Friday, May 4th, 2012
It’s the end of the day Friday after a busy week of pulling together furnishings for clients, signing up new clients, and managing a bathroom renovation. The renovation is going smoothly and we even discovered extra space in the wall to fit in the bigger tub we were hoping to be able to use. So what do I do now? Let’s start by looking at the pile of design magazines begging for my attention and trying to determine what to read first.
But first, here’s some of my favorite moments from the last issue of Martha Stewart Living.
This article about implementing the color blocking trend in your home was a particular favorite. Layering red, orange, coral, peach and pink could turn out weird, but here it has been done beautifully. I’m totally digging the painting over the bed.
Color blocking with greens. I love the 3 shades of green silk pillows across the back of this sofa. The curtains and fig tree behind the sofa add height, texture and interest pulling your eye up. This is an easy update for an existing room.
Finally, this jug of cucumber-lemon water has me longing for hot days so I can drink this for a thirst quencher. I particularly enjoy the idea behind the story this accompanies: a couple who needs help getting their garden back on track after missing a few weekends of maintenance enlist a group of friends to help pull it together over a weekend, providing plenty of delicious food to lure and sustain them. The rustic spinach sorrel tarts and strawberry rhubarb buckle bars will be coming out of my oven soon.
Despite a busy weekend with plenty of home projects to complete and a baby shower, I’m looking forward to some down time surrounded by page flags and the following magazines. Have a great weekend doing whatever you love in a greater proportion than the chores you dread. =)
An entire issue focused on clutter and organization? I’m in heaven.
I love their One Day Makeovers, and this one sounds good! Lime green and lavender certainly seem to be making a resurgence.
This is the cover of HOME you’ll see on newsstands and it has all the details about the ASID Showcase Home Tour I’m participating in again this year. PLEASE support the hard work of the 30 designers who donated their time, creativity and energy to make this home stunning. Plus the countless other designers and team members who helped put it all together. So many great events over the 3 weeks of the tour that you don’t want to miss out! I’ll post more information on this next week.
I’m still trying to decide if I like this magazine. Some of the spaces they feature are too traditional for my taste, but I’m giving it a chance. That’s why I have 2 issues to catch up on.
Tis the season for gardens and outdoor rooms to take center stage in design magazines as we finally get the chance to spend time outside and want to day dream about how to make our outdoor spaces as inviting as possible. I love the pop that dog provides on the cover against all that greenery!
Friday, March 16th, 2012
It’s another record setting beautiful weather day in Minnesota, and it’s Friday, so needless to say I’d rather not be sitting in front of a computer. (76 degrees in March? It’s beyond fabulous!) So I’ll keep this short and sweet for everyone’s sake.
I just finished reading “Organizing” from the Best of Martha Stewart Living collection, and I found it really inspirational. So if this warm weather makes you want to fling the windows open, dust off those blinds, and do a little spring cleaning/ organizing, this is a great new resource for you.
This slim reference book covers the key spaces in homes most in need of organization: Entryways, Kitchens, Bedrooms, Closets, Bathrooms, Kids’ Rooms, Home Offices and Utility Rooms.
The kitchen section has great examples from past featured kitchens as well as Martha’s many kitchens. But it also combines some top tips from over the years. I’ve been using the “Spice Jar Reminder” idea for years, and I remember the first time I saw the “Helping Hands” tip. Now that I have large drawers like that in my kitchen and a kiddo on the way, I’ve already started looking at how I can rearrange my kitchen cabinets to accommodate a drawer like this for the kid’s plates, bowls, bottles, etc.
Toy storage is always a challenge (with kids of all ages), so I appreciate all the detailed thought that went into this toy chest. Having “parking spots” for the cars could help interest a kid in actually putting his cars back in the proper place.
There are plenty of other creative and less complicated ideas for kids’ rooms as well.
Finally, I’ll leave you with editor Kevin Sharkey’s utility room/ closet. Compared to the entire building Martha has at one of her properties for cleaning supplies (see this past post), Kevin lives in a NYC apartment where storage is at a premium. He cleverly transformed a coat closet into a very functional and organized laundry room with a place for everything.
Here you can see the right side of that closet (the end of the dryer is in the corner of the top left picture above). I love the grid of cleaning tools hung on the inside of the door. All the different types of hooks and baskets he utilized allow each item to hang properly without having to be wrangled into place. Now don’t we all want that? Who likes to fight a broom back onto a hook after sweeping?
Be sure to pick up a copy now since it is for sale at local bookstores and drugstores (most places you buy magazines) until April 30th, or they run out. At only $9.95 it’s a steal.
Now go out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. And maybe organize a drawer or shelf while you’re at it.
Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
Usually it’s the September decorating issue that seduces me into buying a copy of Martha Stewart Living at the news stand (or the grocery store since we don’t really have NY style news stands here). But a cover like this with such a bright cheerful kitchen and the promise of more great kitchens inside? I give in.
But this issue isn’t just about great kitchens. In fact, my husband stole it before I could even sit down! He declared it a great purchase because there are also articles on sandwiches (his favorite food group), and topless terrariums (my new dining room table is quickly being taken over by his growing plant collection).
You know my love of organizing runs deep, and Martha’s does too.
Not only does she have great tips in her classic “Good Things” column, but she also has a multi-page article on creating a room just for her cleaning and organizing supplies! (see below) Holy moly!
I have nice 36″ wide drawers that are perfect for storing pots and baking dishes, but if I had to organize them in a traditional cupboard I like this solution above.
Hanging the cleaning bottles on a tension rod under a sink is brilliant. It looks so tidy plus you get bonus space underneath them if the bar is set high enough.
I won’t make you green with envy by showing the photos of the giant room she has for her “homekeeping” supplies, but I like these detail shots showing how she groups supplies by function. I don’t think I need to stockpile 3 bottles of each of her cleaning line for Home Depot, but the bins work well for grouping smaller collections of similar cleaning supplies. Imagine all your different wood polishing creams and tools in one convenient place for the Saturday you decide it’s time to oil the teak and polish the walnut? Ahh, the joys of organization geeks are endless.
I’m not a knitter, but these knit stool slipcovers are brilliant! I have a pair of plain Bosse bar stools from IKEA from our previous home that I was planning on hacking into counter height stools until I can pick the perfect stools (which of course means I have to decide on chairs for the dining room since they are right next to each other, so this will take a while. See my previous post on the issue for the full story.)
Here’s the Bosse stool. Now look at the examples above. I think I could shorten the legs, paint the ends an accent color and add a nubby knit topper and have a completely reinvented stool for a tiny amount of cash! Too bad I don’t knit. Any volunteers?
As for another kitchen? Well, here’s another sneak peak to entice you…
Isn’t the pop of bright green wallpaper on the back of the open kitchen shelves wonderful? Not only do the colorful dishes stand out against it, but so do their white bowls. The rest of the finishes are classic neutrals, allowing the bright accents to shine. Making a commitment to color this way doesn’t have to be scary. This could easily be updated with another wallpaper or fabric covered panels down the line when you want a new look.
Thank you to the Martha Stewart Living team for another inspiring issue!