Sunday, April 27, 2008

Creative Ideas For Storage/Display Above Your Doorways

Storage/Display in neat places
Most of us don't think much about the space that exists above the doorways in our home but it is space isn't it? Valuable space that you can use to display and also to store things. Here is an example of the space that you can create above a doorway.

This is a space that I created in a hallway. Using two wood brackets and a shelf I now have a place to display some floral arrangements and a copper tray.

The two brackets I used were purchased at
Home Depot, primed and painted in an off white color.
I use a lot of this wood rope trim. I love the way it looks and it adds a smooth, finished look to the shelf.
Ok, so my daughter is 15 years old and still won't give up the stuffed animals! She piles them onto her bed which makes it impossible to make in the morning. I added a shelf to the top of her door to store "some" of the animals. I really shoved them in there using two pine boards to accommodate a large number of characters that seem to reproduce over night.

If you can take your eyes off of all the "posters" and junk on the door you'll notice the shelf above that stores all the animals. I installed this shelf on the left by just resting it on the other door's trim and adding a piece of trim to the right, painting it the same color of the wall. If you are really tight on space you can actually store things in the back and display some pretty items in the front to hide your secret storage area.

Check around your house and see if there are places you can use above the doors. Just another place that we never think of............

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Reader's Projects

Another great, thrifty organization project from one of my readers: read on......

Christy I Love you blog!

We moved into a new house in November and the furniture that I purchased for the girls room did not fit as measured. Additionally, the dresser purchased for them needs much more extensive repairs then I thought when purchasing it. So we have been using a set of plastic drawers & shelves and wicker laundry baskets to organize the shoes & some clothes for 3 girls in one room.

The situation continued to get worse & worse as shoes were lost, clothes missing etc…. So I purchased 2 over the door shoe racks. One is in their closet and one is on the door into their room. We put 3 tan over sized totes in the closet to corral the sweats. I choose tan because it is a neutral and will compliment the color scheme of the room which is: Pink, purple, white, blue & tan. Keep in mind in Shabby chic decorating you have to stick to the color palette to make it work. I purchased 2 round white laundry baskets for PJ’s and shorts (the laundry baskets are a temporary but effective solution until the dresser is complete). We pulled out one of the two purple toy totes from the closet and put it on top of the book case I found on the side of the road.

With 3 girls in one room organization is a must! We are constantly on the look out for cute and compact organizers that fit into our color scheme at Garage sales, Goodwill, Salvation Army and Hospice Thrifts.

This room is a work in progress. We have already purchased the bunk beds for this room and hope to get them up in the next 2 weeks. After that the bunk is scheduled to be painted (in my spare time of course). The comforters (that I paid $5 each for at Round Top Antique Faire) are going to be tea dyed along with the beautiful ($3) shams. It goes on and on and on so basically like the rest of our house the girl’s room is headed toward Country Shabby Chic! If Christy allows I’ll keep you updated!

Thanks so much for sharing with us all these great organizational ideas. Considering all the obstacles, this was a great way to organize three girls. The shoe rack is something I have in all my bathrooms behind the doors to organize the bath and body supplies. Good work!!

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Building A Library

Years ago I always used to watch the Christopher Lowell show on cable. It's not on by me anymore but I got some great ideas from that guy. He loved constructing "built- ins" and always used MDF wood (available in Lowes and Home Depot). He used this wood because it was inexpensive, strong, durable, resisted warping and was smooth enough not to require very much sanding. Since then, that's pretty much what I use when constructing built ins or cabinets. It's great (but messy) to work with, easy to cut and hardly needs sanding.

My mom is a retired librarian and reads books by the dozens. All those books land up at my house. After a while they really started to collect and I needed a place to put them. I have always liked the idea of having a built in library in my home. Inspired from a magazine I came up with this plan: a library that surrounds a set of double doors and one single door in our office.

It was a big undertaking but very easy to build. Half the battle was getting all the wood and bringing it home. Armed with the planks of MDF, caulk, screws, paint, a level, L brackets, sandpaper, a drill, trim.... I then went to work. Measuring and randomly deciding where to place the dividers, the library went up pretty quickly. The wood was already primed so all I had to do was paint it high gloss white.

I actually used my books to measure how I would space the shelves out. It turns out that the shelves to the far right and left were going to be very narrow. Perfect for paperbacks and CDs and actually added an interesting look. The dividing sections gave the long boards support. The entire unit is caulked (as per Christopher Lowell) to give it a real custom and finished look.

The photo above shows that narrow shelf all the way to the left. The wicker chair and stained glass lamp were added later so there is actually a place you can sit and read. Now all I need is some time to read! The walls behind the shelves are all painted a brick red. The red is different from the rest of the room (which is gold) to add visual interest. There are several other shelves in the room with the same brick red in the background. The entire unit has decorative trim on the front.
After one year I decided to add two more shelves (the books keep on coming) on the top. Since the ceiling is vaulted there is still room to add. I must admit at this point it's getting a little too high for me to add, but it is tempting.01 02 12

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thrifty Use of Kids Old Playhouse

When we moved into our Atlanta home 12 years ago there was a wood playhouse in the backyard. The kids used it for a few years until they just grew out of it. It's been sitting in my yard now for years, unused. It was time for it to go. I enlisted some help from my brother in law and went to work. It took us all day to remove it and were left with a rather large pile of wood when we were all finished. Here is a photo of my backyard. The playhouse use to be located behind the little wooden bridge.
Now we were faced with getting rid of all the pressure treated wood. That's when I got an idea. There is a walkway that goes around the back of my house that the previous owner started, but never finished. That's where I decided to use all the old lumber. It was still in good shape and could really be useful.

Here is a photograph of the walkway being worked on. This use to be railroad ties with pebbles in the foot area. With the help of the "old" wood we were able to complete these stairs. I landed up having to buy $30.00 worth of wood to finish it up but was lucky enough to have a Lowe's $10.00 coupon. I purchased some flowers for my garden which brought my purchase up to 50 bucks and used the coupon. What a bargain!

The wood needs a power washing and then I'll stain it but other than that it turned out to be a great use of wood that I otherwise would have had to get rid of.

I am thrilled with the results and even happier that I could save so much money. I still have some wood left and I'm still thinking of what I can do with it.......more to come.01 02 12

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Home For Your Plants

I have a bunch of small plants hanging around the house and I'm getting tired of trying to find just the right place for them. This is the solution a came up with-a terrarium. I've never had one before but felt that I was up to the challenge. After a little reading and preparing, I ordered this from Amazon. Apparently there is a particular way to set these contained gardens up.

  • First layer should be pebbles or sand combined with charcoal (got mine in the pet department of Walmart-it's used in fish tanks)

  • Second layer is soil. You can get creative here and add hills, valleys and some rocks.

  • Add your plants. I put in miniature African violets, cactus and another plant (have no idea what it is).

  • cover with some live moss

Terrariums are low maintenance only needing a spritz of water ever so often. They make great focal points in a room, especially if you love plants.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thrift Store Makeover

Ah................the thrift store bargains!

Here are my two most recent thrift store finds. I'm not really even sure what this was or was suppose to be, but it's now a shelf in my son's bathroom. It looked tired and old when I purchased it for $3.00 but nothing that a little sanding and painting wouldn't help. What I especially like is the little "fences" that goes around the shelves so nothing falls out. Very handy for a teenage boy who has little time to make sure things go back exactly where they are suppose to.

Notice the little wooden pegs on the side? These are very handy for hanging a towel or two since this shelf sits right next to the sink. Don't you think he could organize that bottom shelf????

I have to tell you that this is one of my favorite things to do. Go out to the local and shop around for things that are cute, useful, handy, unique, cheap and interesting. It's usually hit or miss, but I seem to frequently get lucky.

This next item is something I've wanted for a long time. With three teens and three floors, this wicker basket comes in very handy. It was in perfect condition and just needed a good cleaning. I've seen these in the stores for over $25.00. I paid $3.00. So thanks to the person out there that couldn't find any use for this because I certainly could!! Now, if I could just get one of the kids to actually bring it up the stairs when it's full.

Great finds this week and less things that will find their way into a landfill.01 02 12

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Home For The Birds

Spring has arrived in Atlanta and it's time to help my feathered friends decorate their house. I had the design in my head so I decided to draw it out on paper and buy what I needed.


  • scrap plywood
  • small nails
  • good adhesive glue
  • spray paint
  • acrylic paints for details


  • jig saw
  • drill with 1.5 inch wide drill bit
  • hammer
Here it is in the making. I got some help from my brother-in-law. After I cut out the pieces, I glued them and installed some small nails to keep it together. The holes for the birds were made using a drill with a 1 1/2" bit. Plenty of room for the birds to slip in.

By the way, this birdhouse is a "triplex". I'm hoping that I get a few families!

Three hard wood floors. I think the birds should like this.

Here we have the finished product already for some new clients. I added the hand painting just to give it a creative look. I am certain the birds will appreciate it.Now..................I wait.01 02 12

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Reader's Projects

Thank you to Kyle for sending photos of this project.

Here is the description:

We decorate in a Shabby Chic Country style. Here are the pictures of the frame that I very recently painted. The frame has wire I found on the side of the road and we use wooden clothes pins to pin pictures to it. The frame was purchased at an antique fair and the wire is staple gunned to it. When decorating Shabby Chic color is everything you have to work in the color palate and when you do you get that laid back “thrown together” look which is perfect for our country cottage!

I can send you more pictures of the house if you like these. If not that’s fine too, I’ve never submitted pix of my house to anything. We have lots of cheap projects going on at Rooster Hill (Master, Front Garden, girls room, free Pie Safe to Entertainment center, free Table to 2 nightstands) . We just moved in November! I have 3 girls in one room so you can pray that God will give me the ability to organize!

This is a great idea for hanging family photohgraphs and even messages. I love what people are doing out there and even better is that they are willing to share those ideas with my readers. Please keep those photographs and descriptions coming.

Looks like Kyle has a blog as well.

Check it out: Lots of frugal and creative ideas for the family.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Creative Ways to Display Family Photos

I am a big fan of black and white photography. Black and white allows you to focus on the subject, rather than the colors. With that in mind I needed a space where I could hang all my photos together. I wanted something more random than organized but confined to an area where it could be the centerpiece of the wall. Here is what I came up with.

Keep in mind that this is a "work in progress" and I have not completed hanging all of my photos . I started this project by mapping out an area with a ruler and then taping it out with blue painters tape. I decided to use a double border of coordinating paint that matched my room decor. When it was all dry I added the painted molding. I chose high gloss black paint for the trim to highlight the photographs. This photo gallery is located in the kid's entertainment room where they have a chance to enjoy them.
This is just one way to create a space that keeps all eyes focused on numerous photos simultaneously.
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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Reader's Projects

A few posts ago I asked people who look at this site to send me some photos of their projects. Sharon was gracious enough to send me some before and after photographs of a window treatment that she has just finished and some additional photos of a room that she has been working on. She has done some great work with faux finishing the walls, adding some very unique furniture and incorporating very creative and unusual accessories. Here is a photo of her bedroom window before:

and after:

A stunning difference and all made by Sharon. She did a fabulous job with this window treatment.

Here is a photograph of the faux finish she has been working on for the walls.

Take a look at this furniture that Sharon won on Ebay. How unique is this??? What an interesting collection and definitely nice enough for any castle. I just love this.

Sharon is using these wood appliques to complete the look of her room. I hope that when she is finished that she can provide us with a photograph of the room all completed. This is a work in progress, so we'll have to be patient.

I want to personally thank Sharon for all of these photographs!!! I love to see what other people are doing. I really feel it's important that we all share ideas and what better way then on this site.

If you are working on something and you are willing to share it with others, please send me some photos and a description. Then you can see your work on here too.

email photos to

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