Thursday, April 16, 2015

22 UHeart Organizing: Bedside Organization Tips

Do you work from bed?  I have to admit that I do on occasion.  One thing I have realized is that having a work-from-home job can make it challenging to manage time efficiently and set "office hours".  I am completely guilty from working from bed on occasion, whether I am under the weather or checking in at the end of the day.  In fact, it is when I do a lot of my list making and planning for the following day and is a nice way to unwind and let go of thoughts before I head to sleep.

I toss many of work belongings in an open basket next to my bed, but I am swooning over Ursula's bedside office solution.  Ursula's blog, Home Made by Carmona, is jam packed with inspirational DIY's and organizational ideas.  I love seeing where many of those ideas are formed.  Here she is now!

Hello there IHeart Organizing Readers! It is lovely to be here again!

I'm so excited to share with you my latest project. I've decided to "treat" myself and give my master bedroom a makeover...finally! And boy was it a dramatic makeover! You know how it is, you leave the bedroom for last since no one else sees it. Well the reality is that my bedroom often acts as my office (because truly nothing is lovelier than blogging from a cozy bed), as well as a sanctuary. When you are a homeschooling mom to three energy filled girls, a getaway at the end of the day is mighty important! Now that my bedroom has gotten a makeover, it's time to move my work materials back in and make my side table function at peak capacity so I can stay on top of my work.

If you also like to handle work (or hobby) related tasks from your bed, here are a few tips to keep you on track and organized at your bed side.


Art is beautiful, but have you ever thought it could also be functional? To keep on track nothing is more helpful than a quick glance calendar. One you don't have to pull out of your purse, or a drawer to know what the big appointments/reminders are.

Because it is framed in glass, one option is to write notes on it with a dry erase marker, and the other is my favorite choice, sticking little post-it notes with reminders!

Making your own Simple Art Calendar is easy, but if you like mine, you can learn how to get these printables here, and find all the steps to make your own. Because it is not by day-of-the week, but rather by date, you never have to change it.

Maybe because my little world is driven by what inspires me, or maybe because I just like pretty things, I believe every work space (whether in the bedroom or office) should have an inspiration board. This is where you can pin the things that help define your style and motivate your vision. Or if that isn't your thing, it is really just a corkboard, so pin up your to-do lists, shopping lists, and more.


I confess, I'm only as organized as my knick-knacks! They is just inevitable. Some of them are necessary little office items I need for work and play, others are those random odds-and-ends from the last couple projects that I haven't yet figured out what to do with. Give them a nice little home...a limited time home, but an organized one!

Think outside the office supply store when seeking organizing solutions. I went digging in the kitchen supply department for my knick knack holder, a.k.a. wooden egg crate.


Again, it is helpful to think outside of the office department when searching for the perfect storage solutions. Bathroom tumblers make great writing implement storage. They have little rubber stops at the bottom, so if you wanted to place them inside a side table drawer they won't move around. I also love using sleek kitchen dishes as a catch-all for side table items such as change, keys, etc...


According to a survey I read recently, most people either do their bills from their office at work, or from their bedside. That means you will need a letter holder, something to help organize your mail and keep the bills from getting lost until they can be attended to. I made this wood cut mail organizer from a log... Simple, modern, chic, and effective!


Take a tip from my husbands bedside table. Sometimes you just need storage to be hidden behind closed doors... Well, closed drawers. Give up the top drawer of your bedside table for that magazine you haven't had a chance to read yet, your journal, and more. Before, his side of the bed would get very dusty (and he wasn't happy if I moved his stuff to dust), and now we keep his things in his top drawer and the bedside table top free... Well, minus a clock and a few dishes to collect his keys and change. It is a huge improvement!

I hope these tips help you craft your bedside into the perfect "work away from work" space, or at least help you get in perfect order to meet all your needs!

"Hi, I'm Ursula and I blog at Home Made by Carmona where there is always a fun DIY project in play. I've got expensive taste and no money, I'm a neat freak who's house didn't get that memo, and I firmly believe organization has the power to improve our homes, habits, and the members that abide there! I'm so thrilled to be here at IHeart Organizing, the blog that first inspired me to start my own blogging journey."

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

100 One Room Challenge Week 3 - Painted Shoe Cabinet & Seating Update

Welcome to Week 3 of the One Room Challenge being hosted by Linda of Calling it Home.  You can see our plans here and last week's progress here.

Well, by now I should have more completed than a painted shoe cabinet.  But that is about as far as I have come over the last week.  I must admit, I am feeling a little nervous and anxious as the weeks roll by and things are moving slower than I anticipated.  The next few weeks are going to be buuuuuusy but we are still up for the challenge.

Before I get to the shoe cabinet, two quick updates to note before I change my mind about the two updates....

  • My initial fabric choice that was my driving color combo behind everything I am doing in both the kitchen and living area, is on back-order.  Like for quite awhile back-order.  This is really throwing me for a loop and has really prevented me from mentally moving forward.  Silly thing is that the fabric is being used for a total of two pillows.  That's right, fabric for two little ol' pillows is causing me to stumble.  So I started ordering more swatches and even more swatches... We need color!

  • Me wavering on the wall color is probably driving you all about as crazy as it is driving me.  Some days I LOVE it, some days I feel meh about it.  And I am quickly discovering that I am either awful with my camera, or it just doesn't photograph true.  Probably the first one, or the fact that the color has fifty various personalities.  Anyway, I am giving it about one more week of layering and if I still don't really truly love it, I am going to paint it.  Which is scary right?  The real problem is that I don't know what color I would rather have on my walls to pair with the already installed white cabinets and slate gray island and now slate gray shoe cabinet.  Some days it gets to me, but most days I realize that there are much bigger life problems than a silly paint color, soooo, moving on.

One thing I am sure about is that I totally dig our freshly painted shoe cabinet!

With the entire kitchen/living room renovation, we always planned on bringing in a couple new pieces of furniture, but also have to use many of our existing items.   The shoe cabinet and school cubbies (white credenza) both provide us with great storage and needed to come back into the space.  But now that we have white cabinets in the kitchen, I don't want all white furniture in the adjoining living space.

I decided to take a small risk and paint our IKEA shoe cabinet.  I brought our island door sample to Sherwin Williams and had them color match to their ProClassic Enamel paint.  The goal is to start marrying the two spaces, so the gray was my instant gut choice.  So happy with it!

Because I was so happy about the outcome of our painted dining room hutch, I followed the same steps and wasn't afraid of painting such a high traffic piece of furniture.  This paint goes on like butta and cures nice and hard for a durable finish.

To quickly go over those steps again, I started by giving the entire cabinet a coat of primer.  I prefer Zinsser Oil Based - Bond Coat.  No sanding required to get started is a thumbs up from me.

Once the primer was dry, I gave the cabinet two coats of the gray enamel.  I used a brush for a few of the grooves and used a small microfiber roller for the rest.  I find the microfiber rollers coat well and don't leave the small bubbles that come with foam rollers.

Two coats total and it was completely done.  I only painted the outside of the cabinet, I didn't see a need to mess with the inside where all the dirty shoes are thrown.  And I only sanded a few small spots where dust or puppy hair landed, otherwise, I probably could have done without sanding all together. 

As the second coat was still drying, I held the previous hardware up to the new paint color.  There was zero contrast between the two.  (Hardware was originally purchased here.)

So I grabbed my tube of Rub 'n Buff and a pile of cotton swabs and gave the hardware a little gold attention.

The hardware definitely paired beautifully with the gray.

The colors of the walls and cabinet in the images above are pretty spot on.  The moment I step away... not quite the same. #tipswelcome  Let's blame the lack of window treatments and not my photography.

I also realize that my mirror is hung too low.  I was thinking of adding a sconce above, but have since changed my mind.  So ignore the low mirror, it should be fixed next update.

Now, let's chat a bit about the room layout and the sofa.  Last week I had some questions regarding the sectional and our current seating plans.

When we purchased our sectional a few years ago, we purchased something we knew we would love regardless of the space and room it was in.  After we got it home, it became more and more clear that we preferred our new, smaller sectional to the larger leather one in the basement (due to comfort and style).  Our home has always given us layout challenges, divided kitchen wall or not, but no matter how I mapped it out I just couldn't make our favorite piece of furniture work with the new open concept.  It would either have to live tight to the backs of the barstools or tight to the window.  Once that wall came down, we were happy to move the sofa to our lower level and bring the old faux-leather sectional up to the garage to be sold on Craigslist. In fact, because the lower living area was basically a blank slate, we brought down all of our main level furnishings, including the chair, coffee table and rug.  Suddenly the basement felt lighter yet warmer and everything seemed to fit perfectly, like it was always meant to be.  Phew.

The sale from that sectional and storage ottoman was designated to fund the new sofa.  I looked and looked and looked some more.  Almost every sofa we both agreed on, measured to be too long for the space.  Because we already knew what we were looking for from our previous sectional search a few years ago, we decided to keep many of the same criteria, with the exception of possibly adding a tufted back and rolled arms this time around.   I finally narrowed it down to two options; one from Macy's and another from Home Decorators.  We went and sat on the Macy's option and it was comfortable but I wasn't sure that the upholstery would hold up because the display model was looking loose and "loved".  When Home Decorators had a 20% off upholstery sale plus a free shipping code on the back of their catalog, I decided to order it and hold my breath.

Although the couch looks small in photos, it is almost six feet wide and the arms take up very little of that space.  We have seated three adults comfortably, and the boys and I are all able to snuggle on it together without issues.  We will also have a chair near the window just as we did with our previous layout.  The new sofa leaves us with about three feet of open space near the window and almost four feet to the future island stools.  Plenty of room for the boys to run laps.

Being that we have two living areas, we are happy to know that we can use our main space for day-to-day shenanigans and for hosting friends and family with the open layout and amount of seating in the dining room and at the island.  Major family snuggle sessions and movie watching can happen in our lower level on our loved sectional.  Overall, we are pretty smitten with how it all worked out.

And as you can see above, the built-ins haven't been started yet.  Plans are drawn up and finger nails are being bitten but I am trying to remain confident in our DIY abilities. I also brought in our old coffee table which was ultimately going to be a deck table but I wanted to see how it would fit here.  I may end up using one of our round ones instead or changing the glass out with a wood or upholstered top.  Although the furniture still seems a little choppy, an area rug should be the piece to pull everything together.  Decision making is at an all time high the next few weeks.  Time to stock our new wine rack!

P.S. My boys are into playing Wheel of Fortune right now which I totally love.  P.P.S.  My eight year old believes that mis-matched socks are the cool "thing", which I also love because they were when I was a kid also.  Some things never change....

OK, I have jabbered enough today.  Let's take a long coffee break to check out all of the other amazing One Room Challenge participants below.

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