Archive for ‘Make Over Monday’

August 27, 2012

Moving Monday::Web Makeover

by heatherkp

With one move finally behind me I’m about to begin another one (maybe just as big in a different way).  You see,  this here blog has reached capacity…and it’s on the verge of a meltdown!  I’ve been using it for several years with the intent to MOVE it over to my own domain name and website but obviously that hasn’t happened YET!  Ack, I took a class to learn to design my website in late 2010 and got in over my head so I just made some small changes to my blog and kept on posting…until several weeks ago when I started getting notices that I was going to run out of space to post any more photo’s.  Well as you know most of my posts include photo’s so what am I going to do with a blog that I can’t post photo’s to?

Well as luck would have it right around that time I got an email about a new version of this class I’d taken back in 2010.  I saw some changes had been made to make things a bit more simple and clear so I decided to give it another whirl, I’ve got nothing to loose!  Last week I began working on creating my new website and eventually my blog and full web presense will be moved over here.

In the meantime as will all moves, things get hectic and you have to be patient with yourself and take some of the pressure off.  In doing so I’ll be taking a little haitus from my blogging with hopes of being up and running over at HKpowerStudio.com by the end of September.  There, I said it and now I’ve got to stick to my word!  Just because I won’t be posting here doesn’t mean I won’t be around on the web.  You should come over and check out my Facebook Page, where I post tips, photo’s and other resources for organizing, art and design.   I’m also on Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram all as HKpowers where I share links, quotes, tips and photo’s.

We all need a break from time to time and with the seasons changing, work picking up and some travel plans ahead this is a good time to make some big changes.  I hope you’ll be patient with me and stay along for the ride!

June 18, 2012

Makeover Monday::Kitchen Edition

by heatherkp

Disclaimer:: These photo’s are not very good and I apologize, I think those of you who regularly read my blog know that I’m normally a much better photographer.  These were taken with  my new phone and I’m still getting use to the settings.  Okay, on with it.  This project was in a very small home (just over 800 Sq’) in the historic Byrnes Down neighborhood.  The homes in this neighborhood were built in the 40’s as “war homes” and their sizes reflect this historic fact.  This particular house is the home of 2 adults and 2 kids who love to cook and entertain but their very limited cabinet/cupboard space has made it challenging.   In the 4 hours we worked, we tackled 6 of the 8 cabinets in the kitchen.  These 6 cabinets must hold ALL the food and dishes.  The remaining 2 cabinets are under the sink and above the refrigerator.

Above the sink-Open cabinet

Because this is an open cabinet (i.e. dust will accumulate etc) I wanted it to be filled with frequently used items that were not cluttered looking so we opted for glasses and a few serving pieces.  The top shelf contains seasonal and less used items.

Dishes and Glasses

The daily china and smaller glasses stayed in this cabinet.  Less frequently used barware was moved to the dining room and a shelf riser was installed to double the amount of short glassware and coffee mug storage.  Again the top shelf contains fine china and less frequently used items.

Lower Storage Left

The opposite side of the kitchen (this is a galley style kitchen) only contains 4 cabinets.  This side has a trash can that lives in front of one side so the left had to store less frequently used items such as larger serving pieces and small appliances/accessories.  Whenever possible I like to use containers to keep like items together, this makes it easy to locate the items when you need them and know exactly where to put them away.  We took advantage of the tall space to use another riser for canned goods.  A few frequently used utensils hang on the inside of the door since there are only 2 drawers in this kitchen.

Lower Storage Right

This side (of the oven/stove) holds the cooking items and every day items used to make the kids lunches.  By corralling all the wraps, bags, foil etc. into a door mounted unit these items are now easily accessible without bending down and digging through the cookware.  The deep cabinets allowed for this good size unit to be installed and the other door can still be used if needed.  Doors are a great place to store things when space is tight.

Food Storage Upper Left

All the food staples need to fit into two cabinets less than 30″ wide.  The other drawback to these cabinets is the lack of shelving, with only 2 useable shelves in each it was necessary to bring in shelf risers to accommodate more storage.  The client may install additional risers or shelves in the future to fit even more in but we decided to work within boundaries of only purchasing 4 items (2 shelf risers, one stepped spice rack and the inside the door unit for the foil etc). The top shelf contains baking goods and other less frequently used foods.

Food Storage Upper Right

Lastly the upper right cabinet contains the more frequently used breakfast and snack foods as well as pastas, rice and other staples on the top shelf (where a step stool can be used to access them relatively easily).  When its constantly necessary to use a step stool I recommend finding a small collapsible one that can be mounted on the wall or slid into a tight space for easy accessibility.

Shortly after leaving this client she sent me this email:

“So excited to use our organized kitchen! Thank you Heather!”

As with all organizing projects it’s important to re-evaluate how well the changes you made are working for you.  I will follow up with this client to tweak things and be sure the “system” is working for them.

May 14, 2012

Makeover Monday::Year Long Transformation

by heatherkp

When I left Maryland I tried to wrap things up with most of my clients as best I could or pass them along to other organizers.  I had one client though that was making very good progress on her own and we had discussed before leaving the possibility of my continuing to work with her “Virtually”.  We began working together in one room tackling the transformation of the guestroom into something more comfortable for guests and also creating a functional work space where this client could work on the computer and her family genealogy projects.  When I arrived the room and walk in closet were crowded with many years worth of papers (personal, financial, you name it) mixed in with the genealogy papers.  Together we set to the task of sorting through these papers and deciding what to keep, what to toss and what category the keepers fell into.

Entrance to room

Guest Bed

Desk

Walk in closet shelves (all clothing that was hanging here was relocated)

As you can see from the before photo’s things were a bit of a jumble.  We worked together on average twice a month for a few hours each session.  Along the way as we began to see progress and as room was created we started to discuss the clients vision for this room.

  • How did she want it to feel and look?
  • How did it need to function in their day to day lives and for the guests who frequently used the room?

I discussed all of this with the client and asked her to gather some inspiring images to share what she liked.  We ended up working from one particular photo for the rooms inspiration.  Before things got finished the room actually looked worse!  That’s pretty common with almost any organizing project.

Things were pulled from the closet to sort through and this stained glass lamp served as inspiration for the color palette in the room.

The paint color was chosen and the room got a fresh paint job.

Furniture was re-arranged and cherished accessories were sorted through to select the ones to be used and displayed in the room.  This was roughly how things looked when I left Maryland in November.  I knew my client had her work cut out for her but I also was confident in her progress and motivation to complete this project.  So, we embarked on monthly phone coaching calls where she and I would “work” through her goals, progress and obstacles along the way.  I was very excited to see her progress when I returned to Maryland this past month.  Based upon what I had heard had been done in my absence, I knew she had done a great job.  This is what I saw when I returned!

A big part of this rooms re-designed focused on the function as a guest room for musicians and a genealogy office.  I also wanted to help this client use and appreciate the sentimental memorabilia that tied into the overall theme of the room and were too beautiful to be shoved in a closet!   Several stained glass lamps are being used and the violins and other musical instruments are now on display.  Furniture was relocated out of the room and the gold chair was brought in from another room. The primary color palette inspiration from the lamp worked well with most of the accessories and furnishings the client had on hand.

This desk is much more proportional to the room and was the only piece of furniture purchased.  The client loves it, I love it!

The closet got a transformation with the installation of shelves built to fit the basket filing system we created for the genealogy files.  In this case the client wanted to be able to pull out one family’s papers to work on at a time and she wanted to be able to work on them in this room or other areas of the house.  The final detail will be putting tags on the filled boxes.  No filing cabinets in sight!

The client has a bit more genealogy filing to do to complete this system but this part of the task will be something the client can easily handle on her own.  I know this because I see how incredibly far she has come in the past year of working together and in the past 4 months of her working with me on a coaching only basis.  Way to go!  I love to see these kinds of transformations, they can be so self motivating as the clients see how much progress they have made.  Working with clients virtually isn’t for everyone.  I only recommend working this way with specific clients who are interested in doing much of the work themselves, they have clear and specific goals encompassing a specific project and are very self motivated.  If you think you might be a candidate for working with me on a “virtual” coaching basis, send me an email and we can set up a free phone assessment.  What transformations have taken place for you in the past year?

 

March 5, 2012

Makeover Monday: Home office remodel

by heatherkp

This was a fun project that I started about a month ago.  This client recently began working from a home office and although the design of the room and built in desk are quite beautiful there were some issues with functionality.  The clients punch list was part design and remodel and part organization and efficiency.  At our first meeting I took an assessment that included the following:

  • Purchase a new larger monitor (which wouldn’t fit on the original desk top)
  • Re-arrange & relocate artwork
  • Rebuild or bring in a new/different desk
  • Purchase paper shredder
  • Eliminate clutter and create more desktop space
  • Keyboard tray/desktop had no room for use of mouse
  • More leg room
  • TV viewing in room -better positioned seating
  • Crowded (too much clutter)
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Space to store supplies
  • Storage for important archival documents
  • Implement/redesign filing system

Desk area before

Office before

Upon my return last week we discussed this “Punch list” and the client had made some decisions with some close advisement of family, myself and a contractor (in this case my husband who had done previous work for this client).  They purchased a new computer, all in one printer and shredder, we redesigned the desk and had it remodeled to fit their needs exactly and re-arranged furniture and implemented new storage/filing solutions.  Some furniture and other items were removed from the room or stored away, we brought in a second desk, relocated the sofa and additional seating opposite the TV and added lighting (on artwork, in the bookshelf/desk and an additional lamp).  We sorted through paperwork and created storage for archival documents, cleared out unneeded papers and equipment, installed a binder filing system (more on this type of system to follow in a separate post) and used existing storage and furniture to store items needed in the office.

Office in progress

As usual for any organizing project there came a point mid way through where the room looked worse than when we began.  In the photo above you can see the papers, boxes and clutter floating homeless in the room but at this point the furniture had been re-arranged to fit their needs and the desk was in the midst of being remodeled.  This project was done in about 4-5 days.  Part of the fun of this was that my husband and I worked as a team and he did the remodeling, lighting installation assisted with installation of all the new technology (computer, relocating phones/modems, printer etc).  In fact we worked so well together that we are thinking of trying more projects as a team in the future.  The results speak for them self (I think:)

Office-second desk with printer after

Desk after

Office desk after

Office after

It’s not every project that comes together so quickly and efficiently.  We had a successful week and I’ll be following up (as I always do with my clients) to be sure that the new space and systems we installed are working well.  I’m not only proud of how beautiful this room is (which I certainly can’t take total credit for!) but also how well it will now function but customizing and thinking through all this clients needs. 

Great Design is all about Form + Function!

Do you balance form and function as you design your spaces or do you lean more heavily towards one or the other?