Thursday, August 28, 2014

14 UHeart Organizing: A Small Space Nursery DIY

I am so smitten that my contributors bring so much diversity to this blog.  Some can sew and some live in apartments, while others live in completely different countries.  And now, a couple of them are pregnant and one even just had a new baby {congratulations Chelsea!!}.  I love that they bring a whole different element to iHeart, and feel so blessed that they all continue to partner up with me each week.

Yes, we currently have a few iHeart pregnancies in the mix!  Another very warm and exciting congratulations to Serena of Pretty Fluffy blog.  She is already the proud mama of a very loving pup, and now a sweet little babe will be joining her family as well.  Serena is a friendship built through long distance, yet it feels like I have known her for ages.  My heart burst when I heard the news, and I am so honored to have her stopping by to share some of her nursery with us today!

As a home décor-aholic, as soon as I found out I was expecting I started pinning away all sorts of inspiration for our baby girl’s nursery.  There is so much out there, that it’s easy to get carried away.

(Un)lucky for me, my over the top ideas were soon reigned in by my two realities – a small budget and a small space.

Not to be defeated I created an inspiration board of what I wanted to achieve with the space – and then worked back from there.

INSPIRATION BOARD CREDITS (Clockwise from Top Left): Pottery Barn Kids, On To Baby, On To Baby, Love Mae, Etsy.

Based on this board, my original dream nursery had a gorgeous West Elm dresser front and center.  But with a $1000 price tag it was out of my reach.

But what WAS within my reach were these MALM chest of drawers from IKEA. As luck would have it, we already had a chest of these three drawers in our office.  I’d bought it for stationary storage but to be honest the drawers were proving too deep to keep all my bits and bobs together and they weren’t getting used.

As I wanted 6 drawers, it was easy to buy one more set of 3 drawers and then move them both into the nursery.   I laid a table topper across the top and voila – a sleek, chic storage solution.

But with me wanting to keep my pretty nursery theme from my inspiration board, they needed a bit of dressing up.

To avoid drowning in a sea of pink, I selected a range of gift wrap from the beautiful gift & homeware store Love Mae.

Cutting the pieces to size, I used a different gift wrap design for each drawer level – that not only protect the contents of the drawers but make me oh-so-happy when I open each one!  I mean, one of the designs is of flamingos kissing – who doesn’t love that?

The next task was making the insides of the drawers as organized as possible. I quickly learnt that tiny baby stuff in big drawers equals one BIG mess without the right dividers.

Not wanting to cover all my gorgeous drawer lining I opted against using IKEA’s easy fit storage bins and instead went with rustic white baskets.

Drawer one consisted on all of the baby’s towels, wraps and bath time needs.  The added bonus is the basket is completely removable and portable so it’s super easy to grab on the go at bath time.

Drawer two & three are filled with baby’s outfits for the first few months (lots of pink in these drawers!) all organized by size – so it’s easy to grab and go when I’m in a zombie like state of sleep deprivation!  Again the storage baskets came in handy for storage the teeniest tiny items like socks, shoes and hats.

Drawers four, five & six are all used for extra diapers and linen with space left over for all of those things I’ve forgotten!  The magic is with so much space, as our baby grows we’ll be able to reconfigure the drawers as necessary.

Lastly, the drawers-come-dresser also had to double as our change table.  (Did I mention we are low on space?)  Lucky for us, with their long width they are actually the perfect size for a changing mat.

Using matching baskets I then added all the must-have items for changing - diapers, wipes and lotions.  I used recycled jars for storing cotton wool balls – making sure every single item was within reach using one arm only.

Finishing off the space with a cute elephant print, I couldn’t believe it.  I’d made this space for less than half of what my dream dresser would have cost.

What did I learn during this whole process?
  • There is ALWAYS an alternative budget option for that dream piece. It just may take a bit more time and effort to find it.
  • The details make all the difference – I still smile every time I open those drawers and see the DIY liners.
  • Going with pre-fitted storage (like IKEA boxes etc) can be easy, but to add more personality to your space, experiment with other shapes, ranges and recycled/repurposed pieces.
  • Kissing flamingos are the bomb.

And do you know what?  I think I like this new space more than my original dream nursery!  I hope our future daughter enjoys it just as much.

For more images and list of products and furnishings visit the full Nursery Tour here.

If you have any tips for a newborn nursery, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

"I am Serena Faber Nelson, a television producer, writer and fluffy dog owner. Obsessed with home décor, fashion, lifestyle and dogs – I set about creating Pretty Fluffy as a go-to guide for the modern pet owner. Featuring a range of stylish products, celebrity pooches, DIY projects and handy hints, Pretty Fluffy is a daily stop for smiles and inspiration, giving readers the tools they need to enjoy full and happy lives with their furry friends. My greatest loves include fresh peonies, Dirty Dancing (Nobody puts Baby in a corner), Banoffe Pie, spending waaay too much time on Pinterest, and hugging random dogs at the park. I currently live in Sydney, Australia with my husband, Andy, and my 11 year old Border Collie, Soda. As a long time fan, I am super excited to be joining the IHeart Organizing Team!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

14 Monthly Organizing Challenge: Let's Get The Party Started!

It has been awhile since we have taken time to link up and celebrate your organizing projects!  Are you ready for some fun!?

I don't know about you, but I LOVE this time of the month when you get to stop by and celebrate your organizing projects with me!  It has been almost two months since our last link party {seriously, how does that happen!?}, so there should be plenty for you to share!  And remember, I love seeing anything and everything from organizing a purse or drawer to making over a closet or piece of furniture.

Here is a quick re-cap of some of our favorite projects since our last round-up.

  • Although we were focusing heavily on getting through a lot of unfinished projects, like the front porch, main bath and garage, with the kids home for summer break my studio moved to the top of the list.  I needed a bigger work station and STAT, so we did just that!  Bryan and I built a new farmhouse style desk and I am gaga over the larger size and ability to really spread out each day!  Now, to finish staining it so I can call the project d.o.n.e.
  • Once we had the new, larger workspace in place, that meant we no longer needed the oh-so-confining small desk any longer.  To add a little extra softness and seating, we also built and upholstered a new bench!  I knew we would love it, but it has gotten more use by my little guys than I ever could have imagined.  

  • While I pondered the finish I wanted to use on the new desk, I turned my energy to finally getting the garage FINISHED.  Almost two years in the works and it was moving at a turtle pace.  To re-excite myself, I focused my attention on a happy nook for the boys.  Something about all of the colors, toys and labels made me fall in love with the garage project again, and this new outdoor toy zone has made for smoother summer days.
  • Another garage helper was installing a wall system to hold all of our bikes.  In the past, adult bikes were on the ceiling and kids were pretty much wherever they landed.  Now, they are all off of the floor, yet simple to access for everyone.  A huge garage win! 

  • All of our hard work has FINALLY paid off!  The garage can now fit both of our vehicles, all of our toys and sports equipment and offers oodles of upper storage for all of those bulky, less frequently used items.  We have since hosted an epic birthday party bash and I find myself just standing in the center gazing all around me in pure joy.  The garage is such an extension of the home and I now feel like we are really able to make the most of it.  You can see all of our progress in this post here.
  • Another weight lifted was giving our garden shed some love and attention.  In the past it was used for storage of random items and building supplies.  Totally not functioning and I honestly didn't even know what was in there more of the time.  Now, it has a specific purpose and I can use it for both yard and garden storage and planting.  Plus, getting this done opened up even more space in our garage.  

  • We are big believers in balancing those huge home projects with happy little side projects.  Those larger projects can take so much time and can drag out for days, months and even years.  I like small spurts of success and accomplishment sprinkled in, so I tackled a few creative storage solutions as well.  My DIY bracelet holder brings a little smile to my morning routine, and keeps all of my bangles on display.
  • This color loving gal had a white tray that was begging for some pizzazz.  I tried out a marbling technique with nail polish and it was so totally awesome {said in my high-school voice}.  Now my desk has a little added flair which I just adore.

  • I am a huge fan of using what you have to organize, or getting creative with recycled materials.  Our junk drawer was in need of a few extra dividers so I whipped some up out of spare scrapbook paper.  A simple, easy and free storage solution that can be used in many drawer types or even left out on desk tops! {tutorial found here}
  • For those of you with rolls of that pretty tape sitting on your desk, I pulled together my favorite ways to organize with Washi tape.

Now, it is your turn to link up and share your favorite projects with me!

As always, an over-sized thank you to all who participate in these challenges.  Checking out your posts is my guilty pleasure every month, so bring it on!  This month I will also be sharing some of your projects via social media and as always, will be doing a recap at the end of the party.

IHeart Organizing is not responsible for the content uploaded and shared within the Monthly Link Parties on within the #wiorn hashtag feed.  However, it is a great way to join together in making organizing fun, so let's use our best internet etiquette and have a great time with this social party.

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