Posts tagged ‘Organization’

Like magic…

Until tonight I kept my cookbooks above the kitchen cabinets. While they looked OK from a decorative aspect, they were impossible to reach without hoisting myself up on the counter. They were practically useless because the location discouraged me from cooking. And I swear, I really do enjoy cooking.

 That all changed tonight when I stopped into Hipster Home to pick up a few concealed wall shelves.

I’ve been wanting these for a while and when I saw them in HH’s Christmas display window, I knew I could hesistate no more. For only $15 a piece, it is such a cool way to display books.

I love the way the books appear to be floating. My cookbooks are now easily accessible while still decoratively displayed. They really add interest to the wall. I’m all for a cool painting but this kind of wall art is what really gains attention.

Anyone can have a plain bookshelf in their home, but this alternative turns your books into art.

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Vanity Showcase

I’ve showed my vanity briefly before, but this post will be dedicated solely to that. My neighbor Amy of Amy Bird Tweets recently suggested I send pictures of my DIY to Jackie at Sweetie Pie Pumpkin Noodle for her “Vanity Week.” I hesitated because of the beautiful vanities she already had pictured on her site. So I was inspired to turn the empty wallpapered table in my bedroom with a mirror perched on it into a beautiful vanity where I glamourize myself.

I hung up the mirror, gathered all my beauty products that were scattered in front of the closet mirrors, in the bathroom, and even in the office, and finished the trim that I’ve been thinking about for weeks.

The result: Something practical, and beautiful. Since we have yet to find any great artwork for the bedroom, my jewelry on display will do for now.

But wait! With only a quick flick of the wrist…

 

It becomes a bar in my living room! I will show a better example of the bar/buffet during our housewarming party in a few weeks. It only took 5 months, but this blog has helped me get the to-do list down from 100 items to about 40…so we finally planned our housewarming and now I have 3 weeks to finish the remaining items.

I really love the finished look Joann’s hem tape gave. Thanks to Amy and Jackie for pushing me to finish this!

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…

My Bedroom in all its imperfections

My last post about the canopy gone wrong made me realize that I haven’t photographed my bedroom in full yet. This wasn’t just a misstep on my part, but a deliberate attempt to not show what was not yet done. But I’ve gotten over that and am ready to reveal my “in process” rooms, no matter the state.

Here goes:

*Pay no attention to the “canopy” above the bed that I haven’t taken down yet.

The window valances came with the bed set and are not staying. I hung them up with white sheer panels that I “eyeballed” instead of taking measurements. They were about a foot short of touching the window sill.

I may have previously mentioned my newfound addiction to wallpapering furniture. That is on display in these photos.

The bench at the foot of the bed is made up of 2 2-drawer components from Target. I made the bench pad from foam, batting and the same velvet fabric used for the headboard. The trim from JoAnn fabrics is only fastened with pins right now because I didn’t buy enough and haven’t sewn it yet.

The drawer front is a different pattern than the sides.  Not sure if I love it yet. In the picture above it seems to go together, but up close it looks a little more clashed. Take a look:

I bought the rolls of wallpaper on Ebay for a total of $20 (1 roll of each).

What triggered the addiction was my bedroom vanity. One of our first furniture purchases was a TV stand from Ikea for $50. After falling in love with a coffee table that didn’t match this style at all and deciding to mount our tv to the wall, we had no use for this TV stand. I mean NO use. With a little over 850 sq ft to work with, we brainstormed every room. Maybe a buffet in our 8×8 dining room. Maybe a wall mounted shelf over our bedroom closet. Maybe a work area in the office. None of these rooms could spare the space. It stayed in our hall for a month while we thought of who we could give it to or if we should eat the $50 and throw it out.

Finally! when talking with a friend about my desire for a vanity in our bedroom as well as my wish for a versatile mini bar, she suggested I add taller legs to the trash-bound TV stand and paint it. We left for Ikea immediately and bought 4 legs at $12.50 each with casters for easy mobility.

It was decided the surface couldn’t be painted without sanding, and wallpapering would be the way to go.

The result is my beautiful bedroom vanity:

The ends are a little messy so I plan on adding a gold trim…just haven’t figured out how yet.

The stool is from Home Goods, $30. It’s a little short right now, nothing Ikea legs can’t fix. Still not sure if I will keep it. I wanted a vanity stool that could look good on its own if I ever move the vanity into the living room to serve as a buffet table during a party. But maybe that’s a silly idea to decorate around.

The mirror will be hung on the wall. We’re also still looking for alot of creative art work. Don’t judge our bare walls just yet.

Revisions to be made to the scene on the left:

  • Canopy removed
  • Pendant lighting hung above nightstands.
  • Wall art

 

 

 

 

Revisions to be made to the scene on the right:

  • Mirror hung on wall
  • Wall Art
  • TV wires hidden (in living room)

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.

The Laundry Room…Potential pantry?

 

No this is not my pantry (www.womansday.com)

 

Our laundry room is a great feature of the condo. I love having the washer/dryer out of the way. I also love having it so close to the bedroom. In our last place we had to trek down to the dark, cold basement late at night when the urge would rise for clean clothes. We also have room for guest linens, extra towels, workout gear, and other necessities that would fall under “miscellaneous.”

But I long for a formal pantry. We don’t have much cabinet space in our kitchen, especially given my addiction to excess barware and gadgety appliances. Besides the fridge, we only have 1 cabinet for food, and it’s below the breakfast bar. Needless to say, groceries are often forgotten about until they are rotten.

Just in these 3 top cabinets, I keep: every day drink glasses, beer steins, pint glasses, wine glasses, champagne glasses, martini glasses, brandy glasses, margarita glasses, martini shaker, coffee mugs, plates, bowls, smaller bowls, smallest bowls, really I could go on. I would love to have a section in my imaginary pantry for barware. Those slots that are installed onto the bottom of shelves that hold wine glasses by the base…that would be ideal.

Plenty of shelves for dry foods and snacks are a must. I also can’t forget about all the existing things in there. I need to keep room for: laundry detergent, weights, yoga mat, broom, mop, sneakers, winter coats, umbrellas, toilet paper, paper towels. Maybe even a pull out hamper? Ugh! This is definitely going to become a major project. Did I mention the space available for these shelves is one 5 foot-long wall about 2 feet deep? The ceiling, however is higher than average at about 9 feet.

This is beautiful and if I keep room on the right for a small coat rack and the mop and broom, this is about all I have width for. I, however, feel like I have much more to store than pictured here. A winery just opened up down the street. Although I tend to finish a bottle before having time to store it, a small wine rack would be nice. 39 bottle capacity is wayy too much for me. Maybe I’d just keep the top left, enough to hold 5 bottles. Perfect for unexpected company. Pots and pans are covered so I don’t really need space for those in here. The more I analyze this pantry from closet world, the more I realize it’s only the size that first attracted me.

 

 

 

 

More suitable pantries pictured below:

 

Just my style, but no room for anything but food

 

Wine storage!

The pantry on the left in beige is from http://www.closettailors.com

To the right with wine storage, http://www.paradiseclosets.com

The yellow pantry that looks reasonably priced, I found at merrymousse.blogspot.com

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