Put Another Record On

846 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor, Organization

My gift to Brian this Christmas was a record player (or turntable, or phonograph). We’ve each been building up a collection of records over the years (mine started when I purchased Debbie Gibson’s Out of the Blue in the second grade), so it’s been great to hear our records through the speakers. The thing is, now I want some sort of furniture piece to hold the records and player. My current solution is a wooden TV tray and a plastic milk crate (note to college students with little money- buy these things, you will keep finding uses for them until you win the lotto and can afford to actually decorate your whole house at once).

The contenders:

Urban Outfitters

West Elm


And if I do win the lotto (or stop buying food):

Design Within Reach


Free Closet Makeover


I came across this closet transformation by Freckles Chick via Nicole at Making It Lovely a few weeks ago, and it inspired me to look at my own closet.  Even though the space itself is large enough, I really hadn’t set it up too well when we moved in a year ago.  I’ve been known to suffer from Wardrobe Amnesia- if I can’t see it, I forget I own it, and I never wear it.  My focus was to have my purses and accessories in view, and easy to reach.  I’m doing my annual “Don’t buy anything in April.” experiment, so all of the changes I made were simply rearranging things and using some unused organizational items.


Okay, all of the focus is on storage bins that store stuff I rarely use.  Meanwhile, my purses, scarves, and belts are hiding.


Oh, it’s so nice to feel more organized!  I can see all of my purses and bags, and there is a place for everything.  I tucked the smaller storage bins under the little table, and the larger bin (quilt we haven’t used in a year) and garment bags (flight attendant uniform) are going to our storage unit.

I may buy some things later on to improve upon this, but in the meantime, I’m quite happy with the new look.


Bookshelf to Hutch Transformation


I think you’d be hard pressed to find a 20something who doesn’t have a particle board bookshelf in her apartment.  I think they’re so ubiquitous because real wood bookshelves are: a) expensive and b) tend to look like they were made by the Amish.  In our last place, we used our bookshelf to hold books.  We bought an Expedit bookcase from Ikea to hold our books and hobby supplies, so ye old particle board bookshelf was just sitting there.  I then came up with the brilliant idea of transforming it into a hutch.  I thought it would make our dining area seem a bit more obvious, as if the hutch is saying, “Yes, see, people eat here… my plates and various crockery are proof!”

To spruce up the old girl, I first took out the top two shelves and attached craft paper with double sided tape to the back.  I did kind of a crummy job cutting the top of the paper, so I’m on the hunt for some cute tape to cover up the jagged edge.  It is amazing how just some brown paper really gave the bookshelf some more depth.

I have these great dessert plates from Anthropologie that were a birthday gift from my sister a few years ago.  Sadly, they’ve just sat in my kitchen cupboards all this time!  I attached them to the back of the shelf with that putty you can use to put up posters.  I also made a little snake of putty that I put on the bottom of each plate to help them stay put.  They’ve been up for a few days now, and they’re holding quite well.

I found some clearance Amy Butler fabric (like $5 a yard!) to make the skirt.  I just did a quick sew job, as if I were making a little curtain.  A tension rod holds it up.

Now, the funny thing about all this is that with the exception of the desert plates, I don’t actually own any dishware worth showing off.  The antique radio (it still works!) passed down through Brian’s family seems to compensate just a bit.




All and all, the transformation cost about $10.   Anyone else have a cheap and quick furniture transformation?


The Most Beautiful Laundry Hamper


I was at The Container Store the other day, and while browsing the sale section, came across this, by Umbra.  I wanted it just for the fabric alone, but I’m trying to be responsible with my purchases (and I already have too many “bargains” that just sat around until I gave them to Goodwill).  Lucky for me, I actually did need it!

Someone in this household isn’t too speedy with the putting away of the clean clothes.  And our current clean clothes receptacle is this old plastic laundry basket my boyfriend inherited from his family.  I get really tired of looking at it; then I give up and put all of his clothes away.  Luckily, this “crunch can” is bigger than the other hamper, as well as much nicer to look at.  Oh, and it can scrunch down flat, for those times when the magical clean clothes elf appears.

Umbra makes many other sizes and shapes as well, available online at  Oh, and many are still on sale!