Lifestyle

Project HOME: Revamping dead space

homelessinamerica.blogspot.com

I recently moved to Virginia where my husband is stationed (Naval Station Norfolk) and I have spent all summer making our new house a  home. From new furniture to decor to organization, I am super excited one minute and totally stressed out the next. It can be a ton of fun decorating your house and making it your own style (like you could never do growing up), but it can also be extremely difficult.

I find myself asking, “How is all of that going to fit into there?” “Where am I going to put all of these pots and pans?” “Why is there never enough cabinet space in the bathroom?” “What am I going to do with an extra closet?”

These are all questions that I have been asking myself and slowly, but surely I have managed to finagle my way to the right answer. So, I am going to share with you some of my tips and tricks on how to turn your living space into YOUR space that will be both practical as well as stylish.

This will be a new series called project HOME and I will divide it into segments. Today’s segment will “Revamping dead space” as the title says and every week or so, I will introduce new tips and tricks that will help you stay neat and organized as well as love the space your are in!

Revamping dead space:

As I was saying earlier, I recently moved into a new house and one of my first projects was to get my office organized. My husband has his own office and I wanted a space of my own where I could write, work on my blog, shoot video, etc. There are three bedrooms in our home so he has an office and I have an office, but my office is an actual bedroom, which means it has a pretty good sized closet space. I immediately knew I was going to put all of my stuff in here: portfolio, journalism books, paper, binders, folders, etc. I was okay with that decision and it seemed like the most practical, but I was bored and uninspired. The most important thing for me as a writer is inspiration. If I don’t have an environment that is going to open my mind and spur creativity, then what’s the point, right?

About a month ago, I decided to do something about this closet. Such a small and seemingly insignificant space, yet it was so important to me that I design it exactly the way I wanted and really make it a part of the room, not a closed-off area. Well, as most of y’all probably do, I was salivating over all of the amazing decor ideas on Pinterest, wishing I could have my perfect office space and like I kept seeing over and over again. Then, I found it! It was nothing extravagant or glamorous, but it was exactly what I needed. I immediately began coming up with ideas and color schemes and I was so excited that I had finally found a way to decorate what I thought was a dull and dead space. My office had a desk (obviously), but it cut the room in half and didn’t give me a lot of space to work with for other projects I may be working on. This is when I knew this was the perfect idea for me!

This is the picture I found on Pinterest:

I thought this was so clever and the closet was exactly what I had in my office. I had no use for it for clothes and accessories like a normal closet and it was too large to just hold some binders and papers. This was the perfect idea for me and I knew I would be able to cram all of my favorite quotes, photos, trinkets, etc. that inspire me the most in this one small space. I am not close to being done, but I have already gotten my desk in there and put up lights. I now want to put wallpaper on the inside and hang some lanterns from the ceiling to add some more color :) I also put a curtain instead of having doors to open up the space more and let it “breathe.”

Here is how I re-vamped my closet:

I still have a lot of work to do, but I just wanted to share with you what I was doing and how I was organizing my space. I am still going to put up some wallpaper because the inside is so boring and dull and I want to hang some lanterns and fun girly stuff like that :)

Now, this post is not just about taking a closet and turning it into your sanctuary. This is about any space in your home that is dead and lifeless and ordinary and making it something to be proud of. Whether it is a little nook in your living room, a small window seat in your kitchen, a blank wall in your bedroom or office, you can turn it into a piece of decor. This also doesn’t mean that every inch of your house has to be decorated to tee and has to be utilized for something. This was just my dilemma and my experience with my office.

Here are some more great ideas on how to re-vamp dead space:

Like I said before, this is supposed to be both practical AND fun and creative and decorative. You don’t want to just install a bunch of shelves, you want to add some flare to it by incorporating pieces of your style as well. For example, when adding a book shelf with a lot of little nooks and crannies, add some of your favorite little trinkets or old vintage purses or antiques that you love within the bookshelf to make it both useful (it’s holding your books) as well as a piece of decor (it is weaving pieces that are going accent your home decor).

My goal here is to inspire you to begin a new project on that space that you have been staring at everyday, wishing it would magically turn into your Pinterest wonderland :) You don’t have to spend a lot of money either. Be resourceful! I definitely am. I didn’t even buy anything. I used stuff I already had that I really liked, but didn’t have a place for it and made my little desk nook a place that would inspire me to do my best work.

In an earlier post about organizing makeup brushes I mentioned the $1 section at Target. This is a great place to start for color variation when it comes to organization. They have all kinds of little buckets and bins and boxes to hold all kinds of items. If you are going to go with color, you might want to change it according to the seasons or your mood, etc. so try finding affordable options so you can change it as many times as you like. You can even just change a few accent pieces throughout the year for a little change of pace.

I really hope this was helpful and inspires you to start a little project around the house. Your house should be  a place where you are comfortable and relaxed and proud of and most importantly it should be your HOME. You don’t have to make it look like an art museum to be beautiful.

*Next week I will show you how I turned my living room from brown and boring to happy and homey :) I may even include video so you can get a real 3D look at it.

XO Alexa

10 work bag essentials (updated)

Hello! I hope everyone is having a fabulous Tuesday. I decided to re-vamp my work bag essentials post and do a video showing exactly what I have in my bag.

Enjoy!

XO Alexa

Revamping dead space

This is just a quick post, but I wanted to share with you my new beauty closet…literally.

image

I used an unused closet in my house for my beauty desk. I will have a more in depth post later on about how to use your space the most efficiently!

XO Alexa

Fav of the Day! 8/10/12

Happy Friday!!! I am so glad the weekend is here because this week has been such a busy one. I have a really fun favorite today and it has nothing to do with beauty or fashion:

http://georgianadesign.tumblr.com/

Tufted headboards! I now this is very random for my blog, but I am so obsessed with these headboards. I have always liked dark wood furniture, but for some reason, I am so in love with these!

cre8tivedesignsinc

There are so many different styles and colors and these are definitely part of the “shabby chic” trend. I think these headboards go great with any bedroom furniture: dark, light, wood, metal, etc.

This is the headboard I have in my bedroom and I think it makes the room look so much bigger and brighter and relaxing. I got mine on Amazon, but there are so many places that sell these (ebay, etsy, target, pier 1) depending on your price range. And props to you if you can make one! If I could, I would have. I think these headboards can get a little girly and I was a little worried because of my husband, but I think it looks romantic now that it’s in the room and it brings a softer side to our bedroom.

costco.com

These can also be more dramatic with different color variations. I think this one would be so pretty in a girl’s bedroom and it adds a touch of pink without getting too overwhelming. I am not a huge pink person, but I would totally rock this headboard if I was single (Chris wouldn’t appreciate it).

I hope you liked my favorite today and I am sorry it isn’t beauty or fashion related, but I thought it would be fun kick-starter to the weekend! I will talk to y’all soon!!

XO Alexa

*10 work bag must-haves! *

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/the-briefing/

I got such a great response from my travel makeup bag post so I thought I would share with you my top 10 work bag essentials. This is for any job and any kind of work bag/briefcase. Some items may not be essential for you, but you can get some ideas for items that may be important for you.

  1. Agenda/planner: It is so important to keep track of meetings, lunches/dinners, appointments, etc. I have a planner with me 24/7, which isn’t necessary, but it is definitely important for your work bag. Whether it’s on your phone or an old fashioned pen and paper agenda (like me), it is crucial to stay on top of your schedule.
  2. Pens/pencils: You never know when you may need to write something down: a phone number, an appointment, an address, some notes. I like to keep a few pens, at least one pencil, and a highlighter so I can brighten up really important stuff in my agenda.
  3. Calculator: I know most phones have a calculator, but I like to keep a separate one so it is easily accessible and I don’t have to mess with my phone (I may be taking a call or checking e-mail at the same time).
  4. Notebook: I always like to keep some kind of notebook to write down ideas, take notes, and just get some of my thoughts down on paper if something pops into my head. If I write it down, I won’t forget. I also like to have a notebook for important meetings where I need to take notes or write down anything that may be important in the future.
  5. RESUME! This is crucial, especially if you are looking to “climb the employment ladder” or you are looking for a different job. Carry around multiple as well. You never know when you may meet someone who could provide a job opportunity. Whether at work or at a restaurant or standing in line at the store, you may need to pull out your credentials.
  6. Binder/folder with paper: This depends on the type of job you have. In my case, as a reporter, I need to organize any kind of contacts or documents I may receive from meetings or story boards.
  7. Portfolio: Along with your resume, you need some kind of portfolio to showcase your work, clips, photos, etc. I always carry around a folder with some of my favorite pieces that I can show along with my resume.
  8. Contact solution: This is a must for anyone who wears contacts. My contacts fall out all of the time or get dry in my eyes so I always need contact solution so that my eyes don’t look red and I can see. One of the worst things that could happen on your first day on the job or at an interview is if you couldn’t see anything. I always keep a little travel bottle with me along with my contact case.
  9. Lotion: I love keeping some kind of hand lotion in my work bag because I hate shaking hands with someone who has dried, cracked skin. When you show a nice hand to shake, you are showing that you take care of yourself  and it leaves a nice impression.
  10. Beauty bag: I always keep some beauty products in my work bag for that afternoon pick-me-up half way through the day. Here are my makeup product must-haves:
  • lip gloss: your smile is super important around the office and so are the lips that go with it. Keep your lips looking fresh and moisturized.
  • concealer or under eye roller: you want to look bright and awake all day. I would suggest a roller with caffeine to perk up your skin or a roller concealer.
  • pressed powder: after a few hours of hard work you may be glistening a little more than usual. Apply a few dabs of powder on your t-zone to look shine free.
  • oil sheets: these will also help keep your skin from looking shiny and greasy.
  • night time palette: you may have plans after work or have plans and don’t know it yet (that hottie at the office may ask you out) so I always like to keep some kind of smokey eye palette to freshen myself up for drinks after work.

I hope this was helpful whether you are a busy professional or just starting out. What you bring to the table (literally) could make or break you landing that new client or acing that interview. Good luck!

XO Alexa

10 must-have beach bag essentials!

I recently moved to Virginia and I am so excited because I live 30 minutes away from Virginia Beach. I thought it would be helpful to share the items that I keep in my beach/pool bag because I think a lot of times, we forget some of the most basic things, or at least I do.  Enjoy!

1. Sunscreen: This is a MUST. I like to carry on two types of sunscreen: one for my face and one for the rest of my body. For my face, I like a higher SPF and one that is good for sensitive skin because my face is super sensitive. I also prefer a cream for my face rather than a spray or mist. For my body, I prefer a spray or mist because it is a lot easier to apply repeatedly (I reapply every hour). I also make sure that it is waterproof so if I get in the water right afterwards, it will stay on my skin.

2. Towels: Even if you’re not getting in the water, these are much more comfortable to lay on than a plastic chair or the hot, sticky sand. I always carry more than one as well so if a friend is in need or if I want to use one to dry off with and one to lay on.

3. Lip Balm: A lot of times we miss our lips and they end up getting dry and cracked or sunburned. I like to bring my Burt’s Bees lip balm or any lip balm that has SPF and is thick so it doesn’t slide off after a few minutes. I also apply sunscreen on my lips as well before lip balm. There is nothing worse than having dry, cracked, peeling lips :(

4. Book or magazine: When I go lay by the pool or out at the beach, I love to read. Even if it’s not the “best” reading, I like to have something I can delve into to help me relax. I either bring a really good, interesting, fast-paced book (i.e. the Third Reich would not be a good idea) or a juicy magazine like Cosmo or Women’s Health.

5. Water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial when you are out in the sun and you are sweating a lot. I always bring my tumbler that I can refill at the water fountain. Not only is water going to keep you from passing out, it is also really good for keeping your skin hydrated and looking its best.

6. Music: Whether it’s the screaming maniacs or the unbearable quiet, bringing some headphones along to help you relax is a great idea. You can listen to reggae and pretend you are far away on some exotic beach somewhere in the Caribbean :)

7. Extra change of clothes: Just in case you decide to make plans with friends afterwards, bring a sundress or some shorts and a loose tank as well as undergarments (so your bathing suit doesn’t soak through). A light, easy change of clothes can be the difference between, “I would love to grab some dinner down the street” and “I would love to, but I can’t” after that super gorgeous guy you spotted comes over to ask you out :)

8. Snacks: Keep a few granola bars, trail mix, cereal, and anything that is small and easy to munch on. When you are sitting out in the sun for hours, the heat can really take a toll on your energy and salt in-take.

9. Sunglasses: Your eyes need protection too so grab a pair of cool aviators or some super glammed up cat-eye shades and protect your vision!

10. Cash: It’s always good to keep a wad of cash with you when you are at the pool or the beach because you never know what could happen. Maybe there is a vending machine by the pool or the beach-side bar only takes cash during happy hour. You never know. You might need it to make a call at a local payphone during an emergency. It’s always good to have some kind of cash, especially if you are by yourself.

Alexa

Organizing and storing your shorts

I don’t know about you, but I hate trying to hang up my shorts and skirts on hangers, especially if I don’t have any clips. They fall off, you can’t see exactly which shorts are on which hanger, and they don’t stay crisp. I have found a new way to organize my shorts and skirts that is easy, cheap, and looks great!

So, this is how I store my shorts and skirts. I love this because I can see all of them, they are easily accessible, they aren’t getting wrinkled, and it just looks nice. Here I have a combination of shorts and skirts because I don’t have that many of each, but if you have a lot of shorts and skirts or different types of shorts (short shorts, board shorts, etc) and skirts (mini, pencil, etc.), you can group them in different totes accordingly.

I can just grab whichever item I want and there’s no hassle.

Another great thing about this is you can choose which kind of tote you want. You can pick color, style, shape, etc. that matches your room or closet. I got mine at World Market a really long time ago so I don’t think they have them in this color and style anymore, but check out any stores like Hobby Lobby, Target, Walmart for cheaper alternatives. You can also put these totes in a cubby so that the clothing isn’t showing and it just looks like a drawer.

I hope y’all found this helpful!

Alexa

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