Monday, October 4, 2010
1. You do not invite your friends or family over because you are too embarrassed about the disorganized state of your house.
2. You spend a significant amount of time looking for misplaced items.
3. You repeatedly buy duplicates of the same item because you cannot find the original item.
4. Clutter is creating tension in your relationships with your spouse and children.
5. You no longer enjoy your home because living in clutter is stressing you out.
6. Your children are picking up your clutter habits.
7. You want to get organized, but you don't know where to start.
We can help you reduce the stress of a cluttered home and free up more time for friends, family and hobbies. We establish order, work flows and systems that are easy to learn so you can maintain order in your home long after we leave. A small investment in our services can yield a high return in an orderly home that will recharge and nourish you.
Friday, October 1, 2010
For the last couple of years, I've been on a minimalist kick. I purged almost 75% of my belongings and kept only the essentials. Everything was simplified - patterns were sparingly used, surfaces were kept uncluttered, textures were flat and wall colors were neutral. Furniture had clean, mid century modern lines. It was soothing and serene with lots of negative space.
Zach Motl proves that more stuff can make a room look bigger in 178 sq feet.
Nick Olson's famous oregano walls.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Teach your kids to be organized by giving them assignments that are easy enough to do but challenging enough to leave them with a sense of accomplishment. It may be something as simple as hanging up all their clothing or putting away their toys every day. Organizing habits established early will stay with your children for life and help them be focused and productive.
This is the newly organized silverware drawer. When my husband and I first moved in, we both had our own silverware caddy that were kept in two separate drawers as they were both too big to fit together in one drawer. It was aggravating toggling between 2 drawers, so I bought an expandable caddy to hold everything in one drawer. I also squeezed in 3 additional baskets at the top for smaller items. No more dead space.
Spices are now kept in a drawer. Previously, they were inefficiently kept in a cabinet where I had to remove 20 jars to get to the oregano way in the back. Cooking became a chore as I would overcook food while I was wading in the cabinet hunting for the right jar. I wanted an easy way to view all the spices at a glance, and storing them in the drawer was the perfect solution. The drawer is very shallow, and most in-drawer spice inserts were too tall, so I improvised with some drawer dividers. This made access to the jars quick and easy.
I'm still trying to figure out the most efficient set up for the rest of the kitchen, but organizing these 3 drawers have made cooking a pleasure rather than a dreaded task. Each one of the prior inefficiencies alone was annoying but bearable, but it was the accumulation of all the annoyances that was making me dread cooking. Now, the kitchen is more streamlined and I look forward to making a home cooked meal.
Monday, September 20, 2010
My husband and I recently bought this console to display his glass work he blows as a hobby. Before, his glass work was scattered in the house, getting lost in bookcases and random places in the house. Now, we have a gallery-like showcase next to the front door, giving our guests a preview of what to expect in the house.
Your collections reveal volumes about your personality and lifestyle. Showcase them in a way that elevates them as art. It's a great conversation starter, and your friends and family will get a deeper understanding of who you are and what moves you.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
When I first meet with clients, I often hear the same stories explaining why their environments are in disarray. The following themes repeat themselves like a broken record regardless of the client's income, background or education.
1. Emotional chaos manifests itself in clutter chaos. There are difficult life events that create turmoil in our lives like catastrophic illness, death in the family, job loss and divorce. The stress, disorder and turbulence of these events are all consuming, and keeping house is no longer a priority.
2. No infrastructure to support order. The absence of organized infrastructure like a landing strip when you first come home or a functional storage system in the kitchen contributes to the proliferation of clutter. When you don't have an easy and well defined way of putting things away, possessions tend to accumulate on any available flat surface.
3. No established workflow. When clients get overwhelmed with bills or children's paperwork from school, it's often because there is no established workflow of receiving, processing and returning the paperwork.
4. The clogged flow of clutter. Posessions come in and out of our lives. It's easy to bring things in, but for some, it's harder to let things go. Items outlive their usefulness, clothes go out of fashion, and children outgrow their toys. Some clients don't have the time to purge, and some clients are too emotionally attached to their possessions.
5. Packing for a move without purging. Moving is a stressful process, and under the duress of an impending move date, some people pack everything in sight. When they move to the new house, they find themselves in the same clutter situation in a different house.
The first step to developing an organizing solution starts with a diagnosis of the symptoms. Often, it's a combination of the above that creates the chaos in the house, but once the situation is understood, it becomes an easier problem to solve.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I vividly remember the first time I saw this bathroom in a magazine over a decade ago. The clean lines and simple palette of the horizontal stripes made a strong, graphic impact with out resorting to any design cliches. That was the first time I realized in my wanna be designer's mind that simpler was better, and you can't get any simpler than stripes. Thus began my love affair with horizontal stripes.
Wide, variegated stripes impart vibrant energy in this modern room.
Contrasting stripes create a glamorous vibe in the foyer.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
This chair from Nobody&Co. would be a great addition to the living room. Why is it that all the really cool furniture seems to come from Italy?
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Michael Merrill used a minimal headboard and extended the drapes around the bed for a dramatic effect.
Bedroom by Turquoise
Bedroom by Andy Carera
Bedroom by Michael Graydon. The bay window is the perfect nook for the bed.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I've seen endless slipcovers for couches, armchairs and consoles, but I don't see them often for office desks, so I squealed with delight when I saw Anna Sprio's Tutu desk at her blog Absolutely Beautiful Things. Most office furniture is bland and boring, but her desk slipcover exudes sass and style. Here's another desk slipcover Anna did for a client. Love the bold pattern.
I'm dying to see what's on the other side. I'm guessing it's probably one of those affordable but generic tables with plastic top and metal legs.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
My last place in the city gave me so much comfort, pleasure and joy. Looking at the before and after pictures gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. You've come a long way, baby, but it's time to move on to the next chapter of your life.
The living room was spacious and got amazing light, but the dark paneling sucked it all away.
I brightened up the place with baby blue walls and put in glossy cherry floors. The cherry floors were a mistake. I thought I picked out a browner, darker floor, but the floors were already half way installed when I realized the mistake, so I worked with it. It's actually quite stunning. Quite often, it's the first thing people comment on when they first enter the place.
The built in bookcase and fireplace surround were the only redeeming features in this room. I've been meaning to paint it white and put in a mirror backing in the bookcase but never got around to doing it.
I originally wanted an exotic, Moroccan inspired dining room, which explains the rug. I had grand visions of luscious, stenciled walls in jewel tone colors. Instead, the dining room evolved into something more traditional with a hint of French country. I guess I'm more traditional at heart. Almost everything in this picture is from Craigslist and in total cost me around $500.
The kitchen was a total gut job. Nothing was worth salvaging or refinishing. There was a weird hall way entrance that cut the kitchen in two. I closed it off so I could create a U shaped floor plan that is much more conducive to cooking. My last kitchen was all white, and I was craving the warmth of rich wood.
There used to be a wall dividing the dining room from the kitchen that made both rooms feel small and claustrophobic. That wall was one of the first things to come down.
Can you imagine cooking in this kitchen? Check out the rotary phone on the wall.
Half the kitchen cabinets were fake wood laminate and the other half was painted avocado green. Yuck.
The first bedroom had the same dark paneling as the living room. I think I choose the yellow in a knee jerk reaction to the paneling. I gave up finding the prefect piece of art to put above the bed as I'm terrified of it falling on my head in an earthquake. I adore my vintage inspired dresser, but the new husband hates it. It will be interesting to see where it shows up in the new house.
The rarely used guest room. If I'm not careful, this room becomes a place to dump all my crap.
As much as I love wallpaper, the before pictures convinced me to stay away from it. Nothing dates a place faster than trendy wallpaper past its prime.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Cornflower blue tiles is the perfect backdrop for this beach front cottage kitchen.
The red tile in Katherine Hammond's bathroom makes a bold, modern statement.
If I had the courage, I would have done my bathroom in pink glass tile. Available at www.modwalls.com for those of you brave enough to consider it.
Monday, April 19, 2010
1. It's a family heirloom. We love our family, but we don't always love their possessions, which can be troublesome when we inherit family heirlooms. Some people equate the disposal of heirlooms with the disposal of family memories. Memories of a loved one is in your head and heart and not embodied in a physical item.
2. It's an antique. Just because something is old doesn't automatically mean it's valuable. If it's old and beautiful and you love it, it's worth keeping. Otherwise, sell it or donate it.
2. It cost a lot of money to acquire. I've made this mistake many times, especially with clothes and shoes. There are countless pairs of painful shoes I held on to but never wore because I wanted to get my money's worth. In retrospect, I should have sold them when they were still in fashion. Value is based on an item's usefulness or the amount of pleasure derived from it, not how much money you spent on it.
3. It's still in good condition. If something is in good condition but you don't find it useful or beautiful, then it's clutter.
4. I'll use it someday. If you haven't used it in the recent past, what makes you think you'll use it in the near future? I recently got rid of a box of "I'll use it one day" items kicking around in my garage for the last year. I can't recall a single item in that box.
5. It will be back in style. Fashion trends get recycled every few decades, but they get tweaked with new colors and fabrics. You will date yourself with the original version. If you wore a trend once before, your turn is over.
Only keep things that you believe to be useful and beautiful, and your life will be simpler and richer.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
1. Collect only the things you love. Make sure you are truly passionate about what you collect.
2. Ground a collection on a common theme. The theme can be color, material or subject matter. Your items will look like they belong together and make a stronger impact.
3. Don't buy something just because it fits in your collection. Buy it because you love it and it because it enhances your collection.
4. Know when to stop. Sometimes, a collection is complete once it looks great in your space. Two is a pair. Three is a collection. You don't want too much of a good thing.
5. Trade up. If you are a serious collector, trade or sell some of your pieces for more important pieces. It's perfectly acceptable to start small and then trade up when your budget allows. Quality trumps quantity.
6. Rotate your collections. If you're short on display space, rotate your collections. You'll gain a new appreciation for your collection every time you bring it out.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Work out clothes/sneakers
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Kelly Giesen built a faux mantel to house a flat panel tv. What a great alternative to the tv-over-the-fireplace cliche.
Easily convert a mantel into a stunning headboard by popping in a fabric wrapped panel. The folks at Apartment Therapy show you how.
Add shelves and backing to a salvaged mantle to adapt it into a bookcase. Instructions available at HGTV.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Layer 4: Accent Fabrics (area rugs and drapes)