Saturday, October 25, 2014

22 All Filled Up!

The paint cabinet is filled and I couldn't love it more!


Warning: A color happy room is ahead...

Our laundry room is in a deep, dark and windowless corner of our home.  And just like most rooms, it is always evolving.  Over the past year, our laundry room has been housing our paint supplies, but in very unorganized piles.  In an effort to finish organizing our final storage rooms, we finally focused on the paint pile by building ourselves a custom cabinet (read more about that here).

When we built and painted the cabinet, I really intended on blasting the cabinet with a coat of color.  However, with the recently papered sewing/folding nook, and the other colors being used within the space, white (although it can be trite) was the way for us to go.


You see how those colors just shine through the cabinet doors?  As I sit and work at my desk, I look over and this is my new view.  Before I would just shut the door to the room, but now that I have taken the time to do some laundry and clean up clutter, I am loving the new scenery!


The uppers were filled with the main painting essentials; the jars of colorful paint, brushes, tools, swatch books, etc...


The jar labels are created from an Avery template I downloaded into Microsoft Word.

Quick tip: Place the full jars of paint near the front to create a clean visual appearance.  Half filled jars can live near the back of the bunch.


We have been using jars of paint to hold the remaining contents of our gallons and quarts for the past few years now.  I did receive one comment awhile back that paint shouldn't be stored in glass, but I can't personally figure out why because we have been loving this solution like crazy.  The paint stays fresh, I can quickly see the colors I have and it has reduced the amount of shelving space that the over-sized cans take up.  I am a fan.

On the top shelf, I used vases and jars to hold my different sized paint brushes.


Quick tip:  Check out this You-Tube video for cleaning paint brushes.  It was very life changing for me.  I personally use a small grill brush I found at Home Depot and my brushes have never looked better.


The woven baskets added a really nice natural element to the room, and also concealed some unsightly items.  One basket corrals my waxes and specialty paints while the other holds the remainder of my favorite tools.  A paint can opener, triangle stands, tape, sanding blocks, spackle and a painter's tool, rags and cheapy test brushes are all items you will find within this basket.  And on painting day, I can just pull the entire thing out and tote it to the room I am working in.

The lower portion is concealed because it is a little more busy on the eyes.


I used the beautiful bird gift wrap to cover two cardboard boxes.  The labels were created on my computer and printed at home on copy paper, which I cut down and affixed with double stick tape.


One box holds paint roller covers while the other has the ugly paint thinner and paint additive bottles.


Empty glass jars for future paint storage as well as the over-sized jars of paint and cans of stain, make up much of the rest of the lower half.  I also placed my favorite specialty technique tools inside of a clear container that previously housed my roller covers.


The bottom shelf holds my spray paints.  Because I knew it would be hard to access and see the colors near the back, I placed them inside of plastic bins I found at IKEA.  Now, they just pull out like drawers and I can easily grab any color of the rainbow.


Quick tip:  Add felt to the bottom of baskets and bins on shelves to help them slide out easier.

After I got the paint cabinet loaded, I couldn't wait to polish the rest of the room up.  We hung a few laundry room art prints I purchased awhile back from Lettered & Lined.  I love that they look cute yet offer real life functional advice!



After I temporarily lined the nook with pretty paper, I was trying to find the common color link within the room.  No surprise, I had been drawing inspiration from the same color palette as my recently recovered office chair.  It has a beautiful and playful blend of pinks, corals, greens and blues.  Pretty much my all time favorite colors, ever.  So using my very last scrap of fabric from the chair project, we made a small bag to hold our clothes pins.


We just sewed it up quick and attached it to a small embroidery hoop which I hung with ribbon.  Does it get any cuter than that?


Funny how something so small can link both sides of the room together so well!



The paint cabinet lead to me finishing up the space "for now".  Small DIY projects (like the pretty paper and DIY cabinet and small pops of colorful storage) all add up to a big impact.  I say, do what you have to do to make the dungeon the most cheerful place possible to get those daily chores done!  I really consider this room the Disney World of our home.  Hopefully all of the prettiness will inspire me to keep it clean moving forward.

Do you have a room like that?  One that brings on feelings of butterflies and happiness when you enter it?


Thursday, October 23, 2014

15 UHeart Organizing: Playing the Organizing Game

You know what gets me all revved up and excited to tackle my next project?  Seeing what someone else has organized.  Simple inspiration at its finest.  It could be anything from a junk drawer to a linen closet and even a storage ottoman.  In fact, when I first read Ashley's post for today, the first thing I did was go organize my Wii remotes.  Don't you love how that works?

Ashley is the talent behind the blog 7th House on the Left, and she is visiting here today to share how she recently organized a storage ottoman in her living room, which is game central station!


For the last few months, I’ve been on a personal mission to simplify our home. Honestly, I feel like I say that all the time - and I probably do - but this time around feels a bit different. Everything from decorative accessories to kitchen gadgets are being reevaluated and either organized, Craigslisted or donated. I don’t know if it’s the changing of the seasons or the fact that I had a birthday a few weeks ago (“another year older, another year wiser”, right?), but I’m on a mission to move towards a more simplified way of living.

Sometimes, it’s really easy for me to get carried away even when it comes to organizing. I often tend to overthink things and end up making it way more complicated than it should be. Often times, after organizing a space, I’m often asked, “Well, does it actually stay that organized?”. Sometimes, the answer is “no”, sometimes “yes”. But I’ve found the common denominator in the spaces that stay organized is simplicity.


As I mentioned, I had a birthday earlier this month and my aunt gave me this awesome and oh-so-functional storage ottoman. I love the classic color and it will incorporate really well with our new living room layout that’s currently in progress. Knowing the ottoman would be kept in our living room, I was excited to put it to work and organize something purposeful. After a few minutes of simple organizing, here’s what made sense for our little family of 2.5 (the .5 being our 8 pound dog, Bentley):


The storage ottoman is now home to our favorite blankets, Wii games / accessories, card games, assorted small games and “my tray” - which I will explain in a minute.


Over on the left, we have a few cozy blankets stashed away for movie nights. (The striped quilt is from Joss & Main and the plaid throw is from Target) Not only do I love having these on hand because Fall nights, a cup of hot tea and a good black & white movie are the best, but it’s also nice to have the cheerful colors saying “hello” each time we open the ottoman. (Yes, it’s the little things!)


Right next to the blankets (and under the tray), I stashed two good-sized storage boxes with lids. First of all, I must say, I love these boxes. You know how it is when you come across that perfect storage container that you just can’t get enough of? Well, these were my obsession late this summer. Every time I was in Target, I went to the storage section to hunt them down and purchased one or two more just in case they decided not to carry them in the store year-around. I ended up purchasing 12 of them - yes… twelve. Just as I feared, they have since stopped carrying them, so I’m glad I stocked up. However, I have seen a few in the clearance section from time to time, so if you end up coming across them, I highly recommend picking up a few (or twelve).

Sorry, back to the project at hand… I designated one box to small “coffee table games” and one to Wii games and accessories.


We used to keep our small games and Wii accessories in storage boxes in the foyer. However, now that we have this new piece of storage furniture in the living room, this is a much more suitable and practical place to keep them. Along with the controls and accessories, I also included a small bowl of extra batteries and condensed all of our games into one small disc case. Even though this storage solution for the games is so much more efficient, for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of all of the cases. So, I ended up putting them in a plastic storage container and stashed it in the attic. Does anyone else do that or am I just being crazy?


The other storage box now houses our small games - or what we call “coffee table games” like cards, Bananagrams, Zip-It (so. much. fun!) and 20 Questions. We store all of our larger games and board games in the foyer closet nearby.


Both my and Greg’s family have a lot of fun playing cards when the we get together. About a year ago, I started started keeping track of our scores in a little spiral notebook. Along with the scores, I always write down the date, who’s playing, where we are, who’s birthday it is or what big thing happened that day. Without realizing it, it’s kind of turned into a fun little diary of family fun and is now one of our favorite sentimental possessions.


Now for “my tray”, as I call it. This is something I’ve just recently started doing and enjoy it so much I’ve been telling all of my gal friends to make one too. haha! I’m the type of person who is always making lists, doodling, or brainstorming; so this has been a perfect addition to my life. Ninety percent of the time when Greg and I are watching Netflix, the news or just generally having some down time, I have a notebook and a pen with me. Rather than having random things of mine float around the living room, I decided to make a designated space for all of my “down time stuff”. So, I pulled out a tray and turned it into “my tray”.

One thing I love about this concept is you can change out the contents with whatever is going on in your life at the time. For instance, I’ve recently decided to make a conscious effort to write/send more cards. (Snail mail is the best!) So, I have a small stack of blank thank you cards to remind myself to write a card or two when I have some down time. Aside from the notecards, my tray is currently housing the latest issue of HGTV magazine, a notebook with blank pages (perfect for drafting out ideas for new art/products), a fine-tip Sharpie, the book I’m currently reading and blank note cards. I have found this lacquer tray from West Elm to be perfect for this because it’s large, but so very light - making it very easy to take in and out of the ottoman.


So, that’s the tour of our new storage ottoman organization. We’ve been living with it like this for a few days now and I just love the simplicity and convenience of it. Now if we can just convince Bentley it’s not his new domain.


"I'm Ashley from 7th House on the Left - a blog where my husband, Greg, and I talk about renovating, decorating and living in our first house here in Hanover, Virginia. I’ve been an interior design enthusiast and a long-time fan of all things organizing. Yep, I was the kid with the perfectly arranged Disney stuffed animals, alphabetized coloring books and the categorized and color-coded sticker book. When I'm not busy writing or doing projects around the house, I love classic TV shows (particularly I Love Lucy) and curling up with Greg, Bentley (our 9-pound Pomeranian), a blanket and a good black and white classic movie – I’m a complete sucker for Audrey Hepburn, Doris Day, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant films. I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of the IHeart Organizing team and excited to get to work!"
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