Friday, February 21, 2014

186 Studio Update: Too Much of a Good Thing is not Always a Good Thing

Let's chat about my studio/office for a moment shall we?

As I sit here gazing at the screen, unsure where to start, I am just going to dive right in and spew the first things that come to mind.

I am sort of bummed out about my workspace.

Imagine me banging my head repeatedly against the wall... only let's just imagine it because wow, that would hurt if I were to do it for real.

WHY oh why am I having such a hard time with this space?  This coming from the girl who is seriously obsessed with office and craft spaces.  Playrooms and office spaces are by my favorite to organize and decorate, yet I have been hitting road block after road block with my own. 

The room has been evolving for over two years now!  Do you know how long that is in Jen time?  Maybe that is part of my frustration.  After so much time plucking away at it, I still haven't gotten it right.

When I sit and dissect the office, my heart races for so many of the details.

My built in workspace is fantastic!  I adore the storage it provides and the Instagram happiness showing through the plexi top.


My kids and hubby have basically taken over this area for working on their homework and projects and even playing games, but that is why I ultimately wanted multiple work zones.  Although I am the primary user of the space, this studio is ultimately for all of us to utilize and enjoy.

I have taken over the opposite wall, which faces my inspiration board.



The chair is fab, the memo board really does make me smile while I work and my office accessories are used daily.

However, I think sharing our recent thrift store chair update, was the post I that really did it in for me.  More on that in a moment.

The grey elephant in the room is the focal wall that I just had to have.


Isn't the color phenomenal?  It is Behr's Intellectual and I have a major crush on it.  Especially in the photo above.  I really thought I had something going.

But when you put it all together....


Just no.

My eyes can't take it.  And I can't work in it.  I can't focus.  I don't feel calm.  I don't feel organized {although storage definitely is not an issue}.  I just don't love it.  Which would explain that bummed out feeling in my gut.

So what happened and where did I go wrong?  I have a few ideas:

  • I am in denial that I am aging.  I think that I am designing this space for my inner still-a-kid-at-heart persona.  It is time to wake up and smell the 30 something roses.  After I saw the photo of the colorful backed chair with the memo board and the yellow task lamp, I was reminded of my dream desk at the age of 16.  It was really eye opening to me that the room needs some sophistication.
  • I need to put my hands up and step away from the inspiration.  Blogs, Pinterest and magazines are my own worst enemies.  I see so many new ideas and think, "I love that, I should totally do that!"  
  • Just because I love to taste the rainbow {really, Skittles are one of my favorite candies}, it doesn't mean that every color of the rainbow needs to be present in my creative space.  Time to scale back a bit.
  • Everywhere I look, there are elements that I love, but when placed all together, they start competing with one another.   Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.
  • The room is lacking in proper layering and textiles.  This room does not have any windows or plush seating other than the desk chairs.  However, A nice warm plush rug to keep my feet warm, a curtain instead of a door and throw pillows on the chairs could really warm things up.  As could some more natural elements and a mixture of hardware finishes.
The only thing this room is not lacking is storage.  The back wall of cabinets and counter space is fantastic for printing, Silhouette projects and frequently used craft supplies.  The built-in desk offers cubbies for our files, magazines, books and office supplies.  We added oodles of storage under our stairs for our gift wrap items, home accessories, in-process projects and additional crafting supplies. 


So although there is a lot that is not working, there is also a lot that is.  That means I have the challenge of scaling some of it back, while keeping the function.

Along with the fact that the room has turned into a bit of a visual disaster, a closer look at the cabinets would reveal a painting disaster.

The wood stain was coming through the paint and yellowing portions of our cabinets.  And they have only been getting worse and worse as months have gone by.
 
So........

I just couldn't take it anymore.  I needed a reset button.  So that is exactly what I gave myself thanks to my friend Kilz.  


The cabinets received a good sanding and priming.  And while I was at it, I let out some sobs and said goodbye to the grey wall.  I had to continuously remind myself, less is more.  Not every room needs a focal wall.  My heart really wanted the grey to work, however, it really was just another distraction in the scheme of the space.  I really can't stress how hard of a decision this was for me. 

Once the primer dried, I gave my cabinets two coats of Pure White by Sherwin Williams.  I used their premium paint with hopes that I would have no more yellowing moving forward.


Aside from going on a painting frenzy, I also removed every last item from the space, with the exception of the bulletin board.  Everything is currently living in a giant pile in our family room.  Brace yourselves.


Now, I have a completely blank slate to screw up.  I kid, I kid!  Of course what I really meant to type is that I now have a completely blank slate to transform into a place where I can work happy.


Wow, I feel better already.  I am not gonna lie, this post wasn't easy to write.  It is hard to admit that I have made a few mistakes along the way {a.k.a embarrassing}.  But what I do know is that our house has evolved over the years into a place we heart to call home.  And that when I don't get things right the first time {or second or third}, I edit and try again.  And then I share it all here. 

This weekend I plan on sorting and restyling my blank slate.  I have asked Bryan to help me out with some small DIY's, like fixing the cabinet gap on the back wall, adding molding around the base cabinets and installing a new desktop between the Expedits.  Fingers crossed I will have some sweet updates to share next week.

Can anyone out there sympathize with me?  Who else has had to hit the reset button on a room?  I would love to hear how it turned out!



186 comments:

  1. I'm starting to have a thing for white walls and I think "WHO AM I!?!!?" all the time because of it. I've always wanted all-the-colors all the time and lately, it's total sensory overload! I completely understand where you're coming from with it! The grey was phenom but the white? I'm also breathing a sigh of relief for your space. I'll have my bags packed and be moving in with the chickpea shortly =) MWAH!

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    1. Heck yes girl! Bring the baby! With my youngest being 7 now {wait, what?!}, a little baby fix would be a good thing! ;)

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  2. What kind of binder is underneath your phone?

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    1. Hi Tami!

      It is my daily planner. You can snag all of the details here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/p/2014-daily-planner-faqs.html

      xo!

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  3. Same problem as I have. I love too many things and mix too many to make it work. I start out with classic and neutral and go a bit too Bohemian for my own taste. Also, one thing that helps is to choose whether I am going for clean and classic or for cozy and creative. I don't seem to be able to blend both into one.

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  4. I think you're making the right decision. Just from looking at the one photo above, the gray wall feels like a black hole. I agree about the lamp. Get rid of it. I like the desk and chair. For a creative space I like it to have a feeling of serenity. While there's lots of supplies for being creative, that space looks so busy, busy, busy. I'm looking forward to see what you do with it.

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  5. You have no idea how much this post has hit home with me! I'm about to hit the "reset button" on my office as well and I actually started writing a similar post yesterday. It's just time to step back and start over. I wish I just had someone to look at the space and tell me what to do, haha. That would be much easier.

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    1. You have great taste my friend! I have a feeling that it will turn out great {not to mention that you already have swoon worthy storage in place!}

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  6. But that is the prettiest pile of 'to be reorganized' I've ever seen :) I totally know how you feel and the 'I can't believe I'm going to redo this' moment. Your gut is never wrong is it? Whatever it tells you, it will be fabulous. Can't wait to see!

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  7. good luck for your new dream studio area. i will patiently wait for the final reveal as always...;) but for me, i would be happy enough to have a studio like you have now. for me it's just beautiful but the beauty is in the eye of beholders right? so move on and hope you will get what you really want for this area =)

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  8. YES I am totally with you. I sew/monogram and I finally have SPACE to do that in our new home but I just am not feeling it. It's in a basement room with no windows and I have no desire to make it pretty. I feel like every time I work it gets so disorganized and messy that it takes me as much time to clean up from a project as it takes to actually do the project. I love everything you do, and I especially love to see honesty! We all make mistakes and I love following along!!

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    1. What a fun hobby to have! I agree, working on a basement space is really part of the problem I am having as well. Natural light would really change the entire feeling. Best of luck as you chip away at creating a space to love.

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    2. Love this post. Have you considered solar tube skylights for your studio? If you google "solar tube" you can browse many brands and stores that offer them. They can bring daylight to a lower level if you have an out-of-the-way place to run the tubes. I have seen them in use, and it is amazing how much daylight they can bring in. More than a window, sometimes, if the window is south-facing, shaded by a tree, etc. The extra light from a solar tube or two would also be pretty combined with a ceiling painted in a (subtle) cheerful shade. Something to think about. ;)

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  9. This is why I heart your blog! All the great ideas and inspiration from someone who is happy and confident and willing to learn. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  10. I know that what you will come up with will be amazing! I think part of design is the fact that you have to redo things because your tastes/life change. Your space will be even more lovely and I just wanted to let you know that I find you so inspiring!

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  11. I think she uses the Martha Stewart Discbound Cover. See: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.ca/p/2014-daily-planner-faqs.html

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  12. I appreciate your honesty in this post and I can totally relate. I really feel like decorating our own home is harder than decorating for someone else. While I love everything that you do it is nice to know that you share some of the same struggles with spaces as the rest of us.

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  13. BTW...I can't wait to see how the room turns out.

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  14. Looking forward to seeing how you changed the space! Sometimes a blank slate is what is needed, and I'm sure the space will turn out beautifully!

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  15. Ohhh girl.. I can not stress how similar this situation is to a few of our spaces! We took the same "blank slate" approach in our living room and while it was a bummer to admit the mistakes (especially on the blog), nothing brings a breathe of fresh air like an empty room and a clear head! Looking forward to what you have in store!

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  16. Yes.I completely understand. Out new home is larger but we are really struggling with the layout. I am constantly moving our furniture around! And things just don't feel right yet

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  17. This is kind of a relief for me, because I love your entire blog but I never liked your office posts. And also a great representation of a similar feeling I have. When I see your office together I get the same reaction: whoa. I think you suffer from the same tendency as me: VISUAL CLUTTER. I too try to fill my walls and shelves and desk with things I love. I'm in the process of selling my condo and had to pack up a lot of stuff to make the place as much of a blank slate as possible. Even painting my walls white, how boring! Or not... now that everything is gone except for some staging decor, I have to admit that I do like it. It's a lot more relaxing than I'm used to. I sit down on my couch and I just want to sleep. I'm not thinking about how I need to tidy or clean or organize something because it's all been packed up and gone. I am coming to realize that I really have outgrown those tendencies and just didn't want to admit it. Simple, clean, organized, practical, that is definitely my frame of mind right now. At least I'm going to try it in my new house when I get it.

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  18. You used to do those amazing mood boards. I think this space could benefit from that, as you're deciding which color(s) you want to bring back into the space as accents. Btw, I hope the thrifted chair stays!

    Can't wait to see the "new reveal" and hope it turns out exactly how'd you like!

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    1. I do have one going - but sometimes things look good on paper and still don't turn out... But I absolutely have a new idea in mind and hope that it turns out as planned. :)

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  19. These are my favorite kind of posts - the ones where you get real. They are what makes your blog stand out from the rest. Thanks for sharing.

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  20. A chandelier would look grown up!

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    1. Couldn't agree more! I have a few on my wish list, just saving up the pennies and watching for sales.

      xo!

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  21. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I love every word of this post because it is so honest and refreshing! I am having the same struggle with our family room. I just can't seem to figure it out and feel like I am wasting time and money in the process. I appreciate your vulnerability with all of us readers. I am excited to see what you come up with next.

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  22. thank you for your honesty, jen! i just bought my first house and so far i've found editing to be the most difficult part of decorating...so i still have a lot of empty spots! good luck with the redo--i'm excited to see how it turns out and relieved i'm not the only one who has to start over.

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    1. Congrats on the new house Dana! I can only imagine how the excitement of new spaces can also become overwhelming when it comes to decision making. Best of luck to you!

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  23. Oh Jen! I big puffy heart this post! So many times i see blogger get it right the first time and im having a fifth crack at something. Both of my kids (4 and 5) are on their FOURTH coat of paint. It drive my hubby mad. I am totally not a girl to get it right the first time but i feel like when you know - YOU KNOW! And two years in Jen time? Totally get that! Its like ten years hey? Thank you for being REAL! XXX

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    1. Totally puffy heart you right back! And I can't even begin to count how many paint colors we have gone through since we have lived here. If at first you don't succeed right? xoxo!

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  24. Great post! I loved the taste the rainbow comment, too funny. You're right, sometimes looking at SO much inspiration can become overload. I kind of had the same thing happen with not a room but my blog. I kept seeing all of these amazing blog templates that were fun and so over the top that I tried to be that way too. Sure enough I lost my mojo in it all and hated even going to my blog to look at it. I decided to wipe it clean and go simple and now feel inspired again. Clean and Simple is my motto. Thanks for being real, sometimes it's nice to know that even awesome designers can have whoops moments too.

    www.simplyadapting.blogspot.com

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  25. I say stick to your roots miss jen. Long before pinterest your blog and ideas were fabulous. You have a gift in this area and if you just do what you know it will be beautiful and right. Your blog stands out because of your unique and practical style, and I know that feeling of being overly inspired! You dont even need all that inspiration.....you are a natural. Xoxo

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    1. Well if that wasn't the sweetest compliment... Thank you so much for the kindness and confidence! xoxo!

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  26. Way to go! Your room should make you happy-- don't ever apologize for making changes that will only enhance your creativity in the long run. Take a deep breath-- don't worry!

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  27. May I make a suggestion? If your desk/table by your pin board was a warm, natural stain finish, it would help ground your office. The white is lovely of course, but everything else in the room is white (a bit sterile?), so you could use a little something different to warm it up and help your eye naturally focus in on one thing.

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    1. Thanks Rach! You and I are on a similar wavelength {cough cough - the missing desk in-between the Expedits}. Absolutely planning to bring in more natural elements to warm things up a bit!

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    2. Completely agree! You used to have a natural desk there that I loved that I think got moved to your sons room but I think natural tones would help balance all the whites!

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  28. I loved your old space and love this one now. I think it looks great. I have a fairly large scraproom, but believe it or not I want to downsize. I went from scrapbooking to now altering and beading. I want to only stick to scrapbooking and beading. I am slowly getting rid of things to alter which is cluttering up my space. Would love for you to come over and help. LOL. can't wait to see your room finished. Ana

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    1. Thanks Ana! Enjoy the downsizing process! I am sure it will be very refreshing!

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  29. Oh my, I hear ya! I have an office/schoolroom/craftroom/sewing space that no matter how hard I try it just doesn't work. Even though it has a walk-in closet, floor to ceiling bookcases built-in, and several work spaces it is too small and in the basement (not my favorite :( but it does have one decent sized window). Right now, I am counting down the days until summer when I can pull everything out and start over...simplify. Can't wait to see what you come up with. Maybe, it will inspire me!

    And you're right no more "ideas" needed! Just some good old-fashioned clearing it out and starting over and using the great ideas that we know will work (as opposed to the ones we dream about!).

    Good luck with your space. :) Karina

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  30. Whatever you come up with will be great. Try not to keep up with trends and just do what you love. It's your space, and it should be exactly how you like it, regardless of what is "in" at the moment. I have been reading your blog for about 3 years and am always impressed and inspired by what you do, and I know the end result of your studio will be nothing short of fantastic.

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  31. I definitely get you! I think when you love home decor the way some of us do it's hard to just say "No!" Plus if your like me you get restless and want to change often! I do try the one in-one out theory so if I'm not ready to get rid of something it keeps me from buying it or doing another project! Good luck!

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  32. I love your Ideas and your home. And I totally understand you. But I was always thinking, that there are too much things. My idea is to take away the desk on the left and put a chair to relax instead or nothing. It is beautiful and the moodboard too but you are right it is too much.
    I have the same problem with all the magazines and good ideas and all the inspiration, that I already don't know what to change and what to do. It is to much. So I decided for now, that I will avoid the inspiration for a while and that I would like to find out what I want and what my preferences are. So I hope to find a way out of these Inspiration-Jungle!
    Sorry for the english, I´m German;)
    So I will stay tuned.
    XO Ninetta

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  33. Thanks for keeping it real Jen! I often have the same problem. Getting a whole room to come together is hard! I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with, I'm sure it will be great!

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  34. It happenes a lot more than you think. Once I painted my bedroom purple. It was so pretty during the day with lots of natural light. However whenever I put on the ceiling light it looked like a really ugly pinkishpurplejucky colour. I was so dissapointed I became sad. But thats the beauty of paint! You can redo it. You can paint it a different colour! Its not the end of the world ;) I ended up with three beige walls and one brown. I changed all my furniture from white to coloured and I became super happy with the area. Remember: never give up! If its not perfect the first time, make it better the second :)

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    1. So glad it worked out! And I agree! That is why I love paint so much! It always changes the mood of the room, and isn't a huge investment. xo!

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  35. I totally feel this way about our office/playroom ! I gave it a dark blue focal wall and I feel like to swallows me up contrasted with the brick fireplace in the room. I haven't taken the plunge to tix it yet but maybe I should just do it! Do you know of links to any tasteful yet fun office/playroom combo rooms?

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  36. Don't forget that your focal wall could be the ceiling, you could paint it a light blue-grey (like the background of the blog), emphasis on "light", because there are no windows in the room. It would go with your pretty chair and make the room look taller, and it would look even better if you continued the crown molding on your cabinet around the whole room, it would really pop and by drawing attention up give the room a more spacious feel.
    Looks like I got carried away :P it is just a suggestion, looking forward to see what you will come up with :)

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I have always loved painted ceilings but definitely hadn't considered it for this space. xo!

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  37. P.S.: and concerning the curtains, I'm not a big fan of them in lieu of doors, guess it is too much of a hippie look for me :P but I'm a big fan of Rebecca Robeson, and in her projects many times there are places where she wishes there was a window so she puts a big mirror with the dimensions of the desired window and curtains, it may sound weird but it works great.
    Now I'm going to shut up before I make it even more confusing for you to decide what to do ;)

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    1. Great suggestion Ana. The reason I may do it for the door is because the existing door is open so often that it just gets in the way {I use the storage under our stairs daily}. So it would allow me to bring in some textiles while also reducing a giant heavy door in my way. xoxo!

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    2. I hadn't realized it was for storage, silly me, thought you were referring to the door where you enter the room, in that case I agree the curtain is a good option :)

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  38. Good luck with your revamp of the studio! I'm sure it will be great as it sounds like you've identified what wasn't working for you...and that's half the battle!

    It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes & something I'm constantly working at (replace "perfection" with "organization" ;) : "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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  39. I think it is always nice to get a redo once in a while. The second time around is always the best.

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  40. I'm looking Forward to seeing the finished room!
    I think it was a good idea to paint the back wall again.

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  41. I completely sympathise. I have the same problem with my one storage cupboard in my flat. It has to function as my garage, pantry, laundry room and hallway cupboard in one. I've tried so many times to get it right and it's still not there. I had pencilled in the Easter weekend to have another attempt and you've inspired me to really strip it back and completely start a fresh. Good luck with your overhaul this weekend, can't wait to see the photos. x

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  42. I have to say I was surprised, but I think it's a great thing that you're finding what feels right to you since you're ultimately the one who lives/works there. It's not embarrassing at all! I think the hardest thing about blogging is figuring out what you like personally without taking into consideration the 14, 877 opinions that go along with it. It's a great thing and a hard thing all at the same time.

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  43. Great post Jen. I agree with a couple of the comments, but mostly...stick with what YOU love and know. Everyone loves you for being you. The rest of your home is a true reflection of what you love and what works for your family. I think the office felt a bit "different", not really you. Hence the reason you felt unsettled about it. While I love ooohing and ahhhing over a good project/room on a blog or on pinterest, I really do try to remember "I" am not the one living there. I love Courtney's new series for that reason...comparing your designs for your home with your choices of wardrobe. I am a simple kinda gal and while I love a glitzy/glam room, I was feel so out of place in a room like that. I love the progress you've made already. It is more YOU!!

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    1. Totally agree. And I love her new series as well! Thanks for the sweetness! <3

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  44. Try a reset button on the bedroom and bathroom in your 1BR 500sq foot apartment. Which only has 2 main rooms (bedroom and living/kitchen area). And is a 90s cookie cutter apartment with no "good bones" to at least fall back on. Realizing you don't love it and have to live with it regardless or swallow your pride and change it sucks a lot and I sympathize. What sucks even more is in my case, I can't do anything about it because I'm moving out in a month…..

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    1. I hope you fall in love with your new space next month! And wishing you a stress-free move. xo!

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  45. I had a similar problem when I moved into my new apartment after college. I stored away most of my colorful accessories and went with a white and gray color scheme which I see online and love, but in my carpeted garden level studio with dingy white walls is just wasn't working. So after several months of gray I started adding color back in and I'm so much happier now.

    I am so excited to see what you do with your studio next (I really did love it before too!!)

    Thanks for such an honest and relatable post :)

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  46. Do you paint over the ikea pieces? No issues? Thanks!

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    1. I have not painted any IKEA pieces, but I have seen it done with really good primer. Also,allowing paint to fully cure seems to be key. xoxo!

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  47. Tks for this very real post! I have an "identity" prob with my office/guest room! Pieces of it are ok..but never quite right....looking forward to your solutions!

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  48. That is just a perfect subject. Something that I found inside myself before Christmas regarding the interior design (so many interiors go black and white in our country). One blog posts about something and suddenly that something is on a wishlist of everyone. I realized if I obtain all these lovely ideas, my home would be full. I realized that I would like to have my own home, I do not need to follow any stream, so I got off of this track very soon. Everything, that goes from the heart, works, just to be yourself. Anyway, I like your blog very much. It helps me to stay organized.

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  49. Wow, Jen, you just summarized home ownership....love this love that and it doesn't work together. I am currently re-doing my own office (my only personal space in my men filled home) and am taking my time thanks to this post. You've given me permission to proceed cautiously and thoughtfully. (BTW, I'm the one who sent the email about the crappy office closet...which is now a mess thanks to my coworkers....I'm going to have at it during our week of standardized testing). : )

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  50. I love this room. Where did you get the black task lamp? Is it the same as the gold one on the mantle in your family room? I am wondering if it is the same lamp and you painted it gold.

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    1. The black task lamp was found at Walmart a few years ago. And yes, it is the same gold one on the mantle. :) Good eye! xo!

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  51. Boy, does this sound familiar. We just moved into a new house over the summer and I got all ambitious and painted my office/study Farrow & Ball's Blue Grey. I love love love that color, but it took me a few months to realize that I wasn't getting any work done in that room because there was too much color, too much pattern, too much everything. I repainted it S-W Snowbound, replaced the old light fixture with a new Ikea fixture, got half the stuff out of there, and it is so much better it's crazy.

    In the past I've always painted everything white and thought that because we have so much more room now, it was time to explore different colors. And I did explore! And realized that I am much more comfortable with white, regardless of how much space we have. Lesson learned!

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  52. Hi Jen,

    I so understand the frustration of not loving a space. To shorten a long story, I went from the dining room table, to a small counter in the kitchen, to a new home and half the basement, to a 9'x13' room to a 13'x20' room. From boxes, to makeshift, wobbly shelving, to industrial strength. I'm finally, after 30 years, have a space that feels like an organized studio (I do multiple crafts and need lots of tools). I love the simple colors (hot pink and white) and the "everything has a place" look. I know you will find just the right balance for you and your family.

    Wanda
    www.wandas-quilts-crafts.blogspot.com

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  53. I am excited to see what you have done with the room and commend you on deciding to repaint the wall. I am having a hard time making that decision with my living room. I was wondering about your gold frames. Do you paint them or did you find them gold. I recently purchased a gold foil print and am trying to find the perfect frame to put it in. ~ Robyn

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    1. Hi Robyn! Gold spray paint on the frames, works great! :) xo!

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  54. Thanks for sharing this! I know, I sometimes get into the cycle of fearing to try something in case it won't work. I tend to feel that it has to be 100% done and perfect immediately. But knowing that sometimes things aren't perfect the first time, makes it easier for me to try something. Life is a work in progress, our living spaces are too.
    Love reading your blog!!

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  55. This was so timely for me! As I put together my craft space I keep adding elements (that I love) and was starting to worry about the room getting too busy. Time to step back and evaluate before moving forward. I also appreciate your honesty because it helps me admit when my choices weren't the best, or I've just grown up/evolved!

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  56. I tell my kids all of the time that making mistakes makes them smarter....sometimes more so than getting it right the first time. Looking forward to seeing more of your happy places!

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    1. I tell my kiddos the same. I guess I shouldn't be so hard on myself and practice what I preach ;) xo!

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  57. I thought it all looked great! :) But totally understand how seeing something in person, everyday, makes a space different to the user! I know whatever you do, it will be wonderful. I usually set things in stone, not good....I am trying to get better with that.... Can't wait to see the new office! Rosie

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  58. My husband took our kids to his parents for the weekend to give me time to get some stuff done, back when they were little. I painted my boys room (I do not lie!) four times between Friday and Sunday. I could barely move my arms by the time they came home. I was going for a sage(ish) green. The final color ended up being blue, because I gave up on the green. I wish you luck on finding happiness in your space-you will get there!

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    1. Wow! I can only imagine the soreness! That is A LOT of painting! So happy you found a color that worked out in the end!

      xo!

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  59. It is so funny how your tastes change as you get older and also how things can look great in their own little world, but put them together and it's just meeah. I love reading your ideas (mistakes and all) because of the inspiration - they give me the gumption to do something with a space :) And life is all about trial and error - and then you just try again. Hoping the new redo makes you happy -- it's so important to have a workspace you love.

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  60. Good job on you, Jen. Painting that gorgeous wall would have been hard on any of us. That saying, when you think it's time to "grow up", no harm is done, your just doing something different. Good luck!

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  61. Love your honesty Jen!. I read this early this morning, and got started clearing out my own teeny craft room, because it also doesn't work. too much clutter! I think I try to bring in colour here and there, but don't consider the space as a whole. If only I could find a solution!

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  62. How about be thankful for the space that you have!

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    1. I apologize sincerely if it came off in any way that I am ungrateful. In fact, it is very much the opposite. I live in this space daily and am endlessly grateful for it and how we have been able to utilize it. I was just expressing that I made a few choices that didn't work out {visual noise/clutter} and that I am hoping to reset so we can enjoy it even more. Hope that makes sense. xoxo!

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  63. I think if you dip dyed the legs on the desk in front it would break up the white. You could even do it the gray color that you had to take off of the wall. :) I would choose gold to match your hardware, but if you're toning down your gray or navy would be awesome!

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  64. 8 years ago, I had a HUGE sewing studio in a finished basement room. It had everything and was perfectly laid out, comfy recliner, large cutting table, plenty of storage, big design wall, and mellow yellow walls. Well, we had to move into a smaller home and, needless to say, I cried and cried because my room is now a mere 12 x 12. My husband has tried fixing things up for me, he is a sweetheart, made lots of open shelving around 2 walls of the room, along with a working table that wraps around, under the shelves. He cut my old cutting table in half, 36 x 36, pushed it up against a third wall, and made plenty of storage for my fabrics, underneath the cutting table. He made me an ironing board out of plywood wraped in batting and a pretty fabric, and placed that against the window wall. To make a long story short, I stopped crying after got my new workspace, less can be more, however, I am having to use a portion of our office to store quilting books, serger threads, and batting. He is now going to set up some storage in the garage for those things I use once in a while. The only thing is, I cannot have anyone else sitting in My Space! I literally start to twitch and get anxiety. No one, not even my sweetheart hubby, can sit on my chair, use any of my scissors, or crowd my sewing room. OCD? I don't know, I have always been jealous of my one peaceful place. It took several years, I am still working on a few things, (I got a new hobby in 2010 - making jewelry) so I am going to have to rearrange a few things. I love my hobbies, especially quilting. It is my Valium, as longas I am alone in the roomand can have some 'free' time, without any disturbance. Happy designing! Keep making small changes, until it just feels right for you! :-)

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  65. Thanks for sharing, you are amazing!! I love everything you do. Can't wait to see this space when you're completely happy! THANKS!

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  66. I think this happens to everyone! I recently tackled a big project for my office/craft room which is the room where I spend most of my time. I saw the idea and thought it was just going to be absolutely perfect. I spent many hours making it, and recently I had to admit that it just wasn't working and I took it out! I felt silly because of how much work had gone into it, but I feel so much more free now that I don't have to stare at my mistake every day.

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    1. So sorry to hear your project didn't work out as planned. I know how frustrating that can be. I think we go through those experiences for a reason, even if it just means learning what won't work and weeding things out until we get it right. xoxo!

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  67. Everyone has an oops every once in awhile. We redid the laundry room and painted it a nice neutral beige. Boring!!. When we had to replace the floor due to a water leak, we repainted it a light gray and I totally love it. Jan

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    1. Sorry to hear about the water leak, but yay for happy endings! xo!

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  68. I love your post Jen! How lucky we are to experiment, change, learn and evolve ... life would be so boring otherwise! I'm about to send my youngest to college and everyone wants me to redo at least one of the kids bedrooms into some space more useful to us, instead of two empty bedrooms. Well, I just can't do it and it's ok. Does that mean I will have to hit the reset button down the road? Probably but in the meantime the kids bedrooms are still a warm welcome home from college. Enjoy your transformation this weekend!

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  69. I'm so impressed with your honesty. I look forward to seeing your newest creative home.

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  70. I can completely understand your pain!
    It take TIME to figure out what works and ALLOT of screw-ups to figure out what doesn't!
    The worst is when others criticize you for not getting it right the first time and getting a; "you always change things around", "you will never be done with it", "you are wasting your money on silly things" - have you ever gotten those before?

    It really suck but you know what I found out? All I have to do is way to myself; organization is a process for the betterment of our lives and screwing up is very important part of it! That is how we get to know who we are and what we need to do to make our lives function!
    As is with every other part of our lives. :)

    Some of the greatest ideas I've had (in terms of everything, not just organization), came out of screw-ups and problems that I was faced with along the way.

    So to those who criticize the process of organization (or any other process for that matter) all I have to say is - know that it is through trial and error that we evolve and good things come to those who don't give up! :)

    So keep it up, and celebrate your mistakes! And also, it is encouraging to know for all of us that, we are not alone and we all make mistakes, but the best of those who make mistakes are those who get up back on the horse, wipe their tears and try for the better again!

    Sometimes maybe you and others (incl. me) need to hear that...

    Thank you for sharing - xoxo - Gabi

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    1. Well said Gabi! I am always tweaking things and changing things {it is definitely my nature}. And organizing is all about problem solving and evolving day to day as our lives change. I really love your positive spirit and appreciate your comment. Thank you!! <3

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  71. I look at alot of these organizing sites and for me, I always struggle to have a vision of what it might be like in MY colors which are warmer and cozier than most colors chosen today by the youth! lol I'm just old fashioned and love to feel like I'm in a cozy workplace rather than a sterile environment. Thanks for your ideas though.

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    1. I can absolutely understand that Mary. The good thing is that often times organizational systems and concepts can still be implemented with such a great variety of storage solutions. xoxo!

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  72. I love this post, mostly because it shows how authentic you are! I can't tell you how many times I have scoured blogs, Pinterest and magazines trying to pull together the perfect design, only to pull together far too many perfect elements leaving me with an overloaded design mess. I love that you pulled everything out and are starting fresh. Have you thought about pulling out any furniture that's not built in and really looking at the space and the movement around within the space? I ask, because what may also be contributing to the anxiety feeling is that there is really nowhere for your eyes to rest. Between the furniture, built-ins and bulletin board, the eyes bounce from one side of the room to the next and can neither find a place to focus nor rest. Have you thought about moving some of the furniture away from the walls? I know you did some building in of the Expedits, but I think it might help to pull those out. Maybe try a desk facing desk setup more in the middle of the space, allowing flow around the room (both physically and visually). Just a thought and, again, thanks for trusting us enough to let yourself be vulnerable.

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    1. Thank you Tracy! We are absolutely considering furniture placement. That part is the most challenging because things function so well, now we just need to get the aesthetics right without disrupting the way the room works. xoxo!

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  73. pjfizzyknits@yahoo.comFebruary 22, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    Oh my my my, can I relate to your story!! Long story long, 2nd marriage for hubs and I. We go to order the cake, and I have a ginormous amount of stuff I want on this little wedding cake. After reading said list to baker, my husband-to-be says, "Honey, it's only 1 little wedding cake," which is now our code word for my piling on whatever on to something. "Don't wedding cake it, Mama," is what I get now, said with a joyful heart, and received loud and clear without any hurt feelings. Fast forward to our house now, loved for 12 years. We have a COLOSSAL front room window, just about floor to ceiling. Time for an upgrade, so I scoured stores, online and not, to find the perfect drapes. Hubs was willing to splurge, joy and squeal noises followed as I set out and found the perfect sheers, perfect fabric, perfect tiebacks, even a new drapery rod. Husband even loved what I picked out. Raced home and put them up, and suddenly felt the walls closing in. Even with the drapes fully opened, I felt like I was suffocating. I'd open them in the morning, and then avoid the room as much as possible. Luckily this didn't go on for very long because my husband came home from work a few days later and said they had to go - even he felt claustrophobic in there. Relief and confusion all at once. How can I feel suffocated with beautiful color and fabric I picked out? I thought a wall full of fabric would be gorgeous, but it was just the worst design decision I have ever made. So thank you for sharing! I'm glad to hear others have been down the same road! Love your blog! Yours in crafts! PJ

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    1. First - I adore your wedding cake story. I think my hubs and I need to implement a code word. :) Second, such a bummer about the perfect drapes. It is so frustrating when we build something up so much in our minds and then it doesn't play out in the end. It is great you both felt the same way though and that it all worked out in the end! Hope you ultimately found something to love and thank you for sharing your story.

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  74. I rarely comment on something, darling, but I thought this was so dang refreshing. I am sorry you are frustrated, that you are finding yourself having to start over. That being said, I applaud you both for having the courage to do it and to blog about it. That kind of honestly and transparency is, unfortunately, hard to find in blogland. I also think it's a problem several of us, who started blogging and/or reading blogs as young twenty somethings, are having. I have always loved your blog, and it's posts like this that remind me why. Thank you for sharing, and I'm looking forward to see what changes you make. hugs!

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    1. So thankful you took a moment to comment, and I am even more thankful for all of these stories! I think ultimately the reason I blog is because I love finding people to relate with and learn from. xoxo!

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  75. I completely sympathize with you...you are just like me, we are creative types! And creative types have so many ideas and yes, once you see Pinterest , etc then you see another idea and then want that one...and I so agree that it takes sometimes up to 3 (or more lol) times to shuffle around/edit a room until it's just right. My husband is so incredibly patient/understanding with my process......and yes, i usually don't like taking photos until about that third time when it's finally "right"....and then we move .........We're trying SO hard to stay in this home until our Freshman graduates from High School in 3 more yrs.. So, I hope I don't change up my studio or house tooooo many times over the course of that many yrs haha....
    But I can so understand how sometimes seeing too much in a space drives your focus crazy.
    Thanks for sharing your story and your pictures and know that there are others, like me, that share this evolution! Change is good. :)

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  76. I'm right there with you. I'm hitting the reset button on my master bedroom and possibly the kitchen walls, plus a million little other details in the house I moved into 8 months ago. I thought I wanted tons of color, but now it's just too much. I used a color in the bedroom (BM Forget Me Not) that really brightened up the small, dark bedroom I had in my apartment. I just didn't have the brain cells to pick another color after thinking so hard about what to paint the rest of the house. I had to hire a painter b/c I have 15+ foot ceilings in my dining room, master, and office (poor me, right?!) and I was just in a hurry to give him something to put on the walls.

    Well, it's practically day-glow. Way, way, way, too bright. I'm not one of those people who spends a lot of time in my bedroom, either. I'm only in there while getting ready in the morning and before I got to bed at night. An energetic space is NOT what I want.

    I know I want to paint the room a soft grey, but it kills me to pay someone again to do this. (I can't do it myself, too tall and I'm afraid of heights!) Plus now I'm so afraid of getting it wrong that I'm paralyzed! I'm going to get some sample colors and paint the normal-height area around the closet and vanity then live with it for a while to be totally, totally sure. My problem is that I like the way things look on Pinterest but then realize that I don't want to live in those rooms, just look at them.

    Kudos to you for biting the bullet, owning up to the situation, and starting over. There is no shame in that! I'll share with you one of my favorite expressions that's perfect for this situation:

    "I don't fail. I succeed at finding out what doesn't work."

    Can't wait to see what you do next!

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    1. Um, that quote was exactly what I needed to hear! What a optimistic way to look at learning opportunities big and small {especially in greater terms than just a room update}. And I really hope you find a color to fall in love with and that it works out the next time. We repainted our entire lower level a few years ago, only a few months after the initial color went on the walls. Although we didn't have to hire it out, it was a hard pill to swallow. xoxo!

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  77. So much about design is the process of it all. It's better that you recognized that things weren't allowing you to work productively and you were willing to change plans ~ as HARD as that is!!! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one going, "Oh my gosh I'm 30 what is my life all about now?!" Haha! I have a feeling it will turn out beautiful. Once we moved into our beach house last summer, I finally realized just how much I LOVE all things coastal and running with it has been so fun. It will all come together beautiful! xoxoxo

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  78. I just love this. I also had to do a re-do on my son's nursery--went from a dark grey actually similar to your accent wall, to a warm creamy colour that I now love. I wrote about it (along with all of the rest of the mommy stuff that comes along with decorating, organizing, crafting and juggling 2 little ones here at www.beautifullifemadeeasy.blgospot.ca). Thanks for sharing--love your blog!

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  79. Personally I always thought. your studio looked great. But ... I do believe that it's so hard to have a happy place without a window? My craft room has gorgeous afternoon sunshine and that is my favourite feature of the room. If this is the room where you are spending all your time blogging etc I wonder whether you will ever get the feel that you want without some natural light? Sorry, I realise you can't just knock in a window wherever you want! We don't have basements in Australia so I can't really relate to how it would feel but I know I function much better when I can see some sunshine! Not really helpful, I know .... But I think you are brave and on the right track to create your more neutral restful background and then limit your happy fun colors to smaller spaces, Only other solution is to rearrange your whole house -eek! Love your blog.

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    1. Thank you so much Fiona! I agree, the natural light is a road block for me, it is the first "room" I have designed without a window. What I can totally appreciate is that I can always take my laptop to the kitchen and get a dose of light during the day while working. But creating a room that doesn't have that warmth of natural light is proving to be so different.

      Thanks again!! <3

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  80. I love your honesty. Thank you for being real.
    I've repainted my entry way 5 times in the last 1 1/2 years and still hate the color. Thanks for inspiring me to push the redo button.
    PS I loved your wall color, but once anything was added to that wall you are right it just wasn't working. So strange because it looks so good against the white cabinets.

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    1. Wow, five times and still no luck?! Hopefully the 6th is a charm {sending virtual lucky vibes}. The good thing is that that sell those great tester pots now, so you can get a good idea of how a color will look without purchasing a whole gallon of paint.

      And yes, the color made those cabinets shine, but did turn into a dark hole when looking at the room all together. At least the bright side is I learned from the process, no more dark accent walls for me, especially in windowless rooms. :)

      xoxo!

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  81. I think your room was just lovely,however I do know exactly how you feel. I think the reason I often feel that way about my spaces is I am too perfectionist. And being on Pinterest and reading gorgeous home blogs makes me more dissatisfied with what I have. Another thing that might be distracting you is the room has too much going on. It seems busy. Calming the colors should certainly help with that. Best of luck with your redo!

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  82. Actually, I have to agree with you. That was visually difficult to take. There was just too much going on. Like organized chaos. I liked the grey color also and maybe if you had some striping accent or something it wouldn't be so bad. Also, if some of the storage wasn't so visible. Good luck with the re-design. I hope you find the space you need that can maintain your calm.

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    1. Exactly! Organized Chaos perfectly sums it up! Hopefully it will be more Organized Calm by the time I am done with it! ;)

      xoxo!

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  83. Totally get it. Seeing so many small items was visually overwhelming. Hang in there! Your solutions are always so clever! Can't wait to see the re-take on your studio. :)

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  84. Although I love your office before, you have to make it a space that works for you! I feel like hitting the reset button every few years. We are moving in the fall and I'm excited for a new, blank slate! :)

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  85. Such a honest post Jen.

    I think with the amount of inspiration out there these days - Pinterest, blogs, Instagram, magazines (it goes on and on!) - it becomes hard to find clarity on what we love and also what is achievable in our homes.

    And sometimes it takes trying things to realise their not our taste. I even find I'll LOVE something for about 6 months and then I'll start to dislike the very same look I raved about!

    Enjoy the process of rediscovering the new studio look - you'll rock it no doubt xx

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  86. I think it is the difference between decorating a few separate vignettes and decorating a whole room. Separately they are awesome, together in one room, complete sensory overload. Can't wait to see where you go next. Love your stuff!

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    1. Perfectly said! Time to make it all flow together. :)

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  87. Hi there, I'm knew here and really enjoyed the post, again because of your honesty about the colour, and how the space was/ wasn't working for you. It take a lot of courage to admit that things need to change, so well done for realising and sharing with us all. I too fell in love with a grey wall. We were to different, he was dark and moody and I was bright and cheerful, it was passionate but ultimately it was doomed to failure. I'll always have fond memories but I ran back to the arms of white, at least for now! I'm very drawn to midnight blue at the moment - am I going to make the same mistake again?
    Really enjoying everything you do keep up the amazing work. X

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    1. Haha! I love your "relationship" with the wall! It is true we have relationships with our homes, and sometimes we have to go on a few bad dates to find the perfect match. I love midnight blue as well! I hope you find "the one" soon. :) xo!

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  88. I think it is just a natural process of life that as we grow, our ideas change about what looks aesthetically good, even if it is just a difference between last year and this year. I originally went for a super chabby chic pastelly style in my house and over time it just wore on me. It began to feel too kitchy in a bad way and now I have re-designed everything to be mostly black and white.

    Good luck with the organization of the room - I think this post will help a lot of your readers as well, as the problems/mistakes you identified happen to many people when decorating. I think the title of the post says it all. Moderation is key :)

    rae at lovefromberlin

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  89. Jen I'm SO glad you wrote this post, it runs so true for me. I love that you were being totally honest. I've changed so much in our first home in the last couple of years, but you've just gotta do it if it doesn't feel right - right?! You will feel so much better for doing it afterwards, have that end goal in sight and hang in there ;) xo

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  90. Smart girl :) I think you did an amazing job of self-evaluating here and figuring out what is and isn't working for you. And you're poised to really rock it now!

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  91. Hi Jen! I do like your office a lot. I do agree though with some of your comments as to why it wasn't working for you. Not your space in particular but in general. There is so much inspiration out there I think we convince ourselves to like it all! Then you put it all together and it just doesn't feel right. With age (hahum I'm not old) I do realize I like a sprinkle of bold throughout my house not turquoise overload, for example. You will make it right for your needs. Good luck!

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  92. Totally detail oriented question - where is that fantastic Blue notebook from that's next to your laptop? I have been looking for one just like it and can't find one... Thank you!!

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    1. Hi Jill! It is a Martha Stewart Discbound notebook and I use it to hold my daily planner. You can snag the details here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/p/2014-daily-planner-faqs.html

      xoxo!

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  93. I'm glad you shared. It's helpful to those of us out here who are not organizational experts to know that no one gets it right the first time every time. I'm 52 and have been reading your blog for a couple of years now. I've done more DIY projects in that time than in my whole life. Sometimes I get majorly frustrated when I read blogs and try to do these easy peasy DIY projects that turn out costing more time and money than it would have been to buy it off the shelf! But I'm getting it. It's fun to make something new out of something old, etc. So, it's nice to know that you ladies out there in blogland don't just wiggle your nose and everything turns out perfectly. That being the case, there's hope for the rest of us! :-)

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    1. I can completely understand where you are coming from. I love to play with upcycling, building and crafting, but sometimes I wish I were better at documenting some of the mid-process feelings, because a lot of time by the end of the project and finally getting it right, I am just so excited to share it. And that clouded excitement might mean occasionally omitting a few of the struggles and choice words along the way {I try to keep this a happy, non-whiny place}. ;) We don't always get things right the first or second time. But usually it is at a much smaller scale than an entire room. But it sounds like we are in the norm dear Dawn! xoxo!

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  94. One of my favorite things about your blog is how open and honest you are (in addition to all the great ideas)! Thanks for sharing the mistakes as well as the fabulous! I also LOVE that you included the photo of the family room pile. My husband hates when I feel the need to take everything out of a room. Of course, I'm not always so quick about putting it all back together. :) Can't wait to see the redo!

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    1. Ah yes, the pile! As much as I have a pile phobia, I sure am good at making them in the middle of a project! Luckily, my hubby is a natural pile maker so he can look past it, and I am not a fan of piles so I tend to deal with them as quickly as I can. But creating piles is a huge part of the organizing process, no matter how fast you tackle them, so pile away my friend! ;)

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  95. I never comment, but really feel I should today. It's very inspiring to me that you had the guts to start all over especially after putting so much work into the space. When you first revealed your office chair, I felt the same way...it looked busy and cluttered to me; however, I'm a lover of tons of neutrals with a bit of color sprinkled in so I thought it was just me. Good for you, Jen. You rock.

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  96. Thank you for sharing your "do-over"! I get a lot of inspiration from your projects which always seem so thoroughly thought out and well-suited to your needs. I have a studio that I have been avoiding because it is SO overwhelming and I have no idea how to get it organized. Good for you for jumping in and learning along the way rather than letting the space go unused or not used efficiently!

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  97. Thank you for this. It is so refreshing to read honest posts like this - our styles change. It's all good. Although I LOVED the 'before' and never thought it was too much or too young, I am super excited to see Version 2.0. I am struggling with a similar issue and I think the challenge is figuring out what I like and want to have in our home, and what I like and can appreciate, but doesn't fit with our style.

    Thank you for always being real, truthful and an inspiration to those of us following along at home and trying to keep up with your amazing ideas.

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  98. Jen, you are so awesome. And I sooo get what you are talking about. I recently had that moment with about 3/4 of my house! I currently have stacks of stuff everywhere while I start over with a few rooms, and it feels so great (although a bit chaotic at the moment! HA!) Anyways, loved this post! Can't wait to see what you create!
    xo,
    Virginia

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  99. Can completely relate! I am going through a similar process with my closet. Would love your ideas lifeimagined.org
    Have you thought about some sort of moveable panels with vision boards on them so you can hide storage and easily change your inspiration pieces on a grander scale?
    Definitely agree that some natural textures (plants as we'll) would help bring life to the space.

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  100. Can totally relate. Usually its the furniture/stuff I love that is the issue in the end. I heard somewhere someone said "You have to kill your darlings". Which basically means that if it does not work then remove your favorite stuff and see if it helps. I dont think that it is the colour that is the problem. I think that it is the desk that you love. Remove both desks. Put the two storage towers togehter and replace the desks with one big L-shaped desk is what I would do. That would open up the area and make it more accessible. And I would add more lighting. But I guess that you will make it work. You always do. Good luck!

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  101. Thanks for your honesty! You have great bones in the space and a good eye. I have every faith that you will get to your dream space. :)

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  102. While your room is beautiful as a whole and in parts, my first thought at the photo of your IG desk was, "is there too much going on?" I've been guilty of the same thing before, trying to work in too many different, but loved, elements, then my space just doesn't work as I intended. I've tried to be more careful and realistic about what a space is for and how we will actually use it, and I'm learning to "curate". Your blog has helped me tremendously with that! I'm sure your new space will be just as beautiful as before, and I can't wait to see it!

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  103. It's post like this one that make this site my first stop almost every day. Jennifer, your honesty and the self awareness are a breath of fresh air. So much of living well is figuring out what your preferences are -- (closed storage vs. open storage/ multi-color v neutrals/ industrial vs. pretty/ reaching or pulling) Some of this you know. Some of this you learn along the way.

    From a feng shui perspective, I could see how this beautiful space could feel a little stressful and stiff-backed.
    Since there are no windows and since a lot of the pieces are very tall and upright and the chairs were very upright ---- I wonder if a small loveseat and low lighting between those two built-ins might bring a sense of ease to the room. You could also do grasscloth wallpaper and maybe a small farmer's table style coffee table and rug to bring texture in and ground the space and give it more of an easy, spread feel to contrast the vertical.

    Anyway, keep doing what you are doing. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

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    1. Oooh, I so wish I could add plush cozy seating in place of the desk, I agree it would look amazing. Unfortunately, we use all three work spaces almost daily, so functionally we are going to try and keep them and work around them {or make upgrades to them}. But I truly appreciate the idea, and will keep it in mind should the way we utilize the room change down the line. xoxo!

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  104. Last summer I started a major organizing project of redoing the entire house. My husband can't really understand it but we were being buried in clutter. What worked before we had two kids, doesn't work now. It's been a lot of trial and error, but when I am finally done, it will be worth it.

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  105. Thank you so much for this post! I'm someone who is constantly afraid of messing up a room, and when I finally get around to doing something about it, 3 months later I'm a little sad by how it turned out! But you keep on pushing, which encourages me :)
    I was a little curious about your stain/paint problem...I think we're having the same issues with our baseboards we painted over, and now I'm afraid we'll have to repaint everything soon!
    As for the office space...perhaps some natural elements? I'm thinking a jute/seagrass rug would maybe help ground things? With all the white, the beautiful floors, and a fairly plain rug, you could play with any other colors and still have some solid, still moments.

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  106. I so appreciate this post, Jen! Sometimes it is so hard to edit down - especially in our workspaces where we want all the things that inspire us. It takes guts to admit it's not working and start fresh. You had a beautiful "first try", so I know the toned down "take two" is going to be beyond amazing! Have fun :)

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  107. I always feel that it's easier to design and decorate someone else's space than my own. I've been working on my own craft room for going on 3 years now! haha! I finally feel like I'm getting there though, and a lot is thanks to your blog and and the ideas I've gotten from you! Good luck with your reboot, sometimes that's all it takes to get it right. xoxo Ruth

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    1. I totally agree! I look at other people's homes and think "They should add this" or "Rearranging that so that this was here..." but when it comes to my own place PLTTTTTT (that's the sound of me throwing my hands up in the air and sticking out my tongue).

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  108. I totally relate! I am stuck in a rental home at the moment until after we get married and I have the entire basement for crafting/organizing BUT it is wood paneling and I cannot figure out how to make it work like I would like - but at the same time - I cannot find the time or extra money to get it to look like I want so I would rather wait and create my dream space in my dream home! :) Thank you for your wonderful posts and blog! I am looking to start my own eventually about being a mom to a child with a very rare condition, a pediatric nurse, and a fiance/wife to a masters student - basically about DIY frugal organized living! Again, thank you so much Jen!

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  109. I've spent more years than you have been alive concentrating on details and overlooking the big picture. My desk has too much going on and it is making me jittery. I haven't read any of the comments yet but I bet you have a lot of company.

    Barbara in CT

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  110. I completely understand. I just redid my jewelry storage last week. Nothing was wrong with the organizers I was using per se, they just didn't work with my way of working. I used to have a lot of tangled necklaces, and was sometimes hard to find/access what I wanted when I wanted it. Went to Target and had a big "aha" moment when I saw a sectioned drawer organizer. I'm more of an out-of-sight/out-of-mind person, so I loved that it was clear plastic, and the sections ensure nothing is tangled any more. Sits on top of my dresser so I can still access it quickly. Worked out so well with my necklaces, that I did the same for earrings, just the smaller size organizer.

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    1. Your new storage sounds chic and functional! So happy you were able to find a solution that fits your daily needs. I am the same way when it comes to jewelry; it has to be out for me to see or else it would never be used. xo!

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    2. I posted a somewhat before/after here(wish I had a more recent before pic): http://instagram.com/cute_little_redhead

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  111. I feel your pain. I have had many, many "redos" in the 12 years in my home. Plus many more I desperately want to do but haven't gotten around to (or don't want to spend the money for). Anyway, I think your office is almost there. My suggestions would be to warm up the walls with color. Not an accent wall, but all walls. Allow your white furniture and built-ins "pop" off the wall color. Not too dark...that was the problem with the grey (although I get what you were hoping to achieve). More of a light or mid-tone. Keep it warm and happy. Right now all the white is reading stark, almost cold (problem with an interior, windowless room). The color you select would obviously have to relate well to your adjoining rooms. Then I second your idea of bringing in much more texture....natural woven baskets, etc. Some wood tones would help warm things up. As you move forward, move away from the white (you already have an awesome white foundation in place) and toward the eclectic, the funky and the textural. One other idea is to find three identical baskets or decorative storage boxes for the shelves in the built-in wall (the one that had been painted grey) to unify and give rhythm to that space. You'll get there, very soon I think!

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    1. Thank you so much for the ideas Susan! I agree a warmer wall color could absolutely help things. For now it has to stay as-is because the entire lower level is open and all walls have this color {all the walls connect, there is not a good start/stop point}. Hopefully my plans can warm things up with the existing color, and if not, I guess we may have to repaint the entire lower level... again... Let's cross our fingers. :)

      xoxo!

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  112. I can't believe you don't like all that color! That is one of the reasons why I ADORE your style! Ever since I have started your blog I have introduced more pops of color and it does make me so happy! But if it's not you anymore... then it's good you recognize that. Can't wait to see what you do with it! :0)

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    1. Oh, I love all the color {probably too much}, just not in such a huge dose and in this area of the home. It currently feels visually cluttered and heavy to me. So there will still be color in the space as there is throughout our home, just in moderation. :)

      xo!

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  113. Glad that you are starting with a blank slate. I adore the ombre IKEA cabinet - hope it makes the cut for the new room. Other than your blog, this is the other one I read and I love their Workspace of the Week column. http://unclutterer.com/category/workspace-of-the-week/ Some are a bit minimal. As I finish out my 30s, I'm really enjoying not seeing as much clutter. Like everything in a drawer, closet or box. Makes dusting easier too :)

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  114. I am often stuck on something and it is hard to change, even I don't like it. What I need is a fresh look, or someone's critical look. Though one can be a good designer, they always start from a blank. Not knowing what to do is part of the process of realizing what you want to do :)
    Frankly, watching at the 'before' pictures I can tell that you had too much in that tiny room – too much colour, too much items. Inspirational board is a good thing, but doesn;t it destract you after you get inspired? May be you can keep inspirational folders you can put away, or inspirational slide under the desk (as one of those slides for keyboards – hope you know what I mean).
    You might consider putting colour back in (cause a whole white room is what drives me crazy). But stay away from dark colours, and pink bull hear here and yeallow lamp there – this is distracting. Try one or two pastel colours – light yelloy-green and milky purple go well with white.
    Good luck in finishing the room.

    Professional Floor Cleaner London

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  115. I would have a hard time saying goodbye to that beautiful grey too! I had to reset my office too. When we moved into the house, I painted it pink. I thought it was going to be a nice coral-ish shade, but it looked more like Pepto Bismal. That stayed for all of 1 day before I was back at the paint store. Next was green. Again, I was a bit off in my shade choice, but this was more tolerable. After 2 years with that colour, I decided to reset again. Now it's a beautiful cream colour with a mint green accent wall, and I'm just thrilled with how it looks now. My next project is to absolutely redo our kitchen and dining/living room area, and I can't wait to start!

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  116. My suggestion is to add more wood. I've noticed that you like to paint everything, but I personally love the look of wood pieces!

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  117. I'm so happy you posted this. I made me realize how much I hate this focal wall we painted in our master bedroom, and I've just been trying to make it work and live with it. I really just want to get rid of it!

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  118. I can TOTALLY relate. When we moved into our house I could NOT for the life of me figure out how to decorate our living room. It was a really odd-shape and smaller than I was used to. We actually purchased two different sofas for the space because the first one was such a failure in the room (and yes, I'm a total cheapo so it nearly killed me). In the end, playing with the room and getting the second sofa was the best decision we could have made. We love it now. I totally know what you mean about not feeling comfortable in the space. That's exactly how I felt about our living room before the do-over. I actually blogged about the experience a while back in a post that I lovingly refer to as "A Tale of Two Sofas". You're so talented, I'm sure the office will turn out exactly how you want it. :)

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  119. I love, love LOVE that you choose to be honest about how disappointed you were at the end result of your space and I have to agree I've felt the same way. It's easy to get so overloaded with ideas (thanks to Pinterest, Blogs, Instagram) that it can be too much.

    I look forward to seeing your new "new" studio space.

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  120. Please tell me there is a tutorial for the instagram desk somewhere. I love it! Cant wait to see what you come up with next

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    1. Hi Kristi!

      Here is the tutorial for the desk top: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/09/iheart-instadesk-update.html

      xoxo!

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  121. Hi Jen,

    I adore your honesty!! It's refreshing and reassuring to know that it's ok to make mistakes, and not everything is easy.

    I can't wait to see the new space you create!

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  122. I am so with you regarding your "kid at heart" vs. sophistication. It's difficult sometimes to draw that line, and follow through.

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  123. So happy you shared this with us! I agree that it seemed a bit busy with the colored wall and three different work stations. First thing I thought of was to add a rug to ground the room and add some softness and texture, and you said you thought of that too! Can't wait to see all that you'll come up with! Spray paint the task lamp, change out the busy tabletop, paint over the walls, but please, PLEASE don't get rid of that gorgeous chair! ♥

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  124. J, you are SO refreshing in your honesty. Though I quite love all your spaces, I understand the need to "reset". I have this urge to paint my whole house white right now.

    Thanks for being so open & reaffirming that less is more. We don't have to Pin all the things! DIY all the things! Drink all the wine! Wait.

    I heart you.
    xoxo

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  125. Hi Jen, Sorry if my comment is posting twice - its a love-hate relationship between me and technology :) I was hoping to find out where you snagged that cart you're using for your silhouette! I'm sure you have linked that somewhere, but I can't seemed to find it... thanks!

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    1. Thank you Erin! You can find the post here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2013/04/studio-progress-crafty-storage-cart.html xoxo!

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  126. Hi Jen. I've never commented before but I wanted to let you know that I really appreciate this post and I understand that it must have been difficult. But for me, it was great to hear from someone that I view as a "Queen" of organizing and home decorating. I get so many ideas from blogs, Pinterest, etc and it is so overwhelming! I hate failing and because of this, I tend to not do anything at all. It's nice to see that professionals get it wrong sometimes too. Now, maybe I will have a little courage to try something. Thanks for your revealing, honest, and humbling post.

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    1. Thank you for your sweetness, "organizing queen" does have a nice ring to it. ;) But happy to know that sharing my mis-steps is helpful and encouraging. I think that before blogging I was easier on myself for mistakes. Now I have to admit to more than just my hubby and self when I make a faulty choice. I will be sure to continue to "keep it real". xoxo!

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  127. Carolina MondelloMarch 6, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Just came across this blog post - this is exactly the problem I was having but didn't realise I was having! I'm in the midst of designing a shared space of craft room and playroom and it's doing my head in trying to imagine all the design elements that I want to incorporate when realistically I know I can't. And I'm easily distracted by colour (totally understand what your craft room was doing to you) so I'm trying to come up with a space which in terms of craft supplies, are very accessible but also hidden from sight. Trying to achieve both is driving me crazy (apart from the whole issue of trying to combine craft & play!). Thank you for a great post, you've given me lots of food for thought.

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  128. So funny because I've been going through the same exact thing. I decided to re-do my studio back in July (my, how time flies!). Everything is mostly done, but I'm not 100% loving it. I have the largest Ikea Expedit in there, which is much needed for storage, but it takes up so much space when my studio is the smallest room. My studio definitely looks better and is much more functional than before, but just not in love with it. Maybe when I actually get some projects done, I won't need that large Expedit and can move a smaller one in there and then the room won't feel so busy and crowded. I am determined to get it completely done soon, though! Glad to know that it's not just me! :) Good luck!

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  129. I have recently began a minimalist lifestyle and there is more joy in owning less than can ever be found in organizing more! Not to come off judgemental because your sight is the only home organizing site I follow but just in my own personal journey I thought I'd share that actually owning less is what has made me free! Free'd up much more time to spend with family not having to manage so much stuff that was distracting me from what truly matters! I feel like it can be a never ending cycle of trying to find the latest project or trend to "keep up with the jone's" (sorry no pun intended) that I finally had to let go of the time, energy, money spent in my home and my life has forever changed for the better!

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  130. I have been finding that less is more in every aspect of my life!

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  131. I may be the only one, but I LOVED the Gray walls and the pink drawers! I think it was the Accessories and their additional colors that made it too busy, not the gray walls. Sorry! I am not a fan of multicolored anything. Keep just a few coordinating colors. And bring back the gray walls! :-) PS I'm normally not a fan of colored walls, but the Gray walls worked in that space.

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