Pinterest Challenge: Chevron Entry Wall

I’ve been looking forward to the Pinterest Challenge all week!

It’s given me the motivation I needed to tackle a project I’ve been contemplating for a while. You may have noticed it in my To Do List:

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I’ve been obsessed with this whole home for a while, but I especially loved the entry. I knew I wanted to create a feature wall for ours, but wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to go about it. I didn’t want to buy wallpaper or a stencil (I’d rather spend my budget elsewhere) so I needed a pattern simple enough to tackle with painter’s tape. I thought about squares, diamonds, stripes… But ultimately, chevron won out. It’s only paint! I decided that if I really found it too bold, I could simply paint over it.

Here’s how we left off after I created a landing strip in our entry way:

Entry Before

(As a side note: I wouldn’t have kept that carpet in the entry anyway, but my dog literally ATE HALF OF IT. I was not impressed!)

My inspiration was a great AT House Tour, but unfortunately they don’t explain how the chevron wall was created, besides of course painter’s tape, a level and whole lot of patience!

Here’s how I did it:

Tools required:

Frog Painter’s Tape (that stuff is GOLD)

A level

A pencil

Measuring tape

Exacto knife

Paint

Paint brush

Small roller (optional)

1. Each chevron side is 1′ long. To start off, I used my level at a 45 degree angle. I then used it to trace a line, and pasted my tape along the line. I didn’t need to worry much about the length, because I could trim that off later.

2. Then, I created one strip of the zig zag from one side of the wall to the other, following the same process as above. This was the most difficult part, as from here on out, I followed this pattern. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of this part since it was definitely trial and error!

3. To do the next strip, I used the roll of tape to measure the distance I would need between the zig zag and marked it with a pencil.

Measure the distance

2. Using my pencil mark as a guide, I then traced a line using my level.

Trace

4. Following the line I traced, I pasted my frog tape.

Follow

Here’s what it looked like at this point:

Taped down

As a quick tip: It’s best to have each piece overlapping. That way, you can follow the line of the opposite piece of tape with the exacto knife instead of having to free hand your cut. For example, in this picture, I would have been better off going with slightly longer strips.

6. From there, I cut off the excess with an exacto knife, so it looked like this.

Trimmed

Here’s the progress!

Progress 

I literally just continued that way for the entire wall. I didn’t need to worry too much about the corners lining up: as long as the tape was at the right angle and the right distance away from the previous strip, the lengths and points lined up.

7. Once all taping is finished, run down each edge of tape with a credit card to avoid air bubbles. This was a crucial step.

8. Begin painting! We (i.e. Shaun) did the first coat with a paint brush to avoid extra paint from seeping under the tape.

First coat

9. We let that one dry overnight, and tackled the next one with a small roller brush (a “whiz” if you’re curious to know the term of the trade!)

Here’s how it turned out!

Chevron wall

I’m so happy with the results! I was nervous at first… Kind of like when you dye your hair and it takes a while to get used to such a drastic change?

Chevron closeup

I am so impressed with the frog tape. It left such crisp lines!

Final Chevron

I’m so happy with the results! Eventually I’ll buy a mirror that fits the space better, but for now, I’m over the moon!

How did your Pinterest Challenge go? Did it end up leaving a mess in every other part of your house like me? I can’t wait to see them!

I’m also linking up with:

Clean Out the Paper Clutter: Managing our Mail

Hi there fellow pinner! So lovely of you to drop by. Who knew mail sorting could be so intriguing? You’re welcome to check it out here, but I encourage you to check it out instead on my sparkling new siteI’m happy to say that this system still works super well for us, even months later!

A little while ago I started a segment about containing our paper clutter. Avoiding piles of paper is one of the biggest challenges for me so I am determined to tackle it! Last time, I spoke about how I organize our receipts. Now, I’m tackling our mail.

Mail sorter close up

Shaun and I take on different chores in the house, and one of mine is the mail. One would assume, what with all the companies that offer electronic instead of mailed billing, that this particular task wouldn’t be much of an issue. But somehow, it still is, at least for me! Flyers, bank statements, invoices an invitations all seem to end up on our coffee table. I don’t know where to put them all, so I avoid going through the pile, the pile gets that much more daunting, and it ends up being a vicious cycle.

To avoid the pile up, I decided a mail sorter would be the best solution for me.

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This one from Pottery Barn is pretty, but at 70 dollars (!) CAD, I definitely wanted a cheaper option.

I thought about making one myself, but creating a folder for mail seemed tedious… Call me crazy, but creating something out of old cereal boxes just for junk mail doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time. When I found Kvissle from Ikea for $20 (CAD), I was sold!

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It’s a tad larger than what I had in mind (it’s technically a magazine rack) but I thought that in the end the size would come in handy.

First, I reviewed our main problem areas:

1. Flyers. Shaun likes to look through the flyers we receive for deals of the week. It’s great, since he’s definitely the bigger saver of this little duo, and it inspires me to do the same. However, what’s not so great is that they don’t have a home. I don’t know if he’s been through a particular flyer, if he needs me to keep it and somehow they end up tossed around our house.

2. Bills. If it’s not electronic, we tend to forget about them until we find them again later. Not good, I know. What can I say, we grew up with computers.

3. General info. Invitations, Elections BC, bank statements, pay stubs etc.

I opted to hang our mail sorter in our mini front entry hall way. After assembling it, Shaun helped me hang it using a couple of basic screws.

Shaun hanging our mail sorter

Mail sorter first shot

You’ll notice I added some teal folders (they’re from the Martha Stewart collection at Staples). Unfortunately, when I put the Kvissle together (gotta love Ikea assemble-it-yourself) I realized they weren’t quite as wide as I had in mind. They’re so narrow that I can’t reach the bottom of each section, and plus, there are holes at the bottom of each section: my mail could fall through. Instead, I pull out the folders to reach my mail. Plus, this way I have a bit more colour!

Update: I actually love the folders. So much easier for filing my important documents away later!

I knew I wanted to label my new mail sorter, and remembered I still had some Avery Clear Decals from my Glass Decal project hanging around. It’s made of metal, so I thought I’d try it out. To learn how to use them, click on the link above.

Mail Sorter Lables

(A reader asked me a while back what font this is. If you’re curious, it’s Sacramento.)

To add another little punch of colour (and to hide the ugly fuse box you may have noticed in the pictures above) I decided to hang one of the pictures I took in Indonesia. I used command velcro strips so that it can easily be removed if ever we need to access the box.

Mail Sorter Final

Here’s how I decided to organize it all:

I had five whole sections with Kvissle, so I started breaking them down first into the most obvious choices and then went from there.

1. Flyers to read: Shaun can pick up the flyers he wants to look through here. If we have no use for them, they’ll go into the recycling bin. If we do use them, Shaun can keep them or we can throw them up on our memo board (more about that soon!)

2. Inbox: I’d love to say that I will open and sort through my mail as soon as I get it, let’s be honest, I’m lazy, and I won’t. When I get home, I divide the mail and flyers. When I feel up to it, I’ll sort through the mail and put it in one of the following slots.

3. Recycle: One of my readers (feel free to check her blog) suggested keeping a recycling bin at the entrance so to toss junk mail and other paper as soon as I get home. What a great idea! I never thought of that, but I definitely wanted to implement it! We don’t have much more room on the floor, and I’d like to keep the recycling area small (so we’re forced to take it out and not let it pile up) so I think a section here is perfect.

4. To do: I used to have a To Do pile during my brief stint as a receptionist (wasn’t really my cup of tea) that worked so well, so why not do it at home? Here, I’ll keep the bills we need to pay, the mail I need to respond to, the personal information I need to file away, etc.

5. I struggled to decide what was best for the last slot. I thought about keeping a spot for my library and teaching books, but I decided a To Shred section would be the most useful for me. This way I can easily keep our identities protected.

Total Project Costs:

Kvissle from Ikea: $20

Folders from Staples:$5

(I had the avery decals previously of course, but they were about ten bucks).

Total cost: $25.

I’m really happy with how organized my entry way is shaping up to be. Stay posted for my memo board and a few styling tweaks! I might even gather the nerve to stencil a wall… We’ll see…

I’m linking up with:

Not Just A Housewife

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Small Spaces: Creative Storage for Linens and an Entry Way

I’ve only recently started reading Apartment Therapy regularly. Crazy, I know. I don’t know what stopped me, but I love their articles as well as their whole community!

I was recently reading Apartment Therapy’s Article, Create a Landing Strip. One point jumped out at me: Maxwell, the author of the Eight Step Home Cure, says an entry should act as a “filter” from the outside world to your home. It should have a space to “filter” your shoes (and the dirt that goes along with them), keys, umbrella, purse, and so on. I think this is one of the hardest aspects I’ve found in keeping my house clean. When I get home, I just end up dumping all my things on the nearest surface (usually our kitchen counter) and things pile up. This article inspired me to make a proper “landing strip” in our place.

However, being a 650 sq ft apartment, there isn’t a proper foyer or mudroom to speak of, obviously. Thankfully, I do have a hall closet, but our “entry” is really a small hallway of 9’ by 4’, with either side leading to the kitchen or bathroom. I have seen a number of projects highlighting closets turned into mudrooms, but I was not about to give up one of our two closets in our apartment for a mudroom!

I decided to think outside the box and turn our tall narrow dresser into multipurpose storage unit: standing in for both a linen closet and for a designated landing strip. A dresser works well for me because it adds lots of storage, and doesn’t give me a huge surface to easily dump my stuff on. (For some reason, I never leave things on the ground, just on surfaces. This is much to my boyfriend’s annoyance, because he does exactly the opposite.) Plus, this one has a number of very shallow drawers, so it allows me to access smaller items, like wallets and keys.

Here’s what I started with:

Dresser Before

Before pictures are supposed to be ugly… right?

As much as it looks a bit crazy as we move in, there was some degree of organization inside.

Drawer before

I took everything out and sorted through what needed to be kept inside, what should be kept elsewhere, what should be tossed, and what should be donated. Here is the (messy!) pile of contents:

Unpacked linen

As much as this is a mess, you’ll also notice I don’t really have that much linen. To live in a small space, I try to edit as frequently as possible. We just don’t have the room to keep eight extra towels or five different sets of sheets.

In my dresser, I ended up keeping only extra fabric (I always seem to have some lying around from future or past projects) and place mats. I put extra kitchen towels in a basket in the kitchen (keeping things in the zones we use them in keeps our home neater) and extra sheets and travel towels up higher in our closet.

Organized bed linens

Keeping them in a plastic bin like this one stops them from falling and ending up in a crumpled mess.

I replaced remaining linens nicely in our drawers:

Third drawer

Fourth drawer

I was left with three extra top drawers for our “entry” stuff.

Inspired by Jen from I Heart Organizing, I took the time to line the remaining drawers with pretty wrapping paper. Love!

Unlined drawer Lined drawer

I created one section for the things we take for Bali’s walks:

Second drawer

(We don’t need the sunscreen quite yet, but I’m one day this will be useful. I swear.)

I created another for the little things we drop off at the end of the day: wallets, moisturizers, ear phones… I didn’t have any extra drawer dividers, but I think the bowls look prettier anyhow:

First drawer

I even have an extra empty one that I’ll fill up as unpacking continues. I’m hoping pretty drawers inspire me to keep things from piling up in my purses. Can’t promise that one though…

I sanded off the moving marks on one of the drawers, and cleaned up the top. Here’s what it looks like now!

Dresser after

Ok, still not all that special… It’s all very beige… but it is functional. Once our belongings are all properly stored, I plan on painting the back wall, replacing the hardware, maybe adding a mirror…

I put our keys in the top bowl, but that’s it. Again, I purposely placed a few things on the surface to stop myself from piling purses and purchases on top. I have to be honest with myself!

Dresser top

What about you? How have you made storage work in a small space? Anything creative or unusual that works in your home?

As an aside, here’s a quick source list:

Dresser: hand-me-down

Rug: Crate and Barrel

Frame: Jysk (and photo: Mine, from Indonesia!)

Owl (one of my favourites!): West Elm

Wrapping Paper: Winners