Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back to Basics


Just when you think we are becoming totally reliant on homogeneous technology, a trend returns that reminds you that people
still crave things that are beautifully designed, original and useful.

A few years ago, most of the children I knew could not tell time (unless it was digital) and anyone who wore a watch was considered old-fashioned. Now, an over-sized watch is the newest, must-have accessory of the season. And, yesterday, my daughter asked me for a camera for Christmas - a new Polaroid Camera ("because they print instant pictures, and are so cool").

So, with dinosaur thoughts on my mind, here are a few basic ideas that may have been forgotten.

Divide your Room:  Everyone wants wide open spaces in their home, but sometimes we are not quite sure what to do with them once we get them. Why not keep the space, but create the illusion of smaller, more intimate areas by using a bookshelf, dresser or wall unit to visually separate the room.  

Add Organic:  Regardless of the style, a home always needs some organic moments to make it feel warm and welcoming. If plants seem like too much work, add a bowl of something that comes from nature (pine cones, shells, twigs, rocks etc).

Use Clocks: With digital time, we are fine until the power goes out. Gone are the days when a clock was a coveted family heirloom sitting on the mantle, now, they are affordable, useful works of art.

Keep the Dining Table:  Busy lives mean that more meals are eaten at the kitchen sink, on the run, or in front of the television. It also means that eating together has become less common. Why not try to reclaim the dining (kitchen) table, keep it clear of household debris and use it more often?

Living a modern life doesn't have to mean abandoning the basics, it just means we may have to tweak them now and again. What about a gorgeous spa bathtub with a rye grass privacy screen?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Controlling Closet Madness

A big topic among my friends at the moment, seems to be their closets – not enough space, and not enough clothes. Ok, so we all know that isn’t quite true, but  I think most of us can relate to having a lot of things that are hanging up, but still nothing to wear. We go to get dressed, and what we thought we had is suddenly too big, too small or woefully outdated. Somehow, the more room we have, the more clothes we have, but the less clothes we have to wear. Not sure if that last sentence makes sense, but you know what I mean.
Because we have to wear clothes every day, our closets are a constant source of delight and despair. So, for those days when you feel like tackling the confusion, here are a few ideas…
- Schedule a chunk of time to go through your closet. Try things on. (We all know that looking at them isn’t quite the same as wriggling into them).
- If you are not ready to give items away, but know you won’t wear them anytime soon, put them in a secure plastic bin and store them somewhere away from your closet.
- Organize according to your own lifestyle, and what you wear the most. Be honest with yourself; keep clothes that you need all of the time in the middle, right in front of you, and seldom used clothes to the outer edges.
- Use the back of the door for accessories eg. a few hooks will take up no extra room, and will easily hold your belts, scarves, jewelry and handbags.
- Invest in non-slip, slim, strong Huggable Hangers. These hangers are half the size of regular ones, allow you to hang twice as much, and your clothes won’t slip off.   (Generic versions  can be easily found online and at most stores for about 50 cents each). I promise, they will change your closet life.
- Double your space. Hang two railings, one below the other, for your clothes that are not full length, or, just add this Closet Doubler and it will do the work for you.
- If you have a shelf in your closet use Over-the-Shelf dividers for t-shirts, sweaters and cardigans etc. It will keep them neat, and stop things from falling on your head when you least expect it.
Finally, take a look in there every now and again, maybe you will find  something wonderful that you had forgotten about (New York Post, circa 1962)

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Porch (by any other name would be as sweet)

My neighbor is having a new porch built. It is replacing the old one, and not drastically different, but there is something about the actual word that just makes me want to sit outside (maybe with a cup of coffee) and watch it being built.
A porch always looks so optimistic; it welcomes you into a home, and implies that wonderful things could happen on the other side of the door.
My own porch is barely big enough to stand on, but I still love having it. It shelters me in the Winter, when it is snowing and my frozen hands are filled with groceries, and it keeps the entrance cool when it is unbearably hot in July. The rest of the time it is an accessory to my small house, framing my red door, and showing people where to go when they want to visit.
I am trying to grow tomatoes and strawberries on it this year. Usually, the squirrels eat them, so I decided to put them in a hanging basket, and am hoping that they will get enough sun to grow a few pieces of fruit.  I also have petunias in a wrought iron basket, lined with a bit of moss; they are starting to grow, and the flowers are lazily playing hide and seek with the doorbell.
As small as it is, I know the possibilities for my porch are endless. But, even if I do very little, just saying the word makes me very, very happy!