Target Home Sale wishlist

Today is an exciting day!

This marks my first sponsored post, which means I’ll be able to bring you bigger and better content and other awesome things like giveaways for YOU!

Can I get a WOOT WOOT?

Now, high-fiving aside, let’s get down to business. I love shopping for home decor at Target so I was delighted when they asked me to share my picks from their Massive Home Sale.

MY WISHLIST

It was hard narrowing it down but here are my picks for decorating and storage:

1. Artificial succulent in white glazed pot – The perfect way to add some greenery for brown thumbs like me.

2. 3-drawer white entertainment unit – Such a good-looking and practical piece that won’t break the bank (no, really, you won’t believe the price!).

3. Kenwood kmix toaster – Cutest toaster ever? I say yes. Check out the rainbow of colour options.

4. Wiltshire wooden pepper mill – The timeless, classic shape is made contemporary in white.

5. Woven placemats – The natural material and ‘abstract’ woven pattern will allow you to mix’n'match your colourful tableware.

6. Citronella candle in glazed pot – A citronella candle that you’ll actually want to put on your outdoor table.

7. Rattan photo frame – This casual, textural frame is simply made for your favourite beach holiday snap.

8. Potted artificial orchid – A potted white orchid has been on my wishlist for literally years. The beautiful blooms and sculptural form will look at home in any style of home.

9. 46-litre white storage container – You would think a plain white plastic storage box (not clear, not with garish bright handles) would be easy to find but I have been searching forever. My search is over – huzzah!

10. Green collapsible storage cube – The perfect little toy cube for your little one’s cubbyhole bookcase. Best of all, if your needs change you can simply fold it up until you next need it.

11. Chenille jacquard blue & green cushion – My favourite colour combo at the moment – can you tell?

12. Stripe weave chenille throw rug – Personally, I’m hanging onto the last days of summer, but let’s be honest: it will start to chill soon so get ready with a fresh throw rug.

13. Bamboo waste paper bin – You say waste paper bin, I say storage for umbrellas or toys.

14. White glass electronic bathroom scale – Finally, a bathroom scale to suit your white minimalist bathroom.

15. 4-piece towel pack green – If your towels have seen better days (I know mine have), freshen up with a fluffy new set.

So many kitchen appliances, home decor, wall art, tableware and bedding items are discounted as part of the Massive Home Sale, which ends on 20th March. If you can’t get to your local store by then, did you know they now have an online store? Music to my ears.

GIVEAWAY

Target have kindly offered a $40 voucher to one of my readers. To enter, simply leave a comment saying what is on your home wish list.

Entries close Thursday 21st March at midnight (Australian Central Daylight Time). The winner will be selected at random and announced next Friday 22nd March. (Sorry, open to Australian residents only.)

Enter now, good luck!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks to all who entered!

This post was sponsored by Target. Opinions are my own.

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Tea & coffee station

About this time last year, we installed a small rack in an awkward, unused corner of the kitchen to form a tea & coffee station.

It has been working quite well, but it still meant I had to go to various drawers, shelves and cupboards for some of the essentials like teaspoons, mugs and sugar. Actually, the term ‘station’ was probably a bit of an overstatement now that I think about it.

I didn’t want all these little things cluttering up the kitchen benchtop and having to move them to wipe up every day. What I needed was a tray (“You’ll need a tray!”).

Tea & coffee station

Turns out I had the perfect thing already under my nose, in the form of this adorable strawberry crate that I bought for this shoot. There’s lots of red and a bit of green in the kitchen already, plus I’ve been wanting to add some natural textures to soften the stark whiteness so it couldn’t have worked out better!

I already had the mason jar, sugar dish, milk jug, mugs and hooks (the latter I borrowed from the spice rack) so it was a totally free project. Gotta love that!

Tea & coffee station

We only use the milk jug and sugar for guests now (I’ve succeeded in one of my 2013 goals to eliminate sugar from my coffee – go me!) but I still wanted to have that all in the same place too. When we entertain I can now just remove the kettle, add some teacups and take the whole tray into the lounge.

I love how streamlined the process is now. Sure, it only saves a few seconds, but instead of needlessly fussing about getting out my coffee making things, I can do something more useful like put away last night’s clean dishes or open some mail.

The only thing I haven’t managed to find a solution for is the teabags. They’re currently in a divided box in the pantry – it’s too large to fit here as is, and I quite like how it separates the flavours so I’m not sure what I will do about that yet.

Tell us: how do you store your hot drink essentials? Convenient and out in the open or neatly tucked out of sight?

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kitchen wicker baskets

I still love the organic texture and colour provides by this set of wicker baskets on top of the kitchen cupboards. However, continually having to answer The Man’s queries about ‘Which basket has the pie weights again?’ was getting old… especially since half the time I couldn’t remember myself.

So I said to myself: ‘Self, get some labels already.’

kitchen wicker baskets

And get some labels I did.

But before we get to the label close-up, we need to back up a bit.

The lack of labels were not the only the wrong with this scenario. Neat as they may have looked, there was a whoole lotta mess goin’ on within those woven sides.

kitchen wicker baskets

Eek! This is supposed to be our storage for picnic and party gear, mostly disposable stuff. We sort of just threw everything in there (sometimes, quite literally, we would throw a pack of napkins up there instead of taking the basket down) with no real regard to organisation.

kitchen wicker baskets

What do you do if everything is in a complete jumble? Take everything out and start again.

I sorted everything out and grouped them with similar items. A few things found other homes, like the Thermos set (in the black bag) I moved to a lower cupboard and some of the cheaper serviettes I donated to The Man’s class party box for school. Given that we have had KFC maybe twice in five years I figured the refresher towellettes were probably past their prime.

Here’s what they look like now:

kitchen wicker baskets

The first box now contains nothing but disposable gear for picnics.

kitchen wicker baskets

The second box contains items for parties, such as cocktail napkins and reusable plastic wine glasses (we actually have a huge stash of wine glasses so we only need to resort to plastic for the really big parties).

kitchen wicker baskets

kitchen wicker baskets

The other two boxes held various baking equipment and supplies, as well as an ice bucket (boxed, at left).

kitchen wicker baskets

Why did I have half of the cupcake wrappers in one box and the rest in another? And why did I have two lonely food colourings in the lower pantry while the rest of the stash was in an overhead basket?

kitchen wicker baskets

kitchen wicker baskets

Who knows! But it was time to sort out once and for all.

I brought the almost-empty second clear box up and used that to organise the packets of sprinkles, while the larger one now contains (from top) gel piping tubes, food colouring and food flavouring. Oh, and the ice bucket now lives in a cupboard with the cocktail shaker and spirits. Here it is all back in the boxes:

kitchen wicker baskets

kitchen wicker baskets

Now, back to those labels!

kitchen wicker baskets

kitchen wicker baskets

I had these cute chalkboard pegs from Emerald & Ella on hand from a recent photo shoot (used as place cards) and knew they would be perfect for labelling baskets too. They work a treat! If I ever change up my storage (which, let’s face it, is only a matter of time) I can just wipe off and write on the new label.

kitchen wicker baskets

Every room needs a bit of black, don’t you agree? And I know you agree that every room could use a bit more organisation too!

Does anyone else use the top of cupboards for storage or do you prefer to keep everything behind closed doors?

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Coupon storage before

We’ve had this little basket in the washstand in the living room to corral all our vouchers (coupons) and gift cards. It needed a good cleanout anyway (why were there piles of business cards and expired ID/membership cards in there??) and I decided to take the opportunity to somewhere we’d be more likely to remember to check before heading out shopping or ordering a pizza.

Coupon storage after

I picked up this cute magnetic box for $2 at a random Japanese bargain store in the market district (seriously they had the best stuff! I could have gone nutso on the cute storage on beautiful glazed stone and bamboo tableware).

Turns out it was the perfect way to keep our vouchers neat and tidy. I put it on the side of the fridge so it’s out-of-the-way but still easily accessible.

I should point out that here in Australia there’s no such thing as ‘couponing’ – the supermarket price is the supermarket price. It was a foreign concept to me until I started reading US blogs. So thankfully we don’t have a zillion vouchers to cut out, store, use and keep an eye on the expiry so there’s no need for a complicated category system. We only have the occasional pizza flyer (which we rarely use) and a handful of gift cards from birthdays. (Which reminds me, time to go shopping for free!)

How do you organise your vouchers/coupons and gift cards?

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prep & serving cupboard before 1

Firstly, apologies for the dreadful photography in this post. Taking shots of the inside of cupboards is not easy!

Moving on. Let’s talk kitchen storage.

We have these cavernous lower cupboards in three corners of our kitchen. They might be large but they are so awkward to use, especially this one because the adjacent fridge sticks out.

prep & serving cupboard before 2

Looking at this ‘before’ is probably enough and I don’t need to explain why a makeover was required. However, I will point out a couple of functionality issues we were having.

prep & serving cupboard before 3

  • The serving platters were all stacked on top of each other so it was difficult to pull out and replace the item you needed (there are more of them underneath the shelf riser on the left).
  • Some frequently used items (such as the Pyrex dishes) were at the back while the once-in-a-blue-moon food processor attachments took up prime position.
  • There was no real system of placement so the everyday prep items were mixed in with the servingware.

One day I’d had enough and pulled everything out and started over and it now looks like this:

prep & serving cupboard after

Ah, so much better right? (And not just because of the improved photo quality.)

I separated it out so that the top shelf is all for food prep and the lower shelf is all related to serving.

prep & serving cupboard after

The enormous array of ridiculously specific food processor attachments remain out of the way for one day when I have a sudden urge to make Russian dumplings.

prep & serving cupboard after

Another change that made a huge difference was the addition of a couple more wire shelf risers (I bought mine from Howard’s Storage World but you find them in plenty of places). It is a much better use of the space and avoids too much stacking so things are far easier to access. (There are a couple of items which you may spot are missing, these have either been gotten rid of or relocated to elsewhere in the kitchen.)

The stacking of platters was particularly inconvenient and it also didn’t allow for a variety of sizes. I picked up a stainless steel pot lid rack from Ikea and it is the perfect way to organise my platters. I thought they might be too heavy and push it out but it works great! It’s so much easier to access and put away.

prep & serving cupboard after

Oh and in case you were wondering, I think I’m all set for white platters for the time being.

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after

I must say the thought of renovating and decorating an entire house at once is daunting to say the least (one of the many reasons why I am refusing The Man’s suggestion that we should enter The Block next year).

Thankfully this home owner (admittedly, an interior designer) was up to the task, because the results are unbelievable.

before

kitchen after

If the eclectic lounge/dining didn’t win you over, how is this for a beautiful farmhouse-style kitchen?

Get the full tour and the story over at Design*Sponge.

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top pantry before

I don’t think I’ve ever shown you inside our kitchen cupboards. Probably because it’s not very exciting. I don’t have beautiful floor-to-ceiling cabinetry with chevron lining and rows of matching labelled Tupperware.

Nope, it’s all very average-bordering-on-messy. With only this small overhead cupboard to store our pantry goods, it gets crowded easily and things just get shoved in wherever they can. (By the way, sometimes my camera produces photos with lens distortion – this is not happennig here, the shelf is in fact bowing under the weight of no less than six types of rice and more icing sugar than I will use in a lifetime.)

Every now and again I will declare it time for a Pantry Challenge (feel free to chime in with a more creative name!). Which means we buy as little new food as possible in order to clear out the pantry and freezer (I already do this weekly with fresh produce in the fridge). Sometimes it’s motivated by a money-saving goal, other times because I’m sick of pork chops falling on my head when I open the freezer.

Either way, it always ends up with a few culinary experiments (seriously, you’ll be amazed at the variety of dishes you can make with what you already have on hand), a slashed grocery bill and a nice uncluttered kitchen.

Have you tried anything similar in your household before?

tea coffee station 2

Our tea and coffee making things were shoved in various cupboards wherever they would fit – plunger in the crockery cupboard, sugar in the servingware cupboard, tea bags shoved at the back of the pantry. You don’t have to be a storage junkie to realise this was clearly not the most efficient setup.

tea coffee station

I recently bought this shelf (actually a dish drainer from Ikea) and The Man installed it in the dead space next to the microwave. It now houses the plunger, sugar , tea leaves, instant coffee and plunger coffee. I had been saving up old coffee jars in preparation (yes, I am the only one who drinks instant coffee at home so it took me a long time to empty those three jars!) but I did buy the cute tin new from Brown Button Trading.

It’s so handy having everything right there above the kettle and I love how it creates useful space from previously wasted space. Yes, I still have to wait around while the kettle boils, but now instead of having to spend the time putting everything back in the various cupboards, I can do something useful like take out the recycling or put away some dishes.

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Pantry with drawers
Shelf Genie via Organizing Made Fun

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve come home from the shopping with another bottle of soy sauce or packet of cashews because I forgot about the spare one I already had in the depths of the pantry. Sadly I can’t fit this kind of setup in my pantry in an awkward corner base cabinet, but if you have a full-length pantry I reckon you’ll love these retrofitted drawers to solve all your forgotten food woes.

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lounge ceiling light

For some reason I don’t have a photo of the kitchen with the old light (oh yeah, could be because I didn’t like it so I always cropped it out).

But I do have a photo of the same fixture elsewhere in the house. Because when we moved in every. single. fitting. in the house was the same boring builder’s special that you see above.

new kitchen light

Ah, I love how pendant lights work to define a space so much more than the ceiling-mounted variety. The industrial brushed metal finish of the Ikea light we chose ties in perfectly with the cabinet handles, and at just fifteen bucks it was a very cheap tweak to the room.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank The Man for installing it for me. x

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