Decorating & Design

September 14, 2009

Organizing & Storage Ideas

back to school finds

Ahhh September. The air is cooler. Dusk comes earlier. We crack open our books, and sharpen our pencils. There’s a certain January 1st freshness about it all, isn’t there? Even if we’re no longer students, there’s no reason why we all can’t take advantage of this new seasonal beginning to freshen things up.

classic black alarm clock from ikea

Mornings start a little earlier and why not wake up to this stylish devil? Its classic good looks and polished black finish make for an elegant morning rise. The best part is, it’s Ikea and only costs $10.

retro-feeling bicycle

After a bowl of something hearty (I loved the way my dad used to make porridge in the mornings), you can zip off to class (or the boardroom!) on this retro-looking bicycle. Around the city, having a vintage bike is the epitome of hipster chic, but you can pick up this lilac charmer at Sears! I say, if you gotta commute — do it with panache!

Now it’s time to hit the books. Whether you’re setting up your student study zone, or outfitting that neglected home office, I’ve got some affordable stylish tricks up my back-to-school sleeve for you.

x-base with fold down lid from West Elm

Start with a great desk. This x-based lovely is new from West Elm and has a fold down lid to hide all your clutter. But then again, I hear clutter and boho-haphazardness is in, so maybe leave it open?

organizers from West Elm

If you’ve resolved to keep things neat and tidy this year, hide away all your papers and junk in these poppy storage solutions, also from West Elm. They’re on sale right now and I’m kind of in love with this off-beat melon colour, aren’t you?

industrial chic clip on lamp

pale blue desk blotter

Outfit your desk with sleek lighting and a colourful desk blotter. This industrial chic clip-on lamp is one of my favourites and can be found at Staples for $20! And this pretty pale blue Semikolon blotter actually comes in a rainbow of other colours and will jazz up even the most basic computer desk for only $18.

HB No. 2 Pencils from Staples

quirky mug from Anthropologie

Back to that boho thing: I like a desk to look personal and reflect the person who uses it. You don’t need a matching desk set to house all your stuff. I love the idea of throwing a fresh set of HB No. 2 pencils ($1/10) into a quirky mug. This one’s from Anthropologie in Toronto ($9), but you can pull out any offbeat cup you like. Or hit a thrift shop!

woven waste-paper basket

Not every idea starts out with a ‘EUREKA!’ so grab a woven waste-paper basket (Crate & Barrel, $25). I’ll admit, I don’t have one of these personally — yet! I’ve been craving one for months now and must take my own advice. They just look SO good!

And for one very important finishing touch, create some kind of inspiration board. Someday soon you’ll find yourself burning the midnight oil and shackled to your (stylish) desk. When that moment comes, you’ll thank yourself for pinning up inspiration shots, magazine tears, birthday cards and vacation snaps. They’ll refresh and revive you and help inspire you to pen that magnum opus.

inspiration board

Get a load of this luscious and layered bulletin board by my friend Sabrina Linn (stylist to the stars).

Photo credits:
{frolic!} blog
Ikea Dekad Alarm Clock
Sears Mongoose Monteray Cruiser
West Elm Flip Desk
West Elm Home Office Storage bins
Staples Catalina Lighting Swing-Arm Lamp
Semikolon Desk Blotter, from our March 2009 issue, photography by Felix Wedgwood
Staples HB No. 2 pencils
Anthropologie Pressed Flowers Mug
Crate & Barrel Sedona Wastebasket
Sabrina Linn’s loft, from our August 2009 issue, photography by Michael Graydon