Monthly Archives: July 2013

Storage Trunks: an Overlooked Multipurpose Powerhouse

57 Cadillac storage trunk

Trunks, we all have at least one, but we don’t all use them to our advantage. Whether it’s a “sea-trunk” that Great-Grandma brought with her to America or one you bought last week, trunks are a unique storage space and conversation piece.

Put some Junk in the Trunk

Depending on the size and shape of your trunk you can store nearly anything. Some even have separate compartments or drawers, thus helping store and organize whatever items you want.

  • Use it as a toy chest or board game storage, so kids can easily reach and store their favorite toys and games.
  • Store bedding that clots up your closet space
  • Store clothes (especially if it has drawers) during college, or long trips
  • Use Great-Grandma’s “Sea-trunk” as a TV stand or use it as a coffee table (if the lid isn’t smooth get some table glass to put over it). People will take notice of all those old travel stickers.
  • If it’s a small trunk that can easily fit on a dresser, store small things like: jewelry, makeup or even rolled up ties.
  • Use it as a hope chest, and store any Family heirlooms, photos or newspaper clippings.

Trunks can store and be used for nearly anything, so long as it fits. Whether it’s Great-Grandma’s old beat up one, or one from college covered in stickers from your friends and vacations, or even if it’s plain wood or wicker, each trunk has a unique look and personality.  Use trunks to your advantage because they are a great storage asset.

Stylish stairs: Five can-do ideas that add personality

Stair styles

(BPT) – Stairs are no longer just a way to get from one floor to another. Realizing that staircases are quite often major focal points in their homes, homeowners are showing love to this once underappreciated space with a wide variety of creative and easy updates.

Add personality and perk-up the daily climb in your home with these five do it yourself projects.

Walls that wow

In most homes, the staircase is the centerpiece of your entryway and serves as the first impression. Transforming this space into an extraordinary one is easy by painting a bold accent wall. To add extra panache and go beyond the expected look of one solid color, paint the wall next to the stairs or the landing with an eye-catching pattern using a premium painter’s tape, like FrogTape Multi-Surface. Pick a pattern that packs a punch, like an all-over diamond motif, geometric shapes, or classic stripes, which complement staircases well. The patented PaintBlock Technology applied to the edges of FrogTape helps prevent paint bleed and leaves precise lines, keeping your pattern looking sharp.

Dazzling photo display

If you already love the current color on your staircase wall, you can easily add a personal touch by creating a photo gallery. It’s easier than ever to find inspiration and instructions for this project – simply visit Pinterest.com to view countless ideas and find one that works with your design style and space. The key to creating an impressive photo gallery is to keep one element consistent throughout. Whether it’s the color or material of the frames, or the shading of the photographs, having a uniform component allows the finished product to look polished and intentional, instead of haphazard.

Rethink risers and steps

For an unexpected update, focus your attention a bit closer to the floor. The area of your stairs that really takes a beating are the risers. Breathing new life into them can be accomplished easily with a fresh design. No need to stick with neutral shades. Risers are the perfect place to tie in a daring pattern. Opt for a chevron or Moroccan design with colors consistent with your home’s interior to achieve your decorative stairs.

Another stair expression is to apply a haute pattern directly on your steps for a faux carpet runner look. Paint your stairs with the base color of your choice and opt for a diamond motif or patchwork design. Be sure to protect your work with two coats of polyurethane when your design is complete.

Modern touches

The spindles between the treads and banister on a staircase are there to protect people – especially children – from falling off the sides, and are an easy item to swap out for a more up-to-date look. Simply remove the old spindles, which are typically held in place with a few nails. Clean up the wood around the spindle holes and scrape off any old stain, dust, dirt and sand around the tread for a tighter fit.

When shopping for new spindles, choose from these styles to take your staircase from boring to extraordinary:

* Swirls to add a hint of elegance

* Spindles with shapes such as diamonds or squares

* Outwardly curved designs

* Twisted styles

No more wasted space

Reclaim unused space under a staircase by adding storage. If it’s hollow underneath, remove the drywall to create an instant mudroom by installing cubbies to store coats, shoes and other items. Another option is to transform that once wasted space into a nook to meet your family’s needs. Whether you long for the perfect spot for reading, a desk to keep paperwork and bills organized, or a secret play space for kids, the ways to utilize this area are endless.

With a little inspiration and elbow grease, it’s simple to add the perfect dose of personality to your staircase. For more information about FrogTape, visit frogtape.com.

Storing Neck Ties

tie-rack

Every unique item calls for its own unique storage and organization requirements. If your shoe size is very large, if you have a penchant for top hats, if you like having more than just a few umbrellas, then you know this all too well. But there are a few items in most peoples wardrobes that take some special storage creativity, chief among them is the neck tie.

Neck ties have to be stored in a way that doesn’t crease them so folding is not an option (though rolling is), and they need to be stored and organized in a way that makes their varieties easily accessible so that a business person or fashionista on the go can play the mix and match game quickly and efficiently.

There are many ways to do this right. Our favorite is first.

1. The Extendable, Pull-Out Tie Rack

tie-rackThe pull-out tie rack covers all the basic needs when it comes to tie storage. It stores ties full length which is ideal to keep them from crinkling in a drawer. It takes up minimum space in a closet and goes out of site when unneeded. It’s a flexible closet accessory that’s not hard to fit or install anywhere that’s ideal. And when it comes time to figure out which neck tie compliments the confidence and dress of the day, it’s easy to pull out the rack and quickly access any tie that might do the job.

2. Hanger-Mounted Organizers and Tie Hooks

Tie hooks are either affixed to the closet itself or hang from the closet rod with a top curl that looks exactly like that of a hanger. In short, we don’t recommend them or any other hanging closet rod option.

The permanent tie hook fixtures tend not to store too many ties, and they also tend to integrate awkwardly into the closet. Because they can’t pull out, they must be incorporated into the actual interior closet scheme and more often than not there is no room for accessible features inside the storage spaces themselves.

The hanger-mounted accessories are often flimsy and may not protect your ties from crinkling between other garments hung on either side.

This is not to say that there aren’t situations in which either of these options would be perfect, just that the majority of the time they are less than ideal solutions, especially against other comparable options.

3. Rolling Ties and Drawer Dividers

drawer-devidersAnother option for tie storage is in the drawer. In the drawer, folding, as we know, doesn’t work as well as rolling. An advantage to the rolled approach besides avoiding creasing is that someone can easily look over an organized drawer of rolled ties, choose, and compare. But it’s got to be organized. That’s where a drawer divider can make all the difference helping to keep everything together.

If you’re a person who tries on ten ties each morning to get the perfect match, you may be in for a lot of rolling with this approach. If you’re a person who usually gets it the first time, this is a perfectly acceptable organization strategy for you. The tie drawer can even be combined with other accessories, all organized with the divider.

Whatever strategy you use to optimize your storage spaces, organize your closets, and store your ties, know that there are plenty of solutions to choose from!

 

3 Simple Steps for Thinning Down Your Closet

Beautiful-Walk-in-closet

Yes, your closet can look “fat”. A fat closet happens when your clothes, shoes, and other items look as though they are about to explode. Basically, your closet will be silently screaming for help, that’s when our tips and tricks will come in handy.

Step 1: Lay It Out

Take everything out of your closet: purses, clothing, shoes, jackets, everything. Lay it all out according to what it is. Then go through each category and decide what to keep and what to trash or donate. If you decide to donate, here is our helpful list of places that can take almost anything, and give it to someone in need.

If you never wear that old sweater, donate it! If that T-shirt is too small, donate it! If Grandma bought you an ugly pair of bell bottoms, trash it, no one should have bell bottoms.

Step 2: Clean Out Those Skeletons

Now that your closet is empty, it’s time to thoroughly clean it! Vacuum up those cob webs, Lysol those dusty shelves and toss out those skeletons you’ve been hiding. Make your closet sparkle and shine before you place anything back inside it.

Step 3: Coordinating your Clothes

Decide which items need to be hung in the closet and which can be neatly folded into drawers or onto shelves. For example, your “Snoopy and Woodstock” pajamas don’t need to be hung. However, your dresses or suits should be. This alone will cut down on what is in your closet.

The clothes that are left to be placed back into your closet can be organized further. Coordinate your clothing by color, season, and/or use. In other words keep pants, shirts, dresses, suits, and skirts separate.

To organize your shoes look to one of our previous blog posts: What to do With All Those Shoes, and organize them whichever way you see fit.

If purses or bags are stored in your closet, go through all of them and be sure you have trashed or donated as much as you can. Invest in purse hangers if you want to have them hang, or place them on a shelf, in a neat row, if your closet is equipped.

If you follow these steps your closet will thank you. A thinned down closet, is a happy closet and we are happy to help you and your closet find that happy place.