October 11, 2011
Just left Chicago Home + Garden’s Picture This event at the Merchandise Mart Chopping Block. Amazing venue! Spacious and welcoming, this premier cooking school really showed off its assets as the perfect multipurpose hostess with the most-est. Added bonus: amazing food prepared in house with a lovely complimentary wine bar.
Great advice from ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) designers. I tagged along with my friend Layney who “speed dated” with several designers, moving among tables that seated one or more designers open for casual consultation, showing photos and talking through her own den/guest room design dilemma.
I had a great time eavesdropping on her conversations with designers from Jessica Lagrange Interiors and Susan Fredman Design Group. In attendance were several reps from different firms throughout Chicago (you can find the full list here).
All in all I give the event a 4 out of 5 – there were, unfortunately too few designers to really facilitate the “speed dating” format very well, but the designers who were in attendance were gracious and good humored.
Definitely an event to look out for the next time CH+G hosts one – and let’s hope they do. My parting gift was a great goodie bag too, with the latest issue of the mag, and chocolate! (along with the requisite adverts and designer flyers).
HUGE thanks to Layney for telling me all about it in the first place – CH+G is lucky to have such a loyal fan.
September 3, 2011
When the summer heat occasionally chases me indoors into the A/C, I often get the organizing bug.
A while back, just such a thing happened to me, and I got the brilliant idea to tackle the “office” in my house, and try to make it more functional and inviting as a relaxing den by tucking all the office-y stuff out of sight – but not out of mind.
If you are able to have your home office in a bedroom with a closet, like I was fortunate to be able to do, make the most of that closet. I replaced the standard clothes-hanging bar with more functional shelving. You can do anything from a free-standing shelving unit to an installable, modular shelving system – which is what I recommend. That way, you can move the shelves around as your needs change depending on your office activities/hobbies/etc. I used some Closet Maid shelves to augment the closet layout, staggering the new shelves to accomodate all of my different sized boxes and bins.
When it comes to closet contents, forget about spending a lot of money on pretty containers or making everything look the same. No one sees it but you! I re-purposed a hodge-podge of empty file boxes and storage containers that I already had in the house. The key is to label everything with big, clear labels. I love the 3M or Postit varieties that remove cleanly, because I change out my projects often and re-label my containers.
An outlet immediately outside of the closet allowed me to tuck in the printer, and the 16″ depth was just enough for a lockable file cabinet – great for storing long-term paperwork and seldom-accessed documents (like IDs, passports, favorite momentos, etc.).
The set up is perfect for me – it’s not the type of space I would ever pull a chair up to and be able to work at – but that’s not what I need. I need a place to store things and occasionally access them. This does that for me. and I love that I had plenty of space to tuck my wrapping paper and gift bags/bows/ribbon/etc. (since I do gift wrapping in the den) AND, there is enough space to roll the vacuum cleaner in. Every little square inch of space is utilized without feeling overstuffed.
August 23, 2011
Check it out! A friend of mine just shared the details of an upcoming event in Chicago. Sounds like it will be a fun October! Visit http://www.chicagohomemag.com/Chicago-Home/Promotion/ASID-Picture-This/ to RSVP with your design delemma. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Got a design dilemma?
Let the professionals help you when Chicago Home + Garden and the American Society of Interior Designers present PICTURE THIS.
Bring pictures of your latest design dilemma and receive free, in-person advice from an ASID designer.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The Chopping Block
The Merchandise Mart Plaza, Ste. 107
Chicago, Illinois 60654