BHG Style Spotters

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Posts by Jen Jones

Storage caddies are a daily sanity saver in our home. Not only do they work great for corralling items with similar functions, they are also a breeze to tote from location to location. And with a busy family of five to care for, I am all about anything that makes our life easier.

I utilize caddies in almost every room; each for completely different functions and purposes. Although caddies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, no two options are created equal. When selecting caddies for your storage needs, it is important to consider their ultimate function. For example, if you are looking for a way to store your cleaning supplies, you will want to use a caddy that is lightweight and washable (bottles of cleaning solutions and tools can quickly become heavy, they also have a tendency to leak). Also, if you are having a hard time tracking down a caddy with specific compartment sizes, consider using an open caddy that can be paired with jars and other organizers to fit your desired requirements.

Because I am such a huge fan of these little workhorses, I thought I would share a few of my favorite time and sanity saving uses for caddies.

CLEANING CADDY

Cleaning Caddy

If I could only have one caddy in my life, it would be this one. I get into a groove while cleaning from room to room, so taking multiple trips back to a cleaning closet or cabinet would only slow me down. By putting together a cleaning kit containing my favorite cleaners, rags/wipes, a duster and gloves, I am able to work continuously throughout our home in half of the time.

AUTOMOTIVE CADDY

Automotive Caddy

Just as a cleaning caddy assists in the maintenance of our home, and automotive caddy can have the same positive impact on our transportation. Load up a durable bin with your favorite car care components; wash, wax, duster, scrubbers, glass cleaner and a few air fresheners, and keep it stored on a shelf in the garage.

TOOL CADDY

Tool Caddy

Although we love big DIY projects, daily life always calls for quick tune-ups and small home maintenance tasks. We keep a small caddy on hand to act as a mini toolbox. Inside we store everything we reach for frequently, including safety glasses, wrench, pliers, utility knife, tape measure, small hammer, painter’s tape, wood glue and picture hanging hardware.

GARDEN CADDY

Garden Caddy

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Let’s head outdoors for a moment, and take a pre-filled caddy with us as we check out the garden. Everything from snips and twine to plant food packets and small potting tools will help your garden flourish.

CRAFT CADDY

Craft Caddy

Now that our boys are older, I encourage impromptu crafting sessions in many areas of our home. A utensil caddy is a great way to keep crayons, markers, glues, paints and glitter corralled and accessible. For adults, swap a few supplies for pens, a notepad, calculator, envelopes and paperclips, and you have yourself the perfect bill paying caddy.

DIAPER CADDY

Diaper Caddy

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Prior to needing a craft caddy for our boys, diaper caddies could be found on both levels of our home. Once stocked with lotions, wipes, diapers, sanitizer and a changing pad, they become a little nursery-on-the-go.

FIRST AID CADDY

First Aid Caddy

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Accidents never seem to happen near the first aid cabinet; however, a pre-stocked caddy will ensure you are able to tend to wounds quickly in an accommodating area of the home. They also make it easy to be prepared when heading to the ballpark, pool and playground. Not feeling well? Put together a cold and flu caddy with medication, a thermometer, cough drops, sanitizer and tissues, to ensure you are comfortable wherever you decide to snuggle in.

TOILETRY CADDY

Toiletry Caddy

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Although toiletry caddies are generally used by college students with shared showering facilities, they are my favorite solution for small bathrooms with limited storage space. Just fill a waterproof caddy with your daily essentials and hair care tools and pop it on a hook behind the door, no shelves or cabinets necessary.

PET CARE

Pet Caddy

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We have a few puppies to care for, and have found a single caddy to be a wonderful solution for staying on top of their grooming needs. Inside I store nail clippers, brushes, shampoo, ear cleaner and dental care items.

ENTERTAINING CADDY

Entertaining Caddy

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Many caddies on the market are designed for holding cutlery, so I am sure to put them to good use. In a dining room cabinet, I keep a couple of caddies stocked with outdoor entertaining utensils, napkins and dishes, as well as party decorations, balloons, hats and goodie sacks. I love that I can entertain at the last minute and just pull out our caddies without too much thought or effort (allowing me to focus on my time with our guests).

Now that I have shared my favorites, I would love to hear how you utilize caddies to simplify areas of your home and life. Are there anymore I should add to my list?


Just as the first signs of spring appear, I can be found getting my patio ready for the upcoming months of relaxing and entertaining. This is the best time of the year to prep your outdoor space to ensure it can be utilized to its fullest potential during the warm days ahead. IKEA offers affordable outdoor pieces that are key to livening up any space, while also being mindful of practicality and space saving options. Check out these tips for personalizing the space that sees the most action during the spring, summer and fall months.

IKEA Balcony

  • Create zones! A lot of activities happen outdoors; everything from roasting marshmallows to relaxing with a book to grilling up a meal for friends and family. Outdoor rugs and patio tiles are a great way to visually add warmth and to divide the spaces by function.
  • Set the mood! Sprinkle table-top lanterns around your surfaces, patio and yard. Lanterns paired with decorative string lighting overhead are the perfect combination for a romantic dinner for two or an entire yard full of friends and family.

IKEA Balcony

  • Create the ultimate outdoor kitchen by combining your grill with storage carts and cabinets. The cabinets are ideal for on the spot entertaining; keep them stocked with all of your favorite outdoor dining pieces, textiles and servingware. By setting up a secondary kitchen outdoors, the chef can continue to be in on the entertaining action.
  • Utilize caddies to easily tote items from your indoor kitchen to your outdoor cooking station.

IKEA Personalized Outdoor Setting

  • Add privacy and life with greenery. A combination of planters, trellises and tabletop green houses are a fantastic way to add earthy character while also providing fresh vegetables and herbs to add to your nightly meals.
  • Select smart seating options. Weather can change at a moments notice; one day it might be hot and humid and the next it could be raining cats and dogs. Outdoor furniture should be able to withstand the changing moods of the sky, yet should also be comfortable enough that you want to use it every day. Not only do outdoor cushions provide comfort, they come in a variety of patterns and colors to add a splash of personality to any seating area. A throw blanket or two is always a nice touch for chillier evenings.

IKEA Personalized Outdoor Setting

  • Another fun way to add color is through your tabletop settings. Don’t be afraid to select runners, trays and dinnerware from different sets and product lines, to add character and color through mixing and matching patterns and finishes. Another way to amp the table display is to transfer beverages to glass carafes and foods to serving dishes and even decorative jars.

IKEA Balcony

  • Nothing warms up a space better than a nice, toasty fire. Bring in a portable fire pit to be sure everyone at the party has a blazin’ good time.

IKEA Personalized Outdoor Setting

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For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure.


It is always my goal to bust the myth that “organizing is expensive”. Technically speaking, the act of organizing is free. You may even find yourself earning money during the process. It is the storage needed to complete the organizing projects that is typically costly. However, beautiful storage does not have to cause monetary pain. All you need is Craigslist or a thrift store paired with a little creativity and you can create some fairly inexpensive solutions to everyday storage problems. Let’s take a look at a few examples of fantastic furniture makeovers that didn’t break the bank, yet are excitingly unique.

Filing Cabinet Makeover

Let’s begin with one of my favorite transformations right away. Old metal filing cabinets are a dime a dozen at general thrift stores, but do you see what some spray paint and a remnant piece of stone can do? Not only is the filing system unique; it also boasts four total drawers while doubling as the perfect drop zone location.

Beautiful Jar Storage DIY

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Another hot item that can be found in just about every kitchen is a canning jar. Now we all know that canning jars are darling and can be used for endless storage purposes, but take a look at what the addition of some paint and hardware can do. These sweet jars look like they came straight from the shelves of the beautiful neighborhood boutique.

Bookcase Bathroom DIY

Bookcases and hutches typically land at the top of my favorite storage furniture list. They can easily be utilized in any room of the house; their versatility truly knows no bounds. Above, a dated hutch is now acting as a makeshift linen closet thanks to the help of some paint and blingy hardware.

Bookcase Craft Storage DIY

While this bookcase shows that a few minor modifications will create an entirely different storage purpose. Dowels really took this bookcase to new organizational heights for a variety of craft and gift wrapping supplies.

Frame Dowel DIY

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If space is a concern, dowels continue to work as inexpensive craft organization when paired with everyday photo frames. Let’s all vow to never pay full price for a decorative frame again; typically the older they are, the better their style!

Bookcase Island DIY

How about combining two console tables with four casters to create a mobile kitchen island? Extra work surface, added storage and mobility? It’s a kitchen trifecta!

Dresser to Desk DIY

Sure, paint is an instant game changer for most furniture makeovers. However, hardware can also do wonders for everyday pieces. Above, the addition of some simple hinges turned a common dresser into a one-of-a- kind desk!

Cabinet to Child

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Let’s not forget our younger pals, the craft desk above was created by modifying a standard kitchen cabinet!

Entryway Media Center Coat Storage DIY

Another make-you-smile spot for the kids can be created in your home’s entryway with the help of a repurposed media cabinet.

Garden Center DIY

Finally, think outside of your home’s walls. There are many wonderful exterior paints and polyurathanes on the market that allow furniture to function big out on your patio or front porch. Pair a variety of hooks and organizers with an old cabinet and your gardening routine just became even more lively.

So what do you think? Have I convinced you to search Craigslist and thrift stores for all of your storage needs?


With summer right around the corner, we will be entertaining house guests twice as frequently as any other season. In fact, we have a guest joining us this coming weekend, and I felt that it was time to give our guest room some much needed attention. I always appreciate when I visit a friend or family member’s home, and there are small touches throughout that ensure I feel comfortable and welcome, and of course, I strive to do the same for our guests. Today I thought I would share a few fantastic ways I have organized and enhanced our guest area, to ensure our guests feel right at home even when they are miles away from their own home.

Organized Guest Room

1. Create a place to store clothing. It could be as simple as placing a luggage rack in the room for a suitcase, or clearing a drawer or portion of a closet for hanging space. Another great option would be a clothing valet or collapsible garment rack if closet space is limited.

2. Offer your guests a mixture of bedding options for the variety of sleepers you may end up hosting. I like to have a couple of pillow types (fill and firmness) on hand, as well as extra throw blankets to accommodate differing body temp preferences. Store the extra linens in a basket near the bed so they feel comfortable selecting the bedding they prefer to snuggle in with.

Organized Guest Room

3. Create a toiletry kit. There are times when you may find yourself hosting a last minute or unexpected guest, and there are also times when your guests simply forget a few of their basic daily essentials. Add a basket or bin to your linen closet , which is pre-stocked with general daily care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, soap and lotion. Consider the types and sizes of items a hotel will leave out, and create a similar set of options for your visitors. It is also important to label the bin or basket to ensure they know that the items are free for them to use, and to leave out a fresh set of towels and wash cloths. You may receive a few bonus points if you offer up a robe and a warm pair of slippers.

Organized Guest Room

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4. Bedside manners matter. If you want your guest to feel extra special and cared for, add some thoughtful touches to the nightstand or table near the bed. A few things to consider for this area of the room are a lamp for reading, bottled water, a vase of flowers, a small tray for daily trinkets, a candle, tissues, a notepad and a pen. It is also a great idea to include your home’s wireless internet log-in details, instructions for the television remote and easy access to a power outlet for tech charging.

Organized Guest Room

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5. Good Morning! Many folks prefer to start their day with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Consider setting up a beverage station within your home that is welcoming and provides a variety of options for your visitor. Offer a few coffee roast and tea options, as well as sugar, creamer, spoons, mugs and saucers. It is nice to keep this type of setup for yourself year round, but be sure your guests feel welcome to utilize the setup as well by adding a sweet little “Help Yourself” sign nearby.


The best part of these simple steps is that once you take the time to put together the space and kits, it is extremely easy to maintain and stay prepared all year long!


What additional actions do you take while you are hosting your friends and family for a few days? Are there any steps others have taken to ensure you feel comfortable and welcome while traveling?


I have fond memories of summer break as a child; trips to the pool, park and the beach, vacations, activities with our babysitter, sipping on ice cold lemonaid and eating popsicles at super sonic speeds before they melted down our hands and swimsuits. Summer is all about creating memories and soaking up some fun in the sun.

However, having the kids home full-time can be quite the adjustment to many of us. Before the kids are out of school, I like to take a look at a few areas of our home and begin summer break preparations. By creating a few organized zones, the kids are set up for success and have a lot of activity options to select from each day. Here are a few tips for easing into summer break with the kids.

Organized Calendar

Of course we all love our lazy summer days, but summer is also filled with endless commitments and activities. Keep everything and everyone on the same page by hanging a schedule or monthly calendar in a central location. It is a great way to remind the kids about their weekly swimming lessons and keep track of babysitters and play dates.

 

Organized Outdoor Toys

I know my boys would prefer to spend their days outside, and honestly, I am right there with them. Create an area in your garage our backyard to store organized bins prepped and ready for hours of outdoor enjoyment.

 

Organized Beach Bag

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I also recommend pre-packing a mesh bag with swim gear and toys for any last minute trips to the pool or beach.

Organized Auto Kits

Not only does a pre-packed beach bag come in handy on pool and beach days, pre-packing small kits of snacks, travel games, sprays and first aid supplies will also be a sanity saver for frequent car rides and day trips.

 

Organized Snack and Lunch Drawer

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Whether we have plans to head to the park, or decide to stay home for sandwiches and fruit, keeping a drawer or cabinet stocked with pre-made snacks and lunch making supplies ensures the kids are eating healthy and can easily help out during food prep sessions.

 

Organized Toys

For those rainy days, create play baskets for each child filled with a variety of special toys and activities. Swap out the contents of the baskets every couple of days or weeks to keep excitement and surprises for the youngsters.

 

Summer days are also a great opportunity to let imaginations run wild through outdoor explorations and indoor crafting sessions. Set up a small art supply station that encourages your child to grab some clay or paints whenever the mood strikes.

 

Organized Reading Nook

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With creativity and constant play, it is always nice to have a quiet place to curl up with a book. Look for a small nook in your home that could be cozied up with some cushions and a basket or shelves of your child’s favorite reading materials.

I would love to hear if you are doing any additional prior planning and organizing to survive and enjoy the beautiful summer months ahead. Are there certain areas of the home you prep for the kids to prevent boredom and encourage creative play?


Now that spring is here, what better way to take advantage of the nice weather than to enjoy a cup of coffee (or wine) out on the balcony. Balconies are an extension of the home, and can provide a peaceful place to grab a bite to eat or a quiet location for curling up with your favorite magazine.

I am excited to partner with IKEA to share a variety of exciting ways to stylishly maximize a small balcony area, to ensure you are able to truly enjoy your outdoor living space while the weather, and the wine, is good!

IKEA Balcony

1. Select small scale furniture that is big on comfort. Oversized lounge chairs can quickly eat up limited balcony living area, so select pieces that are compact and can be sweetened by adding a throw cushion or two. Folding chairs that can hang in-between uses are extremely beneficial when space is tight, while outdoor cushions can triple as seating, a footrest or a table when paired with a tray. Another space saving solution is to utilize storage benches, which not only offer seating, but double as a place to stash away seasonal outdoor supplies.

Outdoor IKEA Balcony

2. Pull inspiration from your favorite street-side cafe and look for small bistro tables that are sized perfectly to hold dinner for two.

IKEA Balcony

3. Rolling carts are always a good idea, especially when it comes to outdoor entertaining. Although your table may be on the smaller side, roll out a small cart stocked with beverages and snacks or throw blankets and games for a perfect afternoon outside.

IKEA Balcony Tips

4. Take advantage of the area’s vertical space with the help of slender cabinets and shelving. Adding a cabinet to your balcony can provide you quick access to gardening supplies, grilling tools, outdoor serving pieces and seasonal textiles. The shelves can display greenery and lanterns day-to-day, and then set up as a serving station while hosting a few friends for dinner.

IKEA Balcony

5. Add life in the form of plants and herbs. By adding a few planters or a trellis, you are able to create some natural privacy for your balcony. Even if you live in the middle of a big city, planters and table top green houses make it easy to add some vegetable and herb plants to your balcony, and your home cooked meals.

IKEA Balcony

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For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure.


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