simple is beautiful

Dinner With Emily

Friday, January 27, 2012

This week I had the opportunity to have dinner with Emily.  Even though we have followed each other's blogs and kept in touch by email, we had never met in person.  We had a great time talking about the things we enjoy and getting to know each other better.  Emily has been so supportive of me and I was thrilled when she emailed to see if we could meet for dinner.  I will also add that she is sweeter, funnier, and if you can believe it, prettier in person.  Thanks for a great night Emily!

Have a great weekend!

Trying on Curtains

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Before you head out the door, do you ever stand in front of the mirror with two different shoes on wondering which looks best?  For about the last week, I have been looking at this image trying to decide which way to go with curtains for the master bedroom.  I shared my thoughts with you here and they really haven't changed that much.  The only difference is that I really feel the need for curtains. 

So here I am with a peacock curtain on one foot and gray on the other.  If you recall, I want this to be a tranquil, calm space.  I am afraid the peacock curtains, fun as they sound, might be a bit much for me.  However, I could be convinced.

This image is pushing me toward charcoal.  Good grief, could this be any prettier?

If I go with the gray curtains, I could paint the background of the built-ins a shade of blue.

I'm thinking about a pretty bolster pillow for the window seat.

And a tiny pop of color with one yellow lamp for the dresser.

Now it is your turn.  Gray or peacock?

Storage Favorites

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This has been a crazy week!  It all started with a 4 day swim meet last weekend.  Then came mid-term exams and the fact that the kids are out of school two days(totally caught me off guard).  My posts have been a little "off" and will hopefully return to normal next week.

In keeping with the organization/storage theme this week, I wanted to share my favorite storage items with you.

  1. Love these boxes!  We use them to hold ipod & camera cords, school & office supplies, etc.  Ikea
  2. Pharmacy bottles are great for holding bathroom necessities.  Restoration Hardware 
  3. Vintage pyrex dishes.  My go to for food storage.  They stack and store easily.  Microwave safe and are easy to clean.  Etsy
  4. Over the door storage bag.  Great for all those little things that you use often.  Easy to see through to find what you are looking for.  Think nail polish, sunscreen, combs & brushes, toys, etc.  K-Mart
  5. One cannot have too many baskets.  This style from Pottery Barn is my favorite!
  6. Jewelry Tree from Urban Outfitters
  7. Glass Storage jar.  You know how I feel about these.  World Market, but I found mine at Walmart for less.
  8. Great for underwear & socks.  Ikea
  9. Striped Bins.  The Container Store
What are your favorite storage items?

A Closet Reveal

Monday, January 16, 2012

Last week, I shared a sneak peek of my little "walk-by" closet.  Our house was built in the 30's and while it has lots of charm with moldings, hardwood floors, etc. the closet space is somewhat limited.  To make the most use of space in my closet, we took down the single door and opened up the front of the closet to accommodate double doors.  This gave me full access to each side of the closet and also gave me a space to hang canvas storage bags for shoes.  The closet itself is 24"x50" and as you will see, I have maximized storage.

I really wanted my closet to make me smile when I open the doors, so I decided to add some decorative paper to the shelf area.  Here is a shot of the closet before I added the paper

I wasn't sure how to hang the paper, but knew that it would need to be something that could easily be removed one day.  I decided on poster tape and was happy with the results.


Viola!  I would love to replace the hangers with some of the ultra thin flocked hangers, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Some things that make this little closet work overtime are:  the over the door shoe bags and the plastic bin holding belts, gloves, hats, and etc.

You can't really see it in the big picture, but this drop down rod is wonderful because it gives me a second row for hanging skirts, jeans, & pants.

I found these pretty hooks at Anthro and use them to hang things I reach for often such as robes & scarves.

The big white storage boxes hold off season bags & shoes.

DIY Stair Runner Anyone?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lately I have had stair runners on the brain.  Over the holidays I posted a question on facebook asking if any of you have ever installed a stair runner as a diy project.  It seems like an easy project, but I haven't quite been able to pull the trigger.  I know others have gone before me. 

There was Rhoda....

...and Casey.

And then I found this tutorial.

So tell me, have you installed a stair runner or do you know of any more good tutorials?  I am gathering all the information I can before before diving in.  Or maybe I should just dive in ;)

Wooster & Prince, "hip yet classic"

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thank you for the feedback on wallpaper in closets!  I think we all agree that a closet is the perfect place to have a little fun with decor.  After much contemplation, I finally reached a decision and placed my order yesterday for paper. 

There are so many great options at Paper Mojo, but I finally decided on this one.  I have seen wrapping paper used before on walls so I feel good about this.  The bonus is that it is a closet and doesn't have to be perfect.  I cannot wait until it arrives!

Also, I have some very exciting news for my local readers coming next week so stay tuned.

Have a great weekend lovelies!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

It never fails...

As soon as the greenery comes down and all of the Christmas stuff goes back to the attic, the paperwhites go from this...

to this.  I normally stagger my plantings beginning in the fall so that I have a constant supply of bloomers, but this year I was a bit off schedule.

That is OK though because now that the house feels sparse from all of the extras being put away, these pretty flowers fill the space.  They remind me of the new year and the promise of a fresh start.

Add Height to a Room With Bookcases

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Whew!  Today is the first day the kids are back in school.  Here I sit still in my pj's wondering where to go from here.  I will miss those little buzzards, but I am so far behind in my work.  We spent a good chunk of the day in the doctor's office yesterday.  Our son had 28 stitches removed and had the hard cast put on.  Now if 6 weeks will go by quickly for him.  He trotted off to the bus this morning with his back pack on one shoulder assuring me that he will be fine.  That's my boy.  He also picked green for his cast.  That's also my boy.

Back to design.  I am working on a couple of client projects that have large empty wall spaces.  This is always a great place for shelves if you don't already have them in the room.  There are so many ways you can go with this.

I love, love, love this idea of stacking Ikea shelves (4 total) to achieve this look.

Another Ikea hack is to trim out a bookcase and use strategic lighting to give it a more custom look.

Five narrow bookcases side by side with task lighting do the trick.

 This works for me on so many levels.  With photographs and art work there you almost don't see the stacks of magazines.

These are actually built-ins, but I love the idea of wrapping a corner using two bookcases butted up together.

This might be a better example.

If white bookcases aren't your thing, I always, always love seeing a secretary or hutch filled with books and interesting items to add height to a room.

I'm off to the races.  Have a great day!

Wallpaper in Closets

Monday, January 2, 2012

I have closets on the brain.  Over the weekend I spent a few hours purging and re-arranging my closet.  I can honestly say that I love opening my closet doors now.  Hopefully in the new year I will do more simple things that make a big difference in my every day life.  My clothes are the same, but the presentation is sooo much better.  I'm a sucker for good packaging.  Pictures to come...

Until then let us look at these wallpapered closets.  Wall paper works especially well in a walk-in closet.  Mine is actually a walk-by ;) closet, but I'm thinking about adding some paper to the back.  I have fallen in love with a couple from Graham & Brown which happens to be on Joss & Main as we speak.  Mr. isn't crazy about it, but it is my closet after all.

Erinn Valencich via

Armonia Decors via

Melanie Fascitelli, Lonny Mag via

Adler Doovan via

Made By Girl via

So tell me, have you been purging too?  I'll bet you are way ahead of me.  If you have some before & after organizing projects or organizing tips in general, I would love for you to join me January 16.  

Cottage & Vine 

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