Archive for the ‘organization’ Category

Project Planning

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Posted by Rebecca, January 3rd, 2012

We took it easy last week on the posting side of things because we needed to catch up on some project planning! With school, I didn’t have too much time during the past few months to tackle things on the weekends. Now I feel like a 500lb sumo wrestler has been lifted off of my shoulders and I have my life back!

We spent some of last week and this weekend getting back to house brainstorming. We have a slew of projects coming up and we finally took some time out to come up with a game plan of what to tackle first and how to tackle it. We started with an Ikea trip… or 3.

Remember how we said we wanted to make this built-in bench and bookcase combo in our new office (the one we just painted?)

(via Anything Pretty)

Well we decided to make the bench out of some cabinets so we went to Ikea yesterday to weigh our options. I also wanted to pick up some supplies to organize some gift wrap and general supplies in the office, a la this inspiration picture…

(via Brooklyn Limestone)

We figured this would be a quick trip and we could come home and organize some craft supplies that are hanging in a spare bedroom, then begin to assemble the cabinets and decide how to frame the rest out. We found a cabinet solution rather quickly– we decided to go with the Besta frame in white with shaker style doors.

 (via Ikea)

We swung by the kitchen hardware section to get the bars to hang the wrapping paper when we realized that they were completely wiped out. They had the bars but not all of the accessories I wanted, since they appeared to be marked “Last Chance”. Can I tell you that “Last Chance” at Ikea stalks me? I swear if I want it, it’s guaranteed it will be marked “Last Chance” and will send me on a wild goose chase. So we left the area with the possibility of heading to another Ikea another day and seeing if they had them.

So we proceeded to the furniture pick up area to get our Besta pieces. We picked up 4 doors right by the entrance then went to hunt down 2 of the double bases in white. But they were completely wiped out. Nada. Since Mike had his heart set on assembling these things during the week while I was at work, we decided to try another Ikea that was nearby…

There, I found what I needed to organize gift wrap, yay!! But guess what we didn’t find… Besta bases! Booooooo!!!!

We headed home after that. I learned a hard lesson while Christmas shopping that my pregnant body cannot walk around all day and survive. I go from zero to lightheaded with swollen ankles in a matter of minutes, so I had my first Sonic blast (I seriously had no clue there was a Sonic 5 mins from our house?!) and set to nap.

Mike wanted to head to a 3rd Ikea. Yes ladies and gentlemen, living in NJ smack in the middle of NYC and Philly gives us at least 4 Ikea options to shop. I agreed after sitting on the couch for an hour, which I figured was a sufficient time out me and the baby. It actually worked out well because since we knew we wanted the Besta cabinets now, we had an information sheet with the exact measurements and we could better plan out our bench. We decided we needed a total of 5 cabinets: 2 double bases and 1 single.

We managed to find the single base we added on but the double? SOLD OUT. Oh and this Ikea didn’t have the shaker style doors, so we’re down a single door now.

However, this was the first time where there was actually a “temporarily oversold” sticker on the double bases. At least then we knew someone else wasn’t running around the NJ/NY/PA area buying up the white Besta bases. After seeing the sticker, we asked a sales person what was going on with them and when they were expected in. She let us know that they would be getting a shipment next week. It killed Mike’s plans of assembling them this week and starting to build our base this weekend, but at least we knew that they weren’t discontinued or anything.

It sets us back a little since all of our projects seem to domino effect into each other. We want to get the office done now because we need to move the furniture from the former office upstairs in order to replace that carpet and make it a playroom. I figured the only time we have for this is now, because we need to get working on the nursery once we nail down those plans.

Speaking of nursery plans, it’s coming together…. in my head 🙂  We know the gender and I actually picked out and ordered some bedding this weekend. I know I know, I said I wasn’t going with a bedding set, but there was one I absolutely loved which met much of my criteria and the price was right with clearance. But it’s not gender neutral so you’ll have to wait about 4 months to see it 🙂 We also selected a crib this week but we still need to order it, so once all of that is settled we can start working in there.

We also have some serious plans for the baby’s closet that we stumbled upon randomly while at Lowe’s looking for cabinets for the office bench. I’m anxious to get started in there, since the little one is already acquiring some clothing and gear that I want to organize.

I’m super excited about everything we have planned and it’s nice to be back on the project wagon. Hi I’m Rebecca and I’m addicted to Pinterest, Twitter and making multiple Ikea trips in one day, remember me? 🙂

ps- Mike has informed me that the Philly Ikea will get a shipment of Besta bases on Thursday… maybe we can start this one late this week/this weekend? Hmmm…

Rounding Out The Family Room

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Posted by Rebecca, October 24th, 2011

I’m very sad to report that I have no acorn wreath to show you today. I did collect a bunch of acorns, but I didn’t have time yesterday to assemble them. I’ll probably have to glue them on in stages over a few weekends, but I am determined to finish it for Thanksgiving!

Okay, Mike here totally post-bombing (it’s like photo-bombing, but yeah, you get it) Rebecca.  We spent most of our time Saturday following this guy…

We were out semi-hiking along a stream and every ten feet or so, we’d here ruffling noises in the leaves.  Sure enough, we kept seeing deer!  Or squirrels.  Either way, we kept getting excited. 

After we collected acorns on Saturday, Mike and I swung by a nearby Target to see of the Nolan ottoman that has been sold out of every Target was in stock. Turns out it was! Lucky for us, it was on sale for $139.99, plus I had a $5 off furniture coupon I got at the register during my last visit and I used my Target debit card for an additional 5% off. $169.99 online price? Pssh take that, Target 🙂

I wanted this particular ottoman because it was a) a storage ottoman, b) round, c) flipped to a wood top, d) inexpensive. My cats love wrecking ottomans and I knew the faux leather would be less appealing to them. The storage is key for us since we are those people that cannot lay on the couch without being wrapped in a blanket. I hate just laying blankets/throws on the couch because the cats will sleep on them and I will never get my blankey back. Sort of like how I let Darwin sleep on the cuddler portion of the couch once and I have never sat there again. It’s his spot and we dare not sit there….

Anyway, the pictures!

No, I didn’t stage the ottoman, that is my actual drink and laptop. I figured I’d keep the pictures realistic 🙂

I love how the round shape compliments all of the straight lines in the room….

…But yet provides some symmetry to the round, dark mirror over the fireplace.

The hard top was a selling point for us, since we always have drinks and need somewhere to put them. It’s hard to tell in pictures, but the wood top is a nice rich brown color.

I also like that the dark color of the ottoman balances all of the beige fabric in the room. I read a lot of designer’s blogs and magazines and I know that top pet peeve of designers is too much beige. And I still did it anyway. We are not easy on our furniture/carpets and we have 3 cats. Medium tones are necessary unless I want to vacuum and lint roll fabric all day long. So instead of having an impractical couch or flooring, we decided to balance everything with dark toned woods, textured pillows and colorful curtains (which we have to rewire some things to hang).

Now we just need some end tables since the couch is so huge that I can’t possibly reach my drink from the chaise or the cuddler. The hunt has been on, but I haven’t seen anything I like. Oh and incase you’re wondering, our previous storage ottoman is now living at the bottom of our bed. Here’s a picture from August, isn’t the family room looking way less cluttered already?

Though I can’t lie, I miss that old couch 🙁 A couch that comfy comes only once in a lifetime. Just ask Macky, it’s now his personal couch in the formal living room, he sleeps on it every single day 🙂

Baskets and Boxes

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Posted by Rebecca, June 22nd, 2011

Thank you all for your kind words and support for Darwin. I’ve never met a cat person that I didn’t like, they just seem to be the most caring and genuine people around. You guys are no exception 🙂

Darwin wasn’t quite acting like himself on Monday night, so we were a little concerned. He’s been inhaling his special food like a champ and drinking tons of water. Thankfully, yesterday it was all back to fun and games and I took the opportunity to relax with him.

We watched some HGTV together…

Then I took out some new toys for him from the secret stash…


Which reminds me, part of my about me section mentions making this place comfy for us and the cats. You know, like form and function or something designerly. Well, the cats have a “toy box” where all of their little belongings are kept. It’s actually the smaller of our 2 Target baskets that live in our entertainment center.

(we will hide that tv cord one of these days…and this happens to be an old picture, I have taken the tag off of that Ikea vase)

They love this little supply and can easily access it. It is really adorable to see them dig in there and always grab their personal favorite. It’s equally adorable when we wake up in the morning and toys are suddenly scattered all over the floor. If only I could train them to put them back as well….

The big basket actually has cat toys in it too. I usually keep new toys in there and only give them a few at a time because chances are, they’ll end up under the couch in a few hours. Plus it helps to make Santa’s toy supply last all year. Last night I took some toys out of a brown themed Christmas stocking, which is why Darwin’s supply is so very well coordinated 🙂 Someday we’ll probably reserve this side for human kids’ toys, since I know trying to conceal that clutter will take years of scheming. And perhaps some engineers, inventors and scientists…

Also falling into the “family room storage basket from Target” category is another little adaptation we’ve made recently regarding the basket we used to store our wood in the winter.


It is now a flip flop basket for the summer, that was moved to the entrance of the room. Mike and I realized we were dumping our shoes by the laundry room door, so to minimize that clutter I moved this currently unused basket over closer to chuck shoes in. It’s weird that I never take my shoes off in the house, but I always have to kick them off before walking on the carpet.

Apparently, Macky thinks this should be a toy box too.

We love having loads of storage in our family room since it’s our most frequently used space. Most of the time all 5 of us are in there. Once we get a new sectional and some end tables that are actually end tables, we may be able to fit even more storage. Can you ever have enough in a room?

That’s our kitten design trick for the day. We’re going to have to come up with a lot more of those since we have to add a litter box to our second floor for Darwin. I’ve been dreading having to do that, but his health comes first. Our first step to keep my sanity is possibly switching litter brands. We currently use Feline Pine and it tracks a lot, which is fine for the laundry room but not for upstairs. Does anyone use any other all natural cat litter? We’re considering Yesterday’s News, does anyone have any experience with it?

On a Magic Carpet Ride

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Posted by Rebecca, March 1st, 2011

I mentioned last week that Mike and I were headed to Ikea over the weekend for some extra storage. I also had another mission in mind- an area rug. You were all very helpful in my past office area rug plea, but after painting the stripes, I decided I no longer wanted a patterned rug. This was one of the reasons why I started this blog, to chronicle the adventures of me changing my mind and rooms evolving 🙂 I just thought it would be a little much to have a large graphic rug with such dramatic walls. I remembered that when I went to Ikea looking for a patterned rug, there was a perfect color green solid rug. So my main reason for going to Ikea Friday night? To pick up that rug.

When we finally made it down to the rug section (who am I kidding, Mike and I go to Ikea so often that we fly through the upstairs in about 15 minutes!), I spotted the rug and ran over. It was marked as “last chance” and the only size left was the larger one, which was nearly 7’x10′. Right before we left, I measured out a 5’x7′ area and figured that would be a good size. I was fairly certain this large one would be too big, but it was a low-pile and the perfect color. Oh and it was $199. Seriously Ikea, every other rug you have is like $19.99, yet I manage to find a $200 rug?! The price scared me and the size scared me, but what scared me even more? The fact that it was “last chance”. Our dining room furniture was last chance and I wanted it for months. When we finally went to pick it up, we ended up on a wild goose chase to Brooklyn to find our table. “Last chance” brings back awful memories for us, so we decided to pick it up and if it was too big or we had buyer’s remorse, we could always return it.

So now we’re carting around a nearly 10ft rug when we once again walk by the Mongstad mirror I’ve wanted for years.

I have just been waiting for this thing to magically disappear, since every time we go and decide not to buy it, I feel like I’m playing with fire. We have an SUV now and we figured our desktops are 80 inches long and they fit, so maybe this would too? We measured the Mongstad and it was only 75 inches long with packaging!!! Score! Let’s bring that home too! Here we are with our carts of oversized purchases, that’s Mike in front of me…

We also got some doors for our Expedit bookcase, 2 white planters for the porch in the spring and some more storage boxes. We waited on line for.ev.er. Really we walked through the store and picked up all of this loot faster than this line moved.  We paid for our stuff and headed out to the car…

We put down the seats and start to slide the mirror in… it doesn’t fit. Wait wait! We can move our seats up a little! So we do. And it’s still sticking out of the back of the car. It’s about 25 degrees and windy, so I really don’t want to drive with my rear door open. Plus we couldn’t figure out where the heck to tie it down. We realized at this point that we are morons. The desks are much more narrow than this mirror and we were able to put them diagonally and push them up on our center console a bit. No such luck with this giant mirror. So we figure we’ll move our seats aaaall the way up just to get the mirror in and once we get the rear door closed, we can push them back a bit.

So Mike pushes the driver’s side seat up and I push the mirror in and close the rear door. I get to the front of the car and I see Mike, completely smooshed against the steering wheel, as if he is driving a clown car. I couldn’t hold it in, I doubled over with laughter. I asked him if he wanted me to drive and he said no, he just wanted to get out of the parking lot before someone saw him. I also tried to take his picture to insert here and he told me that he was suffering enough and did not need the moment documented on my blog for all eternity. I respected his wishes and will attempt to show you the ridiculousness of this situation with a picture of my own knees…

My knees are normally no where near the front of the car. I actually had to reach back to reach the cup holder. We laughed the entire way home and hoped that no one would stop next to us at red lights because we looked that ridiculous. I believe my seat was actually angled forward because by the time we got home, my back was killing me.

But I got my giant mirror finally!!!! 😀

On Saturday Mike cut holes in the office wall to hide the TV wires, but the power cord we had was too short so he had to order a longer one. I’ll take pictures of the much cleaner looking TV when the last wire is hidden! But we did install these guys…

We planned to go with white doors but when I saw these glossy dark gray ones, I couldn’t resist! Mike also drilled some holes in the backs of these to hide the Mac Mini and the battery chargers to our Shark Stick Vacs (every pet owner needs one!)….

So far I’ve only stuck a few things on this bookcase since I knew Mike would have to move it again this week once the new wire arrived.

Saturday night we rolled out our giant rug. Upon first roll, it was ginormous and I was nervous. We had to wiggle it under Mike’s desk since his computer was already hooked up, so we didn’t get that immediate feeling of the size. But once we rolled it out? It’s perfect! Macky obviously agrees!

He seriously did this about 2 seconds after we let him back in the room after rolling out the rug. He should be an Ikea spokesman…and yes he’s playing with a roll of frog tape, sign him up to sell that too! 🙂

Here’s a room shot from Sunday morning.

At least now the price doesn’t seem so outrageous for such a large rug! Really, I think any smaller would have looked funny and once we get chairs in there they will roll right to the back edge of the rug on either end. Speaking of chairs, we did stick to one plan

We picked up 2 of these chairs I first spotted in Staples back in November. They were actually even cheaper than the “sale” price back then and we got them for $99!! The boxes were stacked on the floor in a display, so we were able to judge the size and thought they’d fit in the car. We almost had a repeat of Friday night, but thankfully we got them in…

We still have to put them together, but we’re almost there!

For those of you wondering what these fabric samples I posted yesterday were for?

Curtain panels and possibly covering some of the storage bins we have. I want something with some white, gray and green in it to bring everything together so I’m working on a solution 🙂

One last time for that Macky video!!

Isn’t he adorable?? 🙂

Office Bribery

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Posted by Rebecca, February 24th, 2011

Tonight we started to put our office back together. I say started because the process will probably take us most of the weekend. Over the past couple of months, the office as become a dumping ground of sorts for tools, vacuums, holiday decor, gifts, clothes that need to be donated and a million other things. It drove me insane, but I knew the organizing part was a huge undertaking that we would need to plan for. The miscellaneous junk is currently being housed in the entryway…

The office is a no cat zone at night (they like to chew wires, we apparently raised puppies), so anything that needs to be kept away from them gets closed up behind those french doors. It is definitely our most useful room because of those french doors, so nice, neat storage is key.

We moved our desks back in last night, Lucy and Desi also made the move…

Considering they were framed and matted for our previous office, they look quite good in here! I am looking forward to getting them up on the wall soon! (please excuse all of the nighttime pictures, this all literally happened tonight)

We also moved in our Expedit bookcase and put together some storage cubes that we bought way back when we got the bookcase in the fall. The green as an accent will be staying, but the purpley boxes and trays will probably get a makeover since they don’t go with our last minute, more gray than purple paint decision…

Oh, and we bought and mounted a TV while we were at it…

I know, somewhere an interior designer is crying. You see, the painting of the stripes story had a little part I left out. When I asked Mike if he wanted to paint stripes on Friday afternoon, he said he would only agree to it if he could put a TV over the bookcase. Of course I said yes! I like to work with noise in the background and I figured if I could look up and glance at HGTV or How I Met Your Mother reruns every now and then, I wouldn’t feel like I was sitting at my desk at my day job or anything. Plus I really wanted to paint stripes last weekend…

So that was Friday, then we painted stripes and touched up through Sunday. On Monday, Mike was off for President’s Day and I was at work. I got a phone call from him telling me he drove an hour away and bought a TV on sale. Leave it to my husband to not procrastinate a single day when he’s searching for electronics! I trust his judgement and we did talk a little bit about how we didn’t want the TV to be bigger than the bookcase. So we got a 26″ LG TV with a low profile swivel mount.

The location above the bookcase means that a) we can hide all wires and devices within the bookcase and b) it can’t be seen from the entryway when you look into the room. In this picture, the screen is turned to face Mike’s desk…

The wires still need to be concealed since we just mounted this tonight. We’re planning on making an Ikea trip this weekend to buy some doors for two of the bookcase openings to hide the Mac Mini we have in there. Then it’s time to organize and find a home for everything else! I can’t wait to finally have some organization in my life 🙂

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