This post was sponsored by Target.

Target organising essentials

Yikes. My ‘system’ of storing accessories consisted of shoving them in tote bags and piling them in the corner of my closet. Finding the one belt/scarf/hat that I was looking for meant dumping the bags on the bed and rummaging through to locate the one elusive item.

It also meant I wasn’t taking good care of my things: belt buckles and knitted scarves do not mix well.

Enough was enough!

Target organising essentials

I dumped everything out for one last time and sorted them into piles of like-with-like and then got to organising them with some nifty storage picked up at the Target stocktake sale.

Target organising essentials

First I tackled the belts. I hardly even wore belts, not because I don’t like to but because it was just too inconvenient to get them out of the closet.

Target organising essentials

No longer! This $3 belt rack will have me accessorising like a star.

Target organising essentials

I then moved on to the hats.

Target organising essentials

I installed this fun arrow hook and hung two bags from it: one for summer hats and the other for winter hats and beanies. Too easy.

Target organising essentials

Finally, I needed to do something about my scarves. I installed this sweet bird rack on the back of our bedroom door – perfect!

Target organising essentials

Aaaah. Sanity restored for less than 20 bucks.

What’s the biggest storage problem in your bedroom?


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Nursery before

Pastel palettes in nurseries can look sweet, but babies love bright colours and bold patterns. That’s why this nursery makeover by Summer Bellessa is so great. Not only does bub have plenty of stimulation, the bolder scheme means he won’t grow out of it so soon.

Nursery after

Read about the inspiration of the safari-goes-modern theme and see the rest of the photos over on Design*Sponge.

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Cloth-covered box files materials

I’d had these pink box files for some years and they’re really handy, but the colour had faded a lot in the sun and was looking a little drab. Besides, it was the only remnant of pink in the now yellow, grey and aqua office.

They were perfectly functional so I didn’t want to ditch them, instead I covered them with grey fabric for a neutral, classy look.

Cloth-covered box files during

I used this technique for turning thin cotton fabric into sturdy cloth stuitable for gluing. Getting the flaps to stay put is the only tricky bit but with help from some pegs and rubber bands you’ll be fine. It would work better on a cardboard rather than plastic surface like this, but since I use these files for seldom-accessed items they didn’t need to be super durable.

Cloth-covered box files after

Cutting out the finger-pulls was going to be a real headache, so I simply stuck on some metal rim tags in the same shape and size. I actually threw out the previous contents of the files and haven’t decided what will go back in them hence the blank tags.

I had the tags, as well as the rest of the materials, already on hand so it was a lovely zero dollar project – and you gotta love that.

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I mentioned recently that my new printer doesn’t fit neatly inside my desk drawers like the old printer did. Sigh.

With no printer to accommodate, there was now a huge amount of wasted space in the drawer unit. I went to Ikea to find extra drawers but you can’t buy extras in this size (you can only buy the whole set with the door front like we originally purchased). I do need pull-out drawers for some items like the scanner, but I figured shelves would suffice for most things (bonus: at 20 bucks it was waaay cheaper than drawers).

Before & After:
Desk drawers before Desk drawers after

I picked up a pack of two shelves and they were installed within minutes. Add another couple of minutes to neaten things up and hey presto I have a much more efficient space to organise my paper reams.

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White frame before

This framed art came free with my issue of Real Living a couple of months ago, but I was immediately told in no uncertain terms that such a girly item would never see the light of day in our home. I figured the frame and the print would pass The Man’s test if used invidually but it was the combination of both that was unacceptable.

White frame after

I removed the sweet print and gave the wooden backing a few coats of blackboard paint that I already had on hand. Now I have a cute mini message board that cost me a grand total of zero dollars.

Does anyone else have to pass the man test when bringing home new decor?

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We recently ticked off a project that’s been on our to-do list for the last four years. Namely, the closet in the study.

closet before 1 closet before 1

From looking at this photo, you could be forgiven for thinking that the problem was with the interior fit-out but that the doors could be kept, but it was actually the other way around. Those doors look innocent enough: neutral and perhaps even nice and modern. In reality, it had a huge pelmet meaning the top 40cm was unusable, the temporary paint job that we applied during the office makeover to cover up the shoddy doors was easily chipped, each door was two-thirds of the width of the closet making the centre third inaccessible and the doors had dropped so that every attempt to open them required a fair amount of upper body strength and was accompanied by a high-pitched ‘SCCRRRRRWWWWWWOOOOOOAAAAAAR’ noise.

closet during 1

closet during 2 closet during 3

Time to get rid of the chipboard shelving, contact paper and scuffed walls.

Tip of the day: Demolition is always a good way to get your fella interested in helping you with a home renovation project.

closet during 4

Here you can see the cream paint that originally featured in the rest of this room, as well as the same light blue that was in the kitchen and laundry when we moved in.

closet during 6

The back of the pelmet was a tad overengineered…

closet during 7

…or perhaps not.

closet during 8

The new robe didn’t require the panels of wood either side so out they came. Unfortunately half the wall came with it and it was right back to the brick so that, plus all the holes and removing the corner round, meant we went through a serious amount of putty.

closet during 9

Ah, what a difference a bit of a tidy up and a fresh coat of paint can do.

The new interior fit-out and doors are done, but I have done zero organising so far, so I’ll be back with part 2 next time!

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lounge ceiling light

Light fittings are often overlooked but they really can take a good room and make it look a lot more resolved. We have been sloooooowwwwly replacing these shoddy light fittings in our joint. We’ve just done the lounge and dining and here’s what it looks like now:

new lights dining

Cool huh? I love the texture and warmth they add.

new lights dining 2 new lights dining 2

I love low-hanging lights but because of our low ceilings, this is actually as low as we could hang the pendant in the lounge area without The Man’s head banging into it. But if we hung the one in the dining area at the same height it would sit awkwardly between the laundry door the ceiling beam. I wanted to hang it low and centred over the table, but it wasn’t worth the expense of moving the socket, so we looped the cords and hung it from the beam instead.

new lights attach

We were wracking our brains for weeks trying to figure out a way to loop it through so that it would stay there. The guy at the hardware store suggested adhesive cord managers but that was complete fail. I don’t know why it took me so long but I finally I worked out that we could use fishing line to attach the pendant’s inner metal frame to the cup hook in the beam. Success!

Here are the before and afters, starting with the dining area:

dining area

new lights dining 3

And the lounge…

lounge Sept 2010 1

new light lounge

I’d had my eye on these babies for the longest time but never quite had the budget for them, then I spotted them for like 60% off at Beacon so I quickly snapped them up. You’ve gotta love a project like that!



office before

Hmm, I can’t imagine being too inspired in this room. No wonder food stylist and writer Sharlene enlisted designer Elle Uy to transform it into a yummy space.

office after

Gobsmacking, huh?

The wall-to-wall(-to-wall) built-in cabinetry hides all the boring office bits so Sharlene can display the juicy accessories on the oven shelving. I just love the all-white shell so she can easily update the colour scheme in future. The owner wanted an industrial twist, so they added pipes to attach the lights to – what a great sneaky trick!

Right, when do I move in?

Read the full story on Design*Sponge.

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IHeartOrganizing laundry before & after

I’m always inspired by Jen of I Heart Organizing, but never more so than at the moment because my house is in such an atrocious state.

This makeover proves you don’t have to replace everything to make a big difference: just look at what a coat of paint, updated flooring and a few well-chosen accessories can do!

(Also? I was dying to show you this fab rug. I had come across it earlier and decided that it was my dream rug. Seeing Jen’s laundry confirmed that it is, in fact, the most awesome rug I have ever seen. Unfortunately Mr-Remember-I-Have-Veto-Rights started to make vomit noises at my suggestion. The search continues…)

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Hello, dream bathroom.

It’s hard to believe that owner Anile Prakesh turned that ugly specimen into what is hand down the most beautiful bathroom I’ve ever seen. The combination of the traditional vanity and tapware, glamorous marble and chandelier, rustic brick wall and shelves and modern tub work harmoniously to create the perfect balance of textures and styles.

Read how she did it (and see more photos) here.


A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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