Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dining Room and Kitchen Paint Upgrade

It's been almost 5 years since my husband and I moved into our current home.  Painting the upstairs rooms is one of the first projects we After first moving in, one of the first projects we started was painting the upstairs rooms.  I like the current color of our kitchen and dining room which is Happy Trails by Pittsburgh Paints. 

Happy Trails by Pittsburgh Paints

Very neutral!  But it is time for a change and the walls could use a fresh coat of paint to cover scuffs and imperfections.

Here is how our kitchen and dining room look currently.  Check out my post on the changes we have already made to our kitchen since we moved in, here.


Our kitchen doesn't have much area to paint.  Since the kitchen cabinets extend to the ceiling and the tile back splash covers the wall in between the upper and lower cabinets, we only have a small area to paint above the sink and around the window.  The counter top and tile back splash are neutral light browns.  Our cabinets are a deep burgundy color and our appliances are white.

Currently, I've used red to accent the kitchen.  But I never got the true effect I wanted because it looked more like Christmas colors because of the red accessories with my green house plants.  I like the boldness of the red but after 5 years, it is time for a change.  So, I'm hoping to get rid of the red accessories in our kitchen.  My plan is to freshen up the kitchen and give it a new look by bringing in green and blue accessories.  I pretty much have the green accessories covered, thanks to all my plants!


We have a large wall in the dining room, which will showcase the new paint color the most out of all the walls.  On this wall, I've hung IKEA pictures and frames we purchases a few years ago.  These pictures will stay in the dining room on the same wall after the makeover.  I love these simple photos that feature flowers and leaves.  They are very bright and uplifting.  They are part of the inspiration behind the kitchen and dining room makeover.  I'm hoping to draw on them for the new colors to complete the space.

These are the color choices I've narrowed down to for the new paint, both are very close to the colors in the IKEA pictures:


#1 Behr Premium Plus Ultra - Ozone UL220-7






#2 Behr Premium Plus Ultra - Millstream UL230-12




Both of the paints are Behr Premium Plus Ultra paints.  It's a paint and primer in one, which means less coats I need to paint, YAY!  I've used this paint in my son's room and I loved the results!  So I'm excited to get painting and see the rapid transformation.

I need some help.  What are your thoughts on which paint color to choose?

#1 Ozone or #2 Millstream???  Please leave a comment!  Thanks!

Click here to see what color I chose and to see the transformation!

As Always,
Sandra

Friday, March 23, 2012

Medicine Cabinet

Recently, I gave our medicine cabinet in our main bathroom a little facelift.  The current colors in the main bathroom are green and white.


Before

Before the transformation, it was very plain and the back of the cabinet was a little scratched up.  

I had been storing our medicine in our medicine cabinet in our bathroom until I saw Jen's post at IHeart Organizing on storing medication.  I had no idea that the bathroom is probably the worst place to store medication.  So since reading her great post, I have moved our medication to a hallway closet.


Before


After

I decided to change it up a little by adding scrapbook paper to the back of the cabinet.  I ended up using three of the same patterned scrapbook paper sheets across the cabinet to add color all the way across.  I held the paper to the cabinet using glue dots.  I made sure that I could hide the ends and seems of the paper behind the shelves.  

I'm hoping to update our bathroom in the next year so the color scheme will be changing.  If I was needing a longer solution, I thought about laminating the paper or trying wallpaper instead.  But since this is a temporary solution, hopefully the scrapbook paper holds up.  I'm worried the scrapbook paper may not hold up from the humidity in the bathroom.  I've had the paper up for about 2 weeks now and everything seems to be staying in place!


Another thing that needed a spruce up was the Q-Tip container.  Before, I just put our Q-Tips in a clear plastic container. 



I decided to add a scrap of the medicine cabinet scrapbook paper inside the container to make it a little prettier.

After

Much better!  The cabinet now has some personality.  Since I only attached the paper with glue dots, it will be very easy to change in the future if the paper gets ruined or I change the bathroom color scheme.


After

Do you have items in your house you have spruced up with scrapbook paper?

As Always,
Sandra

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hand-Me-Downs

I'm lucky to have generous in-laws who gave my husband and I hand-me-down clothes for our two boys.  My youngest son is now 1 year, so I've decided it is time to start getting a handle on the mounds of clothing in the boys' rooms and our basement storage room.  Along with the boy clothes, I received lots of girl clothing from my sister in-law.  She gave us hand-me-downs before we found out we were having our 2nd boy. 


I had packed all the girl clothing I received from her into vacuum bags to save space.  I stacked the bags one on top of each other in the storage room under the stairway.


I brought all the bags out to sort and I was amazed to see just how much clothes we had tucked away in there!  Not to mention, the Rubbermaid tubs full of clothes in the boys' closets.  YIPES! 

Here is my plan:

1. Separate "my" clothes from hand-me-downs.  I will be giving the hand-me-downs back to my sister in-law so she can give it to another family member.  I hope to be selling "my" clothes in a garage sale or baby sale later this year or we will be passing them on to our friends.

2. Organize clothes by size and type (eg. 6 month sleepers).


3. Bag up the clothes for my sister in-law to take on the weekend.  


4. Vacuum seal and store "my" clothes for a few months until ready to sell.



My sister in-law visited on the weekend and we were able to cram all the bagged clothes in to her vehicle to take away.  I'll admit it was hard to see the tiny baby clothing leave, but great to have more space.  Also, GREAT to know the clothes will be helping out another family!  

As Always,
Sandra

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Birthday Present

My birthday seemed to come out of nowhere this year.  This year has been flying by!  I ended up having a wonderful birthday which started by my husband and 2 1/2 year old son cooking and serving me breakfast.  And the day just kept getting better (if that is even possible!)

I bought my own present this year.  I decided on three books all centered around... you guessed it...Organizing and making it Pretty!  Here are the books I picked up:


1. Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook - Martha Stewart (I'm excited to dive into this one. Everything from cleaning checklists to simple instructions for how to care for items in your home)

2. How To Organize Just About Everything - Peter Walsh (I enjoy step by step books and this one has instructions for organizing everything... and I do mean everything!)

3. Home Color Bible - David Willis (I love color, who doesn't?!  This book is filled with beautiful photos for inspiration.  I also picked this book because it has divided pages that flip back and forth to mix and match color combinations.  I'm hoping to introduce more color into my home, and I think this book will work perfectly.  It will get me to think of color combinations I normally would not have picked together.)

I'm very excited about reading and having these books for reference in the future.  What books do you reference for ideas on organization in your own home?

As Always,
Sandra

Friday, March 9, 2012

Hallway Closets Part 2

I've started tackling the first hallway closet.  Now, on to organizing the 2nd closet.  Get prepared, this is not pretty!  Here are the before pictures...


Definitely not pretty!  This closet houses all of our cleaners, soaps, mops, etc.  Usually, I label every container with masking tape and a sharpie.  Not pleasing to the eye, but it was getting the job done.  

After evaluating this closet, I have discovered I'm a collector of cleaners!  No one needs this many different cleaners!  I have cleaners for the vehicle, shoes, floor polish, glass, bathrooms, and the list goes on.  My goal for the next 6 months is to use up what I have and stop purchasing more products and adding to the madness!  Most of the cleaners are categorized by type and housed in cardboard boxes. 

I live on an acreage and usually keep on hand items my family will use in the next few months.  I don't have a store right down the street to pick up items readily.  I shop sales and stock up on items if they are a good price and purchase what we will use up before the expiry dates on the product.  In the end, these products have a home in my closets for a few months till they are used.

In the closet, one of the wicker baskets held batteries and the other held miscellaneous items like picture hanging supplies, small screw driver set, super glue (all the weird random stuff that a junk drawer collects and I use about 1 time a year). 

The Rubbermaid tubs held personal care products like extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, contact solution, body wash and soap for the boys.  One of the tubs holds sheets for covering vegetables up in the garden in case of frost.  The diaper boxes hold air freshners, candles and miscellaneous items.

Here is the after...


Using more of the Real Canadian Superstore (RCSS) baskets, I was able to corral many of the items and reduce the clutter.  On the very top shelf, I used 3 baskets to hold extra cleaners, hand soap, and Lysol wipes.


The cardboard boxes holding the cleaners got a facelift with pretty paper on the front.  I'm hoping to get rid of some of these boxes once the cleaners are downsized in a few months.  But I had to do something to spruce them up a bit in the mean time.


The battery basket got a new label attached with a simple green ribbon...much better!  

Here are the before and after pics again for a comparison...

Before

After

Much easier to find things.  I'm so happy to get rid of the old diaper boxes!  In a few months, this closet will look even better once I use up cleaners and make simpler cleaning solutions.  But so far this change is so much better!

Does anyone else "collect" cleaners??  (I know it is hard to admit!)

As Always,
Sandra

IHeart Organizing

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hallway Closets Part 1

I've decided to undertake organization of the hallway closets next!  The two closets are semi-organized.  They definitely need some attention.  I can usually find what I'm looking for but my husband gets frustrated.  I can't blame him.

Here are some before pics for the 1st closet...


Not very pretty, I know!  This closet is nearest to the bathroom.  We don't have a closet in the bathroom so all the bathroom linens and supplies go in this closet.  I also keep our extra pillows, bed linens, and blankets in this closet.  I keep manuals and warranty information for our electronics, tools, and such in white banker's boxes.  Currently, I have 4 of these boxes full! 


I had been storing our medicine in our medicine cabinet in our bathroom until I saw Jen's post at IHeart Organizing on storing medication.  I had no idea that the bathroom is probably the worst place to store medication.  So since reading her great post, I have moved our medication to this hallway closet.  I put the medicine in clear plastic shoe boxes until I can pretty it up a bit.


At the bottom, I keep extra diapers, baby wipes, toilet paper, and facial tissue.  I also have reused some empty diaper boxes to hold our extra shampoo, lotion and other personal care products.

I made labels for all the containers I wanted to use on excel and printed them out on white letter paper.  Then I cut out each label and laminated them.


Then I cut the labels out one last time.




I attached labels for the towels and linens by hole punching the label and tying the label onto the shelf with green ribbon.  Now we can easily tell the difference between the double and queen size linen.


I moved our more readily used medicine into a clear plastic shoe box.  I placed pretty paper in the inside of the box so it would hide the contents and clutter.  

Behind the shoe box, I put all of our extra medicine and vitamins in a basket.  I used these storage baskets I purchased from Real Canadian Superstore (RCSS) a few weeks ago to store most items.  I attached most of the labels to the containers and baskets with velcro.  I made sure to always stick the same side of the velcro to the container and the same one to the label.  This way I can easily make changes to the contents of the containers later by switching the label.


I put all the first aid supplies in a green IKEA box.  It was high enough to hold things like the bottle of rubbing alcohol.  I stuck the label on the box with a couple of glue dots to the metal label holder on the box.


Here is the after picture of the 1st closet.  I was able to get rid of one of the manual boxes so far, hoping to get rid of another in the near future.  The diapers and pullups are now in light brown Rubbermaid containers at the bottom of the closet.  Baby wipes and toilet paper are now in RCSS baskets at the bottom.  

The closet definitely looks better than it did, but I know I can still do better.  I haven't given up, I'm just taking a little break to brainstorm some new solutions.

Here are the before and after pics again...


Before



After

My next post will feature our 2nd hallway closet.  Click here to view Hallway Closets Part 2!

Do you have any closet transformations or storage ideas?

As Always,
Sandra

IHeart Organizing

Monday, March 5, 2012

Living Room Toy Storage

As we have two young boys, I feel I'm always tripping over or looking at toys.  I'm always trying to think of new ways to organize this eye sore!



I found some baskets at Real Canadian Superstore a few weeks ago that were on clearance for $1.44 for 2 baskets, regularly $20 for both.   I had the kids with me and could only fit one set in my already full cart of groceries.  I dragged my husband back that weekend and we picked up 8 more sets.  I could not believe my luck that they still had some in stock!  In the end, we have 18 baskets to do some organizing.

The first area I wanted to tackle was the living room toy area... 

(I apologize in advance for the pictures.  We have white curtains, and even with them closed the light pours through and makes the dark storage unit hard to see)

 
Before the organizing began, the area held the kid's toys, books, phone books, DVD's, blanket, and pillows.  Puzzles are kept in a light brown Rubbermaid tub in front of the storage unit.  The kid's toys were held in a large clear plastic tub that didn't even fit in the storage unit. 

The kid's books hardly fit in the old basket inside the unit.  On the side shelves, we had two extra pillows just sitting on the shelves.  I always thought it looked strange.  But that is where the pillows fit, so they just kinda stayed there.  Funny how that happens!

Now the after pictures...


The new baskets fit perfectly into the storage unit.  The toys take up two baskets, the blanket and pillows take up one, and the kid's books take up the other.  The great thing about these baskets is they aren't see through like the huge plastic tub.  The kid's can put away the toys and I don't have to look at them anymore! 


I recycled our phone books because we never use them anyway.  Some of them were almost 5 years old!  Yipes!  Our very small collection of DVD's moved to a bookcase behind the TV.  Our puzzles are still in the light brown tub in front of the storage unit.  

In the end, we got rid of the huge clear tub that used to hold the toys.  One less thing to look at!  The space is much cleaner and less cluttered.  Now I just need to disguise this poor light brown Rubbermaid tub the puzzles are in!  Any ideas??

As Always,
Sandra

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spiced Up Utensil Holder

A little while ago I updated our utensil holder in the kitchen.  Today, I decided to take it to the next level.  Here are some pictures before the update...
Small red flower pot (always falling over)...


...Replaced by a laminated paper covered formula tub

 But since looking at it every day, I decided to spice it up a little...

I added a ribbon to the top and a few fake flowers.  Normally, I hate fake flowers but I saw these in Michaels a little while ago and picked them up because they looked so pretty.  I attached the ribbon with glue dots and the flowers with hot glue. 


The last thing I did was I disguised my glue glob with a pretty flower.  Simple and Pretty!  

Now, if only there was a way to better disguise electrical outlets and cords.  One of the reasons I keep my cooking utensils in this spot is to hide the cords.  The only way I've found to make the space more pleasing to the eye is to place something in front of ugly electrical cords.  Do you have any ideas for disguising electrical outlets or cords??

As Always,
Sandra
IHeart Organizing 












Check out my latest Utensil Holder update here!

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