Wednesday, October 29, 2014

16 Reader Space: Cuckoo for this Closet!

It has been awhile since we have taken a look at a beautifully organized walk-in closet around here.  Well, today's eye candy of a closet will make up for the months we have been without.  Totally worth the wait!

When it comes to marrying function and fabulous, Julia from Cuckoo 4 Design is an all time champion.  She recently gave her walk-in closet some glitz and glam and now it shines brighter than any star in the closet universe.  I just love every last blingy detail and I couldn't wait to show how some simple touches can make a huge impact.  For many, the walk-in closet is one of the first spaces that is seen in the morning.  It can make or break your day, so giving it a little attention will go along way in more ways than one.

What is the main function of your space?

"It is my walk-in closet and I also store our linens in it.  My husband and I are fortunate enough to each have our own walk-in closets, which is a major plus in our small home.  You don't come across such a great feature too often in a standard sized suburban home. But my husband's closet is an entirely different story and job, I don't know if I will ever go there.  But never say never, right?"

Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?

"Now I don't know if it is a superstar tip but for me the key is to not overdo it when I organize because I know I can't keep up with it when I'm in a hurry. That's why I didn't label the boxes. I know I wouldn't keep up with relabeling the frequent change in content (ain't nobody have time for that).  I love hurrying through my house and packing things away in a rush.  So the fastest and easiest way is key for me to keep something "somewhat organized".  The boxes have a clear plastic window and I can see what is in them which works great for me.

One of my favorite tricks to make it look bigger is the floor-mirror behind the clothing on the far wall of the closet.  You can read and see more about it here."

What items did you find were essential when organizing the space, and why?

"The most important items to me in my closet are the Ikea boxes that I placed on the upper shelves. They play a huge roll in making the tiny closet look less cluttered.  Can you imagine having to stack all the seasonal clothing and sheets that I need to store in there on all the shelves?  I've been there and it wasn't pretty.  Stuff starts to tumble down, I got angry, shoved or threw it back up.  On top of it I'm short and stacking stuff up high isn't all that easy even with a ladder.  I keep a small foldable step ladder right beside the dresser now and whenever I need something I use it and pull the particular box.  So much easier!"

What did you do to go the extra mile and "Make it Pretty"?

"Since my husband and I are always considering moving one day, it was in no way reasonable for me to throw out perfectly fine wire shelving.  The type of shelving that is so hated in the design community but functions quite well if you ask me.  So I tried to work with it and to come up with a solution to draw your eye away from that said shelving.  That's when I thought about wallpapering the ceiling to draw your eye up."

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?

"I pretty much always try to work with what I have first, that's why I painted the existing boxes. Some of the boxes had to get cut down to fit on the shelving.

I also painted the cheap Ikea light fixture and wallpapered the ceiling."

How has this space impacted your life for the better?

"I once again love walking into my closet to pick out what I'm going to wear.  It's a delight to finally not have to search for a particular piece and purging has created so much space for me to feel like I can breath in that tiny dark space again.  Well now it's not dark anymore because I smile every time I look at my bold ceiling and light fixture."


And if you love this closet, you will also want to pop over to Julia's blog and check out her graphic coat closet here.

I love that Julia recognizes what works for her when it comes to organizing.  Do I love a good label when it makes sense?  Absolutely.  But she recognized that they don't work for her in this space, so she skipped them.  The lack of labels doesn't mean she is not organized, in fact, she is most likely more organized now that she uses the boxes to corral different types of belongings.  It just shows that if it doesn't make sense in the terms of time and long term maintenance, don't do it for the sake of doing it.  Instead, she used clear faced boxes which allows her to see the contents from below.

And let's take a moment to focus on the functionality of those pretty painted boxes for a minute.  I couldn't agree more that tipping stacks and piles of linens and clothing can cause crabbiness and flusters.  The boxes streamline the look, keep like items together and prevent any toppling, tipping or mixing of piles.  Simple and effective.

We always talk about adding mirrors to rooms to bounce light and expand the space, same effect works in small closets as well!  Such a great tip!

Nothing in this closet is too fussy or complicated; simple hooks to hang necklaces, a clear tray to hold jewelry, boxes to conceal accessories, painted storage boxes to add a little color... And my guess is that the small personal touches will keep Julia motivated to maintain that amazing space.  And can you imagine strolling into the closet and catching a glimpse of that off-the-charts incredible wallpaper on the ceiling?  That graphic statement is so playful and unexpected, I couldn't love it more!  Now I am eying up all of the ceilings throughout our home... enter evil laugh here.

One last bit of motivation to go the extra mile when working on a space, check out Julia's closet before and after:

You can find Julia's closet makeover here, and stick around to tour her beautiful home here.

*  All images courtesy of Cuckoo 4 Design

ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life, big or small.  They can be anything from an organized drawer or cabinet to an entire room.  Please submit your story and photos to, and I would heart to feature them right here on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

7 IHeart Dharma Door Storage and a GIVEAWAY!

I have loved beautiful storage solutions for as long as I can remember.  When I was a child, I would take the time to decorate my folders and locker door and I was always rearranging my bedroom and crafting up little storage boxes.  I realized that although piles of clutter can be unsightly, a good storage basket or box can create the opposite effect.  It can make your heart smile.  It can light up your eyes.  It can change the mood of an entire space.

We do a lot of DIY projects, big and small, to save money and create personalized and pretty storage solutions all around our home.  There are also times when I turn to the pros and appreciate the craft of others.  And there is no storage creating talent that I have found to be more lovely than the storage provided by this week's giveaway sponsor.  Say hello to Dharma Door!

Founded in 2004 by Australian Shannon Sheedy, The Dharma Door is where Fair Trade meets fine living. After spending a year traveling and teaching throughout Vietnam, Nepal & India, Shannon and her husband Mick followed their dream of creating products that combine good design with ethical production.

Fast-forward nearly ten years and The Dharma Door has grown to become one of the leading sources for contemporary Fair Trade and sustainable homewares throughout Australia and New Zealand. Building their relationships with producer partners and artisans, as well as a network of wholesale and retail clients, they next set their sights on expanding the brand to the US market.

William & Katie Berg first met Shannon & Mick on a bus ride in Vietnam in early 2003. Friendship took root in youthful travel and over the years has grown to include a new business venture, bringing this gorgeous brand to the North American marketplace. Drawing on their backgrounds in French antiques and film production, they bring a unique set of skills to the table. Launched in the spring of 2014, The Dharma Door USA has exceeded all expectations. The first shipment of goods sold out in just a few weeks time. Growing steadily over the next several months, the response from customers across the country has been amazing.

The Dharma Door products are made by hand using traditional techniques in modern forms. All of the artisans work within Fair Trade groups focusing on providing healthcare, education and fair wages. Every item produced is beautifully designed and impeccably crafted - each stitch & fiber tells a story.

It is the mission of The Dharma Door to bring Fair Trade goods to a new marketplace, bridging the gap between ethical production and contemporary style. They believe that our choices as consumers make a difference in the world, from the food we buy, to the products we use & love in our home, small actions lead to big change.

Simply stunning storage at its best, I couldn't love Dharma Door storage more.

This week, TWO of you lucky readers will have the opportunity to add these delightful bins to your own homes. 

First winner selected will receive one loomed basket of their choice (which I find makes for amazing portable laundry storage) while the second winner drawn can choose one Hessian Sack and one Hessian Duo Set (perfect for toting around toiletries or craft supplies).  Winner's choice of color & pattern.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IHeart Organizing readers can now receive 15% OFF using code IHEARTORGANIZING at the Dharma Door's Online Website.

Good luck everyone!  IHeart Organizing official giveaway entry rules can always be found here.  A special iHeart THANK YOU to Dharma Door for providing myself and my readers the products for this giveaway.

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