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Finding Inspiration in a Props Shed

Props Shed

I had to put my entire life in storage when I moved back to DC two years ago. 80% of it is still there. Little by little, I’ve pulled out stuff I needed but with the same little my little movement, I’ve acquired more things in order to avoid going through the masses of boxes to find one single item. I started housing these new kitchen essentials in my room… but a few essential things turned into weekly prop shopping, mostly at thrift stores and the Salvation Army. I’d go to the bigger stores for fancier and more specific things but it was quickly becoming necessary to find more space.

And so I built a 10×16 shed last fall. And that was great! I put a few shelves up and started stacking my goodies. It was supposed to be temporary. But that was out the window quicker than I could get used to the idea of having to run outside every time I needed something. And while the idea was wonderful, it was so disorganized. It started piling up again so quickly I was frustrated and couldn’t ever locate anything I really needed to efficiently work. Linens were shoved into plastic bins, new purchases stayed wrapped up in their bag (is that hoarding??!), and product samples stayed in the sender’s box until I got around to working with it.

These last two months of heavy client work and travel with some TV thrown in the mix left with no choice but to reconsider the mayhem in what was supposed to be a greatly accessible prop room. The room that was set to make my work easy and fun.  Instead, it had become my horror house of pain where I was discouraged at the thought of even entering it. It honestly affected my creativity. I literally started loathing conjuring up newness because of this dysfunctional prop shed.

I had too much stuff! Still have. Have. Have. Too.Much.Stuff.

So I called my go-to handy man and without any notice, asked him to go to town!

This is what the epic mess looked like before, in part.

Props Shed Before IG

(the mess in the shed via my Instagram)

And this is what it looks like now.

I had three rolling garment racks in there which was part of the problem. And now that’s solved! I had two horizontal racks put up on the ceiling and suspended them, clearing way and making it much easier to find winter apparel. Oh, because part of the remodel was insulating and painting the entire shed!

Angled Shot Rack

I stripped the old shelves which were poorly situated and mounted and uniformly went all the way around the perimeter of the shed. I only had selves on the far left initially.

That made it easier to organize everything by color, prop, size, etc… I was mostly concerned with being able to empty the 6 boxes and 10 bags I had on the floor which were prohibiting me from even reaching the shelves.

It was such a hot mess.

Props Collage

And now I’m back in action! Almost. I’m still organizing a few things here and there. But, all boxes, bins, and bags have been emptied and goodies transferred to the shelves! And I have an additional “closet” for a fraction of my seasonal clothes.

I can see clearly now! Even my linens found a new home in baskets, though I need more.  I love being able to get to my white stuff. Love seeing how my growing honey pot collection is going. I’m totally enjoying pulling different pitchers for different drinks. I love adding to my clay and pottery section.


And when I do have the nerve to bring people over, I get excited about using some of my vintage and unique finds to set the theme of my fete.


Vintage Creamer and Sugar

Honey Pots

White cooking props

So while this is just a portion of the shed, it’s my new-found inspiration to properly and efficiently style my food and create lovely posts. I know I had lost my mojo and push to create beautiful food and posts for you to enjoy and it was mostly due to the chaos I had going on.

Wooden Spoons

And to think ALL of this was purchased out of necessity since everything is still in storage! Oh, and 20% of what I have purchased in the last two years made its way to storage, anyhow — but those things are collectibles reserved for my eventual home. This is just work stuff!

I can’t wait to start cooking, styling and photographing again! It only took two years to really settle in to this new life and space, but it’s here!

The most fun: counting my espresso demitasse collection and watching it grow weekly!

Coffee Stuff

How fun!

How do you house your kitchen and cooking props?

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Don't forget to check out my debut cookbook!

46 thoughts on “Finding Inspiration in a Props Shed

  1. I wish I had asked you years ago about what to do with props when it comes to life of a food blogger/writer. Mine are scattered and I swear – the level of frustration I’m having with trying to find the right piece for the photo is crazy. I love how you have everything organized – inspiring 🙂

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