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Cluttered Condo Gets Cozy

Pro organizer Randy Ballesteros helps a couple restore order to their cluttered condo.

Jenny and Tim Breitberg are a fun-loving couple who just bought a condo in Chicago. They both love to collect vintage items like records, movie posters, glassware and furniture, but they are quickly running out of space — especially in their living room.

At 16' x 18', this living room is filled with books, collectibles, records and furniture from each of the homeowners' previous households. Organizer Randy Ballesteros arrives armed with lots of solutions for small spaces and ways to manage the mess.

For specific product information, click on the After photo(s) of the room.

After: Orderly and Organized

Now the Breitbergs have a functional living room that looks good, too. Old shelving has been reconfigured to be used as a library for Jenny's books, and her magazines are now stored in mesh racks. Her comfy purple chair and a large sisal mat complete the look in the sitting/reading area.

Product from Hydra:

table with brushed-chrome base and an oval top (28" x 50"), H28-50BC-W

Product from Restoring Order:

two four-drawer Essentials Centers

Products from Home Decorators:

two Northern Heights one-inch basswood, Snowflake, 2829610050 (one with drawstring cord on the right and wand on the left and one with drawstring cord on left and wand on right)
Seagrass jute rug, Eggplant, 3361415740
Cush 'N' Hold, 2213550820

Products from The Container Store:

32-inch Top Track, platinum, 10014641
drywall anchors, 256250
36" hanging standards – platinum, 10014647
16 x 24 white melamine shelves, 146090
14.5-inch brackets, platinum, 255714
large shelf connect, platinum, 10022511
white melamine desktop, 146010
platinum desk legs, 9020
extra-narrow seven-runner frame, platinum, 10013315
two-runner drawers, mesh, 10022527
one-runner drawer, mesh, 10022526
back-stop pins, 901110
frame feet, translucent, 10030416
entertainment center, Black Intermetro, 10010191
3" Intermetro casters, 483076
3" Intermetro caster with brakes, 483077
20-gallon storage cube, 10004589

Products from Design Ideas:

mesh DVD tower, 351579
hinged mesh media boxes, 353059
mesh magazine files in silver, 34169
mesh PostMasters, 351249
large mesh cutlery tray, 351649

Products from BoConcept:

Basic 3D Wenge, 438 side, two pieces, (16"), 130100438
Basic 3D Wenge, 367 drawers, two pieces, (16" x 40"), 130100367
Basic 3D Wenge, 353 shelves, three pieces, (16" x 40"), 130100353
Basic 3D Wenge, 336 side (12"), 130100336
Basic 3D Wenge, 348 bookshelf, three pieces (12" x 20"), 130100348
Basic 3D Wenge, 827 backboards, 130100827
Basic 3D Wenge floor levelers

Sherwin-Williams paint colors used:

three gallons, Extra White, eggshell, SW7006
one gallon Extra White, high-gloss, SW 7006
two gallons prime
one gallon Clematis, eggshell, SW 6831

Products from Stacks and Stacks:

pot-lid holders, 10421

Before: Chaos of Collections

This side of the living room was so jammed there was barely room for walking around, much less actually utilizing the space for entertaining or even watching television.

For specific product information, click on the After photo(s) of the room.

After: Cozy and Comfortable

Now there is actually a place for the Breitbergs to dine and even entertain friends. The Hydra table in front of the couch rises from coffee-table height to dinner-table height, depending on the need. The purple tablecloth features ironed-on transfers of some of Tim's favorite album covers, and Ballesteros pleases Jenny by sticking with purple (her favorite color) wall paint to match. The rest of the walls remain neutral with black accents to streamline the space and make it feel less busy. The new media center has the television mounted in the middle and the CD and DVD collections neatly displayed around it.

Product from Hydra:

table with brushed-chrome base and an oval top (28" x 50"), H28-50BC-W

Product from Restoring Order:

two four-drawer Essentials Centers

Products from Home Decorators:

two Northern Heights one-inch basswood, Snowflake, 2829610050 (one with drawstring cord on the right and wand on the left and one with drawstring cord on left and wand on right)
Seagrass jute rug, Eggplant, 3361415740
Cush 'N' Hold, 2213550820

Products from The Container Store:

32-inch Top Track, platinum, 10014641
drywall anchors, 256250
36" hanging standards – platinum, 10014647
16 x 24 white melamine shelves, 146090
14.5-inch brackets, platinum, 255714
large shelf connect, platinum, 10022511
white melamine desktop, 146010
platinum desk legs, 9020
extra-narrow seven-runner frame, platinum, 10013315
two-runner drawers, mesh, 10022527
one-runner drawer, mesh, 10022526
back-stop pins, 901110
frame feet, translucent, 10030416
entertainment center, Black Intermetro, 10010191
3" Intermetro casters, 483076
3" Intermetro caster with brakes, 483077
20-gallon storage cube, 10004589

Products from Design Ideas:

mesh DVD tower, 351579
hinged mesh media boxes, 353059
mesh magazine files in silver, 34169
mesh PostMasters, 351249
large mesh cutlery tray, 351649

Products from BoConcept:

Basic 3D Wenge, 438 side, two pieces, (16"), 130100438
Basic 3D Wenge, 367 drawers, two pieces, (16" x 40"), 130100367
Basic 3D Wenge, 353 shelves, three pieces, (16" x 40"), 130100353
Basic 3D Wenge, 336 side (12"), 130100336
Basic 3D Wenge, 348 bookshelf, three pieces (12" x 20"), 130100348
Basic 3D Wenge, 827 backboards, 130100827
Basic 3D Wenge floor levelers

Sherwin-Williams paint colors used:

three gallons, Extra White, eggshell, SW7006
one gallon Extra White, high-gloss, SW 7006
two gallons prime
one gallon Clematis, eggshell, SW 6831

Products from Stacks and Stacks:

pot-lid holders, 10421

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