Duo Ventures

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Guest Bedroom: Closet Organizer Install

We are currently focusing on two areas of our house - the nursery & guest bedroom.  One of the first issues we needed to address was the lack of storage in both the guest bedroom & nursery closets.  We decided to start with the guest bedroom since Mel's parents will be visiting more frequently...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Pregnancy Announcement!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

This year we are extra thankful...because we are expecting our first child!  :)

We've been MIA from the blog for several months, but we're hoping to get back to blogging again - especially now that we have lots of projects in the works...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mel & Nader

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Organizing: The Bathroom

It's about time for some more organizing!  While we did complete a mini makeover on our master bathroom, it remained somewhat cluttered & disorganized behind the cabinets.  Toiletries & products didn't have designated homes, so we began aimlessly throwing things into drawers & cabinets -
and you know how that goes... 

Over time, it evolved into a huge mess:

First, as with every organizational project I tackle, I removed every single item from the bathroom & sorted everything into like piles on our bed (I laid an old sheet down to protect our duvet from any leaking products).  As I sorted, I threw out any expired items or things we don't need or use anymore.  It's amazing to me how we can hold on to certain items, even when it's been ages since we used them last!

After everything was in piles, I gave the entire bathroom a good cleaning,  Next, I started planning where everything would be placed & made a list of some drawer dividers, organizers, & baskets that I would need to purchase.

Also, I always measure all the drawers & cabinets before I head to the store so that I know for certain which baskets/organizers will fit (I even bring a little measuring tape with me to the store, in case measurements are not on the product tag).

So here are the "before" & "after" photos - starting with our vanity:

On Nader's side of the vanity, we had items organized in plastic bins stacked on top of each other underneath the sink.  Which, by the way, were all my things (nothing that he actually used on a daily basis).  Not to mention, the collection of items made no sense & it was always a pain to
pull out the middle & bottom containers:

It's strange how you can become accustomed to keeping certain things in specific areas - even when it doesn't make sense & perpetuates dysfunctional systems.  Sometimes you have to just completely rethink your storage & organization.

So in this case, I decided to start from scratch & I designated this side for Nader's items only.  The door openings are pretty narrow (about 9" wide x 16" tall).
Luckily, I found a metal drawer organizer from Target that fit perfectly:

Next up: my side of the vanity, which was just as unorganized:

Now, this cabinet is home to all of my hot tools, nail polish, & some extra soap:

I decided to store all of my hot tools here since I couldn't fit them all in the storage unit where they were previously located.  This black wire basket from Home Goods fits perfectly.
I love that it has a handle, so I can just slide it out when I need something:

I did have to place a piece of paper into the bottom of the basket so nothing would fall through:

To the right, I have all my nail polish & supplies, which are stored in an acrylic caddy from HG:

Then it was onto the drawer in the middle of the vanity, which had turned into a huge mess.  Of course, it used to be organized - I had even purchased a couple of drawer organizers at some point.
Clearly, they were not working:

Now, this drawer is only storing toiletries that we use daily or on a more regular basis.  I bought 2 acrylic drawer dividers from HG to organize & divide the drawer contents.  Now, everything has a home & it doesn't slide around everywhere - and I was able to reuse the organizers that were originally there for another bedside table project:

Moving on to the first storage unit - you can see it was home to a variety of random things:

This storage unit is now holding all hair & makeup related items:

I found an acrylic organizer to store my makeup which fits perfectly in the open shelf:

 Since I couldn't fit my brushes in the organizer, I popped them in a cute little green dish I found @ HG:

I lowered the top shelf on the inside of the unit to accommodate my velcro rollers & clips.  Since I really only use the largest size rollers, I placed them all in a plastic bin so they would be easy to access.
The rest of the smaller rollers went back in their original packaging:

I placed all of the clips inside of a little zippered pouch I had laying around:

On the next shelf down, I corralled all of my headbands & larger clips into a plastic bin:

The next shelf down is empty for now - and on the bottom shelf, I placed all my hair care products:

Lastly, I implemented an idea I had seen on Pinterest.  I bought 2 adhesive magnetic strips from Lowe's & attached the strips to the inside of the cabinet to hold all those bobby pins & clips:

I placed some Velcro squares on both edges & the middle of the magnetic strips in order to raise the magnets off of the door a bit - which makes it easier to grab the bobby pins.  The Velcro stuck to the door itself, but it would not stay attached to the magnetic strip, so I added a drop of superglue between the magnet & the Velcro:

Then I used a tiny command strip hook to hold a ring of hair ties:

Moving on, here's the before of the second storage unit:

The second storage unit just needed a little purging & reorganizing.  Since I relocated all of my hair care products, I put my scented lotions & extra body sprays there instead.  Extra razors, waxing kit, & sunless tanner went on the bottom shelf:

And lastly, I hung a shoe organizer on the back of the water closet door.  The organizer holds all those lager miscellaneous items that we use less often (like baby powder, rubbing alcohol, sunscreens, aloe, etc).  I like that these items are hidden behind the door, while still easy to access:

 It definitely feels better to have an organized bathroom.  It makes getting ready, finding things, & putting items away so much easier!  

If you're looking for some more organization inspiration, check out my previous projects.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Powder Room Mirror Makeover

Since our kitchen makeover, we haven't done much in terms of design or decor around the house.  However, we did finish repairing, painting, & hanging a new mirror that we bought @ Home Goods last year.  I found it in the clearance area since part of the frame was damaged:

I really liked the shape, size, & design of the mirror - so the fact that the mirror needed some minor repairs didn't bother me.

First thing we did was remove the cardboard back from the mirror:

Turns out that some of the missing frame pieces actually broke off inside of the mirror - so I reattached the loose pieces, using Gorilla Glue on the back:

We took a trip to the hardware store & bought some Bondo & sanding blocks (80 & 180 grit needed per Bondo instructions).  The Bondo comes in a fairly large can since it's normally used for larger jobs.
Lucky for me, you can mix it in small batches:

I followed the Bondo instructions & after I sanded it down smooth, I was left with this:

 Next up - paint!  I decided I wanted a white frame with metallic studs (taking inspiration from Jen's mirror over @ IHeart Organizing).  Before buying any spray paint, I checked our garage first & found a can of plastic-friendly Rustoleum:

I gave the frame about 3 thin coats:

Once the frame was completely dry, it was time to paint the studs.  Again, instead of going out & buying new paint, I checked our studio/art room to see what we had on hand.
I ended up going with Metallic Taupe:

It took about 3 coats to get enough coverage (this craft paint is not ideal for plastic).  It probably could have used a 4th coat, but it was such a tedious process that I was over it after the 3rd coat:

Next, we reattached the mirror using silicone caulk in the corners, smoothing it out with a wet finger:

While the caulk dried, we took the cardboard back & traced it onto some paper and then taped the paper outline onto the wall.  Once we had it where we liked it, we marked 2 areas for the hooks.  Then, before we reattached the cardboard to the mirror, we hung it up to be 100% sure we liked the placement:

Here it is all finished:

Before & After:

Here's a side by side of the original oval mirror:

I also recently updated the wall art in this bathroom...more on that soon!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Organizing: My Brother's Closet

While we were in Wisconsin last fall visiting my family, I decided to take on a little organizing task: my youngest brother's closet.  He's a senior in high school now & will be off to college this fall.  In the event that he attends a local university (AKA: stays at mom & dad's house), I wanted him to have a more organized & functional closet (you'll see what I mean in a second).

His room is pretty tiny - so it's no wonder he spends most of his time in the basement.  As a result, his bedroom had essentially become a storage facility for all his "stuff".  Aside from his clothes, his bedroom & closet had been housing nearly every toy from his childhood.  I would have liked to help him purge, sort, & organize through it all, but I focused on the closet & clothes situation during this trip.

Here's what the closet looked like - as you can see, there was almost no room to hang his clothes:

First, I emptied out the entire closet, organizing his clothing into piles as I went.  Doing an inventory of all his clothing first is an important step because it allowed me to get a rough estimate of how much hanging storage & shelf space we would need to accommodate everything.  Don't forget to take into account clothes that may be in the laundry room (in this case, half of his wardrobe was in the laundry!):

Next, we removed the closet doors to make installation easier.  After I emptied out the closet, I was left with a single shelf & hanging bar - which was not the most functional setup.  With the existing layout, there was simply too much wasted space.  I felt a closet organizer kit would maximize the storage space - so I removed the shelf & the bar to make room for a new system:

Next, I patched up all the holes:

While the joint compound dried, Nader & I ran to Home Depot to look for a closet organizer. 

The kit we ended up getting was the Closetmaid Selectives 16" White Custom Closet Organizer (the shelf width is 16").  We went with this specific organizer because of the shallow shelf depth & adjustable width options.  Devon's closet is not very deep & this kit is only about 14" deep.

This organizer also fits closets anywhere from 4'-9' wide, allowing you to customize it to your closet.  It only came with 3 hanging rods, so we did purchase one extra rod as well.

It took us about 30-40 minutes to assemble the shelf portion:

Next, we began installing the shelf unit.  Before we attached it to the wall, we had to decide where we wanted to place it.  If it was my closet, I would have left the doors off & centered the shelves - but Devon said he preferred to keep the doors on so that their cat stayed out.

This was actually an important detail when it came to installing the shelf unit - if the shelves were positioned directly in the middle of the closet, the doors would have been blocking them.
You can see what I mean from the old closet layout:

Since we planned on putting the doors back up, I off-centered the shelf unit to the left so that he could access the shelves more easily.  Once the shelving portion was done, we started on the rods,
using wall anchors to attach the rods to the walls:

The following day I began adding back all of his clothing, organizing by color & type.  I also bought all new white hangers - they're relatively inexpensive & create so much more visual organization.

Since he had a smaller amount of t-shirts & dress pants, I hung those items on the shorter rods on the left side of the closet.  His button down shirts, polos, & long sleeve shirts went on the longer rods on the right.  I used the shelves to organize all his sweaters, hoodies, & flannels:

So for under $100, I was able to create a much more functional & usable closet space:
Now his closet is storing items that he actually uses on a daily basis.  I wish I could have organized the rest of the room as well...but that's a project for another time.