Date: May 3, 2021 | Story: Stephanie Maxwell Newton | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Steph Smith |
Before & After: Professional organizer Leslie Marshall helps Shayla Copas transform her underutilized garage into an inspiring workspace
Leslie Marshall has been helping people get organized since 2018 when she started The Marshall Concept as a part-time side hustle. Now operating this professional organizing business as her full-time gig, she helps clients in all stages of life who yearn to live better through well-organized spaces—namely closets, pantries, laundry rooms, and even garages.
This year, she teamed up for one such project with Little Rock’s Shayla Copas. As an interior designer, Shayla’s work has expanded to involve developing products for national brands, speaking at social media and marketing conferences, and even authoring a book on entertaining. “After the first book we had everything I used to style the chapters piled in the garage, and I couldn’t find anything,” Shayla says. “My office in the guest house is geared toward the interior design part of my business, and I needed a space where I could go lay it all out and find everything to get ready for my next book.” Having connected with Leslie on Instagram, the two started talking about what it would take to turn the garage into a well-functioning storage space for Shayla’s many creative pursuits.
Leslie started by assigning different zones to the space. “There’s a zone for fabrics and table linens, a zone for table settings, and even a gift wrap zone,” she says. “And it’s all in clear bins so Shayla can easily find what she’s looking for.” The biggest piece of the project was in planning an Elfa shelving system to wrap around the perimeter of the garage with shelves and drawers that can be reconfigured as needed. “I’m so very grateful for Leslie and her talent to organize,” Shayla says. “She has an amazing spirit, and she helped me get back in that mode of getting inspired to tackle my second book.”
“The most fun part of this project was getting to think outside the box. I hope seeing this inspires people to do the same, whether it’s in a garage or another room of the house.”
—Leslie Marshall, The Marshall Concept
Drawn to Design
In addition to better organizing Shayla’s props for photo shoots and tablescapes, another goal was incorporating an area to inspire creativity. A built-in desk equipped with supplies hits the mark.
Before Leslie configured the storage and shelving, she tasked Shayla’s team with separating everything they wanted to keep into like categories. Smaller items, such as napkin rings, are stored in acrylic drawers at eye level
for easy access.
Clear plastic tubs make locating larger items a cinch, too. “With my social media, sometimes I’m trying to put together content on the fly. Whether it’s a food shot or tabletop scene, this set-up makes it so much easier to find what I’m looking for,” Shayla says.
In the Zone
After grouping items together by type, Leslie turned different areas of the garage into zones for specific tasks. For example, a small countertop by the garage’s window provides an area for Shayla to arrange flowers or sign copies of her book, which are stored in the drawers below.
Professional organization Leslie Marshall, The Marshall Concept
Shelving and storage bins The Container Store