Day 17: Magazines and Catalogs

I don’t know about you, but I get a ton of magazines and catalogs.  And I love them, or the idea of them.  I imagine curling up on the couch with my new Traditional Home or Southern Living magazine and a cup of coffee, lazily thumbing through it.  How often does that happen?  Not very often.  What usually happens is the magazines and catalogs pile up on my coffee table and then I take a huge stack in the car and race through them in carpool line, dog-earing pages that I want to revisit when I have “time”.

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Now I have a system so that there aren’t so many publications lying around and I can hold on to the stuff I’ve dog-eared.  (Although Pinterest helps.)  First, I tear out the pages and sometimes I write on them: “great chair” or “lighting idea” or “artwork”, just to help me remember why I tore it out. 

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I have these large binders that I keep all of my ideas in.  There are 2 of them and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need another.  They are divided into categories such as “Living Rooms” or “Children’s Rooms” or “DIY”.  Each page that I tear out gets put into a clear sheet protector and put into the binder under the category necessary.

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Now I have a quick reference whenever I need some decorating inspiration (other than Pinterest), or I want to re-read how to paint a ceramic lamp from Goodwill.  And I can store these binders neatly in a cabinet.  My magazines and catalogs I just tear and toss.  No more clutter all over my coffee table.  Well, for now.



Taming the “Junk Drawer”

C’mon, you know you have one!  We all do.  It’s that drawer in your kitchen that you just toss everything in to – spare keys, batteries, pens, tape, old candy, those crappy toys your kids get in goodie bags.  Yes, that drawer.

Yesterday I decided to clean mine.  And just an FYI, I actually have two of them.

This is just a sample of what I pulled out:

(Sorry for the bad photos.  My digital is giving me trouble lately.  Had to use the iPhone!)


And I filled the trash can!


I bought drawer organizers at Target.  I believe these are intended for just this purpose.  Actually, I found them with the silverware.


After all of the heavy purging I ended up with a lot of stuff.  I designated one drawer for household items we use regularly.  The other drawer was for quick access home improvement stuff like nails, hammer, screwdrivers and paint touch-up.  By tossing all the packaging and keeping only the product, I found a lot of space!

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Now I am left with an organized “communication” center.  Pads, pens and pencils are at the ready.  Need new batteries?  They are right here!  A picture needs hanging and I know just where to go!  On top of the counter I have quick access stuff – a basket with the dog brush, a note pad, pens and scissors, a box of tissues and a file with school papers.  Plus the phone and my iHome speakers for some tunes while we clean and cook!


Home organization makes me happy!  Next up- THE PANTRY!!!


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Bookcase Styling

I am working on the finishing touches to Prince Charming’s office.  I am so excited, but I have discovered the Achilles Heel of this project – bookcase styling.  It is stressing me out.  My hubby has a ton of books and magazines, none of which he wants to part with.  And he is king of paper stacks – just piles of papers here and there and he swears he knows what is in all of them.  Soooo, I am trying to devise a styling plan that will make both he and I happy.  I have found some ideas.

I like this idea – books going this way and that is a kind of sloppy yet curated display.

ciao! newport beach: bookcase styling

Or this one which carries on the ocean theme!  I need to have more books and less ocean life to make it work.  But I like the vintage cloches and crates to hide stuff.

(photos found here)

I like the look of this with the books turned backwards, but it isn’t really practical.  How do you know which book is what?!

Beautiful Chic Living Room & Bookcases & the accessorizing!!  Prado bookcase by Suzanne Kasler, Hickory Chair

This one by Suzanne Kasler is awesome!  Great mix of baskets and books, but we still have waaaaaay more books than this!

Bookcase Styling Ideas We Stole From the Pros : Books do double duty in this circular hall by adding color and pattern to an otherwise traditional space.  Source: Elle Decor

Rainbow books by Elle Décor.  I really like this idea!  It’s very cheerful!  This is probably about the right volume of books for us.  Oh my!

Styling a leaning bookcase

This is a great mix of baskets and books.  I think this is what I’m going to aim for!

Photos of the office are coming soon.  We need to hang the curtains, get the desk situated, find a rug and, of course, style the bookcases. 

House for Sale!

About 2 years ago I gave up my career in real estate to be a full time mother and wife.  While I do miss the thrill of the sale, I do not regret my decision to watch my children grow and to care for my family the way I’ve always dreamed of.  That being said, I cannot avoid the allure of buying and selling houses.  My dream has always been to buy a house with “good bones” and make it beautiful.  Well, I am working hard to make my dream come true.  My husband and I have found a beautiful house in a wonderful neighborhood that is perfectly plain and in need of updating.  We have dubbed it “Vanilla House”.  The kids even call it that!  But first, we must sell our current home.  Anybody interested?


We built this house and made changes along the way.  Our first improvement was the back yard with a stone paver patio and fire pit.  We added the retaining wall in front for curb appeal.


I adore our kitchen and breakfast area (and the wine bar!).  Our kitchen is huge and has a ton of cabinet space.  But my internal wannabe interior designer is calling me to “Vanilla House”.


Our living room and screened porch are both located off of the kitchen.  These 3 rooms are probably the most lived in and most loved.


Here is our craft/laundry room.  We tiled the floor in an extra bedroom and made it into this.  Who really needs 2 guest bedrooms?!  I love the tile we used.  It looks like white-washed wood.  And of course, the back yard.  Our fire pit has seen a lot of roasted marshmallows and will see some more before we go.  Hooray for fall!

I hope you like my home.  If you live in North Carolina, please send me a buyer!  And if you come look at my home, please don’t open any cabinets or closets.  The amount of clutter I have tried to hide is atrocious!  I cannot be responsible for falling objects! Smile

Domestic Bliss

My idea of domestic bliss is an organized home where everyone cleans up after themselves.  They all know where items belong and they put them there when they are through using them.  The family respects a clean home and tries to keep it that way.  They eat what is served for dinner without complaint and help with the clean up after.  And knowing that this will NEVER happen, I turn to home décor magazines and Pinterest to allow me to dream…..


Rachel Weinblatt's refrigerator makeover

sweet, sweet organized refrigerator. note the minimal quantities of plastic. le swoon.

Photo courtesy of Whole Living


Photo courtesy of Real Simple

Wouldn’t a refrigerator this organized be wonderful?!  No more finding what looks to be a science experiment growing in the back of the fridge. 

organization in the pantry   Real-Life Closet Makeovers

A pantry like this…..                                      Or a linen closet like this!

Create a Clutter Barrier


What a lovely clutter barrier and entry area!

It is both functional and beautiful.

(photo courtesy of BHG)


built-in bookcase for cookbooks                           brilliant

Cookbook storage and display! I’m in love!                      And the sheer brilliance of this!

Now I’m in a good mood!  As long as I don’t look in a closet, pantry or refrigerator for the rest of the day, I’m sure my domestic bliss will continue!  Smile