Most of my design time is spent in the remodeling world, specifying products and project managing remodels of bathrooms, kitchens, whole homes and partial homes, which I adore doing!  While I may not be decorating a room with furniture as often, I still know the importance of furniture and how it can set the tone for a room or a home.

I also believe that our homes, like our growing families, go through different phases, and different furniture and or arrangements also occur in our homes during those phases.  I have been in client homes before that don’t seem to have a hang out space, and it will leave me wondering “where do they hang out?”  I have teenagers, and love for their friends to be at our home.  I was noticing that my 20 year old couch that I loved, seemed too short for more than one person to sit comfortably, and that our club chairs were worn and not well liked. The furniture desperately  needed to be replaced despite my best efforts to hide the fabric tears in the chairs with duck tape and hidden with pretty pillows, and the couch was terribly faded! The family room we hang out in just didn’t seem to fit even four people comfortably especially when a dog and two cats join in!

While I had my eye out for some new couches I am a picky buyer, and would rather do without until I find the perfect piece.  I also believe that the perfect piece of furniture can happen along when least expected. I found my husband when least expected 23 years ago, too!

Favorite couchOne day recently after a quick trip to the mall, my daughter and I happened to be walking though Pottery Barn on the way to our car. She pleaded we not walk though since I “always have to go through there”. Even though I wasn’t going to look at furniture, I couldn’t help to instantly fall in love with this couch my daughter happened to sit on.  It was Memorial Day weekend, a great furniture sale weekend, and I LOVED this couch.  It fit all the ‘wants’ I had on my imaginary list; grey, fit 2-3 people comfortably, cushy, price, and they had two!

It didn’t take long to start the  process of renting a box van to transport my new finds to my home. My family room is now the happy recipient of two of these beauties flanking each other. They have been a hit, as family asked why I didn’t do this earlier. And I LOVE walking in and seeing my family, animals and friends happily sprawled out on the furniture. It makes my heart happy!  Who knew furniture could help bring a family together?

Do you have a great story about how furniture has brought your family together?  I’d love to hear about it!


By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger

Cinderella wasn’t the only woman to ever have problems keeping track of her shoes. In fact most of us have a frustration over our shoe collection and our inability to keep them neatly organized.

If you are like me, you probably have the original shoebox your pumps came in, and you try hard to put them back in said box each time, before stacking it among the other boxes of various sizes and stability. This, usually, resulting in the smaller, more narrow boxes, on the bottom of the stack giving way and toppling the entire pile over. Not only does this method not work as far as keeping them organized, but it’s also impossible to either find the shoes you’re looking for and/or to even remember what shoes you own.

I start off with the best intentions. I clean up my closet and put all of my shoes in their designated cardboard cells and stack them neatly, but in a matter of a week or so, I have lost the gumption to take the time to put them away, and there is soon a jumbled heap of sneakers, pumps, wedges, mules, flip flops, etc., etc., etc. littering the bottom of my not-grandiose closet.

In light of this constant struggle, I thought it might behoove us to spend a little time discussing some shoe storage options to help us all wrangle those much beloved, but frequently neglected, footwear collections.

Weather you have a huge closet, or share a very small one with your better-half, there are lots and lots of different ways for you to store and/or display your shoes.

  • Don’t Hide Them: Instead of putting them away in the dark recesses of a closet, bring them out into the light and display them. Most of us spend a pretty penny for pretty pumps. Why not put up some floating shelves across a wall in your bedroom and actually use them as an art installation that you can also wear pieces of? Not only will this free up closet space, but it also makes the shoes easier to see and more likely to be worn.
  • Use Crates in a New Way: Stack some rustic wooden milk crates and secure them to your closet wall. Add a middle shelf to each and store your shoes in them. I love this idea for use in a mudroom as well. It’s a great way to get those muddy shoes up off the floor and put away without worrying about ruining nice shelving. The crates can also be washed down easily.
  • A Basket Comes in Handy: Flip flops are one of those shoes that are hard to store and easy to leave piled up. Use a cute basket to store them all in. You can fit a lot of these thin little summer-must-haves in a basket with a fairly small footprint that won’t take up much floor space.
  • Think Outside the Box: Try cutting PVC pipe to one foot long sections and adhering (Liquid Nails is a great adhesive for projects like this) them together in a floor to ceiling column. Store your shoes in the ‘honeycomb’ structure that is created. Again, this makes it easy to see your shoes and convenient when putting them away.
  • No Need to Have Them Exposed: Shoe cabinets have been around for many years now and work great. These storage solutions are designed to look like furniture and yet to hold numerous pairs of shoes without anyone being the wiser. Another take on this idea is to use an old china hutch in your room. You can either frost the glass to hide the trove being stored within, or, if you want to show your shoes off, but have them actually shut away, leave the glass clear. Use the bottom of the hutch to store winter sweaters or blankets and you just freed up a huge amount of closet space.
  • “Drape” Them: Place several curtain rods either in a closet or out in your bedroom and actually hang your shoes on them. This works wonderful to display and organize heels, but does leave tennis shoes, flats and even wedges to fend for themselves. However, if you have a large pump/stiletto collection, this would be a great way to show them off.

The reality is, no matter the size of your collection, nor the styles it’s composed of, everyone has shoes that can use some organizing and, with a little research and planning, be corralled.




Garnering New Décor From Old (Also a Review of Chalk Paint)

May 19, 2015

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger The moans from the backseat are loud, eyes are rolling and heads flop lifelessly forward.  My children are protesting my need to visit some random free pile on the side of the road.  They have grown tired of my countless stops at these subtle prize heaps.  They don’t see the appeal of […]

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Ahhhhhh Spring! Ehhhhhhh the Patio!

April 7, 2015

By Marlie Bilbruck-Boerger The twittering birds are here again, the sun is up earlier and setting later, the days are warmer and the flowers are blooming: It must be spring! If you are anything like me this time of year energizes you.  I start to feel excited to do some cleaning and decorating and refreshing […]

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