Home Improvement / Decor

Elizabeth Sutton’s Long Island Art Studio

All That Glitters – Organizing an Artist’s Studio

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I first reached out to Elizabeth Sutton in December after seeing her posts on social media. Recently divorced with 2 young children, Elizabeth had experienced a tragic loss: while displaying her works at Art Basel, two of her employees, also dear friends, were in a devastating car accident. One did not survive, and the other was seriously injured. In dealing with the aftermath of the accident, all of her artwork in Miami was haphazardly packed and shipped to her studio in Long Island City. In the process, many paintings were damaged, and she herself felt emotionally damaged.

When Elizabeth and I spoke, she talked about a feeling of chaos, both in her personal life and in her studio. And, she knew that the chaos would increase the following month when she would be closing a pop up store in Soho and sending all of the art and supplies there to the Long Island City studio.

Elizabeth also expressed how her art studio, once a place of great inspiration, was now filled with sad memories and completely disorganized. That’s when Resourceful Consultants got involved. Our goal was not only to organize Elizabeth’s Long Island City studio, but also to create a hip, fun vibe that would match the mood of the vibrant pop art that is Elizabeth’s signature style.

Elizabeth and I met in her studio the following month. We talked about the organizational challenges she was facing, and how Resourceful Consultants could help. Elizabeth demonstrated how labor intensive each of her paintings was by crafting a single butterfly, gorgeous and glittered, while we watched. We met her team in order to understand how they worked together and separately, so that we could determine how best to organize the physical space in the studio.

1Glitter

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Essential Oils and Organization

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Essential Oils & OrganizationOver the past few years, I have become interested in wellness, particularly as it applies to organization. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to Julie Peacock who integrates essential oils into her practice of yoga, nutrition, and wellness. According to Julie, essential oils protect against seasonal and environmental threats. They are nontoxic and don’t pollute your home, water supply or the environment. They are also multi-purpose and inexpensive.

Here are 6 essential oils Julie identified that can be used to clean and refresh your home:

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The Power of Paint, by Guest Blogger Paul Denikin

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I recently became acquainted with Paul Denikin. While Paul was always interested in home improvement, he became an expert when his daughter, Maggie, was born with special needs. At that time, Paul realized  he needed to modify his home so that it would be safe and functional for Maggie.  He started his website, dadknowsdiy.com, to share what he’s learned with the rest of us.   Here, he talks about how painting your home can improve its value and its appearance.

DIY home improvements are one of the most common ways home sellers will try to increase the value of their home. While some DIY projects can be complex or expensive such as redoing your bathroom, other projects are far less complicated. It may seem difficult to up the value of your home, but in reality, a few simple improvements can dramatically change how your house is viewed by potential buyers. The best way to make an impact without breaking the bank? Paint.

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When a Storage Unit is a Good Idea

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Over the past few months, I’ve had a number of clients ask me for help organizing storage units. Some clients have multiple storage units and some have just one. In some cases, the storage units are complimentary perks that come with apartments, and, in other cases, exorbitant fees are paid. Sometimes, the client knows exactly what’s stored in the unit and wants to make it less cluttered or more appealing. And sometimes, the items have been put away for years, and the client has no idea what s/he will find there. While I generally believe that a client is better off purging and living within his/her space means, here are some instances when a storage unit is a good idea:

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Preparing Your Summer Home for the Season

· Home Improvement / Decor

Now that summer is upon us, it’s time to prepare your vacation house for a wonderful season.  Here are my tips for getting your house in tip top shape:

  • Make sure all appliances, large and small, are in working order.
  • Replace light bulbs as necessary.
  • Wash all linens and towels.  Inspect for holes and stains.
  • Open windows to let fresh air into the house.
  • Put a load of dishes, silverware, and kitchenware into the dishwasher.
  • Tend to broken window screens and wash all windows.
  • Wipe cupboards, fridge shelves, stovetop, and appliances clean.
  • Take outdoor furniture out of storage and check for damage.  Replace if necessary.
  • Check expiration dates on sunblock and other toiletries.  Replace anything that has expired.
  • Check the wi-fi connection, cable, and music system.
  • Purchase flowers for the porch and the indoors.
  • Stock up on food and beverages.
  • Pour yourself a glass of wine and settle in for a great summer!

 

Cheap Organizing Tricks

· Home Improvement / Decor

Here are my best organizing tips utilizing items you already own!

1. Peel off the labels of baby food jars and use them to hold paper clips, safety pins, buttons, and keys.

2. Use up all of the half full toiletries in your bathroom such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and sunblock. The fewer products you have to store, the neater your bathroom will look.

3. Stock up on storage containers from your local dollar store. As long as all of your containers are uniform, they don’t have to cost a lot of money.

4. Use push pins on a bulletin board to hang costume jewelry like necklaces and bracelets.

5. Clip barrettes and bows to a wide piece of colorful ribbon.

6. Instead of having loose change all over your house, corral your currency in a mason jar.

7. Place a tray on a coffee table, entry way table or bedside table. Remote controls, cell phones, and car keys will look stylish and chic when contained.

When Organizing Meets Interior Design

· Home Improvement / Decor

Although we’d all love our homes to look like those pictured in magazines, not everyone has access to fancy decorators, spacious layouts, and expensive furniture.  Yet, there are many stylish solutions for your organizing dilemmas that are as practical as they are pretty.  Here are a few of my favorites…

Organizing Dilemma 1: My Bedroom Looks Cluttered

While I can’t comment on the piles of clothing, work projects, or toys you may have lying around, I can promise that white bedding will make any room feel more peaceful and calm.   Make your bed with white sheets and a white coverlet, and your room will instantly be transformed to a Zen oasis. To add pizzazz, use brightly colored pillows and a colorful throw folded along the bottom of the bed.  Keep in mind that you can change those pillows and throw blanket to get a different look any time you feel the urge.   Try dark colors and heavy fabrics like velvet and corduroy for the winter months and lighter fabrics and colors for the summer.

 

Organizing Dilemma 2: I Don’t Have Enough Storage Space

When you think you don’t have enough storage space, you’re probably correct.  The good news is that many manufacturers are designing pieces that look great and provide ample storage as well. So, say no to nightstands with nary a drawer or shelf.  Instead, look for nightstands that have multiple drawers, particularly if you’re a “collector” of stuff (see picture on the left).   The piece pictured on the right has flip down drawer fronts to accommodate a cable box or DVD player (or books as shown).

Design Studio of Somerville, 908-685-1921, design-sos.com

 

Organizing Dilemma 3:  I Have Piles of “Stuff” on My Counters

If you’re prone to piles of random stuff, corral your clutter with a beautiful tray.  Add a framed picture, candles, or a vase, and your remote controls, keys, spare change, and books become a fashion statement instead of a declaration of your mess.  Place these trays on your dresser, night table, or coffee table, or wherever you stash your stuff, so you’ve displaced the mess.  You’ll even have incentive to put items where they belong.

Design Studio of Somerville, 908-685-192 Iomoi.com

 

Organizing Dilemma 4:  There’s No Room on My Nightstands for a Tray

When your nightstands won’t accommodate anything other than a lamp, move the lighting onto the wall by installing sconces.  Purely practical, but sconces also provide an opportunity for a fashionable décor statement.

 

Organizing Dilemma 5: There’s No Room in My Kitchen for Large Pieces

Large serving pieces can make beautiful focal points for your kitchen.  Instead of storing a large bowl, fill it with fruit and center it on your kitchen table.  Instead of cramming that large pitcher in the bottom corner of your cupboard, put it out on display in a corner of your kitchen.

Do you have any ideas that merge organizing and decorating?  If so, I’d love to hear them!