Fratelli Reguitti: Sometimes Major Changes Are Just Small Tweaks!

You might have seen this little teaser from the weekend…

Fratelli RegiuttiAre you wondering what it is?

This piece is not major in terms of its size or even addition to the actual decor, but it is a major piece when it comes down to function and feelin’ the love!

It is designed for, and destined to take care of scenarios like this… gotta love those cords!

Before the Valet (2a)

Anyone else out there appreciate? No, honey, I’m not throwing you under the bus! 😉

You see, I am partly responsible…

A few years back in a moment of empathetic male camaraderie,  my Dad handed over his clothing valet to hubs. But somehow it ended up becoming a place to hang my grandmother’s quilt, and well, a DIY project for me! Hehem…

So lately I’ve sort of been keeping my eyes open for a replacement valet while on my treasure hunting rounds, and finally last week this 1950s Fratelli Regiutti option appeared!

Fratelli Regiutti Gentleman's Valet

Fratelli Regiutti, an Italian designer behind some well known 1950s furniture pieces including this gentleman’s valet, and variations of it. Don’t you love that, a gentleman’s valet? They were originally made to hang up suits. You can see from the teaser pic, how well made Regiutti valets are. All I really had to do was give this piece a wash-down, clean up the brass shoe rails, and wax the wood. This piece is not at risk of a makeover… for now.

Once in place, this is what happened to hub’s corner of the lair…

Fratelli Regiutti Gentleman's Valet

Yes, the boxes were hidden underneath! And, I promised not to ‘borrow’ this valet for any other use!

What small tweaks have you made that impact major change? Have you ever heard of Fratelli Reguitti? What do you think of his gentleman’s valet?

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use! 🙂







Organizing Your Filing: A 5-Step Purge

I know I’ve been MIA these days, but being gone doesn’t mean Elvis has left this building! Nu-uh. I wish I had some exotic adventures to share, but I don’t. No, instead the fed-up bug has gotten me, and I’ve been tackling a backlog of ‘to dos’ one-by-one.

The dreaded filing purge has moved to the top of my list. How does it always manage to slide back down? So sneaky!

This was my filing tray when I got started.

Overflowing Filing Tray

Yes, it was this bad!

And this is my filing tray now.

Empty Filing Tray

Who knew this tray was prettier than it looked?

I also tackled two filing cabinets, and did a whole lot of purging between them.

This is a little glimpse of the ‘in progress’…

In progress purging of files

Oh yes, it was this bad, too!

But in the end…

Here’s shredding bin one…

Overflowing shredding bin

And shredding bin two.


Believe it or not, we do as much electronically as we can! But I have to confess, some of this is years worth of backlog. Life happens, and paper builds up. Can you relate?

Here are a few tips when you’re purging years worth of files:

1. Don’t let years worth of files build up!

Okay, I just had to say it, LOL. 😉

2. Empty your file drawers exactly as they are into file boxes.

This way you have half a chance of finding something while in the transition of purging and refiling.

3. Work methodically through the files, sorting as you go:

  • Refile – I recommend getting files back into the cabinets as quickly as possible.
  • Shred – keep your bins handy and fill them; tackle the shredding later, and don’t forget, you can hire a shredding service!
  • Recycle – fill your recycling bag as you go, so all you have to do is take it to curb side on recycling day.

4. Don’t get bogged down in the details.

The purging process is the clean sweep. Once this part is done, you can always go back to reorganize your filing system, revamp your colour coding, make up new file labels, or whatever detail-oriented job you feel is pressing to do!

5. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Don’t overwhelm yourself with the task at hand. Depending on how backlogged your files are, tackle them in chunks over a few days. You’ll be so glad you did! Caution: do give yourself a deadline – there’s nothing worse than a job like this hanging over your head for too long.

Here’s where I left off…

Bankers Boxes of Files

Hubs and I have to go through these two boxes together.

So glad it was raining today!

How do you handle the purging of your files? Do you stay on top of it, or do you let it get away? Do you have any tips to share?

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs by Sheila Zeller 

Vintage MCM Desktop Mail Sorter

Maybe it’s my office background, maybe it’s not, but when it comes to office organizers, my knees go weak! Looove them, look for any excuse to need them, and no matter what, just flat out want them!

So when I saw this Mid-Century beauty, how could I just turn and walk away? Honestly.

Compact, made of wood…

And designed with function in mind.

The drawer has four small compartments on the right, and I bet back in the day there was a roll of postage stamps in one of them!

And see those numbers, 1 to 31 along the top edge? No, they’re not a metric ruler. Although I have to admit, for a second I wondered why they took a standard 30cm ruler to 31! 😉

The numbers actually belong to a slot, and there’s a slot for each day of the calendar month.

The slats you see are for letters, invoices… basically incoming mail that is time sensitive.

Now, how cool is that for visual organization? Can’t you just picture the secretaries of Mad Men working this system?

Such a great piece, and through its design, one that hints at the story of the way things were.

I will be making room for this prized piece to sit up front and center in my own office. I love it!

So how about you? What kind of office organizers do you like to use? How do you keep your time sensitive mail sorted and on track? Oh right, we’re all about the digital age now, aren’t we?

This sweet find was featured by the sweet Andrea…

Junkin Joe Linky Party - I Was FeaturedTYSM Andrea!!!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have an awesome weekend.

Photographs by Sheila Zeller 


Organizing: Adding Shelving to Poorly Used Spaces

Just a few small tweaks can make a huge difference to utilizing storage, and being way more organized within! And then when it’s all said and done, you wonder why it took you so long, right?

Over the weekend I tackled two small spaces. Here’s the difference installing just a few shelves will make.

Cupboard over the stove.

Such a pain to access, and often underutilized!

Wasted space, no? I keep these things up here because I don’t use them that often, but that’s no excuse to have them stored so inefficiently, now is it?

A simple installation of two prefinished shelves, cut to size, and this space is like a whole new custom cupboard. I actually have a stack of fondue plates sitting on top of the grill. They’re set in a tray making them easy to lift out, and the cupboard space to be put to full use. As far as access goes, I have a small step ladder tucked close-by.

Hall closet.

Whoever built this home did not make the hall closet deep enough. As a result we don’t use it to hang anything in it except empty hangers, because otherwise the door rubs on garment sleeves when it’s opened and closed.

More wasted space! It was actually filled to capacity with stuff toppling over, but I didn’t think to take a true ‘before’ photo… this is a quick phone shot snapped in the knick of time. Here, I keep my basic sewing things for quick access, and the rest is downstairs with more craft supplies. Recognize the little red tool box?

We installed a quick rail and bracket system with simple pine boards.

Tip: I didn’t buy prefinished pine shelving because it was twice the price of a plain pine board. I also had the board cut right on site into the shelving size I needed, and was good to go!

This closet is storage for all things seldom used, but easy to access when needed. Did you notice the iron and ironing board in there? Yes, all things seldom used!

So if you’re wanting to beef up your storage to be more efficient, don’t get bogged down in the details. Shelving will never fail you, and you’ll be so glad you added it in!

How are things working out for you in your home? If you read my project motivator and friend Carol’s post over at the Design Pages, then you’ll know this is all part of a bigger plan to knock a few projects off the ‘to do’ list. There will definitely be bigger and prettier projects to come! Stay tuned 🙂

This article was chosen as a favorite story of the week by Savvy Mom!

Thanks Savvy Mom, and thank you for stopping by!

Photographs by Sheila Zeller

Organizing My Sewing Stuff: A Blend of Gran’s Vintage & My Semi-New

I inherited my Gran’s sewing box years ago, and believe it or not, left everything in it. I’ve used a few things over the years, but have always just left it the way Gran had it. Well, maybe not exactly the way she had it… it’s a lot less orderly now!

And if you think this is bad, here’s a peek at the mish-mash of my own sewing box!

Enter the little red vintage tool box that inspired me to take charge of all this chaos.

Yes, this was a thrifting find from the other day, and for some reason I saw it becoming part of my sewing mix… even though this is what it looked like inside.

Some soaking, Goo-Gone, lots of elbow grease and a little steel wool took care of this, and then I lined the bottom with rubber shelf liner and red felt.

It’s actually this I was more worried about!

Sorting and organizing all the random contents of my sewing stuff along with my grandmother’s to become one! Eeeek. And getting better systems in place to boot.

My thread and bobbins were a tangled mess.

The idea behind this thread/bobbin caddy isn’t so bad, but it’s one of those organizers that doesn’t really work. I’ve moved my bobbins to this little case instead…

I still have to decide on storage for my thread. Do you have any favorite solutions to share?

And buttons. Who saves them in all these packages, anyway?

Well, that would be me! I’ve now sorted my buttons and separated them into little jars of darks, whites, metallics, mixed colours, and kid inspired!

My Gran made her own dresses, and she loooooved rick rack, seam binding and elastic. I wrote about a quilt she made here.

Did you notice the vintage labels with their vintage prices?

I corralled all the rick rack and seam binding into a small box, and placed it with the rest of my craft supplies.

No need for this factory supply to be kept in my sewing box, right?

I did put all Gran’s elastic into a pretty little box, and it along with some other things you saw on the table now live in the bottom of my sewing box.

I also sorted and organized more things from the table into the top tray of my sewing box, and this is what lives there now.

The pink seamstress tape belonged to my Gran along with the very burnished thimble beside it. The tape is only in feet and inches, and it’s so old I’m afraid it might crack and break if I handle it too much. I have two of my own, but there’s no way I want to part with Gran’s, so it gets to take up a cubby of its own! Hey, do you know of any DIY ideas where I could showcase this special tape instead?

Remember all those envelopes containing spare buttons? Here’s how I used some of them for my larger needles and pins.

They’re now tucked down a side compartment in one of the trays in the top of my sewing box.

And by now I bet you’re wondering where on earth the little red tool kit comes in.

Well, tools of course!

Between my Gran and I, we had a few tools of the sewing trade…

Believe it or not, the wooden handled tracing wheel, seam guide, and large seam ripper were mine in high school! Never mind, never mind – I said my stuff was ‘semi-new’!

Here’s something of Grannie’s I never had! A scissors sharpener.

Do they even make these anymore? The scissors you see are mine… would you dare use them to cut paper? No, my family doesn’t either 😉

Anyway, I thought the little red tool box would be perfect for our sewing tools!

I slipped the sharp objects into the little leather pouch on the right, just to protect them and the red paint that’s still in tact!

Everything fit perfectly.

And the lid even closed! 🙂

My Gran’s sewing box is empty now, and all our sewing things combined. You see, I have to do some minor repairs to it, because the screws that hold the hinges in place are really loose, and the drawers are pretty shaky when they’re pulled open.

In the meantime I will just enjoy it for the beautiful piece that it is. Well used, and well loved!

Do you craft or sew? What kind of organizational strategies do you use for all the ‘stuff’ that goes with it? Oh, and if you noticed the old Aspirin bottle in the first photo, pop by next week… I’ll show you some of the other treasures that kind of go with it!

So happy to be featured over at Junkin Joe’s! Thank you, Andrea 🙂


Published in the Home section of Savvy Stories over at Savvy Mom.

Thanks for stopping by!

Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

Thrifting: What Story Hangs Here?

Another treasure seeking adventure…

This time I came across a whole collection of vintage wooden hangers, some marked, and some designed without a name!

I thought it would be fun to peek inside a few historical closets, and get a glimpse of what these hangers might have seen.


My Dad was born in Trail, so let’s start here!


Lauriente’s general merchant store (building to the left) was built in 1904 by Camille Lauriente, an Italian immigrant who arrived in Trail at the turn of the century. Lauriente’s clothing store is said to be the first brick building built in the Trail area.


These front steps were made of marble tile, and constructed as steadfast as the business itself, which was in operation for 70 years! No wonder a Lauriente hanger still remains! The Laurientes were a large family, and a colourful piece of Trail’s history. You will find the Lauriente name weaving through the Kootenay area still today.


Did you know there were two Hotel Vancouver’s prior to the one that stands today?

Vancouver Skyscrapers

Yes, the predecessors were located a block away from where the Hotel Vancouver now sits. The building you see here was the second hotel, and was built in 1916 by the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). It became a troop barracks during World War II, but was demolished in 1949 under the ownership of the Canadian National Railway (CNR). Construction of the new hotel was halted for many years as a result of the Depression, but in 1937 was finally completed and opened its doors in 1939 becoming an icon in the city with its dramatic Chateau roof.

Vancouver Skyscrapers

Interesting facts:

  1. The CPR built Chateau style hotels in most major cities across the country.
  2. Vancouver zoning regulations required setbacks at the 10th and 15th floors, which you can see in this photo.
  3. A ghost lives here! Yes, known as the Lady in Red and thought to be the ghost of socialite, Jennie Pearl Cox… read more here!


Given the enormity of the Canadian railway system in our history, I was thrilled to find a connection in the hanger collection. Do you think this hanger might trace back to here…

Rail Archive

 Or do you think it’s more likely to have traveled here?


Regardless of when or where this vintage wooden hanger hung a coat, it’s safe to say it played a role in time for what has become a rich piece of our Canadian tapestry.


John Bulloch, an Irish immigrant to Canada, formed his business, Bulloch Tailors, in the Depression era, and was known for ‘CASH only’ sales, no credit, no trade!

Bulloch Tailors/Peter Bulloch

Bulloch was also known for his outrageous ads, often offending special interest groups by the tone and message of his adverts. In fact, according to his son Peter Bulloch, editorial advertising is credited to John Bulloch!

Bulloch Tailors specializes in custom made suits for men, and in their words, ‘Custom Tailors to Gentlemen’. Read more here.

Bulloch Tailors/Peter Bulloch

Interesting Facts:

  1. John Bulloch made full 5-piece made-to-measure uniforms for the Canadian officers during the war. But he didn’t make just any uniform. These uniforms were the best quality money could buy, and cost $200 – the same amount the government gave each officer for their military uniform! In this way John Bulloch did his part for the war effort, and at the same time created a following of satisfied officers who would in all probability stay with him after the war. Smart.
  2. Smart? Definitely. Read more here on how John Bulloch secured enough gold braid for the uniforms he tailored at a time when gold braid was in high demand, but a serious shortage was developing!

John Bulloch, Bulloch Tailors Ltd. Another iconic name in our Canadian history.

HILTON HOTELS, hotels ‘Around the World’

Well now. A Hilton hanger. And we all know Hilton stands for, ‘Hotels around the World’! Who knew a Hilton hanger would show up in the mix?

Back in 1925 Conrad Hilton opened the high-rise Dallas Hilton, the first hotel to carry the Hilton name.

Hilton Worldwide on Pinterest

What’s so interesting about this particular building is, since air conditioning hadn’t yet been invented, the building was designed so that no guest rooms faced the western sun. Instead, the elevators, laundry chutes, airshafts, and other non-customer facilities were placed on that side of the building. Conrad Hilton Sr. didn’t miss a beat, and if you watched Mad Men, you will see his son, Conrad Hilton Jr.’s character portrayed in a way that shows the Hilton legacy didn’t get there by chance!

From vintage wooden hangers to a glimpse into the closets where they came from…

I hope you enjoyed my take on how thrifting can turn a moment in time into a piece of history, and in this case, a hanger to hang it on!

It’s all about the stories, wouldn’t you agree?

Thank you for stopping by!

Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise stated.

Time To Get The Cleanse On!

And so…


My cupboards are overflowing, my counters no longer bare,

My closet has no spare hangers, but I can’t find anything to wear!

My pantry shelves are full, yet I don’t know what to cook,

And too much stuff is collecting everywhere I look!!!


Sound familiar? Guess what I’ve been doing?

That’s right. It’s a new year, and I’m tackling the slow creep of too much stuff!

Because this is my goal…

Not the time, not the clearing of my head, but rather a beautiful place, instead! And the slow creep of too much stuff is not beautiful!

So I’m purging, sorting, and organizing my way through the three Rs…




How about you? Has the new year motivated you to get your cleanse on? What are you keeping, and do you know why?

Thanks for stopping by!

Photograph by Sheila Zeller; Quote from Pinterest


No Cost Organizing for a Chest Freezer

Chest Freezers

Where I grew up, chest freezers were a staple in just about every home. As the years changed, so did the freezer styles, but what didn’t was their necessity. Though I’ve moved, I haven’t made the lifestyle change – having a freezer is just part of how I live. And oddly enough, I’ve never made a style switch, either.

Hang on tight for design inspired photos you’ll be dying to pin 😉

Like this one of our freezers in the basement!

Chest Freezers

Okay, I’ll just say it. This post is not photo pretty, but it does have a few tips!

Keeping a chest freezer organized can be a challenge, so what can you do?

1. Sort the contents by group, and place like things together.

Labelling for Freezers

We have two freezers, so I thought these signs would help hubs know where things go 🙂 Okay, they’re for me too! We had a mix of everything in both, and wasted time rooting through each one! Even with one freezer, making a basic list of what’s inside can be helpful. And if you want something super handy, but with a lot more cool factor, placing a chalkboard decal right on your freezer is an easy way to keep things up to date.

2. Tag your frozen goods with dates, and place the oldest items on top.

Here my new and old are placed side-by-side, but I still wanted to make sure we were using the older fish first. Ideally you will want to date your individual packages, but my Dad and his buddy keep us supplied in fish, so we process quite a few at once. That’s where this next tip comes in. And I have to give my Dad credit for this one as he’s done this for years!

3. Contain your frozen packages in boxes within the freezer.

Notice the circle in the first photo. That’s space over the freezer motor, which is pretty hard to maximize. The box provides storage for additional items that would otherwise slip off the tiny shelf.

More reasons I like to use boxes:

  • You can fill the bottom of the freezer, and then optimize the vertical space that’s left, by layering another row of boxes on top
  • You are able to contain like things together, which makes them easier to retrieve
  • It’s easier to move a box, than it is to move a pile of random packages
  • Boxes help protect vacuum sealed packages, like what our fish is in, from breaking open
  • Boxes are easy to come by, and you can cut them down to size
  • This is a great way to reuse something you probably already have!
4. If your freezer is full, take a quick photo of the outside and list what’s on the inside.

Print off the photo on plain old paper, and start writing in what you have and where you’ll find it. This isn’t meant to be all pretty and perfectly formatted. It’s just another way for you to find things quickly without having to search through your freezer. If you want to forget the whole photo thing, draw squares and fill them in instead! Remember, chest freezers are deep, and brrrrrr, cold… do you really want to be searching through that?

More things to keep in mind:
  • Ensure your individual packages are fully frozen before stacking others on top
  • Use thick, strong cardboard boxes, because they will eventually soften and want to bend over time
  • Fold the flaps closed before stacking another box on top, or place a heavy, flat piece of cardboard between the boxes

And… you don’t have to use cardboard boxes. You can use whatever works for you… just remember that plastic gets brittle when it’s frozen, and any moisture turns to ice on it’s surfaces. As for metal containers… well, we don’t even want to go there!

So tell me, do you use a freezer? What are your strategies for keeping it organized? Oh, and how many of these photos did you pin 😉 !!!

I hope you had fun reading this… it’s been pretty rainy here, so organizing something is always a great way to feel productive when you’re feeling kind of house-bound!

Fun fact:

Did you know there’s actually a name for the sign strategy I used to identify the old and new fish? There’s a system in Japan called Kanban. It’s not an inventory control system, but rather a scheduling system. My little cardboard cards are a very basic form of what’s actually quite a sophisticated system. Click here to read more! It’s pretty interesting. I included this to show you how systems can be as basic or as complex as you want to make them, but what matters in the end is that you have a system!

Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

Photography by Sheila Zeller

Wire Racks for Organizing on the Inside!

Sunbeam Plate Racks

Organizing is always a hot topic, so I thought I’d throw a quick and easy idea into the mix.

Live in a rental? This one’s for you. Even if you don’t, it still might be for you!

If your kitchen cupboards have more space inside than shelves to maximize it, here’s a quick solution… and, you can take this solution with you when you go!

Sunbeam Plate Racks

These Sunbeam wire racks are super strong, and don’t cave under the weight of stacked dishes.

Here’s a little look at how I’ve put them into play.

This is my cupboard for everyday dishes, well, except for the top shelf. I have 9′ ceilings, so the top shelf  is like extra storage!

Sunbeam Plate Racks

Can you see how much space there is between shelves. If you own your home, then purchasing extra shelves makes sense, but if you’re renting, that’s one home improvement idea you’ll want to forego.

Here you see a smaller cupboard, so the racks fit almost perfectly. And to protect the rims of the glasses and mugs, I lined these racks with rubberized shelf liner. But notice the circled areas on the photos.

Sunbeam Plate Rack

This shelf was cut slightly smaller than the others, and was just barely deep enough to hold the rack. So I improvised a stopper to make sure the feet wouldn’t slip off the edge. The stoppers are actually Command Strip Cord Clips. They’ve been in place for a year and a half, and so far, so good!

I also put the wire racks to use in my buffet. I was able to put five along the back for an almost perfect fit, and what a difference they make.

Sunbeam Plate Racks

You know how it goes, right? China, special dishes, fragile treasures…

I had to fit all of this in, and still be able to access it. And this wasn’t all of it!

Before the wire racks, everything was tediously stacked, and it was hard to access the things at the bottom not to mention the pieces in behind them.

Here’s a look at the buffet all loaded up.

I like the way the racks safely separate and elevate the dishes now. And notice, no sagging under the weight!

Just in case you’re interested, the racks come in white like you see here, or chrome. The white is not rubber coated, it is the actual wire painted white. There are two sizes in the basic rack – square, 10″D x 10″W x 5.5″H, which I’ve used here, and rectangular, 8.5″D x 16″W x 5.5″H. You can also get a corner rack that is designed specifically for plates, and all racks are available at Canadian Tire.

Here’s a bonus tip for an unlikely spot to use these racks…

Sunbeam Wire Racks

That’s right. The fridge freezer! Doesn’t it drive you crazy trying to place your freshly filled ice trays, you know, so the water doesn’t spill everywhere? That’s what drove me to this organizational solution! Notice, the rack is turned so you can slide the trays on and off!

Have you ever tried these wire racks? What other solutions do you use to maximize spaces like this behind closed doors?


P.S. ~ Just to make sure there’s no confusion, this is not a sponsored post!

Photography by Sheila Zeller 

Featured at hodge:podge

I’m very excited…

My closet redesign is being featured over at hodge:podge today 🙂 If you live in a rental, this post is for you! And if you don’t, well, this post is for you, too!! It’s a little inspiration for a lot of closet maximization! Is that a word?

And did you know that Barbara has started a new series on her blog called, Loving Your Rental? Hodge:Podge is always a great place to visit for inspiration and DIY ideas…

And now, tips for sprucing up your rental pad, too!

P.S. – Just in case you missed the news… Barbara was one of two winners in AyA Kitchen & Baths dream kitchen design competition, and as a result she is off to Blog Podium! You can read more here.

See what I mean. When you visit hodge:podge you know you’re in good hands, I hope you’ll stop by!



It’s about coming home… and home is a special place that tells your story! 

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