Category Archives: decor

Belt Solution

To conclude to closet renovation DIYs, here’s the belt organization system I came up with. Really, it’s nothing. Just a row of hooks screwed to the wall.

You’ll need:

  •   electric drill
  •   metal hooks (mine are #106 from home depot)

The picture below is from the necklace solution post, but since it’s essentially the same process for the belt solution, I’m using it for your reference.  Place a level against the wall to make sure your line is straight. Mark the wall with a pencil where you want the hooks to go. Drill the holes on the marks. The size of your wall and quantity of belts you’ll be hanging will dictate how many holes and hooks you’ll need.

Now you should be good to hang as many belts as you wish.

Necklace Solution

This is the easiest way I found to hang all of my necklaces in an orderly manner. There’s absolutely nothing complicated about putting holes in a wall (I do it all the time when moving furniture around). If your necklace collection grows you can always add more hooks and frames (as long as you’ve got walls to work with). I was working with a very limited wall-space, since it was already inside my barely-walk-in closet. If I could pull it off, you can too. Or at least try.

You’ll need:

  •   hooks (#106 from Home Depot)
  •  frames (mine are thrifted and hand painted)
  •  electric drill

As you probably can tell by now, we don’t use rulers around here (very, very bad. Don’t follow). Use a level to make sure your frames will hang straight from the wall. Mark the place on the wall where you wanna place the hooks with a pencil.

Once you’re ready, drill the holes onto the walls and screw in the hooks

Place a frame over it, hang your necklaces, and done! Follow the links to create a sunglass and earring solution to accompany.

Now for a make-fun-of-Lulu little session. Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this picture bellow?

Earring Solution

Yesterday I showed a best-of-all-times sunglass solution as seen in my new closet. Now to the earring solution tutorial. Here’s what you’ll need:

  •   a frame (mine is thrifted and painted)
  •   a screen material purchased at any home improvement store
  •   a staple gun

Place your frame against the screen and  cut the screen following the shape.

Staple the ends. I recommend a thicker, stronger frame than mine (it didn’t handle the gun pressure so well and it literally fell apart). Fix? Super glue. You can still see the cracks but oh well, it gives it character!

Trim the ends and voila! You can hang it on a wall like I did, or just rest it against a wall.

Storing Sunglasses

On one of my frequent visits to Cupcakes and Cashmere, I read this post with the greatest idea for hanging sunglasses. This is genius, and I can talk because if you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a sun-glass addict and for that same reason, my not-so-shabby-but-still-modest collection gets lost around the house, in my bags, in a random drawer, on the dining-room table, behind the couch. You would find sunglasses hanging in any room I have access too, shower included.

Clearly, I stole the idea and will show you step-by-step how I made my own simpler version. Here’s what you’ll need to make something similar:

  • a 12 x 16 frame. Although not as fancy as Emily’s,  mine cost $2 at a thrift store.
  •   steel wire from an art supplies store.
  •   staple gun

It was black but became grey after a couple of  Martha Stewart Cumulus Cloud coats. If needed, you’re welcome to use a tape measure and pencil to mark were the wires should go, I didn’t use one and it looks pretty straight. Get ready to staple two pieces of wire across the frame and that’s where the shades will hang. Allow a little over and inch space between the frame and the top wire (otherwise it will look great but it won’t let you remove the shades easily).

Staple the wire a couple of times on one side of the frame. Then fold the left over wire…

and staple over it again to secure. Repeat the process on all four ends.

This is how your frame should look after you have both wires securely stapled, minus the messy painting job (my pre-school teacher  would be livid).

Now, the glasses. Pretty awesome, huh?


Accessories Closet

One of the things we looked for when apartment hunting in Chicago was plenty of storage space. I like to think I’m a sweetheart but when it comes to closet real estate I’m ruthless. This started when we first moved in together in Florida. I’d store all my stuff and Elliott would use whatever space was left. Sorry, I’m a girl and an only child on top of that. Clearly I didn’t learn squat about the gift of sharing.

Now things have changed. Elliott has his own closet space: in the guest room. I used to feel guilty but only before I realized my father-in-law uses the guest bathroom (Justin, if you’re reading this, it’s too late for them but save yourself!) FYI, Justin is the other married man in the family. That’s right I’ll use this as an excuse: I’m carrying on the Robinson tradition alive.

This leaves me with two small walk-ins, the smallest is what I named my accessories closet (see my other closet makeover here)  and as you can see, the space was being poorly used (not to mention I took shots before “walking” in there.) Boy, my judgment must have been impaired. So messy! I asked for a closet makeover for Christmas and that’s what I got. Ready to witness the process?

Shoes on the floor make me teary eyed. It’s so sad. To begin the revamp they had to be migrated into the living room in an orderly fashion.  First I measured the wall where we planned on installing shelves and aligned them in a way that gave me an idea of how many shelves we’d need. I’m such a brilliant mathematician we ended up with two extra shelves. Fine with me.

After  I’d decluttered the area, my handy man came down with strength to remove the pre-installed shelves. Because they were nailed in (not screwed) the walls,  big, ugly holes were left all over the walls. Spackel and a lot of sanding helped smooth out the surface. Three coats of semi-gloss Martha Stewart  Eggyolk paint later, the wall was ready to receive some wood shelves…

which I was painting in the other room. I probably shouldn’t have but skipped the primer. If it’s not absolutely necessary, who has patience to wait for that to dry off anyways! Three coats of latex semi-gloss white paint and two coats of polyurethane and bam! I had several white pieces of wood laying around in my living room.  I had to torture myself and wait until the next day to go on with the project.

This part gets a bit more complicated and I wouldn’t know how to explain well since I had absolutely nothing to do with this, but lucky for me the pictures are pretty self explanatory.

Shelves are great for shoes, but what about belts, necklaces, sunglasses and earrings? All it took were a few frames, grey paint , wall hooks and a screw driver to create a storage solution for the other accessories. Don’t worry, detailed tutorials will follow.

And now, for the grand reveal, without further ado: my new accessories closet!

Since I had some shelf space left, I figured why not through in some books? “That Extra Half An Inch” and  “I Love Your Style” among others. All fashion related, of course.

Desk Makeover

Nothing like an easy little DIY  to kick off the New Year on the right foot (okay, Lulu). This one I did a while back but for the sake of freshly pressed blogging, let’s pretend it’s right out of the oven. We were handed down this beautiful 1940’s, desk handmade by Elliott’s grandfather for his Dad when he was growing up in Canada. We were so happy to help keep it in the fam and obviously to use and give it our ow personal touch. Here’s the before and after from the parents garage to beautifully sitting in our Chi-town pad:

I thought you you’d ask. Well, because it’s a vintage desk with sentimental value, we didn’t want to go crazy-painty on it. We might change our minds later, but for now, that’s what feels right: keep it old and simple, and for that matter, older and prettier.

First I distressed the edges by sanding it down real good. Please don’t look at my nails, would you? So embarrassing…

Not much of a change so far, huh? Hang in there, we’ll get to something soon.

Second, I removed each drawer, taped the corners I wanted to remain ivory and with a super large brush, painted the sides with latex paint.

I left it alone for a few hours (not many though, patience is not my thing) then spread Behr Premium Plus With Style Satin Faux Glaze around the tips and edges. Leave it on for few seconds and wipe off the excess with a damp cloth. This gives it even more of a vintage look with all the black corners and all. Soon after it was time for the drawers to receive the glaze (just on the front).

This is what the drawers look like once we put them back in place.

This is when I got lazy. It happens in every family, and I’m the master in mine. Ripped off newspaper placed over desk, “sealed” with glass on top, look at that!

We planned of switching the handles for something more fun and current like all of these from Anthropology but turned out his grandpa would not be very pleased (since he made it literally impossible with the tiny nails he originally used to hold his handles up) and we decided to leave it alone.

We’re clearly not all done in the “office department”. A nice chair would be, well… nice. And probably more comfortable than this temp chair we got. But as of now, this is what our vintage desk looks like:

DIY Gift Tag

It was last night while prepping for gift wrapping that  I went through the list: boxes, check! Paper, check! Ribbon, check! Gift tags cheee…gift tags… any tags… I’ve got nothing! So I did the first thing one does when in hot water: googled. DIYs  popped up all over the map. Idea given, idea accepted, I came up with an easy solution: heart shaped magazine cutouts and thread to summarize my vision. Piece of paper cake

No outdoor photos today, because “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on my radio station:

  •  magazine
  •  scissors
  •  thread

On to the good stuff

Get a mag that was destined to the trash and re-purpose it by ripping of a page, or two, or more. Choose anything but a black page like I did (apparently one can’t photograph and think at the same time) and remember you’ve gotta actually write on it (from who to whom).

Cut out a heart or whatever you’d like (ability to cut is the limit) from that piece of paper

No, I’m not blind. I realize my heart is asymmetrical,but that’s what I was going for, a very weird shaped heart. Weird is good.

If you choose to free hand a little ticker like me, fold one of the tips and cut a tiny hole in the paper

You’re welcome to replace this with the material of your choise, but my restricted options offered dental floss or cotton thread. I figured cotton was less higienic but yet more appropriate. I got a big piece and folded it many times, making it a “thicker” tread and tying the ends.

Pass it through the heart hole and tie a knot around it.

Next, get your pre-wrapped gifts box, or back and tie the thread around it with another knot. Alternatively, you can also use scotch tape to hold the thread to the wrapping material

Cut off the excess, and heaaay! You’ve made your own gift tags to be puffed up about.