With bins like these…

We live in New England in a 101 year old house and, go-figure, those crazy ancient New Englanders never really considered a play-room option when building their homes.  Thus, we have no place other than our living room for our son and all of his toys to be.  I knew even before he was born that good storage was going to be key to keeping our living room organised.  Thankfully, there are a ton of great options out there, but for today I am focusing on the ubiquitous fabric storage bin.

We currently use these hampers from Land of Nod in both our son's room and in the living room.  We love the color, we love the simplicity and we love that toys are out of sight when in them…but that last point sort of bugs our son as he isn't able to reach the top of the bin to get things out.

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink – Fruit Bowls

Ah dear readers…I have a confession to make.  I can not for the life of me figure out how to store my veggies.  We belong to a CSA during the summer which means that once a week, we get a bounty of produce that I quickly 'process' and for the most part store in the refrigerator until time for consumption…but there are still a few items that boggle my mind.

You see, way back when in the great-counter-clearing-experiment-of-'09 I banished our system of counter-ripening fruit to the pantry cabinet in an ill guided attempt to be one of "those people" who have nothing on their counters.  But while the cool, dry, dark storage was great for my onions and garlic, my apples, bananas* and any other veggies that had shown up for the week did NOT like being hidden in the dark.  No, instead, the cramped quarters caused the ethylene from the apples and bananas to build up even faster over-ripening every piece of produce in a matter of just a day.  I needed to find a better solution.

Until this time, I thought the only option was a hanging basket; which would be the perfect solution if we had someplace to actually hang it where it wouldn't bonk us on the head:
 

Thankfully, there are lots of options out there for counter-top fruit storage.  The key to keep in mind is that every fruit gives off a certain amount of ethylene gasses so it doesn't hurt to separate your produce.  What better way to do that than some pretty bowls?

 

A dessert platter is a great way to get some height on your display and allow you to store more than one fruit in the same footprint:

 

A little more space consuming, but pretty none-the-less; storing your veggies in one layer on a platter is a great statement:

 

Here's a fun, smaller scale basket with great lines that would look pretty in any manner of kitchens.  All this time I thought the all-one-fruit in the basket thing was for aesthetics…but now I know…yup…now I know the truth about ethylene:

 

A small collection of matching wood baskets is a great way to keep 'em separated yet still maintain a coordinated look on your counter…although don't be fooled by this photo…I'm sure those bananas and the apple were ripening that avocado just as fast as the shutter could click:

 

Speaking of coordinated looks…how about these G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S china baskets!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE…but, they're small…good for berries…but not good for the amount of veggies I need to store:

 

Lastly, I found this interesting, fun display idea over at ETSY…I can only imagine what fun the cat would have if I went and displayed every piece of fruit on its own individual stand on the counter…and she doesn't even get up on the counters.

 

The jury is still out on this one for me.  I just don't have that much space on my counter to give up so in my indecision I usually just lay everything out on the counter.  Which takes up just as much space, if not more, on the counter and doesn't look pretty.  It's a vicious circle.

Any one have any magic solutions I haven't thought of yet?

 

* no…our bananas do not come from the CSA; but we have a toddler who loves him a banana so even though they are from a different continent, I still need to purchase and store them

{sources: 1-Organize It; 2, 3, 4-Devine Kitchens; 5-Black and Blum; 6-Peg and Awl; 7-Jayson Home and Garden; 8-A Mischievous Marriage}

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The non-themed theme

The most recent trend in nursery decor seems to be the non-themed room which falls right up my alley.  I am such a huge fan of our spaces having an essence or a feel without banging us over the head with a theme…unfortunately, such blasé-ness isn’t easy to achieve well.  I liken it to being a teenager and working on your hair for ages in the bathroom trying to get that quintessential I-didn’t-try-too-hard-on-my-hair look.

Fortunately, there are some wonderfully inspiring spaces out there to use as a stepping off point:

This one tows the line for me…there isn’t a TRUE theme…but there is a color story.  Regardless, it makes me smile and is fun and vibrant and kid friendly:

I had a wall of mirrors like this in a room of mine when I was just out of college.  Suffice it to say, had I known how great it could look with a collection of vintage, feminine accents, I might not have taken the crowbar to it:

Take away the toys (and oh yeah, the crib) and this entire room could be an adult’s space.  Not a thing screams nursery:

This thoughtfully edited kids room has color and excitement and whimsey and ALL of it could be carted out tomorrow.  It is a great example of making a fun kid’s space without having to commit to painting the room:

I like to imagine we were able to pull off ths non-theme theme in our own nursery below:

What about you?  Do you prefer a theme or a non-theme theme?

{source: 1 – Tara Seawright; 2 – Basil Walter Architects; 3 – Ish and Chi; 4 – Elisabeth Dunker Gothenburg via Design Mom; 5-7 – Miriam Bradford}

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink – Soap Pumps

I know…SOAP PUMPS?  What could be more boring??

But here me out.  You see, a long time ago when I was just out of college and living a particle-board-and-milk-crate-furniture lifestyle, a friend of mine confided in me that it was his personal horror to see dish soap out on the counter.  I was young and impressionable and he was hip and fashionable so from that moment forward I banished my dish soap to the dark, musty area under the sink also known as where-random-cleaning-stuff-goes-to-die.

I lived this dish-soap-free-counter existence for quite some time having also made the decision that I never wanted to ever live somewhere that didn't have a dishwasher.

And then I had a baby and thus the dish-soap-under-the-counter philosophy of kitchen design became a royal pain in the arse – you never realize how annoying it is to go and fetch it everytime you need it until you have bottles and nipples and teethers, etc. et. al. to be cleaned every ten minutes.

(not the worst offender out there stylistically, but still not necesarily kitchen design sensitive)

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Common Household Solutions: Where To Hang Kitchen Towels?

After spotting this image of a Mark Olson-designed kitchen on Desire to Inspire (shout out to two of my favorite bloggers, Kim and Jo!), I noticed something I hadn't ever thought of before: kitchen towel storage! Because I'm in the process of renovating my dream home, I've had function on the brain for more weeks than I'd like to admit and am astounded I hadn't yet thought of where to hang my kitchen towels.

When renovating or re-designing a space on any scale, the questions to ponder are endless: where to keep winter boots? Where will I store my jewelry? Where will the bar of soap go in our shower? It's enough to make my brain explode.

Now, when it comes to kitchen tea towels, I'm of the school of thought that you can never have too many. I rarely keep paper towels handy and almost always opt for clean-up of the cloth and linen variety. So, here's a basic, handy list of creative ways to hang that endless supply of tea towels in your kitchen (and no, the oven handle does not count!):

1. In the image above, you'll see a handy towel bar installed on the kitchen island. I love this idea!
2. Why not DIY a peg board for miscellaneous spatulas and towels to hang beautifully in the open?
3. The ENDO magnet clip can stick to your fridge and hold even the heaviest of tea towels.
4. In the image below (courtesy of Design*Sponge), a simple nail in the wall provides the perfect resting place for a tea towel (or apron!). Or, you know. The oven handle.

What do you think, readers? Where do you hang your kitchen towels?

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