make home feel like spring with flowers...
Spring is all about the renewed & budding beauty that unfolds for months into Summer... Let's get back to stopping to smell the roses with fresh flowers & pastel colors!
Spring into Design...
Teal & Aqua are various shades & tints of blue-green. This is a classic spring color bringing the sky into a space. You can match it up with a variety of hues to complement any color scheme in your home. Above are some examples of using spring's natural color palette with nature & if you're lucky enough to have fragrant flowers, bring them on in to the party!
Spring into organizing...
Time to Get it Contained! When you have a lot of little pieces, like art supplies, consider clear storage to show you exactly what's in it. This eliminates the need for a label & is a contemporary style. Consider acrylic, plastic, or glass carefully & choose the best option based on the items being stored, age & ability of the person accessing the items, & space available.
Spring into art...
Functional Art is my absolute favorite & add gardening into the mix, well I'm in Heaven's Haven! Even though it depends on where you are around the country or world whether or not you can actually start planting, you have to start with planning. Incorporate an element of design by thinking about what you want it to look like, then you can design a simple or complex bed for your garden.
Consider creative ways to make row markers or plant identification fun, bright, or sophisticated. Or create a container from found objects to add whimsy into your garden. Have fun with in your garden this Spring!
2022 Winter Love...
Color gets back to nature this year...The various paint companies always announce their color of the year & they all picked cool colors of green, blue, & purple. I'm so over the grey craze...I love the cool side of the color wheel, so this comes as a lovely change, especially in the bleakness of the dreary winter blues. Prepare for Spring with these cool colors.
For the love of Designing...
Green is a versatile color that creates a beachy sea glass style or a sage that creates a garden style. Contemporary & so easy to refresh with new accessories!
For the love of organizing...
No matter where you have drawers, you have @ least 1 messy drawer. Lots of people have a junk drawer...I've never had a junk drawer, but I do have had a junk jar. That tends to be for crafts though. Needless to say, even junk drawers need love too! Organizing them helps to have a place to put items that may not have a place to go or have enough to make a place for them to go.
For the Love of Art...
Make your own hearts on a string & personalize them yourself!
Gather your Materials:
Layer the strips of paper from longest to shortest on top.
Fold each strip in the middle so that each end has the same layered look when stacked.
Starting with the inner strip, fold each strip inward to form a heart & pinch bottom to hold in place as you fold in each layer.
Take a folded strip & insert it down the middle with the crease @ the top to create a way to hang them later.
Staple or glue the pinched area to adhere the strips in place.
Hole punch the middle strip & string the hearts.
Looking forward to a new year! Even though it's just another day, I'm excited to think of it as a new beginning. I get to decide what's important & how I'm going to live a lifestyle that is less stressful & more enjoyable. That's why I started Personalized Designs in the 1st place!
For the most part, you have to get organized before you can design a functional & beautiful space to enjoy. Let's explore the basics of getting organized & how to maintain that organization...
What does it mean to be organized or to have organization? Being organized is having an organizational system that allows easy access to items within a permanent storage solution. Maintaining the system is creating a routine based on repetition & effort. Let's not forget, in the journey of creating new habits or schedules, that it's an adaptable process changing with your lifestyle. Being flexible isn't the same as giving up or changing it all together, it's more like tweaking the system to maximize the efficiency based on results. Think about your project in terms of how you want the space or activity to function.
Focusing on organizational systems, choosing a system can be overwhelming. This is a decision that may require guidance from a professional. Other times, it may not be so overwhelming. Professionals can develop plans that include ideas you may not be aware of or products that are more efficient. Not every system is great for every person or lifestyle. Some systems may work for a person that wouldn't for another because of limitations or restrictions like space, budget, style, renting, etc.
Before you can decide on a system, establish clear objectives for what you want to accomplish with your goals. Objectives guide you to accomplish your goals like an outline. Consider who, what, where, why, & how; answering these questions makes the outline easier to guide you through the process. A timeline will also develop as the questions are answered. To optimize a space, you'll need to develop a budget. Look @ the outline to determine if you will utilize a professional or tackle the project on your own. The organizational system should be based on your goals. The system should store items to be easily accessible & contained efficiently. Modular shelves make adjusting the system for our ever changing lifestyles a breeze. Investing in a functional & stylish system can enhance the resell value of your home because it's built-in storage. I enjoy creating built-ins that can be adjusted & made especially for a particular space. You may enjoy a storage solution that can move with you from place to place depending on your lifestyle. There is an option for everyone, it just takes a plan & a little research.
Maintaining the system begins with repetition & effort, but it also requires you to think about containing & storing new items or activities. Especially after the holidays, storage adjustments will need to be considered. It's a perfect opportunity to re-evaluate the system you have & tweak areas that no longer work. Living a less stressful, more enjoyable lifestyle requires a rotating system...out with items no longer functioning or needed & in with the new.
Design with Organization...
If we can stop thinking about organization as simply a utilitarian solution to an issue, then we can move forward to a more enjoyable lifestyle. Not only are you going to be less stressed, you'll love the space you're in & want to enjoy the space with others.
Each space in your life serves a purpose within your lifestyle. After you've come up with a plan to get organized, you'll want to think about the aesthetics of the space while storing the essentials of each space. Elements like open shelving vs. closed shelving or clear containers vs. opaque containers can help direct a vision of what the design will accommodate. Often, a variety of solutions will accommodate the needs & wants of the design.
The workstation above is a space dedicated to work within a room. When you are designing a space/zone within a room that normally functions as something else, you have to design a unified space even while separating the different areas/zones. The blue jean color on the wall is complemented by the teddy bear brown color of the floor. The white trim, furniture, & organizational system unifies the design by brightening up the space, which keeps the feeling of separate, but light. The open shelving allows space to store contained items in lovely baskets, books with stylish bookends, plants in coordinating planters, & various unifying art.
Since this room does double duty, the remainder of the room should complement the color scheme & still function separately. For instance, continue with white furniture & curtains, silver finishes in accessories, same type of baskets for containers, etc. That's how you design with organization for a less stressful, more enjoyable lifestyle!
Painting glass is a creative way to personalize your decor. Choose your glass & make sure to clean it with soap & water. If you have goo on it, apply rubbing alcohol with a cotton ball to remove the goo or oil. Paint will not adhere to goo or oil, so having a clean foundation is key to a successful piece.
Next, depending on your desire to be able to drink from your glass or just design a beautiful container, you'll need to apply the appropriate paint. Sharpies can be used both ways, you just need to stay below the lip area if you plan to drink from the glass. When you're finished designing, place the glass on a cookie sheet & pop it in the oven; turn it on 350* for 30 mins. Turn off the oven & let the glass cool a bit before pulling it out of the oven to prevent cracking on thinner glass. After you take it out, let it cool completely.
If you choose to paint the glass & want to eat or drink from it, the paint needs to be non-toxic & labeled for that purpose. I like FolkArt Enamel Paint or DecoArt Glass Paint, some are translucent & others are opaque. The same oven instructions apply, but always check the paint bottle for specific instructions from the manufacturer.
Hand washing is always best to keep the design in great condition, but top rack of the dishwasher may work for a while. Create with less stress & make it more enjoyable this year!
Happy Holidays to everyone!
I normally take December off to make time for holiday prep & relaxation. This year, I took October & November off to make sure I got my personal priorities accomplished without overwhelm. So now I'm ready to get into the holiday mood! How about you? Let's have a less stressful, more enjoyable holiday season together...
Holiday Mantel Designs...
Holiday designs are wonderful to look @ & can be awe inspiring. We want to enjoy them for the most amount of time, especially since they tend to take a lot of time & effort to install. Have a plan before you attack your install so you eliminate most of the stress & frustration that comes with holiday designing. No matter what holiday you're celebrating, the style, or budget, there is a design to express your feelings & mood! Let's talk about the mantel design. Even if you don't have a mantel, the same elements can be applied to a shelf or table!
Our family celebrates different cultural holidays each year to have a better appreciation & understanding for everyone. Sometimes, we mingle them because we know that there are many intercultural families that celebrate both heritages without losing their identities. Here are a few tips to create beautiful & interesting designs.
Getting organized for the holidays usually hits us when we start pulling out all of those decorations, lights, etc. It's hard to find the right balls; untangle the light strings; deal with broken items or find replacement lights that we know we have somewhere; & don't get me started on hooks!
It's not too late to get organized, but don't wait til after the holidays because by then, it will be too late! "Why is that," you ask? Oddly enough, those storage items will be going on sale along with the gifts you'll be buying in December. By January, most of the holiday organizing items will be sold, gone, finito!
Here are a few items to help get you started with what's available. For example, wrapping paper & supplies can be stored in an upright plastic container or a fabric under-the-bed container. Choosing storage items should be based on the space they will be stored in & space availability. Think about creating a space for all of the items, instead of stashing them all over the house. Sometimes it's not easy to store all of the items in 1 space & be selective in the spaces you choose so that you limit the all-over-the-house stashes.
If the basement is where you store your items, then moisture may be a concern. Cardboard boxes won't work with moisture or critters. If the attic is where you store your items, then heat may be a concern, along with those critters. Plastic totes are a wonderful & easy to stack solution for some items.
Glass décor needs special care to prevent breakage. Proper insulation is key. Often, you can keep the original packaging to keep glass or ceramic pieces safe. Special dishes can be packaged in specially designed containers that include separators to insure safe packaging & storage.
Tree storage comes in a variety of choices as well! Some allow you to keep it intact with wheels & others require you to disassemble them to allow for smaller space options.
Holiday Art... Handmade Cards!
Card making is a wonderful way to express how you feel about someone for the holidays! Decide what medium you want to use to create that wonderful feeling. Then, gather all of your supplies before you start for a less stressful & more enjoyable experience. Watercolor designs need a thick watercolor paper to hold up to the water. Pen & ink designs need a sturdy mixed media paper. Pencil, crayon, or other dry media is fine to use with a thick drawing paper.
If you're not comfortable creating a card with you own art, don't be afraid to utilize other options & assemble the card yourself. Craft stores have a variety of options to help get the right look & feel for your card. Premade items & embellishments save time for busy crafts, while creating 3D elements on a 2D creation. Crafting machines, like a Cricut, can add a personal touch with 1 of a kind designs!
Fall Back to school with Apples ...
Fall Design & Decor ...
Fall designs don't always have to be about pumpkins & orange; don't forget about apples with those deep reds & wines. You know what they say...an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Choose a few red accessories that are actually useful. Don't just add items that match your color scheme. Curate your accessories to eliminate clutter & bring purpose to your space for a beautiful design. For example, add red plaid throw blankets to the couch or bed with a few pillows to carry the color scheme around. Pick a few red books to display or change the curtains to unify the space.
Paint your walls red for a more permanent, dramatic change. Keep the accessories more neutral to tone down the dramatic walls.
Fall back to school Organizing ...
Desk organization is important when it comes to back to school, but not everyone has a permanent desk dedicated to study. That's ok too, as long as you have your supplies organized & readily available. Let's talk about the actual desk organization 1st! The desk should provide enough space to work & not just hold all of the supplies needed to work. Have enough space to spread out if needed. Some desks have built-in storage like drawers or shelves which are perfect to store office supplies & a laptop or tablet. Consider utilizing containers within the drawers & shelves to maximize the space & convenience of the built-in features.
If you don't have built-in features or maybe you need to work @ a variety of places within the home (like the kitchen table or bar), then desk organization items can come in handy & be stored on the desk top or a book shelf. Keep in mind that the goal is to not clutter the table top. Some organization options have compartments for small items & some have file storage built-in for a variety of needs. Other options are not together & offer separation which allow you to take up less space or just tot the items you need to the space your using. Also, raising the height of your monitor is a great option for saving space & relieving neck pain.
Taking your organization vertically can eliminate the clutter on your desk top, especially for small spaces. There are a variety of vertical solutions, as well. Some options utilize a peg board or sliding rail system, while others use nail or screw white boards & cork boards to the wall. No matter which system you choose, getting a less stressful, more enjoyable back to school work/study space is the end goal!
Fall back to school Art...
Create your own day planner or journal, maybe even a book for a book report. I love book making from the simple to the more complex, there's a book for you! A basic book construction is to fold some paper into signature packets & begin your book journey. This is a great start for elementary kiddos. Looking for a bit more design in your construction? Create a hard back for your covers. I love to recycle materials like cardboard boxes or cereal boxes for my hard covers. Wrap them in paper or fabric & add a spine to connect them. Once you've made the paper signature packets, you can attach them to create a personalized book for whatever comes your way this semester!
Shine Bright, Summer...
Wall design & Decor...
Design is a style that leaves you with a great feeling & possibly emotion when composed well. Let's take wall design for instance, it's sometimes overwhelming to have a blank space & not know what to do or how to do it. Think of your walls as a canvas. I like to incorporate personal items into my designs because form & function with a little nature is my personal style. The pictures above showcase how incorporating a collection of baskets, hats, plants, or pictures into your wall design can help keep your cherished items from becoming clutter & create an interesting composition.
You can even create an entire wall with plants to enjoy!
organization for the beach...
We have a beach bag ready to go out the door @ any moment; do you? It's a chore to load up the beach bag (swim bag is what we call it), so having it ready to go is a great feeling to start your trip to the beach. Organized swim bags make a day @ the beach (or lake) less stressful & more enjoyable. There is a vast array of swim bags out there to choose from including mesh, clear, fabric, sling back, duffle, purse, & backpack.
A few things to consider, no matter what your style, choose a bag to meet your needs that is easily cleaned & usable. Being able to clean your bag easily is essential if you want it to last. That may mean a washing machine or sprayed with the hose. Usability is key to a great swim bag. Depending on the places you swim, your needs can vary greatly. Some places require clear or mesh bags. You may need to close the bag with a zipper or Velcro for security. Other times, it's not necessary to close it because it just needs to hold a few items. Having pockets inside to organize items that allow you to quickly access them is helpful. If your bag doesn't have pockets, you can use plastic zip bags or a plastic travel kit to organize your lotions, sunscreens, keys, & ID. The easier it is to use, the more likely you'll use it. So, make sure the zippers work properly; the snaps, snap without great pressure; it's big enough to accommodate your items without being too heavy.
Now, let's talk about the items that go in the bag...towel, sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, small 1st aid kit, etc. A few more items to add to the swim bag that will make your trip less stressful & more enjoyable:
Art journals provide a chance to spend some down time on vacation with creativity. It gives everyone a break from the hustle & bustle of trippin'. Personalize your art journals so everyone has the style & type that fits each person's interest. Keep the type of art you do on vacation to a manageable size. Also, think about the type of art you'll do, as well, to keep the mess to a minimum. The last thing you want to do on vacation is make a mess & be stressed out.
Art journals can be for journaling about your trip & experiences along the way; doodling to pass the time quietly; practice drawing to improve skill; practice coloring with crayons, markers, gel pens, or color pencils. Vacation stickers or sets help decorate quickly.
Art journals come in a variety of sizes & papers, or you can make your own. They are a great way to save memories, too.
Personalized art journals become more interesting & enjoyable making it more likely to be used. They produce thoughtful moments throughout summer vacation that can provide teachable moments. Younger kiddos can benefit from preplanned pages like images that relate to their vacation or writing prompts that describe an experience on the trip, but don't forget to allow some free-style pages for impromptu inspiration. Older kiddos generally don't need preplanned pages, but having a goal is a chance to improve specific skills like artistic or linguistic skills they can implement in school. Adults can also benefit from goals, but a lot of time for me, it's a chance to zone out or unwind & just be creative.
May Your Spring be bright...
Design & Decorate with themes...
Designing & decorating with a theme as the inspiration doesn't have to be cheesy or kitschy! The key is to layer textures with patterns, use a variety of sizes, & keep to a simple 3 or 4 color scheme that unifies the theme. Don't rely on sets that repeat the same print or pattern which can make a design look cluttered instead of purposeful. Choose pieces that are quality & will last the test of time. Items that are less specific to a theme are more likely to be reused in a redesign later than something specific. Let's break that down in this bathroom:
I saw the shower curtain within a set that included the soap dispenser, tissue & toothbrush holders, & a water cup. Honestly, I didn't like the accessories that went with the shower curtain because they were all resin with the same pattern; boring & too matchy. What I love about the shower curtain is the color palette & pattern on a poly-cotton fabric. The rings complement the shower curtain, but using a simple metal ring instead is a great alternative. The shower curtain now becomes the feature wall so-to speak. If you have a glass shower, you probably won't start your inspiration with a shower curtain, but it can inspire a direction for the theme just the same.
Color Scheme- Classic Navy, Tan, & White with metal accents.
Patterns- Stripes, Scripts, & Sea Life
Textures- Fluffy, Soft, & Smooth with Rough & Shiny
Sizes- Variety of Sizes creates Movement
The bathroom has a nice size ceiling height, so putting the dark blue on the wall is a quick way to add some drama right away. I love the denim like wallpaper because it adds some texture & color to the walls.
The rope detail on the mirror keeps with the nautical design. It adds texture, color, & appropriate size mirror to an otherwise open area on the wall. The simple sconces unify the color theme, but could be changed out for a more nautical style as well. The seagrass towel holder on the back of the toilet brings the color scheme throughout the entire space.
Art should enhance the space, not clutter it up. The light color of the frame & simple coral print in navy is appropriate size, color, & style to enhance the space. Alternatively, to add a bit more pattern than a single image, I picked out a shell print of navy striped sea shells reminiscent of the shower curtain.
The towels have a similar color scheme & strip pattern to the shower curtain & unifies the theme without being matchy or too specific to a theme. The accessories are white ceramic to blend in with the "furniture" & keep the design light & bright. For a bit of pop, try finding individual pieces to create a personalized style with navy glass, or metal to match accents in the bathroom. Or keep the light countertops & change the white vanity to a wood tone that complements the mirror like the wood with the towels. The floor is a great tile that combines the color scheme in way that is interesting, but not too busy.
spring into Organizing the mudroom...
Create a drop zone that can be organized & easily maintained adding hooks, cubbies, cabinets, or baskets. Turn a hallway into a mudroom with a built-in system containing personalized features for the ultimate lifestyle change; or try a modular system that is perfect for a stylish system that can grow & change with your lifestyle. For a smaller project, install hooks or shelves above a bench for extra storage.
art that's made with tissue paper...
Paint with tissue paper to create a fun abstract or watercolor style piece of art. Use a thicker paper like multi media or watercolor paper that will hold up to water. Cut or tear your tissue paper into pieces. For added fun, use a crayon to create a wax resist by drawing on the paper with medium pressure. Place the pieces of tissue paper on the thick paper & apply water with a spray bottle or brush. The dye will bleed over the thick paper to paint the surface. Take the tissue paper off & allow the picture to dry flat.
After the piece is completely dry, add details by layering stamps, stencils, ink, or bling. Embellishments provide that wow moment & add a professional touch!
Don't forget to sign it!
Spring into March with out the maddness...
Ummmm, I love donuts! I love to March into spring with green, too...
donuts, clovers, leprechauns, gardening, you name it.
Garden Design & Decor
More people are gardening for the 1st time this year. How do you know what to plant & when? Where do you put them? What are the requirements? It can be so overwhelming to think about where to start.
Start with how much space you have to work with & that will often determine if your garden is in containers or in the yard. Then, ask yourself, "what veggies do we eat regularly or would like to try." Some veggies are cool season & some are warm season. Success really depends on knowing your gardening zone. Next, "organic or not organic, that is the question." This encompasses food, fertilizers, & pesticides. Whichever you choose, be sure to read directions carefully!
Get inspired by looking through magazines, Pinterest, & Google to create your garden design. Add some creative flare to your lifestyle by incorporating your garden into a new patio update. Or, create a tiered planter to feature a variety of herbs & veggies. Raised beds make gardening in the yard more manageable. Reimagine what your landscape can look like this summer! Having a totally edible landscape is a fun project. I love being able to walk out my back door to the patio to grab some fresh herbs or veggies for dinner.
Knowing where everything is & being easily accessible creates a fun & relaxing gardening experience. Let's face it, isn't that really why we garden?
There's several ways to go about organizing your tools & equipment. Let's take the tools, for example. You can get a container like a tool box, basket, or bag with pockets. Your container can be sealed tight with a lid or open. I like a sealed container with a lid & a handle.
In my gardening toolbox: Bottom Container-Gloves, Mixture of Bone Meal & Blood Meal, Seaweed/Kelp Extract, Trowel, Hand Fork/Cultivator, Spritz Bottle. Top Tray-Markers/Tags, Twist Ties, Jute, Pruning Shears, (Soil, Fertilizer, PH & Light) Tester. I have other tools & seeds in my Chic Shack, but these are just the items that I tote around the yard!
Art of Shadow boxes
Shadow boxes are some of the easiest & quickest ways to create art! You can make them interchangeable with the seasons & holidays, or permanent for memories to the beach for instance.
These were created by adding golden coins & glitter clovers to the inside, then choosing a paper for the background. I created the composition on the computer, so my images & lettering are all on the paper. You can also use scrapbook paper for the background & print/cut vinyl letters out to stick to the glass! I've done both & they always come out wonderful!
Art is an awesome thing when you have the right pieces. Aesthetic art is just to look at, but applied art is functional & good looking!
Being organized is a life skill that starts with knowing how to be organized & how to maintain that organization. It's your life, let's take it back!