Monday, December 7, 2009

Organize YourStuff Challenge - Week 29

Good morning, scrappers! This is it - my final blog entry on the Challenge we have all grown to love/hate/want to throw Twinkies at (bring it on, I LOVE Twinkies!!!). You all have come SO far and I'm so proud of you! So before we get on to the topic at hand, I have one request - grab your camera. Take a picture of your newly remodeled space, and post it. I want to see before and after shots here. Make me feel like these hours of typing were well worth it!

So, what's left to cover? How about the pretty things? You know, the things that make a difference between "Oh, this is your scrap space?" and "I WANT YOUR SCRAP ROOM!" I am going to let you in on a little secret - it's in the details. You don't need custom cabinets, a $1000 work table, or hardwood floors. Heck, you don't even need a whole room. What you need to make it feel like a true creative space are little pieces to help pull it all together.

Think I'm nuts? Check out the rooms you bookmarked from Week 3, the bonus for overhaulers. What did you like most about the spaces? Yeah, the countertop was nice but didn't the little red tags on the silver buckets really tickle your fancy? That was cardstock on a $1 bucket from Target. It wasn't from Bloomingdales. This is stuff YOU can do, folks. You can put together a scrapbook page, right? Putting together a room is no different. Look at it this way - your walls are your cardstock. Your tables, chairs, etc - all coordinating paper. Any accessories you add - embellishments. It all coordinates. It won't be AS simple as scrapbooking - MME does not make a paint/table/lamp pad, unfortunately - but if you keep that same mindset, it will help you with decor. And take risks - it's paint. It's $20 a can and a Saturday afternoon. You can REDO it if you don't like it. It won't kill you.

So, by now, you probably (hopefully?) have your basics. You have walls painted. You have work areas. You have lots of bins and baskets (plastic is perfectly ok). Now we need to tie it all in. My first word of advice - pick a neutral, add a second neutral as an accent, then pop in splashes of a bold color. Meaning:

Walls - light tan, Furniture - black, Accents - red
Walls - greyish blue, Furniture - white, Accents - orange
Walls - cream/pale yellow, Furniture - cherry wood, Accents - bright royal blue

Get the idea? Use your scrapbook pages as design guides. What color combos have you chosen in the past that you adore? You can bring that into your scrap space! And the nice thing is, with keeping your bold colors to your accent pieces, it's super easy and cheap to change your color scheme. Tired of red? Swap for turquoise! It's that simple and will change the feel of a space FAST.

If you've exhausted the links from the Week 3 bonus and still can't find inspiration, one of my favorite sites is Rate My Space on It's all rooms posted by users - and there are a few scrap spaces, but ignore those. Check out the bedrooms and living areas. There are a ton of rooms, of all different styles and VERY well done. I want your space to do 2 things - first, it should incorporate seamlessly into the rest of your home decor. If you have a warm French Country going on, then I don't want a white melamine and plastic scrap area. Second, I want it to be a place you LOVE. Not just because you get to create in it and it's YOURS, but because it truly feels good to be in. I want all the comforts of home in your scrap space.

Now, what accents am I talking about, and where are you going to find them? Things I love to see in a scrap space: rugs, lamps (table or floor), potted plants in decorative planters (think BIG floor planters here, not tiny African violets), pottery, vases, photo frames, antique suitcases, framed mirrors, pillows, window treatments, candlesticks, artwork. The same kind of things you find in other areas of your home that make it feel like "home" instead of a department store showroom. You don't have to go out and buy all this stuff - repurpose what you can, see if family and friends have things they'd like to "donate," and shop in your own home. Things can be painted and dyed, remember. And anything can be recovered in fabric! In choosing pieces, think about a scrapbook page again. You don't add ONLY flat shiny stickers as embellishments, do you? No! You add some glitter, flowers, some ribbon, etc. You want different textures and feels. This is no different than your scrap space - go for a knobby chenille pillow or a sisal rug. It will bring life to the area.

If you're looking for new pieces or just inspiration, here are some of my favorite places to snag ideas and goodies.
Hobby Lobby - they have home furnishings, you know!
Home Depot and Lowes - I found the greatest plants at home improvement stores. Big, beautiful plants and gorgeous planters for beyond cheap. Don't go the silk route, get real plants if your space will allow it!
And of course, there's Ebay, Craigslist, antique stores and garage sales! Or any local home decor stores you have around - TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Kirklands, HomeGoods, Stein Mart, etc.

This is no different than any other Challenge - go with a list. Don't come home with 16 orange plates and no idea what to do with them - they'll just be clutter. Figure out what each blank wall in your space needs, take measurements, and then go on the hunt. Only buy what works for your area and things that WON'T get in your way. Remember, these are ACCENTS, not tools. You may find a gorgeous table lamp, but if the only place for it is in the middle of your work area - well, that's not so gorgeous then, is it?

Finally, I'm not going to disappear into the sunset forever now that this Challenge is over. If anyone gets stumped on organization ideas, your best bet is going to be posting on 2Peas message board. BUT - if you get stumped on decor or room layout, I am more than happy to help. I do have a Bachelor of Science in interior design, so I'm not all fluff. If you're having trouble deciding on a rug, or can't figure out what color will work best, email me and I'll get back to you pretty fast with some ideas - But no spam or hate mail please, that's not very sweet, and David Duchovny would NOT approve. In the meantime, feel free to revisit this blog anytime, enjoy your beautiful new scrap spaces, and finally - get scrapping!

Thanks for taking this journey with me, I had FUN!