Alice Robertson-May Guest Blogger
Alice Robertson recently created Tidy Home as a place to share the great cleaning and organizing advice she has developed over the years. Alice loves helping others, and she knows having a clean, organized home can do wonders for stress and mental health.
As the world has recently found out, it is entirely possible for some industries and positions to go remote without a significant decrease in productivity. And many professionals, including those in creative services and information technology, may find that they are more efficient when they are not distracted by the constant clamor of the office. If you’ve found yourself suddenly working from home, and your home is a small space, keep reading for ideas on how to make your home office the best room in the house.
In light of the recent disruptions in our regular schedules and temporary adjustments our hope is that Dave and I can spread joy and help you create meaningful memories during the coming days with your family. We feel this is an opportunity, not a crisis, or a need to panic but a chance to bond and connect at home with our four teens. We hope you will too.
As school gets back into full swing this month I find myself at least attempting to get my ducks in a row. I was perusing our Clean and Organize Pinterest board for inspiration and stumbled upon many timesaving hacks we’ve tried and tested that I thought I’d share them with you. They work!
Mid-Century Modern architecture speckled post-war suburbia throughout much of the 1950s and 60s and beyond, Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, credited as the driving force behind the movement, designed homes flat roofs, expansive windows, and multi-functional aspects built into the interiors.
You can see Wright’s work across Iowa, including the Paul J. and Ida Trier house built in 1958 in the heart of Johnston. The Usonian style home, coined by Wright as a simple, stylish, small house designed for the middle class is a perfect example of clean lines, functionality and creative uses for every usable space.
Freddie Mercury may have the best definition of the Boho design style we will explore this month. The word bohemian originated in France in the early nineteenth century and defined the lifestyle of Gypsies. Writers, artists, and musicians often made up this group. Rebelling against social norms, they embraced living a more easy come, easy go, vagabond lifestyle for their art.
Last month we talked about identifying your design style. We promised to focus on popular styles over the coming months to help refine the look you aspire to achieve.
If you answered the style quiz and found you are drawn to warm, calming, neutral colors Prefer clean lines mixed with cozy elements. If you find happiness and comfort by blending the old with the new, while combining practical function, then the modern farmhouse style might be right for you.
I don't know about you but I'm loving these paint colors for sooo many reasons. First, I've just about had it with below zero temps so I'm focusing my attention on visualization. Visualizing spring romance, calming colors, flowers, green grass, and warmer temps. If you are from the midwest you can feel my pain.
After creating this palette, I started perusing Pinterest for some cool pins using these colors. Wow! Look what I found. A little inspiration to brighten up our day and get ready for a spring restyle. BTW, if you don't follow Restoration Harmony on Pinterest, hop on over right HERE and follow our boards-- it's inspiration overload that we love. You can never have too much!
Do you have a room that is your albatross and you don’t know where to start to make it feel like home? One of the things stymieing homeowners is getting hung up on defining the style they want. Whether it is industrial, farmhouse, mid-century modern, bohemian, shabby chic, or traditional design styles that inspire you, it’s easy to achieve the look while still keeping core pieces that fit into many categories of design.
Photo via Build Force
“You flip houses? I want to do that. How do I get started?” We are asked this many times over. The question is usually followed by a knowing smile between Dave and I. Our response begins with the word “flip". The definition of flip, meaning to turn over, upturn, or capsize is the most inaccurate definition of why we do what we do. People don’t buys sticks and bricks, they buy a feeling and we carefully choose houses that we can restore (not flip) into someone’s forever home. One they feel connected to. If you are considering investing in a real estate renovation, consider these 10 tips.
You don’t have to be a professional to restyle your home. Jump start your summer refresh without breaking the bank with these helpful hints.
As spring turns to summer we get the itch to refresh our homes. And, we know you get all itchy too, as requests for us to redesign and restyle your homes increase in May and June. It goes something like this.
Shop your home. It’s free! Pilfer from other rooms in your home. If you have a lot of energy, completely empty the room, leaving only foundational pieces. Then slowly gather furnishings and décor that work with your master plan. Repurpose with what you already have. That serving tray taking up space in your pantry, placed atop your coffee table with a few vases filled with greenery, is a great example.
Set a budget and shop for pieces that will create a layered look. Varied textures and textiles create warmth and help ground a room. Don’t be afraid to mix metals, woods, plants, and fabrics. Hanging macramé planters, along with wall art and pillows seems to be popping up everywhere. Who knew they would make a comeback? Add galvanized photo frames, a favorite heirloom coffee table, cream accent lamps and accessories next to a well-used leather sofa tricks the eye into focusing on the contrasting hues instead of that sofa you used to loathe. Image by Birch Lane
Lighten your bedding. Buy a duvet cover in a light color to replace your current comforter. Add pops of color with throw pillows for a crisp look.
Speaking of pillows, don’t ditch your old throw pillows. Search for vibrant pillow covers instead.
Add an accent wall. Contrasting hues draw the eye to a focal point. Accents walls distract from imperfections and highlight your home’s best features. Paint is always an easy solution. But what about shiplap and barn wood on the wall? Both are hot trends right now. LVT (luxury vinyl tile) found in most box stores, comes in thousands of styles, is inexpensive and relatively easy to install, even on a wall! Check out this example from Wayfair.
Consider updating cabinet hardware & outdated fixtures in your kitchen and bathrooms.
As you embark on your summer edits, consider the words of Salvador Dali: “Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it”. Instead, have fun and resist overthinking. Shop yard sales, thrift shops, auctions, and local retailers for fun and unique finds. The hunt for that perfect finds can be just as enjoyable as the end results.
Need some more inspiration? Check out some of our work.
A Dream Design Challenge
In every home we do, we fall in love with certain aspects of our renovations. Our entire family agreed this beauty was one we could all just snuggle into and be perfectly happy. All four kiddos even claimed their own room! It was a design dream come true. We hope you stop back and check out our Devonshire story on one of our next blogs.
Go ahead, take a peek at one of our most fav home designs. And stay tuned for some great blog posts featuring before photos of this and other renovations on our sister website Restoration Harmony or click here to see what we have been up to.
If you are like me you have tote after tote of holiday decorations. I’ve hauled at least 10 totes through 6 moves and I needed to take control and liquidated. I still have all those sentimental ornaments EVERY one of my kiddos ornaments carefully stored and labeled, but I have resolved that I DON’T need to display all those gems-that is just exhausting! Instead, the kids pick out their favorites while we listen to Christmas music and reminisce about where they got them, who gave them to them and their memories of Christmas’ past. Here are a few tips on how I stay organized and repurpose my decorations for a fresh, new look each year.
Organize and Save Time and Money
I have a little obsession about designing my tree’s each year. It’s kinda like Christmas for me to open each tote and start planning. I organize my decorations by color. The first tip is FREE. Simply by taking the time to pack up your décor by color allows you to start planning your tree and where you might want or need to supplement for next year…or what to shop for during after Christmas sales. Hobby Lobby and Target are two of my favorites and I often grab deals at 75% off! I simply check out what colors I may need more of or want to add before I shop and then put them in each tote by color theme when I get home. My own little Christmas gift to myself for the coming year.
This year, I had not only the two trees in our city home to decorate but we also have one at our acreage, an office tree and I decided to stage our latest flip house for Christmas too. By the way, the house sold in 10 days and I am confident the timing and cozy holiday decor helped in selling it so quickly. There is just something so powerful in the spirit of Christmas.
Avoid the VOID!
Take a look at these trees. For our flip house I pulled in the turquoise, red and silver from each of my totes. There isn’t anything worse than a bare tree and I’ve found that feather boas remedy the empty tree dilemma. They are super inexpensive, easy to find and you don’t need many. Oriental Trading and Hobby Lobby have a great selection. In tree 2, I used burlap rolls of ribbon I had leftover from our wedding reception. It can’t get any easier than tucking large ribbon throughout the tree. Easy Peasy!
Another favorite filler are poinsettia’s. They come in fabulous colors. I found Walmart has a clip on version in so many colors and I scooped up dozens last year on clearance. However, if you need them now and fast try the Hobby Lobby floral department where they sell large stems with 8-10 poinsettia’s per stem. I buy them during the 50% off sale and use my wire cutters to cut each one from the stem and tuck them in throughout the tree. VOILA! problemo solved.
Transform your current décor into holiday features.
I love apothecary pieces and have them throughout our homes. Think beyond Christmas specific pieces and incorporate what you already have. It saves money and storage space. I used stems I purchased this year, with what I had to create this display that coordinates with our tree. You can also “Wrap” your throw pillows? Simply take ribbon and tie a bow just like you would a package. It adds instant holiday cheer. I did add a few new pillows from Hobby Lobby and Target this year because… well.. I just haven’t found a pillow I don’t like, and they are sooo inexpensive and add so much to a room. Consider Wayfair throw pillow covers to save even more money and space.
Wrap it UP!
I have to admit, before I plan my theme for the season I check out what I have for wrapping paper. Seriously, this is the primary driver for creating my theme. Because I carefully add colors to my “totes” I always have something that will work. I find wrapping to match the tree just extends the theme, looks awesome and those pretty packages become decor all on their own.
It may seem as though I have a warehouse of holiday totes somewhere hidden away, but by organizing and planning from year to year I still have the same 10 totes I’ve always used, and pilfer from them for almost every holiday throughout the year.
Happy Decorating and Happy Holidays!
Angela and Dave Schrad
DIY to décor, get inspired by their ideas, resources and projects.
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