Thursday, July 2, 2015

Welcome to the first Thursday of July. I know all you U.S.of A-ers can think of is ducking out of work and donning the red, white, and blue party pants, but before you scattle off–a spotlight. 

Rethink Design Studio is a Georgia-based firm that kind of does it all: interior architectural design, interior decorating, construction management, and branding identity for both commercial and residential spaces. Basically, if you need it to look and feel amazingly appealing, they’re your shop.

They also seem to me to be able to cover the bases in terms of style–they’re as skilled at creating traditional spaces (with plenty of zest) as they are contemporary, sleek affairs, and just wait ’til you see how Rethink does beach house.

Sometimes I look through designers’ portfolios and find maybe four images I really love. I kind of work to love them. And other times I have to seriously check myself lest I go and implant an entire career’s worth of images into one blog post. I’ll let you figure out which kind this one was–the latter.

But really, get a hold of all this goodness.

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

Fairly traditional study that nicely balances dark and light.

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

And this room–this room is too much. Too much as in too much. Like, there’s way too much going on here for me to possibly like it!

I mean the patterned wallpaper, and then the patterned window coverings, and then, oh yeah, the hot pink sofa. And okay, truthfully the deer or elk or whatever creature it is definitely is too much for me, but otherwise, come on, isn’t the whole production just glorious in all its muchness?!

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

Yonder, Rethink goes in an entirely different direction, showing off their shelf styling skills and their ability to finesse what must undoubtedly be referred to by its homeowners as ‘the great room.’

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio! Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

I do appreciate the details, as everyone does, which is why I must now bow to Rethink for the following:

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

I do believe I spy a lighted closet rod–three cheers–in this walk-in wardrobe.

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

But wait for it– stop it, Rethink. You didn’t think to install lighting inside of the cabinetry, did you?

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

A bit of genius is what that is.

And now get ready to drink up these blues:

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

Gosh those are some lovely doors.

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

Here–a totally sublime and airy bath.

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

And here–a design done for a vacation rental home. Which I am, like, definitely going to look into.

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio! Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio! Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

Or would we prefer this other unit?

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

It’s a toss.

K, get ready for hyper speed now.

– Rethink goes mod for the small humans. 

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio! 26+Bartow+Rd+EDIT

– This stupidly chic and perfectly (just a tiny bit will do it!) mismatched dining room. 

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

– Bam! Dreamy, traditional bedroom coming at you! 

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

And now–beach me, baby.

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio! Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio! Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

And finally, two shots from work done designing for a restaurant, which, if I had any say, would play host to our (yours and my) happy-party.

Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio! Weekend plans: check out this stunning portfolio by Rethink Design Studio!

I don’t think I’ve ever said this before (!?) but do take a venture over to Rethink’s site and dream your way through their entire portfolio. It’s almost the weekend, anyhow, and you’ll be needing something to do.

K, hearts and stars and fireworks and feeling and being great. The essence of all that, sent on over to you. With (also) a thank you for indulging my strangeness and my making up words. byeeeee

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Let’s talk common and quirky shopping habits.

the best time to buy supplies for your hobbies.

Last week I ordered myself new workout leggings, because for a person who’s exercised six days a week for the past every year I can remember, my collection is (even still) pathetic. They arrived right before the weekend, and it was all squeals of delight and standing on top of the closed toilet in order to try to see myself in the downstairs bathroom mirror because it was already too hot upstairs to utilize the full-length without immediately sweating. Which at the time was (I can’t remember now why) an activity I wanted to avoid doing in my sweating pants. This information is neither here nor there except that I’m ridiculously tired right now and so.

Saturdays are traditionally my rest day, but I was so dang excited about my spanking new leggings that I happily worked out anyhow. And while I did I looked in the mirror and thought about how many loads of work out gear I’ve carried off for people over the years. People who had every best intention to motivate themselves to exercise by buying themselves cute clothes, who never ended up making it the gym.

This led me to thinking about all the other activity related items I’ve hauled off for people and the order in which those things were procured:

One client had had a sudden burning desire to learn to play guitar, which led him to buying one…that never ended up getting played.

Another client had visions of taking up cycling. Three years later he had a $3000 premier lightweight, never-ridden model, gloves, and cycling shoes, sitting in his garage. 

There must be some recording-of-history clause in the female DNA, because most women at some point down the line seem to hatch the brilliant idea of taking up scrapbooking. A decade later and they have all the supplies, still in the Michaels bag, to show for it.

Of course it’s true that sometimes you just can’t know until you know.

But you can clarify your priorities and gain a deeper understanding of yourself.

And having done that, you can become more aware of your availability and your responsibilities.

And having done that, you can hold yourself to a more realistic standard moving forward in terms of what you’ll really have time and energy for, and what you won’t.

You can give yourself a window that’s longer than thirty seconds to delve into whatever hobby or activity is currently of interest to you. Consider it a trial period that’s intended to determine whether the interest is fleeting, or whether you’re truly committed.

Take a week, or a few weeks. Work with the supplies you’ve already got. Rent the skis, or the bike–a couple of times. Buy enough supplies to make one scrapbook page. Make the page. Then buy enough to make two more. Make two more. If you don’t make the pages, you certainly won’t keep buying the supplies, will you?

Life is about change. The world is about variety. At our fingertips is all variety, all the time. At our blessed disposal are all things, from nearly anywhere, shipped Amazon Prime.

And it’s glorious and exciting and fast and sometimes it feels like there’s not enough time to think. But do. Think. Research. Hone intentionality.

I swear, even if you don’t believe me, there’s a place inside you that already knows whether you’re going to make your own pasta more than that one time or go fly fishing besides that one weekend or decorate cakes for your friends’ parties other than that one friend for that one party a long time ago. 

the best time to buy supplies for your hobbies.

When you’re working with supplies that may not be ideal or convenient and you’re still dedicated and obsessed with doing something then you’ll have shown yourself that treating yourself to the best and readiest tools will be the furthest thing from trapping yourself through impulsivity–it will be the most sensible way to support your happiness and motivate your progress.

Anyhow, my new leggings are the shit.

 

Image credit: Getty Images, Photography by Ditte Isager for Martha Stewart

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Just in time for July, the 7 organizing products I’ve been obsessed with all June-long. They’ve transformed pantries, upgraded closets, unearthed and corralled supplies–in short, they’ve changed lives. Get the scoop below. 

 

7 must-have products hand-picked by a professional organizer!

 

Continuing on from last month’s chalk labeling kick…

 

1. Black Bin Clip Labels

These guys were a new release at the Container Store, and when I saw them I instantly clicked “add to cart.”

In some aspects they’re the upgraded version of the chalk tags included in last month’s favorites roundup. Whereas those could easily be used for more decorative purposes–gift wrapping or table-scaping, these feel a bit more permanent, a bit more like they’re actually intended to be used for labeling baskets and bins in an organizational capacity.

They clip right on to the front of your basket or bin, come with a little notecard that you could use to write on if you choose to go in that direction, or, can be written directly on with a chalk pen.

 

Speaking of which–

 

2. White Chalk Pen Wet Wipe Marker

In my opinion, if you’re going to do chalk labels, you’re going to need these chalk pens. 

 

I was a bit nervous that these baskets, which I’d chosen for my client’s pantry, might not be conducive to the aforeblogged chalk clip labels. Nay, they clipped right over those wires and the two together are a total knock out.

 

3. Wire Scoop Basket

Although I do so love my clear Linus Binz, sometimes it’s nice to switch things up. And so it was that I decked out my client’s pantry in these wire baskets.

Things I love about them: The scoop, first of all, must not be under-valued. The scoop helps to make everything contained inside feel uber accessible.

The wire, itself, provides arguably just as good visibility as clear bins, albeit with a bit more industrial-come-cottage vibe.

One other big plus about these wire bins: they are the perfect balance of style and function. They have a bit more flavor than clear bins, being wire, but their bottom is still a flat surface, rather than being all bumpy and lumpy and not at all helpful in terms of things standing up straight inside, like some others. 

 

4. 11-Peg Acrylic Necklace Rack

This is a no-brainer, stylish solution for hanging necklaces. Being acrylic, it keeps the attention on the jewelry, itself. My client and I used 2 of these in her dressing room, and I swear they made her neck ornaments look like some 3D art.

My one qualm about this is that it doesn’t come with screws to hang it up. And even though that makes me want to go, “Come on guys; you couldn’t throw in two little screws with that? Really?” I’m willing to overlook the oversight on the part of the manufacturer because in all other ways, this is easy breezy. 

 

5. 6 Compartment Unbreakable Box 

One (I mean all) of my clients had a slew of batteries floating around her home office. They were all in various stages of being unpackaged, naturally.

I was all, I am going to get this battery situation handled, once and for all.

One big box or bin doesn’t do it, since it doesn’t enable sorting between kinds of batteries, and those standard issue battery organizers don’t cut it in terms of capacity.

What I needed was a box–preferably sturdy, something like unbreakable in the title would be cool, with interior compartments. And that’s how I discovered that this 6-compartment unbreakable box and batteries are the perfect combo.

 

 

7. White elfa utility Mesh Gift Packaging Door & Wall Rack Solution

We had this installed on my client’s closet door in May, but it wasn’t until this past month that I actually had the chance to play around with it a bit. Having done so, I have to give the appropriate props to the C.S.

It’s so perfectly engineered to house wrapping supplies. Holders for wrapping paper rolls, baskets for tissue, or cards or whatever, and a mini-peg rack that’s sort of the gold star of the affair, from which one can hang hooks for ribbon spools, handles of gift bags, scissors and so on, or little caddies to hold tape or gift tags.

That the entire thing is adjustable, from baskets to hooks to height of wrapping paper guides seals the deal. 

(FYI: There are lots of variations of these door racks available, and they’re equally winning in pantry and general closet form.)

One note about this: it will rattle against the door very slightly unless you add some felt pads to the backsides of the baskets and board. But you do that and then you’re golden. 

 

8. Mid-Century Mini Desk

My sissy was desperately in need of a desk. Not a large desk, and not one that would hold many, many office hours, but a desk, nonetheless.

West Elm has a lovely crop of desks currently, if you ask me, and this one is just about perfect. And so I showed it to her, she okayed, it was obtained, and voila–totally office-tastic. (Not to be confused with jojotastic.)

Its size is such that it can just as easily pose for an actual desk as it could a little mini vanity or entryway table. Plus, its drawer provides more storage space (albeit rawther shallow) than might initially meet the eye. The majority of my sister’s office-y things fit within and it looks so dang charming in her space we just about both lost our shit. 

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P.S. (A)/Non-organizing favorite:

I have been meaning to mention this Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat for the longest time. Seriously, since like January, which is well-past how long it’s been going amazingly strong for. I don’t do yoga, but I do use a mat for my workout six days a week, every week, and I do it wearing sneakers. Needless to say, I had begun to think of mats as pretty disposable before this one considering the frequency with which they’d get torn up, start flaking little mat-bits all over the floor. Not to mention the extent to which they’d show their dirt. 

This mat so exceeds every other mat I’ve ever owned. The quality is superior in every way; it still wipes clean, it has yet to flake off a single flake, it’s nicely grippy, it’s, in short, the ideal mat.

I sort of balked at the price tag of it when I saw it at a local yoga studio, since every mat I’d bought before was probably a third of the cost of this one. But this mat is definitely a testament to the fact that not only do you get what you pay for, but also that often times you’re better off getting the real deal from the get-go than having to cycle through several inferior versions. Or at least, they almost always end up equaling out. And probably in the long term the better, more costly version will cost you less than the sucky one times however many sucky ones you go through.

Anyhow, word to the wise, for those who use mats and such. 

 

What’s been your favorite thing(s), product or otherwise, this month, hmmm?