Thursday, April 7, 2011

Planning and Organizing Shelves

As promised, here is the fabulous guest post from Kalani of Kalanicut blog to offer great advice on Planning and organizing shelves.
Living in a series of apartments in Los Angeles, it’s been an on-going adventure to make the most of each unique space and maximize storage. The goal of course is not only to create a more cohesive space, with more optimal storage but also that it looks great. After four years, my current apartment began to feel crowded. I went through everything a couple of times and sent lots to the thrift store, recycling and a little to the trash. I knew that in order to improve the flow and space usage of my apartment, I needed to go vertical to maximize the wall space and to limit the amount of furniture taking up valuable floor space.

I knew I could just buy some new bookcases, but instead I looked around and opened my plan up to a variety of organizational solutions. It is so stylish and fun to have a mix of furnishings from a variety of sources –it’s the best way to achieve the most personalized, charming results.  I enjoy that my home is a mix pieces from second-hand shops, hand-me-downs, national retailers and custom designers.
Here are a few ways I found to create new stylish storage and more open space at home.

1. Ikea Laiva Bookcase - I added this inexpensive, compact bookcase to an open corner of my room. The top shelves hold favorite collectibles of mine and I found that the lower shelves, since they are mostly out of view of the rest of the room are perfect for hiding my digital alarm clock, journals, and books I am reading.

2. Ikea Lack Bookcase – We weren’t planning on this purchase, but when we found it in the As-Is section it was such a steal we couldn’t pass it up – and thankfully we’d driven the car with room to carry it home. It’s a nice punch of color, adds a great amount of storage in very little floor space.  With some large baskets, magazine folders and fresh green plants this is a cheery focal point.

3. Ikea Ekby Shelves - We added four of these on one wall in the second bedroom. With a bed and secondary workspace in this room creating a more open feeling was a big help. Because this is a rental apartment and I can’t paint the walls, these shelves allowed me to camouflage the walls, adding more detail and color, and make the space more visually appealing.

4. Baskets – I scored on some great basket sets at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts for 50% off. They are perfect for hiding miscellaneous items. I was so happy to find one basket that I could store all my camera equipment in that is just above my desk. It’s quick and easy to grab my gear and it’s completely out of sight. I also use baskets to store my canvas shopping bags and other things I use frequently that no one needs to see. The baskets also visually break up book stacks nicely.

5. Elfa Workspace Shelving from The Container Store - I needed a very functional work space in a very small area – a narrow corner of my room. I did my research and had The Container Store Elfa Designers help me construct something that would meet all my needs. I fit in space for a TV, air purifier and a well-disguised printer area along with plenty of storage to put everything I need at my fingertips.

6. Accessories  -  can very powerfully take boring stacks of things on shelves and make them into visually appealing art. I started the process by arranging books and other items on shelves together in interesting and similar shapes and colors. Some books lay flat in stacks and other stand tall. Once I had my basic storage items (books, art supplies, electronics, etc.) in place it was time to layer in color, pattern and personality. I added several plants to my shelves in bright ceramic pots and earthy wood grain boxes. I added a bright blue piece of art to pop against the orange and brown color base. Including personal treasures like this Danish mailbox, a reminder of my years in Denmark, personalize the space even more. It takes some extra time to curate your organizational spaces but it pays off in usability and visual appeal.

It’s amazing how much I’ve been able to open up my apartment and create a sense of greater order. The apartment feels more stylized, organized and color-filled. You can definitely feel more personality in every room. If you’re feeling closed in, cluttered or are unable to find the things when you need them, try a variety of organizing options to create a greater sense of order, peace and personality in your home.


Image by Kalanicut

Kalani is an artist at heart. Since childhood she has been styling homes, clothing and crafts. Her blog is a gathering place for all these things and the fulfillment of her dreams to combine her writing education and experience with her love of all things adventurously creative.

Thank you Kalani for your insight!  I'm definitely inspired to maximize my wall space now.

No comments: