22 July 2009

my desk & workspace

I love having a space dedicated to my work... whether that be design work or just everyday things like paying bills. It's important to me to keep it well-organized and neat, otherwise I won't use my desk! I live in a small space (745 sq ft to be exact) so every single inch counts! I need areas of my home to be dedicated to certain functions and I need them to work properly for me. When I first moved in, my desk was covered in so much clutter, it was impossible for me to use it. In that case, I would spread out bills and paperwork across my coffee table and my kitchen table. I was constantly moving things so I could eat, or so visitors wouldn't see my stuff... what a pain! Life is so much easier and convenient now that I have my workspace organized; I am much more productive!

Here's a glimpse of my desk/ workspace and my must-haves for my home office!

1. Design Trade guide... helps me look up different products, manufacturers and trade showrooms

2. Post-its... Right now I'm using some from one of my favorite showrooms, Lee Jofa
3. Candle... I always have candles burning! I like my place to smell nice and there's just something nice about enjoying candlelight, no matter what I'm doing
4. Elephant... I have a HUGE elephant collection. This is just one piece but it's something I really love

If I receive flowers for any reason (like from my honey bunch!), I like to dry them out and keep them. It's really nice having fresh flowers in a home office but I also like the romantic/ sentimental feeling of roses that I was given for a special occasion.

A Calendar... I think a calendar in an office space is self-explanatory. But I will say that I totally love my Architectural Digest calendar! It's already my favorite magazine and it never hurts to look at one more well-designed room!

This is a art piece that my Mom purchased for me so it's pretty special. I love Japanese pieces; I have a few things in my home that reflect this style. This art piece is hand-painted on a piece of cloth (that's probably called something specific but I don't know what!). Roses are also my favorite flower. My Mom had this piece custom framed for me and I love it!

Another calendar?... I like having this calendar because it's a dry erase board and it's easy for me to keep track of appointments and make to-do lists. I also really like the small bulletin board and magnetic ability. (The studly man on the right in the pic is my boyfriend Chris)

Aren't these pushpins cute??! Check out great products made by Xonex here!

1. Office supplies... Stapler, pens, pencils, paperclips. These are items that I use most often so I like them to be on my desktop in easy reach instead of having to dig through a drawer for them.
2. My mini T-square!... This was given to me when I became a member of TIDA (TCU Interior Design Association)

A file drawer is a MUST! I only have one drawer for files but I couldn't live without it. Paperwork is the #1 item that will pile up quickly. Take 5 minutes at the end of each day to file away mail, bills, and all other necessary paperwork. Filing is easy when you do a little bit at a time. Don't let it pile up until you have hours of filing ahead of you... that's when you won't do it!! But if that happens, you can just hire me to come to your house and do it for you! :)

My desk area is very simple and uncluttered, making it easy for me to get my work done. I have a dedicated space to sit down and organize my every day things... this is something everyone should have! You don't need a huge space, it just needs to be organized and only contain the items you need and use!

19 July 2009

closet update

Just sharing 2 quick pictures from my closet makeover. The first shows a few of my shoes and my scarves. I decided that I wanted my scarves displayed nicely and easily accessible. Accessories like these were easily lost in my closet before and I would forget what I owned. Now they are hanging right in front of me so it's impossible for me to forget about them. I've also tried to group my shoes into groups of like items. This makes it easier for me when remembering where each pair goes and helps me stay motivated to put my shoes back in the right place. I like things to look nice, so having some of my 'pretty items' displayed in my closet makes me happy and also shows off some of my more exciting pieces.

However nice your closet will look really depends on your storage solutions. After all, it's all about the space-saving techniques. Builder-grade closet built-ins usually give you a lot of hanging space and not a lot of shelf space. When faced with that problem, there are many options but I'm opting for easy and inexpensive (and therefore not permanent)... Just like hanging racks for shoes, hanging shirt/sweater shelves are available. I'm using this one for my plethora of t-shirts.

More to come... :)

16 July 2009

you don't need it... someone else does

Reminder: If you're spending some of your summer days cleaning up around your house, it's always good to keep in mind that you need to continually review all of your belongings for items you don't use anymore. We all know how quickly clutter can pile up. If you take a few minutes while you're cleaning or organizing to pull out items that you no longer need and separating them from things you still use, you easily control clutter. I think the easiest way to do this is to keep a small bin or bag in your closet (or wherever convenient) that is designated for Give Away Items. This method is as easy as separating your trash and recyclables.

How often you need to clean out those items permanently will vary, d
epending on how much you're willing to give up and how often you clean. I recommend seriously reviewing items at least twice a year.

Some people have a hard time letting go of things (I am one of those people!)... to them I say, the more often you make yourself do it, the easier it becomes! Every little bit helps so even if it's only getting rid of a few shirts from your closet, it will actively help you avoid clutter pile ups!

A Tip: Each time you decide to permanently rid yourself of items, take a quick trip to your favorite local charity. No matter where you live, there are organizations accepting donations from clothing to furniture to housewares. Drop-offs are painless and it's the easiest way to get rid of a large amount of items in a short amount of time. If you don't have the means to transport large furniture, most organizations will schedule a pick up time and come to you! Plus, if you're one of those people that has a hard time getting rid of stuff, you will probably feel better about it knowing that it will go to someone who really needs it. Double plus... Tax credit!

For those of you in the Fort Worth/ Arlington area, there are numerous Salvation Army donation centers. Here are a few in the downtown vicinity:

2901 NE 28th St
Fort Worth, TX 76111
Drop Box & Store

2406 Azle Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76106
Drop Box & Store

8133 Highway 80 W
Fort Worth, TX 76116
Drop Box & Store

6360 Lake Worth Blvd
Fort Worth, TX 76135
Donation Center

1301 E Abram St
Arlington, TX 76010
Drop Box & Store

*For more Salvation Army locations, please visit their website and search using your zip code*

Another favorite donation spot of mine, located in Fort Worth, is one that I've been donating to since I was a student at Texas Christian University. The Safe Haven, Tarrant County, is a great charity. Their donation center and resale shop is located at:

Berry Good Buys
1701 W Berry St
Fort Worth, TX 76110

One more great organization... easily accessible to those of you in the Lewisville and Colony area. This is an organization that my family has been donating to since we moved to the DFW area... we got started through our church which also makes regular donations.

Christian Community Action (CCA)

128 S Mill St
Lewisville, TX 75057
Main Donation Center

5000 Main St Suite #270
The Colony, TX 75056
Colony Donation Center

*For more information, visit their website.

CCA also has a few resale shops. My favorite is the location in Lewisville on 121. It usually has a large variety of furniture, housewares and clothing. There's also a large section for books.

Donating to any charity is a rewarding experience in two ways: you're helping to declutter your own space and you're giving to someone else in need.

03 July 2009

last minute 4th of July decorating

Last minute ideas for your 4th of July backyard barbecues! Check out these finishing touches for your holiday party... Your decor should tastefully convey the America theme without screaming it at your guests. A simple color palette of neutrals accented by red, white & blue items while make your party look sophisticated and yet festive.

Add touches of soft light around your party. If you are entertaining at night, possibly watching fireworks, use dim candlelight and holiday lights.

Glass Oil Lamp Stakes & Hanging Glass Lanterns are available from Pier 1. Line your walkways or your seating area with the oil lamp stakes. Illuminate tables with the hanging glass lanterns.

These Citronella-scented candles are great! Also from Pier 1

These colored holiday lights are available at Target. It's easy to string a few of these up around your patio or deck. The provide a colorful glow for your entire space!

For dressing up your tabletop & outdoor area, here are just a few fun items:

Patriotic Place Mats; Red & Blue Margarita Glasses [Pier 1]

Sometimes it's nice to have either red OR blue instead of both. These party items fit in with the 4th of July decor but can also be used year round!

Contrary to the Ice Bucket above, this condiment set has only blue & white, again, fitting with the holiday decor but not specifically made for the 4th. And it's just so cute!!

Red & White Ice Bucket, Tray & Party Tub; Picnic Table Condiment Set [World Market]

And maybe a couple of small accents for your pool

These are inflatable Stars from Target. I would simply float a few of these in a backyard pool (if you're lucky enough to have one!) Instant 4th of July decor!

If you're hosting a 4th of July cookout, it is simple to add just a few holiday themed items to your everyday decor that will make your space suitable for entertaining, but won't break the bank. All it takes is a few accents & small touches of the red, white & blue.

I sincerely hope that everyone has a fabulous holiday and that no matter what you are doing, you get the chance to be with family & friends. Our independence is an amazing gift; we are all truly blessed to live the lives we do! So enjoy our country's special day! Be safe! God Bless America & you all!