Posts by Kate

Kate

Add Style With Salvage Finds

One of the many things that gives a home personality is when it’s decorated with unique finds from flea markets or salvage yards. New is nice, but things that have history add interest and a layer of patina that you can’t get with an ordinary big box store purchase.

Flea markets, thrift and antique stores, salvage yards and even your grandmother’s hand me down are all sources for these coveted finds that possess the charm of age. To follow are some ideas that just might inspire a weekend treasure hunt.

An architectural pediment makes a statement in an entry and serves a practical purpose when fitted with coat hooks. Partner with a weathered bench below for a welcoming place to sit to remove shoes.

pediment hook salvaged bench

 

Weathered and worn is a finish only time can create. Here an old hen coop is dusted off and reinvented as a magazine storage rack indoors.

chicken coop turned magazine rack

 

Technology has made the printer’s tray practically obsolete but the tiny divided spaces are perfect for modern storage solutions including craft or sewing supplies, toys, or as a jewelry display.

vintage printers tray

Trays and baskets corral a group of small items but how much more charming is a metal trough reinvented to serve the same purpose, one that adds a rustic meets industrial vibe to a contemporary kitchen.

metal bin spice rack

 

Milk crates aren’t just for dairy products, instead suspend them from walls in a mudroom or garage as a eye catching yet functional way to store the family’s sports equipment or outerwear.

hanging milk crates

 

Old MacDonald’s chickens found a larger coop, but their former home is easily transformed into a unique coffee table with casters and a glass top.

chicken coop coffee table

An industrial wine bottle drying rack is just as useful for storing glassware out in the open and presents a convenient solution for easy to grab mugs for morning juice or afternoon tea.

wine bottle dryer turned glassware holder

 

Metal jugs are frequent find in antique stores or flea markets, grab an interesting vessel and transform it into a one-of-a-kind lamp with a lighting kit and these DIY steps.

storage container turned lamp

Vintage luggage performs double duty as extra storage and as a nightstand when propped up on a modern base to add conversation worthy character.

suitcase turned nightstand

What’s your favorite vintage or salvage find that adds a unique touch to your home?

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Kate

The Versatile Expedit

For years IKEA has been a source for affordable furnishings, and many of their pieces have become staples in homes all over the world. The Expedit shelf is among the most popular and when used in smart ways by savvy residents of homes large and small, it’s landed on the pages of Better Homes & Gardens magazine and Special Interest publications. To follow are examples of the very versatile Expedit ! 

Stacked in a quartet, these four shelving units are purposed as a wall of bookcases. Hanging a decorative mirror adds an elegant touch.

stacked ikea expedits

 

If cabinetry or storage is lacking in a kitchen or breakfast nook, use it to house a collection of colorful dishes that are easy to grab at snack or supper time.

ikea expedit in kitchen

 

The Expedit is finished on both sides so it makes an excellent room divider in any open space. Fill it with books or collectibles so it multitasks.

white expedit with books

 

It needn’t stand up in vertical formation, it also works as a long console in a playroom. Repurpose single row units as benches by adding a colorful cushion to the top while storing supplies below.

side by side expedits

 

expedit bench

 

On a blank wall, the Expedit provides useful storage in a home office or craft room. Thankfully, the unit is available in more than just white, look for it in black, gray, and high gloss versions in pink, red, and turquoise and accompanying bins and baskets designed to fit inside.

ikea expedit home office

 

ikea expedit

 blue ikea expedit

 

Speaking of colorful storage, take a peek at these products to organize and control clutter over at BH&G Shop!

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Kate

A More Efficient Kitchen

It’s January so we continue the organizational theme by addressing storage in the most used space in the home, the kitchen. With any kitchen remodel, you can plan ahead and incorporate space saving measures, but for those of us that live with kitchens as they are, it’s helpful to equip yourself with a few strategies for better efficiency. These five changes will help get any kitchen large or small functioning more smoothly.

Begin with a well organized “junk” drawer where commonly used items are kept within easy reach. Efficiency is created with the use of drawer organizers, small trays, or bowls, and just a few minutes each week dedicated to keeping it clutter free saves time down the road when these necessities are in demand.

kitchen junk drawer

  

Modify a 18” x 24” base cabinet to a recycling and garbage center and squeeze two kitchen sized cans inside. Look for online tutorials and/or conversion kits to make this weekend project work for your home and consider a toe kick drawer for storing bags or cleaning supplies.

recycle and trash bins in kitchen

 

Swap out a few fixed shelves for pullout units that provide easy access to all things stored inside and avoid the jostling around of items with the luxury of better view.

pullout drawers in pantry

 

Dedicate the interior of a cabinet door to a peg board station to hold a grocery list, coupons, or other small office supplies such as Post-Its for reminders of things to do that week. A painted chalkboard surface below allows kids to be involved in the process.

cabinet organization station

 

Take inventory of all pots, pans, dishes, and platters, keeping only what you value and donating the rest. Store only what you use and what you love in simple stacks on pantry shelves for a clutter free zone.

organized pantry shelves in kitchen

 

Related Organizational Tips:

 

Happy kitchen organizing!

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Kate

Get Clean + Organized in 2014

2014 has arrived! With the new year comes motivation to start fresh with a clean and organized home. When looking at the house as a whole the idea of decluttering can feel overwhelming, but small steps and a few hours of effort yield dramatic results.

It all begins and ends with clean surfaces! Gather your products, scrubbers, and supplies into one area or closet so you’re ready to tackle the spaces once they’re cleared of unwanted clutter.

cleaning closet

Purging your home of unnecessary or outdated items keeps your home functioning well by storing only what is important to you. Take a few hours to sort through cabinets and closets to donate the things that no longer have meaning or purpose.

jan purge

Once the excess and unwanted items are purged, get busy organizing closets by keeping and hanging only the things used on a daily basis. Pack away items used in the off season in bins or boxes, squeezing every inch of storage out of space both high and low.

organized closet

Now may be the time to invest in furniture that multitasks so you can organize small items in trays in drawers and store larger items in cabinets below. When closed, the drawers and doors maintain a clutter free look.

multitasking furniture

Baskets and bins have proven time and again to be the easiest way to sort everyday items from socks to toys to mail. Invest in sturdy or colorful versions that make the sorting chore just a tad more enjoyable and consider a few extra minutes for handmade tags or labels as a reminder of what goes where.

bins with tags

Now is the time! Dedicating a day or weekend to the task of reorganizing and cleaning will leave your home feeling fresh again, and you’ll be ready to take on the new challenges and opportunities that 2014 brings. Cheers!

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Kate

Red Around the House

Today is Christmas Day, and the color most commonly associated with this holiday is red! How can we ignore Santa’s suit and peppermint candy canes? Decorating with the color red isn’t just for Christmas – here are a few ideas for decorating with red around the house all year long!

A red front door is commonly associated with good luck but it also makes a striking statement – learn how to paint yours in a weekend with these simple DIY tips.

red front door bhg

red door bhg

 

Continue the red accents outdoors with patio furniture in modern geometric shapes. Plant hot color perennials and blooms nearby to repeat the color through spring and summer around the garden. 

red patio furniture bhg

red hibiscus

 

Beadboard or cottage style cabinets are dramatic and stylish when dressed in red paint in a dining room, bar, or on a kitchen island. Balance the intensity with crisp white to keep a space bright, and use black to add contrast.

red cabinets bhg

red painted island bhg

 

One of the most impactful ways to make a statement with red is with accent furniture. Use it in antiqued formula on a console to create a focal point or in a glossy sheen on dining chairs to add a bit of glam to a dining space. red console table bhg

red dining room chairs bhg

 

A less permanent way to use red around the house is with accessories. Think about throw pillows or small accent tables to add that dash of red without the big commitment.

red decor bhg

red accents bhg

Everyone at Better Homes & Gardens is excited to continue this conversation in 2014 on decorating stylish and functional living spaces. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season and look forward to bringing more inspiration to you in the New Year!

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Kate

Fresh Looks for Banquettes

One of the most popular requests for many homeowners is a banquette – a space anchored just off the kitchen and defined by a restaurant style upholstered bench with a table placed in front. A banquette provides a spot to sit down for breakfast, grab a quick snack, catch up on reading or homework, or serve a casual supper. Enjoy these fresh looks for modern banquettes in the home!

Carve out your own banquette space with tufted sofettes paired with a corner piece – easy to wipe down leather or stain resistant fabrics make the most sense in places where you dine. Pedestal tables allow for greater clearance and a wicker chair adds welcome contrast.

tufted sofettes and pedestal

 

Create a spot you’ll return to on a daily basis with a built in that adds practical storage and architectural interest. Choose cabinet styles in an traditional or contemporary style and layer with comfortable cushions and pillows; suspend a drum shade above for modern appeal.

banquette style

 

A U shape banquette is extra cozy! Consider upholstering not only the seat cushions but the back supports for long lasting comfort and a freestanding bench on the opposite side.

gray upholstered u shaped banquette

 

A corner with a view is always the perfect place for banquette seating. Tucking built in benches into a niche with a garden or city view guarantees the space will be a favorite in the home.

banquette with view

 

With so much snacking occurring in a banquette space, the cushions can become soiled quickly. Invest in removable versions and upgrade every few years when budget permits with fresh and fabulous prints.

modern fabric on banquette

  

Think outside the box and create a banquette dining space along any blank wall. A streamlined slipcover and a few stylish pillows set the scene coupled with any dining table and a pair of chairs on the opposite side. 

slipcovered banquette

 

Browse even more built in banquette ideas here!

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