{organizing ideas and decorating advice from my home to yours}

Blue Bathroom Take 2

Posted: August 31st, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 17 Comments »

First of all, thank you to all of you that gave me your suggestions on what to do in Smurfville, although I think some of you might have had some money slipped under the table by my husband to say such nice things about the color. 

After the last couple days, I really should apply to work at a paint store. That is how good I have gotten at mixing colors. I have created my own little mixing area in the laundry room. I have gotten a little spoiled testing my color out until it is just perfect but I think I have an finally found an alternative to the Smurfville color.

A couple of you suggested to put up beadboard and I definitely agree that it would have helped to tone down the color but we already have beadboard in the other bathrooms and we just weren’t looking for a project, if you know what I mean. So my alternative was to tone it down. I had some white and some gray (thanks to Glidden’s free paint) and with a little testing and a lot of mixing – I have compared it to Sherwin-Williams “Online.”

Thanks also to Amanda who gave me a tip about a Benjamin Moore color, “Quiet Moments.” My creation actually turned out very similar to the color but a little more blue and less sea green. 

Here are the two samples together if you are ever needing inspiration:

dsc01697(SW - Online is the strip on the right, 3rd one down and BM - Quiet Moments is on the left, 2nd one down.)

So here is a quick summary of all the transformations of the guest bath

1. When we moved in…”A Dark Dungeon”

bathroom before


2. Basic tan redo

bathroom after


3. An effort for color - “Smurfville”



4. And finally -  I’m back “Online!”





And I also decided to paint the black trim, white to soften it up.




With some wall accessories (50% off this week at Hobby Lobby) and some spa like rocks in to cover the drain, I think the room is finally complete and more importantly we are happy with the color. David even called it blue the other day!! 

So not only did the “Smurfville” paint go from trash to treasure but I also wanted to show off my (very little and quite boring) item that I had tried all week to find something big that was “Road Kill” ready for Beckie’s big Road Kill Rescue Party today but this is all I got!

It was my sister in law’s little basket that was left over from our garage sale.


It was going to the trash but I saved it thinking I was going to use it this summer to hold napkins and utencils for an evening dinner on the deck but that didn’t really happen, so with some spray paint and an old rose ball, it found a nice resting spot on top of the cabinet. 




And now that I’ve done color - who knows how crazy I’ll get with new rooms…yeah right. Who am I kidding?! 

♥ Katie

Oh remember this fabric from Ballard’s Backroom?


…the reveal is coming soon!!


{RoadKill Rescue @ Infarrantly Creative}

{Met Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch}

{Southern Hospitality Thrifty Treasures}


My NEW Gift Wrapping Station

Posted: August 25th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 6 Comments »

Well, Laurel does it again. I’m telling you - this is one of the greatest and easiest ideas ever, so of course I had to borrow it! At first, as I read her post, I thought, “How lucky is she that she has an area to have a gift wrapping station?!” Isn’t it sweet and simple?


Then it hit me - I do too!! I was so excited to head to Home Depot and buy my supplies.

My List:

Hooks                             2 @ $2.69 = 6 dollars (let’s just round so I don’t have to use my calculator)

Dowel Rods                  $0.89 and $1.49 = $2.50

Wrapping Paper         $2.99 = $3.00

Ribbon                             3 @ $0.77 = $3.00 (I also had a couple of my own)

Grand Total…              A little under $15.00!

It also gave me a chance to empty out a basket that contained all my bags, tissues paper and ribbons.


…and after shifting some of my paint cans to the side, they fit nicely in the cabinets below.


I did have to alter Laurel’s concept a bit in order to fit some of my wrapping ribbon that didn’t fit on my paper towel holder.



And I’m sure I looked pretty crazy at Home Depot holding wrapping paper and ribbons and trying to measure it all out but I’ve looked crazier.

Thanks again Laurel!! Can you think of a space you could create your own wrapping station?

Bring on the Birthdays!

♥ Katie

 {Maman Tattoo’s Under $15.00 Link Party}   

{Do It Yourself Day @ A Soft Place to Land}

{Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage}

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Posted: August 24th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 11 Comments »

So this post was going to be about my first COLOR in the house. Yes, I know this is pathetic but I just really like my neutrals and my whole house can tell you that.  Maybe this tells a lot about my character. I’m not really a risk taker, I like to wear a lot of  black, I crave routines and structure…I could go on but this is not about me right? Golly.

Okay - Here is my guest bath before. Take note: calm, boring, safe.

bathroom after

So I went out there and I got my inspiration from this blue chair


I thought it matched nicely with the grayish, blue undertones of the tile…(middle one on top with the stars called Watertower).



And then, well let me just say “Welcome to Smurfville!” And nothing against smurfs, Mindy.



At first I kinda liked the new, fresh color, but boy is it blue and all around you. And maybe if my house had more colors in it - this wouldn’t be so bold. Or maybe if it would just be the kid bath, I could handle that. But this is the main guest bath. It also is a very awkward layout so there is a lot of wall space. And all the wall space is blue.



The bottom line is, it is just not me. It’s a gut thing, and every time I walk past it - I think - who is this?

So I’m giving it a week physically, because my husband told me so, but mentally, this color is already being replaced with another (cover your ears) neutral.

Any words of advice?

Any safe colorful paint suggestions for me? Maybe a gray color with blue tint?

Or do you just want to yell at me, “Take a risk Katie!”


Okay, only suggestions please!

♥ Katie

I’m going to link this over to Susan’s Met Monday  and Twice Remembered Make Your Monday Party hoping for some empathy or words of advice on a makeover gone wrong! And stay tuned for the before, after, and after

Recycling…Baby Steps

Posted: August 20th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 3 Comments »

So here’s my new little organization tip from none other than my Parents As Teachers Rep. I know - we were supposed to be talking about the babe and instead she started giving me some great organizational tips! Who knew?!

So my problem with recycling is that I want everything to go to the garage but the things that are on their way to the garage usually end up on the banister next to the door to the garage. Close…


So she recommended storing a ‘collect all’ recycling tub under my kitchen sink.(You could also do the pantry if you had the space and it was in close proximity to you.) But up until a couple days ago we already had that reserved for the little guy’s sink bath…


…and now it holds a tub, that once is full, I can take out to the garage and sort.


Okay, I lied. See how bad I am at that.


Really, I am just starting with cardboard/chipboard. Then I will move onto glass and plastics. Baby steps…

♥ Katie

{And a quick Sneak Peek}

Now Beckie this is all you are getting! This is one of the little sumthings that I got at Ballard Backroom but you gotta hold your horses for the reveal. It still needs something to go on - or should I say, over, and I’m on the hunt…


…but isn’t she beautiful?!!! She was the only one and you can’t wait to hear the deal I got on it!


Posted: August 18th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 3 Comments »

I’m currently going through Vacation Detox.

That was a term coined by my friend Kamee. It is how you feel when you get home from vacation and  you still need a couple more days of vacation just to feel back to normal again. 

Surprisingly, I have really been enjoying my detox period this time because I’m planning new projects. One thing I like to do on plane rides is rip out pages from magazines and come up with new decorationg and organizing ideas. And since we had a little retreat without the kids — I had a lot of time ripping on the flights!

So here are all the upcoming things I need to share….

Our fun trip to the Ballard Design Backroom and all the lightweight goodies that I brought home!


The beautiful homes that we saw in Charlston and some inspiration for our own exterior…


How I pick a new paint color for the bathroom - and I should emphasize COLOR since it will be the first time I use a blue in the house and the first real COLOR besides a tan in the house. That Antonio guy from Design Star would be so depressed in our home…


And what I am planning on doing with the new space under the kitchen sink since it will no longer be the parking spot for our 10 month old’s bath sink seat…


I know, exciting stuff….

On a Newsletter note: I have had a a couple people mention that they have not received my Back to School… and Storage Newsletter that came out last week. If you have not, please check your spam or bulk mail first and then email me and I will send it again for you. So sorry if you didn’t receive it!

Back to Detox.

♥ Katie

Inspirational Storage Solutions

Posted: August 12th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 1 Comment »

Well I just couldn’t stop thinking about storage, could I? Thank you all for your kind emails about the newsletter and my storage solutions. I had so much fun sharing and some of you have even sent me your projects that I inspired. How awesome is that?! Soon I’m going to collect all those inspiration photos and post them so keep sending them!

If you happened to miss my last storage solution and one of my all time favorite birthday gifts just sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send it on out to you! And my series probably could have gone on a lot longer with all the inspiration I have gotten from YOU! Here are a couple I thought I’d share…


“The Rock” Laurel @ Ducks in a Row who always inspires me — actually organizes her books by color. How beautiful is this?



Now this is what I do with leggos (just pose with it –not create it people!)


…and this is what Ticia @ Adventures of Mommyness does — is your jaw dropping?



So after I shared my little drawer storage with shoes my good friend Patsy sent me her solution:


I love it Patsy! But the labels had to be purple, right?! Ha!

…and you won’t be able to resist this cute site called Spell Out Loud and Maureen’s shoe organization.


I adore the picture labels. They actually make crates look cute…


{And For the Little Things}

Finally, over at Little Bit Vintage, Rachel found a 4 drawer box holder and gave it some love. Look how sweet it turned out?!


I could find a bunch of places to put this… in my laundry room to store found change, buttons, socks, or maybe to sort mail…oh the options!! How I love storage. Until my next inspiration…

♥ Katie

Super Steals

Posted: August 7th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 2 Comments »

I’m linking this up to Rhoda’s today although it is not a thrifty yard sale find, it is a sidewalk sale purchase and in my world they both mean the same - super steals!

So the annual sidewalk sale at our local Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids was this last weekend and I always make it an event. It usually includes an icee mocha from Panera and a leisurely stroll though the items. However this year was more of a mad dash as my husband and kids came along for the ride. We were either strolling the boys around, changing a diaper or we’re looking for “treasures” like pirates, right? But you all know how that really goes. Needless to say I was a bit frazzled.

And not finding any good deals at all.

Then the clouds parted, and the light beamed down on these…


But before I do anything - I’m a price checker — that means that I scan the price. And then did a double take.

Waitwhat would you pay? (My sister-in-law’s favorite game)

First, the facts: No, I didn’t really need them, didn’t know where they would go, but they looked real and had cool hammered looking pots and real looking dirt AND they were sitting next to a similar plant for $23.99. So they had to be expensive, right?



You’re squinting aren’t you? Sorry, I don’t have a fancy camera and I really have no idea how to focus. 

But if your squinting works - you are right - $2.99. Originally $39.99.

Now, I really don’t know who would pay $39.99 for one of these but I wasn’t going to pass it up this kind of deal. And then the domino effect began. I did my price check and then quickly started scanning which were the best two, while noticing other shoppers in the corner of my eye beginning to smell the “BUY IT mode” around them, and they too began to pick them up - and within 5 minutes all 20 or so had disappeared.  Gotta love a good sidewalk sale steal!

So where did I put them? Well we have some major plans in store for our deck, but right now they are just sitting pretty on our patio table, framing the insect/mosquito lantern. Don’t you worry little lantern, more help is coming!!


But the deal of the year goes to a heads up that  my new BF Beckie @ Infarrantly Creative  gave me, or I guess all her readers, about the Ballards Design Outlet Store called Ballards Backroom in the Atlanta area.  


My hubby and I are actually off to Atlanta where we will get to soak in a Braves game and then he will have to follow me through the Ballards Backroom store with a mop to clean up all my drool!  If you didn’t get a chance to read Beckie’s post - you just have to. She saw clocks originally $129.00-$249.00 for $9.99! Seriously? I WILL locate a shipping store.


I’ll be sure to report back on any steals I see and they better not be just during the baseball game!

(Now you have to admit that was clever).

♥ Katie

::: And for those of you that are signed up for my Newsletter and are awaiting the big reveal of my 5th and final Storage Solution - I just sent it out and you’ll be happy to know “it” also just went on sale!:::

School Work Keeper

Posted: August 4th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions | 5 Comments »

Storage Solution Series

Stomper Stash

Books of all Seasons

Practical Charger

and today:

Storage Solution #4 The Ultimate School Work Keeper

I’m the girl who wanted to get an SUV even before we had kids because I wanted to make sure I had enough room in my car to fit all the kids soccer gear. You know for all the games and practices that they were going to have when they started playing soccer. A little early, I know and I’m still waiting on that reality with my 4 year old…but another dream was when he would start bringing home school work and I would get to organize it. I know – weird, but I also think this comes from me being a teacher and creating end of the year portfolios. Now I just get to do it in my home.

So here is my plan of school work attack that is simple and inexpensive:

1. First you find an organizing system that works for you depending on the number of children you have. I opted to buy the 3 drawer option – the extra to use for crafts or maybe someday a third child? (This one was at Target for $10 bucks.) 

2. Find a good place to put it in where the children can reach it and it is out of the way.

3. Label the drawers or have the kids decorate their own sign for their drawers.    


4. Now when they bring home their work it can be ooowed and ahhed at and then be placed in the drawer. (A great tip I remember reading about for bigger items like dioramas, is to take a picture of it or your child with it and then simply put the photo in their drawer). Note: I do try to make sure everything has a date on it (something the teacher should have them do anyways) but it will help them and you to remember when they created it. 


5. Finally, at the end of the year, or even better, during a rainy summer day, sit down and dump all the work on the ground (my son loved this) and go through all the cool stuff they created. Then, together, pick around 5-10 items that they would like to save from that year. I can place that stack in a 3 ring pocket folder of their choice. If you can’t tell, GREEN is my son’s favorite color. Then put that folder into a big 3 ring binder to collect all their school years. 



Now I just need soccer to start!

♥ Katie

My final storage solution will be showcased in my Fall Favorites Newsletter which will be sent out in a couple days so if you would like to see it go ahead and sign up! 

✄ And if this school solution was up your alley - don’t miss this weeks’ Back to School Link Party over at We are THAT Family.