Archive | Organization RSS feed for this section

How to create more storage for books

27 Sep

I am such a book nerd (yes, five years working part-time through high school and then college at Waldenbooks).  Luckily, I got into the habit of giving away books as soon as I read them a while ago (unless, of course, they are in hardcover and a favorite…).  But I still have a LOT of books.  There are at least three storage boxes full of books up in the attic at Tilly’s Cottage which haven’t made their way downstairs yet. 

I guess that’s why I was attracted to these above-the-door bookshelves.  While I’m guessing my feng shui followers (yes, Lori, that’s you!) will say you’re not supposed to store heavy objects over your head, I think it’s a clever solution (if well secured!!) for a small space.  Perhaps best for paperbacks…

Blanket headboard

23 Aug

With all the quilts in our family, I’m surprised that we haven’t come up with this already.  A quilt or blanket rack makes the perfect visual headboard for this bed – and how easy and practical!  You don’t have to worry about your blanket falling off the end of the bed, you can show-off the beautiful handiwork of your quilt and if you get cold, comfort and warmth are within arm’s reach.

A quick and easy key hanger

3 Aug

Another easy craft-in-a-day idea.  Pick up a simple frame, some funky fabric and some hooks and you’ve got the makings for a great key hanger. Wouldn’t this be adorable with the Amy Butler Fabrics? I always need a way to keep my keys organized so I’m loving this idea.

Building on inspiration

31 Jul

If you’re a regular reader, you may remember my niece, Meghan’s wall of embroidery hoops — I saw this the other day and thought it was a brilliant “build” on the idea to use them as bulletin boards.

A new twist on a futon

22 Jul

Karup Sofa Beds offer some trendy space-saving futon sofa-sleeper solutions with a fresh new look.  These versatile little numbers would be great for a college apartment, vacation home, guest room or teenager’s room. 



This reminds me of my old dorm room

1 Jul

The rooms in my dorm were fitted out with fixed furniture — basically, a desk, a bed with two drawers underneath and a fixed “bolster” to along the wall side of the bed that was padded and could be used as a shelf – so there wasn’t a lot of opportunity to change things up in the room.  I found a picture (this was NOT my room – but the structure is the same) on the web of one of the dorm rooms at my college. Anyway, it didn’t take us long to figure out that there was wasted space behind that padded bolster and that if we took it off, hinged it and added some shelves, it would be come a great little storage compartment.

So when I saw this space-saving storage sofa bed, it made me laugh and it immediately brought to mind that little bolster solution my roommate and I had come up with.  It’s funny what the necessities of a small space can inspire in terms of furniture design.

Who says a laundry room has to be boring?

11 Jun

By nature of being a cottage, Tilly’s Cottage is too teensy weensy to have a laundry room but man how I wish it did!  I was thinking about most laundry rooms I’ve seen and I think it’s fair to say that many are a design afterthought — which is something I totally get.  I mean, why spend time and money designing a laundry room?  But when I see a nice, organized and, dare I even suggest it…pretty laundry room, it makes me let out a long breath…ahhhh

So, if you’ve got one and haven’t done anything to it yet — may I suggest that this is the perfect place to exercise your wild design ideas.  Go for it!

Great tips for recent renovators

7 May

Lots of great tips courtesy of Real Simple magazine on painting, cleaning, hanging artwork, etc. to make all those final finishings of a renovation easier.

If you’re nervous about banging a finger when hanging artwork, the magazine recommends a clothespin or a comb to hold your nail. 

For painting – lots of tips:
Use aluminum foil to cover a doorknob to protect it from paint (or other awkward-shaped hardware.  When painting a ceiling, put a slit in a coffee can lid and slide the handle of your paintbrush through it — this will protect you and your house from drips and splatters from your brush.  Need to stop painting for the evening? Wrap your brush (or roller) in plastic or aluminum foil and store in a dry place (I prefer the fridge, personally!) and your brush will be ready to go the next day.  And a jam jar or baby food jar are perfect for storing paint in for touch-ups later on.  Another friend of mine always stores his paint upside down so that it doesn’t have a film on top the next time you re-open it — just make sure that lid’s on tight! 

Use pencil erasers on the back of pictures to protect the wall from the frame. And try using velcro (or blue tak mentioned in a previous post: to ease the hanging of pictures and to help make sure you get the artwork hung in the right spot. 

Finally, if you’re moving furniture, putting socks on the feet of the furniture (or slide towels or wash cloths underneath) will help you to maneuver it more easily.

I do my best thinking in the shower

28 Apr

I came across this and thought I’d pass it on to any of you folks who are a bit like me when it comes to deep thoughts and inspiration in the shower! This is a waterproof notepad called “AquaNotes”. You can now write down all your moments of brilliance while you’re cleaning all your bits.  These little pads are recyclable and printed with soy-based ink.

Cloud Keyholder

31 Mar


I just love this little magnetic cloud keyholder — not sure if my USB key ring would like it so much but I love the way the keys look like rain coming out of the cloud.  Adorable.