5 Smart Tips For Better Organization

Do you wish you had better organization in your life?  If you are anything like me you spend each day rushing around wishing you just had 2 extra hours and or a little person to troll after you picking up and organizing whatever you just plunk down, am I right?  Being organized isn’t rocket science but it does take a bit of time initially and then discipline to stay that way afterwards.

Here are 5 smart tips for better organization so that you can save time and space.

Closet organization:  Sheet folding 101

Who’d a thunk that this was so easy!  I don’t know how many countless minutes (probably hours) I’ve lost trying to match up pillowcases to sheets.

sheets

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This not only saves space but also time.  No more searching for that set!

 

Baskets

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Baskets not only look good in your home but they also are a wonderful source for hiding the uglies of the house.  You can go one step further and organize by category and label what is inside for quick, easy access.

Command Center

A magnetic sheet on the inside of a cabinet door is a fabulous way to have all of your schedules, notes, lists and whatnot all in one place hidden away.  NO MORE clutter on the fridge door!

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Closet Organization

Upside down brackets for shelf dividers is a smart way to divide and conquer (pun intended) the closet clutter.

upside down shelf brackets

Home Depot or Lowes will have these brackets in varying sizes for you to go to town on all your closets.

Speaking of closets… I am a firm believer that a girl can never have too many shoes, or boots for that matter.  That being said, at some point, you are bound to run out of space and searching around for that missing boot is just not time efficient.

 

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Take some pants hangers that you can get at the dollar store and keep your boots organized.  You can hang an additional rod low to the floor and not take up valuable real estate.

I hope you have been inspired to get organized and these tips helped you with ideas you may not have thought of.  If you need more organization in your home or some help decorating.  Feel free to contact All About Interiors a CT interior designer.

July 25, 2014 - 7:27 am

Donna Frasca - This is so fantastic and so very timely. Once BOTH my kids head out to college in August I plan to revamp the house and these projects were on the list. Oh I can’t tell you how very awesome this is. See, the simple things in life make me happy :-)
Thank you!

July 25, 2014 - 8:15 am

Melanie Langford - Donna, thanks for stopping by, so glad you enjoyed the blog~ Congrats on your kiddos graduation and I’m sure it will be a wonderful new chapter in your life! So good to hear from you. Enjoy! Melanie

The Scary Truth About Rug Pads

The scary truth about most rug pads that not a lot of people know, is that not only are they harmful to your health but also to your floors.  
Approximately 90% of the rug pads sold come from overseas manufacturers. The rug pads are a breeding ground for VOC emissions and odor causing bacteria because they are full of chemicals. PVC pads also contain high quantities of petrochemical oils, a leading contributor to the discoloration and marring of the finish in your floor as time passes. The oil dissipates into your hardwood flooring, often causing damage that is beyond repair. There are several forums online discussing how these chemicals can have a negative impact on hardwood floors. 

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Google

The reason that most manufacturers buy these toxic rug pads from overseas makers is customers continue to search for the lowest price rather than the better quality. When consumers are only concerned with getting the cheapest rug pads, they are not aware how damage to their flooring is affected or how these pads usually only last a few years before falling apart.

Kamran Hashemi is the founder and third generation rug retailer based out of Fairfield County CT. After receiving complaints from his customers year after year because of poor rug pad quality, he decided to launch his own rug pad company. He did not want to jeopardize his existing client base any longer.
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One of the most common problems with cheap rug pads is they tend to sweat, causing the flooring underneath to discolor. The oils released from poorly made PVC padding will react with the fine finish of hardwood flooring causing permanent damage.
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Google


Most Latex or Rubber pads often last a few years before they break down and turn to dust. These types of pads are often simply filled with clay fillers that break down quickly and cause damage to the floor below. The reason this issue is not such a hot topic is most homeowners never pull back the rugs to see the damage until it is too late. The price of rug pads is extremely attractive to homeowners, but the majority of them will not last very long. Overseas manufactures are aggressively looking for ways to continue to cut costs, causing the quality to suffer further.

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Here are just a few reasons why these manufacturers continue to produce poor quality rug pads.

1. Rug pad consumers never look under their rugs.

2. The rug pad rarely come with any type of warranty to protect against floor damage.

3. To the untrained eye there is no difference in quality.

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These are some examples:
Most rug pads are made in the same factory, simply dyed different colors to represent the supplier. Most have little latex, simply stuffed with a poor clay filler material. The combination of rubber and clay will begin to break down in a few years. The manufacturer is counting on by that time you forget even where you bought the rug pad. The reason there are so little complaints is people simply do not take the time to inspect the quality of their rug pads.

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PVC Pads versus Rubber Pads


The PVC pad has difficulty allowing air flow, so they stick to the floor and damage the fine finish. If used in humid or hot climates, they will stain the flooring finish. Rubber pads are by far the safest of all the rug pad materials. The rubber grips the floor but still allows the surface to breathe. Rubber padding is eco-friendly, made from 100% rubber tree sap, and is difficult to tell from other types of padding by looks alone.

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I would like to thank Will from http://rugpadusa.com/ for opening our eyes up to the difference in a good quality, eco friendly rug pad and a harmful cheap one.

Was this blog post helpful and did you know there was such a difference?

Please feel free to contact CT interior designer, Melanie Langford of All About Interiors for any questions you may have on decorating or decor.

 

Art in the home

Art can be that power piece.  Size, color, pattern and technique are the finishing factors in any art piece for what can be the show stopper in any home. 

Liza Matthews

Art can be looked at in so many ways from an abstract piece to a piece that is true significance of a place, person or object. It has to be something you love to see everyday. Color, pattern and technique play a big part in how this is translated on canvas.

Liza Matthews 2
My name is Liza Matthews.  I am a contemporary abstract artist and have the good fortune of doing what I love everyday. Painting is such a wonderful way to express your self but also to give a ‘pop’ to any environment. I love working with different interiors as it gives me an opportunity to get to know a home owner and designer. The collaboration then begins to find that perfect piece to be showcased in a home.
Liza Matthews 3 abstract
I am inspired daily by my surroundings and the environment. Color combinations and unusual techniques are always going through my mind. What would look well together? Where can I put in that element of surprise that viewers will wonder how that was done. I call my self a contemporary abstract artist and this gives me a free reign to do just about anything. Designers usually know what they are looking for when searching for that perfect piece for a client. It has to be a balance but also something that will complement all of the designs around the piece of art. I find my eye drawn to neutral furnishings with the ‘zing and pop’ from the art work. Your eye travels around a room till it is brought to one power piece in that particular room.
 Liza Matthews cotton picking
Please see more about me and my work on my website…www.lizahathawaymatthews.com

Thank you so much Liza for your post.  Your work is simply gorgeous and would be a wonderful addition to any home.

Until next week… happy decorating! Melanie Langford

July 13, 2014 - 10:29 am

Peggy @ Decorating Files - Liza’s work is absolutely beautiful, Melanie! The first one is perfect for my office and the second one would look amazing in my studio. Thank you for the great tips and lovely images!

July 13, 2014 - 8:46 pm

Melanie Langford - Hi Peggy,
I couldn’t agree more!liza has a ton of talent and such great pieces for any focal point. Glad to have introduced her to you and honored that she was willing to post on my blog! Thanks for stopping by, as always, a pleasure to see you on all avenues of social media.
Best, Melanie

Decorating Americana Style For The Home

Decorating Americana style includes the red, white and blue patriotic colors for the home.  Red, white and blue is not just for the Fourth Of July holiday anymore.  Here are some decorations for the home that sport the American patriotic colors that have a classic style.

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Pinterest

Houzz

Pinterest

If you don’t want to commit to an entire room of red, white and blue you can add a few touches to give the space a bit of patriotism.  Here are a few examples to inspire you.

www.yourcozyhome.com

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What a lovely table setting from Kathryn Greeley!

I hope you got some great inspiration for your own rooms to either decorate for the holidays or beyond!

Houzz

I hope everyone has a fabulous Fourth Of July holiday and stays safe!

Enjoy! ~Melanie

Countertops For Kitchens

Kitchen countertops is an important decision that needs to be made in the beginning of a renovation.  As I go through my own kitchen renovation project,  I hemmed and hawed about what type of countertop to choose.  I hope by writing this blog, it helps to clarify bring you out of the fog, if you will and educate you about the different choices available in a kitchen.

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Various kitchen countertop options are available in the market today. It can become very overwhelming with all the choices, not only with material but also color, texture and durability.

Every material has its pros and cons. You can either choose natural materials like wood and stone or opt for man-made materials like glass, ceramic tiles, laminate and concrete.  Keep in mind resale value should you be thinking about selling anytime in the near future.  Also important to consider is budget.  Naturally (no pun intended) natural materials will cost you more than man made materials.

A breakdown of materials available to you:

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1.Stone - Stone such as marble and granite are a popular choice for a kitchen countertop.  Of the three, quartz is the hardest and least porous, followed by granite and marble. Hardness ensures durability and less pores which allows less chance of growth of bacteria ensuring hygiene.  They are not only durable and attractive, but also increase the value of your  home. Quartz is another option costing around same as granite or marble.  You can expect to pay anywhere from $45-90/sf for most of your average stone counter tops.  

Wood

2. Wood. Oak, maple, Teak and cherry are popular species of woods used for  kitchen countertops. Although cost may vary according to the type of wood used it comes down to personal preference.  Wood  requires regular maintenance, so if you don’t mind a bit of occasional maintenance, wood is a great choice for kitchen  surfaces.

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3. Stainless steel. Stainless steel is another good kitchen counter option and is gaining popularity. It is particularly  popular in commercial kitchens. These countertops are durable, and stain and  heat resistant. Being non porous, such surfaces are also very hygienic.  Stainless steel counter tops are known for obtaining scratches.  You can opt for textured or brushed finish stainless steel countertops.

laminate

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4. Laminate and ceramic tile. Laminate and ceramic tile countertops come in a wide variety of colors and patterns making it very easy for you to match the countertop to the rest of your  kitchen décor.  The cost per square foot for laminate can be a lot less than a stone, wood or even ceramic tile. The low maintenance requirements of a laminate countertop make them a popular choice and they are certainly the lowest cost kitchen surface option available.  Laminates have come a long way with “stone look a likes” and seamless edges.

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5. Concrete. Concrete, although beautiful can weigh several hundred pounds and are usually poured onsite. Concrete kitchen counter tops can come in a variety of colors and can cost more than granite per square foot. Let it be known that concrete is a porous material and has the ability to retain stains. Concrete countertops require a top sealant to prevent staining and early deterioration.  Although pretty offering a sleek clean contemporary look it’s not the best choice in a kitchen.

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6. Glass Another great but costly option is glass countertop.  Glass is known for its eye-catching, translucent beauty, and is as durable as most other counter top materials.  Read more about glass counter tops.

recycled glass

The choice in kitchen counter top material is varied. Based on factors such as aesthetics, ease of cleaning and maintenance, and price be sure to make your selection carefully. Currently, the most popular choice remains to be granite. Prices have come down with low cost imported pre cut pieces available. Granite can offer a clean high end look and  it works well with modern and traditional kitchens.

Please feel free to contact me if you should have any questions or need assistance in choosing the right countertop for your kitchen.

Until next week~ Happy decorating! Melanie Langford, All About Interiors