Monday, May 25, 2009

Bonus Closet, or, Cheap Plates Don't Have to Be Made of Plastic

I got a great start on my bonus closet last weekend.Since he was already building in a new coat closet for our living room, he decided to run a quick idea by me early on- could he just extend out the closet a few feet above the stairs? It was like making storage out of thin air. It's my bonus closet. Storage is hot. I'm 100% smitten with organizational space. It also has a space for our DVD player etc. so there will be NO electronics visible other than the flat screen in our living room, which will be mounted on the wall, which has outlets and cable stuff built-in behind it, so there will be NO cords visible either, and all our DVDs etc. will be stored in the hot jalapeno dresser beneath it and out of sight.
My heart stopped beating a little bit just describing that to you. Give me a minute. It's nice to have the stuff we use for everyday, but not every day close, but still freeing up more space in the main kitchen cabinets. I got that set of espresso cups and saucers for $2 on clearance once. The girls love them for tea. It's nice to have them out and easy to grab, instead of in one of the top cabinets like they were.Can you believe I actually have three sets...of white dishes? There's the Corell set in plain white that we use every day all the time. They know what they are doing at Corell. They aren't talking smack. You really can drop them over and over and they don't break. We're going on 7 years of testing that out.

I love white dishes, because you can switch out other colored plates to mix it up with seasons and they can mingle with the white for a fun table, and of course because you can play with many colors of napkins and table decorations and place cards and etc. and it all comes together and pops great when set on a fantastic white plate.

Then there's my clean-white, heavy and substantial set that is EXACTLY like the Pottery Barn Sausalito dinnerwear you see below, EXACT match in every way- I've compared them in person. And I got them at WalMart on clearance. $30 for a full set for 8. Almost fainted when I saw them. I LOVE this set, and use them whenever I want dinner to be a little more special, and always when people come over.
Photo courtesy of

Then there's my newest addition, my set of fine bone china, that I found at Bed Bath & Beyond for half price last Christmas. It was the display, and was missing a couple of saucers (not unlikely that we'll be missing more in a couple years...and my other white plates make a sly substitute). It's the WHOLE deal- tea set, salt and pepper shakers, all of it, service for 10- because 8 is too few, 12 is too many, right Meg Ryan? That China is reserved for when we have more formal meals here at our house for holidays- it's very delicate, which I love for making holidays etc. more special, and has a nice, simple pattern- pretty, but minimal- just really a pattern I love. And, it matches the pattern that was embossed on our wedding cake. Can you believe that? I thought that was just really, really special. It's the wedding-china I'd never gotten and always hoped to...just 6 1/2 years late. And I found them randomly, the whole set for $60. Jim kindly said nothing when I returned late from a shopping trip with a third set of "white plates". Here it is last Christmas.
China is a girl-thing, isn't it ladies? The specialness, the tradition of carefully, lovingly taking out each piece and setting the holiday table each year together with my daughters, a few times a year taking it out for an extra-special get me. *weep* *sigh*
If you don't have special glasses, I'd encourage you to get some. You can get a box of 4 Libby glasses for $4 at Target or the Others. Ice Tea glasses look fantastic any time you want water to be more than just water. And champagne flutes make anything bubbly-even soda or of course sparkling juice- special for a date night after the kids go to bed. You can buy them new, or look for them while you're thrifting... but get some. A neighbor girl got a homemade slush at our house last night in an Ice Tea glass and her eyes lit up instantly. A special glass means something.
Color palette for my bonus closet? Bright, warm yellow, jalapeno green, chocolate brown. Finding these storage containers on clearance at Target when I was searching for something exactly like them? Of course that was a bonus. These hold our silver (hand-me-down from Jim's great aunt- see above Christmas picture), our napkin rings and other table linens etc. Oh, yes, and it does of course hold coats etc. on the other side... It did start out as a coat closet, after all.Thank goodness for green and yellow. My they make me happy.


Mandy said...

Ooo! Looks so good! May I come over for a pretty drink, too?!

Debbie said...

I have closet envy. Is that a very bad thing?

Shelby-Grace said...

Can I just hire you to come over and shop for me and decorate for me!?!? Please:)

Love all your storage and dishes. Everything looks great!

Grammy Staffy said...

What a great bonus closet... as always you are so clever.

I just wanted to drop by and say hello. I think of you often and always send my best wishes your way.

I hope that things are going well and getting easier for you.
(((hugs))) Grammy Lura