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Fall Closet Makeover

The air is crisp, the leaves are changing to brilliant hues of red and gold, and the farm stands are bursting with pumpkins and apples: fall has arrived. As you shift your wardrobe from lighter early-autumn pieces to cozier items, why not take this opportunity to do a fall closet makeover, too? Read on for ideas and inspiration to make it happen.

closet organization
Unfancy

Your first task, if you choose to accept it, is to pull everything (yes, everything!) out of your closet and assess it. Try items on if you’re not sure about them. Keep pieces that are currently in season, fit you well, are in good condition, and that feel good. Other pieces that you love — but are no longer in season — should go in a storage bin or secondary closet until they are needed. Items you don’t love, or no longer fit, should go in a bag destined for the nearest charity or textile recycling bin.

Even if your closet is small, make the most of it by using a mix of hanging rods, shelves, and bins, as shown above. To get organized, store shoes on open shelves to prevent the dreaded shoe pileup, keep sweaters and other soft items in bins, and use a set of matching hangers for a uniform look. And to keep your closet looking this good, keep a basket on the floor to collect giveaway items.

closet organization 2
Unfancy

Once your closet is looking better, it’s time to think about how you organize the outfits you’re planning to wear. One idea I love is using a freestanding garment rack (like the one shown here) to hang up the coming week’s outfits, along with shoes and bags. Taking a little time with a cup of tea (and some good music on) to shop your closet and put together outfits is a wonderful way to start the new week ahead of the game.

Erin Spain
Erin Spain

The last step is to make sure you’re handling your accessories with care. Messy piles of scarves and tangled heaps of necklaces will only make getting ready in the morning more difficult! One simple solution is to repurpose a tall bookcase as your accessories display. Fill the shelves with pretty baskets and bowls, hang a mirror on the wall, and attach some hooks for hanging up necklaces. For extra-credit, back the bookcase with gorgeous wallpaper!

Closet organization 3
Manifesto Photography for Quentin & Co.

Here is another beautiful example of a tall bookcase being used as a closet organizer, with shelves devoted to jewelry, bags, shoes, and sweaters. If you don’t have a proper closet, try combining a bookcase with a garment rack (or two) and a chest of drawers, to make a dressing area right in your bedroom.

Once your wardrobe has been decluttered and your closet organized, what’s next? A super-plush rug to sink your bare toes into, of course! My favorite type of rug for the dressing area is a cozy Moroccan-style rug — see below for four great options. And happy fall!

Rug Shopping Guide: All are included in the beautiful Jaipur Rugs Zuri Collection.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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3 Tips for a More Peaceful Morning Routine

How your morning goes can set the tone for the entire day. Just think back to the last frantic day you had, and I’m sure you’ll agree! Instead of starting with the snooze button, skipped breakfast, and forgotten appointments, why not cultivate a more calming routine, instead? Read on for 3 key ingredients to consistently create more peaceful, positive mornings.

Yvestown
Yvestown

Key Ingredient No. 1: A good night’s rest. There’s no getting around it, if you want to bounce out of bed ready to greet the day with a positive mindset, you’ve got to have enough sleep! As a former night owl, I can assure you that (while not entirely pleasant) it is possible to adjust your sleep schedule and become a morning lark. Start winding down a bit earlier each night, put away the screens (pick up a book instead), and begin to dim the lights to create a more restful ambiance. A neat and tidy bedroom, free of clutter, with fresh sheets on the bed and a cozy rug underfoot doesn’t hurt, either.

VT Wonen
VT Wonen

Key Ingredient No. 2: Create a cozy morning nook. While you’re waking up, bleary eyed and wondering what on earth possessed you to set the alarm so early, it can really help to have an inviting nook to retreat to. This should be somewhere in your home that gets lovely morning light, and includes a comfy spot to sit. Use this space to practice a nourishing morning routine like writing in a journal, recording a list of things you are grateful for, reading uplifting books, or meditating. Open the shades, let in a bit of fresh air, and greet the new day with positive intentions.

Local Milk
Local Milk

Key Ingredient No. 3: Slow down and savor your favorite simple pleasures. Ahh, the rich scent of freshly roasted coffee beans, golden light streaming in the window… Instead of gulping down your first cup of coffee or tea as quickly as possible, consider slowing down and savoring those few precious moments of morning peace. As you sip, think about how you would like your day to unfold. A beautiful morning is bound to lead to good things!

Morning Rugs

Rugs fit for a morning nook (clockwise from top left): Surya DwellStudio Riad; Surya Lotta Jansdotter Decorativa in dark purple; Surya Lotta Jansdotter Decorativa in dark blue; Surya Jill Rosenwald Orinocco Webs in cream and mauve.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Back to School Organizing Tips for A Happy, Healthy Year

Babyccino
Babyccino

The back to school season is exciting…and, let’s face it, frantic. But with a little extra organization in key areas of the home, and a few tweaks to your family’s daily routine, you can make the transition with ease. Read on for my favorite ways to get organized for a happy, healthy school year.

Back to School
Parents Magazine

A happy, healthy school year begins with some smart preparation, so set aside some time over the weekend to get a few key areas of the home in order:

- Help your child choose outfits in advance for the first week or two of school, and stow them in an easily accessible spot.

- Set up a “command center” near the front door with a clock, family calendar, paper organizer, and drop zone for backpacks and other belongings.

- Avoid the frantic morning rush by stocking the kitchen or downstairs bathroom with a spare hairbrush and toothbrushing supplies.

- Don’t forget to label backpacks, lunchboxes, water bottles, and sweatshirts with your child’s name!

omkidsyoga
Ore Studios

Ease new-school-year jitters with a peaceful morning routine. Roll up a few yoga mats and keep them in a basket near a cleared area or floor to make it easy and tempting to sneak in a few simple yoga poses or a guided meditation. Even five minutes of gentle stretching or deep breathing before the rush of the school day begins is worth it: your child will feel calmer, and you will both feel more connected and ready to face the day. After school, kids are tired and may be feeling overwhelmed from all of the new experiences at school, so try to schedule something fun and relaxing for right after. This is a great time for a trip to the park or sports practice.

Once your child is back at home, aim to get in the routine of putting their backpack in the same spot, emptying out their lunchbox, and looking at any papers they brought home together.

Celebrate the new school year by treating your hardworking entryway to a fresh rug (find four of my favorites below) and bring on fall!

Back-to-School

Rug shopping guide: (Clockwise from top left) Liora Manne Front Porch Birds in beige and brown; Liora Manne Front Porch Owls in night; Martha Stewart Rugs Hand-Tufted Autumn Woods in Francesca Black; Nourison Waverly Greetings Accent Rugs in Red.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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5 Crafty Weekend Projects

Take advantage of these sunny summer weekends — or extra time off — to spruce up your abode with one of these creative, weekend-friendly projects, including color-blocked lockers for the mudroom, cute no-sew trivets to brighten up the kitchen table, a hairpin-leg breakfast tray with serious mid-century cred, and more.

DIY No. 1: Color block storage lockers. With back-to-school right around the corner, creating more storage for all of the backpacks, school papers, and shoes is pretty high on my to-do list right now. But even if I didn’t have kids at home, I could easily see using these storage lockers in the entryway, mudroom, or office! The lockers themselves are purchased, so all you need to do for this project is pick your colors, tape off sections, and paint away. Get the full DIY at Sugar and Cloth.

DIY No. 2: Rainbow rope trivets. All you need for this super-cheerful DIY is upholstery cording, a bit of acrylic craft paint in the colors of your choice, and a hot glue gun. To create your trivet, first dip portions of the cotton cording in colorful paint for a color-block effect. Once completely dry, begin to coil the cord up, glueing in place with a dot of hot glue every few inches.Then place on your table and enjoy! For complete instructions, see Brittni Mehlhoff’s tutorial on Momtastic.

DIY No. 3: Mood board organizer. If you’re looking for a unique addition to take your home office or creative studio from bland to wow, this is the DIY for you. A large piece of plywood is cut into a house-shape and painted in two hues to form the base. Next, you can customize your mega-inspiration board with a copper basket for books and magazines, a rope and s-hooks for hanging tools, or even a section of pegboard. Lean against a wall, and let the inspiration-gathering begin. Find the how-to at Paper & Stitch.

DIY No. 4: Mid-century breakfast tray. Make Saturday mornings special by savoring breakfast in bed on your own gorgeous wood breakfast tray. With mid-century inspired hairpin legs, and a smooth wood top, you would never guess this was so simple to make. All that’s required is a pretty wooden tray, a set of hairpin legs (easily purchased online), and the ability to work a power drill. Leave as-is, or kick it up a notch by cutting a piece of leather to fit inside for a luxe touch. See A Beautiful Mess for the details.

DIY No. 5: Shibori tea towels. These deep indigo tie-dyed towels make a statement in the kitchen, and hide stains, to boot. This is a great project to tackle on a sunny summer weekend outdoors, and if you have kids, they’ll love to get in on the action, too … just be sure everyone is dressed for the mess! You’ll need to follow the instructions on your dye kit, but the basic idea is to create areas of resist by using rubber bands or clothespins to create a pattern before submerging plain towels in the dye bath. Read all about this project on A Beautiful Mess.

Once you’re done with your weekend of DIY fun, accessorize your newly spruced up home with one (or more) of the fun, colorful throw pillows shown above. Then pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea or fresh lemonade, sit back, and savor your space!

Shopping Guide: 1. Kate Spade New York Yorkville Pillows Tassel in Pink; 2. Kate Spade New York Yorkville Pillows Dobbins in Red and Pink; 3. Surya Abstract Pillows Southwest Delight in Beige, Salmon, Charcoal, Burgundy; 4. Surya Southwest Pillows Dip Dyed in Light Gray and Cherry; 5. Surya Beth Lacefield Pillows Kilim in Magenta, Beige, Burnt Orange, Chocolate; 6. Kate Spade New York Yorkville Pillows Embroidered Dot in Pink and Tan.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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