Category Archives: Hutch

Step 2 of My Tidyness Project: BOOKS

Let me begin by mentioning that I don’t really have many books so this was an easy one for me. I don’t like to keep a lot of books around for a couple reasons. First, I have a kindle. Second, they are so heavy to move! Have you ever filled a Uhaul moving box full of books and then tried to lift it? Me, too. It’s smart to spread them out amongst all your moving boxes or just give them away. People are always looking for free books.

Marie  Kondo has a few guidelines:

1. All books on the floor.  Grab your cookbooks, the books/magazines out of the bathroom and all the books beside your bed.  Sure, it would be easy to look at them all on the shelf and pick and choose but you must touch each book to see if it brings you joy. Warning: things are going to be dusty!

If you have a large collection and it seems overwhelming, separate the books into the following 4 categories: 1. General (pleasure) 2. Practical (reference and cookbooks) 3. Visual (photography collections and coffee table books) 4. Magazines.

2. Touch the books to see if they bring you joy. Do not start reading the books! To decide if you are going to keep a book, touch it to see if it brings you joy. Do not keep a book just because you think you might re-read it.

3. Sometime means never. If you haven’t read a book yet, you aren’t going to. Marie Kondo believes that books are time sensitive and that the best time to read a book is when it first arrives. If you have a book that has been partially read, you most likely aren’t going to finish it and the book has already served it’s purpose of being half read. Reference books and old text books are most likely not going to be used again.

Let’s review my progress, shall we? G1 and I keep most of our books in our hutch we made a few years back. I made an attempt to keep it pretty and neat, but it did seem a little mopey.

Bookshelf Before

 

Starting this project, I promised G1 that I wouldn’t ask him to get rid of any of his belongings nor would I take it upon myself to discard of anything that we jointly owned. But, as I am working my way through my tidyness project, he has seemed to peek an interest and offered to go through the books with me. I told him it might be a challenge to start with the books as he hadn’t gained any decision making confidence by first going through his clothes. As Marie Kondo predicted, He did struggle letting go of a few books that didn’t bring him joy, especially reference books and books he hadn’t read.

StackedonFloor

Since our book collection was rather small, I separated our books into books that belonged to G1 and books that belonged to myself. This way, I was only selecting which books to keep that I actually owned and G1 had a chance to do the same. I went first and then took this picture of G1 breaking rule #2. In his defense, it’s very hard to pick up a book and not thumb through the pages! It’s such a natural instinct!

Archer over-seeing our selection

Archer over-seeing our selection

 

For me, this went quickly. The confidence I gained by deciding which clothes to keep crossed over in deciding which books to keep. I kept only a few books and all of my interior design porn. Once I had finished with my books, I separated them into colors and waited for G1’s selection. I added his into the appropriate grouping and started to place them on the shelf.

Books of Joy

DetailsRed

DetailsBlue

DetailBrown

DetailsBlack

"Do I fit in White? Brown? or Green? "

“Do I fit in White? Brown? or Green? “

The aftermath?

DonationBooks

Now that I have completed clothing and books, I must say that the hardest part of my tidyness project is the actually removing the discarded items from our home. These books sat in our mudroom for a week before I was able to donate them to the library. Remember how I mentioned people love free books? As I was taking the boxes inside of the library, two ladies walked up and asked if I was giving them away. I told them I was donating them to the library and she said that she thought they were free. It was a little awkard but I was able to get them inside the library.

With the clothes, it was more about waving goodbye to all the money I had spent. With books, it was about how heavy they were and finding time to take them to the library. This is why we didn’t have many books to begin with: they are awful to move!

Just to remind myself where I started:

Bookshelf Before

 

And where I ended up:

ShelfAfter

 

The hutch is so peaceful, now and I am that much closer to finding my true style.

Next up on my tidyness project? Sorting Papers. Check out how I worked through my clothes and why I started my tidyness project.

 

 

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Organizing A Dump Zone After Moving

MovingInDumpZoneThe boxes that once held our home have been slashed and broken down to flat, lifeless, 2D objects yet the items they once held are still making a big impact in our life. Our goal was to unload all the boxes – no problem (except the two boxes that still sit in the office; those are a problem). All the  boxes are empty and the bonus? everything is piling up in the kitchen on a shelf that came with the house. I’m pretty sure that all of it is piled up here because it’s on it’s way downstairs, but someone didn’t have the enthusiasm to actually take it downstairs.

For some reason, and I blame it on living in tiny apartments until now, we will avoid any task that involves up going upstairs or downstairs. The laundry is downstairs and our bedroom is upstairs. We may have bought a few more laundry baskets to try and do laundry less and our room may be the only place in the house where we haven’t done any actual moving-in.

I recently read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin  where she made a ‘rule’ to do anything that doesn’t take more than a minute to do. For us, that means taking the laundry downstairs, putting our shoes in the closet, hanging our jackets instead of throwing them over the couch, and filling up the Brita pitcher with water before we put it back in the fridge. All these little things, when left undone, can create a bit of chaos so we started using the one minute roll as well. Everywhere except the shelf in the kitchen! Time for a new goal : Organize the kitchen dump zone, where everything that doesn’t have a designated home (or belongs in the basement) lands.

MessyClutterBothThe shelf in the kitchen came from the basement and belongs to the home’s owner and since we were desperate for counter space we brought it up to tie us over.  It had collected the fruit bowl, dinner plates that don’t fit in the cupboard, a box of lightbulbs, a tool box and drill, and a lovely hydrangea that is waiting to be planted.

First thing I did was take the dreaded descent into the basement. I gathered all the tools and lightbulbs and general ‘garage stuff’and took it downstairs where it belongs. I then vowed to implement the ‘one minute rule’ to make sure that this tool pile-up didn’t happen again.

And just like that, I had my shelf back.

ShelfStage1It was a breath of fresh air. And then it was a very long exhale as I realized that the shelf seemed unwarranted, and that I needed to make it useful. I had been wanting to move the coffee machine and accessories off of our counter to make more space, so I decided to make a coffee station on the shelf.

ShelfStage2

Now we’re talking. I liked that I was able to bring all of the coffee supplies together and free up some space on the kitchen counters. Was I in love with it? No, but it was much better than where it started  so I decided to move onto the built-in hutch.

MessyHutch

At least the hutch wasn’t full of tools. There were a few things that gathered that didn’t belong: two spice racks from Ikea, vases, a flashlight, and doggy-doo-doo bags. So as I did with the shelf, I took everything away that didn’t belong.

HutchFinal

The plates that used to be on the shelf fit nicely on the hutch but looked a little out of place, so I added the rest of our collection. I added the vintage radio for a splash of color and my ‘deer’ friend for a bit of decor. The jar on the bottom is the most important as it is home to a variety of dog treats and we all know that a happy dog is a happy home.

HutchDetailI bought the cracker jars at Wal-mart and found the labels at World Market. The style of labels on the right were pre-printed  and the jar on the left is a chalkboard label. Did I mention that World Market is quickly becoming my favorite store?

HutchCloseup

HutchCloseup2

HutchandShelfStage2

I was happy with my progress thus far. I had a nice organized hutch and a coffee station shelf. Buuuuuuuuuut, I didn’t really love the shelf.

So, I brought in it’s replacement:

HutchandShelfFinalThe Ikea shoe cabinet. This cabinet is amazing! The drawers pull towards you and you can slide in your shoes. We haven’t really found a great place for it in our house where we can actually use it as a shoe cabinet, so I was happy to bring it in and replace the shelf. It seemed to fit perfectly; both the white color and the size.

ShelfStage3

My sister-in-law came over and came up with the brilliant idea to put wine bottles in the cabinets.

BINGO!

Now that I was content with that corner of the kitchen, I only had one corner left: the butcher block.

MessyCart

I quickly tidied up the butcher block corner of the kitchen by hanging the knife magnet and adding a picture.

CartFinal

The cook books found a home on the bottom shelf of the kitchen cart.

BooksFinal

 

And Archer found a home right in front of my camera.

Archer

 

The entire dump-zone organization wasn’t as awful as I imagined it to be. It really consisted of taking everything that didn’t belong in the kitchen away and then re-situating what did belong until I liked what I saw.
FinalView

 

There is a list accumulating with projects that I want to complete in the kitchen including paint and add curtains.

I’ll keep you posted on any other updates!

Choosing Color {Just say no to white}

IMG_6716

Eenie Meenie Miney – yellow?

We are hoping to pick a pop color for our shelf-turned-hutch.

photo (2)

Looking for a splash of color!.

We are about 99% positive we are going to paint the shelves and the interior sides a glossy clean white. This was an easy decision. Foremost, I (G2) love white. It’s clean, contemporary and fresh. Everything looks more expensive sitting on a brilliant white shelf. Let’s be honest, the majority of my goods come from a lower priced market, so a splash of cash is always helpful.

Since I have a thing for re-purposing and finishing furniture and home decor, choosing white early on in the game will make my entire apartment look cohesive.

photo (3)

I wish I would have painted the blue side table a brilliant white.

We have narrowed the back interior wall of the shelf down to a few shades of green and yellow. We thought the green would be nice and fit well with most of our decor and we chose yellow for it’s happy bright composure. We plan to use this hutch in the kitchen area and yellow would be a great addition as I am slowly collecting yellow accent pieces.

IMG_6717

Green for safety or yellow for happiness?

 The white we chose is the 4th from the left. There is a very light/minty green to the left of the white which is barely noticable, but might be right on par for keeping the hutch brilliant and bright.

I love this hutch and thought her use of yellow tack paper was beautifully done. Doesn’t that scream happy?

Yellow

HAPPY!

Have you noticed I am rooting for the high-lighter yellow? Check out the incredible effect adding a bubbly yellow to a room  has.

ikea-yellow-kitchen

Hi, I’m yellow and I’m here to make you happy.

And as an after thought, maybe we should have skipped the stain and painted the entire hutch a poppy yellow?

yellow_hemneslinencabinet

I’m bright and everything is right.

If you have any objections to yellow or have another suggestion or maybe just think we should keep it all white, please let us know!

 

DIY Hutch From a Bookshelf (Welcome 2013)

Guess who’s back????
I’ve taken a much needed social media break beginning early November and have had time to collect myself, re-connect with my offline social life, and gather direction for the new year!

My holiday season was wonderful, spent with those dearest to me. I dropped a rather large DIY-bomb on my family for Christmas in the form of their Christmas presents! It involved quite a few  profile pictures, and fabric paint and sewing! That blog post coming….. soon.

My NYE was spent with my BFF in Montana and my birthday (all too close to the holidays) was spent back in Seattle with my farm family and husband. What a great start to the New Year!

I ended up starting to gather my supplies for a project before Christmas, but had to put it on hold to make time to finish my DIY-bomb that I before mentioned. I had been pining for a hutch-something colorful, rustic, and with a vintage flare and I knew it must have chicken-wire doors! After many searches online, I thought I could make one. If  you’ve heard of Anna White, or visited her amazing site, you would be feeling just as empowered as I was. I decided to take a reality check and start with a smaller project. I decided to find a decent shelf, add the doors and then paint it to my liking.

I found this really simple shelf on Craigslist. I’m almost positive someone else made it by hand, re-using the wood, as a lot of the pieces have nail holes. Either way, it fit the bill; a little rustic, a shelf, an vintage -er- used flare.

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My husband ( I need to think of a code-name for him) and his BFF from high school who was visiting from San Diego, made simple door frames.

photo (1)

After the door frames were attached, we sanded away until they fit together with less friction. I didn’t sand them down to a perfect fit, but after staining them, they miraculously fit together perfectly. My guess? The wood absorbed the stain and shrunk a bit. After the doors were stained, I attached the chicken wire with a staple gun and then stained the shelf exterior.


photo (2)

We attached the doors and stood back to admire! We are only half way done with this project and have plans to paint the interior, except…. we can’t decide on a color. I think a glossy white and my husband agrees, but suggested we paint the back of the shelf a pop color! Baby steps…

photo (3)Until we make a decision… it will remain with the original interior, that I actually sort of like. It definitely fits the rustic theme.

Any suggestions on interior colors? Pantone color of the year?

~cg

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