Storage furniture comes in endless shapes and sizes, however, when planning out storage solutions for your, sometimes it comes right down to the basics. I receive a lot of questions regarding organizing and storage for apartment dwellers, and I always resort to my favorite answer; a bookcase! In fact, bookcases are amazing storage solutions no matter what the shape or size of your home. They are by far the most versatile piece of furniture I have come across, and I just love how they can be used in just about any space of the home without becoming a permanent fixture.
Let’s begin in the entryway. By swapping out the upper shelves with a few hooks, you have an instant mini-mudroom closet. The lower shelves are perfect for holding shoes of various sizes while the upper portion can hold coats, handbags and accessories.
Affix a few bookcases together to give them a “built-in” appearance. Then, remove a shelf or two to give your television and components a tucked away location to live.
By adding a basic bookcase to the end of a bank of cabinets or an island in the kitchen, you now have quick access to decorative dishes and cookbooks.
Another amazing way to add smart kitchen storage is by turning a bookcase into a pantry cabinet! When the adjustable shelving is paired with jars, baskets, risers and organizers, the bookshelf provides a lot of bang for your storage buck.
If you entertain frequently, you may find it is nice to keep a serving station set up and stocked around-the-clock. By adding a few baskets, decorative trays and bottle holders, you are well on your way to being the hostess with the mostess.
If your home didn’t come equipped with a dedicated home office, create one from bookcases! Add a desktop and some shelves between a pair of bookcases and you have an instant desk that will leave you whistling while you work. Looking for more space to spread out and craft? Two shorter bookcases plus a solid top and you will be sewing up a storm in no time!
Bathrooms are not typically known to be grand in size, making it easy for daily toiletries to clutter up available counter space. Because bookcases are often slim, they can be tucked in behind doors and beside bathroom fixtures. Fill the shelves with towels, jars and baskets and your beauty essentials will become neatly stowed away, yet easy to access each day.
Heading to the bedroom now and bookcases work there also! By installing a basic clothing rod a bookcase becomes a simple and sweet closet for a child. Pair a few bookcases together and suddenly you have the makings of a custom closet for shoes, sweaters and handbags galore!
Finishing off in the playroom, a bookshelf is about as versatile as it gets for keeping special toys easy to reach and on display. Canvas and soft sided bins are great for corralling smaller pieces, while the remaining items inspire imagination during play time.
Bookcases are an obvious solution for storing books, however, they really do create inexpensive, slim, versatile and vertical storage in just about any room of the home. The best part is that they can easily be modified with paint, decorative papers and even doors. How do you make bookcases work hard for you in your personal spaces?
Full disclosure. I am a new mom to the most wonderful little boy who is six months old this week. Am I becoming that designer who is now obsessed with all things kids design?? Maybe…a little. Even though I have a background in kidswear design, something changes when you have one of your own. The good news is that design for kids has reached new amazing heights as of late. There are some seriously lucky little people out there! Some of the spaces we see for kids today would be equally amazing for any grown up! This is what I love about the current landscape for kids – there is a new playful sophistication available if you have a more modern aesthetic. These fresh looks are more likely to be able to grow with the little ones and fit into the overall look of the home. Don’t be surprised if the big people in the house find themselves gravitating to these fun spots in the home too!
Pattern drives the core of my design aesthetic (surprise) so let’s talk about all the amazing options available for creating a colorful, pattern filled, and super stylish space that any little person would love. Geometrics for kids are really leading the way. Simple patterns of circles and triangles in fresh colors are great because they are ageless. Executed in fresh colors they are flexible enough to read gender neutral which is a bonus for many families. Woodland and safari themes have turned up the chic factor when expressed in two color or more grown up palettes. There is something intriguing about the juxtaposition of juvenile themes colored in sophisticated palettes.
Don’t be afraid to use a few dark features in a space for kids. High contrast patterns are great for them! This woodland wallpaper would look equally great in a nursery as in a big kid’s room. Depth and lots of highs and lows create big of visual interest!
Layer, layer, and layer some more. As always vary the scale and ground colors of your pieces with pattern. Wall decals are a great low commitment way to add some unique pattern to your walls or spruce up old furniture.
What a great way to add a splash of color and pattern to a simple piece. This is easy to do with contact or decorative paper.
Hi! I’m Carly Cylinder, author of The Flower Chef. When I first started my floral design company Flour LA (it was going to be a café/florist at the time) nearly six years ago, I barely knew anything about design, so I’d experiment using grocery store flowers. This led to the thought that there should be an easily accessible floral design book that taught the basics. That book is called The Flower Chef and will be published next year, five years after its inception!
While we do complicated arrangements for events and weddings, my preference for at-home flowers is to stick to simple, easy designs that don’t take much time. As bad as this may be to admit, sometimes I don’t even have a proper vase or clippers on hand at my house, so I just grab whatever’s in my kitchen!
For this simple arrangement, I picked up three bunches of white flowers – daisies, larkspur (you could use delphinium, stock, or any tall white flowers), and lisianthus. Sticking to all white is classic, clean, and timeless.
10-Minute Flower Recipe
- 3 bunches of mixed white long flowers with small blossoms (lisianthus, daisies, mums, veronica, stock, spray roses, larkspur, delphinium, calla lilies, etc)
- Small rectangle vase filled ¾ way with water
- Household scissors
First, remove all of the leaves from each stem for aesthetic purposes and to keep the water clean. Then separate the bunches out by type so that you can see what you’re working with.
For a more traditional design, I make sure to keep the flowers evenly spread throughout the arrangement.
– Measure a larkspur stem against the vase, so that the length of the flower is about double the height of the vase. Cut all of the larkspur to that length.
– Place the larkspur evenly throughout making sure each stem is slightly angled.
– Cut the daisies 6’’ shorter than the larkspur. Place the daisies evenly throughout, making sure their buds are facing outward.
– Cut the lisianthus about 3-4’’ shorter than the larkspur. Group a few stems toward the center for impact, and then place a few more stems on each side, so that it feels balanced.
This design is actually quicker and is unisex. It’s perfect for someone that likes stark designs or is artistic.
– Cut each type of flower the same length as in the Traditional Design.
– Place the larkspur vertically against the right side of the vase.
– Angle in the lisianthus to the left so that the bottom of the stems are leaning towards to the right side of the vase. Work fast!
– Place the daisies to the left of the lisianthus, angling the stems towards the right side of the vase so that the blooms are sticking outward on the left side of the vase.
All of the flowers will hold each other up.
Use a juice cup, votive, or shot glass as a vase. Cut leftover flowers short so that the flowers rest of the lip of the glass. Keep flowers grouped by type and place around the home. These are perfect bathroom flowers or for a nightstand.
Tip: Keep flowers fresh but recutting the stems. Simply pick up the bouquet, keeping the design as tight as possible, and give a small trim to each stem. Dump out the old water, and add in fresh water. Place the bouquet back in the vase and adjust any stems that moved.
Photos by Matthew Cylinder
A couple of years ago I began to feel a shift towards clean, white walls in our house. I’m an avid fan of color but there’s just something calming about white. I like to say that it’s my neutral of choice. First I started with painting my studio all white, reserving the window seats to be a contrasting navy blue. Then when we did our big kitchen and family room makeover, we chose to do solid white everywhere, allowing the furniture and accessories to be the pops of color.
Having our lake house painted Benjamin Moore’s Decorator White was a no-brainer. It provided the clean fresh canvas for a laid-back coastal vibe. I wanted the house to feel light and ethereal, especially to counteract the extreme heat of an Oklahoma late summer afternoon.
That’s not to say that going the all-white route is easy. In fact, I think it can create quite a challenge now that I’ve done it a few times. Initially every time I do this, I feel like the room is too stark once I move in just the basic furniture, like a big white box. It isn’t until after I start to accessorize that I finally breathe a sigh of relief. In the guest bedroom of our lakehouse (above), I panicked because the room felt so blah, even with super cute furniture. Once I started adding accessories such as artwork, cute pillows, and homey accents like books and games, everything started to come together. No more blank white box. Now it’s a fun, comfortable room for the boys to enjoy sleeping and playing in, with a subtle calming undertone thanks to all that fresh white.
Avoid the panic of all white walls with a few handy dandy tips. First things first: have a consistent color scheme. This all-white bathroom (below) gets a big dose of personality with a consistent gray and yellow color scheme. It’s simple and punchy.
If you choose to go the all-neutral look (such as sandy accents or even all white in addition to the walls), try to mix up your textures. Rugs, pillows, drapes, and upholstery will make a huge difference and add visual interest. Metallics add an extra glow and luxurious element.
A tip from my realtor husband that really works: take a few shots with a camera and see what your room looks like through a lens. Sometimes it’s easier to evaluate a space this way because it gets you to note a little more objectively what’s working (and what’s not working). The room might fall flat in a photograph and you don’t realize it in real life until you see the image.
Bring in a contrasting item to make the room pop.If you’re all about making a color statement, there’s no better way than pairing a bright color against brilliant white. Look for unexpected ways to include a bold shade, such as a kitchen island, a pantry door, or bold barstools.
Are you afraid of white walls or do you make it work? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
It seems fitting that a post about how to wear florals would happen in the spring. So this week I rounded up some of my favorite flowery looks for you to indulge in this year! Read on to see how you can find the perfect outfit inspiration to have you looking fabulous all season long.
For a more eye-catching ensemble, this yellow floral dress from Merrick’s Art takes the cake. I love the print, and pairing it with stripes not only pulls the outfit together, it opens up a world of possibilities for you to experiment with!
If you appreciate a more subtle approach to spring fashion, this floral embroidered dress from Class Is Internal may be more your speed. Elegant, sophisticated and delicate, this dress is perfect for a day on the town.
And lastly, because I love any outfit that even slightly reminds me of a hippie, take a look at this high-waisted floral beauty from A House In The Hills. What I wouldn’t give to be able to pull of those pants! Those of you with long legs–just know, the rest of us are so very jealous.
And there you have it. If you have any floral photos to share with me, I’d love to see them!
Have a wonderful week, Style Spotters!
Trend: 12 Outdoor Lighting DIY Ideas
Summer nights are the best, especially if you have twinkling lights all around the yard. Last year I shared twelve outdoor lighting DIY ideas on the Better Homes and Gardens blog, and it seem like you all liked it, so I decided to create ANOTHER list of inspiring ideas to share. You really don’t have to spend big bucks to light up the backyard. Head on over to your local craft shop or hardware store to make your own unique outdoor lighting. Pretty backyard lights aren’t just for parties, they’re lovely for your everyday outdoor life.
These DIY candy lights are perfect for a party, from Brittany Jepsen for Oh Happy Day.
This “Relax” outdoor rope light DIY is lovely, from A Beautiful Mess.
Make some Moroccan candle holders, from Creme De La Craft.
I love these vintage bottle mosquito repellent lanterns (mosquitoes eat me alive), from Yeah Vintage.
A hula hoop chandelier DIY is inexpensive and cute, from Sunlight and Sequins.
This battery operated light bulb centerpiece is so cool, from Warm Hot Chocolate for Buzzfeed.
I always love a DIY outdoor marquee letter light, from Tatertots and Jello.
I’m seriously considering tackling this outdoor modern concrete fire pit DIY, from Manmade DIY.
Check out this Restoration Hardware inspired fire column DIY, from In My Own Style.
Pretty pink outdoor candles are fun for any barbecue, from A Subtle Revelry.
Check out my outdoor chandelier makeover, from The Paper Mama for BHG.
This balloon outdoor wax candle DIY looks like a fun project, from DIY Enthusiasts.
Do you have any special outdoor lighting DIY plans for this summer? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
- Chelsey, The Paper Mama