5 Strategies For Decluttering A Small Space

If you live in a small apartment or home, then you know how hard it is to keep it organized and tidy! It only takes a box of papers or some folded clothes on the floor to overwhelm a smaller space…Ugh, I get anxiety thinking about it.

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The good news is that there is hope! Here are 5 Strategies For Decluttering A Small Space:

Embrace Storage Containers! People often think that they can’t fit a filing cabinet, bookshelves, or a desk into their apartment or home. You need to embrace the fact that you have stuff and like to have certain things around – That’s what makes you interesting – Just find a way to manage it all so you don’t feel overwhelmed by it.

Furniture Can Be Storage! Do you own an ottoman that you could also use to store blankets? If not, you can find some really affordable ones at a local discount retail store near you. In the market for a new bed? Consider looking at one that has drawers underneath or has at least enough height to store some under-the-bed bins.

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Think Vertical! In small living spaces it is very important to maximize all of your space. That’s why you NEED. To. Think. Vertical! If your desk is too small to store anything, try hanging some file folders above it to organize incoming papers and office supplies. Bulletin boards and magnetic boards are also great places to display artwork, school reminders, travel plans etc. These don’t require a lot of space, but can be super helpful for getting things off countertops and other flat surfaces.

Do A Little Every Day! People often say that they don’t have enough time to do any organizing, but everyone can find 10-15 minutes in their day to focus on at least one small space or project. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in 15 minutes – like organizing all of your miscellaneous papers into several categories: To File, To Toss, To Shred, and To Do. And don’t forget to reward yourself with a glass of wine when you’re done ;).

Out With The Old! Chances are you don’t need most of the papers that you’re keeping — so shred them. If you haven’t worn that sweater for three years, donate it. Clearing out even a few items always makes me feel wayyy more relaxed.

Tiny Origami Apartment In Manhattan Unfolds Into 4 Rooms

Even though you see me on T.V., I’m still a regular girl on a budget. And I live on an island…In an apartment! I’m always turning to the internet for inspiration on how to maximize every square inch of space. That’s why when I found about Eric Schneider and his closet-sized studio apartment, I just knew I’d be inspired! In 2005 the third grade teacher bought a 450-square-foot studio for $235,000 (Holy Manhattan Batman)!

“It was basically an open rectangular space,” remembers Schneider. “There wasn’t much to it, there was just a couple of old closets, an old corner kitchen and that was it”.

He let architects Michael Chen and Kari Anderson of Normal Projects design a way to pack more density into his small space. “Initially we were looking at different ways we could subdivide the spaces into smaller spaces,” explains Chen, “but pretty quickly it became clear that there wasn’t really enough room to get like a real bedroom in here and if you did then there wasn’t really room to have a real living room area and Eric is a pretty serious cook and so a tiny little kitchen wouldn’t really work for him.”

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In order to fit more apartment in a small footprint, they created an object that’s bigger than furniture, but smaller than architecture and that morphs with the changing activities of a day.

It’s a large, blue, oversized cabinet that houses all of the walls/bed/tables/shelving/closets needed for at least 4 full-sized rooms.

To create a bedroom, the cabinet door swings out to create a wall dividing the living room from the sleeping area, then the Murphy bed folds down revealing a built-in nightstand complete with lighting.

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By continuing to unfold, or fold differently, Schneider can create not just the bedroom with accompanying closets, but an office plus library, a guest bedroom, and a living room. Or close it up entirely and simply flip down the small bar and the room becomes entertaining space for a dozen.

The Normal Projects architects called their creation the Unfolding Apartment, though given Schneider’s affinity for the Japanese sense of space (he spent his first year post-college living and teaching in Japan), it could as easily be called the Origami Apartment.

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The morphing cabinet had to be custom built and while it packs in a lot- even kitchen storage and lighting for the room- Chen warns it’s not about hiding stuff, but about strategically creating division and overlap.

“It’s partly partitioning the space, it’s partly making its interior available and its partly also creating lots of different areas of overlap where you get like a living area and a bed area and a dining area and a lounge area and they’re not necessarily separate but they’re sort of leaking into one another in a way.”

In total, Schneider spent $70,000 total remodeling his new apartment and this includes not just the cabinet, but the bathroom renovation, all cabinetry, kitchen appliances, furniture and dishes, etc.

In this video, Chen shows us his custom cabinet of rooms and Schneider unfolds a few of his favorite configurations: his bedroom (& closet/changing room), office (& library), guest bedroom, kitchen, dining bar, living room and lounge.

How To Make your Own DIY Scented Candles

Candles are a great way to add warmth and light to a room. They can keep your house smelling fresh and add personality to your decor. Making homemade scented candles is easier than you think!

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You can blend your own favorite scents and colors, giving your candles a personal touch. Follow this easy tutorial to learn how to make your own candles.

Materials

Wax flakes
Pre-waxed candle wicks
Containers for candles
Non-toxic crayon or candle color block
Essential oils

Tools:

Glass container
Saucepan or pot
Skewers or chopsticks
Tape
Stove
Scissors

Directions:


Step 1: Setting up your wicks –
To set up the candlewicks in your containers, you’ll want to lay the metal piece flat against the bottom. Then use your chopsticks/skewers to hold up the wicks, and tape the ends of the chopsticks to keep everything in place.

Step 2: Measuring the wax flakes – Measure out the amount of candle wax flakes you’ll need for each of your containers. The rule of thumb is two times the amount of wax flakes to fill each container.

Step 3: Melting the wax – Fill a saucepan with water to about the halfway mark. Place your measured amount of wax flakes in the glass container. Then place the glass container in the saucepan. Be sure the water level is low enough, so it won’t splash into the wax flakes when it starts to boil. Turn your stove on to medium-high, and use a metal spoon to stir occasionally.

Step 4: Adding color to your candles – This is an optional step. Your candles will come out a naturally milky white, but if you’d like to add a little color, you can use a non-toxic crayon or candle color block. I typically use 1/8 inch of red crayon per 16 fl. oz. to get a soft pastel color. Want a brighter color? Use a little bit more, only adding color a bit at a time. Like food coloring, a small amount goes a long way. Simply melt your color along with your wax flakes. Warning: The color will look a lot brighter in the melted mixture but will turn a milky color as it cools.

Step 5: Add scent –
Once all the wax is completely melted, remove the wax mixture from the stove. My rule of thumb is 10 drops of essential oil per 16 fl. oz. It makes for a moderately scented candle. Use less or more depending on taste, and feel free to experiment and mix oils to create a scent of your own. Add the measured amount of essential oil to your wax mixture and give it a good stir to make sure it’s well-mixed.

Step 6: Pouring the wax –
Make sure your containers are in a good location where they won’t need to be moved for a few hours. Then slowly pour your melted wax mixture into your containers.

Step 7: Setting your candle – Allow 3-4 hours for your candles to cool and solidify. It’s best to let them solidify at room temperature, so the cooling process is gradual. This prevents cracks in the wax.

Welcome To The New LaurenMakk.com!

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Welcome to my new interior design blog and thanks for stopping by!

This is a place you can count on for easy, budget-friendly, no-nonsense advice on how to create the home of your dreams! Now, any old designer can tell you what’s hot or what’s not, but here – you’re going to get some practical take aways that I know you can apply in your own spaces with ease. I’m working hard to make sure I provide you with fresh, up-to-date and out-of-the-box ideas just like any good girlfriend would… I guess you can officially consider me your HOME girl next door!

Now, let’s get designing! 🙂

Lauren Makk

How To Install A USB Outlet In Your Wall

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Ever find yourself juggling multiple chargers on a two-socket outlet? Fix that problem once and for all by swapping out a traditional outlet for one that includes USB ports. These work great in common areas like the kitchen!

Things you’ll need:

USB Receptacle
USB Receptacle Cover
Flat Head Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver
Needle-Nose Pliers
Wire Cutters
Cordless Drill
Wire Insulation Stripper

Safety first! Make sure to TURN THE POWER OFF to the receptacle you plan to replace.

Steps:

1. Remove the original receptacle cover with a flat head screwdriver
2. Take the receptacle out of the wall box. There should be one screw at the top and one at the bottom.
3. GENTLY pull the receptacle out of the wall. Begin disconnecting the 5 wire (2 black, 2 white, and 1 copper) by unscrewing the screws.
4. Remove the wires from the old receptacle (using a flat or Phillips screwdriver) and attach them to the new one.

The only trick here is attaching the different colored wires to the right spot:

Black (or hot) wires always attach to gold or black screws.
White (or neutral) wires always attach to silver or white screws.
Green or unsheathed wires (ground wires) always attach to green screws.

5. To attach the wires to the new outlet, use a pair of needle-nose pliers or a wire stripper to make a hook with the wire, loop it around the appropriately colored screw on the receptacle, then tighten the screw.
6. Once the wires are securely attached to the new receptacle, shove everything back into the electrical box, and screw the new receptacle into the box.
7. Turn the breaker back on. Check to make sure the receptacle is working, then install the faceplate on the new receptacle.

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VOILA! Did you geek out like me when you realized these outlets existed?

Furniture And Home Décor Trends To Watch For In 2015

What better way to kick off the new year than by redecorating your home? We’ve broken down 2015’s must-have furniture and home décor trends for fearless new year’s makeover.

Heavy Metals

The use of metallic elements in modern interior design is not new, but we are starting to see it being used more frequently. I personally love seeing shiny metallic metals in juxtaposition with furniture from raw, natural materials.

The best way to integrate metallic pieces into your home is with cool accessories, candles, or tabletop decor.

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Tone on Tone

Getting the Tone on Tone look in your living room is all about layering. Use the same color in different saturations and textures throughout the space. The easiest way to recreate the monochromatic look is to mix and match patterns, keeping it all within the same color family. The end result will be soft, calm and sophisticated.

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Natural Elements

Adding natural elements to your space will give it warmth and depth. The easiest way to get the natural look in your home is by using furniture with natural woods. Woods that are lighter in color create an open and airy feel, while darker woods evoke glamor and masculinity.

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10 DIY Simple Headboards You Can Create In 24 Hours

A one-of-a-kind DIY headboard can make a bold statement in your bedroom at a low cost. Browse these simple headboards for inspiration and step-by-step instructions.

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Rope Headboard

For this bedhead you’ll need 2 pine timber lengths, and 2 different types of rope. Create a frame using your timber, drill holes in the frame for your rope. Randomly thread rope through the holes and secure with a knot. Dab nail polish on the ends of the rope to stop it fraying.

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Plaster Board Headboard

You’ll need plaster band and resin decoration (feature for the top). Cut your plaster bands to suit bed size (the frame should suit the width of your bed) You can ask your plaster supplier to cut these for you. Paint your plaster mouldings any colour you like. Use superglue to attach Velcro to the back of the plaster. Remove protective tape from other side of Velcro and stick to wall.

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Old Doors Headboard

Pick up old doors from your local scrap yard. Paint them any colour you like. Sand back the edges to give them a warn in look. The door panels can be fixed together with two pieces of timber mounted to the top and bottom. You can now rest your bedhead against the wall.

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Painted Mural Headboard

Create a design for your bed head. Practice on paper to get it exactly as you like it. Using a pencil mark out a border for the size of your bed head so you have a space to work with. To create this bed head start drawing different size triangles. Tape around the triangles that aren’t touching. Then paint inside these triangles. Let dry completely. Remove tape and repeat the process. Once done remove all tape and admire your handy work!

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New York City Skyline Headboard

You can either us paint or washi tape for this. Practise on paper first and then use either a grey lead pencil (if doing washi tape) or masking tape (if doing paint) to get the outline right on your wall. Paint in between the masking tape or place washi tape over the grey lead lines.

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Chalkboard Headboard

Incredibly simple and versatile. Paint your wall using chalkboard paint (get this from your hardware or paint store) and draw any design you choose! If you get sick of it you can easily erase it. Great idea for kids rooms.

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Timber Headboard

Perfect for a rustic bedroom to create this bedhead you’ll need recycled timber, masking tape, and paint. Paint every second timber section at the top to create his effect.

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Timber City Skyline Headboard

Simple materials such as timber, and paint are needed for this one. Have the timber cut into any shape you prefer or try this one. Give it a few coats of paint and your done.

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Book Headboard

Head to your local thrift store to collect stacks of old books. Glue the books to a piece of recycled timber. Stick the top pages in place with double sided tape. Happy reading!

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Pegboard Headboard

You’ll need Masonite pegboard sheets and double sided foam mounting tape (try 3M brand) Here they’ve used 3 pegboard sheets to make the bedhead wider than the bed for bigger impact. Have your sheets cut to the right size, attach to wall using mounting tape.

So there you have it 10 great DIY headboards! Which one will you try?

This Modern Library Storage Bin Hides Your CD’s, DVD’s, Magazines, and Other Clutter

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Looking to add some extra storage to your bookshelf without compromising style? These handmade Model Library Storage Bins from Able & Baker are made from recycled books that have been discarded by libraries, book shops, and thrift stores. According to the shop’s Etsy listing, they fit great with the Ikea Expedit boocase and are a stylish way to store your CD’s, DVD’s, magazines, papers, and much more!

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You could also DIY with some old books, wood, and hot glue! Just make sure to use the right measurements to fit your shelf.

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