Office Makeover: On the Search for a Credenza

One of the biggest design challenges in the new room is working around the lack of storage. As you know, we nixed all of our closet space in favor of a second full bath in the house, so we’ve been getting creative around here on what can be stored where and what can be downsized.

Part of the functioning space of the office/guestroom is for it to be my art room as well. So the office will need to cleverly house a sewing machine, fabric swatches, paint + charcoal + pastel supplies, yarn for knitting, etc. The solution? A super large credenza for the opposite side of the room across from the desk.

And so the Craigslist/swap meet/thrift store search was on. My only criteria was that the new credenza needed to have strong bones (a sturdy, wooden piece that would make for a long lasting addition) as well as plenty of shelving or doors for storage. That, plus the more over-sized the better – at least 70″ (your traditional credenza/buffet is about 60″ long, so that was a challenge).

After finding plenty of furniture that was too small, too expensive or in too terrible of shape, I stumbled upon this Craigslist posting:

The size was just right at 72″ long, and the clean lines had a mid-century modern flair (especially those legs!). The drawers, door and shelving would offer plenty of storage, and a cabinet maker’s stamp on the inside of the drawer confirmed that she was well-built with solid wood and strong bones. She came home with me for $135 cash – what a steal!

Right now I’m imagining a little TLC involving paint + some kind of pattern in those great open shelves + pretty hardware:

I’m feeling a weekend project coming on… she should be up and running in no time!

For more Office Makeover posts, check out: new trim, dining table-to-deska new desk & bookshelves, installing remnant carpeting, grasscloth wallpaper, painting the office nookfinding carpet for the office, chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300, inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.

Kitchen Update: A Sticky Situation + A Neat Feature

Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend! We spent Monday relaxing, having lunch with friends and visiting the park. Such a great way to spend the day off!

Here’s a quick fix that I finished up yesterday too – a solution to our slippery slidey kitchen cushions that may just swoop out from right under you when you sit down.

You may have noticed when we added the cushions (from this great fabric) that I decided not to add ties for around the barstool backs.

I don’t really love the look of ties (though they are so practical) and I wanted to keep the lines modern.

But… those darn seats slide up and off all the time. I didn’t think I would mind so much, but it’s kind of annoying.

So when I came across these picture frame velcro fasteners at a Joann’s, I thought I’d give it a whirl. These are built for securely fastening objects like frames to walls, and I figured if they’re strong enough to hold a picture, they should be strong enough to hold cushions on a chair (even with the weight of a person sliding forward or back).

Plus, when you’re ready to remove them from the wood of the chair, a little soap and suds is supposed to take them right off.

The seat of the barstool reieved a fastener on the top and each side, then the sticky end came off and the cushion was applied directly to the top of the sticky velcro. I pressed down on each cushion-to-velcro piece for at least 30 seconds to ensure a very tight stick.

So far so good! This velcro is strong! I attempted the above with just two pieces for a cushion and that wasn’t as secure, four may be even better.

In other news, these cushions made it to the Quadrille gallery! You can imagine my excitement when the marketing director asked me if they could post an image of our kitchen in their gallery (along side my favorite magazines and designers):

Woohoo! Made my day.

Have a great Tuesday!

Going Green: Say No to Nursery Diaper ‘Smells’

Hey all you cloth diaper mammas, this post is for you. This is a little tip I discovered after searching for solutions to get rid of that ammonia smell that comes with the diaper territory. Every nursery, whether using disposables or cloth, deals with diapers and diaper odors (blah) – but the disposable diaper market offers a host of great solutions while cloth diapering is a little behind.

You might remember that when we started this whole cloth diaper thing over six months ago, I had outfitted our nursery with the recommended supplies:

Cloth Diaper Diapering ToolsWet/dry bag for dirty cloth diapers, smaller bag for on the go, and Charlie’s Soap for washing. We still use that great, Planet Wise zippered small bag (have two now, actually) for the diaper bag, but have made updates to our washing routine and diaper pail.

First, we’ve switched over to Tide for cleaning (Charlie’s Soap is great, Tide is a little more readily available and in the BIG cartons).

Second, I converted a traditional diaper pail to function as a cloth diaper pail. Here’s the old set up:

And the new Diaper Champ lined with a Thirsties Pail Liner:

The wet/dry bag worked well. But it wasn’t perfect. So I went on a hunt to create a smell-proof solution for the nursery and came up with only a handful of traditional pails that let you deposit one diaper in at a time (without lifting the entire pail lid and getting a smell ‘blast’) while also allowing for a reusable bag. The Diaper Champ was the solution. You pull back the handle and deposit diaper in the top, flip the handle and the diaper drops into the lower area where the liner is.

I’m so happy with this set up that I’ve invested in two Diaper Champs, when one fills up it makes its way out to the garage (and next to our laundry machine) while the other takes its place. When CD laundry day comes (twice a week), I pull the entire bag out and empty it into the machine, throwing in the bag as well. Sometimes I don’t even use the liner in the pail and just give it a good wipe with a rag to clean it out (since we fold up all diapers after changings, the inside of the pail doesn’t ever get messy).

The only times now that you get a bit of that diaper smell in our nursery is if I don’t swap out a full pail quickly enough. Other than that, problem solved!

For an update on how our CD adventure is going, check out this post. And for more on our family’s efforts to ‘Go Green’, try this link.

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