Short on Storage Space? No Problem!

If you take a few minutes to dissect these Pottery Barn shelves, you can get a ton of great storage ideas!

My friend Margie was showing me some clever ideas she had snipped from magazines and catalogs the other night and one in particular really caught my eye. She has a great ritual of clipping ideas and putting them into binders with plastic sleeves for reference at a later date. I used to do this all the time when I had my design business. It was a great tool to share with clients to get an idea of their likes and dislikes, especially when working with a couple. It’s a great habit to develop, especially for future decorating projects  

Below (and above) is the photo that really caught my eye…if you’re short on storage space and have room for a simple shelving unit, there are some really clever ideas within the examples of one shelf unit found at Pottery barn Check it out…  

I really love the different uses they show for the baskets on the shelf. They're used for storing wine, books, magazines, and water bottles. You could also stack dishes or store linens for the table. The ideas are endless.

And look at these clear vases and pitchers storing lemons and's convenient and pretty. Use clear glass containers to display a group of items with color that adds to the charm of your decor.

Look at the dishes. They are pretty and functional...ready to use. There are coffee cups around a french press, glasses layered with a wood tray (very smart), Utensils in clear glasses and various dishes included a set of stacked plates. Did you notice the wine rack next to the stacked plates...

This was the photo in the catalog, the photo above was used online. I love that this tray of glasses is ready to pick up and transport. And look at the white ceramic container holding utensils. Very clever. It would be easy to spray paint an inexpensive vase a color to match your decor

A wire basket is adorable, provides a nice change of texture and holds a daily newspaper and mail

The key to these shelves is threefold. To get this look AND successfully store lots of items here are some tips…  

Concentrate on the color scheme, use of texture and balance.  

  1. COLOR: They basically used white, natural wood tones, stainless and glass as a back drop for anything that went on the shelves. Additionally, anything stored fit with the color scheme and became an accent or was placed inside a basket. 
  2. TEXTURE: The use of wicker, stainless, ceramic, glass and glass also provided a bit of nature and glam.
  3. BALANCE: It’s important when arranging a shelf to balance items. Note that the natural wood color sprinkled throughout the shelves as is the use of white ceramics and glass items. Color, texture and the feeling of weight is equally dispersed.

It’s really fun to do. Arrange everything, step back, and look. If something “feels” wrong, move it around.  

Have a great day! xoxoxo Amy

Designer Quotes to Dish On


I saw this quote today and it would have perfect to go with my post a few weeks ago about Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder. Sometimes I think it’s so easy to get caught up in creating the “perfect” room, that sometimes we forget to add what we love – but the reality is that it’s the things we love that make our house a place we want to be and  in the end- make our house a home.

One of my most vivid memories as a child was visiting my grandmother’s house on Sundays. She made the best homemade applesauce, but the one item that I adored even more was this clock. Regardless of my style, it always have a place in my home and continues to be the source of good conversation and wonderful memories. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

“Decorators should never insist on throwing out everything the client has. Even when they are far from perfect they add personality”  

                                                                                     ~Billy Baldwin

This quote brings to mind, my very first residential client many years ago named Don. He was a bachelor in his 60’s and had spent many years taking care of his aging mother. After she passed away, he decided to move into a one bedroom condominium and wanted a contemporary look that was fresh and reflected his personality. Everything was to be new and with $25,000.00 cash in hand to shop, it was a young designers dream!

Of course I had a vision for the space and he trusted me with any decisions and purchases I made for him. As a young designer, I prided myself on my eye for what worked and what didn’t and was very proud of the end result. On move in day, he had tears in eye as he walked in and saw his new home. it was even better than he had dreamed and I was thrilled that he was so happy – after all, that’s what it’s all about!

Then he said “Amy, I have one more thing for you to do – find a place for this. He handed me a very bad silk version of a red rose. Three red roses, in fact, that may have even been plastic. The look on my face was one of a deer in headlights. Are you kidding me? The entire house was done in jewel tones and the primary color of a red rose was definately not in the color scheme. “These are  moms”, he said “and she treasured them- they need to be someplace special”.

It was a defining moment in my young career, because I realized then, that it’s not about creating a show place, but creating a home. For Don, the roses made his house a home. I could have hidden them in bedroom, or tucked them into a corner, but I put them on a prominent shelf in the living room so that he would see them every day. In the end, it’s not about what is beautiful to the designer, but what is beautiful to you. I am grateful for that lesson early on.

Update: Jayne wants to add that she made all the fabulous floral arrangements (she had a custom floral design business at the time) and that it was after she brought in and placed all her BEAUTIFUL arrangements, that he brought out the plastic or silk red roses. You should have seen the look on her face – haha!