Armoires have been around for generations; yet continue to impress me in the world of storage. They offer an endless variety of functions, making them a prime candidate to be used in just about every room in the home.
An armoire is best described as a large wardrobe or cupboard with doors and/or drawers. Today I am going to share examples of how this amazing piece of furniture can work some organizing magic in most common home spaces.
Unfortunately, many homes are not designed with a large entryway or coat closet. Yet this space can ultimately become one of the highest traffic areas in the abode. Tame the coat, handbag, boot and shoe clutter with an armoire cabinet. A rail manages the hanging items while drawers and shelves manage footwear and outdoor accessories.
(via Ballard Designs)
Growing up, I always remember visiting homes where families utilized armoires to hold their televisions. They still work great for that purpose today, however, they can also be used in the space to store folded blankets, stacks of board games and glossy magazines waiting to be read.
Because so many armoires are designed to hold televisions, they also can jump in and act as a place to setup a computer workstation. Take advantage of the doors for a place to keep important notes, papers and reminders, while the drawers work overtime to store smaller office supplies that come in handy during a good homework session or late night conference call.
No pantry? No problem! An armoire acts as the perfect “stand-in” pantry, with an abundance of concealed shelving it is ready to hold dry goods and small appliances.
One of my personal favorite places to utilize an armoire, is in the dining room. Armoires are ideal for holding delicate china (and the doors can be removed to display your favorites!), as well as creating a small and personal bar area or serving station. The lower portion of the cabinet offers space for organizing party and entertaining supplies.
(via Young House Love)
In the bathroom or bedroom, utilize wardrobes to hold extra linen and toiletry products. They are perfect for over-sized quilts, pillows, towels and bath robes. Add a few decorative trays or boxes to hold bathroom products such as bath salts and personal care items and you have created a handy linen closet where there once was none.
Although many bedrooms are designed with a closet, often times there is a larger storage demand that the closet just can’t keep up with. If that is the case, the armoire saves the day again! Many are designed to act as a clothing closet, coming equipped with a rod and shelving, however, they can also hold off-season items, bedroom and bath linens and your growing shoe and accessory collection.
In the laundry room, an armoire can offer a place to hang clothing to dry (just be sure to leave the doors open or remove them all together). It also can hold laundry baskets and conceal everyday laundering and cleaning supply clutter.
Final Armoire Tips:
(via The Handmade Home)
Don’t be afraid to search for armoires at flea markets, thrift stores and on your local Craigslist site. Old armoires are often times the best built and have beautiful detailing, and are just in need of a little love. A fresh coat of paint and new hardware can do wonders for dated pieces. And to really make it special, consider lining the back with a beautiful paper.
Have you invested in one of the most versatile pieces of furniture on the market? How would you put one of these beauties to work in your own home?
With winter right around the corner, we are planning to spend the upcoming weekend organizing and cleaning out our garage. Once the weather becomes frigid, we won’t be as inclined to work on maintaining and cleaning our garage, so we like to get it organized and prepped this during this time of the year.
Our garage currently serves a few primary purposes; it is used for parking our vehicles, for working on home DIY projects, and for storing seasonal items. When determining proper garage storage solutions, it is important to consider the actual environment. Many interior organizers are not adequate for a garage spaces due to climate and dust, therefore, it is important to select pieces that are both durable and easy-to-clean. Today I am sharing my top ten tips for packing an abundance of storage punch in the garage.
Utilize open shelving for bins and items that you reach for frequently. Select shelving that is sturdy, rugged and capable of holding multiple heavy objects in a variety of sizes. Be sure that the bins stored on the shelving are partnered with lids to prevent the contents from becoming dusty. Shelving can span wall-to-wall, offering an abundance of narrow and vertical storage.
Labeling is the key to success in any organizational project. Labels keep the entire family on the same page while searching for items and when putting things back after use. When it comes to labeling items in the garage, the labels should be protected inside of laminated pouches or created from wipeable surfaces. This will prevent the labels from peeling, curling and even allow them to be wiped clean without the need create new labels season after season.
Most cities have specific recycling requirements, and it is important to keep different types of products seperated/sorted accordingly. Utilize stacking bins that are easy to access and promote the important act of recycling. The recycling bins should also be labeled with large graphics and lettering to ensure the contents of each bin are easily identified.
4. Just Roll With It!
Most likely there are a few items that you utilize in your garage that will be better off on casters. The wheels allow for small carts, tools and workbenches to easily move to the center of the garage during use, and then to be quickly and neatly tucked away when a project is complete.
5. Garden Supply Storage
There is always yardwork to be done, therefore, there are always garden and yard tools to store. Create a small area in the corner of the garage for yard specific chores. Add a galvanized bucket for soil, hooks for hand tools and if space permits, a counter for planting.
6. Play Corner
While the adults work with tools and garden supplies, the kiddos will want to play, play, play! Flexible rubber bins are ideal for outdoor toy storage as they can be easily transported to the car or yard by little hands. They are also easy to spray clean with the hose after a day playing at the park, beach or in the backyard sandbox.
7. Rack It Up!
Bikes can be some of the bulkiest, most awkwardly shaped items that require storage in the garage. Lucky for us, there are a lot of great bike racks on the market today that free up valuable garage floor space. Some utilize the vertical space on the wall, which is great for families with younger children, while other systems suspend the bikes from the ceiling in-between uses.
9. Tool Time
Whether you only dabble in smaller home maintenance tasks, or take on an abudance of large DIY projects, you are likely to have a handful of tools that you utilize on a frequent basis. Pegboard is a long time favorite for keeping everything at reach and visible, while also taking advantage of that valuable wall space. For larger yard tools, industrial strength rack and rail systems offer endless flexibility to accomodate an array of shapes and sizes.
10. Work Happy
I think one important garage necessity that is often overlooked, is a source of music! With all of the hours spent in the garage working on the car, building that perfect piece of furniture and planting those fall mums, turn on some tunes or the baseball game to keep you whistling while you work.
Do you have any favorite garage storage products or organizational tips?
As the seasons change, our personal wardrobes also change. Now that the air is brisk and leaves are turning to a beautiful variety of warm hues, it is time to start dressing in warmer clothing; specifically sweaters.
I personally love sweater season. There is something so blissful about curling up in a cozy sweater with my favorite magazine and a warm cup of coffee. Another favorite is bundling up in a sweater and boots to take a scenic fall walk. Living in a colder climate, my sweater collection has grown over the years, and I have learned a lot about the storage and care process. Sweaters are primarily made up of delicate materials, and today I am going to share a few tips to for keeping our favorite article of clothing in tip top shape year after year.
How to Spot Clean:
Sweaters can be spot cleaned by gently scrubbing with a mild stain bar. Stains can also be removed by blotting with a white towel and water or club soda. To remove deodorant marks, it works best to carefully rub the area with a dry piece of foam.
How to Wash:
First, prior to washing any sweater it is recommended to turn them inside out. Sweaters should be laundered in cold water in either a washtub or on the gentlest cycle of the washing machine (machines with agitators should be avoided). There are a variety of specialty wool and delicate detergents on the market, baby shampoo has also been known to work well. Sweaters can act like sponges for holding odors, and to remove any unwanted smells they can be soaked for 10-15 in a combination of white vinegar and water prior to washing. Avoid using bleach.
How to Dry:
Unless otherwise stated in the sweater’s fabric care instructions, sweaters should be dried by air vs. in the dryer. Because hangers can stretch the fabric, it is best to lay the sweater out flat on a dry towel, and roll the sweater with the towel to allow for the towel to absorb any excess moisture. Unroll and lay flat on a drying rack or counter, smoothing out any wrinkles (do not twist or wring out). Avoid hanging sweaters to dry, as the sweater will stretch from the weight of the damp material.
How to Fold:
Because sweaters form to their surroundings, they should always be folded vs. hung on hangers. The hangers will stretch the fibers and cause the sweaters to lose their original shape. Fold sweaters into thirds to prevent a fold line from running down the front center of the garment.
How to Store:
Sweaters need to breath so it is best to keep sweaters stored in closet vs. a drawer. This also applies to storing sweaters during the off-season; air-tight bins should be avoided. Inside of the closet sweaters should be stacked in a hanging organizer, sweater box or in-between shelving dividers. While during summer months, canvas bins and garment sacks are ideal.
Bonus tip: While storing sweaters during the off-season, wrap them in tissue to absorb odor/moisture. Sachets and cedar scented liners also keep sweaters fresh in-between uses.
How to Remove Pilling:
As much as I love sweaters, I don’t love when they begin to pill and form unflattering clumping of the sweater material. The pilling can be remedied in a variety of ways; including a sweater comb, fabric shaver or even a woman’s razor edge. Carefully utilize these tools with small movements over the sweater, going with the grain of the threading.
How to Repair Snags/Holes:
Begin by turning the sweater inside out and stitching around the perimeter of the sweater hole/tear. Continue by stitching from edge to edge of the tear vertically, then repeat horizontally. Smaller snags can be remedied with the help of a Snag Nab-It tool.
hanging sweater organizer | folding board | wash & stain bar | delicate wash | wash basin | mesh washing bags | underbed sweater box | fabric shaver | acrylic shelving dividers | sweater box | mesh drying rack | sweater stone
When you think of your dream kitchen, what top three essentials come to mind? My guess is that a designated and organized pantry space makes the top of the list. Kitchens are one of the highest functioning spaces in the entire home, and a pantry provides storage for everything from dry foods to small appliances to bulk paper products. However, not all kitchens were created with walk-in food closets or floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboards. So how does one make the most of a pantry-less kitchen?
My favorite way to create a pantry where there once was none, is to bring in a piece of storage furniture.
Wire shelving adds a modern and industrial vibe to the kitchen, will offer an abundance of vertical storage for daily cooking supplies. Although these types of shelves can be trickier to keep visually appealing, selecting decorative storage bins and baskets as well as products with cohesive packaging will really help to create a clean and functional storage area.
Bookshelves are wonderfully flexible when it comes to storage in any space of the home, and in the kitchen is no exception. They offer the ability to add in decorative doors and drawers to create a combination of open and concealed storage. Place dishes and cookbooks on upper shelves and fill lower drawers and cupboards with less sightly supplies.
As much as bookcases are typically my “go-to” piece of storage furniture, when it comes to setting up the highest functioning pantry, a wardrobe cabinet or armoire wins my vote every time. Not just for clothing or televisions anymore, these cabinets can be customized in a variety of creative ways to add drawers, adjustable shelving and door organizers.
When looking for creative ways to add storage to your kitchen, think outside of the box and shop in a variety of home deparments. The bathroom is typically one of the smallest rooms in the home, so the variety of smart storage solutions avalable for that space is often quite high. A narrow bathroom cabinet may just be the winning solution to add linen, dish and food storage to a small kitchen or dining area.
Anytime you can add wheels to something, it instantly doubles the versatility and functionality. A narrow bookcase can be upgraded with casters, hooks and a towel bar to create kitchen storage inside and out.
If adding more furniture to the space is not an option, consider making the most of the cabinets and drawers you do have.
Just because food is traditionally stored in cupboards, doesn’t mean that it always makes the most sense. In fact, drawers act as incredible food storage solutions because they provide easy access to contents in both the front and back of the cabinet space.
Receive storage bonus points by adding bins and dividers to the drawers to categorize the contents and prevent items from shifting between uses.
A single cabinet offers the ability to pack a lot of storage punch. It really comes down to maximizing the space with proper storage containers and organizers. Purchasing food storage containers that properly fit your cabinet and decanting foods from bulky store-bought packaging is a great place to begin. The clear storage also offers the ability to see current inventory at a glance.
Lazy Susan | Turntable:
Placing smaller bottles and containers on a turntable offers easy access to all items with a quick spin of the organizer. Tiered versions also make the most of vertical space between shelves.
Adding tiered “step” storage to the shelves of your cupboards will allow cans and jars to be stacked, visible and easy to reach even toward the back.
Categorize food and dining products within everyday plastic bins to create inexpensive “drawers” that pull out to provide access to the items in the back of the cabinet. Bins are also a great cabinet solution because they can be easily removed and cleaned or restocked at a moment’s notice.
Unconventional Storage Solutions:
Just as it is important to shop for kitchen storage furniture in other home departments, the same rule applies for smaller organizing solutions as well. Some of the best kitchen cabinet organizers can be found in the home office aisles. Magazine files are great for holding water bottles, canned goods, cookbooks, food wrap boxes etc.. while clipboards organize meal plans and desktop organizers tackle spice packets and baking tools.
Many document holders also double as sleek storage for food and gadgets and can be installed discreatly behind cabinet doors.
Last but not least it is important to remember that on occassion, an oversized pantry cabinet can loose its effectiveness if it is too large; things become easily lost and over-purchasing of food products can occur. Many times, even just a sliver of space can create a big storage impact when designed and organized effectively.
Do you have a pantry-less kitchen, and if so, what additional storage tips do you have for making the most of your space?
Season after season, painterly finishes are making a splash in a big way! Colorfully painted patterns can frequently be spotted on the catwalk in the world of fashion, on windows, sofas and beds through textiles, on canvases displayed on the walls of our homes and inside of the finest galleries, and even in the storage and organization market.
Whether you prefer dip dyed, brushstrokes, watercolor or painterly; these prints are creating playful and bold statements in homes all around the world. Even when used in small doses as a throw pillow on a side chair, a notebook on the desk or salad plates at the dinner table, these prints create a grand moment. What I love most is that they are promoting creativity within designers, and the patterns can provide instant impact in either large or small scales, single or multiple colorways and in either flowing or geometric patterns. The ability to use such forgiving and abstract patterns is also taking the DIY world by storm, as many individuals are feeling confident to grab a paint brush and bring bold life to their creations.
Today I am rounding up my favorite products to inject bold color into your daily organizing projects. So whether you have laundry to sort or notes to jot down, your work will give you something colorful to smile about.
gift wrap | laundry sorter | cosmetic case | daily planner | page flags | canvas bin | dish | storage box | personalized notebook | mini binder | lucite tray | desk calendar | woven basket | ring dish | canvas tote | market tote | zippered pouch | decorative tape
How have you been splashing these prints around your home lately? Any additional favorite prints or storage product sources you would like to share?
I recently had the opportunity to help a friend move her daughter to college and set up her new shared dorm room. I was really excited to take on the challenge of making half of a room function as big as an entire apartment. Working is such a small space required me to:
- Think Vertically – The number one way to maximize any small space situation is to utilize every ounce of space between the floor and the ceiling.
- Think Twice – Anything that could do double duty and offer multiple uses/functions was a huge win.
- Think Creatively – Just because something was given a single function, does not mean that is the only function. It also helped to mix and match multiple types of storage items together to create something even better in the end.
All of the small space organizing got me thinking… What every day furniture and storage pieces are ideal for making the most of a home? Here are a few ways to get a big bang out of common home furnishings.
Bookcases are probably the most versatile piece of storage furniture on the market. They work in makeshift entryways for shoes, handbags and outerwear. Pop one in the bathroom for towels and toiletries (many are slim enough to fit behind a door) or place one in your dining room to act as a bar, china storage as well as a small serving station.
What makes storage ottomans so great is their triple duty flexibility. Seating? Check. Coffee table? Check. Concealed storage for variety of items? Check. Ottomans are a must in any small space as they offer the ability to keep everyday essentials neatly tucked away in most rooms throughout the home. Use them for filing, holding children’s toys, for storing games and blankets and even as amazing shoe storage in either an entryway or at the end of the bed.
Narrow Shoe Cabinet
Courtesy of IKEA
When items flip out instead of pull out, you are instantly saving space. This shoe cabinet is a prime example of a very narrow piece of furniture that is able to handle your toughest daily clutter. Although ideal for shoes, feel free to toss your handbag, sweaters and outerwear into the mix.
Wall Mounted Cabinet
Once again, a narrow piece that flips open to offer more. The small box floats on a wall and opens up to create a multipurpose work surface. The piece acts wonderfully as a small vanity or desk, but also makes a fabulous minibar or entryway drop zone hot spot.
Shelving is a prime way to make the most of your vertical space, but how else can shelving hit a home run? Add a few brackets for stability and you have yourself a mighty space saving desk!
Although everyone loves a fully stocked wine rack, they are not solely made for wining and dining. Wine racks are big winners in the bathroom for organizing hair tools and towels, in an office for rolls of gift wrap and yarn and in the kitchen for holding water bottles and table linens.
Hutches are not just for desks, although, they really do add a lot of real estate value in a small home office space. Search your local thrift stores and Craigslist for a hutch to re-purpose in the kitchen as an appliance garage and dish storage.
Towel Bars & Hooks
Towel bars are nice and slim yet can take on the toughest organizing tasks. Primarily found in a bathroom or kitchen, but don’t forget they can also be installed on the backs of closet doors and cabinets. When paired with hooks, there isn’t much these little superstars can’t handle.
Hooks & Baskets
Just like towel bars, hooks function fabulously all on their own. However, add a basket to the mix and suddenly you have tripled your storage power.
Bedside Storage Manners
Beds tend to take up more floor space than any other piece of furniture, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the most of the space below the sleeping surface. Drawers are the most common solution when it comes to adding storage in a bedroom…
However, I say go big or go home!
Courtesy of IKEA
Courtesy of IKEA
There are a few tables on the market that condense to narrow console surfaces by day, and dining for four to six by night. These tables are also magical for individuals who love to sew and craft, yet have no space for a dedicated crafting room.
Although bookcases tend to be my “go to” piece of furniture, dressers come in as a close second. They look good in any space and conceal clutter like no other piece of furniture can. But a little creativity will take you even further in the world of dressers. Hinge a drawer front to create flip down access to the contents (think bar or home office), and install a few hooks and rails to add extra storage on the side of the piece. The opportunities truly are endless.
I would love to know, what are your favorite furniture pieces for small space living?