Laundry Day

29 03 2010

I often think that the laundry room is the most overlooked room in the house.  We don’t think to do much with it since hardly any guests get a peek inside.  But as I was looking through pictures this morning I found an example of a little laundry room that was not just functional, but fun and peppy!  And best of all, they did it on the cheap.


Some of the high points to me are:

  1. The countertop connecting the washer & dryer together.  It is great for folding laundry without fear of socks disappearing into the void between the units as well as cohesively binding them as a unit within the space.  For just a little laminated countertop (available at most hardware stores) this sure adds a lot of bang for the buck.  And if you can’t find a laminated piece you could always go out and get a board and paint it a fun color of the top (this just makes it a little less water resistant than the laminate.)
  2. The floral skirt for the utility sink.  This is easy to create and hides a multitude of ugliness all while being a great storage for all your cleaning supplies!  It is easy to recreate this and without any sewing to boot.  First, you would need iron-on hem tape for the top and bottom as well as some Velcro to stick the skirt to the sink.  Voila, you have a skirt!
  3. The metal shelves are an IKEA purchase for somewhere around $20 each.  These are perfect for our space to hold things up high that you access a lot like the laundry detergent or in their case as a holder for a laundry chart.  Don’t you just love the little lamp they used as task lighting clamped from one of these great shelves?!
  4. Rods and hooks are a great way to store things within arms reach just as they did above the utility sink.  So a quick grab and you have a cleaning brush, a sponge anything you need and having it hang over the sink allows it to drip dry as needed.
  5. Lastly, it’s the little touches to me that really warm up the space.  From the rug to the plant, it’s these little additions that make it just a little extraordinary.

Now these little changes wouldn’t break the bank and would make such an impact in your home.  It is one more door that could be open for guests.  Tell me about your laundry room.  Would you want your guests to see it as is?  Does it have a nice pretty window for loads of natural light to pour in?  Does the gap between your machines eat your socks like mine does?!


Martha Stewart Living is taking over Home Depot

22 03 2010

Honestly, I have never been the biggest fan of Martha Stewart.  I KNOW!  I really don’t know why that is.  She hasn’t done anything offensive to me so I just can’t put my finger on it.  It has always just been this feeling.  In all actuality her post prison persona hasn’t bothered me nearly as much as her persona before.  When she came out of the slammer it was like she could finally be who she really was and not what she thought everyone else expected her to be.  We are not talking Julia Child let loose and drop egg on the floor and say her infamous voice, “Never apologize-you can always put it together.”  But, she could finally relax and think ‘if these people followed me though that ordeal then I can certainly let loose a little.’

Anyhow, enough Martha bashing because I actually came here to praise her work.  When I heard that Home Depot was ending their long run with Ralph Lauren I was very disappointed.  Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t get his paint there anymore (they should still have all the mix instructions in their database if you have the color you need) it just means if you run into the store looking for a paint sample there won’t be one.  You can imagine that I was “thrilled” to learn that Martha was moving in to take over the vacant slot that RL left.  So when I stopped at the store a couple of weeks ago I swung past the paint department to check out the new spread.  I must say, I liked it.  I picked up the brochure that has small chips of all the colors and I can see all sorts of potential.  A few of my immediate favorites are: Bergamot (a pink, orange and red color mixed perfectly), Vermilion (a deep red shade), Toasted Marshmallow (a beautiful tan color), Sultana (green with a subtle yellow background), Purple Elderberry (very deep dark plum), Molasses and Burl (these are 2 very nice brown options), and finally Zinc and Seal (are 2 warm gray options that add nice balance to the palette.)  There are 280 colors in all and they can be mixed for either indoor or outdoor use.

I really like the names that she has for each color.  They are names that when I look at them I can actually see how they came up with that name.  Her paint names are things like Picket Fence, Spud (perfect color of the outside of a new potato) and Ballet Slipper Pink.  I have always thought picking paint color names sounded like the best job in the world, but I digress.  Anyway, they will have available sample jugs (8 oz) as a test to make certain you love the color before you bite the bullet and get the gallon.

Martha Stewart didn’t just stop at paint when it came to her Home Depot deal making.  She also included a line of environmentally friendly cleaning products, new home decor (both interior and exterior) and closet organization options.  She certainly says it right when she says, “It’s a good thing.”

Twenty-Ten Trends

11 01 2010

Ever seen the show Hoarders on A&E? Gosh. That show does something to me. After an hour of watching it, I go around the house and toss. YEA for me–bad for all my stuff! With all my purging, I now have a few holes throughout the house that I would love to fill. So, I started researching what was forecasted to be making an entrance in the coming year as far as your home’s interior is concerned. I thought I would share what you can expect to see in terms of innovation.

These are my top five favorites:

Illusion and Fantasy

I am having this one top the list because everyone wants to escape what a grim year we just ended. I think this one in particular adds a lot of whimsy and will be found in the details. The featured rug is a throwback to our youth and reminds us to go out and have some fun everyday.

Folding and Pleating

What great bedding, wouldn’t you agree?  It is so unique and I love the creativity that just by adding a few stitches–a plain wool bedspread could turn into a focal point of the room.  This certainly is where form follows function and makes a wonderful example of how easy it would be to incorporate a few folds and pleats into your home.

Handcrafted Details

Knit one, pearl two-that is how the bean bag chair by CB2 is created.  What a great way to show your craft skills. This is a perfect addition to the list, because it can be done on the cheap! Anything from embroidery, crocheting or even handcrafted woods, with all it’s personal charm and not much out of pocket spending, this design trend is really emerging in the details. I think in the coming year we will start seeing stores stocking things that seem more homemade leaving our guests scratching their heads if we are really THAT crafty.


These bookcases were just too much fun, I had to add them in. Put in just the right space it can add some organization (or chaos.)  While this particular item isn’t probably as symmetrical as the trends would prefer it still gives a great example of the goal to achieve while incorporating some fantasy in with the honeycomb.  These come in lively colors such as orange and would really pop in a room.


I threw this one in because Pantone, the global color authority, released its color for 2010 as Turquoise. They usually know best because they really are setting a precedent for what is to come by telling manufacturers a couple years earlier what to be designing, so the stores can all be purchasing and stocking, so we can be the ultimate in consumers. It really is a cycle that all design lives by like it or not. Don’t you think it is interesting that when we go in style stages (think the pink and brown trend we were in a few years back) EVERYONE is offering the same look in the same colors all the way across the board from clothing to interiors? Luckily, the gem color is a symbol of healing, faith and truth, and it’s said to have positive vibrations. Just what we need to make a fresh start in this new year.

Bead It

8 01 2010

I recently took a beading class.  It was all very-come in, do what you want, I am here if you have questions-kind of a place.  This is MY kind of a place.  I don’t like feeling hurried when I am doing art projects-or anything for that matter.  Sometimes you go in with an idea of how it will turn out and other times you fly by the seat of your pants, and this place seemed to be perfect for that.

So I came into the shop with a plan of what I wanted to make.  However, the shop didn’t carry all the beads that my mind had seen as its palette.  So as other patrons came and left (in record time), I searched.  After almost an hour of looking around a tiny shop (it couldn’t have been more than 500 square feet-and I made laps) I finally settled on 4 beads.  I bring them to the front of the shop to the store owner and she says “next, you have to pick your chain,” I think, “argggg…of course they don’t have what I want in that either!”  So after almost 2 hours of making selections, I finally start making the jewelry.  Since the shop didn’t have the things I was looking for I was frustrated with the outcome of the necklace.  It just wasn’t what I had envisioned it to be.  I ended up finding a few more things that I deemed had potential and headed for home.  Later that night, sitting at my kitchen table, I made a couple more items with the purchases I had made at the end of the day, but kept going back to the original necklace.  As I was packing up the leftover trinkets, it dawned on me that I had found the piece I spent forever looking for in the shop, in the form of a chain link.  I ripped the necklace apart in record time, added the missing link (pardon the pun) and poof, it was perfect!

The same thing happens when you are working on accessorizing a room.  Often times finishing a room is some of the hardest choices.  Its finishing touches really say a lot about the people that live there and what is important to them.  Whether it be a pillow or even the sofa, sometimes it just doesn’t feel “right.”  My best advice is to: work with it a bit, leave it for a while and come back to it.  The solution will hit you like a ton of bricks.  Just make sure when you purchase something you know the return policy so if it isn’t right for you, you won’t have to live with it for the long haul.