A Dorm Room With Style

It is getting to be that time of year when college students head back to their dorm rooms! Why not make the space feel like a home away from home, with style and personality?!? I was on News Channel 9’s Bridge Street today, discussing this same topic. When you think of empty dorm rooms, you think of spaces lacking interest and personality. I hope to change your mind today, with some simple and creative ways to bring your personal style into the space.


Lauren Loves

Lauren Loves

The image above shows Lauren’s great cube shelving unit that can instantly add storage with style. This can be used in a dorm as a room divider, or placed against the wall. You can add baskets to store sweaters and school supplies, as well as fun accessories and photos of your family and friends.

i heart organizing

i heart organizing

Jen’s blog is a great source for any organizational project and I loved everything about her above desk space, right down to the stack of colorful books on the floor! This vignette is so fun and easily adaptable for a dorm setting, too. You can add a bulletin board above the desk for exam reminders, personal photos and magazine clip outs with your favorite inspirations. Use this board as art and add as much color as possible! {And if you are not able to drill into the walls for this install, Command Picture Hanging Strips are perfect for this!} The one I brought to Bridge Street can hold up to 12 pounds and as long as you follow the instructions and give the strips some time to cure to the wall, you’re all set!

urban walls decal

Urban Walls

Do you want to add some color and personality to your walls without damaging the wall surface? The removable decals from Urban Walls are perfect. They give the look of wall paper without the hassle and clean up. There are so many patterns and styles to choose from. The decal above is the watercolor polka dot design in blue and they would be so whimsical in a dorm room setting. You can add them in a specific pattern, like in the above image or scatter them sporadically in a corner around the bed.

If you are headed off to college or know someone who is, I hope this provides some inspiration for you! Also, keep in mind these would all be amazing ideas for your own space at home as well as a rental apartment! You can check out my Bridge Street segment by visiting the site HERE.

Using Bar Carts in Different Ways

I have been working with a local client {#projectcoastalchic} to add some warmth and texture to her family room. When you first enter the family room off of the kitchen, there is one large wall that also sits next to a door to the garage entrance. I thought it would be pretty and fun to add a little entry spot/organization station for resting your keys, mail and anything else they may need. There are fun ways to make a station like this both functional and beautiful. I instantly thought of using the Threshold bar cart from Target!

Not only can this be pulled out and used for entertaining guests, it will also be amazing to make this an organization station! We will be hanging a framed chalkboard above the cart, so the family can write down grocery lists, practice/game schedules and anything they need to know before heading out the door. When they have a large dinner party, this amazing cart on casters can be easily rolled into the kitchen/dining area for drinks and appetizers. It is without a doubt that bar carts are no longer a trend, but here to stay! Here are some creative ways to use this versatile furniture accent piece:


Here are fun ways to use them when not entertaining:

I think I may need to pick one up for myself! I love any and all carts, especially when they are brass!
What about you… do you think this trend is here to stay???

Setting Goals and Creating Balance in 2014!

New year, new projects! I plan to accomplish a lot with our home this year, but please don’t look back at last year’s list… I was going to incorporate it into this post, until I realized I didn’t accomplish any of the house projects I set out to accomplish! Big let down. So I hope this year will be different, or maybe it will not. Many of my blog friends have decided to use their own word to drive their motivations this year, as opposed to the usual ‘resolutions’ buzz word we always hear but don’t like! I decided to jump on that idea as well. For me, my word for 2014 will be balance. I am going to take charge of all of my ideas and start putting them into a plan of action, but also put things into perspective that it will get done at some point! I want to paint the furniture I have been meaning to paint and finally take that new sprayer out of the box. I plan to get our office into a presentable state {I did actually paint the entire room this year, including the trim work! Now why didn’t I put that goal on last year’s list??} I also want to make business changes and grow this blog to what I know it can become.

What a great way to organize lists and daily office papers!!

However, I also want to achieve balance in the new year and not get so bogged down by lists, but step back and realize what is truly important. Our recent trip to Italy made everything so clear… I want to be successful in my business and grow, but I also love the way things are now and the availability that my current business allows for time with family. I realized there is no rush and that good things do come to those who wait. Our house projects will get done and the business will grow when the time is right. But for now, I have to let go a bit and achieve that balance. I don’t want to look at a list of projects and become let down when I didn’t do the items on that list. Maybe we all sometimes get caught up in what we should be doing, what needs to happen ‘now’ and shift focus negatively to what we didn’t accomplish. For me, when I finally step back and give things time, that’s probably when the most productive ‘me’ comes alive! So for now, instead of getting bogged down by lists of what has to get accomplished this year, I am just going to be  :)

Such a great quote and a beautiful view! 

Our Quick Solution for Board Game Clutter

If you’re a parent, chances are you have loads of toys! When creative, easy organizing tips come along to store those toys, I become a happy camper! A long while back, my blog friend Courtney posted about an easy solution for all of the puzzles and games we can accumulate. By using small mesh bags that are primarily used to machine wash delicates, you can throw away the bulky boxes and just keep the game with directions. This has been a life saver for storage! So, here is our shelving unit where this solution was used…

The top half of the shelves holds my fun accessories and books, while the bottom shelves are for the kiddos. But when the games are tucked away in cute burlap bins, it doesn’t scream out: KIDS TOYS HERE!! With the mesh bags, I have been able to fit so many more puzzles and games than before. We still keep some of the games in boxes, but storing half in bags cuts the bulk down a lot.

I found our mesh bags at Target and they sell for about $1.50 each. They were in the same aisle with the irons. 

Do you have any creative solutions for storing kid’s toys?? Please share!!

Organizing the Basement

Now that our basement is finished, we have had fun using the space so far. It has become an additional family room for us… play zone, TV zone and loads of shelving/cubbies just waiting to get spruced up. For now, everything has just been brought downstairs, with no particular order or ryhme and reason. But, I have plans- big plans! Who says organizing kid’s toys can’t be fun and chic?!? Here is where our space is right now…


I would love a gallery wall down these stairs 

Organized baskets with labels, top half will be ours, bottom half for the kiddos 

Our massive chalkboard wall that needs a good cleaning
Luckily, we use dustless chalk that we found at Staples!
Dust free chalk = no messy clean up on the baseboards and carpet

Oh, this is not how I pictured these shelves would look!  :) My plan is for some large bins with a graphic print or stripe on them. I also want to do some type of modern decal on the right side wall.
And now for the inspiration images! I have been gathering these rooms since we started thinking about the renovation. I plan to pick elements/ideas from each of them.
When I saw this image, I immedialtely fell in love with the striped bins. A small detail like that, takes this space to the next level.
The decal I plan to use is shown above. I love the graphic look to it, while it can also remind the kids to practic their math facts!  :) Urban Walls on etsy has so many great options for wall decals. And I love that there is a smaller commitment/effort than using a stencil!

Did anyone see Kirsten’s Land of Nod playroom post yesterday? Head on over here to check it out! I love the way she added color, pattern and a tent to the room! The tent will also happen over here. Such a cute idea! I also love the Dr. Seuss picture and quote she put on the chalkboard wall. Maybe she can come over to draw on ours?? I’m not too sure I have the same artistic abilities!
Since this is a space the kids will use often, I want to make a huge gallery wall of their art. We are running out of places upstairs to display the art, so this will be an extra spot to showcase what they have done. I wanted to hang it in a unique way, with jumbo clips/clipboards and colorful washi tape.
These are my thoughts for now. No idea when this will all happen, but it will happen! Next up, I will show the TV side of the space and my plans for all of that.
Wish me luck !!!

Let’s Get Organized in 2013!

Oh, where do I begin with this subject??? There are always so many organizational tips and ideas floating around in my head. Why haven’t they come to fruition yet? For me, I know that organizing involves taking everything out, sorting it and trying to put it all back together with style. {Sounds exhausting!} Although I don’t really set New Year’s resolutions, I know that this has to happen in the new year! So… how will this happen without a high level of stress?? A little at a time. When I focus on one project at a time, the stress melts away. First up, tackling the office with a new bulletin board of design inspirations…

Ok, now I don’t feel as bad when my desk has a lot of stuff on it.

Next up, paint the back of my hutch a fun color…

I love how the accessories pop against a darker backdrop.

This year, I would love to paint a chalkboard wall on the side of my cabinet…

Champagne on the grocery list? I like their style!

Organize my closet…

Source: decorpad.com via Kate on Pinterest

Has anyone tried color coding their clothes? I love the look on bookshelves, so why not?!?

Which reminds me, organize and color code our books…

This will take me a while, but now that it’s in writing, I will be more determined than ever to complete this list! And I promise to blog about the successes {and stresses} along the way!  :)

An Easy and Inexpensive Way to Hang Art

I love the look of gallery walls and the creative, eclectic way art can be displayed.  What I don’t love, though, is the cost of all of the frames. To make some gallery walls appear as if they have been there for years, it can be expensive. A cost effective solution for some of the pieces is to hang them with art clips. I am currently wrapping up with an e-design client and used this easy solution for her space. I suggested to make a gallery wall around her tv in her master bedroom, to help disguise the tv as art. A great way to display an eclectic gallery wall look is to use different frame finishes, a mixture of black and white prints with paintings and the use of art clips for hanging. Here is the art clip I suggested:

This site shows using them with kid’s art, but it can really be adapted to any space. For her room, I suggested spray painting these clips black, to blend in with the other gallery wall suggestions. These clips come in a pack of 3 and include mounting hardware. To ensure the art does not fold or curl on the ends, I suggested to mount the art/photos on canvas boards. Canvas boards can be purchased at Jo Ann Fabrics for $5 for a 3 pack. I started looking through pinterest to see if I could find any images of this idea and here is what I found:

Have you ever tried this idea??
Are you looking to make simple and beautiful changes to your home? Click on the ‘design services’ link at the top of my blog to get started!

What’s Your New Year’s Resolution??

My New Year’s Resolution has been on my mind lately! Throughout the year, every year, I always plan to
1. Work out more and
2. Keep up with tackling my home projects. (aka- actually finish a project!)
Most of the time, the first goal never happens and the second goal gets done when possible- usually taking a long time. So when I read Danielle’s post about pairing down and simplifying, I knew what my resolution had to be! It was really time for me to purge what I don’t need and keep things more simple. It’s a win win situation, because extra items around your home can always be donated, going to a good cause, and you end up with the things that are most important and functional in your home. I really hope to stay with this resolution this year. Maybe when I start to declutter, I can find a way to better organize my life and actually find the things that I need when I am looking for them! From time to time, I will keep you up to date with how this resolution is going and now that it’s in writing- it has to happen! (You are all my witnesses!) Here are some great organization images via pinterest.

Source: bhg.com via Simple on Pinterest
Source: bhg.com via Simple on Pinterest
What are your New Year’s Resolutions??