Thursday, August 26, 2010

Disappearing Bookends

Two ways of using simple metal bookends:

#1: in the center of a shelf to hold books in place when a book is taken out. This is so helpful for those with long bookshelves. I often refer to my Housekeeping Handbook and since it's quite large, the books to the left of it used to fall over when I take it out, not anymore.

#2: I didn't like the bookend covering the cover of my book on Steve McQueen (sorry, that's on another shelf), so I placed the bookend inside the cover. For use with a paperback, I would recommend using a large binder clip to hold the cover on.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

DIY Consultation

(images courtesy of The Julie Blog)

While most of my work is hands-on, I also do consultations. It takes about 2-3hrs, where I go through steps I and II of my process; touring the space, discussing their concerns and possible solutions. I then follow up with a report, reviewing what was discussed along with product suggestions.

Last weekend I did a consult for Julie and her husband. You may have seen their house tour on apartment therapy. She lives in a small apartment in the Cherokee Bldg on the upper east side. She's documenting the experience on her blog so you can follow her progress. This is especially exciting for me, since I don't always get to see what people do afterwards!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Clothing Recycling

When editing your wardrobe, you inevitably have clothes that aren't in good enough condition to donate (stained, damaged). Instead of throwing them out, you can recycle them.

Thanks to Grow NYC, Friday-Monday, there are a number of locations around Manhattan and Brooklyn where you can drop off clothing, shoes, hats, and belts. While they also accept bedding and linens, please donate them to a local vet's office or animal shelter for reuse (call to see if your local one does).

If you're not in NYC (and even if you are) you can bring any brand of worn out sneakers (no cleats, sneakers containing metal, flip flops, or dress shoes) to any Nike retailer where they recycle them into sport and playground surfaces, as well as numerous Nike apparel, footwear, and equipment products.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Affordable Art My Way

As many of you reading, I don't have unlimited funds. Accepting this, I've taken the time to determine what's important to me and what I prefer to spend my money on (which is my wardrobe for those of you who couldn't tell). While I know there's affordable art out there, it's just not a priority for me right now so I've been making my own.

For the bathroom, I hung frames I already owned without anything in them until I figured what I wanted visually. For the large frame I thought something simple, graphic, and black + white, so I purchased a piece of fabric that I cut to fit. For the white frame, I wanted a bit of color, so I pulled a page out of a small art book I had, "Testing" by the artist Jaq Chartier.

striped fabric: 1 yd $8
metal frame: existing $0
art book: given to me by a client $0
small white frame: existing $0
total cost: $8
loving my bathroom: priceless!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Don't Understand (Most) Landlords...

My current apartment was renovated before I moved in which I thought would be great, what a change, but there wasn't much attention to detail as the place wasn't finished; I've been here over a year and am still missing a door to one of the kitchen cabinets. So I've been doing what I feel is necessary to get it finished without spending too much time or money.

Above is the door bell that has no cover. I painted the bell part but it wasn't much of an improvement. After measuring the bell, I went to my favorite place Muji to see if they had a bin that would fit over it and of course they did. The bin is translucent plastic so I cut a piece of white paper to line the bottom to make it less noticeable. Using clear packing tape, I taped the top to the wall. Sooo much better...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Moving But Not Quite...

The majority of my work this summer has been helping clients move. By clearing out the old space and planning out the new space (with a loose floor plan) ensures nothing's moved that's we know won't work in the new space. And it makes settling in the new space that much easier and quicker.

I have a new client who's lived in her space for a very long time and is admittedly over it. I loved her take on it; she's treating this process as if she's moving but into her existing apartment. She understands the idea of how removing what you don't love and use, moving around the things you have, and putting up a fresh coat of paint can change a space dramatically. She's excited about getting into her 'new space' and I'm excited about helping her!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Story of Stuff

I mentioned The Story of Stuff in the last post, but I really wanted to make sure you saw this. It's the back story of where all of our stuff comes from. It's the reason why the term Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is specifically in that order, not just because it sounds good that way. Many people think that recycling is the key to being 'green' but the truth is that while it is an important part of the puzzle, it's the last part:
1. Reduce your consumption is key, then
2. Reuse what you have before buying something new, and as a last resort
3. Recycle whatever you can instead of putting it in the trash

I'm not saying all consumption is bad, but when people think only buying organic, free trade, or things made from recycled materials is NOT the answer. The answer is consuming consciously; think if you really need it, like it, are actually going to use it, and if it will add value to your life. Otherwise, you're still consuming for the sake of it and whatever you buy will eventually be tossed, donated, or recycled again. Personally, I just don't want to have to 'deal' with my things that much. I want to use and enjoy them...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blog Shout Out

(photo courtesy of bloesem)

(photo courtesy of fabulissime)

(photo courtesy of justdaisy)

I wanted to share with you a few blogs that I've been getting into lately:

This lovely blog is by Irene, born in Amsterdam, living in Kuala Lumpur. Daily updates about design, home and things that make her happy. I think it will make you happy too!

Dedicated to spaces 1000sqft and under, a great resource for inexpensive, DIY projects, and other home resources.

The newest blog from Sunny of morning light, chronicles her personal home organizing and decorating projects.

Hasina blogs from her home in Montreal as life as a self-professed minimalist who's living life to the fullest. She recently posted a link to The Story of Stuff a must see for everyone. She says the same thing I just thought, "I don't know why I've never posted this video on my blog!"

Amanda Talbot is an interiors junkie and lucky us, she shares with us homes from all over the world, showcasing how people relate and use their everyday objects.

Enjoy! What blogs are you reading??

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Art Hound House Tour

(all images courtesy of

I met Kate a few weeks ago. She lives in my hood and just launched a art consulting business, Art Hound that encourages and inspires people to live with independent and affordable art. She shares her musings on art, design, and the home on her blog by the same name.

Her apartment is a featured house tour on Apartment Therapy today. Her apartment is huge, has high ceilings, and a ridiculous kitchen. If I didn't like her so much, I'd hate her...JK! :O)