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Bonus Room Makeover

If you have a bonus room in your home, chances are it either:

1- Serves as a catch-all

OR

2- Serves multiple functions, yet feels disjointed and is lacking in design

Bonus rooms are one of the most difficult rooms in a home to organize, and make “pretty.” I have a client who hired me a few years ago to organize her bonus room/home office. She has since sold her home and moved away. She contacted me at her new home, reaching out for help on her bonus room yet again. She had tried using the same furniture with similar setup, but every space really is different and requires a unique strategy (as well as new furniture sometimes).

With this client living out of town, we did long distance consulting. She sent info and pictures via email, we talked and looked at the room on FaceTime, and we spent a lot of time texting back and forth with pictures of furniture & décor. Not being able to see things in person can be somewhat of a challenge, but I find that it can work really well.

My client took pictures for me to share in this post, so I’m super excited to share the process and results with you!

Below are some of the pictures of where we started.

bonus room makeover

bonus room makeover

 

Behind the couch is a nook that needed a major facelift.

bonus room makeover

 

You can see some of the toys that needed a place to “live.”

bonus room makeover

 

The bonus room in the previous home had several different functions, and we made them all happen in style! You can see the work we did here in Home Office Redesign. The space in my client’s new home had fewer purposes to serve. It is first a hub for family entertainment/media. Secondly, my client does her workouts in this space. And finally, she needed a place to store a few toys for her daughter who uses this space for play. May we not forget, my client wanted it to make her smile, feel at peace, and be a place where she wanted to hang out! It needed to look good.

After much consulting, you can see what we did in the pictures below! The Before/After is not taken from the same angle, but you can get the idea:

bonus room makeover

 

My client wanted more seating, enough for the entire family to be able to sit and watch movies. She also liked the look of a sectional. She wanted to use similar colors, but lighter. We decided to go with this, and I love it!

bonus room makeover

 

I really like this “Family Rules” canvas that she chose for the wall. She wanted to make a statement that represented her family, in the space where they will spend the most time together. I think it was an excellent choice!

bonus room makeover

 

Remember the nook that needed a facelift? Well, we explored built-ins. Shelving and a bench seat. The result is phenomenal!

bonus room makeover

For the built-in shelves, I recommended a combo of cabinets below for storage for toys and other hidden items, and open shelves up top for display and more hidden storage via baskets.

 

The built-in bench is so inviting! We spent quite a few back & forths to pick the perfect pillow ensemble. I enjoy “figuring out” my clients and their style and personal preferences. It’s always fun when everything “clicks” and I can help them put together exactly what they want!

bonus room makeover

 

I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with this repeat client. I provided a framework for the space, guidance, help with decision making, and she took it all and ran! I think she did a fantastic job on making this space both a functional and refreshing place to be for her family. I would want to be in that room all the time!

Thanks for reading! I love hearing your thoughts. Are you struggling to make your bonus room both functional and fashionable?

Happy Organizing,

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

Bedrooms that belong to boys can be quite scary. Making the decision to clean and organize them is a BIG and BRAVE step on the part of any parent!

You can view  Part 1 of my Boy Room Overhaul to read the story and see pictures from Boy Room #1 – the “Blue Room.”

The room I’m sharing on this post was a bit more challenging than the first. This child had a lot more “stuff.” I didn’t get a picture until we had already started working through the room and closets, but here’s what they looked like as things were underway.

boy room overhaul part 2

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

 

When organizing a child’s room, it’s always in their best interest to ask them to pull out the toys and items that they absolutely want to keep. Give them a limit on how much. Help them work through their thoughts and make decisions by asking questions “When is the last time you played with this? Do you still like it? If you could choose between (give them two choices) which do you like best?” The older they are, the easier this process is. But I’m sometimes surprised by the things that mean the most to my own boys.

My client had already gone through the room with her boy before our work session, and we had a great start with many items already designated as donations. After this I swept through the room, sorting and putting aside things that I knew he wanted to keep, and filling up more donation boxes.

When my work was done, it was time for Scott Thigpen with Solid Foundation Builders, Inc. to once again come in and work his magic.

Are you ready for the reveal?!

 

boy room overhaul part 2

 

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

 

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

 

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

 

Another job well done on the loft bed and built-in desk by Solid Foundation Builders, Inc!

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

 

The space underneath the bed is the perfect little retreat for a boy.

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

 

The cube shelf is versatile and will change in function as he gets older.

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

 

Here are some up-close shots of the desk.

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

 

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

 

The closets had a complete overhaul as well. One was left with a rack for clothes that need to hang. The other was outfitted with shelving from Solid Foundation Builders, Inc.

Boy Room Overhaul Part 2

 

Once again, my client was extremely pleased with the result from all parties involved! “I felt like Melissa was a partner who really cared and not just someone providing a service. That is true customer service! I am so happy with the end result and so grateful! So are my kids! They love their new spaces and we love hanging out in their rooms together. If you are thinking about asking for help, do not feel ashamed. Call Melissa! You won’t regret it.” ~ Gina

 

Whether your spaces need a little touch up, or a complete overhaul, don’t hesitate to call me! When your home is organized, you can focus on doing what you really love.

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

 

Boy Room Overhaul Part 1

Many people say that more fun can be had decorating girls’ rooms than boys, but I think that’s because they haven’t seen these pictures! I have exciting room makeovers coming to you in 2 parts! In the next two weeks I will be sharing photos with you from two separate boys’ rooms in the same home.

My client contacted me in an effort to redo all 3 of her children’s rooms. This family had moved in and begun remodeling their home, naturally placing the kids’ rooms as last on the priority list. The bedrooms had gotten out of control.

We began the process of giving her boys’ rooms a complete overhaul. To begin with, we talked space planning and storage, and my client shared her vision for each room. This included a built-in desk and possibly loft bed. We brainstormed layouts and came up with a few options. I quickly put her in touch with Scott Thigpen of Solid Foundations Builders to discuss her ideas and get quotes.

Who understands that before you can decorate, you have to organize?! So our first step to carry out the plan was going through every square inch of the boys’ rooms. These rooms belonged to 10 year old boys. Need I say more? Even still, I enjoyed it. It’s strange but true. I love this stuff. That’s why I do it!

I’m going to refer to these two rooms as the “Blue Room” and the “Green Room” (according to wall paint color). This post, I’m sharing the Blue Room with you. Are you ready to see the first transformation?!

My client hired Solid Foundations Builders to build a loft bed, built-in desk, and closet storage, and I am blown away by the result!

 

boy room overhaul part 1

 

boy room overhaul part 1

 

Just look at the detail and functionality of this bed! Tons of space underneath, with cube shelves for storage.

boy room overhaul part 1

 

boy room overhaul part 1

 

The design of the desk is one that my client had seen somewhere and fell in love with. She asked Scott if he could make it happen, and as you can see he did!

boy room overhaul part 1

boy room overhaul part 1

 

There are two closets in the room. One was left with a single clothing rack and shelf, while the other received built-in cube storage (also built and installed by Solid Foundations Builders) that is versatile and can serve different purposes for any age child.

boy room overhaul part 1

 

boy room overhaul part 1

 

Needless to say, my client and her son were very pleased with the results! Here’s what she has to say about the project:

I am so grateful for contacting Melissa at Simple Spaces. Honestly, before calling I had been thinking about it for a long time. I felt that if I called and asked for help, it would be admitting failure as a mom to keep my kids’ rooms neat and organized. We were doing so much remodeling on our old home when we first moved in that the kids’ rooms were last on the priority list (we needed working bathrooms and kitchen!). Their rooms had gotten out of control and I could tell it was bothering them as much as it was bothering me. It had gotten to the point that whenever I walked into their rooms and opened the closet door I felt stressed and overwhelmed. So, I gave in and called Melissa! At first I felt like a diva but I am so glad that I did! She was incredibly helpful and non-judgmental. She wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and help with the non-glamorous work of going through 10 year old boys’ rooms :) She helped me decide on curtains, floor plans, and what to keep and give away. I felt like she was a partner who really cared and not just someone providing a service. That is true customer service! I am so happy with the end result and so grateful! So are my kids! They love their new spaces and we love hanging out in their rooms together. If you are thinking about asking for help, do not feel ashamed. Call Melissa! You won’t regret it. ~ Gina

Be watching out for the “Green Room” transformation that I will share next week. Out of all 3 rooms, that one took the most amount of time for me to work through. Can’t wait to share it with you!

Also, check out her daughter’s room  in my last post for an amazing transformation, girl style!

Happy Organizing and Decorating,

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

Girl Room Makeover

Children’s rooms are probably at the top of the list for most households when it comes to being disorganized. It’s no surprise considering children are professional mess makers, and creating chaos is how they learn! However, it is possible to minimize the clutter and set children up for success in keeping their rooms clean.

Recently a mother of 3 children reached out to me for help. Though this family had been moved into their new home for a few years, they hadn’t organized or decorated their children’s rooms. This client was ready to do a complete overhaul in all three rooms – from organizing to design.

I will share the boys’ rooms in a later post, but am excited to share the reveal for the girl room here!

Below is a picture of where we started:

girl room makeover

 

First came the design plan. This included working with what the client had, as well as adding in a few new things. Next, we dove into the most difficult part: purging, sorting, and reorganizing. We went through every inch of the room, furniture, and both closets. After that, the room was ready to be rearranged and dressed up!

Ready to see how it turned out?!

girl room makeover

girl room makeover

 

The position of the bed before was closing off the room. We decided to move it over near the window, and open up the floor space in the center. We left just enough space between the bed and the wall for the night table.

girl room makeover

Above you can see the curtains my client selected. Simple, yet fun! And room darkening as well. She kept the existing bedding, and these curtains pull out the lighter pink in it.

The room has a gorgeous custom-built bench (with storage) that needed a cushion to soften it, and allow the girl a place to sit and read or play. I found a seamstress – Lori O’Connor – who gave us a great price for a custom made cushion. You can see the results below!

girl room makeover

girl room makeover

 

Books are an issue in every child’s room. I recommended wall shelves, which would eliminate the need for another piece of furniture, and thus maximize space. When I showed her the handy work of my husband on the custom-built wall shelves in my son’s room, she was sold! They turned out to be perfect!

girl room makeover

 

girl room makeover

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this project, and enjoyed getting to know this family even more. Read below what my client has to say about her experience:

I am so grateful for contacting Melissa at Simple Spaces. Honestly, before calling I had been thinking about it for a long time. I felt that if I called and asked for help, it would be admitting failure as a mom to keep my kids’ rooms neat and organized. We were doing so much remodeling on our old home when we first moved in that the kids’ rooms were last on the priority list (we needed working bathrooms and kitchen!). Their rooms had gotten out of control and I could tell it was bothering them as much as it was bothering me. It had gotten to the point that whenever I walked into their rooms and opened the closet door I felt stressed and overwhelmed. So, I gave in and called Melissa! At first I felt like a diva but I am so glad that I did! She was incredibly helpful and non-judgmental. She wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and help with the non-glamorous work of going through 10 year old boys’ rooms :) She helped me decide on curtains, floor plans, and what to keep and give away. I felt like she was a partner who really cared and not just someone providing a service. That is true customer service! I am so happy with the end result and so grateful! So are my kids! They love their new spaces and we love hanging out in their rooms together. If you are thinking about asking for help, do not feel ashamed. Call Melissa! You won’t regret it. ~ Gina

 

Happy Organizing,

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.

Organizing Tips for Moms

I can honestly say that my home stays organized most of the time. My children are all now in school full time, but they are with me after school. I manage their school/sports schedules and communications, volunteer for school functions and field trips, assist with and check over homework, along with all the other stuff that comes with being a mom. I support my husband in his career and endeavors. I manage my business and work with clients (organizing and home staging). And I’m training for an Ironman triathlon. Did I mention I have 3 BOYS?! I wear a lot of hats. A lot of big hats.

I recently had the privilege to speak to a local Mothers of Preschoolers group where I started my talk with sharing this about myself.  I quickly heard the gasps in the room and “But how do you have time…”, to which I responded, “Oh, but it’s not perfect.” Its far from perfect. And that’s okay with me. Organized does not mean perfect. Organized DOES mean time saved. Organized does mean I can do all of these things and still have quality time with my family.

organizing tips for moms

 

Below are a few tips I’ve specifically written for you mothers with young children, and sparse time.

1. Make your spaces serve YOU. Not the other way around. Too many of us spend copious amounts of time trying to make things work with a faulty system. It does take work to change the set up of a space, but in the long run time will be saved, and a lot of it! Evaluate the function of each room. Ask the question: “What do I want this space to do for me and my family?” Take note of the furniture and storage availability. Are the right pieces in place? Remember that items are best stored within the space that they will be used. This helps you avoid the syndrome of “not putting things back where they belong.” If you change diapers on the living room floor, you need storage for diaper change items (and not necessarily a changing table) in that space.

organizing tips for moms

 

2. Less really is more. I know its cliche, but it is the absolute truth! The less we have, the more we appreciate what we have. And the less we have, the less we have to manage. I want to address the most common thought processes that prevent people from letting go.

Someone gave this to me as a gift so I can’t get rid of it. First of all, your heart is right in wanting to honor those who give you gifts. So be proud of that. However, I see too many people who are stressed out living under all this “stuff” that has been given to them that they don’t use, let alone like. That’s a lot of pressure. Remember that you were the one who was granted the gift. I won’t go too deep into this, but a true gift has no expectations attached. Verbalize your appreciation to the giver, and treasure them in your heart. Give yourself permission to not keep what you do not use.

If I get rid of these toys, my kids will miss them. The majority of our children have too many toys. Period. And if yours are like mine, they barely play with toys anyway. We think that the more toys are kids have, the better play experience they will have. The opposite is actually true. The less options children have, the more focused, creative, and in control of their environment they will feel. If you think you feel shut down in the midst of chaos and too much stuff, imagine how a child feels!

I don’t want to get rid of it because I might need it “one day.” We live in a society that is infiltrated with stuff. Do not spend years or even months carving out valuable space in your home for items that you may or may not ever use. If you need it “one day,” then you can go get it off of Facebook, Craigslist, or at one of the many stores in your area.

organizing tips for moms

 

3. Think outside the box with storage. Choose furniture that doubles as storage. No one wants storage cabinets to cover their living spaces. Choose tables, bookshelves, benches, and ottomans that can conceal and store items in the space. Repurpose things you would otherwise toss like egg cartons and pasta jars for sorting and storing small things. Pinterest is full of great ideas and storage hacks that are free or inexpensive.

organizing tips for moms

 

4. Personalize your closet. Your clothes should make you feel good. As should your closet. Organize your closet according to what makes sense in your brain. Divide the seasons and color code. Or intermix the seasons and color code. Divide according to purpose (causal vs. professional). There’s no wrong way to do it. The right way to do it is the one that makes the most sense to you.

organizing tips for moms

 

5. Clean in your own style. And no I’m not talking about your choice of clothing while you’re cleaning, although you definitely don’t want to see mine! All of us have different styles when it comes to cleaning. None of them are wrong. I have found my style changes according to my season of life. With 3 boys around, my biggest focus is keeping my house organized and clutter free. I also clean regularly, though I don’t enjoy it as much. Right now I typically choose 1-2 days per week to do the cleaning tasks such as vacuuming/mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, dusting, etc. I can get that done within a few hours while my children are away at school. At one point as a stay-at-home mom, I had a spontaneous schedule. Schedule, as in I made myself clean a space every day. Spontaneous, as in I didn’t decide what I was going to clean until the morning of, and chose according to what needed it the most. I also took advantage of bath time to clean the sinks and toilets while my little ones played in the bath. Last summer, my boys were old enough that they could actually “help” clean without me going behind them, and I paid them. We got everything clean top to bottom in a few hours. I will do that again this summer!

Organizing tips for moms

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips for getting and staying organized in this crazy, amazing season of mothering little ones. If you don’t remember anything else, remember this: You do not have to be perfect to be organized. These are two entirely different things. Being organized means taking charge of your home and your stuff instead of letting it control you. And if I can do this as a far-from-perfect mom with a crazy schedule, then you can too!

Love to the Mamas,

Melissa

Get Organized. Simply Live.