Tuesday, June 4, 2019

How You Can Transform Your Kitchen to Boost Your Meal Prep - by Guest Blogger Alice Robertson


In this new guest article by Miami based professional home organizer Alice Robertson gives you excellent ideas on keeping your kitchen ready for cooking nutritious meals at any time.


It can seem hard to find the time to cook healthy meals. Yet, we know the benefits of eating at home, both for our health and our finances. One way to encourage yourself to get in the kitchen is to make it meal prep-friendly. Here’s how to get started.

Declutter Your Excess

Before you can think about simplifying your kitchen prep, you need to declutter and free up
some space. To begin, ask yourself questions about your current setup. For example, do you use every piece of equipment, or do you have multiple versions of each one? Are they outdated or in disrepair? After you are through with your first clean, it’s time to consider what you can purge. This might include outdated cookbooks, surplus utensils, nearly empty cleaning supplies, and warped baking ware. Likewise, think of anything that is past its expiry date or otherwise useless, such as old spices, burnt oven mitts, or tattered dish towels.

Reorganize for Success

One necessary step to kitchen reorganization is adding creative storage, like wine racks, lid
organizers, stackable drawer organizers, or magnetic kitchen racks you can place wherever
there is space. Similarly, a Lazy Susan makes storing spices a breeze and can help you
arrange cupboards efficiently. You want an intuitive system, so have anything you use
frequently within easy reach, and place goods rarely used high up or in lower cabinets. To add additional accessibility, categorize your foods and label everything, particularly the dates.

Stock Up on Basics

You can further your efforts by stocking up on kitchen staples that last longer and are used
regularly. For instance, hard cheeses, like Parmesan, last for months and can be used in many cooking styles. You need a good fat, so consider butter, as it has a neutral taste, and can be frozen to extend its life. Similarly, broccoli and root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions last long and pair well with many types of cuisine. However, you should also keep your favorite pasta on hand for when you don’t feel like making an elaborate meal. Lastly, don’t overlook basic spices like salt, pepper, garlic, and a good hot sauce to add a kick to dishes.

Where to DIY

Prepping is easier when you have effective storage, some of which you can install yourself.
After all, adding storage can be as simple as creating pegboards and toe-kick drawers.
Pegboards are easy to craft and can even store pans to leave cupboards open for other
cookware. Likewise, toe-kick drawers, while shallow and usually only about three inches deep, provide extra storage for small items you don’t use frequently. They may take up a whole weekend to craft but are a doable project with the right tools.

When to Call in the Pros

Unfortunately, we can’t do everything ourselves. If your projects go over a few hundred dollars, it’s probably time to bring in some professionals. Thanks to their experience, designers can also improve the functionality of your kitchen, as they could, for instance, place the prep area between the stove and sink. In fact, professionals can take the stress out of researching coding, the differences between materials, and just what goes into a successful kitchen organization. Of course, do plenty of research before you select a professional to work on your kitchen.

Cooking doesn’t have to be a burden when you’re prepared. Make sure your kitchen is
optimized, get the professional help you need, and the kitchen fully stocked to make a variety of meals. Eating healthily is vital for wellness, so make a commitment to have better food.

You can reach Alice at alice@tidyhome.info

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Going Green: Eco-Friendly Changes You Can from Guest Blogger Alice Robertson


Today's guest blogger is Miami based professional home organizer Alice Robertson. She's happy to share her ideas on how we can combat climate change by making small adjustments in our own everyday lives.

You can reach Alice at alice@tidyhome.info

Going Green: Eco-Friendly Changes You Can Make at Home


Climate change is a term we hear a lot on the news and read about on social media, but many people don’t fully understand what causes it or how to stop it. While there are many contributing factors to the environmental changes taking place in our world, one of the most devastating is the continued destruction of the ozone layer. The cars we drive, the energy we use, and even the foods we eat all contribute to the buildup of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, which, in turn, cause massive disruptions in climates around the world. It’s important to learn how you can make changes at home and within your community to prevent climate change. 

One of the best ways to start is to do an energy audit on your home. Ask your utility companies for a detailed report on how much gas, electricity, and water you use per month; many companies already give variations on these reports on your monthly bill. Once you know how much you and your family are using, you can make an effort to turn things around. Not only will this help you conserve energy, but it will also save you money at the same time. Keep reading for some great tips on how to make eco-friendly changes at home.

Change Your Light Bulbs
The light bulbs you use can have a major impact on your utility bills and on the amount of energy your household uses. Fortunately, there are many different types of bulbs on the market that are energy-efficient, meaning they’ll bring down your bill and conserve at the same time. Look for LED lights, which will last for up to 10 years, and also consider using more natural light. Open up those blinds during the day, especially in the wintertime, when solar energy can warm up a room and prevent you from having to turn on the heat.

Save Water
Conserving water is important, so look for ways you can keep your entire family from using too much every day. This means installing an energy-efficient shower head, low-flow toilet, and watering your flowers and lawn by hand rather than using a sprinkler system that stays on for several minutes at a time. You can also use a rain barrel -- assuming your county doesn’t have rules against their use -- to catch rainwater for plants, birds, and pets.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Landfills are a major problem in the US when it comes to climate change, so it’s imperative to start looking for ways we can reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as possible. Plastic water bottles and baggies contribute to a staggering amount of daily trash in our country, so by using refillable glass bottles and paper lunch bags, you can do your part without breaking the bank.

Urge Your Community to Change
It’s important not only to make these kinds of changes in your own home but also to look for ways your community can do better. If your county doesn’t provide recycling pickup, write to your representatives and ask for their help in securing bins for each neighborhood. Talk to your neighbors about conserving energy; often, you can get an idea of how much they’re using from your utility companies (which compare similar homes in the area).

Going green may sound like a big job, and in many ways, it is. However, it doesn’t have to be a stressful undertaking. Look for small ways you can begin, and start a conversation with your family members, neighbors, and government about how everyone can do better.

Photo: courtesy of Pixabay.com.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Traditional decor with a modern twist - Fearless Decorator Feature: Ashley Whittaker Design

New York based Ashley Whittaker's sophisticated interiors are traditional with a modern twist. She uses playful, patterned fabrics, bold wallcoverings, and lively colours to add a contemporary touch to her classic decor, creating timeless design.

The beautiful Chinoiserie wallpaper and the lively colours make this room really cheerful. Image: Ashley Whittaker Design
I love the lacquered wall with the panting and the vibrant pattern on the chairs! Image: Ashley Whittaker Design

This room is so sophisticated with the various shades of gray accented with analogous colours! Image: Ashley Whittaker Design

Nice colour combination that gives you a bit of a country feel. Image: Ashley Whittaker Design

Such a rich colour on the cabinets! The marble texture anchors the small pattern in the cabinets nicely. Image: Ashley Whittaker Design

Coral and spring green is always a fresh colour combination! Image: Ashley Whittaker Design
Gorgeous design with the Maharani wallpaper from Osborne & Little. Image: Ashley Whittaker Design
Image: Ashley Whittaker Design


Beautiful Chinoiserie powder room. Image: Ashley Whittaker Design

Rich golds with the Clarence House Tibet wallpaper. Image: Ashley Whittaker Design

I love the rich yet fresh colour combo in this room! Image: Ashley Whittaker Design

This room is just so calming. Image: Ashley Whittaker Design

Beautiful botanical collage wall against the spring green paint. Image: Ashley Whittaker Design

Image: Ashley Whittaker Design


xo Judit



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

How to Mix Patterns Skillfully - Fearless Decorator Feature: Charlotte Lucas

North Carolina based Charlotte Lucas is know for her stunning interiors and is often featured in publications like Elle Decor. She mixes patterns skillfully and adds touches whimsy and one-of-a-kind objects to create lively interiors. Besides her work as an interior designer I really like her renderings as well.

I love the painting and the energy it gives to the pastels! Image from Charlotte Lucas Design
It's amazing to see the rendering and the actual room side by side! Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

The finished room. Wallpaper by Cole and Son, Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

Image from Charlotte Lucas Design
Image from Charlotte Lucas Design. Photo by@comerford.erin Art by@hidellbrooks 

Photo by @laureywglenn, Wallpaper by Hermes, Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

Wallpaper by Schumacher, Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

Fun and colourful powder room with elephants. Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

Beautiful analogous colour scheme in this room. Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

Another vibrant analogous colour scheme! Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

Wallpaper by Schumacher, Image from Charlotte Lucas Design
Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

I adore red capped cranes, and this is such a beautiful combination of wallpaper and artwork! Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

Wallpaper Cole and Son, Image from Charlotte Lucas Design

xo, Judit

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Green Cleaning tips from Professional Organizer Alice Robertson

Today's guest blogger is Miami based professional home organizer Alice Robertson. She's happy to share some of her green cleaning tips along with some useful ideas on how we can recycle items that should not end up in a landfill.

You can reach Alice at alice@tidyhome.info


Eco-Friendly Disposal: Tips for Green Decluttering and Cleaning
by Alice Robertson 
As North-Americans, we’ve been raised to believe that more is better and to be proud of our belongings and the financial and social status they reflect. However, in recent years, developments in the environment, and the economy have taught us, that we would be well-served to temper those expectations a bit and think sustainably and conservationally. An increasingly large number of us have done just that. The “green” movement has raised the consciousness of many who once had no thought of how their belongings might impact the environment and turn the “bigger is better” ethos on its head.

Consequently, we are more concerned with downsizing, , living responsibly and taking care of the environment. When it comes to decluttering one’s home, doing it the eco-friendly way today makes a great deal of sense from both a personal and an environmental standpoint. If you’re looking to minimize your environmental footprint, consider these suggestions:

Electronics
Electronic appliances represent one of the largest sources of household clutter, certainly from a square footage standpoint. Figuring out what to do with things such as old microwaves and washers and dryers can be difficult, inconvenient and time-consuming, which discourages some homeowners from taking steps to get rid of them. If your old electronics are still functional, or can be repaired, think of donating as a form of recycling. Shelters for the homeless and abused children can usually use this kind of aid, as can charitable organizations including Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Or, locate your local electronics recycling center and have your items hauled away. Some appliances retailers offer services to help homeowners dispose of electronics responsibly.

Clothing
Clothing represents a significant amount of landfill waste on an annual basis. Unless your leftover clothing is damaged or unusable, bear in mind that hospitals and shelters are always in need of clothing for people of all ages. Or, you could take your excess clothing to a consignment store, or hold a yard sale and try to sell it. Either way, you’ll be doing the environmentally responsible thing by reducing a major source of pollution.
Bedding and mattresses also add substantially to America’s landfill overflow problem and should be taken to a textile recycling facility. It can take decades for a mattress to break down naturally. In the meantime, the flame-retardant chemicals in mattresses gradually leach into the local groundwater supply. Don’t let your old mattress become one of the 20 million mattresses that end up in landfills each year. Look for ways to recycle or refurbish your old mattress the next time you upgrade to a new one.
Toiletries and medications
Many of the chemicals found in beauty products are pollutants and simply throwing them away is definitely not an eco-friendly act. Switching to makeup products made of natural ingredients is one effective way to avoid adding known chemical pollutants to the ecosystem. For the same reason, old prescription medications should never be thrown out or flushed down the toilet.
Into the cloud
Photos, documents and loose papers can cause a significant clutter problem if left to simply pile up. Utilize digital technology by scanning photos and documents and store them in the cloud, where they can be organized and maintained safely with no fear of being lost.
Eco-friendly cleaning
Once you’ve decluttered each room, it’ll be easier to keep them clean, but avoid using traditional commercial cleaning products, which contain an array of harmful chemicals like formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds, which have been found in plug-in room fresheners, a popular item among many homeowners. Instead, substitute essential oils in diffusers throughout the home. Baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice are excellent natural cleaning substances.
Most people are anxious to get through the decluttering process as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, that can make it tempting to take the easy route and just send our environmentally damaging refuse to the landfill. Getting rid of all that pesky material can be done in an eco-friendly manner. It just takes a little knowledge and a determination to protect nature.

Photo: courtesy of Pixabay.com.




Tuesday, December 18, 2018

How to bring a touch of savanna style into your home - Fearless Decorator Feature: Veronica Solomon

Veronica Solomon of Casa Vilora believes that everyone has their own definition of luxury, and she collaborates with her clients until their dream is realized. She is known for her eclectic and bold interiors that are full of pattern and colour. Looking through her extensive portfolio, I noticed that she uses animal skin and fur patterns masterfully to create vibrant and sophisticated interiors.

Blue leopard print pillow mixed with bold geometric and Chinoiserie patterns against white creating a crisp decor. Image: veronicasolomon.com

The zebra rug creates an exciting vibrant floor that's cooled down with the blue couches and chairs. The zebra pillows tie in nicely with the rug. Image: veronicasolomon.com

Snake skin pattern console with leopard pattern pillows. Image: veronicasolomon.com
Fun leopard print chairs with coral and teal colour accents. I love the addition of the coil baskets under the table. Image: veronicasolomon.com

Beautiful African coil bowls displayed on the wall and with a simplified Moroccan zellige pattern pillow. Image: veronicasolomon.com

Crocodile skin pattern table with earth tones and touches of blue. The blue accents and the swirl pattern of the rug along with the beautiful abstract painting reminds me of water. Image: veronicasolomon.com

Crocodile skin pattern table with earth tones and touches of blue. The blue accents and the swirl pattern of the rug along with the beautiful abstract painting reminds me of water. Image: veronicasolomon.com


The zebra rug and the golden antelope table legs create a beautiful safari style int his room. Image: veronicasolomon.com

I love the Chinoiserie fabric and the bug pattern pillow. They're fun, unexpected additions to the savanna style. Image: veronicasolomon.com

Another snake skin pattern console with antelope and zebra figures. Image: veronicasolomon.com
Blue zebra pattern rug with a glass table that has golden antelope legs. Accented with colourful Chinoiserie fabric. Image: veronicasolomon.com 

Tiger stripes on the couch and antelope horn shaped figures create a savanna vibe. The wooden carved seating brings images of trees and tall golden grass into mind. Image: veronicasolomon.com

This vignette doesn't have any animal skin patterns, but I loved the colours and the mixing of patterns. :-) Image: veronicasolomon.com

The same with this room, I just loved the paintings with those chairs, so I had to post it! Image: veronicasolomon.com

xo, Judit

Thursday, December 13, 2018

How to use colours skillfully in your interiors - Fearless Decorator Feature: Katie Ridder


It was hard to decide what to include in this post! Looking through Katie's portfolio was such a joy, like turning over the pages of a beautiful book just to be greeted with beautiful colour combinations and layers of pattern with every turn. Harmonious analogous colour schemes accented with a complementary colour for impact and for added fun, beautiful Chinoiserie patterns combined with bold geometrics and the use of beautiful wallcoverings and fabrics characterize the interiors of New York based Katie Ridder. She often included in the list of top designers in publications like House Beautiful and Elle Decor.

I love this beautiful triadic colour scheme where the chartreuse green and turquoise are paired with a deep burgundy for accents, and the whole room is grounded and framed by earthy warm grays and browns.
Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
The primary colours red, yellow and blue create a lot of excitement in this design and the shades of blue paired with green tones it down enough to make it gorgeous!
Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com

The primary colours red, yellow and blue create a lot of excitement in this design and the shades of blue paired with green tones it down enough to make it gorgeous!
Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
A beautiful example of an analogous colour scheme, the blues and greens creating a harmonious look which is accented with white. Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
I love the warm colour scheme of this room and how the abstract painting stays in the focal point.
Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com

The red and blue paired create a vibrant and playful room!
Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
This room is so calm and serene. The analogous coral, pink and yellow are accented with greens. Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com

Another example of beautiful coral tones paired with green and turquoise creating a fresh split complementary colour scheme. Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
Another example of beautiful coral tones paired with green and turquoise creating a fresh split complementary colour scheme. Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
I love the mood of this blue room. It's bright and calming at the same time. Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
Lavender walls create such a calm room, even with the excitement of the zebra pattern rug! Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
Wallpapered powder rooms always make a statement! I love how the colour of the fern matches the birds in the wallpaper design. Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
A beautiful bohemian decor. Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com

The painting and the orange seating create such a cohesive room!
Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
Sophisticated and warm at the same time! Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
This lively colour scheme creates such a cozy little nook. I always love pink and green together, because the colour combination reminds me of spring! Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
If the previous image was spring, then this one must be summer! Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com
I love Eastern influences in decor and I'm a huge sucker for cranes! Image: Katie Ridder www.katieridder.com


 xo, Judit