I mentioned last week that I was able to take a few days away to work on a project with my dear friend Grace.  I also gave you a sneaky peek at the outcome of her absolutely stunning room.


Our story is one that I will forever cherish in my heart.  It runs much deeper than working on a room together, however, I am grateful for how this project has brought us even closer together.

I met Grace at a Better Homes & Garden's event in NYC last year in September.  After she introduced herself, we found ourselves chatting for hours!  We instantly clicked and a friendship quickly blossomed.



At the event, Grace briefly told me about her office / guest room.  It was a story similar to many I have heard before, and one I could also relate with.  Her room had fallen to the wayside and had become more of a dumping ground than a useful space she could enjoy.  In fact, no work, crafting or hosting was taking place in her space any longer.  She mentioned that she would love it if I could help her with it someday, and at the time, it felt like a small fantasy of, "yeah, how fun would that be if we could really make that happen?!", when in my mind I had a feeling it never would.  I mean, I had just met this sweet gal and she lived about 1,000 miles south.  Really, what were the chances?

Grace and I continued to stay in touch over the course of the year and before we knew it, another Better Homes & Garden's event was on the horizon.  I initially had planned on heading to NYC with my hubby, but when those plans fell through and I received an email from Grace on the same day, I knew it was meant to be.

Back to New York City we went, this time as roommates.  We chatted, shopped, explored, laughed and spent three blissful days together.  That is when we decided to take the dream we had talked about a year prior, and finally make it a reality.

Grace is a designer in Texas and one I have admired since meeting her.  Her style always tells a story, which gives meaning to her blog name, A Storied Style.   Her old historic home is full of soul and treasures and is a collection of beautiful antiques paired with artwork drawn by her children.  She does a brilliant job of marrying old with new and mixing and matching colors, textures and patterns that most would shy away from.  Having the opportunity to work with her on an organizing project was nothing short of dreamy, and getting to visit someone I now considered to be a very dear friend was downright exciting.

About a month before I was set to head in her direction, I received this photo via text message...


Her room had been cleaned out and everything was being stored in the hallway and in a room across the way.  My eyebrows raised and I wondered if I would be getting ahead of myself by booking my plane ticket.  Yikes!

But wouldn't you know it, that Grace sure made progress!  Less than two weeks later and the next update came through.


Amazing.

See what I mean?  Many would not first select to paint the trim and molding in such a beautiful color, but wow right?  You can see where she found her inspiration in this post here.

And that is about all I knew of the space as I was heading to Texas.  That a gorgeous room would be waiting and that there were some things that would need to be organized.  And when I walked in, I was left speechless because my breath had been taken away.


Grace worked around the clock to begin furnishing the room.  Those sensational wall shelves flanking each side of the desk?  Those were once cold and sterile grey shelves from CB2.  Grace had them lacquered and then she personally gold foiled the frames.  Sure, there were some typical small piles, but the room was already well on its way and I quickly began to wonder what I was there to help with.

Grace was a little nervous for me to see her craft closet, she thought I may just flee back to Wisconsin.  I assured her she was stuck with me for the next few days no matter what.


Raise your hand if you have or have had one of these closets.  See Grace!  You are not alone!  We all have had a closet like this.  Maybe even a few closets like this all at once.  Let's take a moment to celebrate the messy closet.


The rest of her office supplies, including piles of fabric, desk accessories, magazines, wallpaper, ribbon and more gift wrap, were waiting for us in the hall.


Is it weird that I was excited by these piles?  It only took a minute and we were already clearing out the entire closet (including the contents of the built-in cabinets and drawers) and bringing all of the items into the room across the way to begin the sorting process.


And that is what we did.  The entire first day was completely designated to watching Sarah Richardson on TV while spending hours sorting through all of Grace's items.  I gave Grace a box for donate and a box for garbage and she was a trooper at pairing things down; tossing all sorts of goodies into that donate box.  Wine may have helped.

As we sorted, I wrote down categories that were forming and we came up with a storage plan for the closet and desk area.

{ wrapping cart / vintage peg rack (thrifted) / woven baskets / label holders (architectural salvage)  / white shelving / shelving & brackets / acrylic caddy }


First and foremost, the closet was going to get a little white-wash paint treatment to brighten it up a bit.  The built-in cabinets would be lined with woven baskets to conceal all of the miscellaneous crafting materials and clutter, while brass label holders found at a local architectural salvage store would ensure everything is easy to locate in the future.  We also found some beautiful wallpaper in Grace's stash, that we considered adding to the door and drawer faces of the built-ins.

Grace's previous wrapping cart had seen better days and was literally falling apart when we moved it out.  However, she really loved all of the storage it offered for her gift giving supplies, so a new one was at the top of her wish list.

Not only has Grace been upholstering furniture and sewing window treatments for her own home, she also works with clients on a frequent basis.  That has led to quite the collection of fabrics.  Y'all probably know that my go-to storage solution for almost anything is the Kallax (formerly the Expedit), and it was my first choice for her fabric stash as well.

There was already a rod and shelf in the closet, but those would be removed and two new shelves would be installed instead.  The additional shelving would hold her remaining fabric scraps and samples.

The top of the Kallax would be the perfect surface for Grace's sewing machine and supplies.  To ensure the itty bitty necessities are easy to tote when sewing day rolls around, an acrylic caddy Grace had previously found at HomeGoods was an ideal solution.

The closet was designated to crafting and sewing, while the desk area was going to be set up as Grace's new home office.  Grace really deserved a beautiful place to create designs for her clients and for writing up a blog post to document it all.  I couldn't wait to pick out some glam storage solutions to compliment the new shelving.

{ magazine files / storage boxes / drawer dividers / file boxes / file folders / acrylic drawers / decorative tray / paper trays / acrylic tray }


Although most of Grace's craft supplies were being stored in the nearby closet, there were a few things she uses so often that they needed to be integrated into her workspace.  Majority of the storage solutions selected for Grace's workspace were amazing acrylic pieces.  Acrylic is versatile enough to blend with just about any design style, and is completely timeless which will ensure the investment is loved for many years.  The desk drawers would be lined and drawer dividers would prevent new desk clutter from stirring.  To manage the paperwork for both Grace's clients and her blog work, I selected two file boxes paired with flashy folders.  A decorative tray to hold a stack of stationery and more acrylic storage drawers for all of her business cards, and her workspace was set to be the star of the room.

Now that we had a plan, we couldn't wait to start painting and shopping.  Isn't that the best reward for all of the work and hours of sorting that leads up to that point? 

So stay tuned!  I will be back with another post sharing the results and all of the nitty gritty details.  That's right, not only will you see after photos, you will also get to take a peek inside cabinets and drawers and see how we handled all of the different types of items that we came across during the sorting and purging process.  I am sure I am bias because I know the amount of hours and heart that went into the project, but it is pretty gosh darn good.


You can now find part 2, the reveal, here!
 
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