possibly use all the ideas given, especially with my 20 sq. ft. pantry/laundry room/coat room, but I can sure as heck pass the good ones along. Think of me as a weed whacker. I cut through the unsightly disaster to bring you beautiful, inspirational ideas for your home.

This small red laundry caddy was once an entertainment center, before the days of wall-mounts. A can of paint, a few screws, and a metal pole later: stress free laundromat.

Lazy Susans are not just for picnic tables anymore. I have 1 in my fridge for various sauces and condiments. Everything is within easy reach, refusing to be forgotten about to the point where it no longer resembles its original state. Seriously, these things have saved me so much money. I can’t tell you how often I used to make my grocery list, jotting down an item I already have because it has been relegated to the back of the fridge. AND..they’re under $10! Make sure to get one with a raised lip to avoid sliding.

I LOVE this floating ironing board. I, myself, use a steamer for all my wrinkly garments, but if I had an ironing board, I would definitely mount it to something. If you’re new here, I love things that float. Floor space is very valuable in a condo.

Along the same lines…

Most of us have those few articles of delicate clothing that won’t hold up in the rough and tumble of the dryer. We’ve all seen the fold-up drying rack that gets propped in the middle of your bedroom/ living room/ kitchen, etc overnight until your clothes are dry. Or worse, if you’re like me without such rack, you resort to draping your clothes over pieces of furniture. You should see our place after laundry day, it’s as if our bedroom closet spit up.

But this little treasure is out of the way even when in use. I don’t hang my wet clothes like shown here, for fear of them losing shape, but all the wooden bars are perfect for draping articles over. These are somewhat pricier than their cumbersome counterpart, but given how much I hate waking up to wet clothes in the living room, I’ll spend the extra $30 on the floating variety at Amazon.

Moving on..

I am a fan of glass containers. I have several on my vanity for hair ties, make up brushes, earring studs, etc. I have 1 in my laundry room as a “lost & found” for quarters and such that fall out of our pant pockets during the wash cycle. I also have several under my bathroom sink for shaving necessities, chapsticks and the like. They are very affordable…as low as $2 at Walmart, and can come in all shapes and sizes to meet your needs.

Always remember that practicality can be pretty. Guests may not see your laundry room, but that does not mean you should neglect it. With simple solutions like these, you’ll be looking forward to laundry day before you know it! Wash on!

Making things pretty

I’ve shown furniture pieces that I wallpapered in previous posts, but never before have I shown the process. That changes now.

I’ve been wanting to wallpaper the built-in center unit in my bedroom closet for a while now, but didn’t want to deal with taking it down. so I started smaller.

While cleaning up the office for our housewarming, I came across a small drawer that I bought months ago from Target when we were first moving. It had been sitting under the desk for months, unused. So I inserted it into my vanity without measuring…luckily it fit like a glove!Then I applied wallpaper glue using a neat little rolling sponge. This baby goes miles!

This wallpaper is from the same roll I bought off ebay for $10. More wallpaper than I could ever need…who am I kidding, I’ll find a way.

Press the wallpaper on with a smoothing tool..any straight edge will work really..to get out all air pockets.Go over the edges with a box cutter to obtain neat edges.Finito!

Pre-vanity I kept all my jewelry and makeup in drawers at the bottom of the office closet. I freed those up for guest linens, arts & crafts, miscellaneous storage, and sewing accessories. Any chance I can to improve storage, I jump at.

My vanity gets better looking each day 🙂

Now that I am experienced with wallpapering vertically, I can tackle the closet built-in. Stay tuned!

The Office – post decorate, pre paint

I’ve hesitated to show our office for a few weeks now, because it has become our storage room since we hastily moved in. But with all the bargains we scored in this room, I just had to clean it up a bit for a photo shoot.Everything in this picture cost us around $350 out of pocket. The horrible uncovered light fixture was left in the condo and we have yet to install a light into the ceiling fan (are you sensing a pattern here? 4 rooms: 4 ceiling fans: 1 installed with a light). The recliner was given to us by friends who were moving and decided not to move this with them. Bella, my mannequin was a Christmas gift from my mother. If I ever finish the dress she’s wearing (currently inside out) I’ll showcase it on here. The bookshelf (behind Bella) was on sale at Walmart for $15, down from $25.

The desk was a Staples floor model. When our local Staples revised their business model and stopped carrying furniture, we scored this for 75% off…only $180. The real expense was carrying it up 3 flights of stairs. It did break up into 3 separate parts, the hutch and both halves of the L, all pieces equally heavy. Out of everything we now own, this desk was the worst thing to move in.

The futon was from The Dump: $150. Our condo has 2 bedrooms, this being one of them. Since we only need 1 for ourselves, we felt it wasteful to use the second exclusively for guests. We also needed a work room for me to sew and for he to work. The previous owner used what is now our dining room as his office, but as someone who loves to hosts dinner parties, our guest room became an office/guest room.

The closet holds mostly arts & crafts, such as fabric, sewing patterns, sketching tools, etc. But it also holds shoes, belts, and his endless supply of t-shirts (2nd shelf from the top: exclusively t-shirts). The top shelf consists of items that we have yet to find a place for: Purses that were taking up too much room, winter boots, guest linens, etc.

Suggestions welcome!

Obviously we still need to paint. We’re going with a light red color, possibly identical to the dining room, maybe lighter. A large piece of artwork is also missing from above the futon, just haven’t decided what it will be yet.

The top shelf in the closet existed before move-in. The lower shelves and hardware are from Home Depot: under $5 each. The 4 drawers on the bottom are 2 separate components from Target: $25 each.

 

 

The pantry just doubled my kitchen space

Remember the before. Cluttered, messy, disorganized, and every other word that implies we moved in and threw everything in here that didn’t have room elsewhere.

The during:

The Present:

The shelves are from Lowe’s. It was (2) 9 ft shelves for $20 each, cut into several 2½ feet shelves. The brackets were $2.50 each.

 

The laundry basket is from Home Goods: $25. The shelf that is now resting on it will be mounted a foot higher and will hold laundry detergents. The towels will decrease in quantity and the lucky ones will be mounted on a shelf above the coat shelf seen below. The 3 drawer component is from Lowe’s for $12. Plenty of storage for a lost & found (whatever falls out of pockets in the washing machine), plastic bags, toilet paper, workout gear, umbrella & miscellaneous. I’m still looking for a space for the weights and yoga mat other than the floor.

Enough room for the 2 of us to hang our coats plus more for company. The scarves are kept above the coats and the 3rd shelf will go above the scarves with about 2 feet of room for the towels.

I’m still interested in painting this room to give it some more character, but I don’t want the white hardware to be obvious. It’s not exactlt high priority but I daydream about colors here and there.

I would also love to cover the water heater but I don’t know how safe that is nor do I know what I could cover it with as I’m not fond of cheap canvas-like curtains as room dividers. And luxurious, plush curtains wouldn’t really go here…

Moving forward on the pantry plans

My previous post about turning my laundry room into a pantry really got the ball rolling. It was something I’ve been thinking about since we moved in, but kept putting off for financial reasons as well as time consumption. Here are the ‘before’ (and current) photos, followed by a blueprint for the ‘after’:

It doesn’t look this bad all the time. With the transition from summer to fall the laundry has been flooding this room (although I can’t say the floor is always spotless either). The problem is we don’t have a laundry basket yet. It sounds like there would be a simple solution to this, but we also don’t have a place for it. I like a hidden hamper. Our rooms are too pretty to be spoiled by a basket of dirty clothes against the wall. Under the bathroom vanity would be possible, but that creates a new problem for my beauty products.

This room probably seemed like a great idea during the planning stages. It’s a small condo, so presumably for 1 or 2 people, room is only needed for a coat rack and extra linens. But this is our only storage in the unit.

We do have alot of towels, unnecessarily. We’ve acquired many over the years and why throw out a bath towel? We have the essentials for storage: baskets, shelves, hang bar. But we lack the necessities for change. I’m going to need to buy several more shelves for my plan, which are pretty inexpensive at the local Lowe’s.

These shelves proved satisfactory for a while (an old Walmart 9 cubby unit with the verticals removed). But if I plan on storing food and wine and opening up room in my kitchen for more gadgets and barware, a major change needs to happen. Here are the “blueprints”:

I have 4 feet across to work with, 2 feet in depth, and 9 feet in height. I plan on using the left for a pull out laundry basket with a shelf on top for detergents and fabric softeners. The coat rack and extra linens will also be on the left. The right will leave room for wine, food, winter accessories such as hats and gloves, bath tissue and paper towels, and workout gear. The bottom right will be a small shelf used as our own “mud room.” If room allows, we will also keep our biggest gadgets in here: a popcorn popper, juicer, and Magic Bullet blender. While browsing Lowe’s aisles last night, I discovered that RubberMaid has an interactive tool on their website where you can design your dream closet, and print out the shopping list. It doesn’t provide as much custom configuration as I would like, but still a neat tool for others. I will be making another trip to Lowe’s tonight and hopefully buying what I need this time.

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