Archive for the ‘my house’ Category

Between turning my home office into a workspace and warehouse, and my natural inclination to purge and refresh with the turning of weather, I’m on a serious cleaning and organizing kick lately.  Last weekend I pulled everything apart and now, well, it’s time to put it back together.

I come up with lots of ideas for organizing and categorizing (a little crazy perhaps), but I also like to check out my favorite online sources for inspiration.  Here are a few ideas I’d like to try out.

I love this alternative to the typical cork board (I loooove cork, but I also like the unexpected).  You could find these at a builder surplus or even your local home depot.  They’re not too expensive

Click Here for the how-to

This idea was originally for a garage or shed space but I think it would work great in a home office too.

Click here for the link

My favorite organizing ideas:

  • repurpose any container you can – I do this all the time.  I have an old planter with cork on the bottom (so it doesn’t scratch my desk) that I use for  rulers, scissors, etc.  I use glass jars, and old toothbrush holder and tealight holders for general office supplies.  In the supply closet I have converted sturdy carboard boxes into containers (you rarely see them so it’s perfect).  Mix that with a couple nice aluminum and wood containers and the office looks artsy but coordinated.

  • group things in like categories.  When I’m working for a design client I use certain things in the office – samples, graph paper, calculator, markers, pens, etc.  When I’m working on the store I use different items…you get the idea.  By keeping things categorized by their purpose it keeps me focused and I never have to wonder where I put something.  Which leads me to another point: put things away.  Of course this isn’t always possible.  I have a very small office for running two separate businesses and many (many) times I leave one project for another day.  So here’s my deal.  Each Saturday morning I take 15 minutes to tidy up.  It’s not too bad in a little space.  Plus it really helps me to see where I’m at in a project and I can pile things (yes, pile!) in an order that will spark my memory when I pick the project back up.
  • My favorite thing in the office is my colorful binders, greenroom from Target, which hold my library of design and life inspiration.  I have them organized by design type, art, sustainable profiles, health and well-being, and housekeeping.  These are my treasures so I treat them as such.  I love to see them as soon as I walk into the office each morning, and it reminds me sometimes to take a moment and flip through what inspires me.

Hope some of these ideas help you with your spring cleaning and organizing too.  I’d love to hear what tips you have!  Happy Weekend.


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Awhile ago I bought this wooden storage from IKEA  for my office, with the intention of covering it in a funky wallpaper.

As you can see, I haven’t quite gotten around to it.  But I’m starting to feel that organizing spirit again and I may have another trip to IKEA on my weekend to-do list. They have a few other options, along with magazine holders too (I keep my vendor catalogs organized in those)

FIRA Mini chest with 5 drawers FIRA Mini chest with 9 drawers

I’m a fan of these vintage-inspired papers from Graham & Brown

Happy Weekend!

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A few weeks ago, while scavenging the Long Beach Antiques Market, we stumbled upon some botanical sketches from a vintage science book.  The art in our home is, well, lacking – we just haven’t quite decided what we like.  But seeing these, David immediately decided he did like them.  Me?  Well, I wasn’t sold but I kept my opinion to myself.

Last weekend, while at the LA Mart, we stumbled into a showroom (see a pattern here?) that featured oversized vintage prints in floating glass frames with a wide wood edge.  This immediately sparked something and from that point on I’ve been very excited about our smaller version of vintage prints.  Now if I could just find the right frame…

this one I found at PierOne.com and it’s the closest thing I’ve come to so far.  But I have to be honest, it’s just not doin’ it for me!  I do have a great source for professional framing so I think I’ll run down there and ask Debby what she would suggest (I don’t love the idea of paying an arm & leg for framing…although the prints were quite a steal!)  Anyway, I’ll keep you posted on what I find.

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While scouring the Long Beach Antique Market last weekend, I cam across this cool metal basket that was the perfect size to hold my floor plans and rolls of trace and graph paper. To check out the market for yourself, visit http://www.longbeachantiquemarket.com

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The Menu

This week I’ve been menu planning for our Thanksgiving feast. We will be serving turkey, but we mostly stick to vegetarian fare in our home so I’m on the lookout for interesting twists on traditional veggie dishes, and I’ve come across some awesome recipes that I just had to share.

For Starters
This sounds delicious, simple and it’s pretty cute (the perfect combo). Recipe is from the October issue of Southern Living.

A new spin on the classics:
Carrot Soufle

recipe from House Beautiful

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Mushrooms & Spinach

from Sunset Magazine. Click here for the recipe

Browned Butter and Hazelnut Mashed Potatoes, also from Sunset mag

And for the morning after…

French Toast Bread Pudding! This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe from a recent issue of House Beautiful. I’ll be serving this with fresh squeezed orange juice mimosas. Yum.
If you want a recipe for anything that wasn’t included or linked let me know and I’ll send it to you. Happy cooking!

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weekend project

I stumbled across this picture in a magazine recently and was awed by their casual elegance. Unaware of the price tag (not even going to guess), I decided to embark on the project of trying to create my own version of these…or at least one of them. I’ll start with the small one.

In other knit pillow news, if you prefer that classic cable knit sweater look ~which I fall in love with every year about this time~ there are plenty of surprisingly simple patterns out there to create the sweater pillow of your dreams. I found this one at the AOK Corral. It comes with fairly descript directions and a beginners guide for those of us who are pretty fresh to the knitting world (I’ve actually known how to for years, but never graduated beyond the very long scarf project).

I’ll let you know how my project goes and feel free to send me feedback on yours as well. Happy Weekend!

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over the weekend

My challenge this weekend was to turn this $15 flea market find

into a nightstand for our master bedroom. The plan was to end up with a white base and walnut top, similar to the Saarinen table I showed in last week’s post. Here’s how things went:

First, I had my husband resize it a bit to make it better for a nightstand. He sawed about 5 inches off of the legs. Next step was the oh-so-fun process of sanding. When I got to the tabletop I made the discovery that existing wood looked pretty cool, with deep grain and block edges. So I changed the plan a bit and decided to keep what was already there.

After sanding I painted it white using a non-toxic flat furniture paint. This took several coats since I was still going over black in some areas. Tip: using a paint pad instead of a brush gives a more even coat without brushstrokes. It takes a bit of time to get in the groove but it’s worth it. I did use a brush to get into the smaller areas though.

And here it is in the almost finished state. I need to clearcoat it to protect everything, which will also bring out the grain in the natural wood a bit more too.

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