Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Paint Colours - A New Feature

Choosing paint colours can be excruciating.

Here's my best advice:

1.  Don't over think it!  
Many shades are truly so close and end up looking different on your wall than in the swatch anyway.  Chances are, it'll all work out.  And if's not a hard thing to correct.

2.  Choose colours that you've seen somewhere and liked.

And that brings me to a new feature I'll share with you on occasion!  
Whenever I flip through a magazine, I save the names of colours I see that I like either in featured homes or that designers have recommended.  

I've begun collecting those swatches and every so often I'll share them with you!

Here's the first batch, all Benjamin Moore.

They are (clockwise from top left):

Sherwood Green
Alexandria Beige
Mount Saint Anne
Old World Coral
Middlebury Brown
Iron Mountain
Mill Springs Blue

Remember that colours don't read the same online as in real life!  
I loved the Mill Springs Blue so much that I plan to use it in an upcoming project.
Stay tuned.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Other Office Updates

 Here are a few more changes that have helped me to get my office under control.

You've seen me share this before, but I just love my wrapping paper basket.  I took a few minutes to tidy it up and made all the rolls stand nicely.

I put a stop to a bad habit I'd developed.  I read 4 magazines per month and always mark the pages I want to keep.  Then I was piling them up in my Ikea cart and once in awhile I'd go through a massive pile and rip out all the marked pages.  I'd file the pages I'd ripped out and move the pile down to my den where I store my old magazines. 
But why would I be using up a whole space in my office to temporarily store a big stack of magazines when I already have a place to store them in another room?  
Laziness, that's why.  
So now, after I've read an issue, I rip the pages out right away, file them, and put the magazine in the den.  No more need for temporary storage.

Now that was a long story to tell you to make this point...putting items where they belong right away saves temporary storage space which can then be used for something else.

I moved my Ikea cart to sit beside my desk to provide extra space.
The bottom shelf is files for one of my committees.
The middle shelf is projects that need to get done.

I used this cute birthday gift in the top shelf,

to store all sorts of items I use for my business.

Since I moved my cart to the desk I needed to add a little table back beside my comfy chair.  
This is actually my favourite change in the room.  I painted an Ikea spice rack white and Dino hung it for me so I could keep my devotional stuff in there.

I love it.  Everything fits perfectly and always looks tidy!

Peace has returned to my office.  
I honestly feel so much more on top of my schedule now.

If you have a room that is out of control, I would challenge you to really consider your realistic needs for the space, rather than trying to attain some perfect, magazine photo look.

I did add a frame around my friend Cheri's beautiful business card that was on my shelf.
Ta da!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Office - Reveal

So what was it in the laundry room shot that inspired a change in my office?

Better Homes and Gardens

Yep.  That one little shelf.

Because you see, I'm a girl who needs pretty along with the practical.  I couldn't get rid of my treasures to create space for the papers so I thought if I could move the pretty stuff up, then I could free up more desk space.

And so it began.  The always handy Dino installed a shelf above my desk for me.
And I filled it.
The rule is if it's on the shelf, it's special.

I also added a couple of jars from Target's dollar bin section.  One stores receipts and one holds business cards and gift cards.  I cut black construction paper and rolled it to fit so that you can't see inside.

With the pretty stuff mostly moved off the desk, I bought a set of plain file folders (also Target dollar bins) rather than using the old patterned ones.  I made the switch and did the black paper trick with the jars to create as little pattern as possible since there is already a lot of stuff going on.
I added more files than I'd had before and put all my paperwork in them.

Then, in order not to forget to actually DO the stuff I'd filed, I created a master planning board.  I hung an old window (a fab Christmas gift from my nephew and niece) to use as a white board and gave each pane a category. 
I needed space to keep track of goals (stuff I want to get done eventually), gifts (stuff I need to buy for the month), things to do this week, and things to do this month.
I use my chalk pens to write on it.

I also hung my Starbucks advent calendar.  It's a little magnetic blackboard with numbered tins.  I'm hanging stuff on it that is coming up soon that I don't want to forget.  I use the numbered tin to match the date due.

Next I enlarged my bulletin board.  I am not a big keeper of stuff, but there are sweet notes and items that I do like to have.  I don't want them stored away out of sight though, so I'm pretty choosey with what gets to stay.

There are just some things that are too sweet to throw out.
(Like my bee tacks?)

It's certainly not that perfect, pristine desk I showed you in the last post.
But it is reality and there is a place for everything I need to maintain a busy household of 6.

Come back next week to see a few more changes I made in the rest of the room.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Office - Creating a Realistic Command Centre

 My office quit working for me.
It wasn't just that it was getting messy, it also wasn't doing the job I needed it to.
Things were getting lost in the piles on my desk.  The bulletin board was overflowing.
I wasn't able to enjoy the special treasures I keep close because they were getting devoured by paperwork.

What happens when a space isn't doing the job you need it to?
Things tend to go downhill quickly.

In order to fix the problem, I had to first figure out what had gone wrong.  What I discovered was that I was not being realistic about how I was trying to maintain my office space.

I wanted to be living like this.


But hey, guess what?
I'm on the Pastor Search Committee in my church, the World Mission Planning Team, and I coordinate a weekly Women's Bible Study.  I volunteer in a few places to help organize and decorate, I write the blog, run a business, volunteer at my kids' school, try to keep those 4 kids organized, do the laundry and cleaning and cooking and, and, and...
This is not a complaint nor am I suggesting that I'm busier than anyone else.
Not at all.  Everyone is busy.
This is reality.  And in my reality, that pretty, perfect, tidy desk set up won't work.

This laundry room make-over shot gave me just the inspiration I needed to get my office back in order.

Better Homes and Gardens

Come on back later this week and check out the changes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tea Towel DIY (with yet another Ikea steal)

I've been noticing these tea towels in a few magazines lately.

House and Home 

And then I saw this idea for pillow covers which was actually done with
 "European linen grain sacks".

Country Living

Since I'm currently short on European linen grain sacks, I scootered over to Ikea.

Yah baby.  
Sixty-nine cents!

When you see a look you like but maybe can't afford to copy exactly, keep your eye open for similar looking products that can stand in.  Ikea is a great spot to find them.  It's their business to bring you current looks at a low price.
No, I do not work for them, but I do appreciate that they help me decorate in up to date ways at a price I can afford. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

$2.99 Ikea Steal

Look at the cute rugs Ikea has for three bucks!

Country Living March 2014

You could use one on your table as a runner,

or on a chair to add a pop of stripes,

or, you know, on the floor.  
(Yes, you should iron it)

Or you could wrap one up and give it away for Easter!

Check out all 8 colour choices here.  
But be warned, they were not all available at the Winnipeg store when I went.
Thanks Ikea!

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Living Room/Dining Room

Awhile back I gave you a sneak peek at the plans for the Forbes' new living room and dining area.  Let's have a look at the finished product!

The goal for the open concept living/dining space was to go neutral with the wall colour and update the look in general while creating more seating at the dining table.

 We started with the dining room.  


We added a larger table and by trading in the china cabinet for a side table, we were able to store 4 extra stools beneath it for more seating at larger dinner parties. 


Any storage lost from the removal of the china cabinet was gained back by switching out a sofa table with this storage unit.

The white photo shelves in the dining area and on this opposite wall provide ample display space.

In the living room we updated the furniture,


 to create a generally more sleek and airy feel.


Painting out all the oak trim white made a huge difference!

It's fun to have clients who are so willing to go for a totally new look and who are so quick to paint and prep the space!!