10 Steps to De-clutter Like A Pro

I know you are tired of hearing the word “de-clutter” but extra items sprawled about a room detract from the calming energy needed for a healthy and relaxing environment.  Furniture pieces that become catch-alls for junk make me sad.  My friends accuse me of being a minimalist.  Guilty as charged.  I look at it this way, you probably spent some time selecting that piece of furniture, right?  Why hide its beauty with junk? This includes everything from desks to chairs and even your rug!

So you ask “How do I identify clutter?”  Well... I have 10 guidelines for you to follow: 

  1. if it has a logo get rid of it. 
  2. you got it for free, get rid of it.
  3. or you haven’t touched in the last six months, you might consider getting rid of it.
  4. Try no more than 3 items per tabletop. Be it candlesticks, a tray, frames etc.
  5. Utilize your wall space. If you find you have a crowded dresser maybe a shelf above your dresser can help.
  6. Use zip lock bags to group similar items and then tuck those items into storage.
  7. If you are a paper junkie a corkboard may do you good.
  8. If you have a crazy shelf that reveals all your dirty secrets try adding baskets in the cubby holes of the shelf.
  9. If you have lots of books, make them more presentable by taking off the protective covers.  PLUS they look better on the shelf.
  10. While you’re at it, wipe down all those hidden dusty old surfaces for a polished look.

I dare you to be domestic!

3 Tips For Maximizing Closet Space

3 closet tips

The number one rule for doing anything domestic is to stick to what works best for your house and your situation.  Take folding.  Now, I can teach you five different ways to fold a shirt, but is that folded shirt technique going to work for you and your storage situation?

Here are some things to consider when planning your closet.

Storage Space

How much space do you have?  This will determine whether you will fold in squares(Half) or rectangles (thirds).

I have a very small linen closet at home, so I fold my towels in halves so that I can stack them higher than if I were to fold them in thirds.


It's important that you can recognize the folded item without unfolding it.  For shirts this means that you are able to see the front and the neckline.  For jeans it means that you are able to see the tab and the pocket – two important identifiers. Also consider storing items you don't wear as often up high this works especially good for shoes. Clean boxes with the shoe picture on the front  is a great time saver.

Size of Item

Small items like underwear and socks often require some creative solutions.  Especially women’s intimates.  I have two approaches to folding and storing these items:

  • Try adding tissue to create more bulk and help the item hold its fold.
  • Consider laying these items flat instead of folding them.
  • Socks can be more easily identified when stored in a sock organizer available at any home goods store.

An Ombre Christmas

Most holiday seasons I find myself buying new ornaments in a new color scheme for the DTBD studio tree.  But this year I decided to put to use all my past color schemes and create an ombre christmas tree.  It was simple and made a BIG statement in the room.

Here are a few of my tree decorating tips:

  1. Gather your tools before starting. (see image below)
  2. Place your tree in a spot where you can enjoy it while lounging or watching TV. Avoid placing it directly in front of a TV as the glare/reflection in the TV can be distracting.
  3. Dark green pipe cleaners are a good alternative to christmas ornament hooks.
  4. Place down a thick blanket and unpack and gather all your ormanats in a workspace close to the tree.
  5. Create your tree layout on a flat surface before actually placing them on the tree.
  6. Place lights on first, followed by ribbon, large ornaments and then smaller ornaments.
  7. Remember a good tree plays with depth so place items way deep and in the forefront.

I dare you to be domestic!


Coffee Table Essentials

What's in that box? My coffee table decor may change with the seasons but the one thing that remains the same are the items I call my "Coffee Table Essentials". These eight items are guaranteed to come in handy for everyday living.  It's a great way to stay prepared and organized as you watch your favorite TV shows, have a drink and light a few candles - a ritual in my household. I dare you to  be domestic!

1. Apple TV remote - We all know how easy it is to loose this little guy.

2.iPhone - Makes searching for Apple TV or your favorite YouTube video a swipe away.

3. Television Remote - The volume master.

4. Coasters - Protect your table top from water damage.

5. Wick Trimmer - Keep candles burning best when you trim the wick 1/3 of its after burned length.

6. Wick Dipper - gently puts out your candles without smoke or causing a wax spill. Gentle press the wick down into the melted wax to extingusins then straighten back.

7. Lighter - eliminates the running around trying to find a way to light your candles.

8. Decorative Box - Keeps all of your coffee table necessities in one stylish place. Form and function.

Great Finds: Flatware

Over the past two weeks I've been searching high and low (literally high budget and low budget) for a set of everyday flatware in preparation for the holiday season.  Finally my search has come to an end.  Target saves the day with its Threshold Arkita Flatware Set.  I fell in love with its design,  weight and finish.  So now that my search is over here are some DTBD tips to help you find the best flatware for your needs.

Quality material: Stray away from any product that just says "stainless". It should read "stainless steel".

Read fine print:  The best stainless steel has either a little chromium or nickel mixed in and is identified with the numbers "18/0" or "18/10". The numbers “18/10” and “18/0” are simply figures that illustrate the amount of chromium and nickel content present in stainless steel. 

Chromium, or chrome, is a tough white metal, used in stainless steel and other alloys, because of how hard it is and its stain-resistant properties. Nickel is a corrosion-resistant silvery-white metal, often used for its shine to coat other metals 18/10 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel content. 18/0 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 0% nickel matter. Source - foodservicewarehouse

Find your style: Find flatware that matches your personal style. Your table is an extension of your personal style.

Purchase complete sets:  I highly recommend only buying sets with all the proper parts for a complete table setting: Teaspoons, Salad Forks, Dinner Spoons, Dinner Knives and Dinner Forks.

Weight/Design:  Does it feel good in your hand? Does it rest well on the edge of a plate and on the table?

Purchase enough:  Purchase at minimum eight sets but if you are a big entertainer/host like myself I'd go for 12 sets.

Wash: Wash new sets in mild soapy water. It's always best to wash by hand even dishwasher safe flatware. Use nothing with lemon ingredients and dry with a soft microfiber towel.

I dare you to be domestic!


A Creepy Halloween Table Setting

DTBD along with Damon of The Paper Door are at it again. This time we are hosting a small intimate Halloween dinner.  We decided to lighten things up a bit and turned our spider inspired dinner into a pallet of creams, gold tones and a touch a black.  The custom invites are my favorite part. Happy Halloween. I dare you to be domestic!

Thrifting with DTBD: $29.99

On almost any given day of the week, you can find me strolling in the aisles of St. Vincent de Paul in Downtown Los Angeles - thrifting my soul away. Today I found a great hand crafted bowl I'm sure Ill use for snack service and a vintage desk lamp to add to my growing collection. All for under thirty bucks!

I dare you to be domestic!

Dinner Party For Two

When a client called to create a romantic surprise dinner for his girlfriend, we knew it couldn't be a typical rose petal celebration. We transformed this bachelor pad into a private garden dinner party just for two. We chose an array of beautiful jewel toned flowers and base of crisp white.   When night arrived you couldn't tell if you were inside or outside.

I Dare You To Be Domestic

The Man Cave Closet

As much as us guys don't like to admit it, we have lots of stuff.  So when a client informed me he was moving into a new house and his girlfriend would be joining, I knew I had to make some decisions on how to join all his items with hers.  It would hurt my heart to have a pair of Giuseppe Zanottis next to a old beat up pear of baseball cleats.  So I bring to you the The Man Cave Closet. Simply convert a guest closet into the place where your sports fanatic can store all of his or her "play clothes".  We added few hat racks, rubber bins, hooks and metal baskets from the Container Store and we are all set.

I dare to you be domestic!