2014 Project #1: Fabric Storage

At the beginning of this year, I let you into the deepest, darkest, most disastrous places in my house: storage areas, and my need for them to function on a higher level. Today I’m back to share one space that I’ve organized and has served it’s correct function for several weeks.

Sewing Room Before

Enter, my sewing corner. If you’ll remember, this little corner is a part of our office/craft room/catch all room. Most days, when you entered the room, it looked like this. Here are just a few of the problems:

  1. I had WAY too much fabric, thus it was literally falling off the shelves
  2. What I had wasn’t displayed well so I couldn’t see what I had
  3. There was no room for current/future projects
  4. My supplies (zippers, Velcro, applique adhesive, etc) were taking over

Piles of Fabric Sewing Shelf Before



So the purge began. I took everything off of every shelf, sorted each item and deemed it as trash, fabric to be folded or a sewing supply.

Sorting Fabric



I read a TON of tutorials online about how best to store fabric and I ended up with these, Ultra Pro Comic Series Boards. They worked like a charm. At first, I was afraid they would be too thin but once I got to rolling, they did the trick.

I took each piece of fabric and folded it to be a long, narrow piece that was just narrower than the boards. Then I started at one end and ‘rolled’ the fabric over each board.

Comic Book InsertsWhen that was done, they were stored vertically on my shelves and I was done!

Fabric ShelvingI also added some bins along the way to store sewing supplies, fabric scraps and upcoming projects. This space has been functioning in this was for a few weeks and now and I have to say, so far, so good. I find myself wanting to work in this space and not being stressed by the overwhelming clutter. I’ve completed several projects and am looking forward to many more!

Organized Fabric


Fabric Organization


What space in your home needs the most functionality update?

A Breath of Fresh Air

Living Room New Paint

I did it.

I painted my living room.

New Paint Color!Shortly after I wrote this post, I realized that the following weekend was a 3-day weekend because of Martin Luther King Day.

Living Room DetailsI jumped at the opportunity and set to work. The color winner was not one of my original choices, but I really do love it. It’s Valspar’s La Fonda Mirage.

Reading NookAnd so, prepare yourselves, here’s the photo dump.

Candy BarThe Front Poarch - Living Room

My first Ikea Hack has a new home next to the candy bar
Ikea Hack- Clock Candy Bar CornerNew Living Room Paint! Media Console Living Room RevealAnd the best part? Now I have the blank canvas next to the entry way. . .

Blank Wall

What would you do with it?

Dreaming of a Kitchen Reno

Last week I told you that I’ve dreamed up an entire kitchen renovation, which stemmed from a leaky faucet on our kitchen sink. And dreaming is exactly what I’ve been up to. . .



Ever since I started thinking about going white I’ve been itching to get the paint out and over haul the whole thing.

I’ve been reading tutorials on how to paint your kitchen,

How to paint your kitchen cabinets in 10 easy steps


 and how to make your own countertops from concrete and recycled glass.



As well as building custom drawer organizers, under the sink storage and vertical storage for baking sheets.



You know, as well as new light fixtures, hardware and a backsplash. No biggie.

To say that we hope to accomplish this task soon would be a lie, in fact our greatest hope is to complete it in 2014 so I think slow and steady will win this race. We have plans to break the re-haul down into manageable chunks, the first of which is a trial run on the smallest piece of countertop between the stove and the door to the garage.

Here we go!

If you have a leaky faucet, you’re going to replace the kitchen sink. . .

We are back from my brother’s wedding weekend and I am just getting over a cold that had me out for a good part of this week. It’s always amazing to me how much a little cold can really take it out of you! The wedding was beautiful, classy and all around elegant affair and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Elizabeth into our family.

When Phillip and I moved into this house, almost 2 years ago (where did the time go???) we knew that we were getting a house with a lot of character. If you own an old home, you know that sometimes ‘character’ really just means nothing ever works the way it’s supposed to.

Old Kitchen Sink

Let me introduce you to the kitchen sink. At first glance it looks pretty functional but if you take a closer look you’ll see that in fact the faucet leaks. Every time you use it. Annoying.

Leaky Faucet

So, like logical homeowners, we replaced a few seals and like most things in an old home, the problem still persisted. Typical. Around this same time, I noticed a beautiful white porcelain sink on Craig’s List that was in great shape and very reasonably priced.

‘If we’re going to replace the faucet, we might as well replace the sink while we’re at it.’ (I’m not a big fan of stainless.) FAMOUS. LAST. WORDS. You already know where this is going, don’t you??

New Kitchen Sink

So we bought the sink, brought it home and I immediately thought, ‘I can’t put my beautiful new sink on these ugly laminate countertops.’

Blue laminate countertops‘And if I’m going to trade out the countertops, I am for sure going to paint the kitchen cabinets while they’re off.’

Mismatched cabinet pulls‘If I’m already painting the cabinets, I want to go ahead and replace all this ugly, mis-matched hardware.’

Old Kitchen Hardware‘And if we do all that, we’ll have to put in a backsplash and get rid of this awkward, extra-tall countertop extension.’

High backsplash . . . and if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want something to drink.

Sorry for the word vomit but, I’ve been dreaming and making plans and I’ll be back next week with more details!


2014 Christmas Stockings

That’s right, you read correctly, I’ve already got 2014 Christmas plans in the works.

You see, in my family, each ‘kid’ has an elaborate Christmas stocking that looks something like this.

Original StockingPretty awesome, huh? They’re made from a kit and the company, Bucilla, is still in business today. (Sold here)

Since Phillip joined our family almost 5 years ago I’ve felt bad that he hasn’t had a ‘matching’ stocking and with the soon-to-be addition of my sister-in-law Elizabeth, I decided to take the plunge and make one for both of them.

Bucilla Stocking Kit

I ordered a kit for each one of them and I’m starting now with the goal of having them completed by Christmas. I feel like it is a bit lofty but still attainable. To keep things organized, I purchased a small, shoe box sized plastic bin for each kit.

Organized Stocking Kits

There are THOUSANDS of tiny pieces!!

Stocking Kit Details

So wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted!

I will paint my living room . . . one day . . . I promise . . .

Let’s talk a walk down memory lane shall we??

This was our living room right after we moved in, almost 2 years ago. Tan, tan and plaid = BORING.

2012 House Tour Living RoomWe’ve made LOTS of improvements since then like purchasing a new couch. . .twice, as well as painting the walls a neutral blue color and adding an entertainment center. When last you saw it, the room looked more like this.

House Tour New Couch

. . .and it still looks that way today. I’ve been dreaming of going white but still haven’t quite been able to pull the trigger. So instead, I’ve been buying random paint samples and creating my art on my wall.

Paint Sample OptionsNow here comes the really honest and pathetic part; most of these samples (you know, all 7 of them) have been up. . . SINCE AUGUST.

There it is, I said it.

Hi, my name is Leah and I can’t commit to a paint color.

So, I’ve decided to take a step back and revisit my original inspiration. Behold the peacock feather.

Peacock Color PaletteBeautiful right?

Here’s how I see it in my space.

Living Room Inspiration Board

So not to make any promises or anything but I think it is safe to say that at some point, in 2014, I will paint my living room. . . I hope. . . .

Ikea Hack: SMYCKE Wall Clock

SMYCKE Clock Transformation

Welcome to the first Ikea hack on The Front Poarch! What’s an Ikea hack you ask?? Great question! An Ikea hack is when you take something pretty basic (from Ikea, duh) and make in infinitely more awesome! (There’s even a website dedicated to it.)

I started with this SMYCKE Wall Clock, which I’d been eyeing for sometime.

Ikea SMYCKE Clock HackThis particular clock is pretty cool to begin with because it’s made up of small, hexagon plastic tiles that can be configured to any shape.

Ikea SMYCKE ClockIt comes with a set of connectors that allow you to freely join different pieces together.Hexagon tiles fit togetherFor this hack I wanted to change up the color scheme of the tiles so I selected a few from the original set. I chose to keep the white, green and a few of the gray tiles as-is.

Original hexagon tilesSince I already had lots of regular spray paint in my stash, I purchased this Valspar primer for plastic and it worked like a dream.

Use primer for plasticEach tile then got a coat of a different shade of green, blue or purple. Once they were dry, I sat down on a sunny afternoon and set to work.

Painted clock, ready to assembleI began by laying out the tiles and playing with the arrangement. . .

Hexagon tiles around Clock. . .however, I soon attracted some unsolicited help.

PicMonkey CollageOnce I had a layout more or less complete, I started piecing the back together and pretty soon . . .

Add connectors to the back. . . the clock was complete.

Clock on wall SMYCKE Clock

Ikea Hack- SMYCKE Clock


Storage Solutions: Gift Wrapping Supplies

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably still trying to recover from the holidays. By this point, most of my decor has been put away and as I mentioned last week, I am working on improving my storage spaces.

Do you have a designated way you store wrapping supplies? I’ve used a method for the past 5 years and I have to say, it works wonders. I seem to collect very little actual wrapping paper, only 1-2 rolls at a time, but bows and boxes and tissue paper?? I’ve got them coming out. my. ears. It gets a little out of control. So are you ready for my big secret?!? Here it is!Wrapping Paper Storage

Yep, that’s right, it’s a large gift bag! But wait, there’s more. . .

Gift wrap break downWhat may initially appear as a large bag full of wrapping stuff is actually a well thought out, time-tested storage system.

Four layers to gift wrapHere’s the break down:

1. In the back of the bag, store gift boxes. They fold flat and are a great go-to for odd shaped gifts.

1. Gift Boxes

2. In the middle, gift bags. They come in all shapes and sizes and are great for every occasion.

2. Gift Bags

3. In the front, tissue paper. All shades are welcome here, but for me there’s no replacement for classic white.

3. Tissue Paper4. Last but not least, the cherry on top. The finishing touch, the bows, the ribbons, the tags, the little things that make gifts look extra special.

4. Cherry on top

Ribbion, tape, bows, tags, etc.At the end of the day the whole bag hangs on a hanger in my craft closet.

Store bag in craft closetNow, I know what you’re asking. . . what about the wrapping paper? It leans against the wall just beneath the bag.

Wrapping Paper StorageHow do you store wrapping paper?



Rack-Card Kiosk

Are you ready for our first transformation of 2014??  That plain-jane rack-card kiosk in my dining room finally has a new look!

Transformed rack-card holder

Technically I finished this project late last year but what difference does it really make? Am I right?? Last year a friend gave me this display kiosk that she’d picked up at a store closing sale. I had lots of great ideas about how to use it but none of them ever really seemed to win my heart.

It was always one of those, ‘Well, I could put pictures in it. . . or maybe I’ll save cards that we receive. . . or MAYBE invitations to events. I love invitations and they’re always so pretty!’ Round and round I would go, never really making up my mind.Boring rack-card displayOne day, as I walked in the door from work, I checked the mail saw this card we’d received from the water project and popped it in the kiosk. It was in that moment that I knew.

Display personal cardsThe next free evening we had I went to Lowe’s and scoured the spray paint aisle. My initial moment of inspiration said ‘go for the gold’ but standing there looking at gold I knew it was all wrong. I pulled and audible and went black. Man oh man, I’m sure glad I did!

A little paint goes a long wayUpdated rack-card displayDisplay Christmas cards and family photosSo needless to say, I’m kind of using it to display a conglomeration of our lives. . .pictures, invites, cards, etc. (you know, like every single idea I’d previously had) but somehow against that beautiful black back-drop it’s all more wonderful that I could have imagined.Rack-Card Display from thefrontpoarch.comWhat are you working on for 2014?

The 2014 Line-up: Storage that works

If I could give my house one goal for 2014 it would be storage that works. I’m excellent at purging a space and organizing everything for a pretty reveal but keeping it that way is another story all together.Under the kitchen sink

I always feel like there is ample room to grow and adjust in any given space but then one day I look up and realize that I was completely wrong and all my efforts have turned into a stash worthy of hoarder status. 
Fabric Storage

Can I get an amen??

Master ClosetSo here it is, the proverbial new year’s list of goals/incentives/points of stress/accomplishments or whatever you want to call it.  Either way, I’m writing it down which for me means that I will actually work towards accomplishing it.

  • usable storage for my kitchen, including but not limited to cabinets and drawers
  • this will likely be a part of a larger kitchen reno, but more on that later

Junk Drawers Cabinet Storage


  • usable storage in the craft/sewing room

Craft Closet Bottom of craft closet

  • portable storage for the hall closet
  • usable storage for my shoes and occasional items like sweaters, shorts, etc.

Master Closet

  • last but not least, paint the freaking living room. I almost pulled the trigger on this project before the holidays but I realized I had just enough time to either paint or put up the Christmas decorations. I chose decorations. More on that later as well.

So what are your goals for 2014?

Happy New Year’s my friends!