From the category archives:


Bare walls are sad walls.

Wallpaper has been a craze for a number of years now, but one of the main reasons for hesitation to use it is the fear of long term commitment. For those that are commitment-phobic, there is now a great variety of removable wallpaper! Unlike traditional wallpapers, which you can indeed remove with a bit of elbow grease, these removable wallpapers don’t leave much of a residue behind when the time comes to take them down, and often that residue can be wiped away with a damp cloth, rather than a lot of wall patching and repainting. *Note: brands may vary and the amount of gunk left behind may differ from each application. Always do a test strip if you are concerned. Here is a quick roundup of some of fun finds that I have recently discovered:

  • Walls Need Love: I recently discovered this site with premium removable wallpaper and decals with a great selection of designs to choose from
  • Sherwin Williams: No longer just paint, this company has partnered with HGTV Home to produce their own line of removable wallpapers
  • Swag Paper: I love the line of maps they have! Plus a specific category just for Tots
  • Chasing Paper: One of the nice things about this company is that the sizes are a little smaller, so if you have a smaller project, their 2′ x 4′ panel may be just what you need
    Teal Teardrop_Chasing Paper
  • Etsy also has a number of individual shops that sell removable wallpaper and wall decals




Five Pin Friday

March 28, 2014

Another week, another roundup of what’s hot on my Pinterest boards! Check ‘em out!

1. The Kallax Aliens is the Expedit replacement from Ikea, with thinner boards (to help out the environment). This one with Panyl self-adhesives to punch it up an extra notch!


2. Coffee tables turned into shelves? Couldn’t be any cuter!


3. A double-dip colorful wooden pendant light by Etsy shop, Mutating Creatures


4. Reclaimed pallet boards make for a lovely little walkway!


5. A wood heater for the smallest of spaces that actually looks pretty, too!



Up With Fun

March 25, 2014

Continuing on our upward trend of examining stairs, let’s tackle the riser – a perfect spot for some design fun! You trudge up and down them each day, sometimes oblivious to just the wealth of potential beneath your feet! Before you take another step, let’s up the game a little with some great ideas on how you can step up the design fun with your stairs!

I’m helping a client with a remodel that includes the stairs and we’ve been having so much fun gathering inspiration for her new space that I couldn’t resist sharing a quick roundup of some of the fun ideas! Are these inspiring to you? Do you have a picture of your own stairs that you’d love to share? Post it to your Instagram account with the tag #seattlestairs!

1. Painted pretty: Pick a theme or color palette that reflects the rest of your house and makes people feel good when they come in the door.



2. Up with Words: Another alternative, also using paint (or stencils) is to use wording to decorate, whether the lyrics to a song that was playing when you met your sweetheart, or reflecting another subject that you’re passionate about. I love the idea of book titles leading up to a library!



3. Painted Runners: Paint can also be used to design your own runner, or do something fun with the stairs, like these numbers.



4. Embellish: Have a collection that you’re dying to show off, but unsure how? Folks will be stepping right up to admire these steps, fitted out with a license plate collection or a stash of rulers cut-to-size.



5. Paper ‘n Paste: You can choose to go the re-movable route or paper the stairs like you would a wall, using glue adhesive. Either way, there are a multitude of design options available, so the possibilities are pretty much endless!



6. Mosaic Masterpiece: I love the idea of tile not only for the design options available, but also the durability. Aren’t these stunning? Keep the pattern the same or create your own unique mosaic tile design for a stairway that is completely unique!



7. Make it something else: Even with the ever-increasing popularity of digital books, many of us still cling to our cherished printed volumes. I love the idea of taking space under stairs for stashing tomes. I’d of course be the one planted on the steps all day, reading away. And of course, who can’t use a little more storage space?




The post below is a copy of the article I wrote for the online publication of Seattle’s Child, where I publish bi-weekly articles on home organization. To see a complete list of all past articles, please visit the Reclaim Your Home section on Seattle’s Child. See this article on the Seattle’s Child website here.

Even if you’re not especially tight on space, the area under stairs may hold untapped potential for your home.  Most of these projects require help from a handy person, but often even a small investment pays huge returns in terms of style, storage, or both.

Put in a powder room. If you’re tired of sharing your family bathroom with company or fighting for mirror time with a teen, a small powder room can be a saving grace. Plus, I personally think decorating these super-small spaces are extra fun. You’ll definitely want to bring in the pros for this one, but a simple sink and toilet are really all it takes.

Photo Source: ArchiMagz

Photo Source: Houzz

Get storage savvy. I have to say that storage solutions have sure come a long way in recent years. There are so many cute, functional options for adding shelves, drawers and cubbies under the stairs or to just about any area of your home. Keep your entryway clear by stowing shoes and other gear in hide-and-seek shelves that slide right into the wall. Avoid closet chaos by assigning everyone in the family their own cubby for jackets and bags or opt for a deep set of drawers to store sports gear, linens, and toys.

Photo Source: Houzz

Photo Source: Houzz

Photo Source – Nazagreen

Create a kid-friendly nook. Is your little one needing a little getaway? Kids thrive with safe, private spaces they can call their own. Whether your kid likes to read, make art, chat with imaginary friends, or invent their own games, they’ll love you (even more) for dedicating a cozy just for them.

Photo Source: Houzz

Photo Source: Houzz

Get down to business. Turns out, grown-ups thrive with places they can call their own, too! Keep it simple with a basic desk and chair or get more creative with artwork, shelves, and other storage. For more inspiration, check out Command Central: The Busy Mom’s Best Friend.

Photo Source: Houzz

Photo Source: Houzz

Show and tell with shelves. Older homes have oodles of charm but can be short on shelf or display space. Whether you need more space for books or want to show off art or other trinkets, built-in shelves afford lots of options. I love the look of recessed shelves with subtle lighting, plus they don’t disturb the space in the rest of the room.

Photo Source: Houzz

Photo Source: Houzz

Fill in the blank! Another great use for under-the-stair space is whatever your home needs! Wine cellar? Cozy dog hideaway? That space is truly yours for the taking, so make it count.

Photo Source: Houzz

Photo Source: Houzz