It’s that time of year. The kids are heading back to school and what already is a typical household problem, is about to because even more challenging to wrangle. I am chatting all about paper piles. Whether it is junk mail, bills, catalogs, invites or school forms, paper reproduces at extreme rates. Having effective systems to manage all that makes it into the home, ensures that the piles don’t because daunting, discouraging or out of control.
There are endless ways to organize and sort paper piles, sometimes it is just a matter of looking at all of the potential options and ideas and selecting what is best for your personal situation. If you have the surface space, labeled paper trays are a wonderful way to to assign tasks to the different types of papers that need to be dealt with.
Another table top solution is to re-purpose a dish rack, or find a standing file holder, to keep labeled files easily accessible and on display. Keeping things out in the open, helps to ensure things are looked at and not forgotten.
For many of us, surface space is precious and limited, and it makes more sense to utilize our vertical spaces instead. One of my favorite solutions is with wall pockets that are designated for different purposes. Wall pockets allow you to give everything a short term designated place until you can schedule a day to sort things down for good.
The fronts and backs of cabinet doors is another great way to effectively utilize space and organize memos, important reminders and dates with the use of chalkboards and cork.
Or you can forgo the traditional cork boards, and create something a little more lovely out of painters canvas!
Important items being stored away for longer terms, should be left in open mail boxes or bins, but filed away in filing cabinets, file boxes or expandable files and neatly labeled for future reference.
An entry is a great place to create a “drop zone” for your mail. Without a designated place, mail can be dropped on the counter, the kitchen table, the ledge by the stairs, left in the car… but by snagging a decorative basket and placing it by the door, mail is always dropped in one place and when time permits, can be sorted and acted upon.
I am such a fan of giving each family member their own “Inbox”. This ensures that papers and documents pertaining to specific individuals, are easily tracked down. A reading log, a sports physical document, an after school birthday party invite, a bill to pay. All different items that may belong to different family members. By keeping them in their own personal bins, there is less time spent sorting through large piles of family documents.
There are many creative and inexpensive ways to give each member their own personal paper spot. Magazine files don’t just need to be used for magazines; they make for perfect paper sorters as well!
Individual drawers are another great way to give everyone a place for their paper piles. These craft storage drawers could easily act as personal in-boxes, and I adore that they are located right in a common traffic area.
One of my all time favorite ways to give everyone their own, designated mail drop spot, is through simple clipboards mounted on the wall. They take up very little space, are quite inexpensive and can hold multiple documents at once. This project could be taken a step further by adding a decorative label above each clipboard, so there is no confusing whose papers are whose.
And last but certainly not least, it is important to love your paper collecting workspace. Once it comes time to sort through the piles and write out bills, fill in your calendar and file away statements, do it in a place that makes to smile. This will ensure that you want to take a moment each week to keep those paper monsters at bay.
I’m so excited for fall, and the cooler air means lots of outside time, and it’s always nice to get a fresh start. The new TV season will be starting soon, too, and Chip and I are interested in checking out the new Revolution show, a post-apocalyptic story that sort of brings to mind Hunger Games with the skilled archer heroine. With that around the corner, and the recent release of The Hunger Games to watch, here is a nursery inspired by the outdoors, archery, and courage:
(1) Wooden Pendants; (2) Mountain Landscape; (3) Handmade Arrows; (4) Arrowhead Collection; (5) Mockingbird; (6) Berries Botanical Chart; (7) Arizona Landscape; (8) Home Is . . . Print; (9) Be Brave Print; (10) Triangles Pillow; (11) Natural Sparrow Crib; (12) Triangles Print; (13) Triangles Pillow; (14) Vintage Tree Print; (15) Mid-Century Dresser; (16) Gold Lamp; (17) Agate Bookends; (18) Beetle Chart; (19) Souk Rug; (20) Meloni Chair
Hope you enjoy! ~Joni, Lay Baby Lay
For our September Stylemaker issue, television personality Katie Couric welcomed us into her beautiful Hamptons home. Filled with cozy cottage style and a stunning flower-filled yard designed by her sister Clara, a landscape architect, her home is the perfect relaxing getaway.
Katie and Clara also answered our personal style questions –read on for their answers!
KC: Daytime talkshow host
CCB: Principal and founder, CBA Landscape Architects
KC: Keep it simple. I tend to collect things whether I want it or not. With this house, I have to resist the temptation to use it as a place for things that I can’t fit in my New York apartment.
CCB: Don’t over-design
Style is: CCB: A look that captures the imagination.
Favorite Design Trend:
KC: Exotic fabrics-sort of Indian inspired
CCB: Planting flowers in swaths
Can’t live without:
KC: My iPhone
CCD: My iPad
What inspires you?
CCB: Anything of beauty
KC: I can play piano by ear.
I start my day with:
KC: A big cup of joe. Plus, I love flagels-flat bagels.
CCB: A hug and a kiss.
Last book you’ve read:
KC: “The Paris Wife”. I love it. It made me cry.
CCB: “Empire Falls” by Richard Russo
CCB: I could never pick just one.
Words you live by: CCB: In your heart, you know Mom’s right. It’s something our mom always said to us.
Best way to spend $100: KC: Pillows. Definitely pillows.
Coffee or tea? KC: Definitely coffee. But I do drink a lot of tea, too.
Perfect weekend: KC: Finishing a great book, getting a little sun, picking tomatoes from my garden, playing tennis, being with my daughters.
Secret passion: KC: I love Words With Friends.
Favorite escape: CCB: Hiking in Yosemite.
Who was your hero growing up: My older sister, Emily.
Find the full story on Katie and Clara in the September issue of Better Homes and Gardens on sale now!
Kim Myles is the 2007 winner of HGTV’s ‘Design Star’, host of the home makeover show ‘Myles of Style’ for three seasons, and host and designer on shows like ‘HGTV’d’ and ‘America’s Biggest Yard Sale’. We love her fabulous style and warm, up-beat personality. Kim answered a few of our style questions recently –read on for her answers!
Day job: Interior Decorator / TV Host
Personal style: Me: Lady-meets-Punk; Rooms: Modern/Eclectic with global seasonings.
Style is/Style means: Knowing who you are and what you love, and then wearing that on your sleeve with pride.
Can’t live without: My family and my sense of humor (they go hand-in-hand!).
What inspires you: New York City, fashion, travel and the sea.
Best way to spend $100: Enjoying a long evening of great food and cocktails with friends.
Best way to spend $50: Cool costume jewelry. Unique pieces are key since I wear so much black (you can take the girl out of New York….)
What’s your perfect white paint color?‘Decorator’s White’ by Benjamin Moore. It’s perfect in any light.
What’s the wall color you’ve always wanted to use but never have? Deep raspberry (in a delicious lacquer finish)! I just know it’ll be a triumph, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet.
Favorite thing: My Kim Myles Design stenciled dining table. I’ve wanted an inlaid piece for years, and I’m thrilled to have created one DIY-style!
Favorite escape: Any peaceful beach with warm water, fine sand, cold drinks and my husband.
Secret passion: I’m a huge horror and sci-fi geek. (When the aliens finally come, I have a plan.)
Style advice/wisdom: Follow your heart, and don’t settle! A single piece that you love madly can become the inspiration for the home of your dreams.
If you could have anyone else decorate your house, who would it be? The late fashion designer Alexander McQueen. I’m a huge fan of his genius, and I think that he’d have come up with something outrageous, whimsical and stunning. He was unafraid, and that’s always my goal.
What’s your favorite decorating trick? Painted wall panels. They can anchor a space, lend architectural interest, and allow you to play with color (without the four-wall commitment).
What’s your favorite decorating trend? I love the renewed focus on re-purposing and up-cycling. Living gorgeously shouldn’t cost a fortune, and most of us already own so much stuff…re-invention just seems like a golden opportunity to have some fun.
What’s the one trend or common decorating move you’d be happy to see go away? That’s easy! Regency has been done to death, and it’s so blankly glam that it never gives me a sense of who a person truly is. Our homes should feel unique to us – leave the hotel lobby vibe to the hotels.
What’s your life credo/words you live by? Breathe. I’m very small in the scheme of the universe, so no need to panic.
What’s your favorite book? Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. I’ve spent most of my life trying to find happiness through work and achievement, so the lesson of stillness, being present and doing less is one that I re-learn everyday.
Last book you’ve read: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I pick it up every five years or so, but this time (and given our current culture) I kept thinking ‘How did he know?!’.
TV show or movie you obsess about: Smash on NBC. I’m a (recovered) classically-trained actor, and while this show is a ridiculously nonsensical depiction of that world, I just can’t look away.
Are you a fan of Kim’s style? Read more about her in our September Stylemaker issue on sale now!
Hi everyone, Kelly Eagle here! As an editor for bhg.com I get the chance to see beautiful homes and stunning design every single day, and when I go home at the end of the day, what do I do? Read design blogs and troll Pinterest looking for fabulous style. In either my day job or nightly search for inspiration, I’ve noticed a very colorful shift in how people decorate their homes.
Painting your front door to add color and personality to your home is nothing new, but the bold front door colors that have been popping up on the blogosphere and Pinterest are!
I love seeing a switch from the traditional deep red front door to more lively colors like lime green, orange, and even purple. At the moment, I even have a few bright yellow paint swatches taped to my front door!
Now, look at these 5 front doors below.
I’m sure you’ll be inspired (like I was!) with these sassy color choices.
Bold orange door via Apartment Therapy
How great is this teal door? via In Between Laundry
Bright yellow front door via Young House Love
It’s easy to be intimidated by bright colors, but if you don’t like how your front door transformation turns out, you’re only another coat of paint away from a fix.
- Kelly Eagle, bhg.com
I’ve been pretty curious about dyeing my own fabric, but I wanted to go the natural route! So, to get the golden yellow/orange color I wanted, I started out my first experiment using turmeric spice. It worked out wonderfully and I love the finished product. I used my dyed fabric to make a lovely lampshade (inspired by a project in DIY magazine) and I want to share a quick how-to with you.
- Fabric (I used cotton quilter’s fabric and a cotton blend). Amount will depend on your project. I used 5 yards of white.
- Wooden spoon
- Hot glue and glue gun
Natural Turmeric Dye
1. First, prep your fabric. Combine 8 cups of water and a 1/2 cup of salt, bring to a boil, add your fabric and let it simmer for one hour. The salt will act as a “fixative”, to help your fabric take the dye.
2. When the fabric is done cooking, drain the water. Once cool, wring out the remaining water in the fabric.
3. Time to start the color! Combine four cups of water with 4 tablespoons of ground turmeric, bring to a boil, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and add your fabric to the turmeric dye mixture. Use your wooden spoon to push the fabric down into the dye, trying to coat it evenly. The longer the fabric soaks: the deeper the color will be. Plus, the dye will react differently for different fabrics. I wanted different levels of color to create the ombre look for my lampshade. I soaked 1 1/2 yards for 15 minutes, 1 yard for 2 minutes, and 1 yard for a quick 30 second dip. The remaining fabric I kept out of the dye.
5. Rince your dyed fabric in the sink until the water runs clear. Hang your fabric until it’s dry, and you’re ready to craft!
1. Cut up your fabric into one to two inch diameter circles. Don’t worry about cutting perfect circles, I certainly did not.
2. When your circles are cut, it’s time to glue. Fold each circle of fabric in half, and then fold it in half again.
3. Time to glue the folded circles onto the lampshade. Put a glue dot in the middle and outside center of your folded circle (I shared exactly where to glue in the photo below). Next, I used a needle nose jewelry plier to place the circle on the lampshade (keeps your fingers safe from the hot glue).
4. Continue gluing on the lampshade. I started with my darker orange on the base of the shade, and moved to the lighter colors as I moved up. Ending with the white. Just a little FYI: this glueing process did take me 3 1/2 hours. Wow, but so worth it. Because I love the finished product!
Have you ever tried natural dye? I think next: I’m going to try out cabbage and onions for dye.
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama
P.S. the turmeric dye is very serious about staining. Watch out, it will stain everything. And, I mean everything. I may have forgotten to wear gloves, and had yellow hands for 3 days. Hee!