Wednesday, April 23, 2014

0 Reader Space: A Rustic Playroom

I heart Reader Spaces.  You all are the best at bringing in a variety of ideas and styles and keeping things interesting around here. 

Let's chat playrooms for a moment.  What I love most about playrooms is that there really is no limit to colors and patterns and you have the freedom to become a kid again while designing the space.  They are fun and forgiving and meant to spark imagination.  They really are the best spaces to design.  Aside from making it a fun place to be, how do you mix in adequate storage and functionality?  And most importantly, how do you keep it easy to maintain, especially when you want the littles to participate in the pick-up process?

I am honored to welcome Ashley, who blogs at Rustic Living.  She designed the most darling playroom and I am delighted to share it with you today.  I invited her here to share some more details about her new playful space.

What is the main function of this space?

"To be a space where our 10 month old, our nephews and nieces, and neighbor kids can have fun together, be creative together, and learn together.  It's a space that can be easily transitioned as the kids get older too.  A sitting area for the adults is nearby, so it's fun to watch the kids enjoy themselves while we can chat over a cup of coffee!"

Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?

"Big storage bins with a wide opening are perfect for holding random items and make clean up a breeze.  It's easy and fun for the kids to help put items back in the storage bins when play time is over.  I love the black and white striped bins with rounded eyelet handles I got from Hobby Lobby, easy to carry around the room and they're very sturdy! "

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

"Definitely colorful labeled storage boxes!  Between Legos, play-doh, cards, game pieces, coloring tools, there are so many little pieces in a kids playroom that need a home.  I find that kids love seeing what's inside of them too.  I really liked the geometric and polka dot patterns from Michael's craft store, and you can often find them on sale!"

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

"My husband and I made the display wall for the children's books from molding we got at Home Depot for super cheap.  I was originally going to paint the molding but felt the natural wood looked great with the colorful books.  The quirky United States map is the perfect bold statement on a wall and the geometric bean bags were a fun, stylish addition to the space... every kid loves a beanbag!"

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?

"I was having a hard time finding a kids table that fit well in the space, so I re purposed a thrift store coffee table that we've had for a few years.  Instead of putting the table flush against the wall I brought it straight out to make more room for seating. Included in the seating is a small red rocking chair that belonged to my husband when he was a child.  I incorporated adorable wood toys into the space that were also my husbands', so not only are they sentimental, but they add a vintage feel to the playroom as well."

How has this space impacted your life for the better?

"I think the only thing better than having an organized playroom is having a space that when kids come over they practically sprint to the room because they have developed happy memories there and can't wait to have more fun.  To see their faces light up and hear them say, 'look, this box has Legos!' or 'check out all these board games!' makes my heart so happy.  We look forward to seeing the room evolve as they get older and to spending lots of family time together in the space." 

So great right?   Here are a few of the key reasons why I personally heart it like crazy:

  • It is cozy!  Key component to a playroom is creating a space that the kiddos feel comfortable in.  Ashley perfected it, those bean bags add the perfect welcoming touch!
  • She combined open and concealed storage.  Open storage is great for encouraging kids to feel free to pull out toys and play.  It allows them to see their options, and also assists with easy pick-up.  If there are smaller items or things that should only be played with during certain play sessions {small pieces, art supplies, play-doh, etc...}, concealing those items in boxes will be an "out of sight, out of mind" for the kids.
  • There are endless personal touches throughout this space.  Repurposed storage and furniture, toys from their childhood and even the old schoolhouse chair.  Everything works so well together to keep the space kid friendly and warm.
  • They DIY'd the floating shelves to display books.  I love that it fills the walls with "art", while also encouraging reading.
  • She added a table for crafts, building and game play!  Another playroom essential.  A coffee table really is an idea solution!
  • How darling is the chalkboard?  Seriously.
  • Having bins that are easy to tote around and collect the random toys is pretty brilliant.  Anything that makes cleaning up a playroom easy peasy, is a win!
  • Can I get one more round of applause for those poufs? 

I love Ashley's style and playroom to the moon and back.  However, what she stated couldn't be more true.  Having an organized space is great; having a space that they love to be in creating memories is priceless.  Ashley, I think you accomplished what you set out to do!  A warm iHeart thank you goes out to Ashley for stopping by and sharing her playful place with us, and as always, you can find even more details 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!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

15 The High/Low Organizing Challenge - Let's Get Inspired!

Have you gotten started on your High/Low organizing project yet?  In case you missed the kick-off to this super exciting challenge, you can snag the details here.

That is right my IHeart pals!  I am challenging you to find some high end inspiration and recreate it on a budget.  The link party starts next Thursday, so you still have plenty of time to join in the fun!

I thought I would share some inexpensive storage candy from around blogland, to inspire you to participate in this challenge.  Honestly, if it wasn't so late as I sit here compiling these ideas, I am pretty sure I would have a paint brush and hammer in my hands at this very moment.  Tomorrow morning can't come soon enough!

Jane was inspired by a Pottery Barn tablet holder retailing for $34.50.  Take a close look at her incredible version and you will see that it was created by combining a cutting board, Scrabble letter tray and child's building block.  And it cost her less than $2!  That deserves a few more of these !!!!

My organizing lovin' gal pal, Samantha, also found inspiration from Pottery Barn.  She transformed some shallow baskets into rolling under-bed storage with the addition of a simple frame and casters.

It really should be no surprise that Pottery Barn is a prime target for the High/Low challenge.  They create beautiful pieces for the home, yet their prices are not always considered pocketbook friendly.  If you can recreate an entire piece of furniture, like Whitney's bookcase above, you are looking at hundreds saved! 

Or how about a built from scratch PB inspired bathroom vanity?  My jaw is still on the floor!


What other loved retailers come to mind?  How about Ballard Designs, Serena & Lily and Restoration Hardware...

Erin sewed and painted a new liner for a once retired laundry hamper!  Now it looks industri-awesome!

I am guessing we all have lusted over the Ballard wall pockets at one time or another, and so did Nike.  So she recreated them on a dime and you will never guess what they are made out of.... cardboard and fabric!  Must see it to believe it!

A blogger I will always consider to be the queen of creating high end looks on a budget, is Centsational Girl.  One of my all time favorite projects is her DIY drying rack, saving her over $64 from the inspiration piece.

Shelves maximize vertical space and add storage galore, but those with extra details come with an extra high price tag.  My friend, Ashley, fell for some Restoration Hardware shelves and set out to recreate them for less.  And that she did!  Va va voom!

Could you imagine forking over $118 for a rolling storage crate?  Jackie couldn't either, so she created her own, times four!  She was able to customize the crates to fit her space and add a touch of teal for less than the cost of just one of the high end versions.

Raise your hand if you love a good IKEA hack.  Me me me!  IKEA products come at reasonable prices, yet also have a tendency to reflect that big box store feeling.  But as you know, a little paint and creativity goes a long way. 

Emily transformed an IKEA SVALBO sideboard into dramatically dipped entryway piece.

I have been lusting after a great campaign piece, however, I just haven't found the right one.  After seeing Louisa's IKEA dresser turned campaign amazingness, I am inspired to think further outside of the box.

I have seen a lot of amazing IKEA hacks, but some of my favorite have been done by the style maven, Jen, of Made By Girl.  She has an ability to make IKEA pieces look like a billion bucks.

As much as I would love to own a Dorothy Draper piece, I know that a good DIY is as close as I will ever get.  I am pretty sure IKEA has never looked better.

I consider color happy storage an office necessity, however, those pretty boxes, baskets and magazine files can quickly add up!  I love how Diane paired inexpensive IKEA boxes with decorative papers to achieve a playful effect on a penny budget.

Lucy's Anthropologie inspired coil pots are the most fabulous desk accessory around.  In fact, she has me wanting to recreate them in areas all over our home.  Maybe even in a super sized version!  So smitten!

Patience and innovation can get you really far in the process of DIY'ing storage for your home.  Mat board turned trendy geometric pencil cup?  The brilliant Sarah of Sarah Dorsey Designs strikes again!

Decorative boxes work in every room of the home for endless purposes.  Head to any home decor store and you will find shelves lined with them, ranging in prices of twenty dollars to even hundreds!  Cassie is always recreating chic, high end inspired storage on a shoe string budget; it is so hard for me to select any personal favorite. 

How gorgeous is the gold and acrylic jewelry box above?  Easily $40 right?  More?  It may blow your mind, but the innovative Erin DIY'd that beautiful box out of clear box photo frames!  I am pretty obsessed!

Let's chat baskets!  HomeGoods has become my go-to source for budget baskets, however, the oversized versions still ring in at high dollar amounts.  But if you get creative with a little twine, you can make yourself ten baskets, get organized and still have enough leftover for your favorite drink at Starbucks!

Another guessing game.  Any idea what those charming little canvas buckets are made from?  3.....2.....1.  JEANS!   I will never look at my clothing the same.

Taking time to learn how to handle a power tool or two can get you a looong way in the storage department.  Toy storage galore anyone?  Kid tested, parent approved!

There is no limit to what can be accomplished this month!  Whether you cover a box with your favorite paper or build a new closet system, there are endless possibilities for you endlessly inspiring and creative folks.  Next week just may be my most favorite link party yet!  See you there!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

43 For the Love of Coral Continued...

Happy Easter weekend everyone!  Is it starting to feel like Spring where you live yet?  It always takes our area a bit to catch up, but that doesn't mean that I am ignoring my urges to bring a little bit of the season indoors.

Not only is spring influencing my color choices as of late, it is also inspiring me to check a few unfinished rooms and projects off of my To Do list.  I always feel like I have 101 projects in the works or in the wings and that type of chaos tends to get a little overwhelming.  Because my husband works outside of the home, a lot of what we do is completely based on the time we have and what we are able to build into our nightly schedule.  One day we may have thirty minutes to tackle something small in the studio and the next we may have three hours to go after a project in the laundry room.  I have become custom to working in this way, but unfortunately, it has gotten a little out of control.  We have project supplies purchased for our utility room {still not done six months later}, our laundry room, our living room and our studio.  I am aiming to take a month off of starting anything new and focusing on one area at a time to just finish the areas nagging on us the most.  This week was our dressing room.

Earlier this week I shared the biggest piece of the dressing room project, which was adding in a few storage towers with shelves and drawers for our extra accessories.  I also grew my jewelry board with a fun coral addition; which consisted of pairing a bed sheet with a stencil and cork board.

After living with the coral for a few days, I knew it was the right move.  Bold, but happy and fresh and exactly what I was aiming for in my windowless sanctuary.

We use our dressing room multiple times per day, not only for getting ready each day, but also for doing any exercise, stretching and treadmill running.  We also use it at the end of our day to prepare for bed.  I have always wanted to create a sanctuary that greets me with a smile each morning, as it is the first thing I see when I open my eyes and the first room I enter to begin my day.  I am a believer that your surroundings impact your attitude and mood, so I am excited to finally be putting a few more details into the space.

I initially purchased a coral flat bed sheet after seeing the new Threshold stools at Target.  The stools totally made my heart race, but there was no need for me to purchase them when I had two perfectly useful x-base stools already sitting in the center of our dressing room at home.  So, I set out to recover them in the same color as the inspiration stools, using a twin sized flat sheet.  The sheet covered both stools as well as the cork board I shared earlier this week. 

I shared our initial stool reupholster project back here, and we essentially followed the same steps.  We removed the scarf {which held up surprisingly well over the last year given that it was never upholstery material}, and pulled the sheet tightly around the bench cushion.  We secured the sheet with our staple gun, giving each staple an extra tap with the hammer to be sure everything was nice and secure. 

The bottom of the stool already had pre-drilled holes for the tufted buttons.  But the original blue buttons were not going to cut it with this new color scheme, so I set out to create new white buttons with the help of a kit.

Once the buttons were created out of some scrap white fabric, we tufted those stools and it was awesome.

The next project was to create a chalkboard to track our weekly exercise plan.  A place to jot down our running sessions and routines and the results of any time spent on our workouts.

I started with a frame found at a local thrift store, and gave the glass five coats of chalkboard paint.

I also painted the decorative frame with some flat white paint.  Once the chalkboard paint was dry, we used an oil based Sharpie paint pen to create the lines for the tracker.  We followed our previous chalkboard calendar tutorial here.

The letters on the calendar were created out of some gold foil with my Silhouette die cutting machine.

The final fun project we did was finally get around to hanging a print I purchased back in October {that totally seems to be how things roll around here}, as well as a decorative hook.  The hook was placed near my wardrobe as a place for me to hang outfit selections.

I have been living with a stand in table for a few months while I used my vanity in my studio, however, I had enough of that and brought it back in where it belonged.  For a hot second, our entire dressing room looked magical!

And a view from our bedroom....

With all of the airy and spring like colors being used, I tossed in a few black accents to keep it all a bit balanced.  I totally heart it!

We just hung the new chalkboard workout log yesterday afternoon and you can imagine I am giddy excited for Sunday to roll around so I can begin using it!  The hubby and I are about to get competitive, so this will be a perfect place to track some {fingers crossed} results.  More on our exercise corner here.

The vanity is happy to be home.

I topped it with a coral vase filled with one of my favorite blooms, as well as a candle, glass of amazing gold makeup brushes {gifted to me from a very dear friend} and a small lamp for added lighting.

You can see how I organize my makeup here.  And how I tackled the interior of my wardrobe closet here and here.

It was so fun to see what a few simple additions could do for our space.  One coral corkboard, a set of coral stools {made from a bed sheet}, a framed print paired with a decorative hook hook topped off with our black and white striped throw and boom!

I was asked in the last post if my space always looks this tidy and the honest answer is no. I love having good systems in place, but we have piles of laundry and bedding and personal items out and about at any given time.  I try to tidy up once per week or if company is coming, but just like the rest of our home, the space is loved and used. 

How is spring inspiring you lately?  Any new colors being used or projects being done with a nod to the seasonal change? 

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