Henry & Higby

A Beauty Storage Hack

New York City, OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment

Living in New York City often means that you have to get creative with your storage and space. This week we were organizing a bathroom that had shallow built-in shelves -- less than three inches wide -- and we needed to find a storage solution for beauty products. Our client didn't have a huge collection but she had enough that we had to put a little thought into it. 

After much deliberation and a trip through the Container Store, we were able to create a beauty storage hack that we loved so much we wanted to share it with you.  This idea or something like it can easily be recreated for other small spaces in almost any room so read on if you are in need of a small space storage fix. 

 
Henry & Higby Beauty Storage Hack
 

White Like-It Bricks Narrow

We love using these narrow storage bricks. They are the perfect solution for small, narrow spaces since they are under three inches wide. 

 
Henry & Higby Beauty Storage Hack
 

StickOnPods, Pack of 3

These pods are perfect for when you need to eke out extra storage in a cabinet as they can adhere to almost any smooth surface without damage. 

Using these two products, we able to create a self-contained make-up storage solution that fits in even the narrowest of spaces. To recreate it yourself, use the Like-It bricks as the foundation and stick the StickOnPods to the bricks for extra storage. 

Henry & Higby Beauty Storage Hack

How do you store your beauty products with limited space? 

A Few of Our Favorite Organizing Products for Small Space Living

Organization, New York CityAnnie & MichelleComment
 
Henry & Higby Favorite Organizing Products
 

As organizers in New York City, we are used to the small and sometimes oddly shaped spaces that New Yorkers call home (ourselves included!). From irregular sized cabinets to no cabinets, we have seen and organized it all but part of our success is due to the items we use that help maximize the space.  While this may not be one of our more traditional organizing posts, this is a shout out to a few of the products that make our job a little easier. 

Henry & Higby Like-it Bricks

White Like-It Bricks Narrow Bins

We love using these stackable bins in tight spaces like on top of a bathroom medicine cabinet. They can store and hide an array of toiletry items and, since they are only 2 and 5/8 inches wide, they can fit almost anywhere. 

 
Henry & Higby Clear & White Drawer Organizer Trays
 

Clear & White Drawer Organizer Trays

Recently, we have come across shallow desk drawers that don't accommodate standard organizing trays. Initially it was a little frustrating but then we found these relatively inexpensive drawer organizers that clock in at only 1 and 3/4 inches so now tidying almost any drawer is a breeze.

 
Henry & Higby Command Broom Gripper
 

Command Brand Broom Gripper

These removable broom grippers are a lifesaver in small spaces that don't have a household closet. We use them in hidden corners and along side refrigerators to make storing brooms, mops and/or Swiffers easier and, in the long run, damage-free since there is no drilling required. 

 

What products do you use to make living in small spaces easier? 

How to Keep Your Gym Bag on Pace

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Henry & Higby_Gym Bag Organization
 

We all struggle with losing things at the bottom of our bags and gym bags are no different. Inevitably, there is a time crunch after finishing your workout and getting to your other daily commitments because life doesn’t stop for SoulCycle! Once you head back to the locker room, there is almost always a lot of time wasted searching for things no matter how well the bags were packed at home.

After many a struggle on the floor of the locker room, we have found that the easiest way to minimize search time is using smaller pouches in your larger gym bag. Basically, it is a bag of bags. Read on for our tips and tricks on packing this bag of bags below. Happy Organizing!

  • Make Getting Ready Packs: Sort the items you need to get ready after class into sections. For instance, if you always shower after class, pack your shampoo, razor and shower sandals in a small "shower" zipper pouch so it is easy to grab while getting into the endless shower queue. Then, categorize all the items that you use post-shower such as toiletries and/or makeup and put them into separate zipper pouches so they are easy to find once you are out of the shower. Who knows, now that you have all the goods gathered, you might be at the front of the line! 
  • Find a Pack: Although almost any bag will do, we would be remiss not sharing our beloved Baggu Nylon Pouches as an option to keep everything sorted in your gym bag. The lightweight material is easy to clean and these pouches can be filled to the gills regardless of size or shape of the items being stuffed in them. 
  • Bring an Extra: If you are anything like us, you will want to wrap up those sweaty gym clothes so that they don’t touch anything else in your bag. In that case, just bring an empty pouch to contain your clothes. And, a bonus if you choose Baggu pouches is that you can throw them right into the washer. 
  • Wrap it Up: A great way to keep your clothing organized particularly if you are heading to the office after class is to use packing cubes. Not only do they keep your clothing clean but they can also help keep them free of wrinkles. 
  • Pick a Bag: The easiest way to stay organized at the gym is to only have one designated gym bag and to stick with it. We can be bag switchers too but this is the only way you can be sure to not lose something. 

What do you do to keep your gym bag organized? 

Organizing Your Storage Unit

OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment
 
Henry & Higby_organizing your storage unit
 

We get it. Sometimes you need to get a storage unit. However, whether it is for items that don't fit in your apartment or items that you frankly don't want to fit in your apartment, there is no excuse for the unit to be unorganized.  With a little planning and forethought, you can maximize your storage space so you aren't wasting money and it doesn't become a black hole. 

Staging Items: When you are ready to start packing items for the unit, gather everything in one space and start grouping like items together. For instance, put all seasonal decor items or off-season clothing in its own pile so you can see how much you will need to pack for each grouping. 

Making an Inventory: Once you have everything laid out, start making an inventory list of all items being packed away in the unit so you can reference it before making a trip to retrieve something. Or if you are more of a visual person, take photos of each item or group of items being put away and save them in one document for easy reference. 

Selecting Storage Bins: After the inventory is complete, start packing each group of items - i.e. seasonal decor or off-season clothing - into storage bins or whatever container makes the most sense. If you are going with plastic, make it easy on yourself by using clear plastic bins so you can see the contents on each box even when they are put away. Another pro tip for really maximizing space is to only use two size boxes in the space or one, if you can make it work, as this makes stacking them easier. 

A few notes for storage, if you are using the unit for clothing (seasonal or otherwise), make sure that all of your clothing is clean before you pack it. The same goes for linens or anything fabric. And, breakables such as vases, mirrors or frames should be wrapped in bubble wrap so that they don't get scratched or broken. 

Labeling the Bins: The next step is to label each box clearly - Box #1 of ___ : Seasonal Decor - and add that label ID to the inventory sheet. This will make retrieving the boxes easier when the time comes. You will also know how many boxes you need to look for in case there are multiple. As for the labels themselves, you will need two of them for each box or container. One will go on the short side and the other on the long side. Also, be sure to make boxes "Fragile" if they contain breakables so that anyone handling them will be aware. 

Planning the Space: At this point in the process, you will know how much stuff you have to store and it is a good time to start selecting an actual storage unit size based on that information. Break out those calculators and figure out your cubic feet. A little space planning now to find the best sized unit will save you money as you aren't wasting it on a unit that is too big for your things. 

Do you have any other organizing tips for storage units to share? 

 

Tips for Getting Organized (Part Two)

OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment
 
Henry & Higby_Tips for Getting Organized
 

We have posted general tips for getting organized before and we will probably post about it again because who can't use a little help every once in a while? So...without further ado, here are some additional tips and tricks on simple ways to get yourself organized around the home. 

Command Center: Create a command center to house all of the paper and mail that comes into the home. At this stations, set up files for each member of the family so that you can house all of their important documents. (Click here for more information on paperwork management.)

Greetings & Salutations: Create a file with cards for all occasions so you are never caught empty handed again. I am a self-professed paper junkie so you may not need as many cards as I have at home but I do recommend buying cards when you see them and not just shopping when there is an immediate need. That way you aren’t in a bind next time an occasion comes up. 

Wrap it Up: Stop stressing about the never-ending cycle of gift purchasing and wrapping for birthdays by buying one fun gender neutral paper and then two colorful grosgrain ribbon options to jazz it up. Then use this paper throughout the year for birthdays and any other occasions that come up to eliminate some stress. We love using wrapping paper with stripes or geometric prints like this one or this one but any pattern will do! 

Go Bags: Always be prepared by having a couple of small toiletry bags packed with your essentials to pop into your purse, car glove compartment or gym bag as needed.  We like to include gum, extra hair ties, hand cream, a small mirror, lipstick or chapstick in our bag and bandaids for breaking in those new shoes, but you can really fill them with anything that you need regularly. And, if you have kids, check out our article on how to create one especially for them. 

What tricks do you have for staying organized?

If you are looking for more general tips on getting organized, please check out our other post here.  

How to Maximize Space in an Apartment

Home Styling, OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment
 
Henry & Higby_space saving trundle bed
 

As city dwellers, we know how to make the most of small spaces because we have been living in them and helping other people live in them for years. Being organized is definitely helpful when living in a smaller space but that doesn't solve all problems - that is where space planning comes in.  So, learn how to make the most of your space with these suggestions. 

Trundle Bed: Growing up in the suburbs, I loved having a trundle bed for sleepovers and guests and it is still a great way to make the most of a smaller bedroom. We use them in kids rooms so that they always have a place for friends to sleep and the best part they are easy to "install" just slide them under the bed and they are good to go. 

Murphy Bed: Space is at a premium in the city so don’t make that extra room just a bedroom. Install a murphy bed so you can actually use and enjoy the space when guest aren't around (which is likely most of the time).  

Banquette: Save some space in your eat-in kitchen or dining area by building a bench against the wall and moving your dining table next to it. This will give you extra space in the room and a little extra flexible seating on the bench. 

How do you save space in your home?

 

If you are looking for more general tips on making the most of a small space, please check out our other post here.  

How to Organize Toys at Home

OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment
 
 

Outside of buying new furniture to house all of your child’s play things - toys, dolls, costumes, blocks, etc. - there are a few less expensive ways to keep chaos at bay. We have used these ideas with our clients and even in our own homes so hopefully they work for you too. 

Under-bed: Under bed storage boxes are an easy way to get toys and items out of sight while still being easy to access when your kids are playing on their own. We use them to store dress up clothes and costumes or even boardgames and other large flat items that are hard to fit in other areas of the home. 

Baskets: Sometimes the best storage option for larger, bulky toys is a large basket or milk crate. This not only makes cleaning up easier but it encourages your child to pick up after themselves. We typically use this type of storage for larger items like wooden building blocks, stuffed animals or sporting goods. 

Plastic Boxes: If you have toys with lots of small pieces like Legos, puzzles or board games, we recommend using clear plastic boxes with lids. They come in a variety of sizes, are typically pretty inexpensive and are see-through which means that your kids can see what is being housed inside. We also recommend using them with labels so that everyone can get involved with clean up. Word to the wise - only stack these boxes two or three high since it will be hard to access the bottom bin if you go much higher especially for little kids. 

Drawers: To make use of vertical space, use clear stackable drawers for craft supplies, games and even books. Drawers make all of the items accessible no matter how high you stack them and clear plastic ensure that you can see the contents. We like both of these options - one and two - depending on what types of items you need to store. 

How do you like to organize your toys at home? 

 

Creating a To-Go Bag for Kids

OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment
 
 

Kids can be unpredictable so it is up to parents and caregivers to try to prepare for the unknown everyday. For these unexpected moments, we recommend creating and carrying a to-go bag. This bag typically includes a few essential items that will help you deal with whatever comes your way. Below are some of the items we like to pack in our to-go bags. 

  • Mini First-Aid Kit including Band-aids, Antibiotic ointments, etc.
  • Sunscreen wipes
  • Wipes - we love Babyganics
  • Small reusable water bottles like klean kanteen
  • Snack packs
  • Copy of an Emergency Contact Sheet (Check here for more information on what to include on this sheet.)
  • A favorite small toy to distract them like our lego pack
  • A change of clothes depending on age of your child 

As for the to-go bag itself, we love Baggu zipper pouches but have also repurposed giveaway bags from make-up counters in a pinch (thanks, Clinique!). 

What would you add to your to-go bag? 

Tips for Getting Organized

OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment
 
 

Yesterday was one of those days where nothing went quite right. We all need a little help sometimes - right?  So, in anticipation of the "not quite right" days that are bound to be ahead, we have a few seemingly random ways you can get more organized now. 

Reap Your Rewards: Stay on top of your rewards cards game with your phone. We love Apple Wallet because it is already on our phones but also because it stores our loyalty cards, reward cards and even boarding passes, tickets and debit/credit cards making it easy to use on the go. Other good phone options include FiveStars and Key Ring. However, if you are old school and like using the actual cards, try putting all of your cards on a separate key ring. That way you don’t have to dig through your bag or wallet for missing cards because they are all in one place. 

Zip it Up: Plastic storage bags are one of our favorite secret weapons. We use the small bags to hold everything from craft supplies and batteries to nails and screws in our tool box. Bagging like items together makes it easier to pull out the right item when you need it and it keeps things neat. You can also use the larger plastic storage bags for seasonal decor or entertaining supplies. Try putting away sets of disposable cutlery, straws and napkins in larger labeled zip bags to pull out when you are entertaining or heading out for a picnic. We create these sets using leftover supplies from parties so we are always ready to spruce up a table or head out for a fun meal outside. 

Gather Paperwork: Binders aren’t just for kids. We use them at home to store paperwork related to school and family, warranties and appliance manuals (old and new) or even printed online recipes. If you are anything like us, you also like to work from a printed copy so you can write notes on it. 

Create a Home Base: Make space in a central closet, pantry or laundry room to create a home base for all of your household items such as lightbulbs, batteries, tool kits, etc. By keeping these items together, you can keep track of your stock (and therefore know when you need to replenish it). An added bonus is that your family will know where to go when they need something.

What tricks do you have for staying organized?

How to Make Moving Easier on Your Children

Organization, MovingAnnie & MichelleComment
 
Henry & Higby_Services_Moving_and_Unpacking_IMG_7784.JPG
 

Moving is stressful. Between finding a new place, organizing and packing your belongings and coordinating all of the logistics, there are lots of details to figure out. And, although the process is stressful for you, it is also pretty stressful for your kids. 

Having assisted multiple families with moves, both professionally and personally, we have a few tricks for making the transition easier for little ones.  Hopefully these tips will prove to be helpful during your move too. 

  • All the Essentials: Create an open first box just for your children which includes all of the essential items to set them up for a successful first night. For instance, this could include their bath time towels, a sheet set, night lights, pajamas and any favorite blankets and/or bedtime stuffed animals. 
  • The Devils in the Details: Don't forget to make arrangements for your children the day of the move whether making sure that they are getting picked up after-school or planning an activity so that they aren't in your way while you get the house set up. 
  • Bag o' Tricks: If you need to have your kids at home during the move, try to make the day a little more fun by packing an "on the go" bag with some favorite toys as well as some new surprises to keep them occupied. 
  • Photo Finish: If your children are upset about the move and the packing process (which is totally understandable), take photos of the contents of each box before you tape it up and then show them the photos. This can help calm their nerves and buy you a little time before you have to unpack all of their boxes. 
  • Light up the Night: Make the first night a little easier by placing extra night-lights throughout the house and in the bathrooms so they can find their way around the new place with ease.  

How did you make the move easier for your children? 

If you are looking for additional advice on how to make moving less stressful, please check out our other posts on moving - here and here

 

Tips for Organizing Your Fridge

OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment
 
 

The start of a new year often brings resolutions to stress less, work out more and to eat healthier foods. However, even if you aren’t engaging in a major life overhaul, it is definitely a good time to clean out your fridge and dispose of all evidence of holiday excess. We just undertook this endeavor ourselves and have a few tips for you to make organizing it and maintaining it a little easier. 

  • After cleaning out your fridge and washing out the bins and shelves, consider lining your produce drawers with reusable cloth liners and your refrigerator shelves with clear plastic wrap to make future cleanings easy. The cloth liners can be tossed into the washing machine between uses and the plastic wrap can ripped up and replaced once something has spilled.
  • Gather all like products together - such as produce, spreads or snacks - and put them in clear bins or baskets with labels. This makes finding and retrieving the items easier for you and the family as they can easily be pulled in and out. We even use a variation of the clear bin for the produce we use most often so that we can easily grab the tray and have everything we need in one place. 
  • If space is at a premium or you don’t love everything in bins, try a Lazy Susan to maximize shelf space and keep everything within reach. 
  • For smaller fridges, check out these magnets that will keep your metal capped bottles on the ceiling of the fridge freeing up space below for more food items.
  • Clearing out expired food would be easy if you could easily read the date. Our trick for staying on top of it at home is to write the date on the product in Sharpie so that it is easily seen. We also do this with items that have a shorter shelf life once opened such as chicken broth, tomato paste, etc.
  • Avoid spoiled dairy and meat products by storing them on the lower shelves of the fridge where it is coolest, not the door where temperatures can vary through daily use. Also, consider putting all raw meat products in a clear bin so that any drips are contained and don’t contaminate the whole shelf.     

How do you organize your refrigerator?

Organizing Your Paperwork

OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment
 
Henry & Higby_Paper Management
 

If your house is anything like ours, there is always a pile of paperwork to be handled and sometimes you just don’t want to deal with it. Between catalogs, magazines, junk mail, bills, work and school papers, it can seem endless. However, there are some things you can do to get ahead of it. Read on to help stem the tide and get a handle on the paper piles. 

Create a Command Center: The first step to handling paperwork is creating a command center to house all of the paper and mail that comes into the home. This is a good place to set up files for each member of the family so that you can separate their important documents. 

Keep it Moving: Part of taming paperwork is keeping it moving. This means that once you open it that you help move it along by taking action. Pay the bill, sign the paper or get the right person involved if need be. For instance, you may get an inquiry from an insurance company that requires action by your doctor and, if that is the case, get your doctor involved at that moment so that it no longer sits on your to-do list. 

Set Aside Time: Paperwork needs to handled on a weekly, if not daily, basis but that can seem hard when hectic schedules and last minute activities get in the way. One way to help make handling paperwork a priority and seem a bit more manageable is to set aside time on your calendar each week to do it. Even just thirty minutes a week should help tame the piles. 

Stop the Flow: Get a grip on the amount of paperwork that comes into your home by removing yourself from direct mailing lists (DMAchoice.com), from credit and insurance solicitations (OptOutPrescreen.com) and from even bills themselves by signing up to go paperless. And, in the meantime, you can also literally make the call to the magazines that come into your home unsolicited to have yourself removed from their mailing list. At the same time, you should also ask that they don’t sell your name to other companies. 

How do you control paperwork at home?

Organizing Your Life with Kids

OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment
 
 

Life can be overwhelming enough with kids and partners and work and pets and friends and...all requiring time and attention. However, there are some things you can do now to get organized for life with kids that will help make your days a little easier. 

First Aid Kit: Create your own personalized first aid/allergy kit with a latched plastic box (like this or this) and put it somewhere central so it can be used should there be a situation. Be sure to add in a few character bandages (they make you feel better faster, right?) and any other products that your family needs and uses regularly including allergy medications, etc. Here is a resource for how to make your own kit and what to include. At the same time, think about creating a portable version in a small pouch for you or other supervising adults to bring when hanging with the kids outside of the home. 

Contact Sheet: An emergency contact sheet is very important not only for the sitter and any visiting family but also for your own peace of mind. Make a list of all important emergency contacts including the following: doctors, parents, key friends/family that could help in a jam, etc. Once this is created, make copies for friends and family and post one in a central part of the home - likely the kitchen - so that it is readily available in the event of an emergency. 

To-Go Bag: Make getting out of the house with kids easier by having a to-go bag with all of their favorite toys and essentials ready to go near the door. The bag can store their water bottles and favorite outdoor toys for time at the park but it can also serve as a place for them to put those toys and items when inside so that they don’t get lost. Also consider including an on-the-go first aid kit and a copy of the emergency contact sheet mentioned above. 

Kids in the Kitchen: Set aside an easily reached section of the kitchen for your kids lunch boxes, water bottles and treat containers so that they can learn how to put them back themselves. Giving them access to these items will help teach them a little independence and give you a bit of a break. 

Labels: Help stem the tide of missing items from clothing to cups to shoes with personalized labels. Look for washable ones like these or these to make sure that they aren't destroyed in the laundry or dishwasher.

What do you do to make life easier with children?

How to Organize Your Bathroom

Organization, Home StylingAnnie & MichelleComment
 
Henry & Higby_How to Organize Your Bathroom
 

One of the best ways to start the day is with an organized bathroom. And, the good news is that by following just a few key tips, you can capture the beauty and serenity of spa at home and have all of your supplies at your finger tips. 

Mixing Form & Function: Beautify your shelves and counters by unboxing some of your daily supplies like Q-tips and cotton balls and placing them in pretty clear containers. You can use canisters from a bathroom set or you can even use Ball jars or inexpensive vases. They are pretty, functional and easy to clean when the time comes - just pop them in the dishwasher. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

Finding New Purpose: Maximizing storage space in your bathroom is just like maximizing storage space in any other room of your home so it is okay to steal some tricks from the kitchen. Lazy Susans make corners more accessible no matter where you use them and plastic pantry bins are good for gathering like items - nail polish, sunscreen, travel toiletries - in cabinets all over the home. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

Putting it on Display: If you like to keep extra towels and items out of the closet, use pretty baskets or catchall containers that are nice to look at when out on display. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

Making Up your Make-up: Finally treat your make-up with a little respect by using a make-up organizer. That doesn’t mean that you have to place it on the counter for all to see (placing it in a cabinet is okay) but you will definitely find your morning routine is much easier when you can see all your products at once. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

Shopping Your Closet: Gather your extra toiletries and store like items together in clear bins under the sink or in your linen closet. Clear bins make it easy to shop your house before heading out to the pharmacy to pick up any items you may need. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

What are your favorite bathroom storage solutions? 

Creating a Welcoming Entry Way

Home Styling, OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment

A warm and welcoming entry way is as important as a firm handshake. It ensures a good first impression which is why we are excited to help a client find ways to make her entry welcoming and functional because form without function is just a waste of time and space. 

For this project, we need some smart solutions since the front door opens into a hallway that connects the living and sleeping areas of the home. With limited space, practicality is the name of the game so we are looking for items that don’t take up too much room and still provide some storage for the family. 

Our initial thoughts include a bench for next to the door, a boot tray for storing shoes under the bench and some catchall baskets for seasonal and dog-related accessories.

What are you favorite ways to create a welcoming entryway? 

Kitchen Organizing Tips

OrganizationAnnie & MichelleComment

Our kitchen day dreams are filled with visions of see-through refrigerators filled with beautiful produce (We’re looking at you, Yolanda Hadid!) and huge, bright pantries. However, the realities of New York living (think small apartments and cramped kitchens) dash many of those dreams and frankly a see-through fridge really isn’t practical. I mean I don’t think we want half-eaten pizza and last week’s Chinese takeout boxes on display for all to see - right?

Even if smaller space living is your reality, don’t despair! There are many ways to make the most of it and below are some of our favorite product picks for a beautifully organized kitchen regardless of size. 

Lazy Susan: Make the most of every nook and cranny of your kitchen by using a Lazy Susan. They can be placed in hard to reach corner cabinets or on deep shelves to make items more accessible. 

Sources: One | Two | Three

Shelf Liners: Make cleaning inside cabinets easy with plastic shelf liners like this one. Liners are particularly helpful in food storage areas in case of spills or drips.

Shelf Pullouts: Accessibility is an important part of organization. Add roll-out cabinet organizers to your lower cabinets so that you can easily reach items without straining your back and to maximize the space.

Source: One | Two | Three

Small Appliances: If space is really at a premium, try purchasing reduced size appliances to save room in your cabinets and/or on counters. The products function the same but the bowls are typically smaller - 3.5 quarts versus 5 quarts. 

Clear Storage Bins: Not everything needs a bin but they are helpful for keeping smaller “like” items together in your cabinets and drawers.  Use them in drawers to organize your kitchen tools and cutlery and in cabinets and pantries to make organizing food stuffs easier. 

Source: One | Two | Three

Canisters: One way to make your space look cleaner and more organized is by using the same style organizing containers. If you are looking for new options, we are big fans of using clear canisters for cooking and baking supplies like flour, sugar and mixes. Not only do they look nice but clear containers show you when you need to restock. 

Source: OneTwo | Three

Step Stools: Make good use of your upper cabinets and even the space between the cabinets and the ceiling with labeled storage bins. This will keep supplies out of sight but not out of mind. And, keep a step stool in the kitchen to making accessing those high up spaces a little easier. Folding step stools are good for saving space but we also love a rolling option as it is much easier to move around and it can stand in for an extra seat in a pinch. 

Source: One | Two | Three

Labels: The level to which you use labels to organize in your home is a personal decision but we do recommend them as an organizing tool. Clearly labels are great for containers holding specific items whether it is food or supplies but labels can also be helpful for creating designated areas in your home. For example, create sections in your pantry for breakfast foods, snacks or drinks. By sticking to categories on your labels, it is more likely that your family can and will help out and maintain it.

What are your favorite ways to keep your kitchen organized?

Fireplace Fixings

Home StylingAnnie & MichelleComment

We have always loved a fire in the fireplace and the smell of burning logs. To us, it is a signal of the seasonal shift from fall to winter and absolutely one of our favorite times of year as nothing is cozier than snuggling near a fire to read with a cup of tea. 

Second only to our love of fireplaces is the process of selecting fireplace accessories which we have had the pleasure of doing recently for a client. Andirons, screens and baskets, oh my!

Screens: One | Two | Three | Four || Andirons: One | Two | Three | Four || Tools: One | Two | Three | Four  Firewood Baskets: One | Two | Three | Four  ||  Accessories: One | Two | Three | Four

What are your favorite fireside activities? 

Making Your Space Your Own

Home StylingAnnie & MichelleComment

Whether you own or rent your home, it is important to make the space feel like your own and there is no better way to do that than with some color and collectables. Here are a few nesting ideas for you to follow this fall to warm up and personalize your space. 

Adding Flair:  Even as a renter, you can add special touches to make your home feel like your own. If painting isn’t an option or is too much work, try removable wallpaper to warm up your space and make it more personal. It is pretty easy to apply and is easy to remove which makes it good for renters and owners alike. And, if you have children, adhesive wall decals are a fun way to temporarily personalize the space (Check herehere and here for some options). 

One | Two | Three | Four

Popping Colors: New throw pillows are one of the easiest ways to refresh your space. If selecting colors is tricky for you, try playing off backdrop colors. For example, if your windows overlook trees, try to pull some greens and browns into the space. Or consider taking risks and play around with bright and bold prints and patterns that may be a bit outside of your comfort zone.

One | Two | Three | Four

Framing it: Make the mementos from your life even more important by framing them. While framing can be expensive, it doesn't have to be that way. You can do it yourself with frames from stores like Ikea or even craft stores. 

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Making a Gallery: Put up a gallery wall or art display shelves to share your trinkets and treasures. It will warm up the space and give you a chance to relive the happy memories associated with the items every time you see them. Click here for tips on how to hang a gallery wall yourself at home.

Channeling the Spa: A few luxurious items can bring a spa-like feeling to any bathroom - new or old. A rich, thick bathmat, new monogrammed towels, some rich bath oils and a scented candle will add a touch of class to the room and make you forget - at least for a little while - about the old tiles. If you are looking for a less expensive refresh, consider buying a new shower curtain. It is an  easy and affordable way to spruce up your space while still having a big impact. 

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Finding your Scent: Add scented candles to make your home feel cozier and more intimate. Added bonus...who doesn’t look better in candlelight! A few of our favorites are below but remember that the type of scent you pick is a highly personal matter so take some time to check out lots of scents before making your final decision. 

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Making the Old New: New isn’t always better. Look for vintage pieces (maybe even from friends or family) to add character and a little sentimentality to your home. To make the pieces your own, add a fresh coat of paint or new fun fabrics that brighten them up and reflect a little more of your personality. 

Switching it Seasonally: Embrace the seasonal shifts and add some flair to your home that relates to each season. Rich colored pillows or throws (think jewel tones) for the fall, plaids around the holidays or pastels in the springtime. 

What are your favorite ways to personalize your space? 

Maximizing Storage in Small Spaces

Organization, Home StylingAnnie & MichelleComment

Substantial storage and outdoor spaces are luxuries not often afforded to those living in New York but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beautiful and livable space. Having lived in New York for over 20 years collectively, we know how to make the most of small spaces and have a few tips to share with you about making it work.

Creating Space: If you are living in a truly small apartment, create visual space by getting items off of the floor. From night stands to lamps and even bikes and scouters, mounting furniture and fixtures to walls will help create more actual floor space and make the space feel lighter. 

Doing Double Duty: The name of the game here is making your furniture work for you. Maximize storage by making each significant piece do double duty. This means that the stool in the corner should double as storage for your craft supplies or that the top of your ottoman coffee table should flip up to store offseason clothing.

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Shelves on Shelves: When it doubt, put it on a shelf. A shelf can stand in for a night stand next to a bed or a display shelf for art in a living room or really anything. Put one above doors to your apartment for extra storage (we store extra paper products above ours) or consider mounting them closer to the ceiling all the way around the room for longer term storage. This will help maximize your living space and keep off seasonal items out of the way. 

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What are your favorite small space storage tips?

Wedding Shower Plans

Event StylingAnnie & MichelleComment

We are in the very beginning stages of planning a wedding shower for two grooms that we absolutely adore and wanted to share our initial party planning thoughts. You could say that we are putting the cart before the horse, as we haven’t talked to the grooms about it yet (!), but we got a little excited and couldn’t help ourselves. 

Who knows where we will end up after we dig into planning with the grooms but below are a few of the items that we are considering right now. 

 
Pottery Barn Harrison Party Bucket

Pottery Barn Harrison Party Bucket

 
 
BHLDN Toile de Jute Table Runner

BHLDN Toile de Jute Table Runner

 
 
'Deluxe Classic' Paper Napkins

'Deluxe Classic' Paper Napkins

 
 
Rose Gold Love Balloon

Rose Gold Love Balloon

 
 
Kraft Nautical Flag Banner (to display photos of the happy couple)

Kraft Nautical Flag Banner (to display photos of the happy couple)

 
 
Personalized Photo Backdrop

Personalized Photo Backdrop

 
 
Confetti Balloon Kit

Confetti Balloon Kit

 

What are some of your favorite wedding shower decor ideas?