Posts by Jen Jones
I know that some of you may already be thinking ahead to the holiday season, but I am just not ready to play that game yet. The air is just starting to get crisp, the leaves have fallen and crunch underfoot and hot apple cider is constantly flowing. There is something so magical about the current time of the year, and so much to appreciate and enjoy. Simple pleasures include curling up in front of the fire with a cozy throw and a favorite book, or baking up a warm fall treat.
Often times, as the seasons shift, so does the interior of our home. Just as I may add vibrant floral pillows to our sofa in the spring, I also love to add subtle fall textures and finishes during autumn and winter months. Flannel blankets, faux fur pillows, scented candles and woven baskets all make an appearance within the walls of our home.
This year gold will continue to shine, however, copper will also strive to share the spotlight. Additional autumn inspired finishes include flannel, felt and wool, worn leather, soft linen, raw wood, mercury glass and aged brass.
Feeling inspired by the textures and finishes that we use to decorate our home this time of the year, I thought I would pull together my favorite autumn inspired storage solutions that will look fabulous year round.
Even if your child was not born with the fictitious “organizing gene”, there are basic things that can be done to keep a child’s bedroom tidy and easy to maintain. The key is to implement systems that are simple enough that your child feels confident in using. It is also important to consider the number of steps any single chore will take. Here are my top ten favorite tips for maximizing storage in a kid’s bedroom, as well as providing them with systems that they will enjoy and be able to utilize with ease.
1. Down under: Add a set of drawers below the bed to hold off-season clothing, extra bed linens and even toys. This is especially helpful in shared bedroom set-ups, in which floor space is much more limited.
2. Think up: Not only does it benefit a space to tap into the unused area under a bed, but it is also smart to think up, and make the most of the space above and around the bed. Shelving and cabinets provide ample storage for books, collectables and hobby supplies.
3. Keep it accessible: As I mentioned, the golden rule is to keep organizational systems simple for your child. When determining storage for items you wish for your child to both access and pick-up, consider their height. Be sure they are able to easily reach shelves, bins, hooks, hangers, etc… Bookshelves and cubbies are ideal for toy storage as they are low to the ground and will grow with your child over the years.
4. A clothing plan: Mornings are busy and hectic enough. Avoid morning struggles of determining your child’s daily wardrobe, by utilizing hooks, labels or shoe pockets to lay out clothing in advance.
5. Work it: As children progress through school, they will begin bringing home more and more homework. To give them an impactful place to study, mix and match tools and accessories to maximize their given workspace; a pin board for school memos and future assignments, a calendar to manage schedules and dates, plenty of surface space to spread out books and write, a clock to keep track of time and storage for accessories such as pens, pencils, paperclips and headphones.
6. Book club: Kids and books go together like peanut butter and jelly. Especially if your child enjoys reading in bed while trying to fall asleep. Slim picture ledges or spice racks allow books to not only be stored in a simple fashion, they also double as playful room decor.
7. Take a seat: Not only do storage ottomans shine within entryways and living rooms, they boast as storage within children’s rooms as well. Not only do they provide your child (or their friends) with a place to take a seat, they are great for hiding bulky and unsightly items. Everything from toys to shoes to extra bedding for weekend sleepovers, ottomans are always a winning solution.
8. Little treasures: My kids are always collecting things. Marbles, action figures, rocks… and as they get older, those collections evolve into awards and trophies. Instead of fighting the growing collections, showcase them on decorative shelves or bookcases. Smaller items should be displayed out of the reach of little fingers and appreciated from afar.
9. Take a stand: Create a bedside surface for reading lighting, an alarm clock and a place for a nightly glass of water. If room space is restricted, a dresser or desk make a great stand-in, multi-functional option.
10. Label happy: Labels work wonders in any organizational situation, but they are especially helpful in kid spaces. Keep the labels easy to understand with single words or simple images. The labels create a consistency for your child, and after awhile, putting things back in the correct spot will be second nature.
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Temperatures are already starting to fall in our area and that has led to us digging out our bin of winter gear. This time of the year always gets me thinking about how to make the most of our entryway and how I can maximize our given space to hold those bulky jackets, winter boots, snow pants, scarves, hats and mittens. In doing some inspirational research, one of my favorite images seems to come up over and over again. There is so much to admire about how the space works and how it can be adapted into multiple entryway situations.
Whether you are starting from scratch or modifying an existing setup, it is always important to list out how you want a space to function when you are done with it. In order to really stretch your storage capacity out of an entryway closet, nook or mudroom, it is important to include a variety of versatile solutions. In the image above, one small alcove performs a multitude of tasks and offers big function with a little footprint.
- Cabinets above provide concealed storage for less frequently utilized seasonal pieces. Place bins within the cabinets to hold jackets and footwear that is out of the current season, yet is easily accessible when it comes time to rotate out belongings.
- Install a clothing rod paired with wooden hangers and / or multiple hooks to hang outerwear and handbags.
- Place a tray or liner on a shelf to protect it from moisture and dirt tracked in on snow boots and rain boots.
- Add casters to a shoe organizer to create an instant rolling bench that can easily tuck away when not in use.
- Select containers that are moisture resistant when storing hats and mittens. Receive bonus points for installing a drying rack that can be pulled out to hold wet outerwear overnight.
- Lined baskets are ideal for concealing small accessories and pet gear.
With the hosting season quickly approaching, it is time to set up storage and organization that will make entertaining a breeze.
About a year ago we found an inexpensive china hutch on Craigslist and transformed it into one of our favorite pieces in our home. Not only does it make a statement in our dining area, it expanded our storage capacity for all things dining, partying and hosting. Now that we have been living with it and using it daily for storing everything “entertaining” related, I couldn’t image life without it.
The most traditional use of a china cabinet is to store and display dishware and serving pieces. Selecting cabinets with glass doors and open shelving creates a grand visual statement within any dining space, allowing you to swap out decor and display items seasonally or as needs change.
Proper flatware and china boxes should be used to store your most valuable and precious pieces, while plate stands and wire baskets keep things simple and casual.
Drawers are another winning solution for dinnerware storage. Place plates, bowls and mugs within drawer dish organizers and you have quick access at meal time. These organizers are easy to grab from and keep the putting away process easy breezy as well.
Aside from the most common uses; china cabinets also double as storage for table lines, candles, centerpieces and napkin holders. Line the bottom of the linen drawer with a mild or unscented dryer sheet to keep napkins and table runners smelling fresh in-between uses. Butterfly clips work great for keeping sets of linens together as well.
Installing floating shelves above a cabinet or credenza can achieve the same storage impact as a standard china cabinet. Whether using the credenza or a china hutch, both are fitting for creating a coffee station. Install mug hooks, add trays of special syrups, sugars and creamers along with your coffee machine and you have just created a zone that will make for a smooth morning routine.
The addition of a wine glass rack, serving tray, drink mixers and bar accessories and suddenly you have a stocked bar for 5 o’clock happy hour.
These stand-in cabinets make the most of a kitchen and dining area by adding more cabinetry and storage than what was ever built-in with the home. Not only are these furniture pieces ideal for the pretty serving pieces, cookbooks and barware, the concealed storage below makes them optimal for stashing away those bulky cooking and baking gadgets as well as unsightly small appliances.
Trend: Fall Baking
There is something so wonderful about celebrating the arrival of fall with a trip to your favorite orchard, then heading home to bake up some delicious treats. Warm baked goods make perfect fall comfort foods and the smells create a coziness within the home.
Although I am not personally a solid baker, I do like to dabble with new recipes from time to time. So when the time comes to pull out the mixer and baking dishes, it is always a “treat” to have my items organized and ready to go.
My first tip for organizing baking supplies is to create a specific zone within the kitchen for everything baking related. This could be a small spot in the pantry, a rolling island / cart or an entire armoire filled to the brim with supplies. By keeping everything with a common theme stored together, it prevents searching every last drawer and cabinet for the special spatula or cookie cutter.
There are a few fail-proof ways to create these baking storage zones, and one of my favorites is with simple industrial shelving. These shelves come in a variety of shapes and sizes and some even on casters, and promise to lend quick access to the items you use most. Everything from cookbooks to mixers to spice jars filled with sprinkles, these shelves pack a lot of storage punch.
Another option for storing a bulky mixer, is to install a mixer shelf riser inside of a kitchen cabinet. Mixers can be very heavy and bulky and the designated shelf provides instant access when the baking mood strikes, then tucks back away in-between uses and frees up valuable counter space.
To maximize cabinet storage, add hooks to the backs of doors for mixer attachments and measuring spoons / cups.
Another way to make the most of a cabinet is with risers that allow you to double your shelving space. Small spice jars are great for storing candles, embellishments and sprinkles.
Many baking supplies look beautiful on display while also allowing you to store the most frequently used items right within arm’s reach. Open shelves or vintage crates are a really great solution for keeping those goodies up off of the counter.
Another beautiful yet functional way to display and store baking essentials is with a pegboard system. Being one of my favorite and most versatile storage solutions; there really isn’t anything that glorious pegboard cannot handle.
Baking trays and dishes are awkwardly shaped and can pose a few storage challenges. Stacking them will result in difficulty retrieving items on the bottom, therefore, storing them on their sides is typically a smarter option. Whenever possible, storing baking pans near the stove will gain you a few bonus baking points.
Another way to make the most of your available space is to store smaller baking supplies such as cookie cutters and frosting nozzles, within larger baking items such as batter bowls and storage canisters.
A similar method works wonders inside of your baking drawer as well. Measuring cups can corral muffin liners while appetizer trays are great for measuring spoons.
If creating a specific zone is not convenient and items must be stored away from your primary baking location, create a portable caddy that will allow you to easily transport basic items during your baking sessions.
Baking recipes are usually collected over time from family members, cookbooks, catalogs and printed from online websites. Keep them all neatly corralled and protected within a three-ring binder. Pair it with a cookbook stand and the recipe will be simple to read yet off of the counter and safe from batter splatters.
Trend: Fall Boots are BACK!
Summer days are winding down and fall is coming at us in full force. Time to pull out those cozy throws, soft sweaters and tall boots to prepare for the chilly months around the corner.
Whether it is a rain boot, a riding boot or a trendy knee high boot, storing your favorite footwear can be a little tricky. Here are a few of my favorite ways to make the most of your space while keeping those boots looking chic all season long.
First and most importantly, the way the boot is stored will ultimately impact the shape and the boot’s total lifespan. To maintain a proper form, there are many inserts on the market made specifically for boot storage. I highly recommend using one of these forms, or getting creative with objects around the home to create a form to tuck inside. Everything from wine bottles to foam pool noodles to rolled magazines, all make great alternative boot forms.
What makes storing boots so difficult, is dealing with their bulkiness and height. Whether in an entryway or a closet, there are many wonderful shoe and boot organizers designed to accommodate awkward sizes. One way to battle the height issue, is to invest in a closet system containing adjustable shelving. Stand alone bookshelves also work perfectly for this as they offer adjustable shelving as well, and are versatile enough to be used in almost any room of the home.
If you are looking to store your boots outdoors, consider purchasing or building a solid wooden rack, which can store the boots inverted. This will allow them to remain dry no matter what the weather brings.
If you find that storing boots indoors is more convenient, there are many ways to get creative with your entry space. I really love the idea of recycling old crates to offer flexible winter gear storage.
Or utilizing a tall console table as a drop zone with a boot tray tucked below. A good rug and boot tray will protect the flooring from all of those outdoor elements that typically come in on our feet.
Consider adding a bench to your entryway, which doubles as seating and ample shoe organization. Building in a second shelf doubles the storage capacity and offers space for foot gear of all shapes and sizes. Quick tip: Toss small baking soda pods or dryer sheets into the bench to absorb any foot odor that may get locked in.
Limited on floor space? Just like any good organizing project, think vertically! Oversized binder clips attached to the wall will provide creative and space saving boot storage. And as great as this is, consider adding a small strip of felt inside each prong of the clip to protect the boot’s material while they hang.
Just as clips rock in the entryway, they also work wonders in a closet. Hangers typically designed for pants and skirts also double as an amazingly creative way to stash away your trendy fall footwear.
And just as much as maintaining the boot’s form is crucial, caring for the boots finish is equally as important to extending the boot’s life expectancy. Taking a few minutes to put together a shoe care kit will ensure your boots hug your feet for more than a single season. A few items you may want to add to your kit are saddle soap, leather conditioner, weatherproofing protector, shoe brush and soft cotton rags.