it's time to de-clutter.

i think i've been bitten by the cleaning and organizing bug recently. some clutter here and there used to not bug me (just ask my mom!), but right now i want to scream every time i look at our coffee table or closet. this must be what it's like to be a grown up. last weekend i spent some time in the garage sorting through boxes of stuff that i have been saving for a garage sale. i keep putting it off, because, i really just don't want to have a garage sale. i remember the last one we had right after we got married, and it was a big pain. and we didn't make that much moolah.

right now i have about 5 boxes that need to go to the goodwill, and i'm holding off because doug wants to clean this weekend. we've been talking about organizing solutions, and have done a few things that are helping. i got an under-bed storage thingy for my smaller shoes and some adjustable purse hangers for my collection of purses. these are great because we hung them on the inside wall of our bathroom hall, so they are out of the way, but they still display my purses. and it's freed up some space in our closets. i need to look into over the door storage more...

so... we are embarking on a new journey of de-cluttering and organizing our home. we've got to do something. it feels like the house is just getting smaller and smaller, but we're planning on living there for awhile. and though we are planning to add more space by converting the attic, that won't be happening for some time and i can't just store everything in hopes of seeing it again someday in a bigger house.

a few of my new favorite things are trays and baskets. you can pile a bunch of stuff on a tray and suddenly, the table looks nice! i plan on getting a bunch of baskets for in cabinet storage as well. it makes it so much easier to just pull the whole basket out to look for an item than to sort through the entire shelf looking for one thing.

what are your tips for organizing and keeping it simple? here are some links i found that have really helped...

(all images from here)


weekend update.

do you remember our 'front porch'? well, it is no more. we spent some time saturday tearing it apart and i can't believe what a difference it makes to the house.

ahhh, one more eyesore gone. now the hard part is building a new one...

we also did some work in the attic, repaired some of the mortar around the base of the house and got estimates on replacing the four windows in the front. it was a productive weekend...


tray before & after.

i have really come to appreciate a nice tray. you can put it on a table and pile a bunch of junk on it, and it still looks organized. it also makes it easier to clean the surface below, because you just have to move the tray and not all the stuff that's on top! i bought this old brass tray at the thriftstore for only $1 last friday. i loved the aged patina, but knew i wanted to use it in the downstairs bathroom after we get finished with it. so... i bit the bullet and painted it.

i washed it with soap and water first, then primered it and gave it a few thin coats of glossy black paint. my first thought was to find a mirror to fit inside, but couldn't find anything on the cheap that was 11.5" in diameter. so... i decided i would just make a bottom for it! i made a template from a dinner plate, which just happened to be the perfect size, and used spray adhesive to attach paper to each side. that's right, i made an insert that's double-sided. right now it's just the paper, but i plan on getting it laminated so that if any water gets spilled on it, it won't get ruined. i'd also like to find some glass to go on top to make it look a little more upscale, but that may have to be custom cut. and the best part? i can always make a new bottom insert for it if i get tired of these two options... you could also use contact paper in a pretty pattern, but i had some specific papers i wanted to use for this project.

i think it turned out pretty sweet for only costing me $1 and some spray paint and paper that i already had on hand. i'm also going to finish out the underside of the tray with some felt circles to keep from damaging any surface i might put this on.

weekend project.

i actually got a few things done this weekend, and one of them was this little project (above). i found the oval frame at a thrift store a few years ago and just knew it would be good for something. i've seen so many silhouette projects lately... but i think making these of your pets is just way too cute. i finally snapped a few photos of scottie that would work, and traced them in illustrator, sized it to fit in my frame and printed it out. i knew i wanted to put it in the downstairs bath (whenever it gets finished, that is) so i wanted to keep it really simple. some black spray paint, some pretty paper and black cardstock... a few minutes to cut it all out... and now we have a wonderful keepsake of our little dog.

did you all have a nice weekend?


type nerd.

i think it's a given that all us crazy graphic designers are in love with type. found these awesome notecards by afavorite via poppytalk this morning and had to check them out. the bonus? these are letterpressed. i love love love notecards, but i selfishly hoard them to myself unless i have more than one of a kind to spare. or a crazy fabulous person to give one to that i know won't toss it in the trash after enjoying it's splendor. but of course, i keep just about every card i receive... so feel free to send awesome cards my way :)


homegoods stylescope.

fun little quiz i took at the HomeGoods website (found the link on d*s). i'm sure the results would change, though, everytime i took it. i find that i like all sorts of things that don't always match. but that's the fun of decorating, right? now, if only we had a homegoods store nearby...


attic space.

i am feeling strangely refreshed for a monday. certainly not complaining! this weekend was spent with family on saturday and talking about future plans for the house on sunday. one of the main reasons we love this house so much is there is room to expand without building on to the house. oddly enough, we share the second floor of our home with a large, walk-in attic and have had plans to convert it to living space since the day we closed on the house. i found some inspiration images of what i am imagining the finished space to look like. the plan is to make it into a studio space/second living area. right now my office is occupying the spare bedroom (and some of doug's office) and we'd like to change that. i can imagine lots of storage, hardwood floors and a vintage chandelier hanging from the ceiling... image above from this old house

image above from sunset. i love how the desk is fit into the slope of the roof.

image above from design*sponge, originally from morewaystowastetime
where she explains the step-by-step process.

image from apartment therapy.
i love how they integrated bookshelves into otherwise unusable space.


anthropologie knobs.

i blame lindsey for this. anthropologie has a fun, interactive hardware store on their website where you can select a style and color of furniture similar to your own and play around with different knobs. it is addicting to say the least. they have some really unique pieces that would be great for smaller projects as well as some more simple knobs that would work great, in say... a bathroom. that's right friends, i'm turning this into a bathroom-related post. since i'm now thinking about painting the cabinets under the countertop a dark gray or even black, i'm reconsidering my first choice in hardware (glad i haven't bought any yet!) and any of these below would certainly complete the look. they are still a little on the high side when you're trying to get these things done on a budget... maybe i can find a set on ebay?

all images from anthropologie



i think perhaps we've found a solution to the countertop situation in our bathroom... cultured marble. i thought this option was going to be more expensive than the quotes that i got... which is a nice surprise. cultured marble is made from marble dust and resin, and can be created in a wide range of colors and 'swirls' can be added to give the look of marble and even granite. i think that for our purposes, i would like to stick with a nice, clean, simple white. another nice thing about cultured marble is that you can have it made with an integral sink...

now that i think we've got that figured out, i've been thinking about mirrors. right now, ours takes up most of the wall where the sink is. it's huge, and i think it actually makes the space look smaller instead of opening it up. i'd really like an antique mirror to hang over the countertop, but those can get pretty pricey... and while i've been keeping an eye out at the thrift stores... pretty framed mirrors just don't show up all the time. i've also been thinking about cutting down the original mirror and just putting it in a pretty frame. i doubt i'll actually purchase one until we get everything else done (so maybe a great deal will show up somewhere) but here are some of my favorites that are pretty affordable...

would it be weird to have it broken up like that in a bathroom?
i'm thinking probably yes, but i really like it...

there are also several at hobby lobby that i really like...
but i can't find any photos of them on the web...

i know i'm probably boring you with all this stuff,
but i think doug just tunes me out now when i start talking about this stuff...


how was your weekend?

i had a fabulous weekend. friday after work, i treated myself to a little thrifting... and found a few things. my favorite is this vintage purse i can't wait to use for a special occasion. i used to find great vintage purses all the time, but they seem to be in short supply now...

on saturday i made this little clock as a present for a friend. my FIL made the wooden backs for me... and i pulled out the spray paint and some cute paper.
inspired by these awesome clocks by andfurthermore

sunday morning i made my favorite biscuits and pulled out the last of some tasty preserves... and watched 30rock from our instant queue.

how was your weekend?



now that things outside are looking better, i am going to focus a little more on the downstairs bathroom project that i had hoped to be finished with by now :) the interior bathroom is painted and now i'm thinking about the countertop. right now it's painted marble. that's right, we have marble countertops, but they are painted. i am going to use some paint thinner and see if i can take a little off and get a view of what's underneath, but i'm afraid i'm probably not going to like it. after looking at the cost of marble, granite and solid surfaces, i've decided either tile or concrete may be the way to go. i really like the look of the small mosaic tiles, but they can get pretty pricey as well. and... you have more grout to clean. but with it going in the guest bathroom, it's not going to get as much use. photo above from hakatai

here is the other tile option for the countertops. something a little bigger, not as much grout to keep clean, and still very modern looking. and i am also spying that kohler sink that they've used... i really love this look, but feel i would need to paint the cabinets underneath dark to keep that modern feeling going, otherwise, it's just going to be a bunch of white on white... photo above from thesexybathroom

concrete is something else i have been looking into. if you get it professionally done, it can be upwards of $100 per square foot. but... i have found a place online that sells instructions and materials to take on such a project. ambitious? yes... my concern is that it may be too modern whenever we decide to sell the house. that and it is very labor intensive and if it's not done just right, will yield less than satisfactory results. image above from myhomus


roof update.

i know that all of you are just dying to see our new roof, right? well, here is a before photo taken this last spring. see? we still have those gigantic bushes that we hated so much... and our lawn is actually green in this photo!

here is the new roof! i think it makes the house look much better...

and this view shows you all the little bushes i planted last weekend that will someday become a hedge.... i have some preliminary drawings of what i want the front structure to look like, and am ready to see that project get started. i know i want to paint the front door navy blue, but am torn as to what color roses i want to climb up the structure. i really feel like yellow or white roses will complement the colors the best, but i don't know that they will show up the way i want them to against the orangish of the brick...