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How to Store Sheet Sets

linen closet folding sheets martha stewart

linen closet folding sheets martha stewart

Does your linen closet betray your otherwise neat-and-tidy home? It can be a challenge to keep sheet sets organized amongst duvets, towels and blankets, but leave it to Martha (who else?) to find the smartest, simplest solution.

Just place your folded sheet sets inside one of its pillowcases and stack. Voilà! A perfectly presentable linen closet you won’t mind showing off to guests. Now, how do you fold a fitted sheet again?

+ Photo:


Ikea’s Curtain Wire Used as a Ribbon Storage System

curtain wire ribbon storage :: as seen on

For city dwellers, having a craft space is often a luxury. I thought I found the perfect spot to do mine but now that we unpacked most of the boxes, I might have to put my dream on hold for a while. I need to put a storage unit where I initially planned to fit a small craft and gift wrapping station. In the meanwhile, I still searched the Web for great craft room ideas.

My latest find is how Claudia of Ink.Paper.Love stored her ribbons. She used the Dignitet curtain wire and a pack of curtain rings with clips from Ikea. It is perfect since that system can accommodate several packaging types.

And if you are short on space, you must see the great craft closet that Claudia’s husband created for her. You can fit a lot on a closet. I am sure that it will give you ideas.

+ Craft closet at Ink.Paper.Love
+ Dignitet curtain wire $16.99 CAD / $14.99 USD
+ Pack of 24 curtain rings with clips $9.99 CAD / $4.99 USD


Mini Illustrated Chalkboard | Etsy Find

chalkboard illustrated mary kate mcdevitt

I don’t know about you, but those cheesy “inspirational” posters found in offices haven’t ever helped in the motivation department. I’d much rather use one of these charming Mini Goal Chalkboards to capture all of my “must dos” and “want to dos”.

chalkboard illustrated mary kate mcdevitt

Each chalkboard is made from real slate and whimsically decorated with bright hand painted lettering and illustrations by Portland-based artist Mary Kate McDevitt. They come ready to hang with personalized packaging, mini goals chalk and a mini goals eraser for about $45 USD.

mini chalkboard illustrated mary kay mcdevitt

I particularly like the combination chalkboard/clock to help keep you on track to meeting your goal – or in the case of the one shown below, celebrating a job well done.

mini chalkboard clock illustrated mary kay mcdevitt

Check out Mary Kay McDevitt’s for more designs or to order a custom piece.

+ Mary Kate McDevitt Etsy Shop


Small Space Living: Staircase Storage

staircase bedroom drawers

staircase bedroom drawers

If you have a set of stairs in your home, chances are your small space isn’t as small as you think it is. That said, when you think about the “footprint” of a staircase, it’s easy to see wasted storage potential – particularly underneath.

Here are a few innovative ways that homeowners have re-claimed this typically underused space.

This staircase-bedroom combination shown on Home-Designing helps max out vertical space in a small New York apartment. The home owners created a guest bedroom and lounge area with an elevated sleeping area. The stairs themselves are actually drawers in disguise, providing plenty of storage for clothes and other essentials.

staircase shelves drawers storage

Likewise, this ladder/staircase hybrid crafted by Københavns Møbelsnedkeri / Copenhagen Joinery leads to a raised sleeping area in a child’s room. It’s a modern twist on bunkbeds, only here the stairs do double duty as shelves for toys and books, with even more storage in the build-in wardrobe.

Floating staircases may look contemporary, but they can also showcase contemporary clutter. Since they’re on wheels, these DIY storage units would be a great option for a finished basement/family room, providing easy access place to stash toys or seasonal items. Check out the complete builder’s plans from Workbench Magazine.


Simple Ribbon Storage Ideas

wall hooks and wire baskets used to store ribbons

wall hooks and wire baskets used to store ribbons

The latest catalogue of Doctor House DK proposes a few clever ways to store ribbons. The first idea is to install a metal wall hook on a door. The key is to make sure that the hooks are long enough. You could reproduce the look and feel with long nails on a piece of wood.

Another solution is to neatly place them on a basket. The advantage of a wire basket over a solid one is that you can find more easily a ribbon suitable for your project.

ribbon storage ideas

Lastly, you could use a wall wooden bookcase or a wall. The rustic feel will add charm to your display. When you get tired to see a ribbon, you can always repurpose it as a candle holder.

ribbons stored in a metal pail

Finally, you could use metal pails as shown on the blog of Candice Stringham photography. Her solution works best with thin ribbon rolls.

+ Doctor House DK
Office/studio/art supply closet of Candice Stringham Photography


Kitchen Tip: Protect Your Cookbook Pages

martha stewart page protector kitchen tip

martha stewart page protector kitchen tip

With gorgeous photography and clever text, cookbooks are the new coffee table books. The only downside? Actually putting them to use in the kitchen, lest they fall prey to a sauce splatter here or a grease spot there.

That’s why I loved this “Good Things” tip spotted in the February 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living: just slip your favorite cookbook inside a large, zippered plastic envelope – available at specialized office supply stores and packaging stores – to protect pages from kitchen messes.

+ Clear Zippered Envelope at the Container Store, from $2.99 USD
+ Filexec Zipper Envelope from, $13.99 USD (set of 6)
+ Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes cookbook from, $14.04 USD


Bathroom Storage Ideas

bathroom accessories apothecary jars umbra

Often the smallest room in the house, bathrooms are easily overwhelmed with jars, tubes, linens and other necessities. We rounded up some smart ideas to help reign in countertop clutter.

bathroom accessories apothecary jars umbra

Clutter Clearers
Glass or clear acrylic vessels provide easy access to cotton swabs and soap, such as in a guest bathroom where you don’t want guests searching through your vanity drawers or medicine cabinet to find what they need.

Apothecary jars are a popular choice synonymous with spa style; glass adds a hint of sparkle, yet the shapes have an old world, luxurious feel. This version from West Elm (available in both small and large sizes) helps save counter space with stackable cylinders.

Umbra’s Capelli organizer also uses the cylinder shape with tall columns designed to hold bathroom beauty appliances like a blow dryer or curling iron.

Sleek Storage

With an organic shape and neutral colour, these round Igloo containers would work well in any room of the house. Their small size and un-fussy approach to stage is well-suited to bathroom necessities.

Leave it to Alessi to create the sleekest options to house bathroom essentials. The Birillo series include smart dispensers for cotton pads and cotton swabs. The divided sections in the cotton swab dispenser also make it a great option to store tweezers, nail clippers and other small items.

Other Options

Also from Alessi, the characters on these cotton swab containers add a bit of whimsy to a kid’s bathroom. They’re practical too, since the pull top raises the contents to make them more accessible for small hands.

bathroom accessories alessi pisellino

For a customizable option, check out this all-in-one organizer. You can rotate the outer clay frame around the bamboo base to create adjustable storage for your toothbrush, makeup brushes, tweezers or other items.

bathroom accessories bamboo matteria

To add a hit of colour and femininity to your bathroom, don’t overlook ornate, shapely glass pieces like the Yngaren collection at Ikea. You can find similar options at thrift and antique stores.

bathroom accessories ikea yngaren

+ Stacked Apothecary Jars, $34 – $49, West Elm
+ Capelli Organizer, $30, Umbra
Igloo £35 for a set of 3 bowls
+ Birillo cotton pad dispenser, £17.00, Alessi
+ Birillo cotton swab dispenser, £17.00, Alessi
Pisellino cotton swab holder, £18.00, Alessi
+ Small organizer, €29 , Matteria
+ Yngaren bathroom collection, $8.99 – $14.99, Ikea


Catinet by UrbanCat Design

catinet inside urban cat

catinet inside urban cat

If there’s one thing that can ruin an otherwise stylish space, it’s the sight of a litter box in the corner of the room.

European-based Urban Cat Design have developed a clean and clean-lined solution with the Catinet. This cabinet not only hides your cat’s litter box, helping to reduce litter tracking throughout the home, but provides additional storage for pet supplies. An open side entrance ensures the litter box is still accessible for your cat.

catinet inside details

Because the design company is based in Europe, the Catinet likely won’t be an affordable option for North American cat owners due to shipping costs. As an alternative, consider modifying a standard base cabinet or modular unit – available at Ikea and other home improvement stores – to create something similar for your furry friend.

+ Catinet by UrbanCat Design
+ via Moderncat


Bulletin Boards and Magnets

bamboo magnet dry-erase board with channels

bamboo magnet dry-erase board with channels

Having a bulletin board makes your life easier. My husband and I are adoring the chalkboard wall we painted in the kitchen. We keep track of our to-do-list, shopping list and write down what we would like to eat for dinner.

Another place that a bulletin board comes handy is the office. For an home office, a dry-erase magnetic wall panel is often the best choice. I compiled a list of stylish and fun message boards by Three by Three Seattle.

If you have the space, the Bamboo Dry-erase Wall Panel is a great choice. Optional channel panels can be added to the basic panel. It is perfect for a craft room. I think that the channel panels are a must. You can tailor it to your  needs since they offer several possible configurations.

magnet dry-erase bulletin boards

The 12 x 12-inch Hang on Board provides three hooks to hold a pair of scissors, personal accessories, utensils, keys, etc. For a narrow spot, look at this vertical dry-erase magnet board that is backed with magnets and that can also be mounted with an adhesive tape. Both models are available in white, spring green, silver, and real bamboo.

Fun Magnets

bright colors dot magnets and the mighties

For a punch of color on your board, go with bright dot magnets. Three by Three Seattle makes a kit with ½ inch, ¾ inch and 1 inch diameter colorful vinyl dot magnets. Know that they supplies their Mighties magnets with anyone of their magnet boards.

+ Bamboo Dry-erase Wall Panel $40-$100 USD at Three by Three
+ 4×11 inch Dry-erase Magnet Board $10-$13 USD at Three by Three
+ Hang on Board $25-$30 USD at Three by Three
+ Bright Color Dot Magnets $7.95 USD at See Jane Works
+ Mighties $13.95 USD at See Jane Works


A Collection A Day | Book Preview

lisa congdon collection a day book

lisa congdon collection a day book

One of my daily must-read blogs throughout 2010 was Lisa Congdon’s A Collection a Day. On January 1, 2010, the San Francisco-based designer/artist/illustrator kicked off a year-long project, posting a new photo, painting or illustration of her collections (both real and imagined) every day.

Now Lisa’s project has been, well, collected in a soon-to-be-released book published by UPPERCASE.

Colourful, curious and neatly organized, Lisa’s collections highlight the design similarities and differences of the objects in each grouping. Many are also available as prints – this series of red enamel kitchen utensils would be a striking piece of kitchen art.

lisa congdon red spatulas

This illustration of Jonathan Adler pottery is slightly more affordable than the real thing.

lisa congdon jonathan adler

Check out UPPERCASE to preview more of Lisa’s collection and pre-order your copy in a “collectible” tin.

+ Pre-order A Collection A Day by Lisa Congdon from Uppercase Gallery
+ Photos and illustrations from A Collection A Day


Organizing Your Mud Room or Entryway

organizing your mud room

organizing your mud room

Whether you have a mud room or an entryway, you need to take into account form and function to design a beautiful, practical room. It is even harder if you live in a colder climate because you need to store many coats, boots, mitts and hats.

So, what are the must-have items for an efficient mud room or entryway? My must-have list includes:

  • shoe racks
  • a coat and hat stand or hooks
  • at least one top shelve
  • several baskets to neatly organize mitts and scarfs. Ideally, I like one basket per family member with an extra one for your guests
  • an umbrella stand
  • a bench where to sit to put and remove your boots, or to deposit your packages when you enter your home
  • a mirror to see if you look pretty before getting out of the house
  • an indoor/outdoor mat next to the door. I will show you the cool ones that I saw at IDS later.

Mud Room Design Ideas

    designing a mudroom :: inspirations

    For inspirations, I am leaving you with three inspiring mud rooms. The first one was spotlighted on The Wall Street Journal last weekend. Read their article for more good tips by Rita Koning. The Wall Street Journal’s mud room has a cottage feel while IKEA proposed us a more family-oriented mud room.

    ikea entry hall design idea

    IKEA also designed this casual hall way. Here shoe cabinets add a more stylish touch.

    black and white scandinavian mudrooms

    Look at the well-done black and white mud rooms from Skona Hem. I like how the cycling accessories are displayed on the wall as art instead of every items. I spotted these Scandinavian mud rooms on the blog High Street Market.

    + Tidy up the Mud Room on The Wall Street Journal – photo by  Don Freeman
    + IKEA mud room – photos from catalogues