As I have mentioned in the previous post, an important part of Nina’s bedroom makeover is the conversion of the adjacent bedroom into an integrated walk-in closet (WIC). This allowed her to get rid of the existing closets in her bedroom and make room for a desk (which she did not have before) and an occasional chair.
The room beside Nina’s bedroom used to be her brother’s. When he got married and moved out of the house, the room became the household’s informal space for storage.
Her game plan was simple: work with the existing space, maximize the area for storage, and create provisions that will make it relatively easy for her to maintain the order of the room.
Open cabinets were built onto the four walls. They were constructed above the floor to preserve the existing wood planks and to save on materials (plywood). This strategy also made the room look less cramped in spite of the additional cabinets.
There were 7 types of cabinet spaces in the WIC: 1) adjustable cubicles for folded shirts, 2) spaces for tops (blouses and jackets) on hangers, 2) spaces for bottoms (pants and skirts) on hangers, 3) a space for dresses, 4) adjustable shelves for bags, 5) racks for shoes, 6) drawers for undergarments, accessories and other small items, and 7) shelves for magazines and books. A cushioned seat and full length mirror were also provided to complete the space.
To showcase her collection of designer bags, Nina made them as the focal point of the room and placed them at the side fronting the sliding door. Because she wanted the rooms to feel like a personal boutique, 3W LED directional lamps were installed, instead of the typical recessed CFLs, to highlight the clothes, shoes, and bags. And similar to what many boutiques do, the clothes were sorted according to type and then according to color to make the room visually organized.
See the rest of the photos of Nina’s walk-in closet in the photo gallery below!
Tags: bedroom, declutter, organizing, spacelift, walk-in closet
Posted in spacelift | 2 Comments »
Like what hoa said in her comment here, condo spaces are becoming smaller and smaller. The average size of a studio unit is around 30-40 square meters, but can go as small as 20 square meters. As the space becomes more compact, it’s much more challenging to fit everything in and make your space look and feel comfortable. Here are some ideas to help you make the most out of a small space.
1) GET REAL!
Before you start doing or buying anything, you have to re-assess your lifestyle in the light of your small living space. A small space will require you to sort of have a lifestyle change. You can’t expect all of your belongings from a 100++ square meter home fit a 40 square meter studio without looking like a storage room. This means, take only those that are essential. When you want to buy something new, you have to give-up something to make room for it.
2) THINK MORE-IN-ONE
When buying furniture, incorporate pieces that have multifunctional features—an ottoman with storage which can be used as a coffee table, an occasional seat for the living area, an additional seat for the dining table and, for some models, a single foldaway bed (check Dimensione).
3) BE CREATIVE!
Storage doesn’t only come in the form of built-ins. You don’t want to fill your space with built-in cabinets because this will make your interiors look more like a walk-in closet or a pantry than a home. Be discreet with your storage. Consider fitting large drawers under your bed frame and using seats (stool, ottoman, and even upholstered sofa) with hidden storage. Maximize small corners. Instead of an end table, consider a slim chest of drawers which has more storage space. Above all, take only what is essential (see #1).
4) OPTICAL ILLUSIONS
How to make your small space look bigger? First, simplify interior elements to minimize visual clutter. Use less color contrasts (go monochromatic), less details, and less number of furniture. If you want color and details, limit them to just a couple of accent pieces.
Second, maintain an open plan layout. Avoid using dividers or screens because they just chop your small space into several minute spaces. Instead, define areas by arranging your furniture into groups and adding an element that will emphasize their centers such as an area rug or a pendant lamp.
Third, blur elements that signal boundaries/space limits such as walls, corners, and edges (photos above). Choose accent lighting over general overhead lighting. Accent lamps create a play of light and shadow that create depth, while general lighting make everything visible, and accentuating all four walls and corners of your little space. Add depth to walls by placing a large mirror, especially the tall kind (door height), that seem to create a door on the wall leading to a different room.
5) BE TRANSPARENT
Avoid bulky-looking furniture and add depth to a space by going for “transparent” pieces—a dining table with a clear glass top, chairs with a see-through backrest, and buffet cabinets with frosted glass doors.
6) ADD TEXTURE NOT CLUTTER
While it is encouraged to keep interior elements simple, you are not discouraged to give your space a theme and personality. Decorate with your belongings. If you love reading, use your books to decorate your shelves (top image).
Combine surface materials and introduce simple accent prints so your interiors won’t look dull and boring. Natural texture is not limited to wood. Indigenous materials (below) such as coco shell, crushed bamboo, buri, rattan, and abaca, blend well with wood. Use them for accent pieces if you want to maintain a clean modern look. Combine these with metallic accents to add a “kick” and to avoid monotony.
7) RENDER YOUR SPACE WITH LIFE
Use plants for decorating (above). Apart from adding color and texture to your interior, plants help clean your indoor air. For those who do not have a balcony where you can occasionally expose your plants to sunlight, choose plants that can tolerate low light levels. Examples of low maintenance indoor plants (based on my experience) are sanseviera, yellow water plant, some types of bromeliads, and dracaena.
Tags: condo living, decluttering, decorating tips, diy, interior design, organizing, small space
Posted in diy: design-it-yourself | 3 Comments »
My bedroom is in dire need of some serious cleaning. After being so busy for the past three months, my room has been totally neglected. My desk is covered with stacks of magazines and books, envelopes of clients’ files, rolls of bluprints, and paper bags from recent shopping trips. I can’t even see the bottom of my desk anymore!
So, I’ll be taking a break today and tomorrow from blogging to put some order into my room before I leave for Cebu on Friday morning. I’ll just leave you with these two photos that inspired me to finally take the cleaning matter into my own hands. Good luck to me!
Tags: cleaning, decluttering, organizing, space matters
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MAKE YOUR WALLS WORK
Part of decluttering is finding more potential storage spaces. When your cabinets and tables are full, why not turn to your walls for additonal help? My flickr friend Ivy of ivy style33 applied several interesting ideas to organize her kitchen. One is using those magnetic containers from Ikea to store and display her spices on the wall.
Since we do not have Ikea here in the Philippines, we can just make our own. Simply take s small can with a clear lid and hot glue a piece of magnet on its bottom. Make as many as you want! To mount the cans, install a strip of steel onto the wall where the cans can be “mounted”. Apart from the kitchen, you can also use these containers to organize your craft materials like beads, sequins, buttons, pins, and crystals.
To create compartments on your walls, hang a fabric wall organizer where you can store small items like mail, calling cards, bills, etc. There are ready-made wall organizers available in the market. You can also opt to make one for yourself so you can pick the fabrics that you love. This cute fabric organizer is made by my flickr friend mmquaal. She uses this to store all her crafting tools. See more of her crafting projects here.
Here’s a chalboard idea for all you writers and designers like me. I saw this over at housetohome which seems like a calendar+corkboard+writing board+insipartion board all rolled into one! It’s a stylish take on organizing (or decluttering) your schedule, monitoring deadlines and putting together ideas and inspirations for ongoing projects. Hmmm, i just wish I have enough wall space for a huge calendar like that, haha!
I hope all these ideas inspired you to get organized and have a fresh start this 2010. Happy decluttering!
Tags: declutter, decorating tips, diy, organizing, small space, storage, wall features, walls
Posted in diy: design-it-yourself, objects of design | 4 Comments »
DECLUTTER YOUR CLOSET
I hear a lot of people complain that they don’t have enough closet space. Most of the time, their closets are either full of unused and outdated clothes (which means you need to get rid of all those junk!) or the space is not properly compartmentalized.
In compartmentalizing your closet, it should have sections to store these specific items: long hanging items (long dresses, trench), double-hanging items (tops on the upper half and bottoms on the lower half), folded articles, undergarments, ties, belts, shoes, bags, and other loose miscellaneous items. To find out how much space one should allocate for each section, make an inventory of all your belongings that will be stored in the closet.
Most people take for granted the value of a wide selection of hangers in organizing a closet, when in fact, they can make your storage space work more efficiently while making it look uniform and organized.
Make sure you have a hanger for fine dresses, suits, blouses, suits, skirts, pants, belt and ties. For a uniform appearance, have all your hangers in the same color or finish. Less expensive plastic hangers also come in different types.
Another tip: take a clue from your favourite clothing store and group clothes according to color then according to type, or vice versa. For example, put all pants and skirts together in one section, and group them further according to color. Like in many boutiques, this system makes your closet visually organized.
Although it’s already a compartment in itself, you can further divide your drawer into smaller sections. This is especially helpful in organizing your lingerie, socks, ties, jewelry, and makeup. You don’t need to buy drawer dividers off the rack. You can make your own with some stiff cardboard or stiff plastic sheets.
When dealing with your closet, always remember “to each its space so that everything is in place”. bow.
Tags: closet, declutter, decorating, diy, hangers, organizing, storage
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DECLUTTER YOUR SHELVES
Shelves are quite tricky, simply because of their awkward dimensions. Oftentimes, the clearance and depth of the shelves are not right for your stuff. So, it’s always preferable to have adjustable shelves, especially for kitchen cabinets, to avoid wasted space. If you’re just planning to build your shelves, make sure you first do an inventory of the the things that will go in them. Measure your books, boxes, jars, etc. This way, you’ll know how deep or how high apart your shelves should be.
To keep books neatly aligned, use typical bookends. As an alternative, you can also make use of decorative jars and figurines. Just make sure they are sturdy and heavy enough to be used for this purpose.
Books can be arranged in two ways: upright in a row, or stacked in a pile. For taller books, set them in a row, while the shorter books, as well as the the ones that are too tall for the existing clearance of the shelves, can be arranged in a pile to maximize the shelving space. As shown in the photo, piled books can also function as book ends.
Again, remember to compartmentalize, especially for non-book items that need to be stored on your shelves. Do a “boxing match” for smaller items like cds, remote controls, extension cords, and other knick-knacks and gadget accessories. This means match the size of your items with the size of the box/bin where you’ll be storing them. There are bins and boxes that even have clear front pockets where you can insert a label or a photo of the items inside the bin (as shown in the image above).
Labeled boxes are especially useful in the office, craft room, workshop, kitchen and closet. Or, you can just write/print tags and tie them onto the handle of the bin. (image above from domino magazine)
For a uniform look, try what Ms. Creative Director did. She used different sizes of woven boxes with a similar finish to complement the natural texture of their furnishings. She even found a box for her cds.
I know some of you might be hesitant to buy such pretty boxes. They can be a bit expensive if you go to the mall to purchase them. So for a better deal, check out Dapitan Arcade in Dapitan St., QC.
Or, if you’re a diy person, you can just make your own boxes. Re-size and dress up old shoe boxes using craft paper (brown paper which you can buy from national bookstore in rolls) or cheap canvas fabric. If you have enough time, you can also cover the exterior of the box with abaca rope/twine to resemble a woven box.
Tags: baskets, declutter, decorating, diy, organizing, shelves, small space, storage
Posted in diy: design-it-yourself, objects of design | No Comments »
If you want to give yourself a fresh start this year, try cleaning and organizing your surroundings first–detoxify your space and declutter.
Essentially, the first and most difficult step is to sort out your things. Keep only those that are important, and part with things that you have not worn/used in a couple of years, as well as items that are outdated or stained. You can dispose them by organizing a garage sale or by giving them all to charity.
When your space (a room, closet, or tabletop) is already free from “trash”, you can already begin organizing. Always remember, the key element in organizing and maximizing any given space is to compartmentalize. Divide the area into smaller compartments using adjustable shelves, baskets, bins, boxes and containers to neatly hold things in place.
In this four-part post, we’ll be listing some helpful tips on how to de-clutter some of the messiest spaces.
DECLUTTER YOUR TABLES
Maintain a tidy night table. Use a dish or a shallow bowl to keep those small items– keys, coins, watch, and daily jewelry– from scattering and taking up all the table space. You can also use this trick to maintain a clean vanity in the bathroom or a console table in the foyer.
For your office desk, use a mug or a small box to keep pens, markers, and pencils in place. Post reminders and your daily to-do list using a small note clip. Because it can only hold one or two notes at a time, you have no choice but to update your list and throw away old notes.
For those who are planning to put up workstation dividers, you can make them functional by using these surface materials to finish them: a cork board for posting notes & memos, and a glass panel (preferably the one with a painted back like Graphicote glass) for writing reminders.
Tags: declutter, decorating, diy, organizing, small space
Posted in diy: design-it-yourself | 5 Comments »