Monday, January 28, 2013

Controlling Your Paper Clutter

Controlling the paper that comes in my home is half the battle when it comes to my disorganization. If you're like me and you get too much junk mail to begin with, you may want to look into the Direct Marketing Association's DMAchoice website. DMAchoice allows you to manage the mail that you or anyone in the household receives through a mail preference service account.

Another great way to control the paper is to set up a paperless filing system. I bought the NeatDesk and I love it! It's taken a little getting used to, but it is a great tool for those of you who are a little more computer savvy. I now have those papers accessible digitally without the bulky paper files. I can set up my files in folders that make sense for my family and it is great for organizing receipts for tax time.

Check out The Container Store to see some great options for desk top storage. Additionally, Staples has a Martha Stewart Home Office line of desktop storage solutions that are stylish and affordably priced. For important papers that you must keep in paper form, check out this guide to conquering your filing system. 

8 Steps to a Winning Filing System

Thursday, January 24, 2013

31 Days 2 Get Organized

I didn't make New Year's resolutions this year. Still, getting more organized is something that I struggle with. Recently I checked out the Facebook page of Peter Walsh, organizer extraordinaire, and saw that he had started a challenge to his followers called 31 Days 2 Get Organized. Since I missed the January start, I decided to make a task list to follow from his daily challenges on my Google calendar. It looks like the magazine challenge could be the biggest hurdle for me so far.
If your sock drawer is a mess like this (mine is) or if your Tupperware cabinet looks like this (mine doesn't thankfully), then maybe you want to join this challenge. I officially start February 1st, but will knock off some of the tasks and challenges early if I have extra time. Check out Peter Walsh's Facebook fan page and complete the challenges and hopefully your life will be more stress free after the 31 days are up. Let me know how it's going for you! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Phoenix Mid-Century Modern Masters: Ralph Haver

Phoenix is fortunate to have an active community of Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts and activists. One of the best known architects was Ralph Haver, who built homes around the Phoenix valley from 1945 through the mid 1980's. Low profile gently sloping roofs, floor to ceiling glazing, clerestories, masonry construction, and large bold chimneys were the hallmarks of a Haver home. Unfortunately over time, many of these homes have been "modernized" by homeowners who weren't concerned about the historic preservation of these homes. Here is a beautiful update to a 1952 Haver home currently for sale in Phoenix. The updates maintain the integrity of the original home. I love the stained beams and the stained concrete floors.
Home restoration is a labor of love. We are fortunate that many people in Phoenix are invested in reviving these homes and returning them to their former glory. Periodically I will blog about other historic architects and builders in Phoenix and the neighborhoods in which they reside. We may not have homes that are hundreds of years old like many communities, but Phoenix has some beautiful neighborhoods filled with homes worth loving and restoring.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Bedding for a Spring Update

I love bedding! Just love it! Maybe because my bedroom is now my happy place. I just feel cozy when curled up in bed with a book or catching up on television shows. About ten years or so ago, I bought my first set of 600+ thread count sheets and I was hooked. When I renovated my Master Bedroom Suite in the Fall of 2009, I got to redesign and redecorate what was previously a dated and really awkward space. We got rid of carpet and continued the whole house tile into the bedroom which is much more practical with our four legged children. Here is a view of the bedroom space before renovation. It's not a bad space, but it was time for a change and I decided to lighten it up and go for a different color palette. I choose a soft blue-grey for my new space but still kept some of the gold.
I loved designing this bedroom and bathroom and tried to cut the budget in some areas while indulging in others. I reused my dressers and repainted them and added new oil rubbed bronze hardware. My nightstands were purchased from a local hotel liquidator for $19.00 each which included a custom cut glass topper. The nightstands were sanded, small defects filled and then painted to match the dressers. The hardware was changed to a knob from a pull after painting. I'm pretty happy with them and they're much smaller than our previous nightstands. The smaller tables make the room feel much larger. We also decided to hard wire swivel wall lamps and add dimmers on the wall to free up space on the nightstands. It's proved to be a very wise decision and I love the clean lines of the wall lamps. 

My four foot bench is also from the hotel liquidator and I purchased it for around $60.00 about six years ago. It came out of a suite in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. When I redecorated, I had the bench professionally upholstered in a teal and white stripe fabric from Stroheim and Romann. I love the bench, especially with the new striped fabric. I purchased a new semi-custom tufted gold micro suede headboard from Ballard Designs. I saved money by buying the linen curtains with studs on sale from West Elm. With my designer discount I saved even more and couldn't be happier with the look. Down the line, when dogs are not an issue, I'll add in a beautiful bedroom rug. The room was not without compromise. You can see I let my husband keep his recliner. He uses it all the time so I couldn't make him get rid of it just so that I had a more stylish chair in the room.

A splurge was the reversible custom bedding made for the room in blue, teal, tan and white, but with the weight of the fabric the bedding is more suitable for the cooler winter weather in Arizona. I have found quilts to be the perfect weight for bedding in this warmer climate. I can't stop buying bedding, but at least I am smart about it. I have solid quilts in white, gold and blue. I buy shams and bed skirts in prints that work back to all the solid quilts to mix it up a bit. This is a great solution for people who get bored easily and need to change up their space. I just bought a new quilt and shams from HomeGoods. It has several shades of blue, gold and white in an Indian inspired paisley floral. Here's my room with the new bedding. Looks nice!
I've been thinking about adding a stenciled wall detail on the headboard wall. I saw this photo below on Melanie Royal's Facebook page and thought that using a similar concept, I could create a great looking focal wall behind the headboard using the cane basketweave stencil I already own. I would paint the design in an off-white or possibly bronze color. I'd love to hear your feedback. Off-white or bronze?
Here's the cane basketweave stencil. Instead of the damask floral design in the photo above, I would fill the inside with the caning. I broke my toe a few weeks ago and as soon as it is healed and I can get up on a ladder, I will get going on this project. So which color should it be? Off-white or bronze against the blue? I'm leaning towards the bronze so maybe I'll do a sample board first.
I'll be sure to share as soon as the project is done!