Zebra Pillow in Adore Magazine

Delighted to see my Zebra pillow in the August/September issue of Adore Home Magazine! It’s featured on page 117 as part of the spread that features the home of designer Maria Barros who is known for her fun and colorful interiors:

adore_aug2013-pgs106-107 adore_aug2013-mariabarros

adore_aug2013-pgs116-117-ariannabelle-zebra-pillowView the full spread and issue of Adore here.

Posted in accessories, arianna belle pillows, dining rooms, get the look, living room, my shop, online magazine, pillows | 2 Comments

Get the Look: A Beach Chic Living Room

For this month’s Get the Look post I’m featuring this beautiful living room from the Long Island home of Catherine Marron (previously Senior Features Editor at Vogue) designed by Carrier and Company.

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This space exudes a sense of casual elegance that is very inviting and reminds me a bit of the set of one of my favorite movies, Something’s Gotta Give. Achieve a similar fresh Hamptons beach house look with these pieces:

blue-white-living-room-get-the-look-by-arianna-belle

1- rattan dining chair, 2- mani indigo blue pillow, 3- bangalore paisley navy pillow, 4- handwoven jute rug, 5- white bookcase, 6- slipper chair, 7- tala bluemarine pillow, 8- porcelain chinoiserie lamp, 9- reclaimed wood round table

Posted in get the look, living room | Leave a comment

How I Organize My Magazine Clippings

Even though there’s undoubtedly an abundance of inspiration and information available via digital magazines, blogs, and Pinterest, which I all love, I still very much enjoy receiving printed magazines in the mail that I can physically flip through and rip pages out of, while settled in a comfy seat with a big cup of coffee in hand.  It’s a relaxing treat at the end of the day.

As much as I love printed magazines though, I don’t like the physical clutter they can create. If you’re like me and have several subscriptions, you know how easily and quickly magazine piles can grow and get out of hand if you don’t periodically toss them or do something to tame and organize them.

Today I thought I’d share with you my system for keeping my magazine collection in check. While I do keep some magazines in their entirety and treat them as books because they’re filled with a lot of visually rich and inspiring content all throughout, what I try to do with most magazines is selectively rip out the pages I want to keep, and organize those pages into binders.

How_to_Organize_Magazine_Clippings_via_Arianna_Belle_Blog

A few of my magazine clippings binders made pretty with simple matching covers 

As I’m reading through a new issue, as soon as I identify content I’d like to save, I rip out the page.  It may be an article that I found informational and want to reference in the future, or a city guide for a place that I’d like to visit, or an image with a beautiful color story that I find inspiring. I set aside the pages I’ve ripped out and (temporarily) put them in what I’ve designated as a magazine clippings box, because lets be honest, most of the time after reading a magazine, I’m in relax mode, not in organizing mode.

When I’m in the mood, usually on a different day, maybe while watching TV or something, I’ll take my magazine clippings and separate them out into the following categories:

Action – things to buy, recipes to try this week, sites to bookmark, etc.

Business – advice, resources and inspiration for my biz 

Cleaning & Home Improvement – how to’s, tips, guides, reviews for appliances and other home products I don’t need or can’t afford right now but possibly will later, etc.

Decor – inspiration, products, guides

Dream Home Inspiration – home ideas that I absolutely positively love and dream of  incorporating into my future home

Entertaining – tablescapes, ideas for the holidays, etc.

Fashion – outfit ideas, guides

Food – recipes, cooking tips

Hair & Beauty – ideas and guides

Health & Fitness – informational articles, guides, how to’s

Organization – inspiration, ideas, products

Travel – interesting places I’d like to check out, city guides, travel tips

Someday Maybe – projects I might want to try sometime, book lists, movies I’d like to watch, etc.

Wisdom – articles regarding balance, happiness, spirituality, perspective etc. (helpful for getting out of a funk or getting through a depressing time)

With the exception of the Action category, which I have a tray for near my desk (more on my office trays later), I created a binder for all my categories. Each binder is filled with clear sheet protectors and tabbed dividers (for sub-categorizing).  To organize the magazine clippings, I simply put each into a sheet protector in the appropriate binder and under the corresponding sub-category.

Organized_Magazine_Clippings_in_Binder_via_Arianna_Belle_Blog

My Travel binder with clear tab dividers labeled with sub-categories: Local, Weekend Getaways, National, International, Travel Tips

Here are my tips for anyone who may be interested in doing something similar:

-Go through one or two issues of each magazine you subscribe to, and take a look at the pages you’ve torn out to help you come up with your binder categories

-Assess your needs before going out to buy supplies.  I personally go through a lot of magazines and tend to tear out a fair amount of pages, so I determined that I needed a separate binder for each category to neatly fit everything in and leave space to add more.  If you’re someone who doesn’t subscribe to a lot of magazines and/or doesn’t tend to tear out that many pages, you may decide you can organize everything into one large binder or maybe combine two or three categories into each binder.  If you need to, you can always expand later.

-Keep in mind also that not all your binders need to be the same size.  Most of mine are 1″ but for some categories, like Fashion and Decor, I have 3″ binders.

-Make sure you use either extra-wide dividers, or dividers that are specially made for use with sheet protectors (like these). If you get regular dividers, since sheet protectors are wider than regular letter sized paper, you won’t be able to see the tabs.

-Label the divider tabs with a label maker for a neater look (if you don’t have one yet, I highly recommend getting one, it’s so handy!)

-If you want to downsize and organize a collection of back issues you’ve accumulated over time, do it in batches.  Trying to organize them all at once can be overwhelming.  Plus the process is more fun if you let yourself do it as a leisurely project :-)

*This post was brought to you by the folks at Office Depot.  All thoughts, ideas, and opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you for supporting Arianna Belle sponsors! 

Posted in magazine organization, organization | 13 Comments

How to Write a Better To-Do List

How to Write a Better To Do List - Arianna Belle Blog - Photo by Yvonne  Bauer

I’ve been reading the book Getting Things Done by David Allen and have enjoyed learning about his approach to productivity.  One of the things from the book that I have started putting into practice and have found useful is to ask myself, ”what’s the next action?” when adding things to my to-do list.   Here’s a look at what a few items on my to-do list would have typically looked like prior to me considering the next action question:

  • replace broken steamer piece
  • recover sofa chair
  • buy file boxes
  • get boots fixed

At first glance the to-do’s seem fairly straightforward but, when I would look at items like this on my list, for some reason I would find myself resisting them.  They’d often get pushed back and continue to remain incomplete. Why? Mr. Allen explains that most actionable items require some quick thought and planning steps before we can precisely define what has to happen to complete them. Do you need to research something? Gather certain information? Contact someone? He says that the thinking exercise for each item is something that has to happen at some point or another and it’s better to complete it early on because “if you haven’t identified the next physical action required to kick-start [an item], there will be a psychological gap every time you think about it even vaguely.” (pg. 130)

Here’s the same list re-written after taking the time to think about the next physical action required for each of my items:

  • get model number of steamer for replacement piece
  • research fabric options for sofa chair
  • measure optimal size for file boxes to go in closet
  • research shoe repair places on yelp

In order to replace the broken steamer piece, I have to first get the model number so that I can contact customer service with that information.  Before I can recover my sofa chair, I first have to find the right fabric.  Before I actually go out and buy the file boxes, I need to first measure the space I’m putting them in so I know they’ll fit and I’ll know what to look for when I’m at the store.  To get my boots fixed, I need to first find a repair place to take them to. The idea is to have all my thinking completed about the steps of an actionable item so that when I have a window of time to get something done, I can use the tools I have (computer, phone, etc.) and the location I’m in (at office, at home, out running errands, etc.) to cross more things off my list, having already defined what exactly there is to do.

To be honest, I don’t always write my to-do’s this way.  It’s a habit I’m trying to develop. Sometimes I’m in a rush and write down something non-specific because I just need to quickly dump things out of my head.  If this happens, I try to look back over my list when I’m not so rushed, and re-write the vague things on my list to make them specific next-action items.

Have any of you read Getting Things Done? I’m working on putting other recommendations from the book into practice and will report back here letting you all know how it goes.

photograph above by Yvonne Bauer of the blog Fraeulein Klein

Posted in lists, organization, productivity, time management | 12 Comments

Stylish Workspace: Sugar Paper

Sugar Paper is a high quality paper goods company started by Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker 10 years ago.  Late last year they outgrew their original small space and moved their studio to a large warehouse in West LA. These photos give us a peek inside:

Sugar Paper Office Door via Arianna Belle Blog

Sugar Paper Office

Sugar Paper Inspiration Board

Sugar Paper Organized Shelves via Arianna Belle Blog

Sugar Paper Studio

Sugar Paper LA Studio

Sugar Paper WordPress Sugar Paper Studio & Offices

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Gorgeous right? As a young entrepreneur I find this so inspring.  Perhaps one day I’ll get to move my company into a similarly large and beautiful studio :-) Gotta dream big right??

 Photos via 100 Layer Cakelet and Sugar Paper’s Instagram Feed 

–Another inspiring workspace here.

Posted in office space, office spaces, organized workspaces | 13 Comments

Glass Front Cabinets in the Bathroom

In our future “forever home” would love to have glass front storage cabinetry in the bathroom, whether as built-ins or a freestanding piece, where we could house and display neatly folded stacks of towels, glass jars filled with bath salts, beautiful soaps, and other bath essentials.  Something kinda like this:

glass-front-bathroom-cabinets-Arianna-Belle-BlogImage sources: 1 – this is glamorous via design sponge, 2 & 3 – white + gold design via la dolce vita, 4 – found via vignette design, original source unknown, 5 - bhg, 6 - instyle magazine
Posted in bathroom organization, beautifully organized spaces, organization | 6 Comments

Dog Beach

arianna-belle-on-instagramThere’s a lovely off-leash dog beach in Santa Barbara where we take Little Foot and my sister‘s dog Roofus at least once every summer.  We drove up there this Saturday, and while as we were headed over, it seemed like it would be overcast and a bit on the chillier side, once we got there it was clear skies and perfect weather.  The pups soaked in the sun and excitedly ran their little hearts out with paws in the sand.  Seeing them so happy makes me happy. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to go at least once more this summer.

ariannabelle-on-instagramphotos via my instagram
Posted in about me, dogs, lifestyle, little foot, summer, sunny days, weekend | 1 Comment

Summer Outfit Ideas

Last time I decluttered my closet, I got rid of several of clothes that were no longer my style or were just plain old and worn out, including summer essentials like shorts, skirts, and dresses.  I guess I got rid of more than I realized because lately I’m finding myself with limited options for what to wear.  I need to make some time for myself to go shopping asap and get a few pieces that will get me through this hotter weather. Using these images below as inspiration for what to shop for.

outfit-ideas-summer-arianna-belle-blogimage sources – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Posted in fashion, summer | 1 Comment

Get the Look: A Living Room by Laurie McFarland

For this month’s Get the Look post I’m featuring a gorgeous living room by Arkansas interior designer Laurie McFarland.

get-the-look-laurie-mcfarland-living-room-Arianna-Belle

While the flooring, wall color, and main furnishings are all neutral, the room is anything but boring. Vibrant decorative pillows deliver a burst of color and enliven the space.  Large mirrors flanking either side of the sofa make a symmetrical statement while giving the illusion of spatial depth.  Silk draperies and touches of gold add a sense luxury and glamour.

Get the look with these pieces:

get-the-look-laurie-mcfarland-Arianna-Belle

1. double gourd lamp, 2. mosaic mirror, 3. pink patterned pillow, 4. magenta velvet pillow, 5. gold greek key lumbar, 6. gold-leaf side table, 7. linen chair

photograph of living room by Nancy Nolan via At Home in Arkansas
Posted in get the look, interior decor, living room | Leave a comment

Living Room Update: Media Storage

Remember the media unit I shared a photo of in this post? Well when we first purchased it, our initial idea was to add two lower drawers for closed storage.  After trying out the drawers though, we didn’t like how they looked and opted instead to keep the unit open. That meant though that we had to find alternative options for out of sight storage.

I kept an eye out for stylish boxes and bins and found some at Office Depot that were the perfect size and a lovely creamy neutral color. I went with three box bins for the upper right shelf and two document boxes for the lower left shelf. The bins now hold my husband’s Xbox games, controllers, etc. out of sight while keeping them easily accessible.  The boxes hold various card and board games.   Here’s how it looks:

organized-media-unit-arianna-belle-blogorganized-media-storage-arianna-belle-blogWhere do you like to store the entertainment stuff you prefer keep out of sight? Is someone in your household a gamer? Where do you store all the games and gadgets?

More home updates to come!

p.s. In case you’re wondering, we don’t really keep any DVDs in the media unit because most of the movies we watch nowadays are via Netflix, Zune or Blockbuster.

The folks at Office Depot sponsored this post.  All ideas/opinions/thoughts are my own.

Posted in living room organization, storage solutions, stylish storage | 4 Comments