Desktop Storage: Odds & Ends

A few ways I am corralling those everyday desktop items that often wind up without a home:

1. A small silver tray w/ cut-out detailing (thrifted, $0.50)

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now holds my post-it notes in a pretty and easy-to-access manner:

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2. Small glasses (thrifted, $0.50/each) fit perfectly on an otherwise useless ledge and hold binder clips, paperclips, and push pins:

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High-End Lookalikes

I do believe these may be some of my best Goodwill finds yet. Though, I’m not even sure I can make that claim because I have found so many good scores!

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A (faux?) fur throw pillow for $2. I’ve seen in magazines and catalogs (including Pottery Barn’s or West Elm’s, I can’t remember) fur pillows seem to be a new trend.

Behind the pillow you get a glimpse of my even more exciting find:

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A slipper chair in the perfect ikat pattern! I spent $60 on this chair which is *definitely* a splurge for me. I jumped on it, though, because I was 100% in love with the pattern, I’m pretty sure the chair is in new condition, and I knew I would probably never buy one down the road because they are just too pricey. After some quick pinterest searching, I found someone had pinned the same exact chair originally from Target (which I suspected). I can’t link to it because it is no longer on Target’s website, but according to the pin the sale price was $230.

I also found an almost exact chair (same fabric, different legs) from Urban Outfitters for $369. (<a href=”http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=20354130b&zmam=39923003&zmas=1&zmac=1&zmap=22839963&cm_mmc=Performics-_-Affiliates-_-rewardStyle-_-Primary&clickid=0004d7096b20fe2d0ae01443ff006ca6″>Link</a&gt;). I’m feeling very pleased with my $60 splurge. 🙂

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I threw my fur pillow on top since I didn’t really have a home for it yet, but my husband has since commented he likes it there so there it shall stay (for now). Our living room is kind of tiny, especially since it somewhat doubles as our dining room, so I can’t work the chair into the layout quite as I’d like. For now it lives across from our love seat, next to our TV, and I think it works there. I like glimpsing it as I walk up the stairs, and it does the job of adding some print and color to our living room, while also offering extra seating when we have company.

Weekly Finds

Goodwill scores from this week:

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A beautiful blue & ivory stoneware bowl. $3 tag, purchased for $2.10 during Goodwill’s happy hour sale (30% off housewares).

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An acrylic wreath holder. A clearance item from Target, marked $1. Paid $0.70.

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And the best of this week: a round tray (another clearance item from Target) in perfect condition for $7, paid $4.90.

Thrifty Find: $0.80 Tea Storage

On one of my many pinterest sprees (find me at pinterest.com/leadingtone), I stumbled across this photo:

It was just my luck that only a few weeks later I found an almost identical acrylic case at Goodwill ($1 but I got it for $.80 because I used my -expired, shh- student discount).

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The one from chefscatalog.com definitely has mine beat, but for less than a dollar compared to $16 + shipping, I’m not complaining much. There actually is a lid for mine, but since the tea bags are taller than the dimensions of the box I can’t use it with the tea inside. I love how pretty our tea looks now, and it’s so convenient to see what we have/need (for the most part; it doesn’t hold our entire supply) and grab it quickly as the mood strikes.

On a related note, this is what our makeshift coffee station currently looks like:

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It’s still a bit of a work in progress because I only really use the Keurig, but my husband also uses the Mr. Coffee, and semi-regularly the french press and coffee bean grinder. I tried to corral all of his supplies into the woven basket and it definitely helped, but I still feel like the counter is too cluttered for my liking. Our coffee stirrers were temporarily stuck into another cheap Goodwill find, but they’ve been working so well in there that I’ll probably just leave them. The Keurig stand is a fairly recent purchase that was well worth the $20-25 (available at both BB&B and JCPenney, as well as other places I’m sure).

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It can hold up to 36 k-cups so not only does it hold more than my previous system (dumping them into a small, shallow basket), but it’s much more organized and takes up no extra space. BB&B also has a bamboo version, but it’s an extra $10-15 from what I remember, and it wasn’t worth the price jump to me because at the end of the day it wasn’t going to make my rental kitchen look any more modern or aesthetically pleasing.

One other storage method I’ve employed:

Hanging oven mitts and pot holders from shower curtain hooks on a rod.

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Anyone know if that’s what this rod is actually intended for? It was driving me crazy until I came up with this idea. I briefly got excited and thought I could detach the rod and use it to hold a paper towel roll, but not the case.

Other than that, I’ve discovered the beauty of shelf stands:

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It would have been even better had the length been longer, but these things have definitely been useful in maximizing space in my kitchen.

Still trying to figure out a good, rental-free way to organize our many pots and pans!

Before and After: TV Console

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When Joey and I got married, we definitely had to discuss what stayed and what went (furniture, junk, etc.) We kept this cabinet out of necessity, but I always knew it was going to go out the door once we found something better (especially since Joey got it for free -dumpster diving, in essence- during his college days). I did eventually find a replacement TV console at Goodwill (which we made a few tweaks to; that’ll be another post), but instead of tossing this cabinet we decided to give it a paint job and use it for storage. We also switched out the knobs, which made a huge difference, and I have to say this simple piece of furniture is currently one of my favorites in our space.

I don’t have a true “before” picture, but you can see it in this photo from back when Joey & I first got married, and tried to mesh our furniture together in our townhouse (and yes, that is *a lot* of brown… a design choice that I have been trying to compensate for over the last few years!):

Here it is, after a coat of paint and new knobs (purchased off of ebay) in our apartment that we just moved into:

It feels like a brand new piece of furniture, and is great for storing our collection of $1 Goodwill VHS tapes (yes, we still own and use VHS!) and for providing some extra storage/display space on top. I still want to do something to it, though, to really finish it off and give it some *oomph*. I haven’t figured it yet, but I’m thinking one of two things:

(1) finishing it off with nailhead trim, either working alongside the grooves of the console, or doing some sort of design on the cabinet faces, similar to this:

or (2) using paint to create a two-tone effect, similar to this dresser:

Thoughts?