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Room Color/Décor Organization

9 Nov

When I am out and about shopping, I am always wondering if a certain room accessory or fabric will go in an existing room .  It is always tricky to “guess” what color or print you have at home.  Some times I pull out my cell phone and actually look at my blog to see photos of our rooms-colors, fabrics, etc.

Recently I came across this idea (from Apartment Therapy via Brandi @ His Shabby Her Chic via Pinterest):


In this version they even have a floor plan-fabulous idea!  You never know when you are going to find an unbelievable deal on a dresser for your bedroom or hutch for your dining room…but is it going to fit?  That is the question!  Has this even happened to you?  Did it fit or did you have to take it back?

I started my own handy little cards to keep track of it all.  I began with our half bathroom.

First you need to gather your supplies:


I thought having a picture of my new stencil wall would come in handy (when selecting towels or fabric for the curtains), so I printed out a photo.  I no longer had the actual paint chip from Benjamin Moore and the little bottle of paint obviously did not have a chip, so I decided to paint some cardstock.

First I cut out the photo by tracing the cardstock tag on the backside…



Then I taped off two areas on the card stock…


And painted…


Then punched holes (why not make it cute with a star?) and added labels…


I have yet to add dimensions, but this room is so tiny I don’t know if that is necessary.  There is plenty of room on the back for anything I would like to add later.  I need to get a small binder ring to keep them together.  One room down, 8 or 9 to go!


I am going to take my little cards and search for some curtain fabric!  Stay tuned to see what I come up with.

Until then, have a Happy Wednesday!


Clip Clip

17 Oct

It’s a new week, and I’ve decided to try something new (again).  Clipping Coupons!  I am sure everyone out there has used a coupon or two recently…and I am sure there are quite a few of you that are really good at it.  I attempted to be coupon savvy about a year ago.  I saved some money, purchased some things I totally didn’t need, and then gave up because it just takes a lot of time, and we didn’t really have any space to keep 50 cans of green beans…or whatever the deal of the week was.

With our new house we have plenty of space; I actually have less time; but we sure do have more bills…so why not??

The dilemma I had during the first attempt was how to organize all the coupons.  How do you turn this into dollars??

coupons 005

Last year I tried organizing them in a small expanding file folder, similar to this one from Staples:

Globe-Weis 13-Pocket Poly Check File, Each

Mine only had about 6 dividers and it was hard to determine where to put each coupon and they were somewhat difficult to see once they got tucked in there.

This time I have decided to try out a binder with clear pockets.  This afternoon I gathered my supplies, and I attempted to get organized…

coupons 007

I started by printing off headers for each of the pages.

coupons 018

I started with quite a few headers.  I cut the coupons then put them on top of the appropriate page.  I realized as I went along I needed quite a few more headers…

coupons 020

Then I put each page in a sheet protector…

coupons 025

coupons 026

Then into the binder (I tried to organize them in the order of the grocery store…roughly).

coupons 028

Each time I clip a new coupon I can simply put it into the correct pocket.  These page protectors are much better than the small file because I can actually see through them and fit my hand in there easily.

Last year a friend told me about these great sites for clipping and saving:  (And I really do heart CVS)  (Maybe some day I will bump into her as I am carting around my binder at CVS…she lives in the same town as us, lol)

Now I have everything I need to save some money…wish me luck on actually following thru with this!   I will let you know if I made some good purchases.

Do you clip coupons?  How do you organize them?  Any tips?
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Itsy Bitsy Teeney Weeney

9 Sep

I started writing a post about small spaces the other day, but never finished it.  Tonight I watched this week’s Design Star (thank goodness for On-Demand)…and what did they have to do?  Design an entire tiny house!  What they came up with was pretty cool, but I am not sure I could live in a 100 sq foot home…do you think you could?

Yikes! That's it! Via HGTV

I know a little about tiny living because I lived in a one bedroom condo that was less than 400 square feet for about 4 years (and for part of that Kevin lived there with me)!  400 square feet doesn’t sound like much at all (and it really isn’t), but you can make it work with some careful planning.  My condo had everything you need:  bath with tub and shower, bedroom with closet, living space, desk area, kitchen with fridge/micro/stove/oven/dishwasher, eating area, and even a hall closet and washer/dryer.

Obviously you need to make use of every inch of space.  Check out this photo taken from Apartment Therapy:


Storing books overhead via Apartment Therapy

They found a creative way to organize and display books where there would be otherwise wasted space.  At my old place I did something similar with my books (excuse the grainy photos…these we taken with my old camera):

Books displayed overhead

The above picture was taken from the living room looking towards the bedroom.   The area where the books are is actually the ledge above my bedroom closet.  I made the most out of this space by displaying books on the living room/kitchen side and then added baskets on the side of the bedroom which held sweaters and/or items that I did not use frequently.  I was lucky enough to have a small storage unit in the basement of my building; this allowed me to rotate my clothes for the seasons…no point in having your down coat take up valuable closest space in the summer!

Another great space to really utilize is under the bed…


I love how they lofted the bed in this room without making it feel like a dorm room.  I could have done something like this, but I opted for more of a “bed nook:”

Bedroom Nook

You can see I have a couple of under the bed boxes that I used all the time to store articles of clothing.   These rectangular baskets were from Ikea and slid in and out easily with the felt feet on the bottom.  I do not have a photo of it, but at the foot of the bed I had a shelf that held more baskets filled with purses and various accessories.  I also don’t have a pic of the pretty black crystal chandelier I had hanging over the bed…trust me, it was cute.

In tiny spaces it is important to select appropriately scaled furniture and do not block the windows.


My small and comfy sofa worked well in the tiny space:

My old living area

It fit perfectly against the brick wall (I really needed some art above the sofa, but these photos were taken before I listed the condo for sale and I was going for “less is more”).  One thing you can see in this photo is the ottoman/coffee table/storage bin…having multiple uses for items is key in a small space!  That little ottoman was actually my linen “closet.”     I was also able to fit two small bar stools against the kitchen peninsula which served as the unit’s eating area.    Opposite the sofa wall was my little desk that also fit just right.

Office Area

I still have the desk and that print hanging in my new office/craft room (the new room is probably about the same size as my old living room and office area combined!).

Now as far as the kitchen goes, it definitely could have been tinier…like this guy’s:



Now that’s a tiny kitchen!  I do like to cook so I chose a unit with a larger kitchen and decent counter space.  I actually think the kitchen in my condo was planned better than the one in our house…

Well laid out condo kitchen

And there is just one other little room that we can tour…

Full bath

Just because it was small doesn’t mean it had to be boring;  I loved that vessel sink and the damask  shower curtain.

What do you think, could you live in a tiny house or a small condo?  I think the more room you have the more stuff you get!

Have a great weekend 🙂

I have an Office/Craft Room!

7 Jul

Last week I showed you pictures of my disheveled office/craft room.  Something about posting my messy room on the blog made me kick it into high gear and get organized!

Here is another look at the room just a few days ago:

messy room


And this:

"messy room"

More stuff!

What didn’t I have in this room?  Laundry baskets with clean clothes, dirty clothes, parts of  two ceiling fans; boxes and bags of yarn and knitting needles; containers of scrapbooking paper and beads for jewelry making; shoes; empty shopping bags; cleaning supplies; books…ugh…the list goes on and on!   There was so much to go through I felt like I was on an episode of Clean Sweep!  I started by sorting things into:  keep in craft room, move downstairs, garage sale/Goodwill, and trash.

After all the sorting and moving (thankfully we are not going to visit our hallway in the post, or the basement for that matter) was done, I cleaned the room then put together an old Ikea bookshelf.  The shelf was actually purchased secondhand off of craigslist when I was in grad school (I am getting my money’s worth out of this thing!)  It was a pretty big shelf for a girl to put together solo (Kevin was working when I got the organization-bug), but there was no stopping this lady!  As I was laying on the floor tightening those Ikea screws with one of those Ikea wrenches (and what, by the way, is wrong with using REAL screws?  Doesn’t everyone on the planet own a screwdriver?!   My fingers are still raw from using that silly wrench!) I kept seeing headlines flash through my head “Woman crushed while assembling Ikea bookshelf alone.”  Obviously I survived, but it was touch and go for a bit.

All the hard work was worth it in the end when I got to enjoy the end result.   Let’s take another look at the before:

messy room


And now, just a few days later, that mess is now an organized office/craft room:

"office and craft room"


Seriously, that is just awesome.  It is so great it needs a cooler name than office/craft room.  Guys get to call their spaces “man caves,” but what do we get?  Craft rooms?  Boring…I’ll have to get back to what to call it later…

Anyway, everything in the room I already had and I spent no money on the space as of yet.  It will probably stay this way for quite some time.  In the middle of the room you can see my Pier 1 rag rug; I bought this years ago for my loft in the city; I am glad I can reuse it today!  The colors of the rug actually compliment the fleshy pink walls (that last week I hated, but now kinda like).  To the left is a chair my dad painted for me when I got the rug; it has all the same colors  in it-so cute!  I actually sat on that chair and put my feet on the ottoman for a few minutes and took in all the cleanliness!  The ottoman is the old coffee table from our little condo, but it fits in great here.

Here is a better look at the bookshelf:


And here is a close up look at my favorite little painting:

Guatemalan Art

Guatemalan Art and an owl

My favorite little print is on an easel I purchased at TJ Maxx a while back; I feel like this is a great way to showcase a special piece instead of hanging it on the wall.  I bought that canvas on a mountainside in Guatemala (sounds like a line out of a catalog, but it is true).   A little over two years ago I took a trip with 30-40 strangers from around the globe with an non-profit organization called One Sight.  We spent two weeks in a small village outside of Guatemala City giving eye exams to the locals.  It was an amazing experience, and I am happy to say that we really made a difference in so many lives.  The Guatemala trip was the third one I took with One Sight; the first was to Paraguay and the second to Mexico.  Each trip proved to be unique and rewarding in it’s own way.   Not that this has anything to do with craft rooms…but it makes me smile:

The little boy in the middle was pumped about his glasses (even though he looks mad, lol) He was probably amazed by the camera more than anything!

Please ignore my crazy pantalones in that photo…

Movin’ right along.  Here is a better look at the desk area:

The perfect place to blog!

Yeah!  You can finally see my West Elm Jay desk…better yet I can sit at it!  This will be the perfect place to write once I get my laptop moved in.  Above the desk is a framed print that I bought years ago to hang above my desk in the condo.  I figured, what the heck, why not reuse it?  There were already 2 hooks above the desk area so I just hung it here.  It seems a bit low, so I will probably have to rehang it someday when I get another bout of motivation.

Here is the wall near the entrance:

Shoes and (orderly) stuff

While shopping in my basement for furniture and accessories I found these two prints of Kevin and I.  Last year we ran around the city of Chicago with our wedding photographer (Brian Kinyon) and took engagement photos.  These are just two of the many fun pics he took.  I think Kevin had these canvas made a few months ago and didn’t know what to do with them (what can you really do with a million photos of yourself, lol?).  They look a little tiny for this wall, but at least they cover up the hooks and our flesh matches the wall, HA!

I managed to find quite a few useful things in our basement, including cute glass/ceramic bowls to put buttons and paperclips in, a TV stand that I used to house scrapbooking items, art, and even an owl!  Perhaps I need to shop downstairs more often =)  Now if only I could find a larger table/sewing table down there we would be all set, and maybe some shelves, oh and some bins….I guess this room still needs a few things, but for now I am certainly happy with my clean sweep!

"office and craft room"

Time to get creative!

Creating a room for crafting…

1 Jul

Hello everyone and happy Friday!  Before the long weekend, I thought we could take a look at another unfinished room in our house.  It is quite scary and I honestly don’t know when we will be able to get it organized, but here goes.  Brace yourself…

messy room

dun dun dunnnnnn

What a mess!  This should be a bright, beautiful and cheery craft room, but it is obviously a disaster.  Can you believe it is actually in better shape (I pushed all the boxes towards the walls a couple weeks ago when we were having company over) than it was?  I know, hard to believe.  Let’s just take another look at this…

More stuff!

The only nice thing in that picture (aside from maybe a couple pairs of those shoes) is my cute little Jay Desk from West Elm.  How would you know it is actually a cute desk with all the clutter around it?

West Elm Jay Desk

West Elm Jay Desk

Now the question here is, how am I going to take that one mini desk and all that other stuff into something like this:

Sewing Room by Courtney Burge via

or even this:

Sewing Room by Tofu Studio via


Sewing Room by Cindy via

Ugh, I wish I could be so organized!  Let’s take another look at my room:

messy room

dun dun dunnnnnn

And basically it makes me feel like this:

That cartoon kinda looks like me and I am sure I have done that with my hair.

I am not sure what color I want to go with (definitely not that fleshy pink that it is currently) or what types of storage to use.  The room will be a cross between an office and a closet, so I probably need to plan this one out correctly to make the most of the space.

I can’t wait to have a three day weekend to get some things crossed of that massive list I made the other day!

33 things I need to do!

27 Jun

I’ve seen other bloggers talk about making lists.  I too make lists….I typically lose them before I can cross anything off of the list…but boy can I make em’!  I usually make lists when I am bored and/or while on the train to work.  My lists usually result in me getting stress out about the time required to complete the list; or the money needed.

One of my many lists

Today I think I will make my list on here, and we will see how far I get in, ohhhhh…let’s say six months.  And I just realized that six months from today is my birthday.  LOL, totally not planned.   In honor of my 33rd birthday, let me think of 33 things.

Here goes:

1. Purchase items for the master bedroom:  floor mirror, floor lamp, chair, accessories/art, area rug?

2. Organize closet in master bedroom

3. Paint guest bedroom

4. Purchase items for guest bedroom:  bedding, window treatments, nightstand, accessories/art, TV and stand?

5. Paint office/craft room

6. Purchase & install shelves and/or furniture for craft room

7. Organize office/craft room

8.  Paint full bath

9.  Paint fixtures in bath (or replace)

10.  Purchase items for bath:  new medicine cabinet (or just fix existing one), window treatment, storage unit/dresser, art/accessories

11.  Paint upstairs hallway & walls in stairway

12.  Create a wall of photos for stair/hallway

13.  Install carpet runner on stairs

14.  Paint foyer

15.  Purchase items for foyer:  hall tree or bench, accessories/art

16.  Paint living room

17.  Purchase items for living room:  all new furniture (eek…sofa, coffee and end tables, etc), art/accessories

18.  Replace tile on fireplace

19.  Decorate fireplace mantel

20.  Have chimney repaired (tuck-pointing and various other things I am not familiar with)

21.  Paint dining room

22. Put up chair (or plate) rail & add detail wood to lower 1/2 of wall

23.  Finish dining room chairs (paint and recover)

24.  Purchase additional items for dining room:  2 parson’s chairs, fabric, art/accessories, window treatments

25.  Organize china and crystal in the china cabinets

26.  Make slip covers for parson’s chairs

27.  Purchase & install new kitchen cabinet doors

28.  Paint cabinets, doors, and walls in kitchen

29.  Install new floors and countertops

30. Purchase items for the kitchen:  stove/oven (ours is ok, but one of these days I am going to singe off my eyebrows…that will be a good look), small flat-screen TV, smaller table and chair set, window blinds (or clean existing…if possible)

31.  Install heat in the sunroom (I should be able to cross that off the list next week!)

32.  Purchase items for the sunroom:  accent chairs, tables, lamps, cellular shades and drapes?, Entertainment center, art/accessories

33. Purchase items for the 1/2 bath:  small white cabinet/table, art/accessories

That is probably enough to think about for now!    Hopefully I can look back at this list from time to time and cross some things off, but for today- Happy 32 1/2 Birthday to me! =)