It's weird that we live with an additional person, but we still have way more storage than we ever had in our apartment in Brooklyn.
Also known as the post where I talk about how we have no closets in our apartment (again) so I made a cloffice (part office, part closet).
It might mean I'm a total weirdo, but organizing my fridge makes my life easier (and keeps me sane).
I fail. In my last post I gave you all of these fun ideas for home decor/improvements for the new year. But I totally forgot that I did some updates to our bedroom as well. I mostly updated the area where I keep all my makeup, jewelry, hair products, etc. It's been begging for a makeover for some time. I really didn't want to leave it out and I didn't mean to so that means I get to give you a whole post devoted to that. Here are some ideas to organize your girly things.
Mr. T and I have an insanely small bathroom with bad lighting, no storage (and very few creative ways to add storage), and a plug that doesn't work so I am pretty much forced to keep all of my makeup, nail stuff, hair stuff, etc. in our bedroom. I am technically used to it since it was this way when I had a roommate, but it is a little more difficult when you live with a dude. I don't want to make him trip over all of my products (and I really don't have that many). So I kind of have my own little corner in the room and that requires some organization. But because I'm that girl, I like things to also look nice and pretty. Here's how to organize makeup, jewelry, and hair products in a functional and stylish way.
1. I used to have my jewelry box on my dresser. It looked beautiful, but it didn't leave a lot of room for anything else. So I relocated it (see pic below). That made more room for makeup and hair products and cleaned out my top drawer for more room for headbands and other things. It also gave me more room to buy a bigger mirror. I originally had the turquoise one that you see below above my mirror. I love it, but I needed something bigger to see my huge head. I bought it at IKEA.
2. You might recognize this tray from this post. I thought it looked much better here and it gives me a nice way to keep things organized while looking pretty. I have all of my makeup, perfume/body sprays/smelly goods, and bobby pins on here. It's easily accessible and makes it easy to just kind of toss things when I'm done. It also gives me a nice place to put the jewelry that I take off at the end of the day. I actually bought this tray at a garage sale a few summers ago.
3. These are jars that were left over from the wedding. I am obsessed with putting things in jars so I originally had everything in just regular mason jars and then was using these as candles. But then I thought I should try these for all of my makeup. I love the way it looks an d it's still functional. I have all of my makeup, divided by bases, eye makeup (eye liner, mascara, etc.), and lipsticks. I also have my brushes. It looks neat and tidy and there is still plenty of room to add to. You can purchase the jars at any store and I also save them from things like pickles. I usually only save the mason jars, but you could use any if you like. I will also be talking about how to make these jars in a later post.
4. I don't know why, but I love having bobby pins and hair things in something that's easily accessible and where I can just toss them as I take them out. This little dish works perfectly for that. I actually bought it at the $1 store. I kid you not. I've used it for various things around the house like to put jewelry in and for office supplies, but this is my favorite use so far. I also love that all of my smelly goods are out where I can use them.
1. I love this stuff in the corner of the room because it doesn't seem to scream that half of my closet and belongings are hanging out in the bedroom. It's also really easy to get to.
2. I bought this thing years ago at a discount store. I used to use it for hair products and other things when I had a roommate. It's really great to store lots of things on. I actually think it's supposed to be a shower caddy, but I think it looks way better in a room. I turned it into a little nail polish center and now it houses all of my polishes, nail treatments, etc. It looks cute, but it also is a great space to keep my polishes easy to get to and organized.
3. You might also recognize this table from this post. Since I moved something else out to our bar that works much better I had to find a space for this table. This came in the bedroom really because there was no place else, but it's what allowed me to take my jewelry box off the dresser (and inspired many of these changes). I think it's pretty cute. I only wish it was round. Both the jewelry box and the table came from a vintage store (the box was a gift from my mom).
4. I love to hang scarves on a hook. If you have them on the back of the door they just get lost in everything. Plain hooks are really boring those. My sister bought me these a few years ago as a present (I believe they came from Urban Outfitters and not sure if they still have them) and I love them. They are functional and adorable which is my favorite thing.
5. As I mentioned, this mirror used to hang above my dresser. My sister bought me it as a present years ago and I believe it also came from Urban Outfitters. I love this mirror because it has hooks on it and you can hang so many things to keep them organized and then use the mirror to make sure you look good. But it's too small to do hair and makeup. It served me well when I had a roommate because I didn't have so much wall space in my room, but now I can spread out a little more. The mirror works perfectly on the side because I'm able to grab a necklace or scarf and check myself out. And it's also amazingly functional because there are lots of hooks and they are really strong.
So I've told you how to be creative with kitchen storage and with coffee mugs and such, but what about all of your alcohol and related necessities? Well, it's actually pretty easy to get creative with that too. I wouldn't say that Mr. T and I are boozers, but we do like to have a drink sometimes with dinner or while we're hanging out at home (watching movies like Coyote Ugly and SciFi. Don’t judge. That's why we need the booze!). So we enjoy having a variety of alcohols, glasses, accessories etc. at home. That way we don't always have to go out. And obviously that's a good idea since we live in New York and it's expensive to go out all the time here.
The problem is that living in New York also means we have a limited amount of space (as I've mentioned a few times before). Our living room is also half dining room and library so we really don't have room for some big cabinet to house all of our boozy items in.
So we decided to get smart and utilize our wall space. Technically I had already done this project before he moved in, but we changed it up some. I like it because it sort of doubles as art. It's also easy to add to or take away from. And, we can easily find use for the shelves if we decide to do something different.
All we did was hang four shelves. We put all of our glassware, shakers, cocktail recipe books, etc. on the shelves. You can also buy a rack for your stemware that goes under the shelf. It adds a little space and looks cool. We just decided not to do that.
Originally we had the alcohol on one of the shelves. It looked really cool, but as we added more mixers and things to our collect it started to become really heavy. We were afraid it was too much so we put it on this cool table that used to be in our living room. You could really do any small table or a cute little bar cart.
We wanted to give it some personality so we added this awesome bottle opener that we found at Target. It hangs on the wall and there is a little basket like thing for the bottle caps to fall into.
We also put a chalkboard sign that says "the bar is open!" because, well, it almost always is. The chalkboard sign was actually left over from our engagement pictures. Then we also hung the bottle cap art I made for Mr. T while we were dating.
And all of the above is really what makes this idea so great -- the possibilities are endless. You can add to or take away from. You can make it a little more fancy or less fancy. You can really do whatever you want to.
So there you have it. A homemade "bar" that looks pretty awesome if I do say so myself.
I have a confession to make. I'm totally that gal who likes everything in my home to be just so (I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that before). I get it from my grandma and in some ways I kind of like it because it helps me to have a pretty great apartment (with some really neat stuff). A while back, I bought this awesome owl cookie jar. When I decided to put it in the kitchen, Mr. T and I didn't really know where to put it. It's kind of large and we don't have a lot of counter space. Seriously, why don't people give you a double sink when you don't have a dishwasher?
We played around with so many ideas and decided to look for a piece of furniture to put in this weird blank space we have in the kitchen. There's this awesome antique store near us and Mr. T talked me into going there first. IKEA is quite a trip and, honestly, I kind of hate furnishing our whole apartment with that stuff (so he made a really good suggestion).
We walked around for a really long time. That's the thing about antique stores. They're huge and have a lot of stuff. We toyed with so many ideas including utilizing furniture we already have and buying something different. It was taking forever and I was afraid we wouldn't find anything.
Then we found these two tables which weren't what we were looking for (no counter space or storage). However, when we brought them home I fell in love. We put one in the kitchen and then one in our living room and they really add something to our décor. It makes it feel kind of rustic and unique which I love.
We've since moved things around some to make room for our new toaster oven. I was forced to go to IKEA (lame). But we found room for the tables in other parts of the apartment which makes the finds even more awesome. Obviously this was definitely an antique store success, but it can be overwhelming and frustrating. It's definitely worth it though. So here are a few tips help make it as awesome as possible.
Look everywhere. Don't Give Up. Antique stores often have stuff stuck in weird places so you really have to pay attention and make sure you're looking at all kinds of nooks and crannies.
Do the rounds. Mr. T and I found these tables out in front. We had already looked in front. Twice. But we decided to give it a go one more time. You never know when people are bringing in stuff or when new items are being put out so taking a second look never hurts.
Think outside the box. Just because it's a dresser doesn't mean it has to be a dresser. Mr. T and I are currently using a dresser I bought at this same store as a TV stand. Things can have many uses so use your imagination a little. You can also paint, refinish, reupholster, etc.
Be prepared to spend time browsing. What you're looking for might not just jump out at you. It might take a couple of rounds before you even notice anything that catches your eye. Make sure you plenty of time to thoroughly check out the merchandise.
Bring a measuring tape (and measurements). This isn't IKEA. There are no boxes that tell you exactly how big it is. Things also aren't set up the way they would be in your apartment. Furniture is often crammed and stacked into really tight spaces so make sure you have your measurements and way to measure the merchandise. (Side note: they will often have a measuring tape too, so don't be afraid to ask).
Look for the deals. Every antique store I've ever been in has some stash that's lower priced than anything else. Sometimes it's not a collectible. Sometimes it’s not as fancy. Sometimes it's just not in high demand. You can find some really amazing steals in there so be sure to check it out.
Don't be afraid to bargain. My mom and I snagged my dresses (that's now our TV stand) for like half off all because it had a hutch on it and I didn't want it. You never know when someone might knock down a price for something. Things can also be combined (two dressers, matching pieces, etc.) for even bigger steals. Don't be afraid to try to make a deal.
I love living in New York. But, as I mentioned before, our apartment is definitely lacking in the storage department. So it's probably not a big shocker to say that my kitchen doesn't have a lot of options. Here's how I decided to organize all my goods without feeling like I was living in chaos.