If you haven’t heard about purging or organizing or minimalism or hygge or quieting our homes … or slowing our lives this month, then I’m assuming you’ve been on some sort of social media hiatus. If on the other hand, you’ve become a student of such things, then I’m right there with you. It’s January and our hearts and minds naturally seem to turn this direction as each new year gets underway. I’ve been a lifelong organizer, but this past year has been a bit different than others. It’s been more than a little surprising and inspiring to see the beauty of a good purge a quiet space and a fresh slate.
A year ago I never could have imagined all that was to be discovered on this blogging journey. Though there is much progress to be made in the days ahead, I’m a bit amazed at the things I’ve learned already like how to deal with technology glitches, how to take and edit better photos and how even our homes can tell our story, and it’s one worth being told. But my favorite thing by far has been the amazing people I’ve met, the encouragement I’ve received and friendships I’ve made. It has been such an unexpected and beautiful perk!
Happy Monday y’all! I hope your day will be filled with more things chocolate and sweet than tricky and scary. We may or may not have indulged in a little chocolate ourselves. The aftermath can be a little crazy, with half eaten suckers stuck between car seats or Skittles scattered about the house. If you’re like me, you prefer investing your time and energy into the experiences of life over keeping things like cars and homes clean. And yet, not cleaning really isn’t an option. Well, I have a new cleaning tool that I think you’ll find quite helpful in all sorts of ways – the AutoRight Steam Machine, aka my cleaning hero. Stick around for my opinion on who wins The Family Van vs. The AutoRight Steam Machine and if it’s really worth it …
Thanks for all the love on the Chalkboard Wall project we completed this week. It’s always fun to watch something come together the way you had imagined. It’s even better when you get to do any project with your favorite people. And as far as were concerned, the challenge of thinking outside the box and using what you have requires ingenuity and leaves behind a strong sense of fulfillment. So just for fun, here’s a little run-down of what really went down in our kitchen the other day in the making of a bargain chalkboard wall.
The making of a bargain chalkboard wall | assets and liabilities
It’s always a good place to start, this listing of assets and liabilities. It helps to establish parameters and to have a starting point to launch creativity.
One of my favorite spots in our home is the skinny little chalkboard wall between our kitchen and eating area. For the past 3 years, it has held grocery lists, messages, childhood masterpieces and an assortment of random thoughts. After last week’s kitchen purge, it seemed like the right time to freshen it up a bit and shift the focus a little to make it a chalkboard wall of thanks.
You may remember this shot from last year when I armed our son-in-law with a jar of chalk and a few ideas. I asked him to do something magical and he more than delivered on that request. It took until Valentine’s Day for me to be convinced that maybe it was time to erase his work.
How is my kitchen organizing compliments of Gilmore Girls anyway?
Several weeks ago I joined Sarah at She Holds Dearly and a group of almost 100 others in a Home Decluttering Challenge based on the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Last week we purged our kitchens and then restocked cabinets and pantries with only those items we truly use. The extra space on each shelf if such a visual treat for those of us with an aversion to chaos. The purging part is great to get rid of the excess, but I’ve always loved the organizing part and today I bring you a little Kitchen Organizing compliments of Gilmore Girls.
Last month we did a Closet Makeover Challenge here with a few other bloggers. It was great fun to see how we each based on our specific closets and goals for our space. One of the challenges I had for my closet was to do as much as I could with items I had around my house or at my disposal. That little stipulation I gave myself led to creating a variety of items including a shoe shelf salvaged from shelving at a rental home we’re working on. Each piece was fun in its own way, and I couldn’t pick a favorite even if a box of chocolates was riding on it .. Okay, maybe I could pick something if chocolate was involved. I really enjoyed this one mostly because it’s the first thing I’ve truly built by myself with my hubby, Steve, cheering me on. I promised I would share more details on these projects and today’s a good day for or first one – a wooden shoe shelf tutorial for beginners!
Now before you decide you can’t do a wood project, please know that when I say beginner, I mean be-gin-ner. Like as a kid I enjoyed watching my dad do a variety of woodworking projects. I sanded. I fetched things. I approved design aspects. I fetched more things. I learned to love the smell of fresh-cut wood. Outside of refinishing furniture for I don’t even know how long now, I’ve never really built something out of wood by myself. Or, “All by my big girl self” as my husband had to listen to during this entire project. Personally, I think he endured it because he kind of liked my idea and wanted a better way to store shoes other than the pile system that he’s been using for years.
Are y’all just loving all the fall home tours as much as I am? It’s such a colorful and cozy season that invites us to slow down and gather with friends and family. As much as I’m loving all the beauty and inspiration to be found, I’m starting to wonder about my own approach to decorating. What if fall decor is actually about my own vision and creating cozy spaces to gather together instead of some misguided standard I’ve devised in my own mind to use as a standard in which my own home and decor skills are always found lacking? That’s not why people share their home tours, it’s to give us a peek into their homes and special spaces. I’m choosing to enjoy these for the inspiration that they are while at the same time enjoying the beauty that fills the spaces around me.
With that in mind, I would love to offer you a steaming cup of coffee and invite you to sit and hopefully enjoy what I see when I look at our own decor for fall. Beyond that, I would love to see what makes your own decor special and what makes you smile in your own space.
Thrifted couches and a coffee table rescued from the trash pile
On shelters and stools and spray paints and a giveaway
With the arrival of fall and cooler temperatures, we squeeze in all the outdoor weekend activities we can – from pumpkin patches and hayrides to hiking and bonfires. In a matter of weeks, we’ll tend to spend more free time inside than out – roaring fires, hot chocolate, chunky afghans and a good book. Our DIY projects tend to do the same thing – outdoor gardening is replaced by indoor handwork. Painting projects have always been an interesting one for me. When we lived in south Florida, I usually did spray painting outside, but that doesn’t work so well farther north. But fortunately there is a solution and today I want to share with you a little project and thoughts on shelters and stools and spray paints AND a giveaway!
This weekend was one of those projects for me. It had great potential for creating a tremendous mess, but the only clean-up was a bit of paint overspray on my hands. It was a quick makeover that fit nicely between a wedding, a birthday dinner, church family gatherings and a surprise visit from our soon-to-be daughter-in-law. What’s not to love about a dramatic transformation that is both quick and tidy?
Happy Monday y’all! Hopefully, you’ve been able to do your closet purge and are ready for the fun stuff because this week is Mission Organization | DIY projects. Even without the DIY organizing perks, it’s amazing how simply having a purged closet can bring tremendous stress relief. Somehow we don’t realize how much of a stress-inducer chaos can be until it’s gone and we breathe a sigh of relief!
You can check out the first post and “explanation” of this series here. And there are some tips to the purging part of the process here. As well as highlights from Amanda and Tori, the other two bloggers hosting our closet makeover, here. Then you’ll find the details to join us and enter our giveaway at the end of next week later in this post.
I’m still in the process of working on some of my DIYs and should have more on those later this week, but in the meantime, I want to share a few of the completed projects. My main goal for our closet is to use items around the house to create a calm functional space with touches of things we love.
Washable Wire Shelf Cover
Our closet isn’t a typical walk-in, but it’s 11 feet wide and 3 feet deep. That extra foot of depth, along with two full-size doors that open in the center make it feel huge compared to any other closets we’ve had. One of my least favorite features are the wire shelves. The same ones we’ve had in both of our homes and every other place we’ve rented. They’re functional and affordable, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve set something on top of one of them only to have it fall through the wires and into the laundry basket or a shoe or the great abyss.
I wanted to use some of my fabric stash to create something washable, sturdy and inexpensive. Hello, shower curtain from our previous home, and muslin and velcro from my Mama’s collection, and corrugated cardboard rescued before it hit the recycle bin. I created 4 pillow-case type pockets on the underside of the shelf cover to slip in a few pieces of cardboard. The cardboard can be easily removed to wash the covers and then slid right back in to create the necessary sturdiness.
I have always loved the natural look of sea-grass and the way this flows with our calm beachy color theme in our master suite. The shower curtain actually started as a tablecloth from a clearance shelf years ago. There are velcro strips attaching the cover to the back wire of the shelving and underneath the front edge so that all you see are the brackets. AH! Problem solved with no added expense. You can look for a full tutorial on this in the coming weeks, with ideas for other materials that you may have around your home.
Laundry Tub with Washable Liner
The next DIY I’ve been working on is a new “laundry basket” that started with an idea my hubby suggested. There are several tutorials for French laundry baskets on pinterest – gorgeous! But, it was more than the already long to-do list could handle, and I didn’t have all the materials at home. Then my hubby asked about the big copper bucket in our family room that we’ve tossed pillows in for years. Hmmmm..
It’s really old, with plenty of character, including a cut on one side that would definitely snag clothes. It can also only be cleaned up so much, so I decided to make a washable fabric liner for it. I didn’t want to use the same fabric as the shelf covers, so I opted for this thrifted mid-century chintz that I’ve been saving for something fun for the past year.
I cut out a tweaked a practice liner from some broadcloth and ended up using it to actually line the liner, because why not! There’s a 2″ flap over the top edge, including a small section inside the handle, to help it stay in place. With a little casing and 2 pieces of leather cording, that liner isn’t going anywhere until I decide to remove it and wash it. You can also look for a more detailed tutorial on this in the coming weeks.
Some in-process Artwork
The other project I’ve started is a little bit of artwork. Our daughter Katy and her best friend Jessica – who will soon also be my daughter-in-law, yes, another post on that coming up – painted some super cool artwork for Katy’s wedding a few years ago. One of those was a fun quote and I knew I wanted to use the same technique for a little quote to add to our closet wall.
We pulled out some paints that the Deco-art crew shared with us at Haven and started on this little beauty. It kind of looks like a dark boring mess right now, but trust me there will be more color and fun by next week when we post our Closet Makeover Reveals.
Don’t forget to sign up for the Giveaway!
Speaking of the Closet Makeover Reveal, here are the things to do if you want to be entered in the giveaway …
That’s it! Check back Wednesday for some tips and techniques from Amanda and Tori as well as progress on a few more DIYs. And if you haven’t started, it’s not too late to join in the fun. You are not required to have a magazine-worthy closet at the end of this, but once you purge and do even just a little organizing, you’ll be so very glad you joined in!