August 2016 - Dimples and Tangles


I have partnered with At Home as a member of the At Home Inspiration Team for this sponsored post and am happy to share their products with you!  All opinions are mine alone.

It's hard to believe, but it's been 5 years since I completed my laundry room makeover.  In fact, it was probably my first big reveal after I started blogging!  While it's still mostly ok on the design side, things have really gone downhill organization wise and I needed to get in there and do a little re-vamp!

I can't believe I'm actually going to show you these, but this was the current state of the room last week:

Ugh!  If it isn't obvious, I had reached the point where everything was just kind of shoved in the cabinets without any kind of rhyme or reason.  And, I know for sure there were things in those cabinets that I hadn't touched in 5 years.

Here's the other side, complete with one of my BIGGEST design headaches... the litter box!!

I mean, yuck.  It's a necessary evil, but disguising them isn't always easy or practical.  What I wouldn't give for a basement to tuck it away in, but really the laundry room is the only logical spot to put it in our house.  This side of the room definitely was cat territory, complete with an underutilized hook rack holding a million plastic bags waiting to be used to scoop the poop.

I knew some things in the room needed to be addressed, and when browsing At Home for this month's Inspiration Team post, some ideas began forming in my head.  As I walked the aisles I realized they had everything I needed for a laundry room organization makeover, AND, I even came up with a plan to battle my decorating nemesis... the litter box!

First off, I needed to address the cabinets.  I evaluated my situation and realized that I was shoving the things that I used most often into the fronts of the cabinets that I could reach, and whatever was in the back was no man's land.  I knew that organizing with some storage containers would not only make things tidier, but things would be easier to access if I could slide a basket out and get what I needed from inside.

I started by emptying all of cabinets out, sorting things into like piles, and throwing away a few bags full of outdated items and things I no longer used.  I had a general idea of where everything would go back, so I knew what type and how many containers I would need to organize the shelves.

There are literally aisles and aisles of storage and organization products at At Home.  I had specific measurements for my cabinet shelves, and there were plenty of options between plastic bins, wicker baskets, metal storage, canvas cubes, and woven baskets that I was able to find an option just right for my needs.

As an aside, I don't like storage baskets that slope in on the side too much, I think that's just wasted space and you can't fit as many things inside.  So, I was excited that these straight-sided baskets were just the right size to fit side by side on my shelves.  I made some tags with card stock and labels that I had on hand, and added them to each basket so everyone will know at a glance which one to reach for when they need something.

I grabbed a few glass storage canisters from At Home for detergent pods and dryer sheets, I loved that they come with the chalkboard labels already attached!  How cute would those be for a candy jar or kitchen canisters, too?  The wood top canister that I used on my beverage cart for treats comes in really handy for holding clothes pins, too!

And, when it all came together... Ahhhh!  Organized bliss, with room to spare!

Now, for the kitty corner!  I'd been thinking about how to try to hide the litter box some way, but hadn't come up with the right idea yet.  Someday I might like some built-in cubbies on the wall with the hooks, and thought about trying to build in a hidden section for the litter box, but I needed a solution in the mean time.  I stumbled across this moroccan side table among the huge selection of accent furniture at At Home, and inspiration struck!

At Home moroccan inspired side table, accent furniture

It was tall enough and wide enough for the litter box to fit underneath it, yet still narrow enough to fit well in the limited space.  I have seen this design at At Home for a while, and it catches my eye every time, so I was overjoyed that it was the perfect piece for this project!  The apron sides and cut out legs made the design just right to add a little "curtain" under the table to disguise the litter box.

how to hide a litter box, mudroom drop spot, moroccan furniture, laundry room organization, mudroom

I'll show you next week how I put it together (update- see the tutorial here!), but it was super easy and I'm so excited to have the big ugly box hidden away!  The table is light weight enough to lift and move without effort when we need to clean around it, and the box pulls in and out easily for the kids to clean it out.

We're getting Chief and Scout used to the idea of crawling through the curtain to their kitty cave, but they go under the dust ruffle on the beds all the time so I didn't think this would be too different.

Another bonus of adding the table is that I have a dedicated drop spot in this room now.  We really come in and out of the garage, so whatever is in our hands gets dumped in the kitchen.  However, I'd like to get into the habit of using this room as more of a mudroom, too, and hanging our bags and purses there as well as dropping keys or mail on the table.

laundry room, storage hooks, mudroom organization
(affiliate links)  Striped Tote Bag  ||   Umbrella  ||  Similar Back Pack

I cleaned out the cabinet under the sink as well, and used the old laundry pods container to stuff plenty of plastic bags in (why yes I did spray paint it white!!), grabbed a container to hold the scooper out of sight, and added this cute scalloped trash can from At Home since I never even had one in the room before!  Not the prettiest photo to ever grace this blog, but it's progress!

Other than some major organization improvements, I made a few design tweaks to the room as well.  I had tired of the zebra accents that were there previously, so I removed the zebra printed mats from the gallery wall and replaced them with plain white (this mat cutter has more than paid for itself over the years I've had it!).  I also switched out the zebra knobs from the cabinet doors to a colorful pattern.

laundry room organization, how to hide the litter box, gallery wall, mudroom

This sink is where all the grubby shoes get scrubbed, paint brushes get washed, and whatever else dirty work that needs to be done, so it needed a good scrub down.  Some new slim velvet covered hangers from At Home make the hanging bar a little more presentable and are ready for some clean laundry!

laundry room sink, mudroom, gallery wall
(I wish that pink flower artwork showed up better in the photo, my amazing niece drew it for me!)

So really, with just a few hours and a few supplies, our laundry room is ready to roll again for the next 5 years!  Think it will make it that long before I redecorate in there?  :)

Laundry room, gallery wall, mudroom drop spot, how to hide the litter box

I hope you got a few ideas today if you have a space that needs some organization too.  What is YOUR biggest design headache?

Hope to see you back here tomorrow, we'll have a little blog birthday celebration!! 

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I've been wanting to use a pair of mirrors in the dining room for a long time, and finally got around to putting some up in there this week.  Once I started working on the wall, the ball started rolling for other changes, too!

Nesting Place is probably the first home blog I started reading 8 years or so ago, and I think that's the first time I ever heard the term "shop the house."  Love it, because that's what I do all the time!  The idea is to look at things in various rooms and use them in a different way or place than how or where you originally intended.

So, I shopped the house and without purchasing one little thing, have a new look in both of our dining areas!  First, the dining room.

green china cabinet, blue and white accessories, dining room

I started by removing the bird prints and small mirrors that surrounded the china cabinet previously, and hung a pair of mirrors from my bedroom flanking the cabinet.

green china cabinet, blue and white accessories, dining room

Since I'm thinking about Fall decorating, the blue and white pieces that have been in the Entry had to move, but I really liked them all grouped together.  With the bird prints down from above the china cabinet, I needed to add some height there, so I tried arranging the pieces there.  Normally I don't like to load up the tops of cabinets with "stuff," but I think in this case it continues the look that's inside the cabinet, and keeps everything looking cohesive while adding some height.

green china cabinet, blue and white accessories, dining room

Lastly, I brought the chairs from the kitchen table to this table, and removed the spotted shades from the chandelier since these chair backs have spotted fabric.  Also, with the grouping on top of the cabinet, the shades on the chandy were too much.  That chandelier has been getting the stink eye too... I love the chunky crystals on it but have my eyes open for something brass and sparkly and vintage... 

green china cabinet, blue and white accessories, dining room

green china cabinet, blue and white accessories, dining room

Side note: I tweaked the orchid arrangement that I showed you last month.  After living with it for a while, I realized it needed a few more orchid stems to be a little more full.  And, I didn't like the brown spanish moss, so I switched it out with some bright green reindeer moss.  I like the contrast in color and it looks much cleaner.  I've actually been meaning to add in a few curly willow branches too like I saw in some beautiful arrangements at Boxwoods when we were in Atlanta, but I forgot until just now!  Need to get on that...

green china cabinet, blue and white accessories, dining room, orchid arrangement

green china cabinet, blue and white accessories, dining room

Here's a before and after from my summer tour.  Completely different look just by moving some things around!  It's a cleaner look now, which I think is good as the holidays are approaching.

green china cabinet, blue and white accessories, dining room

Now, since I robbed the kitchen table of it's chairs, I had to move some things around in there, too.

tufted dining chairs, botanical gallery wall, chinese chippendale chairs, cowhide rug, vintage brass chandelier

The tufted chairs are a nice change in here, I think!  This is the table we sit at the most, and they're actually more comfortable than the spotted back chairs, so I think the family is happy with this little switch, too.

tufted dining chairs, botanical gallery wall, chinese chippendale chairs, cowhide rug, vintage brass chandelier

I have 6 of the tufted chairs, but like the contrast of different chairs so I mixed in the Chippendale chairs at the ends of the table.

tufted dining chairs, botanical gallery wall, chinese chippendale chairs, cowhide rug, vintage brass chandelier

tufted dining chairs, botanical gallery wall, chinese chippendale chairs, cowhide rug, vintage brass chandelier

tufted dining chairs, botanical gallery wall, chinese chippendale chairs, cowhide rug, vintage brass chandelier

There are no other changes in here except for the chairs, but I think that one thing changes out the look!

tufted dining chairs, botanical gallery wall, chinese chippendale chairs, cowhide rug, vintage brass chandelier

As you're preparing for Fall, how can you look at the items in your home in a new way?  Move some things around.  Shop the house!  You don't need to spend any money to get an entirely different look!

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I've been needing to replace some door mats around our exterior doors and thought a quick monogrammed door mat would be a perfect DIY project to add some personality to our front door.

DIY door mat, cheetah spot stencil, monogrammed door mat tutorial

Royal Design Studio Stencils sent me their Cheetah Spots stencil to use in my powder bath makeover earlier this year,  but when I shifted gears from my original plan to a new design, I knew that I still had to use my cute stencil some other way!

I only needed a few supplies... a plain door mat (this one is 2x3', sturdy and nice quality, and was $10 from Ikea), the Cheetah Spots stencil, a piece of poster board, a letter for the monograms, tape, and spray paint.

I needed a template for my monogram letter larger than any stencils I already had, so I enlarged it on the copier and used the good ole "hang it on a window" trick to trace it on the center of the poster board.

Then I cut out the letter leaving an open "G" in the middle of the poster board.  I just got it started with a knife, but it was easier and quicker to cut the rest out with scissors.

Then, I centered the letter on the mat.  There was enough poster board around the letter that I didn't need to worry about overspray getting on the rest of the mat.

The texture of the mat is really rough, so the painter's tape really didn't help to secure it to the mat.  So, I just used something to press the poster board down close to the mat so there weren't gaps around the edges, then sprayed close to the opening, straight down to keep it from spraying up under the edges of the stencil.

I wanted a border around my initial, and like I said painters tape wasn't sticky enough, so I used duct tape to mark out a box, just using a yard stick to measure off the open space in between the tape lines.

Again, I sprayed straight down.  The coverage was pretty good with one coat, but I sprayed a second coat in spots that needed it.

I should have protected from overspray a little more in that previous step, because I ended up with a little around my box border.  It's ok, though, it's not that noticeable in the the finished product.

Now I was ready to add the cute pattern!  These stencils are large and it almost covered the entire mat, I just had to shift it a little bit as I went.  The beauty of this pattern is that it's so random, you really don't have to worry about matching the repeat up perfectly when you move the stencil.   I laid the stencil down on the mat, then covered the box and initial I had just painted with the poster board so it would stay as-is.  Then, I just sprayed each dot and worked my way around the mat.

I love how the tan background with the black paint really makes this look like a leopard print!

Custom monogrammed door mat tutorial, diy cheetah spots stencil

I was done with this project from start to finish in about 30 minutes.  I need a trip to Ikea to pick up a few more of these mats... I have 4 more doors that need a new one!  These would also make great teacher, hostess, or birthday gifts, or even a nice "welcome" gesture to a new neighbor.

DIY, tutorial, custom monogrammed door mat, cheetah spots stencil

Be sure to check out all of the stencil designs at Royal Design Studio Stencils.  The selection is vast and beautiful.  This is such a good way to achieve the look of wallpaper without the high dollar price tag and installation, too-  I'm still completely in love with Kris's stenciled bathroom walls!

diy door mat, custom monogrammed door mat tutorial, cheetah spots stencil, front door makeover

I did a similar door mat project years ago (when the blog was just a few months old!) if you'd like to check that project out, and have lots of other home made gift ideas here.

*Royal Design Stencil Studios provided me with product for this project.  All project ideas and opinions are mine.  Thank you for supporting companies that partner with Dimples and Tangles to keep great content coming!

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