Joining the Ranks

We are creeping in on the second week of January. I suppose I can't put it off any longer. It's time to get back to the business of blogging. Actually, I'm kind of excited and renewed after my week long break at the holidays. Thank you to everyone for bearing with me. 

It seems as though everyones mother's brother's sister is starting off the new year with organizational posts. Far be it from me to buck that trend. 

As you may have seen in my Goals post, I've been struggling with the endless toy clutter. It doesn't help that we choose to add toy storage in the main walkway from the kitchen, through the breakfast room, to the living room. And, of course, all the new toys that came with Christmas are only making matters worse. 

So, in an effort to be happier in my own home, this happened. I'm hoping to join the ranks of Expedit lovers. So far so good. Loving the cubby style to organize toys and really loving that it comes with wall attachments. No need to worry about it toppling over. Extra bonus, my previously purchased PBK lined baskets fit.

More toys downstairs. Less toys upstairs. Now, this doesn't mean that I won't be picking up toys all day, but it does help matters a bit. Embracing the little things!

It had been ages since I strolled around Ikea. I took loads of pictures and plan on sharing them soon. Definitely some things on my wish list!

What about you - organizing in the new year?

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until next time, 

Bedside Storage

I'm back in the guest bedroom, working on furniture placement. You know, I changed the layout to allow for more room on either side of the bed, which is great, but now I actually need a bedside table.

I'm going for an eclectic, collected, cottage feel. But it also needs to be functional, provide storage and most importantly fit my budget constraints which are cheap, cheap, cheap.

Enter the basket with tray combo. The texture and warmth of the basket feels so cottage-y to me. And the tray helps to make it more functional. And it definitely fits the budget criteria because I already had both! Perfect. Of course, they did have previous lives.

This campaign style tray used to be part of a butlers tray table that held decanters in the dining room. Unfortunately, the stand part of the table broke a couple of years ago, sending all our decanters crashing to the ground. 
{Can you believe only the cheap ones broke, all the vintage pieces made it. Just goes to show, they just don't make things like they used to. But that's another topic for another post.}

Anyway, I painted it the same color as the dresser to help tie the pieces together. {Color inspiration for both pieces came from the sheet set, which I am slightly obsessed with. I don't even want to think about what I will do if this set ever wears out.} I also used a bit of Rub n' Buff on the corners to help them pop.

And if you ever need to access the storage space, you just lift the whole tray instead of each individual piece. Easy, peasy.

The extra storage provided by the basket is great. Seasonal blankets and extra pillows can be stored in the room instead of the downstairs linen closet. Plus, the closet in this room is super small, so leaving that space free for guests is nice. 

Have I mentioned how much I love this basket? I bought it several years ago at Ikea in the UK. Unfortunately, the basket they carry now is more modern. If they still carried this model I'd buy them by the boat load. It looks great everywhere from the mudroom to the living room to the bedroom. 

Great, this side of the bed is sorted. Now, I must move on to the bedding. As you can see I finally washed and changed the bed. The basic bedding is staying the same - sheets, bed skirt, matelasse bedspread and quilt were all pre-existing {everything but the quilt dates back almost 13 years!}. It's just a matter of adding on some layers to make it feel like a nice, cozy cottage bedroom. Wish me luck.

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Until next time, 

Speaking of Changes in the Kitchen

Along with the addition of our newly hung breadboards, we've had to make room for some other bread making accessories. Again, counter space is at a premium so adding additional items to our work surfaces left me in search of alternative storage space.

Here's what we're giving a try: a cutting board covering the middle burner of the cooktop. Not only does it provide just a bit more much needed storage space, but it looks good too! Kind of breaks up the industrial feel of the stainless top. Two birds, one stone.

And I have to say, it's working so far. We don't use the middle burner all that often, and if we do, we just lift the whole board and we're good to go.

Now we've got room for our new scale, which Mr. DD uses for his baker's percentage bread recipe. {I'm sure if you ask nicely, he'd consider sharing his new methods.}

Don't know if I've mentioned that there's quite a bit of bread hanging around our kitchen now. Yeah.

Unfortunately, I've grown tired of storing our bread in the oven and/or the toaster oven.

So, now one more item graces our counter tops, my vintage bread canister. I've actually had the canister for years, but since our kitchen renovation its been sitting in the basement. So sad.

But not anymore. 

Hey, I guess this post could be my unofficial unexpected storage no. 3 post.  

How you like that?!?!

Until next time,

Can't Store It? Hang It. {Unexpected Storage No. 2}

In my February plan post, I mentioned a little project I had planned for this corner of our kitchen. Truth be told, this corner has always seemed a bit lifeless to me. When we finished our kitchen remodel last summer, we were just so happy to move back into the fully functioning kitchen that some of the little details were left undone. 

What do you decorate a kitchen with anyway? The obvious food related art? Something functional? Something unexpected?

As some of you know, Mr. DD has taken up a new hobby - bread making. Although this new hobby doesn't require a lot of stuff, the stuff that he does use is pretty sizable. Our kitchen may be newly fitted, but space is still at a premium. Can you see where this is going??

That's right, we decided to hang some of our breadboards. Design AND function - how about that? 

Trying to keep the expense to a minimum I picked up some faux brass hooks and leather shoelaces to hang our breadboards. Unfortunately, I wasn't really loving the extra shinny finish on the faux brass hooks. Now what? Well, after a bit of research I discovered brass and bronze aging solution, and figured I didn't have much to loose, why not give it a try.

A quick bath for my hardware later...they were looking a lot better.
It's a simple solution to darken and age any brass or bronze metals. It's hard to see the difference, but if you look closely you can see the slightly distressed and darkened finished. Nice.

I used the leather shoelaces to make simple hanging loops.

So far we have three boards, but as you can see, there is plenty of room to grow our little collection. I'm loving how easily accessible these boards are. BONUS, I'm also loving how they are decorating this once lonely space. 
Who says good design isn't functional?!?

Of course, now I want to change the barstool. What kind of DIY-er would I be without that coming to mind. But that's another project, for another post, for another time. 

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Until next time, 

Unexpected Storage

In the linen closet? That's right, more storage in a closet specifically made for storage. Who knew! But if you're like me, living in a house with very few actual closets, you know you have to make the most of what you have. 

So what's the solution?

A shoe storage bag placed on the inside of the closet door. It's as simple as that. Actually, I came across this idea in a This Old House article and as soon as I read it I thought to myself - why didn't I think of that? Genius. 

I've filled mine with some of my must haves like Shaklee Germ Off Wipes, some of the bulkier toiletries, as well as some rarely used items like seasonal towels.

I'm loving this solution for a variety of reasons - the top two being: it's storing all those little items like wash cloths that take up so much space and it's keeping my toiletries organized so I know when I need to replace something.


Here's how we were looking before...everything fit, but there wasn't much room to grow. 

And now.

Ah, that makes me happy. Even if these nicely folded towels and sheets only last through one more wash. At least there will be more room for the future messily folded towels and sheets!

Ok, well, I think I have exhausted this topic for now. But worry not, I'll be back with more unexpected storage in the future. 

It's back to more work in the basement playroom for us this weekend - what are you up to?

Until next time,