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lingerie 1

When we reach a certain age, our lingerie drawer suddenly becomes an unrecognizable mess of fun and function; we lift, we tuck, we squeeze, and we spend a ridiculous amount of time rearranging ourselves into all sorts of things to make us feel pretty, and, dare I say it, youthful.
It’s just not as easy as it used to be, and whereas some days make us imagine we could be Dita Von Teese (or is that just me?) others find us reaching for the vast sea of elastic beige that Bridget Jones regretted wearing on her first date with Daniel.

With these dilemma’s comes a new sort of organization; one that says we are grown-ups, and that maybe it is time to go through our drawers before we sort through our closet. What we wear underneath is just as important, so let’s get rid of what doesn’t fit, what is hanging by a frayed thread, and throw away the sad, dull colors from years ago. Having everything that fits, and does what it is supposed to do, saves us a ton of time, and makes us feel better knowing that our underneaths are just as lovely as our outside.

One of my favorite things to do is to ditch the traditional tiny drawer at the top of your dresser; the one that is supposed to be for your underwear. I use that for my earrings and tights instead, which leaves the larger one below for lots of underwear, and plenty of space to stack my bras upright. Stacking bras vertically makes it easy to see what I actually have, and everything seems to keep their shape.

If you like to match all of your colors and styles, there are wonderful, inexpensive drawer dividers that slot right into place; they help us to keep everything separated and organized with barely no fuss at all. Many of the generic organizers used to be a bit small for the curvy figure, but fortunately manufacturers are becoming more aware of different sizes, so there are far more options than there used to be; these foldable drawers (above right) are one of my favorites.

Lingerie chests originated in the 1700’s, and will take your organizing to an entirely different level (actually seven levels, one for each day of the week) and they can still be found, old and new, very inexpensively.

If you are lucky enough to have oodles of space, then hanging your bras in the closet is even better, and will keep them from getting smooshed and damaged.
Use a
 men’s tie rack, or find coat hangers that have little clips on either side. I even found this sock dryer that I think would easily hold bras if you had the extra space to hang it; kind of like a bra chandelier.

For special occasion pieces, I would store them in a separate place, just to keep the specialness of them. Some can hang on lingerie clips, or, for mere mortals like me who have limited space, a beautiful fabric bag is just enough. If you love vintage, then an old hat box or vintage train case could be perfect, or, if you prefer something new, check out the selection of decorative containers at your nearest home or craft store.

With those other necessities that are more functional than fun, I would treat them just as well as the pretty things, but hide them in the back somewhere; no-one wants to stare at their Spanx every time they get dressed, reminding us that perhaps if we didn’t love ice cream so much we wouldn’t feel compelled to buy them in the first place. So, fold them up sweetly, and put them in a small box in the back of your closet for the next time you need a little extra bit of emotional reinforcement.

Organizing our underthings doesn’t seem like a big deal, but once we do it we are left with a lot more time (and space) for fun, function
and frippery ….

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/
Photographs from Bloglovin (lingerie and slippers) Lovetheedit (drawer organizers) Horchow (lingerie chest) and Pinterest  (train case) and Aliexpress (sock dryer)

A Spider at Home

trio lights1
When I walked into the bathroom there was a small spider hanging from the chandelier. I gently blew at him, and he scampered straight back up to the top. Within seconds, he dropped down again and started to hover in front of me.

I looked at him for a few moments, then blew the tiniest piece of air at him again; like something out of a storybook, he swung back and forth a couple of times then quickly spun a line of silk and dropped to the black tile below.

As I watched him land on the floor and run under the cabinet, all I could think was that this spider (who had never read “The Power of Now”, organized his closet, or contemplated the meaning of life) was probably so much happier than most of us would ever be. He lived in my chandelier (old and rarely dusted), jumped when he needed too, and created the most temporary form of beauty every single day.

I want to believe that he was looking at me, but I don’t even know where his eyes were, all I know is that it felt like a magical experience, and I was grateful to see such a small creature do something so amazing.

Much of what we do is magical, yet rarely do we see it. When I visit people’s homes, I am always astounded at how often they apologize for what they have, when all I see is a lovely room; it may not be exactly how they would like it to be, but there is so much more to like than they realize.
We are all guilty of doing it; our thinking often gets in the way of what we see, and we get so caught up in what we want, that it is easy to forget what we actually have.
Now and again, it is good to make a list of what we truly enjoy about our home, and why (kind of the opposite of a “Honey Do” list). We should remember what it was like when we first moved in, and how excited we were to do something, anything, just because it was completely ours.

We should revisit the memories, sit on our favorite piece of furniture, and take inventory of how far we have come. And we should take a lesson from the spider; love where we live, move forward as needed, create something beautiful (no matter how temporary)
… and stop thinking.

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/
Original Photograph from Anthropologie (spider added by author)

It’s funny, home offices are becoming more popular, but so are portable devices; people want a separate office space, but then they sit on the sofa to check their email and pay bills. Which to me, is a little like wanting a Kindle, then buying a cover on it that looks like a book. See, I’ve managed to confuse both of us in a single paragraph.

We want things to make our life easier (and less cluttered) but our mind and body still craves tasks that require some form of effort, and make us feel connected. It’s a weird dilemma; like the difference between peeling an orange, and grabbing a glass of juice – peeling and eating an orange boosts our cognitive processes a hundred times more than if we just open the carton and pour out the juice, so we have to decide whether we want to peel the orange, take off the pith and divide up the segments, or should we just open the fridge and grab a glass? They can’t compare really, and I forget why this reminded me of home offices, but I would always rather peel an orange than drink one.

Anyway, like many things, a home office needs to move forward in life, and the need for huge, sagging shelves and walls of metal filing cabinets has become unnecessary for most of us. Paper is used less, and while our workload hasn’t been reduced, we use our spaces differently, and we want everything to work harder and more efficiently for us. And, we want it to look good.

This home office is all sorts of dreamy, and it still has everything you need to get some work done. The glass sawhorse table doesn’t spoil the view, and it blends perfectly with the over-sized baskets and the modern lines of the simple, white chair.

If you need a bit more storage, you still don’t have to scrimp on style; this inexpensive bookcase holds far more than you would imagine (and keeps you organized) while the comfy chair reminds you that you’re not sitting in a cubicle.


This is perfect for someone who has to squeeze an office space into their main living area. Find a classic desk, a simple chair, and decorate it to your heart’s content. Drawers hide all of your bits and pieces, and the shelves keep your books and files where you need them. A few minutes clean up at the end of the day, and it looks just like a picture.

This is a serious work space, but it has so much fun built into it. Spray painting the file cabinets costs next to nothing (which reminds me, I need to do my own. Note to self: It would have been much easier to paint them before I had filled them all up with papers) the notice boards give the homeowner endless room for notes, and the Mason jars keep small clutter under control.

I just had to include this one, because it made me smile, and one of the luxuries of working from home is that it is yours, and you are free to add as much (or as little) of your personality as time and space will allow …..

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/
(p.s. click on the photographs for original sources).

We have more details about our time at the Lillian August Flagship store in Norwalk on Friday, September 23rd – and boy, are they taking good care of us!

 

Six of their experts will be sharing information with us in breakout groups. And they are covering everything! Here’s what you can expect:
  •  Lillian August Licensed Furniture collections: Where do those beautiful designs and ideas come from? (And can we see some of them please?)
  • Business Development: How you can make money working with the Lillian August designer program (and you don’t have to be local).
  • Visual merchandising: Learn some creative  new ideas for pulling together vignettes and accessories.
  • Window Treatments: What you need to know about custom window treatments, working with a workroom, and making money doing it.
  • Design Trends: What’s the latest and most exciting trends in color, fabrics, styles, and more!
  • Rugs: Learn a brief history of rugs and the story behind the tradition of rug-making, then experience the myriad of styles and custom options available.

Now that’s what we call a fun – and educational – morning!

 

So now are you ready to register? Then just do it! But you better hurry – there’s just over two weeks left to save $70!

We do! And when we read this blog post from Sandra Long of Post Road Consulting we knew we had made the right choice in having Sandra as one of our featured speakers for our September 22-23 conference.

Just to give you a little taste of a few of her favorites, ” Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” and” You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” and even ” You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
And she has more! Just read this post from March (in celebration of his birthday). What’s not to love – and learn from?  We can’t wait until September!

This week we’re sharing some excellent advice from Patsy Overton of Patsy Overton Interiors .

“When choosing paint, paint the samples on several pieces of white cardboard or paper (at least 8 x 11) instead of swiping on walls. Pin them at all different spots around your room, and live with the color changes for several days before deciding.”

Like this? Patsy has lots more to share so be sure to check out her work!

Step Inside

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We rattle on so much about curb appeal, and having a lovely front door, that we sometimes forget to talk about the moment that we step inside. The outside is all about keeping up appearances, and being nice to the neighbors, but the inside is where we have to live, and the first, honest impression that we give to ourselves (and others).

It doesn’t matter whether you have a hallway, a grand foyer, an entrance, or the world’s tiniest welcome mat, but it does matter what goes on there. An entrance doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should feel cared for, and be as useful and bright as possible (no-one wants to fumble around in the dark, uncertain of where to go or what they might be tripping over).

Next time you go home, take a look at what you are really walking into. Are you dancing around slippery tile, dropping your groceries as you try to reach over the laundry to throw your keys onto the nearest flat surface, or do you take a deep breath, step inside, and feel happy to be home?

Whether you do it for yourself, or just to impress others, maybe it’s time to re-think your entrance.

This makes me swoon!
It isn’t a large space, but the luxuriousness of the wood and the leather just make me want to spend an afternoon here. Forget that it is an entrance, add a few practical elements, and decorate it just like any other room.

entrance hall 6

Okay, so I know this is a bit dreamier than some of our homes (it is, after all, a bed and breakfast rental in the English countryside), but they have used the space so well.
If you have an odd area under the stairs, put a comfy chair there, or hang a few hooks for keys, coats and bags.

Older homes often have nooks and crannies that make absolutely no sense in the 21st Century, but they can be still be incredibly useful.
A colorful wallpaper makes this spot look like it was born to be the perfect place for your coat and shoes.

I love this because it is so easy, is immensely practical, and I love the quirky collage above the door! What a perfect place to draw the eye up, share your favorite pics, and decorate at the same time.
If the idea of a vase of flowers worries you, buy some good quality, colorful fakes from the craft store, and put them in a gorgeous, over-sized (garden?) pot.

A colorful door at the end of a hallway will cheer anyone up, and makes no apologies for being a smaller space.
The coat hooks and narrow table give you ample room to keep everything organized, and the mirror adds a ton of light and practicality.

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

* Thank you to House to Home UK for the top two photographs, Home Away for the 3rd, Adorable Home for the 4th and 5th, and Freshome for the last.

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