Posts Tagged ‘storage’

porch makeover

One of the things on my porch makeover must-have list was some storage. Why was it so important, you ask?

Well, because there is a never-before-photographed corner of our courtyard that looks something like this:

messy courtyard corner

Yeeeah. Nice, huh?

Our laundry is home to most of our hardware and garden gear, but sadly with no shed or garage the bulky items simply have nowhere to go and have languished in the courtyard for six years.

outdoor storage bench

They now have a neat little spot on the front porch inside the new bench.

Not the most pin-worthy storage idea, I admit, but it will mean our courtyard will no longer be a dumping ground so it wins major points with me.

Now the only question is: what do to with the awkward corner of the courtyard?


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bar cart

I have wanted a bar cart for the longest time. I was picturing a gorgeous rounded art deco or mid-century piece, but – even if the budget stretched to an antique – we simply would have nowhere to put it.

My brother-in-law’s partner is a keen painter and when we were admiring the latest piece in her studio recently I spotted the cute Ikea Råskog cart she used for her art supplies.

Not long after, I spotted it on the Ikea website for a steal ($49 down from $79) and immediately raced down to snap one up.

bar cart

It makes a great bar cart for a small space. The middle shelf is adjustable so we could fit the tall bottles on the bottom shelf and glasses on the middle shelf.

We certainly don’t need hard liquor on hand on a daily basis (we’re mainly wine/beer drinkers) but it has freed up almost an entire cupboard in the kitchen. And you know how excited I get about additional storage space!

I’m also happy that the original mid-century anodised ice bucket that I inherited from my late great-auntie now has a suitable place to be displayed out in the open instead of shoved at the back of a cupboard.

I would still love an antique bar cart one day, but I didn’t hesitate about buying this for the same purpose as it’s such as versatile piece I know we’ll always find a use for it. We’ve already discussed an artists’ trolley and a bar cart, but how about a mobile craft station, bedside table, bathroom storage, cleaning supplies storage or perhaps its advertised use: extra kitchen storage?

Til then, I think I can feel a cocktail party coming on…

What do you think about bar carts? Do you have one?

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This post is sponsored by Target.

handbag before

Um, yes, so this attractive display is my seen-better-days handbag and its contents in all their glory.

It was a bit of a lucky dip. You might find ten pens/lipsticks/hairties or you might find none! Plus tissues (used? unused? can’t tell), earrings, loose change, shopping lists on scraps of paper, receipts from a year ago…

Yikes, no wonder I couldn’t find anything in there.

I had been wanting to replace a couple of my existing handbags – including the one above – because they were totally worn out (it doesn’t look that bad in the pic but trust me, it was looking very daggy in the flesh leather vinyl).

handbag organiser

What I didn’t want was for it to end up in the same mess, so I went and picked up a nifty handbag organiser from the storage department at Target. I also picked out this gorgeous red handbag (totally loving their range of women’s accessories that are on sale right now).

It’s a bit hard to see inside the depths of the black organiser, so here’s what’s in there now:

handbag contents

A few changes I made to keep things neat:

  • I switched the loose tissues for a packet (no more scrunched-up questionable looking new tissues).
  • I use a notebook to list errands to run / things to buy and tear out the page when I’m done (paper scraps be gone!).
  • I’ve since started using this so I only need to carry a tiny stash of emergency lady things (can’t believe I’m sharing this on the internet).
  • I’ve been better about taking out receipts (and either discarding them or saving a photo of it to Evernote).

Apart from keeping everything compartmentalised, the other obvious benefit is being able to simply plonk the insert into another handbag. Because I am way too lazy to transfer all of my daily essentials between bags for the sake of fashion.

handbag after

The bag itself is super roomy; I’ve even thrown my camera in there when I didn’t want to take my whole camera bag. Plus I’ve had heaps of compliments on it which is a bonus!

What are your tips for an organised handbag?

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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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At the beginning of our Going Paperless journey I talked about preventing the influx of magazines and the like. The Man and I aren’t too bad with this as we don’t buy newspapers and we don’t subscribe to any magazines.

I do buy my favourite mag Real Living every month (I don’t subscribe because our letterbox is part of a big bank of them at the front of our unit block and I would worry about theft/rain/damage). Plus I will buy the occasional bridal or lifestyle glossy for work for research purposes or if I’ve been featured in it (tax write-off, oh yeah). The Man doesn’t buy any magazines and hasn’t the whole time I’ve known him.

Even so, we seem to have magazines everywhere.

magazine storage fail 1

Believe it or not, our primary magazine storage lay at the back of that cabinet. (Sorry for the terrible shot, taking a photo of the inside of the cupboard at night is never going to end well.)

magazine storage 2

There was also a stack on the entertainment unit…

magazine storage 1

Plus some in a magazine rack…

magazine storage fail 2

And an inevitable pile on the side table next to the sofa…

Alicia office after 08

Not to mention the three chock full magazine files in the office.

That’s not even counting the pile that, for a while, lived on the FLOOR. (Sorry, didn’t capture that attractive scene.)

stack bookcase

That’s why I’m so jazzed about our recently purchased bookcase. It now holds my entire back catalogue of Real Livings (The Man called it my Real Living shrine) and the small stack of Home Beautifuls. All of the wedding mags are stashed in the office for easy reference. After purging a ton of stuff I’ll never read again, the ‘miscellaneous’ pile now fits easily into the magazine rack. I still generally leave my current month’s reading material lying around on the coffee table or side table, but overall it’s much less cluttered and easy to access.

So I guess next on the list is to sit down with a cuppa and read an old favourite tackle the cabinet to make it into functional storage.

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window seat before

I turn green every time I see homes with beautiful joinery, especially window seats. But now I discover you don’t have to buy a house with existing built-ins or spend an arm and a leg on bespoke carpentry, you can do what this homeowner did and build your own cute window seat!

window seat after

It turns an awkward space into a perfect cosy reading nook with extra storage, and so sophisticated too. I love how they’ve tapered the sides so it’s comfy for your back.

See the full story and instructions back on Design*Sponge.

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I do love a good Ikea Hack, especially when you can’t even tell that it’s a hack. Like this amazingly effective transformation by The Painted Hive – just look at those authentic-looking details!

Head over to her blog to find out how she did it.

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storage boxes

Window storage box set by Berry Red

Being flat out with work lately there hasn’t been much time for any big overhauls, so this month’s Houzz guest post is all about the small stuff. Specifically, using storage boxes to contain those small bits and pieces that can easily become clutter if they don’t have a home.

Check out the full post so see all 20 pretty boxes.

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DIY kickboard drawers
Family Handyman

Hands up who could do with some more storage in the kitchen? Yep, me too.

These fantastic drawers installed into the usually wasted toe-kick space have to be one of the cleverest ways I’ve seen to cheat more storage. They’re perfect for those awkward large items such as baking trays and best of all, they can be retrofit into your existing cabinetry.

Here’s the tutorial if you’re game to DIY it, otherwise ask a kitchen company or your local cabinetmaker.

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