Living Life Refined

Photo: Tarin Frantz Photography

Recently we caught up with the dynamic sister-in-law duo behind our favorite home organizational company, Life Refined. Browning Vaughn and Lauren Vaughn launched the business in 2019 and have been successfully helping clients declutter and organize their homes and lives ever since. Whether you want to tackle your entire home or start with a virtual session on how to organize your junk drawer, this is the team to call! Read on for the inside scoop on their favorite products, processes, and everything that goes into those gorgeous color-coded bookcases and closets!

What kick-started your love of organizing and the creation of Life Refined?

Browning Vaughn: My knack for organization began by growing up with an extremely organized mom and was fueled when I attended boarding school for high school. Because I was living in a small dorm room and moving between Dallas and Indiana every school year, I had no choice but to implement systems for my belongings. These systems continued as I attended college and through my four-year stint in San Francisco. My organization was a necessity because of my lifestyle, and I love sharing what has worked for me over the years!

Lauren Vaughn: Organization comes pretty naturally for me. There is something so satisfying about decluttering and making spaces look aesthetically pleasing. Over the last 2 years, we’ve come to the conclusion that men tend to hoard more than women, and being married, I have to keep my husband in line. Keeping our home functional is what I do best! I have to stay on top of the clutter and be ruthless in my purging. I always joke that I can’t leave the house until everything is put back in it’s place – it just totally stresses me out!

Browning Vaughn: Back in 2019, Lauren was wrapping up 8 years with Goldman Sachs and I was getting ready to graduate from SMU Cox School of Business. Funny enough, it was my brother, Robert, who threw out this crazy idea of Lauren and me launching an organization business. I had worked for Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit in San Francisco and Lauren has this natural love for organization, so it was like a lightbulb went off and here we are!


While I’m sure everyone would love to have their entire home revamped by your team, what would you recommend tackling first for any potential clients wanting to start with just one room or space?

BV: At the most basic level, the best place to start is with one drawer. A junk drawer is a perfect choice as you will find a lot of items are just that – junk. Take everything out, clean the drawer, find a good drawer organizer & return the items that truly belong in that drawer. Typical items we approve for a junk drawer are extra keys, sunglasses, stamps, one go-to tool, tape, lighter & chapstick.

LV: If you’re willing and able to tackle a full space, we recommend your pantry. Because you use your pantry daily, it can easily turn into a disaster but is also so simple to create a system. Again, take everything out, clean the shelves, categorize your items (think: breakfast, dinner, baking, snacks, etc.), look for items you can decanter or de-box (boxes take up tons of useful space), check expirations, place in bins and put back in the pantry. Most important, do not forget to label! This is what keeps you and your family accountable for where items live.

BV: One thing to consider before you begin any organization project is your timing. Make sure you have enough time to complete the task. It can be hard to find the motivation to finish a project once you walk away. Starting small will give you an idea how long it takes you to work through your stuff.


Your project pictures of perfectly color-coded closets and spotless, organized garage spaces are gorgeous, but I’m sure the finished product involves a lot of hard work beforehand! For us organizing newbies, can you explain a little more about your process? 

LV: We do love our ROYGBIV photo ops, but there is a lot of work that goes on behind to scenes before you get to that picture perfect finish. First things first – we meet with the client to talk about their goals and vision for the project. We always say, “we don’t have to live in the space, y’all do!!” We will tackle any project – big or small – and we want to be conscious of budget and how this client and their family use the space. Making a space functional is the name of the game!

BV: The next step is creating a detailed proposal for the project. We pride ourselves on transparency and maintaining trust with our clients. We take measurements and photos during the initial meeting which helps us find the perfect organizational items for the project. We send the proposal to the client, detailing items we plan to bring, estimated timing for the project and total cost. It may sound like were a bit OCD, but diligent planning makes our lives so much easier come install day and keeps our clients in the loop on what they are getting into cost wise!


We know you can’t spill all of your organizational secrets, but we would love to get the inside scoop on your favorite method or product! 

BV: A go-to method for organizing is learning how to categorize. It doesn’t sound like anything ground-breaking but trust us, it is a game-changer! The first step is pull everything out…and we mean everything.  This is usually when alarm bells go off for our clients because they are seeing the full scope of their items. While scary, getting a visual on what needs to be organized, what can be tossed and what we can take to donations is one of the most important steps to a long-lasting system.

When it comes to categorization, don’t overthink it. Keep it simple. Our go-to pantry categorize are breakfast, pasta, grains, condiments, baking, sweets, & snacks. Bins are a great option for storing each category! The last and most important step is labeling each bin accordingly so that kids, spouses and even those unruly in-laws know where everything goes!


LV: Picking a favorite product is like picking a favorite child, but a solid go-to for us is the Multipurpose Bin. These bins give a lot of bang for your buck and are offered in 4 convenient sizes. These guys can help organize any room in your home but our go-to spots are the pantry, under sinks, laundry rooms, offices & garages. At a very low price, you can get the ultimate organized space with these bins! Don’t forget the label too 

A current obsession of ours is the Bigso Stockholm Desktop collections. How dreamy are they!? These pieces truly bring an office together with refinement & simplicity. The document box is one of our favorites because of its size. It holds a bit more & documents larger than letter size. Side note – you can also get these boxes in letter size! We use these for office items that don’t need everyday attention but you want them close by. Steel Blue & White are our go-tos, but you do you!


Once your team has transformed a space, do you have any tips on how clients can successfully keep it as beautifully organized?

BV: Labels, labels, labels!!  While we can’t be there every day to make sure you’re maintaining the organization, labelling helps you keep up with the system the Life Refined team has put in place. You’ve heard us say it before – labels are the most important part of organization if you want your family to maintain the system. A simple white paint pen is a great option to write directly on bins & canisters or we love these label clips. We use a simple label maker for garage, utility closet and bathroom projects…nothing fancy here since these spaces have more wear & tear than a pantry or closet for example.

LV: We always say that organization is constant refinement (hence our namesake ;)). The key to staying organized is taking the time to refine your space – think spring cleaning or a fall refresh! It doesn’t have to be a major overhaul, but a setting simple reminder will help hold you accountable.

Let’s start with your closet for this example. Take a good look at it. What do you reach for everyday? What gets lost during your morning routine? Do you have enough space for your Spring (or Fall) staples? Now is the time to be ruthless! If you can’t remember the last time you wore something, it’s time for it to go. Stained or damaged items means they were well loved and can find a new home too. Taking time to assess what you are wearing (and not wearing) is a great exercise at the start of each season. It enables you to make some room for new purchases (it’s ok, we are all guilty of a little shopping ).

Photo: Hannah Gibson

Schedule your in-home organizational service or virtual consultation here! You can also check out their gorgeous space transformations on their Instagram.