Today I am delighted to introduce you all to Cristin of Simplified Bee. Cristin is a professional organizer, interior designer, and busy mom who is amazingly talented at creating beautiful and clutter-free spaces. She shares with us what inspires her work, some of the best organizing tactics, and some very helpful advice. Enjoy!
Your company, Simplified Bee, was created because of the need you saw for “functional interior design.” Can you describe what that is?
While studying interior design at a local college and creating clever ways to keep my kids’ toys orderly, I had an “a-ha” moment to combine the disciplines of interior design and organizing. Thus in January of 2009, I launched Simplified Bee®. I believe that surrounding yourself in beautiful, organized spaces reduces stress, makes you happier and inspires healthier living.
What inspires your design aesthetic and how do you incorporate that into your work or in your own home?
Nature, textiles and color are typical inspiration points for me in design. Currently I am obsessed with textiles and in particular, Eastern hand block printed textiles from designers like John Robshaw. Developed in Asia centuries ago, the tradition of hand block printing continues today despite industrialization and computers. Perhaps it’s the human touch and imperfections in this primitive art form which make block printed textiles so esteemed. Last year I tried my own hand at making a block print tablecloth. I love the way it turned out!
Is there one thing or room that you’ve noticed most people tend to struggle with organizing? Is there a solution that’s worked across the board for this?
Organizing kid’s spaces can be a struggle for many of my clients. Whenever possible I recommend floor to ceiling shelving to help maximize storage and balance the space visually. To corral toys and add a pop of color, I recommend stylish baskets or bins- they keep the space clutter-free and make it easier to maintain. I also recommend keeping favorite age appropriate toys within reach and on lower shelves to accommodate little ones.
What inspires you to be productive when all you want to do is stay in bed?
My kids. Their endless energy and creativity is contagious.
What one thing or area are you most proud of how you organize?
In my own home, I’m most proud of the way my linen closet functions and feels. I am a bin and basket girl, so it works for me.
What one thing or area in your house is most in need of organization?
Between you and me, my office closet needs help. It’s on my list of goals for 2012.
Favorite piece of advice of wisdom to pass on to others?
Clutter is visually exhausting. Purge often. Keep and display only what you love. If you don’t use it, sell or donate it. I have a rule in my house that if a new toy, pair of shoes or piece of clothing enters the house, an unused similar item is donated, recycled, or trashed depending on condition. Involving your kids through the decision-making process can teach them important life lessons about determining what’s valued and what’s taking up space.
What is your definition of either beauty, organization or simplicity?
I don’t have a good definition for all three words, but being organized in and of itself isn’t necessarily simple or beautiful. How we organize (order, placement, etc) dictates the beauty and simplicity of a space. Study nature and great interior design for direction and inspiration.
Many thanks to Cristin for her insightful and inspiring responses!
*all image credits: Cristin Bisbee Priest/ Simplified Bee