DIY: Office Organization

Are papers piling up around you leaving your desk looking like a dumping ground? All you need are a couple of quick organizational tricks. Here are five simple solutions to get you started.

Photo via http://www.iartublog.com/2010/10/i-art-u_28.html

Photo via iartublog.com

Utilize clothespins and string for this super simple way to organize photos, sticky notes, or other important papers. Tie any type of string or ribbon to clear Command hooks  and hang them with a little slack so the string has a little bend in it. Attach clothespins and you are done.

Photo via http://wanelo.com/p/1894857/back-to-school-home-dorm-or-office-decor-wedding-mason-jars-purple-and-silver-pencil-holder-mason-jar-vase

Photo via wanelo.com

To make these colorful jars, take any glass jar you can find and pick out your favorite colors of acrylic paint. A good, cheaper brand for paint is BASICS. With a brush, evenly coat the inside of the jars with paint. If the consistency of the paint is slightly runny, you can put the paint in the jars, screw on the lids, and shake the jars until the paint coats the insides completely.

Photo via http://www.themombot.com/2011/05/27/friday-link-love

Photo via themombot.com

For a low-cost magnetic board use a cookie sheet. Make sure the sheet is magnetic, then find wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper that goes with the rest of your office. Cut the paper to fit inside the cookie sheet and then use an adhesive, like Mod Podge glue to seal the deal. Find cute magnets to keep your papers in one spot. This picture was also featured on bhg.com.

Wire baskets are a wonderful way to organize papers and documents without taking up valuable drawer space. The baskets make grabbing items quick from a desk or chair. There are a variety of different designs that can be hung. Some of my favorite options include the Ryan Wire Baskets from World Market, the half moon wire wall basket from Terrain, and the wood and wire wall multi basket from PB Teen.

Photo via http://cdn.relaxpics.com/show/imgs/5c1d2a4b285eec5145c0c05ff5f5a397.jpg

Photo via relaxpics.com

Take normal clipboards and spruce them up with your favorite scrapbooking paper, fabric, wall paper, or wrapping paper. Again, you can just use Pod Modge glue to make the paper stick to the board. After the clipboards have been decorated, decide where you want them hung. Mark with painter’s tape where you want the tops of the boards to go and use Command strips to stick the clipboards to a wall. In no time you will have a functional  way to keep track of all your important documents.

Magazine files are great resources for keeping track of multiple papers, books, or magazines. Take a cardboard magazine file and use any sort of wrapping to make the box match your office and style. Some of my favorite wrapping papers come from Rifle Paper Co. and Paper Source.

Keep up the crafting,

Olivia

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Creative Uses for Wallpaper

For those of us who want to experiment with wallpaper without complete commitment, here are some fabulous options to try. Many of these examples are simple DIY projects that require cutting wallpaper to a specific size and pasting it on to different surfaces. These are great projects if you have leftover wallpaper from a project or just small scraps that you would like to put to use. Adding wallpaper to unexpected places such as bookcases or coffee tables adds color and pattern that can bring a space to life.

Cover the Inside of a dresser

Use inside dresser drawers

Decorate the outside of a dresser

Add class to the closet

Make a door the focal point

Give worn books a new look

Frame wallpaper to make art

Put wallpaper on top of a coffee table to change its style

Have a wonderful time wallpapering,

Olivia

Q & A with Rebecca Cartwright

Rebecca Cartwright is an interior designer and the owner of R. Cartwright design in Ankeny, IA.

Q: Why did you choose to go into interior design?

A: My father was an architect and I grew up visiting the sites that he was working on at the time and I was really interested in architecture and art. I was encouraged in my home to do a lot of art projects. It was just something that I think was internal but was encouraged by my parents to express it. I do have a degree from Drake in psychology and social work. My senior year at Drake I took art and design classes and one of my professors, my art professor, pulled me aside and met with me and suggested I go into art and design because she saw that I had a talent for that. I was a social worker for several years and then switched careers.

Q: How did you make that switch? Did you go back to school?

A: I didn’t, some people do. I actually bought a franchise and went to their school in Maryland and I did the franchise for a year after going to their school, it was an intensive two-week program in Maryland. I have had my own business for 18 years.

Q: What is your favorite DIY project that anyone can do?

A: I love spray paint so I recently painted a vintage stool and some ’70s tables in some different colors to go in a loft downtown and I sprayed some lamp bases and a mirror frame. But I think my favorite was with some clients that were third generation violinists and they have vintage violin music from their grandparents and parents and they wanted to use them some how in their décor. So I had a huge vintage frame from a courthouse in Iowa and I’d been saving that I didn’t know how I’d use it or when I’d use it but we made a collage in the frame of this music and it had handwritten notes by their parents and grandparents on the music itself and then the framer put it together in the frame under glass and we hung it in their dining room.

Q: What is your advice for someone who wants to redesigning a space by themselves?

A: With all the avenues that we have today for design, in just the last five years, I would look at blogs and I would look at Houzz.com and Pinterest. I love magazines, I get several  design magazines a month. I don’t have a lot of time to look at those sites a lot, but if you are looking to do a project on your own I would look at blogs and those sites I mentioned.

Q: How do you describe your own design style?

A: I would say eclectic, clean. I have been drawn to more of a neutral palette in the last five years and then I add in color with pillows and art and pottery, accessories so that there is some longevity to the design. I do like to incorporate personal affects like the music I told you about, any personal pictures,  I really like to take into account the people’s interest. I do a lot of design with books so if we are ordering books for a client, a cocktail table or nightstand that are decorative, I always incorporate their interests in those books and we purchase books that relate to them. So I always take into account their lifestyle. Who’s going to be living in that space, who’s going to use it, how are they going to use it? I’ve moved to a more classic design style and incorporate salvaged pieces if clients will let me.

Q: What is the hardest part about being an interior designer?

A: Difficult clients. And running a business. Because I’m artistic, I prefer meeting with clients and designing rather than all of the paperwork and tracking and running a business. All kinds of personalities, there are controllers and there are people who have conflicts within their marriage, it’s sad to see, but there’s all kinds of unpleasant folks out there. I try to identify those folks who will be problematic and limit my time with them and let them go in a diplomatic way because I don’t enjoy spending time with difficult people. It’s a challenge for all business owners.

Q: What is the most rewarding part about being an interior designer?

A: Improving people’s quality of life. The intangibles, their joy, they can have their family function in a space that is enhanced their ability to function in the space is enhanced. Working with wonderful clients is very rewarding. I gain relationships with them. I’m in their home, it’s a very personal space and so we get very personally involved and I get to know them very well. Of course it’s really fun when I have a lot of Leigh way and can actually do it the way I recommend doing it. If people allow me to have more free reign it turns out better. And if they have a nice budget where we can get high quality pieces and really finish the space, not just provide furniture, flooring and paint, and countertops, but we actually can accessorize and do the windows. If we can complete it, it’s very rewarding.

3D Virtual Room Styler

Fellow interior design gurus rejoice! I came across an awesome website called roomstyler.com where anyone can design their own virtual room in a snap. All you have to do is pick the dimensions for a room and then start dragging and dropping furnishings inside the room to fill it up. The products to choose from are high quality and the number of design elements offered is almost endless. The quality that sets this website apart from say Polyvore, is the 3D quality of the rooms. No more flat and overlapping shapes that are just collages.  Designing a room and picking products took me about 20-30 minutes to figure out, but instruction bubbles pop up along the way to help first time designers. Another cool feature on the site is the ability to take pictures of designed rooms once they are finished. This way, you can save your work and maybe ,eventually, turn it into reality. A camera can be moved all over the room and angled in all directions. But designers beware, this website sucks you in. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending an extended amount of time on the computer. But, in the name of interior design, I encourage you to check out the site and test your decorating skills. Here are some examples of rooms I have created. Comment below and let me know what you think.

Happy styling,

Olivia

eclectic bedroom

eclectic bedroom

traditional dining room

traditional dining room

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modern and glam bedroom

modern and glam bedroom

modern and glam bedroom