Sunday, March 30, 2008

Organizing Roundup: Dining Room


This month's Organizing Roundup is in the Dining Room. I don't know about you, but our dining room table is a terrible mess. It gets piled up with everything and then we have to clean it off to eat supper as a family. It's such a struggle for us, so I was thrilled to tackle this project!


Here is the dining room on a good day. Actually, I took this picture AFTER some purging. (I forgot to take a before picture.) It consists of bills, coupons, homework, and a whole bunch of other random junk... even potting soil in the window sill... We finally did some planting!


Our kitchen and dining room are combined. The house does have a formal dining room, but after Witt was born, we needed another bedroom and converted the formal dining room into Will's room (that's why this humongo table is in this little bitty breakfast nook area... besides the fact that it's the only one we have).

Anyway, as I was saying, the rooms are combined. I could easily just show you before picture and after pictures of the table and call it a day, but that's not the whole story around here. We have another "hot spot" that is almost in the dining area and it's where the other random things go when they don't fit on the table. Can you find it in the picture below? LOL!


(While you're here, take a peek at the floor tile, I have a decorating question for you at the end...)


So, here's our nasty little corner in the dining room. I bought the pretty organizer thinking it would help, but it didn't. I love it, but it just doesn't work for us here. I decided that instead of just trying to get rid of this shelf (which has crossed my mind) that I just needed to give in and make a home for the things that were already there. So, I sorted through and purged.

Yes, that is Will's Valentine's box there on the left... it fell among the purge file... shh, don't tell him, though!



After sorting, there were some distinct "categories" of stuff. Jeff's to-do items, my to-do items, coupons, writing utensils, candy, keys, office supplies, etc. All of this and more had found it's home on this little shelf and I needed a way to keep it separated and organized for easy access and clean-up. I didn't want to spend any money on this project, so I used what I already had: a few unused filing trays, tossable containers, and some of the kids' sturdy cups. Here's what I came up with:

Of course I used my label maker again!


This set-up has worked really well for us; we've been using it for about three weeks. My dining room table isn't always as empty as I'd like it to be, but with this set-up it is easily cleaned up. I can breathe now when I look at that shelf. (And in case you are wondering, yes, that is where the refrigerator is "supposed" to be. The previous owners put up a shelf there and moved the fridge elsewhere. We just never changed it back.)

In conclusion to this happy ending, here's a shot of my beautiful cherry wood table that I fell in love with over 5 years ago. Isn't it gorgeous!?!


Now for the decorating question... What color should I paint my walls? I really, really don't like this yellow/orange thing that's going on. You can see the floor tile above... kind of a natural beige and brown. With the dining room and kitchen being combined, it's a long narrow room. You can see a bit more of it here, although our appliances are all now white instead of black (thankfully!). Any suggestions? [UPDATE: To see the color we chose... click here]

Thanks to Org Junkie for hosting the Monthly Roundup! I can't wait to tackle the Master Bedroom in April! Woo Hoo! I'm hoping for a sanctuary away from kids... but maybe I'll just settle for being able to find my shoes quickly... :) You'll have to come back next month to see how it all goes!


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30 comments:

laurel said...

My vote is for Granny Smith Apple Green on the walls :)

laurel said...

Thanks for the kind words. And ACTUALLY, I did have new shoes...but they were causing intense muscle pain in my calves, which is why I switched to my old shoes for the race. I am slowly going to be working in my new shoes, until my legs get used to them. So there! :)

Thank you for my yummy lotion!! interesting name, great lotion! I was very excited to win a drawing!

My name is Dianna said...

Laurel, my kitchen walls are that very same color of green...I love it! Becky, what is your favorite color? What makes you smile, we moms and chefs spend about 1/3 of our time at home in the kitchen, so choose a color that gives you energy and makes you feel at home. I am about to redo our kitchen, our cabinets are white beadboard and the walls are granny smith apple green, but i am feeling like i need a little more warmth so I am switching my cabinets and all the trim to red and my walls to a buttery yellow...can't wait to see what you choose!

p.s. i am going to try to contribute on a regular basis to slow and simple fridays, i check yours every week and ponder on it but b/c i was working at molly's preschool on fridays, i couldn't slow down enough to post...this modified bedrest i am on is not going to be so bad after all.

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

I'll try to come back on Friday. it's hard for me to post Tuesday through Friday because of work. I'll be thinking about surrendering this week and if I have anything to contribute.

Can you come organize my stuff? I'm great at the initial organizing. It's the upkeep I have a problem with. :)

The Joys of having Boys said...

You don't know me, but I got the link for your blog off of the "Organizing Roundup". The name caught my eye because I have three boys also. I am interested in the Slow and Simple or Simple and Slow Fridays well you know the Friday thing. I will try to come back on Friday and post something. I homeschool also and Fridays are our off days so it would be a great time to do that. I was great reading some of your blog entries.

Kristy said...

Hi - I found your blog through Organizing Junkie's. I think green would be a great color for your walls - its bright (which I love in the kitchen). And its kind of hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like the floor tile might have a little bit of an orange tint to it - is that right?

The other thing you could do (and this is something that I've become more and more attracted to in my own home) is paint a neutral brown - something dark enough that it doesn't appear white (I just personally hate white walls), but with the right understone to fit your table and countertops. Then, you can decorate with bright accessories (like the SLAH stuff you already have).

Alicia said...

I'm not a decorator, but I do love color and combining color! (Don't base it on my blog colors OR the fact that my walls are white-I live in military housing).

If you wanted to go really neutral, you can do a taupe. But if you at least wanted some color, I think a terra cotta would bring out that rusty color in your tile. It would really pop! Can't wait to see what you do.

Alicia said...

Oh, and I didn't even comment on your organizing work! The shelf looks great-good job!

Lulu said...

I think I need a label maker. Maybe then I'd be motivated enough to play with my new toy that I'd actually purge some of my own hot spots. Yours look great!

I personally would go green in the kitchen. Take that with a grain of salt though, because left to my own devices I would likely paint my kids green too.

Jenean said...

Looks great!! I've been working on my bedroom since January, which has my computer in it, so lots of things to organize :) I'll share pics next month, but doesn't it feel good every single time you walk in that room now? Woot!! Great job!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I'd use a taupe or oatmeal color for the walls and then use the red for accessories. If you put terra cotta on the walls your beautiful painting will blend in and disappear.

Great job on the shelf. Way to re-use what you already have!!

Dawn said...

It looks so much better. Good job.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

SO with Stephanie's mommy brain...gonna suggest a tan/light brown with red accents.

You are on a roll with organizing! Rock on girl!

Ter said...

good job! :)

Super B's Mom said...

Very nice!! So you wanna take a stab at my dining room? :) My table is horrible. It's the central "dump zone" and it's never cleared off!!

Org Junkie said...

I love the way your organized your shelf, well done!

Org Junkie said...

Congrats Becky, I just did the draw and you won!! Please email me your address and I'll get your prize out ASAP :)

Jenean said...

Back again to say congrats on winning this month's Round Up!!
As far as a color - I like yellow, but something so pale it's almost white, you know? The other colors I like are Egg shell white and Ecru.

Bonnie said...

Congratulations on winning this months round up !! I love what you did with your dining room ! Looks great !!

Amber (Proverbs31) said...

Okay, first how about a cappuccino or hot chocolate color? Although I was going to tell you that I loved the yellow until I read the part where you didn't like it. :P

Second, I love your little organizational trays and cups and containers.

Thirdly, I LOVE label makers!!

And Lastly, I adore your table. :)

Organizing Mommy said...

With those floors, I'd pick a tomato-red for some trim or accent color, keeping the rest neutral. Congrats on winning.

4funboys said...

With all those boys... you've got to go blue -of course!

(or not)

If being organized is your thing, can you come visit? I need all the help I can get!

We color code stuff for the boys... but that only works in theory. A good thought, just not too practical.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Congrats!

I think green would be great.

Are you a SLAH consultant or just big fan? (I'm a consultant...so it was easy to spot all of your goodies.)

HopewellMomSchool said...

Great job! I think we have the same table/chairs, so I'm anxiously awaiting your color choice. Our room is currently the former owners light sage green [which IMHO is just awful] but I can't decide on paint, either!

Jennifer said...

The walls in my kitchen/dining area are yellow (more pale than yours right now), but I opted for something cheery in there rather than a beige. I would vote for some kind of green. :)

Btw ~ Your area looks great organized. Love the use of the label maker.

Karen said...

I absolutely vote for a nice crisp green. I think it would look fantastic with you table/chairs, floor and cabinets. I suggest Slate Green. It's a Waverly color that I got at either Lowe's or Home Depot. I used this color in our office. We love it!!

Beth said...

I just did my dining room too! maybe one day I'll actually post about it...

Lisa @ Take90West said...

Okay...I was going to suggest a french blue color because it would look good with the white cabinets, red cherry table and beige floor, but then I saw all the comments for Granny Smith apple green and I think that sounds good too!

GiBee said...

How about a Paprika color??? I'm in the same boat... what color to paint the kitchen. I would DIE for granny smith apple green or even Pear green, but our counter tops are some sort of green, and it wouldn't match.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that a "striking" color would do well over the entire wall because of the size of your space and the furniture you have which you want to showcse. I would choose a neutral earth tone that blends with the majority of your tile so that the darker grout and orange toned tile pops. You could consider painting a darker tone under cabinets or use tile trivets or other small black wrought iron underneath cabinets against a lighter background color. Every room needs something black- doesn't have to be big- to "anchor" it (it could be a small easel for a picture, for example; not sure I'd count your shelf's trays..). After an overall neutral color, take one of your floral paintings and find something for a valance or material for a table runner, etc. You can also find a rather inexpensive hurricane (a la Pottery Barn or Williams Sonoma) that can be used all year as a centerpiece- flowers, pinecones/nuts/berries, Christmas bulb ornaments, etc. which add color, dimension, interest, and variety to the room without spending a lot of money. You could also consider at some point new hardware for the cabinets and drawers- it's like a kitchen's jewelry. Lowe's has a great color by Waverly- simply "khaki" and it goes with everything. Don't forget you may want to use semi-glass for easier wiping in such a busy, high-traffic area.