Your home can be organized and beautiful.

If you had to choose would you choose form or function?

I recently had a discussion about this with one of my favorite clients.

She said that her sister who is artistic will always choose form. But my client herself is very practical so she will always choose function.

But guess what? I am here to tell you that you can have both! This is why I am so passionate about organizing and styling. It is those finishing touches that make your home feel warm and welcoming. These finishing touches also add an extra incentive to keep these areas organized.

There are so many creative ways to provide beautiful storage solutions that are still just as functional and easy to maintain. For example, this is a photo of my client’s bathroom counter. I have worked with her for years and she has a beautiful home that is decorated with earth tones and pops of greens.  When I walked into her bathroom and saw a  dusty clear dish on her bathroom counter with a mixture of buttons, coins and some jewelry thrown together I told her I knew we could do better.

Her first question was if we put some other tray or dish here isn’t it going to look more cluttered? Nope! I assured her that was not the case. I suggested we go straight to the kitchen and look in her cabinets at the entertaining pieces she was not using. We found this beautiful wooden tray and then we grabbed these adorable bowls. The greens in the bowl matched her bathroom accents perfectly.

The whole process took less than 20 minutes but made such a big difference! It didn’t cost her a penny and it elevated her bathroom and gave her a more functional system.

Do you have a spot you could improve in your home by getting creative with some storage?

 

Are you ready for summer guests?

photo credit: Pure Salt Interiors

Summer can be such a busy time filled with lots of activities and trips. It can also be a time for last minute guests.

-A visit from family or friends or a last minute sleepover for the kids.

– Birthday parties and cookouts, Special occasions and events.

-A neighbor dropping by for a play date or glass of wine.

-A last minute weekend get away or day trip to the beach or lake.

So what can you do to make summer a little easier and less stressful? How can you be ready for your guests and stop that last minute panic?

Guest Room:

-De clutter your guest room now. If it is always ready for guests then there is no last minute panic and shoving everything in a closet.

-Update the bedding and towels. Make sure everything is clean and fresh.

-Make sure the room is clean. Dust and vacuum regularly to keep the cobwebs and dust away.

-Make sure there is a working lamp or some sort of lighting.

-Check your guest bathroom inventory for soap, shampoo and any necessities guests may need.

-Have a space for guests to put their suitcase or hang up a few items.

Household Systems:

Set up household systems so that everything has a place and it is easy to maintain. This makes a last minute clean much easier.

Keep surfaces clear from clutter:

Keep main surfaces as clean as possible. Try not to use your dining room table, kitchen table or kitchen island as a drop zone for papers and other clutter. If these surfaces are easy to clear then last minute entertaining is much easier.

Kids Areas:

Create a summertime routine so that kids areas do not get completely out of control.

There is no reason for “mom” to keep spinning her wheels cleaning up all the time. Kids can be taught routines and taking care of their things; then when they ask to have a friend over no one has to be stressed and cleaning frantically at the last minute.

 

How does your home make you feel?

 

 

Does your home feel like a sanctuary or is it a source of stress and anxiety?

I had an interesting conversation with a longtime client last week. She commented that she loved her powder room and it made her happy. It was recently redesigned with a new bold patterned wallpaper and a textured tile backsplash. Along with a new beautiful navy vanity and a fun piece of artwork.

Before my client even said anything I had been thinking how much the powder room represented her fun bold and colorful style. And how streamlined and clutter free it was compared to other parts of her house. So I asked her “What if your whole house could feel as good as this powder room?”

You don’t have to tackle your whole house at once. Just take one space at a time. Walk around your house and take inventory of what spaces and things you truly love. Less is more..you can create the home you have always wanted.

Take one room at a time and be a ruthless editor. De clutter, organize and style it so it represents your current lifestyle. And your style right now. Not the you from 5 years ago, not your ex-husband’s style and not the hand me downs from your family and friends you are keeping out of guilt. Keep only the things that feel like you and make YOU happy. (Of course, you do have to be mindful and respectful of other family members and their spaces.) But start with what you can change and you and everyone else will notice a difference I promise!

Living room design for senior clients

 

I got a call from some clients that I have worked with for years. They are a sweet older couple in their late seventies and wanted to convert one of their guest bedrooms into a cozy den.  I was so excited to help with this project! The only things they really had in the room were 2 new recliners and a TV stand that had a fireplace insert. (Which they said they absolutely loved the coziness the fireplace added so that right there gave me some ideas.) So the design was a clean slate!

I suggested we do a cozy library feel with lots of browns and oranges. Soft glow of candles and fireplace.

They had an eclectic mix of artwork so we discussed that 3 different types of art would not work in the room. Southwest, Thai dancers and a barn. We decided to use some beautiful prints we had discovered while de cluttering my client’s office. They were beautiful brown sketches with an old world feel and would definitely go with the vibe of the room. We redistributed the other pieces of art to different areas of the house.

We started with a Pinterest board to narrow down color palette and general aesthetic. I encouraged them to order a low bookcase to go on an empty wall to add some warmth. I suggested we style it with some mementos from their travels, old books and a few new accessories. It would also be a good place for my client to keep his lap top and any reading materials he wanted near his recliner.

I took them shopping and it took us a little over an hour to find everything left on our list!

It really is amazing how a cohesive color palette and accessories can completely transform a room.

We still have a few tweaks and things to add but I love the way it turned out. It is such a cozy relaxing room. And the best part… the dog agrees!

 

Things I envisioned for the room:

-Low bookshelf in a dark wood to match TV stand

-Vintage sketches framed above bookcase

-Panoramic picture on long wall above recliners

-Faux plant to bring outdoors in (they did not want maintenance of a live plant and very little light comes in room).

-Battery powered candles in metal votive holders to create a cozy relaxing vibe

-Rug with warm colors like brown, orange and green

-Curtains in a neutral color

-Display old books and mementos from travel

-Stained glass lamp

-Wooden tray

Colorful Office Design For My Client

 

I recently worked with one of my longtime clients on designing her office. She is a doctor who was moving to a new office space and wanted to make it colorful, fun and inviting. Because I know her style and personality I had a vision in my head and I knew it would embrace her personal style! The office was pretty drab to start with so we really wanted to add some blues and pinks to give it some pop.

We started with a Pinterest board and narrowed down some of the options I presented to her. Things that were on the list:

-Cabinet for storage but not too big

-Bar cart to use for extra storage and add some glam

-Round rug to add color and warmth but not get in the way of the door opening

-Colorful fun art- I chose a few alcohol ink paintings because I thought they would be a bold fun look.

-2 cozy chairs for patients to sit in

-Standing desk positioned so she could see out the window

-Round mirror to reflect light

-Faux roses to add some pops of pink

What is your favorite part?

The Advantages Of A Closet Clean-Out

How is your closet feeling this Spring? Are you constantly wearing the same few outfits? Are you frustrated with your wardrobe? Tired of trying on things that don’t fit or don’t feel like you?

This is why I LOVE closet edits! A good closet clean out can provide so much clarity and save you time, money and frustration. Once you get rid of everything that isn’t working then you will feel so much better! When the seasons change it is the perfect time to evaluate what you actually wear. The seasonal swap is a great time to take inventory and you can make an intentional shopping list based on what you truly need. Then when Summer rolls around your closet is organized and your wardrobe is refreshed! Just in time for those summer vacations.

This photo shows a closet of “styled” outfits I have put together for my busy client. We know all of it fits and looks great on her. The whole outfit is ready, complete with jewelry! It’s an easy grab and go. No more last minute clothes crisis before work, your next event or a last minute trip!

I like to shop your closet and mix different colors, pieces and accessories so that you never get bored with your wardrobe. There are so may great staple pieces that can be styled a million different ways. Once you have the staple pieces you need then it makes getting dressed so much easier. The staple pieces in your closet are the building blocks to an outfit and the accessories and third layers are the icing on the cake.

How would you feel if you could open your closet and have an outfit ready for any occasion?

Let’s dive into your closet! I’m ready when you are.

Favorite Closet Storage

We can’t all be lucky enough to have a giant closet. These days all you see on social media are these beautiful dream closets with floor to ceiling storage and gorgeous chandeliers. However, many of us (myself included) have to make do with an average size closet. Over the years I have lived in many different style houses. I have to say my husband and I love old houses with all the charm but none of the closet space!

Therefore, I have had to learn to get creative to max out my storage space. Also, I have learned that you don’t need as many clothes as you think you do! Weeding things down to what you truly love and wear is half the battle of having an organized and streamlined closet.

I wanted to share one of my absolute favorite storage solutions for a small closet. It is truly a game changer! I have used this in multiple houses for my own closet and used for clients as well.

It is called the Elfa Start a Stack and you can find it at the Container Store. There are a few different versions once you start looking at Elfa but one of the things I like about the start a stack is that it is a freestanding tower of drawers. It is perfect for rentals and small spaces. So if you are someone that likes an easy solution that can be assembled in less than 30 minutes then this is it! It does come in a few different widths so you want to measure your space but I have found the depth perfect for a small closet and the height as well. It slips perfectly under your hanging clothes so that you basically have a built in dresser under there maximizing all that space.

I actually do not own a dresser anymore and use these drawers for anything I don’t want to hang. Leggings, workout wear, pajamas, casual tees, scarves, lingerie, lounge wear…It makes putting away your laundry a breeze! I file fold or roll most of my stuff so that it is easy to see and grab.

These also work great in kids closets! And there is a taller version you can buy and use to max out that wasted vertical space. You can also use it to store kids clothes, toys and craft supplies. The best part is the kids can easily find things and easily help put them away.

The start a stack is such a multipurpose storage solution. It’s great in any closet, pantries, laundry rooms, craft spaces, kids homework spaces.. the possibilities are endless. If its a little over your budget just keep an eye out for the Elfa sales which run multiple times each year!

https://www.containerstore.com/s?source=form&q=Elfa+start+a+stack

Some organizing tips for sharing a small space

living room

Sadly, I have not written a post in awhile and we have all been in this crazy pandemic life for almost a year now. Wow… it really has felt like a long year.  I think we can all agree we will never take those small things for granted again. The pandemic has made many of us really evaluate what we do truly miss and what we are actually happy has changed. Many of us have slowed down from our busy schedules and realized this slower pace is kind of nice. So it’s not all bad, right?

The new norm right now has become lots of people working from home and many kids doing remote learning. When the whole family is home the majority of the week and you are all sharing a space it can get tricky. Balancing work with school and making sure everyone is set up for success in whatever space you have available.

This brings me to the question of “How does your house make you feel?” If you are constantly stressed out and tripping over each other and piles of stuff then something needs to change. Your house should support you and be a space you can relax in. ( I’m not saying you will never be stressed but at the end of the day you should be happy to wind down in your space. So what can you do to make small changes that will make a big impact on how you view your house? The key is to set up systems that work for your family and are easy to maintain.

Start by making everyone responsible for their work space. If you or your spouse have a d home office or desk set up somewhere then set boundaries that no work is allowed on the kitchen table. If you have to use the kitchen or dining room table as a temporary workspace then set a boundary that by dinnertime the space needs to be cleared each day. This will work as well for children that are using it for remote learning or homework. Getting them a little utility cart or small bin for all of their supplies will make it easy to clean up and find things the next day.

Set up a drop zone somewhere in the house where items land on your way in or out of the house. If you don’t have a large mudroom or designated space you can create one easily with a little table, bookcase with cubbies (like the IKEA Kallax) or a bench with storage. This is where shoes, keys, phones, purses,dog leashes, masks and hand sanitizer can land to avoid cluttering up other surfaces. Hang a decorative hook on the wall for keys and masks or set up a bowl or tray to keep them in.

Keep the family room as clutter free as possible by using baskets and other storage to hide blankets, remotes, kids toys, etc. There are so many great pieces that double as storage; like coffee tables and ottomans. The biggest mistake I see is when parents let the kids treat the family room as their playroom. This space should be for kids and adults. If the kids want to have some toys or games in here then do a toy rotation. That way the majority of their stuff stays in their rooms or playroom. At the end of each night or beginning of each day have them help you put things away.

Lastly, this is an important one…your bedroom is not a dumping ground for laundry and odds and ends. I hear clients says all the time that no one sees it so it doesn’t matter. YOU see it!!!! So it does matter. More on this soon…

So ask yourself what you can do right now to make your home feel better and be easier to maintain?

 

Spending more time at home?

Most of us have been spending more time at home whether we like it or not. Since the stay at home orders due to covid-19 we have all been feeling a little cooped up. This brings me to the big question of how do you feel about your home environment? Does your home make you feel stressed? Is it full of clutter, piles and unfinished projects? Or does you home feel a little blah and unfinished…no art on the walls, no color, no finishing touches? Or is your home almost the way you want it but it feels like it is missing a little something? It just doesn’t feel like you and your style?

Basically, all of these problems are caused for the most part by indecision. Yes sometimes it may be a lack of money or time but most of the time we get stuck living with the way things are and accept it. For example, I had a client one time who I was helping de clutter and stage her house to sell. When I opened the door to the small closet in the kitchen that should have been the pantry I was shocked. The client was using this closet for coats and then she revealed that canned goods were stored behind the row of coats and completely inaccessible and out of sight. I asked her why she had never made this a pantry and she didn’t really have an answer. She set it up that way when she moved in and got used to the challenge of it and accepted it as her only solution. Once I suggested we move the coats to the appropriate bedroom closets and purchase a small coat rack for the front entry she was excited to design the space as a pantry. One call to a handyman and wooden shelves were installed in the back with narrow shelves on the side for cans and condiments. She was thrilled with the transformation and only wished she had done it in time for her family to enjoy it more. Although, it did help the house sell!

A common theme with clients moving and having their houses staged is why did I not do these things sooner? I love the way my house feels and functions so much more now. Years ago I attended a seminar and one class completely stuck in my mind. The class was called “the eyes of a stranger”. The concept is a fairly simple one. Walk in your front door as if you are a stranger seeing everything for the first time. You would be amazed how you notice things differently.

During this crazy time with all of us spending more time at home try to look at your house through the eyes of a stranger. Sometimes the smallest changes can yield the biggest results and really change the way you feel about your home.