Friday, September 30, 2011

Reader's Questions: Shoe Storage In An Open Living Space

the trouble spot:
storage bench:
besta cabinet (image courtesy of

Tara asks: "The hallway just off my entry has become a pile of shoes, they're not making it to the bedroom, they're living in the hall. Any suggestions for a narrow, attractive shoe shelves that are 48"W x 7 1/2"D? Thanks!"

Most shoe shelves are just not that attractive, especially if you really have to stare at them from the living room. How about a storage bench? The shoes can go inside, use an open bin within the bench to keep things separated. And it gives you a spot to sit while putting the shoes on and off:

48"W x 20"D x 18"H
comes in chocolate brown, red, and white

How about a closed cabinet? At nearly 8" deep it's great for women's and kid's shoes.

47 1/4"W x 7 7/8"D x 25 1/4"H
23 5/8"W x 25 1/4"H
2 @ $50.00

Thursday, September 29, 2011

If You Hadn't Noticed...

Looking at the pics of my kitchen, you may have noticed there's no place for recycling. That's because there isn't.
I take it out everyday with the trash. It get's washed, put by the sink, and I grab it as I'm heading out. I keep a small paper bag under my desk for paper and when it get's full (every couple of days), it goes out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Inside My Kitchen Continued

boxes over fridge
lower left cabinet
my kit

lower right cabinet, under sink

The boxes over the fridge hold a ton; starting from the back left: archive paperwork; misc household things not bing used in this apt (couple of lamp shades, large hooks, felt snowflakes); paint kit; household utilities: vacuum bags, light bulbs, extension cords, etc.

The lower left cabinet is mostly my kit, tools, and cat stuff. Under the sink is my miele vacuum, my shredder, and an old dish rack now holding cleaning supplies. Go here for more details.

While I have room under my desk for the shredder, I simply don't want to look at it everyday. It's a shredder with basket so I took off the top and placed it in the basket. I put paper in the basket and when it gets full (about every 2 months or so) I pull it out and shred everything all at once. Since I don't have a ton to shred it's a perfect solution.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Inside My Kitchen Cabinets

my small kitchen
cabinet above stove
upper left cabinet
upper right cabinet, above sink

I like my small kitchen, especially since I switched the cabinet doors, because of the wide cabinets, and large ss sink. The cabinet above the stove holds candles and misc decorative pieces not being used at the moment. The broiler holds my 2 pots, 1 pan, griddle and strainer (yup that's all I have).

The upper left cabinet is my pantry and coffee/tea area. The upper right cabinet is for serving pieces. I know I have a lot of glasses, but I love and use them all. The glass bowls on the lower shelf is actually a set of 9 nesting bowls, but many are currently in the fridge holding fruit, eggs, nuts, etc.

Go here for more details. The lower cabinets and boxes above the fridge will be in the next post...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Small Walk-In Closet: Before + (Just About) After

after (almost):

The little L-shaped walk-in closet was my latest challenge. She basically wanted me to recreate my closet for her. Here's what I added:
- drawer unit below (modified)
- hanging shoe rack behind the door

This is actually a progress shot; we need to edit along with a season switch, add a small rug, and put on the handles on the top drawers. But otherwise it's just about finished....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Meaning of Wardrobe: Continued

(bangles by giles + brother, snake bracelet subconscious leathers)
(dkny blouse)

A lot of questions have been coming up on The Meaning of Wardrobe post so I wanted to do a follow up.

I've written a bit on this topic, but to clarify, I mostly write about creating my wardrobe, with the exception of the step by step series 'Building a Wardrobe' which is general advice and is a very good read if you're starting from scratch.

Not a big fan of throwaway fashion, but I understand why others do it. I treat my $25 tops the same as the $300 ones because it's hard to find things I love so it's all the same once it's in my closet. I don't follow trends too closely and actually try to avoid things that are too popular unless I really love it. For instance, I'm not planning on getting any kind of oxford or lace-up flats but I did get a gorgeous cape a few years ago I look forward to wearing again this season.

Take what applies to you and your lifestyle. There are many ways to do things, including how to build your wardrobe. Readers have posted their approach in the comments of the original post so be sure to check them out, and share any tips of your own if you like!

Just a Reminder

For a more detailed shot, click on (most) pics and they will enlarge. All bolded text are links.... click away!! Thanks for reading :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

What I Did Today: Home Office


This is the nook off a kitchen in a client's small studio that she wanted to make into a work area. She just moved in and the previous tenant left the large table that nearly fills the entire space. She had the intermetro shelving unit which I squeezed under the desk for the printer (not often used), router and extra office supplies.

The high back shelving unit is actually partially on the table. The front left post is 36"H and is resting on the table. The other three posts are 74"H and go to the floor. Sorry I don't have any more pics. I took these as we were running out. While it looks a bit empty now, she's starting grad school this week so it should be filled with books in no time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Meaning of Wardrobe

all images (i think):

A wardrobe is a thought out collection of pieces that work together to express a clear point of view.

Before I went through my process (before I was an organizer), I had clothes; individual pieces that had no relationship to each other. Pieces that needed me to purchase new things to make an outfit around it. Pieces that didn't fit my lifestyle and were never worn. Pieces that stand on their own are nice, but if you cannot wear them, what good are they?

When buying something now, I think of how it relates to my wardrobe as a whole. I get pieces that enhance what I have instead of just 'oh this is nice' like I used to do. Pieces that help me wear the things I already have in new ways.

Do you have clothes or an actual wardrobe?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Living Better With Less: Clothes

"Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress"
- Coco Chanel

Monday, September 12, 2011

Off-Season Storage Solutions

the laundress
container store
bed bath & beyond

My favorite kind of clothing storage is zippered canvas bags. Easy to use, can usually squeeze into any space, and are breathable. Clothes take up less space when packed away, but for those pieces you'd rather keep hanging, use a garment bag which you probably already have (I find most people do), if you don't, here's a good one.

Individual and larger bags
I like the individual ones to keep delicate pieces visible all year round. The larger ones are perfect for multiple items with easy view access.

Under bed sizes and cubes $30 - $52 each
I love these zippered bags. It's almost like they're starched since they have a little structure to

Under bed and cubes $24.99
Handles and label window on the front makes getting them up and down easy.

- Measure to see which bags will work best in your space.
- Clean everything before putting away, even if you've only worn it once or twice. Clothes moths and pests are attracted to what you leave behind (skin cells, hair, animal fur, oils, food) over the actual material.
- Group 1 (or 2) type(s) per bag; dresses, shorts, tops, etc.
- If you're planning a vacation during the winter, back a 'resort' bag.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

NYC Upcoming E-Waste Recycling Events

Remember, they only accept items from homes and small businesses (less than 50 people). And they only accept computers and peripherals, no household appliances. See the list of what they accept. Go to the LES Ecology Center website to learn more.

saturday sept 17th
10am - 4pm
tekserve, 119 W23rd btwn 6th + 7th ave

sunday sept 18th
10am - 4pm
delancey st btwn chrystie + forsyth st

tuesday sept 20th
11am - 7pm
church of heavenly rest, 5th ave + E 90th st

saturday oct 22nd
10am - 4pm
church of the holy name jesus, amsterdam btwn W96th + 97th

sunday oct 23rd
10am - 4pm
stuyvesant town
14th st loop, enter at 14th + ave A

saturday sept 24th
10am - 4pm
fort greene
habana outpost, fulton st btwn s portland + s oxford

saturday oct 1st
10am - 4pm
carroll gardens
smith st btwn president + union st

10am - 4pm
the new new york, N 11th btwn kent + wythe

sunday oct 2nd
10am - 4pm
bklyn heights
bklyn bridge park furman st btwn old fulton + doughty

saturday oct 15th
10am - 4pm
8th ave btwn 14th + 15th st

sunday oct 16th
10am - 4pm
park slope
7th ave btwn 4th + 5th st

saturday oct 22nd
10am - 4pm
restoration plaza herkimer st st btwn NY + bklyn aves

sunday oct 23rd
10am - 4pm
cobble hill
ps 29 schoolyard, baltic btwn henry + clinton

saturday sept 24th
10am - 4pm
st john's parking lot, enter @ gate 4, union tpke + 175th st

sunday sept 25th
saturday sept 24th
10am - 4pm
NY hall of science visitor parking lot, enter @ 111th st + 49th ave

sunday sept 25th
10am - 4pm
van cortland park, bdway btwn manhattan college pkwy + post rd

sunday oct 2nd
10am - 4pm
showplace entertainment center, 141 E service rd @ victory blvd + beresford ave

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Almost Time For The Closet Switch...

September in NYC means the seasonal closet switch is coming up. I do it around the end of the month when it starts getting a bit cooler and need my heavier wool/cashmere sweaters. But now I put the absolute/obvious summer clothes to the side; linen pants/skirts/dresses + some tops, flip flops, certain sun dresses, white pants, certain sandals.

I realize the image here has NOTHING to do with the topic but I saw it on, a blog dedicated to horror stories from designers. I think the title of the image works with just about anything. Thought you may like it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Valentino Said It Best

The other night a friend of a friend made a very astute observation "Do you know you only wear neutrals? You need to wear color, you should wear red." Besides the fact I find it hard taking style advice from someone wearing a pink sweatshirt and running pants to a party, when people say that I should wear color (especially red) I can't help but think of the moment in Valentino: The Last Emperor, when Valentino said in regards to his signature red gowns, "The red dresses are the most simple and the most stupid!"

I wish everyone can agree not to give 'shoulds' where they're not asked. Personally I refrain from giving unsolicited advice because I know I'm tired of hearing how I should wear color, get a tan, wear a push-up bra... Do you get any annoying 'shoulds'?