Make Organizing ‘Real Simple’ With This Book

Make Organizing 'Real Simple' With This Book

Now that it’s spring, I almost feel like we’re letting our house down if we don’t start in on a major cleaning project. The word “cleaning” is practically synonymous with “spring” and I’m honestly a pretty big fan of the concept. I’ve always loved to clean and feel like a million (and one!) bucks when it’s done, but lately I’ve felt like my methods have gotten a little stale.

My basic spring cleaning checklist looks a little like this: scrub down the kitchen counters and backsplash, deep clean the bathrooms top to bottom, dust all the wood surfaces and shelves, wash the windows, wipe down mirrors until they shine, and I also love giving the carpets and rugs a little refresh by sprinkling them with baking soda and then vacuuming everything up.

It’s a process that works, but I can’t help but wonder if I’m missing something by just doing the “same old, same old” each time spring rolls around.

Make Organizing 'Real Simple' With This Book

Make Organizing 'Real Simple' With This Book

I don’t review books all that often here on the blog, although I actually receive quite a few of them in press packages (one of the perks of being a blogger, I guess!). Every now and then, though, a really good one shows up at our door, and the book I’m going to chat about today is one of those really good ones.

It’s called The Real Simple Method To Organizing Every Room—and, yes, it’s by that ‘Real Simple.’ The magazine has always been a favorite of mine, and their new organizing book is just as good as you’d imagine if you agree with that statement.

I took it with me to flip through during a road trip out of town last month (when I was in the passenger seat, of course), and was immediately entranced. The pictures are really gorgeous (read: motivating), but the checklists and guides are what really made me feel like it was worth telling you guys about.

Make Organizing 'Real Simple' With This Book

Make Organizing 'Real Simple' With This Book

The cool thing about the book is that it doesn’t appeal to just one type of homeowner (renter vs. owner, large vs. small space), but instead gives suggestions for any type of house and lifestyle.

There are monthly cleaning checklists for each type of room, simple hacks to simplify everyday to-do’s (like opening and closing your draperies every now and then to help keep dust at bay—just vacuum up what falls down!), decorating ideas for practically every corner of a house including closets, and interviews with professional organizers, too.

Make Organizing 'Real Simple' With This Book

This post isn’t sponsored, by the way. I was just that impressed with the book after digging into it, and thought this ‘spring cleaning’ season was the perfect time to mention it in case you’ve been looking to revamp your own organizing strategy. Grab a copy of the book here, and feel free to let me know in the comments below if you have clever spring cleaning tricks that you’d be willing to share!

Make Organizing 'Real Simple' With This Book

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Weekend Inspiration: No. 52

*This post is sponsored by AVA Grace Vineyards.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 52

Guess what?! Dream Green DIY turns eight years old today! I’m so excited to kick off the weekend with this milestone in mind, and have lots of big plans to make sure I celebrate the occasion right.

Of course, I’ll be raising a toast or two to my eighth year as an entrepreneur (my new favorite springtime wine varietals are called out in the list below), I have tickets to the symphony, and I might just bake myself a big strawberry pie as a final treat. Keep scrolling for more inspiration in case you’re celebrating something big this weekend, too!

Weekend Inspiration: No. 52

1. I couldn’t possibly start celebrating without first saying a HUGE thanks to all of you. Dream Green DIY wouldn’t exist without your incredible support, enthusiasm, and visits, so from the bottom of my heart…thank you…You have literally made my dreams come true, and I hope I can return the favor with many more years of inspiring ideas, projects, and posts!

2. I was recently introduced to wine from this vineyard, and can’t get enough of their Chardonnay and Rosé—perfect for spring! BONUS: Watch my Instagram Stories today for must-taste wine notes from those two bottles.

3. These are still my favorite wine glasses for special occasions.

4. Want to try a version of my strawberry pie in your own house this weekend? I always start with this recipe, but instead of using the water it calls for, I use 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the Rosé wine I linked to above. I actually tend to double the recipe to make two pies at once, and freeze the second one for later in the season. Delicious!

5. With eight years worth of up-all-nights and deadlines under my belt as I keep this “one woman show” running, I definitely plan to take some much-deserved time off in our living room with nothing but that aforementioned glass of wine and a movie. This is a recent favorite one to rewatch.

6. While my weekend ahead is all about relaxing and celebrating, I’m excited to start my ninth year with an extra burst of momentum. This career website is a go-to of mine as I look forward to the next eight years.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 52

Visit the DGD shop to see the updated collection!

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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DIY Tasseled Wooden Beads Wall Hanging

DIY Tasseled Wooden Beads Wall Hanging

Back in the day, my natural instinct was to fill every square inch of our home with art, but now I’ve come to really appreciate the value of bare walls. Not all the walls, of course, but I no longer see a blank spot (say, between our side door and coat closet) and have the immediate gut reaction to hang a piece of art just to say that I did.

That mental shift has taken a lot of the pressure off when it comes to decorating, and now I even err on the side of nothing is actually better than something. Every now and then, though, a space comes off feeling a little too boring or bland, and for those instances I love filling them with a little bit of texture rather than a big, bold piece of art. Which brings me to my latest minimalist DIY art project: DIY Tasseled Wooden Beads.

DIY Tasseled Wooden Beads Wall Hanging

This simple, multi-piece wall hanging project doesn’t call tons of attention to itself, but is the perfect solution (in my clearly biased opinion!) for that awkward blank wall in your house. Hop over to Hunker here for the full tutorial, which explains how you can get the look in seven steps. The cool thing about this one is that you can customize the size of the wooden beads to be on the smaller side if you’re interested in using them as tabletop décor instead (sort of like this).

Have you tried any other types of textural, minimal DIY art projects lately? A few that have caught my eye recently…this DIY dowel magazine shelf (doubles as storage!), a set of clay plant pockets, and I’m absolutely smitten with the way Brittany’s fringed half-circle mirror turned out. Leave your own idea links in the comments below.

DIY Tasseled Wooden Beads Wall Hanging

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My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

I think I’ll go ahead and blame the cold weather, but I’ve been watching a lot of TV lately. Even during my mid-day lunch break I find myself defaulting to 30 minutes on the couch with my sandwich and the remote to catch up on a little West Wing in between work to-do’s. It’s not good, and I honestly wonder if all the headaches I’ve been getting lately have to do with my time in front of the television.

Now that the days are finally starting to get a little warmer, though, I found myself this past week choosing a book over a TV show or movie. There’s just something so calming about losing myself in a good book, and that sense of peace is even stronger when I’m able to head out to the sunroom to soak up that springtime sun while cuddling with my book.

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

Inspired by this newly reformed habit, I put together a quick post for the Scotties blog all about how to make your own DIY bookmarks out of empty tissue boxes. The post you’re reading here on Dream Green DIY today isn’t sponsored and the brand isn’t paying me to mention the story that I wrote for their site, but I really loved the way the project turned out, and thought you guys might get something creative out of it, too!

See the full tutorial this way, and then keep scrolling here on DGD for a breakdown of the books and magazines I personally plan to work my way through this spring.

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

My Spring Reading List

1. Domino Magazine: The spring 2019 issue of this quarterly mag is one of my favorites ever from them. It’s packed with beautiful home tours, and there’s even a cool story all about emerging ceramists. I’m already planning to reread it.

2. The President Is Missing: Another one I’m planning to reread is this novel co-written by James Patterson and Bill Clinton. It’s one of those super fast-paced books that almost forces you to skim through the action to get to the finish line. I’m sure I missed some really clever details, so I’m keeping it within easy reach on my nightstand.

3. Daisy Jones & The Six: Word on the web is that this 1970s-rock-band-centered bestseller is going to be turned into an Amazon series (with help from Reece Witherspoon!). Count me in.

4. Pacific Natural: Simple Seasonal Entertaining: This one actually comes out tomorrow, and is one coffee table book I could definitely see myself reading from cover to cover.

5. Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave: My sister and I bought this book for my mom and dad as an early housewarming gift since they’re now thinking about how to decorate a new-to-them home. Before handing the book over, though, I couldn’t help but peruse the intro and first chapter. I might need to borrow it from Mom (or buy my own copy) because it’s surprisingly well-written and insightful!

6. The Southern Side of Paradise: I’m totally obsessed with the The Peachtree Bluff Series written by Kristy Woodson Harvey, and recently found out that the last book is set to be released in May. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy, and might not even come up for air while I’m reading it.

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

Did I leave a book off the list that you’re excited to dive into this spring? Do tell in the comments below because I’m always looking for suggestions. I tend to ramp up my reading in the spring, but I go absolutely NUTS with it in the summertime, so I need all the recommendations I can get. And be sure to visit the Scotties website next so you can peruse the DIY bookmarks tutorial that I produced for them—happy spring reading, everybody!

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

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Weekend Inspiration: No. 51

Weekend Inspiration: No. 51

Hallelujah, it’s Friday! This week was incredibly stressful to start as things continued to go back and forth with that thing I mentioned last week. I know I shouldn’t be so emotionally invested in something that doesn’t really even involve us, but I just want what’s best for my parents. That, and I think I started to realize just how much fun it would be to help decorate a Dutch Colonial house!

Anyway, I’d love your help sending positive vibes to my family as they work out all the small details that go along with real estate transactions. I think we’re pretty much in the home stretch now, though (pun intended!). At any rate, I’m hoping to lay low this weekend as I come down from the highs and lows, but here’s a list of creative links and ideas to occupy your own time off these next two days.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 51

1. I’m working on building out a big spring reading list for next week, so this weekend is going to be spent doing a little research. Do you have any titles you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments here so I can add them to the list before next week.

2. You know I couldn’t talk about weekend to-do’s without mentioning at least one retro craft! I love the mid-century vibes of these hand-decorated wine glasses.

3. If you’re feeling gutsy and want to break out bigger tools (like paint brushes and drop cloths), give the gorgeous paint color used in this guest bedroom a try somewhere in your home. I might just follow suit as soon as I have more time on my hands.

4. Feeling bored as you wait for 5:00 p.m. to roll around? Pass the time with this test to find out what your interior design style is. (I’m a Modern Minimalist!)

5. In case a Netflix binge is in order for you this weekend, here’s a roundup of new titles already streaming and coming soon this month.

6. You could try your hand at installing under-cabinet lighting this Saturday and Sunday, or maybe restyle your open kitchen shelving using our list of tips.

7. If you can’t be bothered to do anything but lay around in PJs with your laptop (I don’t blame you!), check out J.Crew’s 40% off sale, going on now through Sunday. I’m personally considering this denim top.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 51

Visit the DGD shop to see the updated collection!

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Before & After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Last year was a bit of a doozy in terms of projects for the house. We had our chimney overhauled, the AC wall units deep cleaned, we renovated our hall bathroom with Home Depot, got the boiler inspected and tuned up, and we also had a brand new roof put on the house. It was awesome to cross so many major projects off our list, but, as I’m sure you can imagine, our house budget took a major hit because of it.

For that reason, John and I are doing our best to turn a (responsible) blind eye to any big renovations in 2019—at least we’re hoping to. Our landscaping could stand to be addressed and there are a couple of large-scale organization projects we’d like to tackle in our basement, but those types of things are going to have to be put on the back-burner until next year so we can build our savings back up.

At any rate, instead of thinking BIG lately, I’ve had to shift my attention to the smaller, more budget-friendly things that have been on my list since we moved into the house three and a half years ago. The first thing to get tackled? The dated built-in wood dresser in our hall bathroom.

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

You saw when we unveiled our totally made-over bathroom last summer, complete with a brand spankin’ new custom shower and fresh new hardware throughout, but one part of the makeover that didn’t quite get done in time for the tour was the dresser you see pictured above.

We love having all of those drawers built right into the room, but the piece of furniture was looking dated, even after we switched out the hardware, as you saw here. I figured the best way to live with the dresser but also make it disappear visually was to paint it to match the walls surrounding it. And that’s exactly what I did.

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

(Please forgive my iPhone photos here!)

I removed the hardware, laid some painter’s tape down, then gave the dresser drawer fronts and body three coats of white primer, letting each coat dry for about an hour in between. Then, I went back over everything with another three coats of white topcoat paint to match the bathroom walls. In case you’re curious, the white paint is called Snowbound from Sherwin Williams, and is my very favorite warm white paint. We used it in both our upstairs and downstairs bathrooms.

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

After the final coat of paint was finished and had fully cured overnight, I added new gold hardware and then put everything back together again. I may be biased, but I think the difference is pretty remarkable! I love it, and definitely wish that I hadn’t put this “someday” project off for so long.

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Looking at that side-by-side “Before/After” image above, doesn’t the new white dresser make the room look so much bigger? Aside from removing the upper shelving unit from the top of the dresser, nothing else has changed but the color, and I can’t help but think that the paint completely transformed the look and feel of the space as a whole.

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

To celebrate our fresh “new” white dresser, I wrote a big story for Hunker with five ways to organize your bathroom drawers. Over there I’ll teach you how to use everything from travel packing cubes and bamboo trays to whip your vanity or dresser drawers into shape. See the post here, but before you go, make sure to share your thoughts about our dresser makeover in the comments right here!

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And Rope

Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And Rope

I know that some of you lucky folks out there live within easy driving distance of IKEA, but we are sadly not in that camp. Our closest store is two and half hours away, so whenever I plan a trip, I tend to prepare myself to stock way, way up. A few of my favorite things to get are their guest napkins (we keep a stack in the bathroom for visitors so they don’t have to use a shared hand towel), faux plants, storage boxes, and small pieces of furniture. Their prices are pretty legendary, and for good reason—they’re hard to beat!

As you probably already know, one other thing I love to keep an eye out for at IKEA is a potential DIY project or two. The store is packed with plain, minimalist containers, shelves, and pieces of furniture that can be hand-decorated with paint and other accents for a custom look. Case in point, the IKEA bench that I made over using paint and rope for Hunker.

Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And Rope

Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And Rope

Do you recognize the blue paint from a recent post here on the blog? It’s actually the same teal BEHR chalk decorative paint leftover from this project. It turned out to be the perfect pop of color our little IKEA bench needed, but ,of course, I couldn’t just stop there. I also used a drill and staple gun to add a modern rope detail to the seat to give it more custom edge.

What do you think? Would you have used a different paint color on the bench base? Maybe natural jute twine on the seat detail as opposed to white rope? My favorite thing about most of the DIY crafts I share here on the blog is that they can be tweaked to suit your personal aesthetic and taste, so tell me how you’d make this IKEA hack your own in the comments below.

Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And Rope

Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And RopeP.S. Curious why posts have been a little shorter as of late? Click back here for a life update!

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Weekend Inspiration: No. 50

Weekend Inspiration: No. 50

I’m really sorry for the short posts this week, guys, but it’s all for a very exciting reason! My parents are moving here from an hour and a half out of town, and this week has been full of big stuff (think: inspections, last-minute home tours, offers submitted and ACCEPTED).

It’s been a little on the emotional, albeit exciting, side of things and I’m right there in the thick of things with them since they live a ways away and I want to make myself as available as I can for them. Fingers crossed that it all works out, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of the design inspiration I’ve pulled together to help distract my parents from the “not fun” stuff, like contracts. Maybe when all is said and done they’ll let me share new room tours, furniture makeovers, and before/after renovations using their new home as a blank canvas! Would you be into that?

Anyway, until things settle down behind the scenes with that, posts might be a little on the shorter side around here. Luckily, I’ve built up a solid collection of stories for Hunker over the past month, so I’ll be able to send you along to their website to read my longer-form words if that’s what you prefer. Enough of my scatterbrained rambling, though…Let’s get to this week’s list of cool links!

Weekend Inspiration: No. 50

1. As spring inches its way closer and closer, I can’t help but crave fresh sweet treats like the homemade lemon lavender muffins I made last year with the folks over at Farmhaus Coffee Co.

2. This list of 28 ethical clothing brands to support really caught my eye since I’ve become more interested in “slow fashion” in the last six months or so.

3. Thanks to the list I linked to above, I discovered a new-to-me sustainable brand to love (not to mention this amazing striped box-top!).

4. Need more shelf styling motivation ahead of the weekend? Here’s everything you need to get started.

5. Spring might be less than two weeks away, but that doesn’t mean it’s suddenly going to be 70 degrees outside. So I’m bookmarking this tutorial for a DIY flannel frog to keep my feet warm throughout the transition.

6. What a smart way to rethink wallpaper!

7. Have you scoped out Collection No.5 in the DGD Pottery shop yet? A handful of items are still on sale through the weekend, so don’t wait if you’ve had your eye on something.

Weekend Inspiration: No. 50

Visit the DGD shop to see the updated collection!

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

While I’m well aware that not everyone can get on board with the faux plant trend, I can’t help but appreciate the whole “zero maintenance” aspect of the idea. I tend to struggle with keeping live plants, well…alive…so you’ll find silk plants tucked all around our house.

It’s not just because I missed out on the green thumb gene that I’ve gone “faux” with greenery, though. Our pets can’t get enough of nibbling on live trailing leaves, and although I’ve triple checked that the rooted plants we do have are okay for their systems, I still don’t love the idea of them snacking on anything other than their vet-approved kibbles. So, it’s just another big reason for me to succumb to the draw of fake plants.

Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

The good news is that today’s DIY craft doesn’t have to involve faux plants. Whether you choose live succulents or the silk IKEA option I suggest over on the full tutorial here, you can still get this look in 10 minutes or less. Hop over to Hunker for the shopping list and step-by-step instructions for hacking my favorite 3-piece basket set into wall-mounted succulent holders. Oh, and make sure you keep scrolling through the tutorial for an alternative use for the displaced basket tops, too!

Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Striped Home Accents We’re Loving

Striped Home Accents We're Loving

With all the decorative patterns in the world (namely, all over Pinterest—who else gets sucked down that rabbit hole on a weekly basis?!), I sometimes forget that simple ones do exist. I appreciate an intricate repeated Moroccan tile just like pretty much everybody else, but I think I’ll always, always come back to classics, like stripes.

To be honest, though, I was a little worried that I’d be able to find a dozen really unique, modern versions of striped home accents to share with you guys today, but my search led me to all sorts of gorgeous options worthy of consideration. The list below proves that it’s very much possible to update this simple pattern to suit your home in 2019 (and beyond).

Striped Home Accents We’re Loving

1. Grey and Navy Blue Geometric Striped Ceramic Round Vase

2. Brookneal 1000 Thread Count Striped Cotton Blend Sheet Set

3. 2pk Striped Kitchen Towel

4. LR Home Montego Decorative Storage Basket

5. Rachelle White Stripe Bottle Table Lamp

6. Bellair-Meadowbrook Terrace Bath Rug

7. Quilted Wall Tapestry

8. Horizontal Solid Stripe Throw Blanket

9. Boyes Armchair

10. Stone & Beam French Laundry Stripe Pillow

11. Cotton Rope Basket with Handle

12. Quilt Texture Stripe

Do you have a favorite from that list? I’m absolutely, positively head-over-heels for that armchair. I can’t personally vouch for its comfort, but I wouldn’t mind testing it out for you (if only I had room for another chair). I’m also of the mind that a person can never have too many striped kitchen towels, so these are also at the top of my wish list.

Share your favorite pick in the comments, and I’d also love to know if there’s a particular simple-yet-classic pattern other than stripes that you come back to over and over again.

Striped Home Accents We're Loving

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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