Guess what I did yesterday?


Here's another hint...

Cleaned out my closet. Yep. It's that time of year to make way for spring and summer clothes.

And umm no, my closet doesn't even compare to the beauties pictured above:) And it was no where near as fun as SJP and friends had cleaning out her closet while popping champagne! (note to self -- next time).

So, before I began this "painful-to-me" task I contacted my good friend Kristin Van Dusen of design + conquer to get some tips to make this brutal task more efficient and dare I say more enjoyable and ... Guess what?

She delivered! So, of course I had to share her tips with you and I'm thrilled to have her guest post today. Take it away, Kristin...

Kristin Van Dusen, Certified Professional Organizer.

Hi! Kristin Van Dusen from design + conquer here!

Closet giving you trouble?

No problem just follow these tips and you'll have this task conquered in no time!

Look at the current set up of your closet and begin removing everything by section.  Use your bed and bedroom floor space as a staging area to divide everything into 5 categories:

1. Keep
2. Donate
3. Consign (if you want – otherwise combine with donate)
4. Action (take to dry cleaners, needs to be fixed, etc.)
5. Come back to later

Don’t spend longer than 30 seconds trying to decide which category to put something into.  If you get locked up just put it in the “come back to later” pile and re-visit it after you have gone through everything else.

Beware of keeping items for emotional reasons.  When you keep an item for emotional reasons, every time you see this item you have a sub-conscious mental dialogue with yourself that stirs up various negative feelings. From guilt (“I can’t get rid of this – my mom gave it to me”) to foolishness (“I can’t believe I wasted so much money on this”) to just plain feeling bad about yourself (“I used to be able to fit into this”).  That’s a whole lot of negative mental chatter every time you enter your closet. 

Once you have narrowed down your keep pile (remember only those things that make you feel good when you wear them!) sort them by category- shirts, pants, dresses, jeans, suits, etc.

Hangers are everything!  Be sure you have wooden hangers for coats/suits, satin padded for delicate items, and slimline hangers for everything else

slimline hangers here

Once everything is out of the closet and sorted, it’s time to clean the closet.  At a minimum use a damp cloth and a vacuum.  If you’re really motivated you can even slap on a fresh coat of paint.

Before you start putting things back into your closet, take the time to really think about how you use the space.  Stand in the empty (and clean!) closet and think about how you would like it to function for you. Don’t put items back in the same place just because you’re used to seeing them there.  Think about flow and efficiency – things you wear frequently should be towards the front of  your closet - off season or infrequently worn items go towards the back. If you have double hung rods, consider if you are more comfortable looking up or down and hang your go-to items accordingly.

As you begin to put your sorted clothes back in, it’s worth it to take the extra few minutes to refine each category a bit more by how you wear them .  For example, break your shirts down into those for work, those you wear casually, and those for a night out on the town.  If you’re feeling particularly inspired you can even sort these new groups by color.

For items such as sweaters that are better folded, you can put them on a shelf with dividers, you can place them in a hanging canvas bag or use an acrylic sweater drawer from The ContainerStore.   I use these multi-purpose drawers ALL THE TIME as they come in a variety of sizes (shoe, shirt, sweater, etc.).

 For extra shoes that don’t fit on a shelf, a cubby or an over the door shoe organizer – or for those shoes that you don’t wear often, the shoe drawers are easy to use.  You can even pop a picture of the shoe right on the face of the drawer so that if it is on a high shelf it’s easy to see what you have.  The large sweater drawers are also great used in conjunction with dividers to break the space up … think of storing accessories like belts, clutches, etc. in here.

A lot of people like to display their jewelry – and let’s face it, some of the pieces are so beautiful they really are art!  Use a collection of hooks, frames, a pegboard … whatever works best to display what you have.

Organizing your closet can be a daunting task … use these tips to keep yourself motivated and moving along.  Before you know it, your closet will be one of your favorite spaces to spend time in!

Thanks Kristin! xoxo - you really are a life-saver! If you want more information on Kristin and design + conquer you can contact her here!

 Random Thoughts


Also impressed again  by this ... I mean really ... how does she do it?

What a difference. Go here to learn more. This chick Cara needs to come to my house and transform me. Like Tonight.

Before I go here. You're coming tonight right?

 If you liked this post please tell your friends and share it on facebook! Subscribe via email and follow me on twitter!! xoxo

Three Indestructible Design Elements You Can't Live Without!

Now there are way more than three that I use but I thought this was a good jumping off point and a great way for you to come back and read more posts. If you have kids age 4 or 40, or kids of the cute and furry variety this post is for you!

Natural Fiber Rugs

There are so many fun choices for area rugs these days, but I still love natural fiber rugs.  These rugs add texture, are durable, and rarely compete with anything else in a room. Also, I may have a slight addiction to layering a smaller geometric, shag or over-dyed rug on top, under a coffee table, or on an angle to add an extra layer of oomph. 

After ten years of experimenting with everything from jute to sisal to seagrass. I have decided the half-panama seagrass is my fiber of choice. 

It's super easy to clean and has a very neutral look. I use seagrass under my kitchen table so it has to be custom made and extremely durable. 

I buy my custom seagrass rugs at Natural Area Rugs which you can buy here. They are reasonably priced and are quick to ship. Because of the low price point, if the rug gets destroyed I never get the guilts about replacing it. Don't like the texture of these fiber rugs? They also carry wool versions.

And by the way, if you are still coveting the diamond pattern Stark natural fiber rug Pottery Barn is now carrying this rug. You can buy it here.

I beg of you, before you make a decision on natural fiber rugs I highly recommend you read this article here by Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home. This is the most thorough article I have ever seen on the subject. Ever. And as a bonus she is an amazing designer. 

Indoor/Outdoor Fabric

I use indoor/outdoor fabrics for high traffic areas in my house. Why you ask?
Do you know this guy?
I can't seem to shake him.  He has a keen sense of knowing when his older siblings leave a sharpie laying around. Did you know sharpies come in this shade of aubergine? Neither did I until I saw it all over his head.  In addition, he graffitied all over my newly upholstered leopard ottoman. 

It's a good thing that ottoman was covered in an indoor/outdoor fabric or else someone would have been in time-out for a really long time and not sucking on a lollipop (see above)  like he doesn't have sharpie all over his face.

Incident number two:
My entryway chair is covered in 100% silk fabric. It was BEAUTIFUL until someone who shall remain nameless came in and placed their wet boots and coat on my chair. Gulp. That was the end of that. RIP beautiful chair.

Let me stop and share something with you here ... these are just possessions and there are much bigger problems in life so I don't freak out that much about these types of things. I just try to avoid any possible heart pumping incidents.

Indoor/outdoor fabrics come in so many different styles, textures and patterns now. What's great about these fabrics? You can clean them with mild detergent and water (each manufacturer will have their own instructions). 

The mother of all indoor/outdoor fabrics is Sunbrella.

Lily Pulitzer which can be bought here at Aubusson Home.

Trina Turk for Schumacher is another company that carries these durable fabrics as well. If you look around you will find one that can work for your project.



Abstract Art

Abstracts are my new obsession. I love art and really feel that art makes your home special and meaningful. 

Art is many different things to many different people. Whether its a flea market treasure, home goods find, a large blown up picture of your child, a painting your grandfather did or a commissioned piece from a local or nationally know artist. Art is the cherry on top of your sundae. Your house just isn't complete without it. 
I love abstracts because many of the rooms I decorate are filled with traditional pieces and I believe you need to go a little crazy sometimes and mix it up. I love the juxtaposition of traditional with modern, shiny with distressed, and antique with contemporary for that matter. It's so important in my opinion to vary your design elements. But, if you don't trust me check out some of these lovelies. 


Honey Collins Interiors
Jamie Meares from Lonny Magazine
Lucy Williams Interiors
And by the way if a sharpie makes its way onto one of these pieces... frankly, who the heck would notice? Hence, indestructible.

OK , Now Onto Totally Random Stuff

Heading to NYC soon for the weekend with a girlfriend of mine. We are staying in the village know, where all the girls are like 7ft tall, looking all modelly and stuff. My friend and I are going to try and look at least 5'4 and dress cool.

Well, this friend of mine gave me a few tips on how to get that natural makeup look and I thought I'd share because I swear they kinda work.

Now, mind you this is not Kardashian type makeup. This is more like Kristen Wiig from Bridesmaids when she wakes up next to John Hamm and says " Oh, I just wake up like this". Remember that line? No? Turn on HBO its probably on...

Have you ever used this stuff?

Horrible name but awesome concealer. You're supposed to put it under your eyes, on your chin, forehead and a line down your nose to "contour". Try it. You can buy it here.

How about this mascara from Clinique?

Works great so natural and NEVER smudges. I LOVE this stuff for everyday. You can buy it here.

One last item from drugstore...

Spray a little on your hands rub on your face and it gives your skin a natural glow. love it. You can buy it at your local drug store. Don't be afraid to use.  You will NOT turn orange. 

Last random item, this image from from Kay Douglas at the Splendid Sass... I am in love.

Oh my God! You're still reading this? good for you .....
If you like what you see contact me at and we will make your home both indestructible and beautiful at the same time!