How To Organize Your Home (Cont'd)

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Subtitle:  Less Things More Life

The little country of Norway is known for furniture styles that are sleek, clean and minimalistic. I recently
learned a wonderfully-interesting fact about this Country. The "people" who study on country's citizens' contentment levels in life and lifestyle report that Norway tops these scales..... Hummm ..

Ahhhh . . . . .

A lovely Norwegian woman (sorry, didn't catch the name), said, succinctly,  "Less Things, More Life."

It makes my back and shoulders relax!

A cluttered environment can greatly affect one's serenity and sense of calm.

The green pedestal tray in the kitchen
photograph is a DIY, simply a painted
candlestick glued to a large plate. It has
a small towelette that conveniently both
fits the kitchen theme and is functional
eliminating messy soap scum spots.
Containers or trays can be DIY, thrift
shop, Pottery Barn or Container Store.

A few fun notes about reducing clutter are:

  1. Is this item something I use regularly?
  2. If not, is it something I love?
  3. Am I keeping this out of obligation or expectation?
  4. Am I holding onto this because I think I should love it?
  5. Am I saving this just in case?
  6. Do I have multiples of the same thing?
  7. Could something else I own do the same job?
  8. Am I holding onto a broken item to fix one day?
  9. Is this item worth the time I spend cleaning / storing it ?
  10. Could I use this space for something else?

We can create a serene look with our necessary household and home items in ways such as gathering 'smalls' on a platter (such as on the kitchen pedestal tray) or, again, in the bathroom area, gathering smalls on a mirror or silver tray.  Baskets in the closet (photo at right) for scarves, accessories, etc. accomplish this also.  Be on the lookout for containers, they can be thrift store or Pottery Barn, or The Container Store.

A practical tip:  when organizing, use all levels, both horizontal and vertical (such as the baskets of purses and scarves). Clearing items off your vital horizontal levels (kitchen and bathroom counters, kitchen tables, desks, etc.) makes for easier cleaning, easier to maintain ~ and ~ a less cluttered look.

A serene look.

The more stuff we have that clutters our lives literally and figuratively = the less actual space we have to enjoy our lives.  (Well, the very-content-in-life Norwegians think so!)

For more small space decorating, see below.
Ideas For Decorating Small Spaces
Housing Trends: Good Use Of Space & Green
Carrie's Apartment - Was Hollywood True?
Decorating My Home Journal Entry:  My Studio Apartment (Small, Temporary, Pretty)

For more organizing ideas, see below.
Decorating For Serenity, More Things, Less Life
Organizing For Tranquility And Creativity Pinterest Board

Zucchini Oven Fries Bonus Recipe

Got zuccini?  Make the most of this prolific veggie, with easy and healthy main side dishes, such as Zuccini Oven Fries.

  1. Slice zucchini into 3" by 1/2" sticks. 
  2. Dip into beaten egg (or egg substitute), then into seasoned breadcrumbs.
  3. Spritz a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  4. Place sticks on baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, turning zucchini fries after 15 minutes.
From SparkPeople, Guest Blogger, Bryn Mooth

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Hollywood Glam Meets Paris Hotel, In San Fran

A third generation San Franciscan, Lynn Goldfinger-Abram has memories of elegance of a bygone era, the Fairmont and the Palace Hotel were grander than grand. Those days when you made a shopping trip to Downtown Union Square you wore your best dress and your white gloves.

She has incorporated those memories in her design style, a Paris Hotel with a modern twist, meets Hollywood glamour. Lynn has no formal design background, but she knows how to do bold indulgence. Her store, Paris Hotel Boutique, located in San Francisco is utterly delicious. I love this woman; good for her!

In recreating elements of some of San Francisco's past grand moments, she's created a beautiful mix and consistency. The use and re-use of materials such as the glass blocks, the black and white colors, and the over the top twists of modern and Hollywood have made for a high drama, visually stimulating home.
Lynne is quoted saying her biggest indulgence with respect to her home is fresh flowers and fancy candles.
Frankly I love how she indulges on an everyday basis in the creation of real beauty. If anywhere we should indulge, our home is it.

To view a slideshow of Lynn's home, click here. Photos courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

Paris Hotel Boutique - unique vintage silver, furnishings, and souvenirs hand selected by Lynn Goldfinder-Abram. She also has an awesome blog.

Ideas For Decorating Small Spaces

Following are some ideas on creating beauty and function in small apartments or homes.

Learning to see is a most important tip.  When you are seeing your space, avoid the predictable.  Small spaces require you to be pliable with your thinking process.

Divide areas into smaller areas and make your own rooms. The dining room photo, left, from ApartmentTherapy is just a small part of a larger area, but by the arrangement of the various dining room elements, a dining room was created. The mirror helps distinguish the vignette, it adds drama and presence. The wine bottles display, the table, chairs etc. reinforce the dining area's liveliness while the table lamp provides a touch of intimacy.

Adapt. Adapt, Adapt. Think outside the box. The photo at right shows an antique secretary can serve as a desk or it can also be storage. If it has glass doors, it can be both storage and display; fold the towels, or roll them into a appealing shape, add a small vase and framed photo or art. You have a functional thing of beauty.

Play around with the things you have, push them, prod them. When your groupings or areas work, you'll know.

Mix it up, use casual with formal. Consider your living space like painting on a blank canvas or assembling an outfit. You are building your look.

Form and function are a beautiful team. Place your costume jewelry in a pattern on a side table. Arrange your olive tea bottles, tea tins and boxed foods so they look wonderful. Play dress up; hang your shawl or your collection of hats on the wall the same as you would any art.

Use your walls! Go verticle. Hang mirrors, artwork hang anything. Check out the photo at left from House Beautiful - don't forget you can go casual or alternative. . . . lean artwork (or an oversized mirror) against a wall or against a bookshelf.

Welcome To New Mexico, Now Create

Article From The New York Times

"FROM a distance they looked like any other tourists at the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico, trudging through a muddy, slushy January landscape in black boots and black parkas with cameras and video cameras in hand. But from the snatches of conversation you could tell they were artists of one sort or another.
"Passing by some adobe homes, Wael Shawky from Alexandria, Egypt, reflected on the importance of mud in buildings in rural Egypt and in his own large-scale installations. Nadine Robinson from New York and Scott Lyall from Toronto discussed the shape of the dwellings, debating whether Frank Lloyd Wright ever achieved such harmony with nature. And the Australian artist Nick Mangan asked around to see how much the mud bricks used to make an adobe oven cost, and where he might buy them.
"Then someone zoomed in for a close-up of a crumpled beer can in the snow, a photograph that may or may not end up in a work of art.
"These tourists had not come to New Mexico on vacation but on something of a creative mission: to develop site-specific projects for the 2008 Site Santa Fe Biennial, works that will be installed either in the exhibition’s 15,000-square-foot main gallery or around town this summer. "
To read this entire article, click here, Welcome to New Mexico. Now Create, New York Times

For More Info:
Site Santa Fe Seventh International Biennial Lucky Number Seven,
SITE Santa Fe Biennial Site, Artnet.Magazine

Design Meets Function - Meets Green - Meets Beauty, And A 'Well Done' In SF

When design successfully meets function, you've done a good job. When it also creates an object of beauty, you've done your job really well. San Francisco's community leaders with Arquitectonica have done just that. Trinity Place, the largest apartment development complex to be built in San Francisco since the post-World-War II era replaces a beleaguered, rent-controlled apartment building. Boasting 1,900 apartment units, one third being rent controlled, Trinity Place is a six building, high functioning development complex and a well designed one.
What was once a nasty hotel and later a 360 rent-control units apartment building was demolished and in its place is a new complex, providing 360 rent-controlled units - replacing the old rent-controlled units on a one-for-one basis. At completion, it will boast 1,900 apartment units, with one-third being rent-controlled or priced below the market rate.
An ample and beautiful courtyard is designed to be:

* the center of social interaction
* the source of light and air for internally oriented units
* the green lung or purifier, cleansing the air of dust and toxins
* provider of a natural environment among man made structures
* a quiet place away from the streets

The buildings' roof lines, along with the structures' facades with breakaways, will descend diagonally from 24 to 17 stories - maximizing sunlight in open spaces. The main exterior consists of a mix of glass, beige-colored concrete and silvered metal panels which is accented by vertical metal fins and punched window openings. The shadows which are created by the recessed openings, form a repetitive, organized pattern which maximizes all of the construction elements and cut outs. The subtle treatment of the buildings and of its storefronts, optimizes the enjoyment of the Bay area's unique streets.
San Francisco boasts many assets, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square with its cable car. Trinity Place is an example of good urban planning and it is another asset for the popular city.