Category: Home

Fa la la la Living Room

I’m continuing this week’s tour of Christmas decor in my house with a peek at the living room where I’ve decked the halls with red, green and silver accents.
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I mixed some of my old favorites with a few new pieces this year to make the room feel extra festive.
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I splurged on a pair of green and white houndstooth pillows that coordinate with my table runner in the dining room. The couch is the first thing that draws your eye in when you walk through the front door so I focused my attention there this year. A trio of new pillows, glittery garland and DIY holiday-themed art transformed this spot for Christmas. My couch and rug are so neutral that it’s easy to change the look of the room by switching up a few accent pieces and swapping out the yellow pillows for green. My strategy for decorating the living room was to take away yellow and replace it with green which complemented my existing red accents nicely.

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A few silver accents go a long way to make this space feel Christmas-y, too. I found this wreath made of silver, vintage-looking ornaments that I placed on a tray on the coffee table as a statement piece. When we put the tree up it will make my large silver ornaments really pop.

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Silver also makes a statement atop my entertainment center where a bevy of glass Christmas trees in a variety of sizes add interest to this side of the room. I treat my entertainment center as if it were my fireplace mantel (because I’ve always wanted one). It’s one of my favorite decorations in the whole house and I love how it turned out.

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Last but certainly not least is the stairway where I draped the same glittery garland down the banister and secured it with some red and green striped ribbon. I like the fact that you can see the ribbon holding up the garland and I think it gives the banister added character.

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And with that, the tour of our indoor Christmas decorations is complete. Next up I’ll share with you my Christmas tree and our display of lights outside. Also, look out for a new vlog with a video tour of our Christmas decorations which will give you a better feel for the layout of the space!

Red, green and… Copper?

When it comes to Christmas decor I don’t play favorites. Red, green, white, silver and gold all have a place in my home for the holidays. This year I added a small splash of a new metallic tone to the mix — copper.
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My husband’s favorite holiday drink is the Moscow Mule which is traditionally served in frigid copper mugs. The bright hue was the inspiration for my dining room sideboard this Christmas season. It makes a bold statement and a little goes a long way so I paired it with some rose gold pieces, deep reds and classic greens for a playful holiday look.

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Take a closer look at my DIY Noel sign.

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I used the cover art from another pretty notebook as the background with a metal “Noel” ornament (both from Target) on top for a custom piece that goes perfectly with my color scheme. I nabbed that rose gold Nicole Miller frame and Earth & Vine cocktail mixer at Marshall’s a few weeks ago.

Here’s a closer look at the rest of the dining room:

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I’m really excited about how the dining room turned out this year. Have I mentioned how much I love that preserved boxwood wreath? Vern Yip’s go-to decoration for December in HGTV Magazine was preserved boxwoods because they look like real/living plants and are maintenance free. I got the wreath from Target last year but I spotted it in the store again this season along with a smaller version.

More photos of my living room are in the works and I still have to trim the tree, so more to come!

Holy Hiatus

March 13, 2014. That’s the date of my last post on La Vie de Brie. Ugh! I’m so sorry, guys. Life definitely got the best of me in these past few months and I didn’t keep up with the blog the way I would have liked to. But, I’m back!

Even though I haven’t chronicled my DIY projects for you in these past… gulp… five months, I haven’t slowed down one bit. I have four great projects and some new furniture and design choices to share with you in the coming weeks! Here’s a sneak peek (or a reminder if you follow me on Instagram).

I transformed my stairs…

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…refinished the top of my coffee table. Hello, Minwax shine…
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…gave my closet a sassy navy, pink and gold makeover. Yes, those eagle hooks are vintage. And Ahhhmazing… IMG_5627

…Painstakingly scraped, prepped and painted my backyard fence. What. A. Job…
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…found a new area rug for our living room. Pattern on pattern seems to be my thing right now…
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…refinished these cute benches that were handed down from my husband Mike’s late grandmother. Such a lovely family heirloom…
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…and finally, got new patio furniture, though I’m still searching for the perfect (and perfectly priced) outdoor rug to give our patio some pizzazz… IMG_6279

 

I also wanted to quickly update you on another big change that has happened to me in recent weeks. I left my job at a PR agency to join a friend’s company called ArizonaEast. If you follow the Vitales on YouTube, you may have heard Joe and Laura announce that I’m joining the team, and I’m so excited!

Well, that’s all for now. But I promise to be back soon with more DIY details to share. Until then, enjoy these last few weeks of summer and squeeze in all the projects you can while the weather is gorgeous and the sun is out!

Goodbye Office, Hello Craft Room

Mike and I recently decided to move our office downstairs into the living room for two reasons. One, the living room spans the width of our house and at 21×14 the far end felt empty and lost. Two, we rarely set up shop in the office upstairs because neither of us wanted to feel locked away up there by ourselves. I swear a post is in the works detailing the move and unveiling our awesome little corner-turned-office downstairs, but this isn’t that post.

Moving the Mac, extra monitor and scads of technology down onto the main floor left the office ripe for the picking, and boy did I take advantage of the newly-vacant space. I was so excited to get my crafting/DIY/gift wrapping stuff out of the chaos pantry (though it’s newly organized for the second time) and up into its own space.

Craft & Reading Room

This mix-and-match feel of this room is truly the epitome of me. Every. Single. Piece. is collected/thrifted/salvaged from somewhere. I didn’t purchase any of the furniture specifically for this room. It’s a little disjointed, but I love it.

Craft & Sitting Room

Notice the two nearly identical wingback chairs? One is navy, the other is hunter green, and I successfully made them work — staring right into each others’ nailhead trim…

You may recognize the green chair from our living room downstairs. It sat proudly across from our old charcoal grey sofa. A little too proudly, in fact. It was so tall someone sitting at the newly positioned desk couldn’t see the TV, and that just wasn’t going to work. Another fun fact about our pair of wingbacks is each one came from our grandparents. The navy was given to us from Mike’s grandparents, and the green came straight from my grandparents’ office. The style of both chairs is nearly identical which is why they both work here even though they’re different colors. Another neat feature of these chairs is that each relaxes into a comfortable reclining position, so my goal is to use this as a sitting/reading/writing room when I’m looking for some solitude.

Navy Nailhead Wingback Chair

The Sicilia print is an old linen piece from Mike’s grandmother, too. It used to live in the bathroom of our old apartment, and I think it looks great on the wall in the office. That small chest next to the chair was a second-hand find from my grandmother’s neighbor. She was giving it away and I decided to spray paint it black and cart if off to college with me. It’s been tagging along ever since. When I made this room the craft room, I gave it the new job of housing my plethora of gift bags and displaying my Keyboard Cat and Andy Warhol print — both treasured gifts. A noble task, indeed.

Hiding Gift Bags

Moving to the right of the navy chair, I placed my DIY’d crafting table/cabinet/shelf-like thing-a-ma-bob. This is a TOTALLY makeshift piece. The two white cabinets used to house canned goods and glassware in the kitchen of our old apartment. With an entire room devoted to storage in our new townhouse, I decided to repurpose these into storage space for my crafting supplies. The wooden top is made up of two solid-wood Ikea shelves that I screwed together with brackets to make them extra sturdy. It’s floating on top of the white shelves so it’s easy to disassemble and move if need be. I do want to paint the top white to help it blend in, though.

Craft & Sitting Room

Kate Spade & Craft Paper

Tray & Metal Hooks

Crafting Supply Storage

The black shelf next to it is a hold out from the old office. It was laying on its side housing some office supplies, novelties and the printer. It wasn’t very useful in the office, so I decided to sit it right side up and get some extra baskets/containers to house my crafting and party supplies. I tilted it on an angle a bit to break up all the straight lines in the room, and I took a small globe-shaped light out of storage with a teeny tiny bulb that stays on pretty much all the time to act as a night light in the upstairs hallway since we always leave the door to this room open.

Crafty Shelf Styling

See that graphic black and white pillow up there? It kept catching my eye on Pinterest and in several blog posts so I snapped it up. It’s not the most practical pillow in this space since I already have two other throw pillows in here that work well together and the graphic pattern is a little too much next to the curtains, so I plopped it in a basket above the shelf for visual impact and as an option for future floor sitting. Looking at it makes me happy, so it stays. And those curtains? They dressed the window in our bedroom at the old apartment and I was thrilled to be able to reuse them here. They’re a perfect match with the wall color I chose. What a happy accident.

Gift Wrap

Onto one of my most practical sections of the room – my gift wrap storage. I started keeping all those rolls of gift wrap in that gold bin in the pantry when we first moved into the house and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s so easy to grab what I need in a rush to wrap a stylish gift in no time. And that even more stylish gold bin is a hand-me-down from my Mommom. I know, right? Score!

And finally, to keep it real. This is the office-turning-craft-room transition that I started with. Yeah, a lot of work when into getting this room organized. The closet is even spic and span now. What a relief.

Craft Room Before

Second Craft Room Before

And to go back even further, this is the office I started with.

Office

Book Shelf

Do you guys have a dedicated space for crafting or gift wrapping? Even just a dedicated closet, perhaps? I’m pretty lucky to have a third bedroom at my beck-and-call, that’s for sure. And I’m basking in the glow of extra useable space for now.

Vintage Shopping at Reminisce

I found myself with a few free hours last Saturday afternoon, so I jumped at the chance to explore a new vintage store that just opened in a neighboring town. I mentioned in a previous post how I wished to have a list of go-to thrift and vintage stores, and I’m slowly starting to uncover a few local gems thanks to my friend and fellow thrifting enthusiast Natasha.

Reminisce

Enter Reminisce in downtown Pitman, New Jersey. Pitman is a unique small town in that it still has a bustling main street full of quaint restaurants, boutiques and even a thriving theater scene. Reminisce was opened in January by owner Jessica who has curated one of the best collections of vintage decor and novelties I’ve ever come across. I’m used to walking into a thrift store and digging through junk in the hopes of finding a rare diamond in the rough. At Reminisce, I nearly squealed with excitement at every turn. A vintage Hershey’s Kisses tin, upcycled guitar-turned-shelf, glass door knobs and an array of old glass bottles were some of the first treasures I encountered. And that was just in one small corner of the store.

Jessica truly has a vision for her burgeoning store, and I have a lot of respect for the mom of four who is working hard to make her dream come true. I love that she hasn’t rushed to fill up her shelves with less than stellar goods just to make the place feel packed, but instead chooses to sell only the pieces that she truly loves. I snapped a few of my favorite finds to share with you.

Join me for a virtual tour of Reminisce.

Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage cream and gold plate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Shabby chic molding and tins at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage glass bottles from Philadelphia, Pa at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage Tetley tea tin at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage Pepsi bottles in carrying crate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

A variety of old novelty items in a vintage Pepsi crate at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Poppies chalk paint at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Vintage clutch and shabby chic bowl at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled cane back chair and guitar-turned-shelf at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter from Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled table and vintage Coca Cola print and tin at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled cane back chair and vintage Barbie print at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Upcycled chest of drawers at Antique glass table at Reminisce Vintage and Novelty Shop in Pitman, NJ

Are you hopping in the car and heading to Reminisce yet? Isn’t it amazing! I felt like I died and went to heaven, and my mind was racing with inspiration. It was so difficult to choose what I wanted to take home out of all this great stuff.

After about an hour of admiring every nook and cranny of the store I landed on four items that I couldn’t leave without.

Vintage coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter

As soon as I saw this vintage 50s Tom Thumb typewriter I fell in love. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I’ve wanted to own something like this for a while. When I saw the Tom Thumb in this perfect coral color I almost couldn’t believe it was real. I mean, c’mon. That’s MY COLOR! I have pops of this color throughout my house. My living room pillows, a frame, a glazed vase, books, prints… The list could go on. I nervously asked Jessica how much this typewriter would set me back, and when she said $20 my jaw dropped. It was SO going home with me.

Jessica’s mission to make these vintage goodies affordable is the icing on the deliciously sweet cake that is Reminisce. Everything in the store was priced to sell and much less than I’ve seen both online and in other stores.

Vintage glass bottles, ball jar and coral Tom Thumb 50s typewriter

I also decided to take home two glass soda pop bottles from Frank’s Nectar and Hires root beer. Not only was the color spot on, but the bottles were from Philadelphia so I loved the local tie. Don’t they look great on the shelf above the Tom Thumb? They fit perfectly in the square shelves of the Ikea entertainment center in our living room.

Vintage Palmolive soap ad fits perfectly in the master bath

Last but certainly not least I snapped up this vintage Palmolive soap print that already came with a navy mat. The old soap ad was aptly themed for a bathroom, and the navy mat worked perfectly with the navy, gray, cream and light blue color scheme of our master bath. The wall above our towel bar had been previously bare, so I thought this was the perfect finishing touch.

Vintage Palmolive soap ad fits perfectly in the master bath

The print cost just $12 and I found the grey 11×14 frame at Christmas Tree Shops for $6 – a steal for this perfectly-themed art.

Natasha and I also visited a few other thrift stores the next day close to her home in Salem County, but I didn’t have much luck. The visit made me realize just how special Reminisce is, and I know I’m going to be a regular. Do you have any vintage pieces you’ve uncovered while thrifting? Have you pined for a typewriter like my prized Tom Thumb? Any furniture upcycling stories to share like the awesome repainted and recovered cane back chairs above?

Psst… This is in no way a sponsored post and all opinions shared are truly my own. I fell in love with Reminisce and wanted to shout it from the rooftops! None of the links included in this post are affiliates. 

Psssst… If you love Instagram like I do and live in the Philadelphia area, follow Jinxed Philadelphia @jinxedstore for some awesome vintage and thrifted finds. They’re constantly posting new merch for sale on Instagram as soon as it hits the store and you can purchase right from your phone. But act fast, I totally lost out on my dream coffee table because it went in less than an hour. Happy thrifting! 

New Couch & Chair

If you’ve been following us on the vlog, you know we’ve been shopping for new living room furniture for about six weeks now. The couch we had was less than a year old, but it wasn’t quite big or comfortable enough to make us happy. After weeks of saving and searching for just the right thing, it’s finally here!

Neutral sofa and paint with pops of persimmon and yellow

Isn’t it beautiful?! It’s much better than the old couch. Let’s compare, shall we? Pardon the crappy-quality iPhone photo, but you get the gist.

Living room before

Let’s rewind even further back to what this room looked like after we first moved in.

Old living room layout

Yes, this living room has certainly come a long way. But let’s get on with the tour of the new furniture! Take a look at the new chair, and don’t mind the blurry Cody in the photo below. He loves being in the middle of anything new.

Long living room layout

The chair is so comfortable, and its low profile allows for full visibility of the TV from the desk behind it. This is the view you see down the hall when you walk in the front door, so I’m loving all the visual interest this chair brings to the space. I know the print is busy and probably not the ‘safest’ pick, but I have a feeling I’m going to love it for the long haul.

Check out the living room now from a few different points of view.

The layout makes this long living room work

Long living room layout

I’m sure there will be some tweaking happening over the next few weeks as I get settled in. Our coffee table could really use a refresh (the wood top is pretty beat up) and the stain on the side tables doesn’t match perfectly, but I think this room has really come a long way. It feels comfortable, eclectic and collected to me, so it really represents my design sensibility, even if it’s not perfect.

See those yellow pillows on the couch? They’re looking extra fluffy, right? Our couch came with these throw pillows that just aren’t my style.

Ugly throw pillows

Totally not me, right? But these pillows were much better quality than my original yellow ones. So a light bulb went off in my head. I could take the stuffing out of the yellow pillows and throw the cover over these fluffy-but-ugly new ones.

Check out the ho-hum stuffing in the yellow pillows.

Poorly-stuffed yellow pillows

Pillow stuffing

Bad, right? No wonder the pillows always looked a little lifeless no matter how much they were fluffed and straightened.

Here they are now. Proud as a peacock.

Yellow and red throw pillows

So don’t count out your old pillows. Some new stuffing can work wonders!

Well, what do you think? Doesn’t the lighter couch color make the room feel bigger and more airy? I can’t get over the way a new piece of furniture can make the whole room feel so different!

New Dining Room Chairs

I’m so excited to share my latest update to our dining room!

Dining room layout

Don’t mind the veeerrrryyy bright light. I guess I didn’t realize it was on full blast when I snapped these shots. But doesn’t this layout make the dining room feel so much more open than it did when I posted my house tour?

My new, smaller dining room chairs fit so much better around our table than the older, more weighty set. My nana graciously gave us her set of five Ballard Designs dining room chairs and they served us very well during our first few years living together — especially since we didn’t have the budget to purchase quality chairs like those on our own. Even though the chairs are beautiful and very comfortable (the two against the wall in the photo above are leftovers from Nana’s set) one of the chairs was pretty badly broken and it always annoyed me that we had to break out a folding chair to accommodate a sixth dinner guest. Not to mention the fact that the big chairs took up all the extra space in the dining room making it feel cramped. Needless to say, I was constantly keeping my eyes open for a deal on new dining chairs in the hopes of getting something more functional for our space.

As I’m sure you know, dining chairs aren’t cheap. So, when I stumbled upon a treasure trove of SEVEN brand new still-in-the-box dining chairs at Ikea in the as-is section marked down to $35 a pop, I almost had a heart attack. Picture me guarding them hoping no one else would discover this awesome deal while I flagged Mike down to come take a look. He wasn’t convinced, but I loved the style and said, “trust me, this is a great deal!!!” And in the cart they went. Just four of them, that is. I hope those other three beauties found a home.

$35 Ikea chair steal

I’m sure you can guess what I did that night, right? I spent what felt like a lifetime putting all four chairs together. Damn Ikea furniture. So cheap but such a pain in the butt. Oh well, it was worth it. I even bought a hex drill bit to speed the process along, but of course my drill couldn’t fit in the teeny tiny space they left to tighten the screws. So cranking them by hand was my only option. Here’s a look at my setup:

Chair assembly tools

Chair in box

Half assembled chair

Chair assembly

See that enormous stack of trash in the background? Yeah, that didn’t get cleaned up until the next day. I was up into the wee hours of Sunday morning finishing the fourth and final chair, and by the time I finished it I was at my wits end. But boy did it feel good to have gotten all four of these chairs for $150.

Just to refresh your memory, this is what my dining room used to look like. So sparse. So lacking in style and interest.

Dining Room

The foundation was there, but it just wasn’t quite hitting a home run. But the new look is starting to fit the bill. I’m psyched!

Dining room layout

Dining room layout from right

Dining room layout from left

Dining room sideboard

The sideboard used to serve as a sofa table in the living room way back when the sofa sat in the middle of the room. When I switched up the living room layout for the holidays the sofa went up against a wall and the table sat awkwardly on the opposite wall. Another recent living room update (post to come) kicked the table out of its awkward corner position and my brilliant husband said, “hey, let’s use this table as a dining room sideboard.” Wow, does he surprise me sometimes. It was perfect!! I love the way the white breaks up the heavy dark chairs and table and plays into the light color in the art above. And it will be perfect for serving food or drinks during a party.

Do you have a war story from the Ikea as-is section? Did you try to hide your finds from fellow bargain hunters when you couldn’t get those deals in your cart fast enough? Commiserate with me!

Weekend Thrifting

I was itching to go thrifting since I started following Better Homes and Gardens East Coast editor/producer Eddie Ross on Instagram and he posted three to-die-for finds in the past few weeks. You can see them here, here and here. That bar cart and those shelves painted white or a fun bright color? Yes, please. Sign me up.

I’d love to have a lengthy list of thrift stores to hit up on the regular, but I haven’t uncovered many stores in my area. Why can’t there be a database of these diamonds in the rough? Wait, is there? Am I totally missing out on some amazing black market thrift store list? Is ‘thrift store’ a section on Yelp? If so, you better bring me up to speed in a comment!

Goodwill

My options were limited, so I headed to the good ole Goodwill last Saturday afternoon with visions of vintage treasures dancing in my head. As is often the case, reality didn’t live up to  expectations and a quick pass through the furniture section was sorely disappointing. A few folding chairs, an ugly TV and some sad 80s lamps were all that was left in the desolate section that’s usually packed with piles of quirky cast offs. It must have been an off day. But as you can tell from my photo above, I didn’t leave empty handed.

Old Books

Some of my favorite things to look for at a thrift are cheap, beautiful hardcover books, and I found three that fit the bill during my shopping trip. Those plastic covers can be very deceiving, so you have to look behind them to see what you’re really working with.

Hardcover Books

Hardcover Book

Ta da! How great are they?! The spines are even better.

Book Spines

Pair a stack of these beauties with a frame and a piece of glassware (hello, Mason jars) and you’ve got a stylish shelf in no time. I like to choose books based on their color and title. If the title resonates with me in some way, I’m smitten. These books ended up on a shelf in my dining room.

Books on Shelf

The best part is the thrift store price. I got all three books for just over $8. You can’t beat it! That’s what I call affordable decor. Have you scored some awesome thrifting finds lately? How have you been styling your shelves?

Freshening Up the Laundry Closet

There weren’t many things I really loved about our old apartment. The position of the laundry closet five steps outside our bedroom door was probably one of the best perks of our one-bedroom place, so when I climbed the stairs of our townhouse while we toured it for the first time I was elated to see the laundry closet positioned just steps away from our master bedroom. A second floor laundry was one of those perks I wasn’t expecting to find in a house but quickly became one of the many reasons I knew this was the place for us. Now, nearly a year after moving in, it was finally time to give this functional space some much needed TLC.

This is what I started with…

Laundry Before

I know, right? Yuuuck. This closet looks the same way it did just weeks after we moved in and I shoved all those cleaning supplies and other random stuff on the shelf. Not functional at all. Nope, the clutter and dust had to go.

Speaking of dust…

Dusty Shelf

And in the spirit of keeping it real, here’s a close up.

Dust Close Up

Yup, totally horrible. I knew it was bad but when my clutter was no longer hiding this grime I was pretty appalled to find this shelf such a mess. G-to the-R-to the-O-to the -S-S. I was suddenly SO GLAD I decided to spend a random Saturday afternoon tackling this closet.

Cleaning Supplies

After emptying out the closet and sorting through all the cleaning supplies, light bulbs, sewing gear, detergents and even a spare shower head, it was time to de-dust all up in there. Thank goodness for the super suction Dyson handheld vacuum that my Mommom got me as a housewarming gift. I like to think I’ve adopted her knack for keeping these sparkling, though you wouldn’t know it by the state this closet was in. Ugh…

Dyson

The walls and floors were just as dusty as the shelf, so I spent quite a bit of time vacuuming before I was ready for round two. I mixed together a trusty concoction of hot water, bleach and Fabuloso and wiped EVERYTHING down – from the shelves and appliances to the walls and floors. It was sparkling!

Laundry Closet Progress

With the dust gone, I was determined to make the closet way more functional than it had been before. I really can’t stand clutter and I’m a big believer in not storing anything that I know I won’t use. I’m a vicious purger of unused things and I’ll tell you what – I rarely miss things I give away. It’s freeing. I recommend it.

I picked up two plastic storage bins at Target to wrangle the things I decided to keep in here.

Clean Laundry Closet

The bigger bin houses all of my cleaning supplies.

Big Bin

And the smaller one keeps my rubber globes and scrub brush out of sight.

Smaller Bin

So, there you have it. All in an afternoon’s work. I’m pretty proud.

Laundry Before & After

I’m even more proud that I’ve kept it this way for more than a week now, through at least three loads of laundry and one bathroom cleaning spree. That’s what happens when you make things more function. You stop. The. Chaos. I love it!

Oh, and this happened too.

Master Closet Before & After

It was a good Saturday, that’s for sure. I have big plans to add even more style to both the laundry closet and the master bedroom’s walk in. I know these spaces are rarely seen by guests, but they’re spaces seen by me every single day – so they’re definitely worth some beautification. I’m thinking about adding a stripe of color in the laundry closet for a fun surprise hiding behind those bi-fold doors, and maybe painting the ceiling of the walk-in closet a moody navy blue and adding a fun light fixture for some added panache. We’ll see what happens. But either way, I’m happy to have these spaces clean and organized for now. That’s more than half the battle.

Have you undertaken an organization project lately? What are your favorite tips for keeping closets clutter free?

Small Victories

Winter is in full swing on the east coast. And so is my lack of motivation. I’m sure you can tell by my absence here that I just haven’t been feeling very inspired lately. The difference between ‘try’ and ‘triumph’ is just a little ‘umph’, they say, but there’s no ‘umph’ to be found ’round these parts.

Lazy Cody

There are plenty of things on my to do list, but lately it seems like the only items that actually get crossed off are the bare essentials – just barely. There are closets to be organized, walls to be repainted, trim to be caulked, and a tricky elongated living room begging for just the right furniture placement that I haven’t quite come up with yet – not for lack of trying. I’m coming for you, 21×14.

It doesn’t help that our third snow storm of the winter just left town. My commute home from work on Tuesday was 4. hours. long. 4 HOURS to go 35 MILES! The snow started much earlier than predicted and by the time I got out of a meeting nearly an inch was on the ground. The swiftly falling snow compounded by the early rush hour that started around lunch time due to the fact that everyone and their mother was trying to make it home before the heavy stuff really hit made for the commute from H-E-double-hockey-sticks.

Snowy commute

The snow is becoming less of a novelty and more of a schedule-ruining pain in the behind with each storm. I love working from home once in a while, but I’m starting to feel cooped up, and the more I sit at home the less motivated I become. It’s a vicious cycle that has me counting even the smallest victories as a win this week.

I kept the whole house clean, cooked homemade meals and had a nice dinner out with friends. Win, win and win. I mean, c’mon, who wouldn’t want poached eggs on a toasty slice of whole wheat baguette topped with mango salsa, Sriracha and cilantro for dinner on a Tuesday night? Amiright?!

Poached eggs

It’s all about the small, wholesome, delicious little wins this week. And I’ll take it.