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Closet Mayhem

I’m sure everyone has experienced this problem: an explosion of clothes, shoes and other random accessories in your tiny closet. Half the things in there you probably didn’t even know you owned. Surprise! You actually own 3 white button down shirts all from the same store! What should you do when you try to actively avoid looking at your landslide of a closet? A closet overhaul!!

Usually the thought of tackling my closet mess all in one day is too daunting to even consider, but today I got inspired, caffeinated (thank you Starbucks for being a 2 minute walk from my door) and determined! Here are eight tips I’ve discovered along the way:

tip1Get yourself inspired! When you are in my predicament and don’t want to even look at the mess, hop on Pinterest and start looking for closets that you would love to own.

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ImageThese are just a couple of the spaces that I would die for! Imagine having all that space to show off your favorite pieces and organize literally everything you own. If you already own a walk in closet then you are one lucky person! I, however have a normal city apartment closet: a tiny one. I am quite lucky though because I happen to live in a building with high ceilings, therefore my closet is a bit bigger than normal. Once you have looked at all of the beautiful closets that Pinterest has to offer, transfer that excitement into your own closet!

tip2

Find a really good playlist and lots of caffeine! If you aren’t energetic and dancing around while you clean then you probably won’t last long. If you can turn up pandora and sing a long, the time will pass quickly and before you know it you’ll have a sparkling clean closet!

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tip3

Organize by style first. I used to try and organize just by color, but I quickly learned that it was impossible to find clothes to match the weather. I always check the weather, mostly because New England is just so unpredictable, but also because it gives me an idea of what clothes I need to be wearing. If you have things organized by type you can just look at the “long sleeve section” or “spring dress section.”  I keep all of my pants and skirts on one side. Then I go from warmest weather to coldest with tank tops, short sleeves, long sleeves, and lastly sweaters. It really doesn’t matter what order your clothes are in as long as they are grouped by type. I promise when you get up early in the morning and it’s really really hot or really really cold out, you’ll thank me 🙂 Dresses and pants are kind of a pain because of their longer length. For me I had to find a space where they wouldn’t be up against my shoe rack. My dresses ended up in the middle of my nice little weather progression, but at least they aren’t rubbing up against my sweaty gym sneakers.

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tip4

Organize by color second. Once you know what type of clothing you need for the weather the next issue to deal with is making sure to select something that matches, relatively speaking. For me, taking each section and organizing it by color helps me figure out my outfit. Lets say it’s snowing out so I go to the long sleeve section. I want to wear my red pants and I want to top it with a solid dark colored shirt. I can just go right to that area in the long sleeve section. It takes two seconds to find what I need! In my previous disaster closet it would have taken me over 5 minutes to find a particular shirt.

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Invest in matching hangers. It’s totally worth it! It took me a long time to get my act together and buy new hangers. I was previously under the impression that plastic hangers of all colors were totally fine. I learned that velvety thin ones keep your clothes from falling off AND they take up less space! Taking up less space is a big deal when you have a small closet.

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tip6

Use every single inch of space. Piling shoes on the floor willy nilly makes it impossible to find what you’re looking for and it doesn’t use your space well. Remember that you have a few feet of space between the floor and your clothing. Use it all! I found a shoe rack with 15 cubbies that fits perfectly in my open space. Both Target and Bed Bath & Beyond have good options for shoe racks.

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I always like to keep a row of the shoes that I’m currently using the most up front and center. That way, I can grab them quickly and go!

When I say use every inch I’m not kidding. Consider using your closet door! I used the top part of my door to display my necklaces and the bottom to hang my small purses and clutches. I used to hide all of these things away in drawers and baskets, but I’ve realized that if I can’t see them when I’m getting dressed in the morning, I’m going to forget about them and not use them as much as I would like.

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tip7

A functioning closet requires some creative solutions. For me my biggest problem was that the pole holding up my clothes is old and bends easily when there’s too much weight on it. A lot of weight is kind of a given since I have a lot of clothes. I solved this by getting a clamp at a hardware store and clamping the pole to the shelf just above it. This clamp happened to be hideous, so again I had to get creative. I now keep one of my favorite scarves tied around it! I can see it everyday and it hides the orange clamp perfectly.

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If there’s something completely bugging you about your closet, there is always a creative solution!

tip8

Sometimes you just need to expand your closet. If you’re like me and you just can’t possibly fit all of your things in one small closet, then you might want to consider expanding your closet space. I desperately needed some more space for my shoes. I have a bit of a high heel addiction and there was no way they would all fit in my closet. You can do this without having a part of your hallway or apartment that screams “CLOSET.” I know when I was first considering doing this Ben was not thrilled to be seeing my shoes in the hallway. Instead of just stacking the shoes on a rack I incorporated them with other objects, which makes this organizational furniture seem less like a shoe storage piece. I found this particular piece at Ikea.

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I added a framed map, candle, fake plant and a bronze deer I found at a flea market. They all match the tones and colors on the shelves and make it a little less closety feeling.

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I organized the selves starting with things I wanted to display on top. I have a little gold bowl from Target which holds our keys and loose change, a purse and shoes I love, and a framed picture of Ben and I. Then I did a row of baskets from Ikea. This gives me and Ben a little more closet space too! I keep scarves and belts in one of my baskets and he keeps his winter hats and gloves in another. The bottom two rows are for my crazy collection of heels. I keep the lighter colored ones on top and the darker ones on bottom. This keeps your eye moving up away from the heels on the floor, again lessening the closet feel.

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Those are my 8 tips that have helped me organize all of my clothes and shoes! let me know if you have any other helpful tips to add!

House Plants : The Easiest Pets

I seem to have slowly started a collection of plants and flowers. Most of them have survived my not-so-green-thumb (sorry little moon vine that perished under my watch!) They’ve creeped into every part of my apartment; they cover my kitchen window sill, my bedroom, but mostly my living room.  

ImageAs you can see they are everywhere.  There’s the orchid on the mahogany table, the tiny cacti on the white side table by the couch, the air plant and succulent on the coffee table, and when I can’t put a plant somewhere, I manage to decorate with plant themed items. Note the orchid watercolors on the bookshelf and the leaf/flower potpourri on the glass table.  

Plants just liven up an entire room. They make it feel like spring even if it’s cold and rainy outside. Some of them are very meaningful to me because my grandfather grew them (he also painted those beautiful orchid watercolors). 

I needed a place for all of these plants so I used this little mahogany table, which I found for free on the side of the road. I put my yellow orchid, which has been in bloom now for about 3 months, a cactus and an ivy in yellow and white pots. The pot for the cactus is actually a little brighter than it looks from this image. These are three very different plants, but they all seem to be happy growing together on their yellow themed table. 

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ImageUnder the table I put two glass bottles from Pier 1. I put a fake flower in one of the bottles to create a little asymmetry.  

ImageI saw these adorable little cacti at a garden store and I could not get only one. So I bought four. I’ll probably end up going back and getting more. Just look at them!! Aw! They are on a little white bookshelf that I made into a side table along with the lamp I made.

ImageI found a little tray at West Elm that I put them on. The shiny metal of it goes nicely with the gold shimmery pillow on the couch. The two tall plants were too similar to each other, so I wanted them as far apart as possible. I tried a couple different patterns for arranging them, but this is what I ended up with. It’s a little symmetrical and a little asymmetrical. That’s how I like to do things. I don’t like anything to symmetrical or anything too off center. 

ImageRight now I have two plants on my coffee table. A spiky succulent that reminds me of Tim Burton movies and an air plant. Actually the air plant is more like one big air plant and three little air plants. I found the bowl for them at West Elm. The spiky succulent adds some nice natural color to this part of the table. 

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I’m sure more plants will be joining this collection soon. And I will need to figure out where the heck I’m going to put them!! 

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A Smart Bookcase

Meike Harde is a young designer in Germany. This girl is only 26 and she has already made it big. She likes to focus on textures in her designs, but every one of her designs has a little hint of genius.

I first discovered her when I was looking for a book shelf. I found this one and fell in love with it. She calls it Stockwerk and it is the most amazing book shelf there is. You can choose how many shelves you want simply by folding and unfolding the levels. Perfect for the super picky people like myself who have trouble making up their minds.

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She makes it both in a tall size and in this smaller 3 tiered size.

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Her designs are simple and quirky. Here are a few of her other pieces.

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I can’t believe how much she has accomplished at such a young age! It definitely makes me motivated!!

All images are from meikeharde.com Check out her site!

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Covering up an ugly necessity

Tissue boxes are ugly. That’s just a fact. I’ve seen some that are clearly trying to be more creative, but usually their bright crazy colors just don’t fit into any room. Unfortunately, I can’t just toss the box of tissues in a drawer and pretend they don’t exist because I am a sufferer of constant allergies. Therefore, the tissues must remain within an arms length from my main “spot” in the apartment: my bed. I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this cute little cover on CB2.

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How adorable?!

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It even comes in black!

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I couldn’t stop myself from ordering one! So today the mailman dropped off the box and I excitedly ripped it open. I felt a bit like a loser for getting so excited about a tissue box… But now the cover is on and my tissues went from this:

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To this!

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Now I have a cute little tissue house sitting by my bed.

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Bar Hoppin

ImageI have always dreamt of having a super duper classy bar. Those mid-century bar carts with mirrored trays make me weak in the knees. But, right now I must settle for the furniture I already own. It’s amazing how many different ways you can use furniture for unintended and unexpected purposes. Take this kitchen island from target for example. A simple white wood design with an unfinished wood top meant to be used as a kitchen countertop. I switched this piece into a room divider disguised as a bar! I took a black book self from Bed, Bath & Beyond (which I scored at a super low discount price of 9.99 because it was a dorm room piece left over in October!!) and painted it white. I added this little shelf onto the edge of the kitchen island to make it wider and give me more storage space. I styled it with two wicker baskets (which I promptly filled with miscellaneous junk) a very heavy book on art history (a personal favorite of mine) and a conch shell I got on a trip to Jamaica. I think the shell adds a little hint of summer, which is hopefully soon to come. I think the plant (luckily fake so I won’t kill it) from Ikea adds a nice summer liveliness too.

ImageI found those awesome red metal bar stools at Pier 1. I tend to get nervous adding bold colors because I know my tastes change constantly and I get sick of just about everything in every room quickly. But, I knew I needed to add color and I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and picked a bright red! I chose this color because Ben’s poster of cars racing in Monaco is mostly blue and red. Blue is pretty much my staple color throughout every other room so I was daring and went with red as my main color. Totally crazy, I know….

ImageI tried to keep the bar (and actually most of the apartment) as unisex and non frilly, pink and girly as possible. I added a few “manly” touches for Ben, like this poster he loves and some quirky fish napkins from Ikea.

ImageThe top of the bar tends to change around a lot. Right now I have a glass from West Elm holding striped straws, a shaker with a fox head from Target, and a water pitcher from West Elm front and center (and of course the fish napkins. Can’t forget those). The two stirling silver candles are my Great Grandmother’s. I love having little family treasures all over my apartment. I bought the chalkboard around Christmas time and I’ve noticed it and the bumble bee piece above it are looking a bit too dark for the upcoming summer.

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I keep all of the alcohol in a West Elm tray. I try to keep a vodka, gin, tequila, and a few wines on the bar at all times. I like to add in unique things I find like the elderflower liquor I have right now. That’s always a conversation starter at parties!

I’m definitely not 100% satisfied with the bar (or really any room in the apartment), but it’s a huge improvement from when there was no bar at all!

Things still to do: 

1) Lighten up the decor – mainly the chalkboard and bumble bee piece need to be replaced

2) Add in some flower and other touches of Springy things

3) Find some lighter colored candles for the silver candlesticks

 

If you have any suggestions on what I should do next let me know! And if you liked this post please follow to see more!

A Gorgeous Museum

I love spending time in beautiful settings. I spent the day at the MFA Boston yesterday, strolling around and admiring the art. I’ve been here a million times, but as I was sitting in their American Cafe admiring the giant lime green Chihuly piece, I realized that half of the reason I love coming to this museum is to be able to walk around the building itself. I mean just look at this place! Here’s the Shaprio Family Courtyard:

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(these three images aren’t mine)

I absolutely love how they were able to add this beautiful modern area right onto the side of the old building. All of the natural light and the incredibly high ceilings give you the feeling of being outside. I could sit in that cafe for hours just looking at the room. Luckily, when I was there it was fairly empty and I had a few moments of silence without any other visitors around. Definitely check out this museum during the week, as the weekends get very busy. I’ve been to this courtyard at night too, during parties.

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The rest of the museum is gorgeous too. They did such a good job combining different styles, from a classical old look to the modern sleek look of the courtyard. Here are a few images I found of other galleries and areas in the MFA. Take a look at how gorgeous it is!

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(these four images aren’t mine)

The actual museum is a work of art in itself! Go spend some time wandering this museum and let me know what you think about this architecture!   For more information on the MFA go to : www.mfa.org 

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