Monday, July 27, 2015

Smart Storage Solutions: Creative Closets, Stylish Shelves & More by Valerie Rains

There are those of us that have reached a certain age and have encountered friends and family who can't resist the urge to tell us that we need to lighten up. In this occasion,  I mean they are trying gently to say that we need to consider divesting ourselves of excess baggage or stuff that one collects over a lifetime.

I, myself am a collector of things.  I don't believe I am in jeopardy of being featured on Hoarders: Buried Alive anytime soon but we all can use some help sorting things out. If you are like me and not ready to embrace letting go of everything just yet, then hopefully this book will help.

Initially, I was drawn to the book Smart Storage Solutions because it is by Country Living. It has a wonderful timeworn filing cabinet featured on the cover and at a first casual, flip though, the book is filled with the stunning photography that Country Living magazine has been long noted for. The "Collector" will enjoy this book by just admiring the vast variety of collections the book contains.  All are artfully featured but I urge you to look further and take a minute to read this book.  It is filled with all kinds of storage suggestions to help you create your own stunning displays and if you haven't mastered it yet, to organize your collections and beautify your spaces.

I happen to love antiques.  That being said, I also embrace the practice of re-purposing things that can be destined for an elegant new life.  Old cabinets, shelves, or tables, wooden boxes or containers that have lived to their potential in that former life and though a bit scuffed up, celebrate their age with each new purpose. There are many clever uses for common items, like the use of vintage suitcases on page 6, stacked high in a room, that supply extra storage or the small, vintage, metal tackle box that becomes a desk organizer on page 110.

Author, Valerie Rains has organized the chapters to give hints for seven areas in the home and outdoors as well.  I love the bright ideas! that punctuate several photos throughout, indicating a new approach for displaying your treasures.  This is one time you won't mind doing your HOMEWORK because the photos of hand-sewn tags with homework written in an eye catching red font, indicate a project that you can try at home. Most of the homework projects are doable by the average homeowner with basic carpentry skills and tools.

I love the idea on page 67 to upcycle a dresser drawer into a mini-bar by adding a lid to the drawer. The lid becomes a drop down shelf when the bottom of the drawer is bolted to a wall.  I don't happen to need a mini-bar but my guest room could use a space for guests to put a few personal items.  A small re-purposed drawer could make a perfect nightstand and wouldn't take up the permanent space a table would.  There are several more tips for choosing paint colors to unify a space and helpful hints for de-cluttering to create calm spaces. There is a definite art for what to conceal and what to reveal.

I hope you can find a few clever ideas in this book to bring you some peace of mind and perhaps thwart the efforts of well-meaning minimalists in your life.  If you are looking for other books on creating great collections you might try The Little Book of Big Decorating Ideas: 287 Clever Tips, Tricks, and Solutions by Katy McColl.  It contains even more creative ideas from the staff of Country Living magazine. The book utilizes the same sensibility of a streamlined approach to showcasing your collections to create a serene space.

Happy Organizing,
Phyllis

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