How’s this for a clever idea for adding a window in a small bathroom? With just one exterior wall, the area above the sink is a natural spot for a window. But what about a vanity mirror? Architects Albert and Lisa Skiles came up with the idea of a sliding mirror, so you can move it over the window and use as a vanity, or slide it to the side for sunlight. Sleek space-savings! We love the geometric shapes in this new master bathroom too, including the inverted L of the walk-in shower doorway. See the rest of this gorgeous (and green!) master bedroom and bath addition here.
It’s October now. The weather is cooling, the pumpkins are out in plenty, and it’s time to pull on that favorite sweater. But wait, what did I do with that thing?
We’ve all done this, to our frustration, and it’s time to take back our closets, our chest of drawers, and shelves. This month I’m sharing my secrets to keeping a well-run wardrobe, even for little spaces.
1. “Season” Your Closet
At the beginning of every Fall (and Spring), I go through my closet and remove all clothing, shoes, purses, scarves, etc. that are not practical/fashionable, what have you, for the next six months. (Example: This month, I’m packing away all my white pants, linen shirts, and sandals) By removing the clothes you won’t be wearing, you’re limiting your choices and saving yourself time when it comes to choosing what to wear.
|Annya (dog) reassures me that I won’t need these things for months to come|
After clearing the Spring and Summer from the closet, pull out your cool-weather duds. I store mine in plastic totes in the attic and in a spare closet. But those ‘space-saver’ bags are great too– the ones on infomercials that use a vacuum to stuck all of the air out.
But no so fast! Before putting your cozy garments back into the closet, take a moment to examine whether or not it deserves the real estate. Did you wear this item last year? Can you wear it this year? If you answer no to either of these, then dig deeper…
Why didn’t you wear it last year? I was pregnant or I lived in Florida or I didn’t know I owned it obviously gives the item a get-out-of-jail-free card.
However, if you didn’t wear it because you just didn’t wear it, that probably means that you don’t really like the item very much in the first place. Or if it was too small last year, and it’s still too small this year, it’s time to come to terms with the new you. (And that’s OK.) These items are just clothes. At that, they are non-essential clothes that you don’t even wear once a year. It’s time to part ways. Goodwill is always happy to get gently used clothing, and (bonus!) it’s tax-deductible.
|This giant stack is going from my closet straight to Goodwill|
3. But It MEANS Something To Me
Clothes, shoes, purses aren’t just garments. These things can also be memories and keepsakes. Even I have several things I’ve kept for years and years without ever wearing. BUT the trick is to keep these things in storage with your other special tokens–your hope chest, the attic, a hat box under the bed– and NOT taking up prime real estate in the closet.
|These ridiculous shoes will probably never be worn again but I love the memories they hold|
4. Now It’s Time to Shop
Once you’ve parred down your cool-weather goods, take an inventory of what you have and don’t have. This means looking at magazines, doing some window shopping, and making sure you cover the basics (black dress, dark slacks, nice jeans, etc.). With all of the space you’ve freed up in your closet, you’ll have plenty of room for this season’s cute whatever-it-is. Plus, you know what you’re starting with so that you don’t keep buying the same old thingÂ over and over again. (Not that any of us every do that…)
|Closet: ‘seasoned’ and ready for the fall|
Our resident green design blogger Lyndsey Lewis is back to share some great party prep ideas when entertaining in a small space. As the owner of the 900-square-foot Little House in Little Rock, Lyndsey knows a thing or two about making a small space work for her needs. You can read more about the Little House on the At Home website, or follow the building process of her green home on the At Home blog here. Happy 2013 At Home readers! I’m so excited about the new year, as it will be the first full calendar year in the Little House. In 2012, I hosted several gatherings at the house, including an Open House, a slumber party for my girlfriends from college, a Halloween party, a baby shower, and several smaller dinner parties. I’m already anticipating all the fun events I’d like to host this year!
|‘Grannie’ and ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ Halloween 2012|
. With that being said, I thought it might be helpful if I shared my strategy for ‘creating’ space for large gatherings in small places. So far, my 600 square feet haven’t let me down… even with a guest list of 90 people. My secret: furniture that is great at multitasking. One easy (and cheap) way to make your furniture just as hardworking as mine, is to add rolling casters to tables or other large items. My kitchen is equipped with a small island for extra counter space and storage; my dining area, a round table with seating for 6 guests.
|Dining table becomes a serving buffet and bench seat is open for better traffic flow|
|Everyday foyer (above) and party-ready foyer (below)|
I’ve found that having people gather in a smaller spaces tends to make the event seem intimate and more casual. I end up sitting closer to other guests, talking to people as they slide past to grab another drink, and reliving that feeling of a spontaneous house party from my college days. In fact, the space has never felt small to me… just cozy.
No one can appreciate counter space like those of us with small kitchens. Recently, I found a perfect solution to utensil storage at The Container Store. It’s called the Polytherm Grid System, and it really is a steal at $3.99-$9.99 per accessory.
Obviously, these storage grids can be used anywhere in your house, but they were just right for getting my spoons, spatulas, whisks, etc. organized and easily accessible.
I started off with a small grid, which included hardware for installation. I chose to drill the storage unit permanently into my tile back splash. If you choose to mount the grid to your tile or granite surface, you’ll need to invest in a drill bit designed to penetrate those materials, around $5.00 at any hardware store. But if you’re afraid of committing, Command Brand adhesive could work as well.
Next, I installed my accessories: a small shelf, tall basket and s-hooks for hanging. There are many more parts and configurations, so you can make the grid exactly what you need for your space. All of them are held in place with simple hooks, so it’s a snap to change up the design.
The final step was adding my collection of utensils, spices, and pot holders that I use on a regular basis. Now there’s not more hunting for the salt or potato masher while I’m busy at the stove!
When a young family approached designer Melissa Haynes to give their home a green makeover, Melissa was delighted to find that eco options abound when it comes to home design. She was able to create a gorgeous green space without sacrificing an ounce of her signature style. The natural grasscloth wallpaper was applied with no-VOC adhesive, and the dining chairs were recovered with durable vinyl rather than leather. We adore everything about this dining room!
What’s your favorite part of this room? Read more about the project here.