IKEA Plant Hack

IKEA Plant Hack

I love grass centerpieces, especially the ones that look like fresh greenery.  The finishing touch to any decorating project, is usually a little bit of green.  IKEA plants are some of my favorite because they are inexpensive and they look “real”.  I usually display them as-is inside a vase or small pot, but this time I needed to do a little IKEA plant hack if I was going to get it to work inside this gold geometric vase.

IKEA Plant Hack

I purchased the vase at Target a year ago, it is from the Nate Berkus collection.  I really love the vase and because of it’s interesting shape, it doesn’t need anything inside.  Except, after pairing it with other gold vases and in a gold tray (also from Target), it did need a pop of color to bring it all together.

IKEA Plant Hack

Everytime I go to the store, I buy milk (whether I need it or not) because I know that we will use it.  Everytime I go to IKEA, I buy one of these plants for the same reason.  Eventually there will be a project that needs a little green touch and it’s nice to have these inexpensive little plants at hand.

I had two extra IKEA plants  from the Fejka collection and two ended up being perfect for the vase.

IKEA Plant Hack

 

I knew I needed foam to fill the vase but I didn’t have that much foam.  I placed a few crumpled sheets of paper in the bottom of the vase as a filler.

IKEA Plant Hack

 

I had a small piece of foam left over from another project.  I cut this piece in half.

IKEA Plant Hack

And I arranged it inside the vase so that it was snug.  You can also use a glue gun to secure it further, but I didn’t need it.

IKEA Plant Hack

I started with the plant by pulling apart the leaves and then discarding the pot.

IKEA Plant Hack

The really big one in the middle came out in a larger bunch and it was perfect to fill the center or an empty corner of the new arrangement.

IKEA Plant Hack

 

The smaller stems were set aside as filler for empty spots, once I was done placing the rest.

IKEA Plant Hack

 

I placed a toothpick inside each stem so that it would glide into the foam and stay there.  You can also use a glue gun and skip this step.

IKEA Plant Hack

 

I started filling the corner of the vase and just kept going…

IKEA Plant Hack

 

Here is the finished product!  I think it looks pretty high-end and it was so inexpensive and easy to put together!

IKEA Plant Hack

 

One more shot of the before and after.  What do you think?  Big difference with a plant that currently sells for $3.99 !

IKEA Plant Hack

Do you also have these plants around the house?  Maybe you can add one to a vase and create a new, fresh look!

Till next time,

Maria

 

 

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Office Makeover – Before and After

You all know that I love a good “before and after” and I know that you do too!   (Before I start sharing the pictures with you, I want to apologize in advance for the before pictures.  The angles are horrible.  I took them with my smartphone’s camera, before I even decided to share them on the blog.  Also, you will notice some strategically placed squares that hide private info.)

Office Organization

A couple of weeks ago, my friend asked me to help her fix up her office space at work.  Her husband owns an automobile business and she was helping her husband with the office work…except, the office didn’t work.  The men thought that the office was perfect.  They thought that it didn’t need a thing changed.  Why mess with perfection? The thing is that perfection looked like this…

Office remodel

and this…

Office Organization

These men were so dedicated to the sales, maintenance and growth of the business, that the back office space was just not top priority.  The store front was beautiful and we needed to make the back office match. With the help of IKEA, a screwdriver, and lots of good conversation, my friend and I embarked on a mission.  To prove the men wrong To make the office beautiful.  To create a space that was welcoming and practical. We started by painting the walls with a color called “Cloudy Day” by Sherwin Williams.  We painted the moldings white.  We also purchased white IKEA furniture that would be easy to clean and to customize. Here is the “after” picture of the wall pictured above. Office organization

We chose open cubicles in the bookshelf for binders and we installed drawers in other cubicles for office supplies.  The idea was to leave out the practical and pretty and put away the practical and unsightly. We purchased new filing cabinets, a desk, and the lamp from IKEA.  I found the clock at Target. Office Organization

Of course, we had to add a little “pretty”, while keeping in mind that the office had to remain somewhat masculine.  There went all my washi tape dreams… We decorated with modern, inexpensive IKEA plants, like this one. Office Organization

And this one that I found at Target.  It was kind of short for the cubicle, so I lifted it with a car part.  I am not even sure what it is, but I loved the end result. Office Organization

I love decorating with practical items, such as these little IKEA buckets that hold all the pens and pencils. Office Organization

So one more time…We went from this,

Office remodel

To this,

Office Organization

The men at the office LOVED it and even asked for their own coffee station on top of the new cabinet.  No one misses the dark furniture and my friend is a happy camper. With a little bit of paint, some new furniture pieces and a lot of focus, any space can be transformed.  It’s important to feel comfortable where you work.  Maybe you can’t transform your whole office, but you can transform an area.  Anything to help you laugh while you work.  Actually, don’t laugh, just smile, abrupt laughter could scare co-workers. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and please share with me what is your favorite thing about your workspace.  Is it wall color, your desk, accessories, or your comfy chair?

Until next time,

Maria

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Master Closet Organization

Master Closet Organization

Getting shelving installed in the master closets has been on the “honey-do-list” since we moved in 9 years ago.

In the meantime, I had a mix-matched “system” of shelves that were on clearance at some point and I tried to do the best with what I had.

Earlier this month, we finally gave ourselves the green light to move forward with my closet.  My husbands closet will wait a bit.

Here is a before picture.

Master Closet Organization

The shelves were dark and made the space look smaller and as you can see I didn’t have enough shelves for my things.  It was organized chaos.  Nothing “Graceful” going on in there!

Master Closet Organization

I got everything out of the closet.  The perfect opportunity to get rid of items that needed to be tossed or donated.  Needless to say my room was a mess for days.

Master Closet Organization

I knew I wanted to paint the closet walls since I had chosen white cabinetry.  My husband tried to “sell” me on the idea that we should leave it white.  He is smart and avoids having to pull out the big ladder.

I told him not to worry for one minute.  I would paint the closet all by myself.  ALL. BY. MYSELF.

So he helped me by patching up the holes in the closet, which were many.

Master Closet Organization

As soon as that dried, I happily embarked on my painting project!

The color that I chose was Behr’s Graceful Gray.  It really was my favorite gray and the name was a total coincidence!

Master Closet Organization

I have painted walls on my own before so I wasn’t at all intimidated.  I painted the bottom of the wall and then pulled out the ladder and started on the trim.

And then…I ran out of steam with two walls left.

So I did what any sensible woman with a good amount of self-respect does.   I walked into the kitchen and sighed (really loudly) for my husband to hear and he immediately turned around and said “are you done already?!”

And that’s when I whined…ALOT.  I am not above whining.

Master Closet Organization

And it worked.  He loves me.  That man loves me.

Master Closet Organization

I kept doing the trim but he helped me with the roller which was great because my arms were hurting so much!  So we were done in no time.

We just waited until the next morning when the cabinetry was scheduled to be installed.  I couldn’t wait!

Master Closet Organization

I was so happy to see it come together!

Master Closet Organization

I left a big space on top of the small dresser (from IKEA that we had previously to the install) so that I could add a big mirror and bring a little charm to the closet!

The dresser looked like part of the cabinetry that had just been installed.  I was so happy that it was a perfect match!

Master Closet Organization

I found this little tray for rings and I thought it was perfect.

Master Closet Organization

And it looked great alongside the little plant from IKEA.

Master Closet Organization

Time to add the clothing!

Master Closet Organization

I added them in a color coordinated manner which is how I had the closet before.  It takes a while to do initially but it makes the closet look so much better and its easier to find what you need.

All my hangers are from Crate and Barrel.  I am not a fan of felt hangers.  I prefer smooth hangers so that clothing slides off easily.  These are slim, plastic and really inexpensive.

Master Closet Organization

Shoes that were rarely worn I placed in these boxes from Target.  They are from the Threshold line.

Master Closet Organization

The rest of my shoes are in the very center of the closet.

Master Closet Organization

I did have to get rid of some of my shoes in order for them to fit but it pushed me to purge items that had been taking up space in my closet for years!

Am I the only one whose feet have grown after having kids?  I used to be a size 7 and now I am a 7 1/2.

Master Closet Organization

I wanted a chair or a bench to sit on while I put on my shoes and this one was large and small enough for the space.  Also, it is extremely light-weight and easy to move about.

Master Closet Organization

In the top I have a couple of bins.  I labeled the shelf instead of the bin.

Master Closet Organization

One has belts.

Master Closet Organization

Small scarves or fabric belts.

Master Closet Organization

My purses also have their own spot.

Master Closet Organization

I folded over some of them in order to fit more per shelf.

Master Closet Organization

I now have a belt rack attached to the cabinet.

Master Closet Organization

This frame was definitely the finishing touch.  I had it for years tucked away behind a couch and I spray painted the frame to match the rest of the closet.

The quote says “One shoe can change your life” by Cinderella.  Shakespeare didn’t have any shoe quotes.

Master Closet Organization

In the other end of the closet, I put away boots, chunky scarves…and other things that Miamians buy just for looks.  :-)

Master Closet Organization

That’s the closet!  I am so happy with it!  I waited to have it for so long and now I am that much more appreciative for it!

My husbands closet is next.

I think he should leave it white.

So what do you all think?  Share with me your thoughts on the master closet…

Happy Organizing,

Maria

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Kitchen: Baking Drawer Organization

I don’t always bake but when I do…I use 47 baking gadgets!  My baking stash started small but then I kept adding different tools as needed.  I only have one large drawer in my kitchen and I decided to dedicate it to baking.  I don’t use the baking items often so the drawer stays pretty organized.  The tools that get used most often are all the measuring cups.  Years ago I organized the drawer using a utensil organizer and it did a pretty good job housing everything.  Here is what the drawer looked like a couple of days ago:

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The other day I was looking for a dresser at IKEA and I spotted this drawer organizer.  I thought it would be perfect to house all the baking items.  It was.

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The first thing I did was clean the drawer since it hadn’t been thoroughly cleaned in years.  I used my favorite method cleaner (that I buy at Target) to get it spotless.

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Then I placed all the items in their new home!

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I use measuring cups all the time because I don’t like to have to wash them mid-recipe to be able to use them for the next ingredient.  With most recipes having wet and dry ingredients, multiple measuring cups are a good idea.  Besides all the practical reasons…I like how they look nestled in there.

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Food Coloring.  I prefer these gels and I purchased them through Amazon.

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Since the organizer doesn’t go right up to the side of the drawer its the perfect spot for longer items like the icing knives.

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In the very back I placed the pop sticks and the fondant smoother.  My favorite set of decorating tips are the ones pictured below from Ateco.  I also purchased those on Amazon years ago.

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This is how I store my cupcake liners.  I have seen many cute ways to display them on Pinterest but this works for me.

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More measuring cup pics!

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So here it is again.  Not a huge difference but I like this organizer much better.  There is no way to make this drawer look uncluttered because there are so many things (all shapes, all sizes) but it can still look pleasing to the eye.

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What do you think?  Now lets get to baking!

Maria