Posts by Jen Jones

Jen Jones

Organize This: Small Kitchen Spaces!

Trend:  Neutral Kitchens with Pops of Color

It seems that neutral kitchens are in it to win it.  Using simple whites, grays and natural elements for all of the primary finishes in a kitchen will ensure that the space remains classic over the years as the pop up trends come and go.  Updating a kitchen is typically a major investment and selecting classic finishes will prevent the kitchen from becoming dated too soon.  However, it also has the perk of being a simple backdrop to bold and colorful accents and accessories which can be swapped out frequently over time.

Staying neutral in a smaller kitchen space is especially helpful in allowing for it to appear larger.  Adding in a few open shelves will not only provide instant access to everyday supplies, they also offer an open and airy effect.  But how do you organize kitchens that don’t sport endless rows of cabinets and work surfaces?  Here are some of my favorite small kitchen organizing tips!

 

1. Use Clear Storage Whenever Possible

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I have always been the biggest fan of using clear storage throughout our home, but I appreciate it the most in the kitchen.  Not only does transferring your cereals and snacks to clear containers extend the freshness factor, it also gives you a quick visual inventory of your stock without having to touch and shake every package in your cupboards.  This will ultimately reduce over purchasing and the bulky packaging can quickly be recycled.  Clear storage also takes the guesswork out of mystery leftovers in the fridge.

 

2.  Take Advantage of Smart Storage Solutions!

This one may seem obvious, however, it is amazing how many smart, space saving options are available these days.  The best part is that many of the products can be found or DIY’d on a limited budget.  Some of my favorite kitchen organizers are:

  • Lazy Susan:  They spin which eliminates the chances of losing items towards the back of the cabinet.  Stacking turntables double storage and when placed in corner cabinets, allow you to easily access items that typically would be far out of reach.
  • Tiered Shelves:  Placing spices and cans on tiered shelving provides height to the items in the back to ensure that nothing is lost or forgotten.
  • Slide Out Drawers:  Installing pull out drawers inside of cupboards and pantries takes advantage of the depth of the cabinet.
  • Knife Blocks:  Knife blocks can now be stored inside of drawers to free up valuable counter space.
  • Drawer Dividers:  Once a drawer is paired down and drawer dividers are inserted, they prevent the drawer from becoming a jumbled mess down the line and really force you to question what you are putting back inside.
  • Magnetic Spice Containers:  Because they are magnetic, they can be hung on the side of the fridge or on a magnetic strip inside of a cabinet door, freeing up valuable surface space.

 

3.  Don’t Forget About Wall and Cabinet Surfaces

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There is so much potential to double or even triple kitchen storage, by smartly utilizing vertical space.  Installing rails with hooks is a great solution for everything from bulky pots and pans down to simple serving utensils and linens.  Small shelving works great to hold spices and cooking oils while larger shelves can hold dishes and cookbooks.  One area I consistently see forgotten is the back of doors and cabinets.  Simple adhesive hooks allow items such as baby bibs, oven mitts and measuring spoons to hang inside of a cabinet door, while over the door organizers can accommodate larger, heavier items.

 

4. Stand In Organizers to the Rescue!

If you are short on cupboard space, consider adding in solutions that don’t require you renovate or build.  Rolling islands add surface and storage space, and can be moved around to make extra room when it matters most.  Open shelving carts provide a similar bonus, while also taking advantage of that precious vertical space I just mentioned above.  These solutions provide instant storage which does not have to be permanent, making it a great option for renters.

 

5.  Carve Out A Spot for Planning

I am a huge believer that proper planning, ultimately saves you time, money and space!  By taking the time to plan out weekly menus, you reduce the risk of over-purchasing groceries at the market.  By planning out your shopping trips, you eliminate impulse purchases at the department store.  Even taking time to plan out schedules and creating a small landing zone, can ultimately reduce counter clutter and chaos.  Creating a system can be as simple as installing a chalkboard on the side of your fridge to using a small notebook or binder tucked away on a shelf.

 

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Jen Jones

Organize This: Makeup Station!

Trend: Mirrored Furniture

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Mirrored furniture can be both functional and beautiful in any room in the home.  I am especially smitten with mirrored console tables, dressers, nightstands and vanities.

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Makeup vanities come in endless colors, shapes and sizes, and with a little creativity they can be squeezed into a bedroom, bathroom or walk-in closet.

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Vanities make for a really wonderful place to sit down and do your daily glam routine.  And with a few tips, they can be created quite simply and still function big.

The key components of any makeup station starts with the vanity, a mirror, good lighting and a chair or stool.  The vanity itself can be created by re-purposing a desk, scouring thrift stores for a vintage piece or even from a console table typically intended for living areas.

 

To organize beauty supplies, drawer dividers come in handy to ensure makeup doesn’t become a jumbled mess, while tabletop organizers can function big for drawer-less vanities.  Acrylic options tend to work best since they can easily be wiped down as makeup tends to create small dusty messes.

 

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Another creative way to maximize beauty supply storage is to think up!  Wall shelves and organizers are a great way to keep makeup and accessories within reach, without cluttering the main surface area.

 

Tucking a small storage cart or set of drawers below the table also provides added storage for bulkier items such as curling irons and hair dryers.

 

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Decorative jars, mugs or pencil cups work perfectly for storing makeup brushes.  They allow for the brushes to stand up {add beads or coffee beans} and prevents makeup dust from spreading within drawers and makeup bags.

 

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Adding a small tray to your vanity not only corrals daily favorites such as perfume, lipstick and jewels, it also adds a pretty decorative detail as well.

 

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Jen Jones

Organize With This: The Credenza!

Trend: Multifunctional Credenzas

The credenza is one of my top storage furniture picks because of the endless versatility that it offers.  Today, I am sharing the top eight ways to utilize these multifunctional furniture pieces.

 

One: Dining Room Storage

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The dining room is one of the most common places in which a credenza (also known as a buffet or sideboard) is used as storage.  They are wonderful for stashing away bulky appliances, baskets containing dining decor, linens and accessories and even serving dishes.  The top acts as a prime space for serving up a big Sunday brunch or intimate family dinner.

 

Two: Media Storage

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Credenzas are lovely, unique and statement media stands.  They are a step above big box store options, and often times boasting in character.  Most are designed with a mixture of drawers and cabinets, making them ideal for storing both large components and smaller bins of digital media.  Whether the TV mounted on the wall or set directly on the stand itself, a credenza will provide visual balance and scale to the larger piece of technology.

 

Three:  Shoe Storage

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There is no doubt that a beautiful old credenza will add beauty to your entry.  Especially when it is serving as a way to tuck away and conceal unsightly footwear and cold weather accessories.

 

When using these beautiful pieces as entryway storage, it is a good idea to line the bottom and any shelves with durable shelf liner or shoe trays to protect the finish of the furniture.

 

Four:  School Cubbies

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We personally turned a large, three door credenza into hard-working school cubbies for our children.  We do not have a designated mud-room inside of our front door, therefore, the set of cabinets does takes on many of those tasks.  The large plastic baskets hold footwear, the smaller acts as a charging station for any electronics.  The paper boxes hold daily papers and school supplies and the remaining space stores backpacks and lunch totes.  The doors even act as a command center for staying on top of daily communications, homework and schedules.

 

Five:  Toy Storage

Not only do kids need storage for their daily school gear, but for their play gear as well.  Open faced options keep toys accessible and easy breezy to find and put away, while concealed options keep everything tucked away nice and tidy.

 

Six:  Changing Table

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Fellow Style Spotter, Joni, boasts great storage within her nursery due to the beautiful vintage credenza that she selected.  The cabinet keeps unsightly necessities concealed within organized drawers while the top provides ample space for daily changes and cleanups.

 

Seven: Office Storage

Not only is the credenza shown above beautiful with it’s hand painted chevron treatment, the inside contains a surprising amount of organized office storage.  The size of the cabinet made it an idea candidate for holding those unsightly and bulky office electronics and mailing supplies.

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Eight:  Bar/Serving Station

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By adding a large sideboard within your living area or dining room, it “serves” as the perfect place to hang out during a gathering or happy hour.  The inside can store wines, glassware and serving accessories, and the top can keep the bottles and mixers on display.

 

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Jen Jones

Organize This: A Sleeping Sanctuary

Trend: Mismatched Nightstands

Nightstands are one of the key pieces of storage within a bedroom, and not only does it create an eclectic look when two variations of pieces are used, but it also offers versatile organizational opportunities.

For example, if you are looking to add a small workspace, a miniature desk can perform double duty as a writing surface and a bedside table.

 

It is not always necessary to use traditional nightstands when selecting the right piece for your sleeping quarters.  Nesting tables and even console tables are not only stylish, but also boasting in storage and surface space.

 

If you are short on space and you need to maximize the tops of your bedside tables, take advantage of the wall space by using sconces for lighting.

 

Not all bedrooms are created equal.  If there is no room or opportunity to place storage and surface space next to the bed, think about placing it behind the bed.

 

Built-ins around the room are a really smart way to store extra linens, clothing, seasonal wear and accessories.  Every last nook and cranny should be considered as a way to add extra drawers, work-spaces and bookcases.

 

As winter approaches, it is time to start thinking about bringing out the sweaters and quilts and storing away the shorts and sundresses.  Storage benches and underbed baskets keep those linens protected while they are out of season.

 

When it comes to hanging your clothing, if your space is lacking a built-in closet, a stand-in wardrobe can be just as effective.  By adding in shelving, baskets, shoe racks, drawer units and even pin-boards for outfit inspiration, you have a custom closet solution tailored to your personal needs.

 

Nightstands, dressers, bookcases, armoires and storage ottomans are really wonderful solutions for larger items, but what about those miniature sized necessities?  Often times the simplest solutions are the most effective.  For example, cutting down mailing tubes will give you instant sock, scarf and accessory storage.

 

Simple hooks take up very little room and can hold belts, ties and even your favorite jewelry pieces.

 

Decorative boxes are not only beautiful and add visual interest to any space, they are also perfect for those everyday itty bitties such as lip balm, hand lotion, bangles and hair ties.

 

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Jen Jones

Organize This: Entryway!

Trend:  Graphic Statement Walls!

With the kids heading back to school, participating in after school activities and sports, and winter just around the corner, it is time to whip those entryways into shape.  Entryways could arguably be one of the heaviest traffic areas within the home; they hug you when you come in and they kiss you goodbye when you head out.  That means they leave a lasting impression on you (and your guests), each time you walk through the door.  Not only should they be aesthetically pleasing, more importantly, they have to function big.  Many homes are not designed with large mudrooms or dedicated entryway areas, so a little creative thinking goes a long way in the organizing and storage department.

 

Here are my top 5 tips for creating a successful entryway.

 

1.  Coat storage.

It may seem obvious to store outerwear within a nearby closet, but what if you don’t have one?  It is amazing what the addition some hooks can do to give you an amazing amount of hanging space for jackets, handbags and accessories.  If you have a larger family or more gear to store, place hooks in multiple rows or on a few different nearby walls.

 

2.  Shoe storage.

Good boot and shoe storage is important for a few reasons, however, mainly it is to ensure there are no tripping hazards upon entering the abode.  There are plenty of great shoe benches on the market, which get a thumbs up for doubling as seating).  Another wonderful option is to re-purpose a sturdy cabinet to conceal your fancy footwear.  Cabinets allow you to store taller boots with ease, just be sure to place some shelf liner on the insides to protect the cabinet from sands and salts that are often times tracked into the home.  I also love cabinets for tucking away bulky items, such as backpacks, purses and winter accessories.

 

3.  Drop zone.

It is amazing to think how much we attempt to carry into our home each day.  Everything from keys to mail to lunch totes and backpacks, cell phones to handbags to umbrellas and work totes… Our arms are often times overflowing when walking through the front door.  Each one of those items needs a dedicated landing spot, or a drop zone, right inside the door to ensure piles don’t quickly form throughout the home.  Keeping all of your daily necessities located in one spot also keeps things simple to find the following morning.

 

Paper clutter tends to be a really common household problem, which can easily be solved with the addition of some wall pockets right inside the door.  Just be sure to manage the mail straight from the mailbox; recycle the junk pile and sort the rest into action bins that can be managed on a daily or weekly basis.

 

4.  Mirror mate.

This one is simple but a huge perk nonetheless.  Adding a mirror just inside the door, gives you one last look before heading to work or out on a hot date.  It is also a courtesy to guests entering the home, who may need to do a quick check as well.

 

5.  A good rug.

By adding a good rug within the entry of your home, you are fighting the good fight against excess dirt, pollen, pesticides and other harmful germs that are often times tracked in on the bottom of our boots and shoes.  A good indoor/outdoor rug which is absorbent and soaks up salts and sands, will also keep your floors protected from water damage and abrasive scuffs.

 

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Jen Jones

Organize This: Dorm Room!

Trend: Neon

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Neon emotes a youthful and happy feeling.  So what better space to integrate some neon, than within your dorm room?

Organizing a dorm room takes some smart thinking.  Often times, you are given a box of a room, which must function as a kitchen, living room, bedroom and office in one.

 

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When given the opportunity, maximize the dorm room space by lofting the bed.  By raising the bed, you can tuck a living room and workspace below.  In front of the couch, storage ottomans are the best solution as they can act as a surface for food and drinks, while also storing essentials inside.

 

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If lofting the bed is not an option, check out bed risers.  Even raising the bed a foot or two will allow for  multiple storage bins to be stowed away below.

 

Closet space is often times limited within a dorm as well.  Don’t just settle for a standard shelf and clothing rod.  Add a mixture of stackable storage pieces to create custom organizing solutions.  Also consider adding a second rod for double hanging space {and hang items on super slim hangers} and finding organizers for the back of the door to ensure every amount of the closet is being utilized.

 

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In a dorm, the wall will be your best storage friend.  Adding in adjustable shelving with provide ample surface space for books, binders, accessories and baskets.  The wall is also a great place to create a command center by adding a bulletin board and wall pockets, for keeping your daily schedule, assignments and social life on track.

 

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The desk space is one of the most important spaces within the dorm room, as that is ultimately why you are there right?  Therefore, it is important to have adequate work surface space, task lighting and a very comfortable chair.

 

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If possible, build in a mini kitchen.  Simple big box store cabinets can be pieced together to hold a miniature fridge, sink, cook-top or microwave.  The drawers are a great place to stash small dishes and cookware.

 

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