Storage Solutions Series: Kristin

We have shown the variety of personal spaces for the Organized at Last crew in the past. Looking back at our home tours and outdoor spaces, we thought you might also really enjoy seeing some of our more hidden spaces, along with some of our unique organizing solutions. We are kicking off this little tour with Kristin’s home. Kristin is the newest member of the team and she does classic simplicity in her home so well. She lives in a large home, and has two active boys. A fan of neutrals, she has created an environment of restful corners that invite you in.

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As you walk through her home, you can see that she chooses pieces with excellent storage, such as using small bookshelves instead of nightstands. And small dressers, instead of living room end tables.

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One of our favorite solutions in Kristin’s space, is the antique french toast caddy that she has put to use as media device storage.

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Kristin is a master at finding a great piece of furniture or simple bowl or container and repurposing it for maximum use.

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Toward the end of the tour we stumbled upon a darling way to display a simple collection in her master bathroom. Old shaving brushes and barber items get tucked into a wood shelf cubby that she picked up inexpensively from Target, and because the collection isn’t overflowing it’s eye-catching, yet not overwhelming.

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Stay tuned next week for a peek inside Sasha’s home and her organizing tips!

OAL Team Outdoors Spaces: Sasha

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Welcome to my outdoor space!

Over here, I am all about keeping my kids close, and keeping their friends close as well! With a twelve and fourteen year old, our yard needs have changed over the past few years, and we’ve tried to adapt our outdoor spaces to those changing needs. Gone is the play yard structure, and in it’s place, we have a 15 foot enclosed trampoline. (Sadly it killed the grass in the main part of our yard, but it brings in kids from every part of our neighborhood and keeps them entertained for hours on end, so it is worth it.)

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We also added what we call the Party Pit to a backyard corner that never got used much when our kids were little. It’s hidden behind one side of our house, but it’s the perfect spot for catching the last rays of the sun in the evenings and feels like a hideaway of sorts. We put two creamy-painted picnic tables back there for entertaining friends, a potting bench my guys made that doubles as a buffet, a fire pit surrounded with Adirondack chairs for marshmallow toasting and late night chats, and six garden boxes ring the outside edges. Over the top of all, we strung cafe lighting which creates a festive mood.

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Our family doesn’t love doing yard work, but I enjoy gardening and especially growing flowers to bring inside and enjoy all summer long. We made an herb garden box, a salad garden box, one for veggies and three cutting garden boxes. We have an out of control Wisteria vine growing up the side, and we have plans for a small arbor as you enter into the party pit

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We have a lot of places to land in this yard, which is perfect when there are a lot of middle schoolers around. We have a hammock, an umbrella topped bistro table, a bench with cushions, and some lounging chairs in various corners. On the other side of our house, we have a long narrow strip of grass that gets used as our ball throwing area. Each night, as the BBQ is going, my people play catch or shoot nerf guns in this area. I even created a painted plywood target for them and hung it on the inside of the gate.

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I love lavender plants, hostas, boxwood, peonies, lilacs and hydrangeas and you’ll see them scattered throughout the front and back yard beds.

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 Perhaps my favorite corner of our outdoor space, is our front porch. I spend a lot of my summer out here. It’s a perfect place to sit in the afternoon shade, sip iced tea, and keep an eye on kids bike riding or roller blading, etc. (I showed a before and after of these these chairs here, in this post. One problem with having homes so close to one another, is a lack of privacy. Earlier this past spring, I hung a trellis on the side of the front porch and planted a climbing clematis. It doesn’t exactly solve the no-privacy issue, but it does help it to feel a little more private and it wasn’t an expensive fix!

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When we moved into this home twelve years ago, it was a new construction, spec home with very basic landscaping and no grass. Every year we have add a little more to the landscaping as the budget allows and over time it has begun to take shape. Our exterior color is gray and I’ve kept an overall yardscape color of greens, blues, lavenders, and whites that compliment the house color.

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It is so easy to get bogged down with all the ideas we want to do, and the budget for the things we actually can do…. Every project I’ve ever tackled, has been on a budget, using what I had on hand, or adapting what I could get my hands on or make, and now everything in our space tells a story, albeit an imperfect story. So yeah, the umbrella might be broken and have to be opened a certain way, and the borders might not be perfectly edged, or the grass under the trampoline might have turned to dirt, or there might be an empty flower bed all year long waiting for budget freedom to get filled… but the nice thing is this; It doesn’t have to be perfect to be perfect for you. Life isn’t a Pinterest board, it’s a work in progress. It’s otter pop wrappers on that just oiled butcher block table top. It’s watermelon rinds thrown into the grass. It’s a slightly deflated exercise ball on the trampoline and kids fighting at the top of their lungs over who’s turn it is. Or at least it was for me yesterday. And it was pretty perfect just the way it was. Thanks for stopping by!

OAL Team Outdoor Spaces: Becca

Welcome friends! I’m excited to share my outdoor space with you. I went with an Americana feel with red, white and blue. My front porch is very small and on a busy street. I tried to keep it simple, but still inviting.

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I recently built this shelf after seeing something similar in a magazine. It fits the space perfectly. I updated our rusty mailbox with spray paint. All my plants are perennials which eliminates spending money year after year on annuals. I love to garden and it’s a fun way to add color and texture.

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We recently tore off a rotting deck on the backside of our house. It really opened it up and we were able to create a space with a dining area and a fire pit. My husband built the wooden sectional, dining table and benches, and the pallet buffet. All of it was less expensive than store bought sets and will last a very long time!

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Get outside this summer! Lawn games are a great way to enjoy the outdoors. This is a fun set from my in-laws.

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I love having a few entertaining supplies on hand (these are from Grandiflora Home & Garden). I also re-use berry boxes – they’re great inexpensive organizers!

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I made this fountain last year with rock from our property, a bucket from a client and a gazing ball from Fred Meyer. Inexpensive and the sound is so soothing.

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My pillows are from Costco and Pier1. Make sure to buy ones that have weather resistant fabric and store them properly once the season is over.

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I think trays are an essential multi-use item for any outdoor space.  This enamel one contains some of our BBQ supplies.

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Outdoor entertaining doesn’t have to be fancy. Throw something on the BBQ, brew a jug of sun tea and purchase a pie at a local bakery.

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Isn’t this cake topper adorable?? (Again, found at Grandiflora).

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Good night and enjoy the warm summer evenings!

OAL Team Outdoor Spaces Series

Greetings!

We’re excited to announce a new blog series starting this week titled OAL Team Outdoor Spaces. Each week one team members space will be featured. We have the perfect variety of outdoor spaces from sprawling decks to party pits. We will take you on a quick tour and give you a glimpse of how each of us lives and loves our outdoor spaces in the summertime. We hope this series will inspire you to create an outdoor living area, no matter the size!

 

OAL Home Tour: Sasha

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There’s a running joke in my home among my family, that each time I bring in a new furniture piece, “everything eventually gets painted white.”  That’s probably not far from the truth.  As a mother of two rapidly growing teen/tweens I find myself keeping a rather neutral and clean palette overall which keeps the mood calm. (And every mother of hormonal children will understand why this matters.)  I stick to mostly blues, greens and grays in my decor choices, and they run throughout the house in one form or another, which makes this small space feel bigger than it’s 3 bed, 2 bath, 1500 sq footage.
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We purchased this home twelve years ago and everything in it was builder grade.  Honey oak trim and cabinets, brass fixtures, ugly lighting and cheap carpeting and lino. The best part, was that we could afford this home, even though it wasn’t everything I would have chosen, cosmetically.  Little by little we began transforming this into a comfortable, almost farmhouse-like feeling home, all on a budget and with a lot of sweat equity.
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I love things with stories, but I also like classic choices which is why white works so well for me.  You never get tired of white and it always feels fresh.  It took me an entire summer to sand, prime and paint the trim in this house but it made a huge difference and didn’t break the budget.  The summer before that, I worked on the kitchen cabinets, installing slabs of bead board that we cut ourselves for the sides and wrapping it around our island and down our hallway, along with corbels and hardware. In my world nothing is off limits to the power of paint.  Especially white paint.
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The thing I love most about this house is it’s adaptability.  It worked really well for us with babies and toddlers with a nice fenced yard, but a few of the areas in this house were fairly useless as the kids grew, until we rethought the spaces.  For example, we had a somewhat useless room in the front of the house that felt enough out of the way that the kids never played in it, and we never watched tv in it either.  So, we created a guest bedroom room/family office by adding french doors, a bed and our computer desk.  Now it’s used daily and a very appreciated retreat for our guests!
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 The other space we have come to love was a little nook off the master bedroom (not shown here).  In years past, my husband had a desk there because he worked from home a lot.  Once he changed jobs I took it over as a sort of art studio. As our children grew into tall loungers who wanted to hang out with friends all over the sofa and take over the television for games and movies, my husband and I turned it into a little cozy retreat so we could watch our own shows and still be in hearing distance to the kiddos.  We use it daily now.
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I firmly believe that anyone can make any space work for them, with planning, simplifying, and rethinking how a space can adapt to what you need to use it for right now.  And I also believe that’s how you turn a house into a home.

OAL Home Tour: Becca

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You’ve probably heard the sayings, “love grows best in little houses” and “small houses build tight families” and I think those are both true! Our home has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living space, dining room, kitchen, pantry/office and laundry room all in 996 square feet. That may not seem like a much, but the layout is fantastic and just the right size for a small family. My husband and I bought this 1920’s home about a year and half ago. All it lacked was storage, but I saw the potential.

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The home was fully renovated in the 1990’s which meant we didn’t have to deal with plumbing or electric. We painted all of the walls and ceiling and updated the light fixtures. When we removed the carpet we were pleased as punch to find hardwood underneath! We didn’t have the money to fully restore and patch everything so we painted them with a white floor enamel instead. We love the look and it’s durable!

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Unfortunately our living space lacks a coat closet. However, a coat rack does the trick. Eventually we are going to add built in cupboards and open shelving all around the piano and TV.

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Welcome to my work in progress! This has been our latest project. We raised all the cabinets and painted them (still awaiting crown moulding and base trim). We added the open shelving below for everyday items which is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Things like new appliances, countertops and backsplashes are not in our budget right now, but that’s okay! Don’t go in debt to renovate your home and don’t be afraid to DIY!

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When we first looked at this home, this space used to be a mystery. It was empty and had no clear purpose. We decided to turn it into a shared floor to ceiling pantry and office space. We bought cabinets and made the countertops and open shelving ourselves. The lower cabinets hold all our extra appliances while the drawers hold spices and paper goods. It is by far my favorite room in the house right now. 🙂

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A family command center is key in any home! My husband built this one by the back door.

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Our next project is to build a banquette in this dining space. It will maximize the square footage and provide additional storage for things like games and linens underneath! For now though, this dining set we found on Craigslist and painted with Chalk Paint works nicely!

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Our master bedroom is a cozy retreat. A wardrobe and small walk in closet hold all of our clothes.

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My DIY jewelry holder made from an old drawer.

Thank you all for touring my home! I would love your feedback and I’m happy to answer any questions!