Wednesday, April 16, 2014

0 Reader Space: An Inspired Pantry

We all love a nicely organized pantry right?  Well then I have a treat for you.  Today's featured pantry sheds a whole new light on inspiring food storage.  This one is both organized and incredibly charming, which is a lovely combination my friends.

I am sure the amazing Melissa from The Inspired Room needs little introduction.  However, if you have not been over to her blog, it ranks high on my list of daily reads and I really recommend checking her out.  Her home is beyond beautiful and cozy and warm and I always love the special touches she brings to each and every space she touches.

Which brings me to her kitchen pantry.  Oh my greatness it is delightful with a side of practical.  She was really able to use that gifted ability of hers to make any space inspiring.  Here she is now to share more details with us.

What is the main function of this space?

"Our pantry is used primarily for bulk grains and beans, some canned goods and sauces, and overflow storage for the kitchen.  We have easy access to our microwave in the center, and a bin for recycling in the back.  We also store everyday items that we need access to, like sticky notes, pens, and a rack for our keys.  We have additional pantry space in our garage for bigger or surplus pantry items, so this pantry is for more frequently used items."

Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?

"When designing the pantry, we made the decision to remove the pantry door so it would be wide open to the kitchen.  Because it would be visible, we knew we wanted to make selections that would be lovely to look at and easy to keep organized.  This meant using tons of baskets to store our food and corral similar items together.  We find it motivating keep it organized since its always in our line of sight through our kitchen!  The baskets give us a flexible way to organize and store items without having to see the clutter.  Even when certain food items are visible on the shelves, we don’t mind seeing them… since it is a kitchen after all!  When you can see directly into an open pantry or closet, you feel much more inspired to keep it clean!"

What items did you find were essential when organizing the space, and why?

"When we removed the wire shelving, it really helped open up the pantry gave us some room to breathe. I prefer to create “zones” for organization rather than have everything jumbled up everywhere on pantry shelves.  Having defined sections of shelving and various sizes of baskets helped us create a logical but flexible system for storage of snacks, breakfast items, pastas, sauces, and bulk foods."

What did you do to go the extra mile and "Make it Pretty"?

"We wanted this pantry to feel like an extension of our home, so we made design choices with that idea in mind.  We used a console table with drawers to set our microwave on, which gives the pantry a great homey feel and provides extra storage.  We used a variety of baskets and weren’t concerned about them all matching. We love the eclectic mismatched look.  We also used a DIY chalkboard that I made a few years ago to add some art to the walls.  Our pantry now feels like an extension of the kitchen that is worthy of being seen instead of covered up!"

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?

"The console table that the microwave sits on was a piece we already had, which we updated with washi tape and new knobs.  We also used a DIY chalkboard as art for the space."

How has this space impacted your life for the better?

"By removing the pantry door, now we can move freely in and out and the space without an unnecessary door in the way.  That allows it to have a “butler’s pantry” feel, which adds charm to our kitchen that we love!  We love looking into our pantry everyday!" 

Seriously, isn't her pantry amazing?   Here are a few of the key reasons why I personally heart it like crazy:

  • Melissa mentioned a few times that they removed the door and can now see directly into the pantry.  This keeps it easily accessible and allows the pantry to act as an extension of the kitchen.  Bonus, it inspires her to keep it organized!
  • I couldn't agree more that the mixing and matching of baskets and containers creates this amazing eclectic feeling and gives the pantry personality.
  • A console table in the pantry?  Not something you see everyday but it really works here!  Such a smart solution to holding her microwave and cookbooks.  And I love that there is room below for taller storage containers.
  • Melissa utilized all of the walls within her pantry by mixing and matching different styles of shelves and wall organizers.  
  • The woven baskets are perfect for concealing food clutter, yet also keep like items corralled together and easy to find.  The clear storage keeps dry foods fresher for longer and allow Melissa to see what she has on hand. 
  • I spy darling labels!  Always a win!
  • There are little touches brought in that really top off the entire space.  The key holder, chalkboard, lamp and knobs on the console table are all charming accents that allow the pantry to truly shine.

Spaces like this always inspire me to rethink how I approach areas all over my home.  Melissa didn't need a bunch of matchy-matchy containers or expensive pantry shelving systems installed in order to achieve an organized space.  In fact, her mixing and matching of storage solutions is what makes this pantry so magical.

Endless thanks to Melissa for inspiring us today and always.  You can find even more drool-worthy photos of her pantry over on her blog here.

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life, big or small.  They can be anything from an organized drawer or cabinet to an entire room.  Please submit your story and photos to, and I would heart to feature them right here on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!

Monday, April 14, 2014

56 A Little Love for Coral and Closet Clutter Busting

Last week I gave you a little sneak peek into a recent addition we made to our dressing room closet area.  We DIY'd some dividers for a few new drawers that were added to the space.

Today, I am back to give more details of the bigger closet project picture.

As I have mentioned in the past, we have always loved that the dressing room is so grand {the size of a bedroom}!  However, to install a wall-to-wall closet system would have been extremely costly in such a large space.   Not to mention, we try to keep our clothing and accessories somewhat limited for both ease of storage and overall simplicity.

We have been living out of two separate wardrobes for approximately two years, and overall we have been really pleased with the setup.  We also have a small dresser which holds undergarments, paint clothes, pajamas, etc....

However, the girl in me has always been a little frustrated with what the setup lacked; accessory storage, boot storage and handbag storage.

Not the worst problem to have, however, after two years of struggling to keep the area between the dresser and armoire tidy {no system = easy toss and pile creating}, I was overly ready to finally deal with things.  Hubby had been struggling with storing the same types of items as well, everything from baseball caps to belts and ties.

After some measuring, research and price shopping, we landed on two Closetmaid storage towers on each side of the dresser.  The storage unit allowed us to customize shelving adjustments and drawers and fit the wall perfectly.

The area is far from complete, however, we started to make some tweaks to make it more "us".  The top of each cabinet actually came to a blunt finish initially, so we capped it with some decorative moulding to give it a finished look.

A little measuring, air nailing and caulking later and the top of each unit was looking a little less out-of-the-box.

We could have taken things even further and customized the shelves to be more "built-in", but for now, I like that they are actually still mobile and the arrangement of the entire closet can be reconfigured down the line should our storage needs change yet again.

Once the storage units were flanking the dresser, it was clear to me that the space in-between would need to be addressed l.  My previous jewelry setup was starting to become cluttered and would not fill the space well.  However, I have really loved the concept of the cork board within the frame paired with pushpins for jewelry storage, so I just needed let it grow.  I removed the inserts from the previous two frames and matched them back up with their mats and glass to be used once again as actual photo frames.  During a recent shopping trip at Target, I stumbled upon a much larger cork board, and decided that would fit the space much better.  I loved that the cork was thicker and more sturdy than my previous setup.  I couldn't wait to start using it!

I don't know what it is, but spring has really gotten me in the mood to inject some coral into a space.  The master bedroom and dressing area were the perfect candidates, as they already have a fairly neutral gray/blue color palette along with small pops of navy.  Knowing I have a few small stools to recover, I picked up a flat sheet in a solid coral color.  The sheet was plenty big enough for the stools, so along with the stools, I decided to cover the cork board in coral as well.  I started with some spray adhesive and smoothed the sheet over the top of the cork board.

After looking at it, I decided that it needed a little extra something.... some sort of pattern!  A few years ago I had purchased a stencil for a rug project I never did, then I planned on using it for curtains and never did, so I dashed for it and used it here.  I still have more plans for the stencil down the line because I love it that much, but this was a good spot to play with it and use what I already had on hand.

When I stencil, I typically spray the back of the stencil with spray adhesive to get a nice flat surface and to prevent paint seepage.  However, I didn't want the front of the jewelry board to be sticky, so I decided to just go with painters tape this time around.

Using a plush microfiber roller paired with some bright white paint, I held my breath and started rolling.

The paint also contained pre-mixed primer, and the roller allowed it to really cover well.  I was doing all I could to avoid having to do two coats of paint.  Lucky there was minimal seepage and the paint covered really well!

Sorry for the photo quality above, this was one of the many "after the kids were in bed" projects so I had bad overhead lighting.  The sheet is actually much more berry coral than orange coral. 

There was a single area where paint from the stencil marked the coral area of the corkboard.  I quickly grabbed some rubbing alcohol and a Q-Tip and the paint lifted right out {the paint was still slightly wet so that may have also helped}.

Things were looking good, but I still needed to address the edge of the cork board.  The hubby dug through scrap wood in the garage and found a piece of white trim to finish things off.

Ignore the second cork board below - we actually purchased two because I have another project for the second one.  He was using that one in the garage for cutting measurements.

Bryan just nailed directly into the frame of the corkboard with his brad nailer, making sure to use small enough nails that they wouldn't go all the way through the back.  We followed up with more white caulk fix any gaps and nail holes.

And there she is!  Tucked nicely between the new storage towers.

We also swapped out the hardware on all of the drawers to give them a consistent finish and try to unify things a bit.  I haven't decided if I will paint the Overlays on the front of the dresser as well; I am really not sure if the yellow is working now so maybe I will update them with white or light gray? 

The coral is a fun summery touch!  And this project was simple enough should I tire of the color down the road, I can just swap out the fabric to achieve a whole new look!

The rest of the storage towers were filled with my handbags and baskets to hold our hats.  I was also able to use the bottom shelves for storing those taller boots that didn't fit in the nearby armoire.  I love that everything finally has a place up off of the floor!  So good!

I snagged a few accessories from around the home to display more of my girly things.  A cloche jar was a fun touch over my bracelet holding hand.

While a cake stand gave my nail polish collection a little boost.

We couldn't be more smitten with the changes so far and all of the added storage that we were able to gain out of a few extra shelves and drawers!  And now I am even more excited to get those little benches recovered to really finish off the rest of the space.

What color does spring have you wanting to play with lately? 

Friday, April 11, 2014

17 March Monthly Organizing Challenge: Let's Get The Party Started!

The time has come my friends!  Time to see what you all were up to during the month of March!  Did you join the monthly cleaning challenge?  Maybe tackle a big project on your organizing list?  How about DIY'ing some labels?  Even if a single drawer is now more organized than it was prior to the month of March, you should feel elated!

I feel like March was one of my most productive months yet.  Although total projecting time was down a bit, not only did we tackle some sort of cleaning or organizing task each day of the week, but we also painted our living room, sewed curtains, DIY'd some craft boxes, crafted some sea glass vases and updated some frames in the studio.  Our home ended on a happy foot and so did we! 

  • In March I evaluated the way we look at our cleaning schedule.  I made a goal of cleaning or organizing one extra thing each day of the week.  I didn't want any one task to take too much extra time out of our already busy days {a lot of purging and wiping things down}, so I selected quick tasks which always need to be done, and also make a big impact to the overall function and feeling of our home.  You can catch up on the entire series here.
  • We painted our living room!  I know some of you expressed that the green will be missed, and I hear you!  A part of me misses the green as well, but at the end of the day, it doesn't make sense for the direction of our home.  I can't keep the walls green just for the sake of the blog, but I can continue to find ways to bring in color-happy finishes for the sake of our family's home enjoyment.

    • I participated in a fun color changes with some fabulous girls, and the goal was to use purple!  I realized I had absolutely zero purple in my home, so it pushed me to think a bit.  Something which I can swap out for the seasons, yet still works with our decor... VASES!  More specifically, sea glass vases.  And they turned out ooh la la lovely!
    • Sometimes you have to take two steps back in order to move forward.  And I did just that by giving the studio a blank slate.  I also added in a few simple frames in place of a cluttered memo board.  However, I am freaking out excited to bring color back into the space.  It just has to be the right color in the right amounts.
    • A craft cabinet is in the works and was in need of a some stylish storage boxes.  Feeling inspired, I transformed some simple white photo boxes into something a bit more playful.

    • One of my favorite updates in a long time was adding in new navy curtain panels to our kitchen and living room.  It was our first larger sewing project and the impact was so dramatic!  It was one more step in unifying the two spaces which flow together.

    You can also check out a few more posts I wrote over at the Better Homes & Garden's Style Spotter's Blog:
    • I am a huge fan of the black and white combo, it adds so much drama, sophistication and will remain classic for an eternity.  Check out my favorite black and white storage picks here.

    • And if you are looking to add in a center island to your kitchen like we are, or if you already have one and are looking for ways to maximize storage within it, you can find my recent kitchen island storage post here.

    Now it is your turn!  Time for you to share with me some of your happenings over the last month.

    As always, an over-sized thank you to all who participate in these challenges.  Checking out your posts is my guilty pleasure every month, so bring it on!

    Happy Friday folks!  And...

    IHeart Organizing is not responsible for the content uploaded and shared within the Monthly Link Parties on within the #wiorn hashtag feed.  However, it is a great way to join together in making organizing fun, so let's use our best internet etiquette and have a great time with this social party.
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