Monday, September 29, 2014

Laundry Room

Check out this laundry room organize I did for some clients recently.

I can't tell you how much easier it is to work on a space when the owners are good at purging.  When we get caught up in the emotion of owning "stuff" it makes it hard to part with things...even things we so clearly will never use.

But these guys were pro's.  
They were quick and practical with all the decisions that had to be made.
Thanks for the fun project!! 

Guess what??
It's nearly October!!!

Which means I'll be back here on Wednesday, October 1 
sometime during the evening with my 31 Day posts.
Wanna know the topic for 2014?

Come back Wednesday...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Yard Sale!!

Finally I can get rid of this pile!!
Come on by if you're in the neighbourhood Saturday between 9am and 12noon.
1040 Grosvenor Ave.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Pulled Together Space: Step Four - Personality

You've rearranged your furniture and added textiles.  
The lighting has been adjusted to suit your taste and you've scattered plants around. 
Now the final step to making your space feel like home, rather than a nice hotel, is to add personality in the form of art, books, and curiosities.

Art doesn't have to be expensive but it should be shots that you love.  
Find frames at thrift stores and make your own.
My one BIG tip?
Do not hang it too high.  

A room without books is just...empty.  It's a bit like plants in that I can't quite explain it but you have to have books.  You can stack them on a table or stand them on a shelf.  If you're a little short on your book collection visit a thrift store.  Magazines are great too.

And finally, mixed in with the books come what we'll call curiosities.  I refuse to use the term knick knack because that sounds all tacky and cheap.  What I am referring to are the items you set out in your space because they are special to you or because you find them beautiful.

Remember my beautiful does not have to be your beautiful.  These rocks and pinecones are special to me because I collected them on our summer vacation.

 This golf trophy was my grandpa's.  The deer was my mom's and I remember playing with it when I was little.  It still has a broken leg glued back together.  And Nate Berkus sits in my living room because I always want to remember that he made it to where he is today without a formal design education...inspiration when I'm feeling down.

So add some items.  
Make sure to edit out things that make your space feel too full or things that you don't just love.

Welcome home!

Stay tuned next week for the annual 31 Days of October posts!

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Pulled Together Space: Step Three - Plants and Light

Please put plants in your space.
It's hard to explain why but there is warmth in a room with plants.
Can you feel it?

It doesn't matter if they are real or artificial as long as your fake plants are quality.
A good test is to see if they can fool your guests.  Here are two of my artificial guys that many people have assumed are real.

It might cost a little more to get good artificial plants, 
but they are worth it if your thumb is as black as mine.  

And now to lights.  
I'm not going to tell you what kind of lights to have because every space is so different.  You many need something pretty overhead or on the table or standing on the floor.  What I will tell you is that what is most important is that you know what sort of mood you want and that you use lighting to create that.  I personally love a dark, cozy room.  I adore those dark wood, library-like, presidential office looking spaces that are all dark and moody.  But many of you love something bright and cheery.  Decide on your goal first, and then experiment with different lighting until you achieve the look you want.

Almost done!  
Come on back Wednesday and we'll finish off the space!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Pulled Together Space: Step Two - Textiles

Textiles make your space cozy. 
See the difference?

It's just a rug, blanket and pillow but they create a warm feeling.

Textiles can also drastically change a room.  
 Imagine this space without the cowhide rug and toile curtains.

Or what if I put patterned curtains and a coloured rug here?

So if you want to make your space feel more homey or if you're hoping to change up your look, try a new rug.  Throw a blanket on the couch.  Grab some pillows.  None of these options needs to be expensive.  Pillow covers can go right over top of what you already own.  Blankets are easy to find in all sorts of textures and colours.  Go for a walk through Ikea and have a look at the rugs.  And if you're handy, sew up a set of curtains.  The options are endless.  
Go for it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Pulled Together Space: Step One - Furniture Placement

The first key to making your house feel like a home is the arrangement of furniture.
This is one of my most favourite parts!

I'm not gonna give you a bunch of rules, because you need to live in a space YOU love, 
but here are a couple of guidelines.

Put furniture close together so you can easily have a conversation from one spot to the next.  If you have to lean and raise your voice, your furniture is likely too far apart.

If at all possible, arrange your room so that traffic flows around the conversation area, 
rather than trekking through it.

Here's the most important suggestion.
MOVE stuff.

Try a new configuration.  
Live with it for a few days. 
 Try another one.  
In the world of risks, moving stuff is pretty low down there.  If you don't like it, it will move back!  It's free!  And the benefits are very high.  The difference between a few inches can sometimes make all the difference.  I know it sounds crazy, but this is why 
decorators are always shoving stuff back and forth and hemming and hawing. 
 It works!  
You might think something won't look right but I promise you you need to move it and see.  
Go for it!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Decorated Living Room

 On Monday I mentioned how great it can feel to get a area organized.
It feels pretty amazing to have a space decorated too.

It's a hard thing to explain, but there's something about a pulled together look that creates a calm, cozy, homey atmosphere that is really what we all want to be living in.  Sure it looks different for everyone, but creating a cohesive look is the key regardless of your style preference.

Over the summer I got to help my sweet friend Beth with her living room.  
It was so much fun!

As usual, I forgot to take before shots until I'd already started moving furniture, but you get the idea.

Beth and her family have plans to change the flooring and remove the fireplace but it's okay to make a space feel like home even if you've not started in on a reno yet.  

Next week let's break it down and discuss the recipe for a pulled together space.
Thanks for the lovely experience Beth!

Monday, September 8, 2014

September's Organizing Expectations

Does September seem like one of those months where you've got to be organized?  
Meals made in the freezer, calendar at the ready?  

For me it feels like there's this expectation, this need to have everything in place or else I'll somehow fall behind.  
But just WHEN, during the summer with four kids home was I supposed to get everything all organized-like for fall?  

It's not realistic.  
So today's post is a reminder to cut ourselves some slack.  If there are some things you wish you'd done in time for the start of school, let it go, and do it when you can.

Here's a job I did at the beginning of the summer.  I had a fabulous time working with Robyn to organize her daughter's desk.  She was a star purger and had lots of great systems in place for where to keep items.  She just needed some help to get 'em there.  



I show you this to inspire you.  
Go back up and scroll between the before and after.  
It does feel great to be organized, and it only took 2 hours.  
So when you have some time, whenever it turns out to be, tackle a spot that you've 
wanted to do all summer and cross it off the list.  
But until then, don't sweat it!  
September does not have to begin with perfect order!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

This Day I Have Been Dreading Has Arrived

On Saturday Cate cried and pronounced that she would NEVER ride a two wheeler.  
"I'm too SCARED Mommy."

On Sunday she screamed with delight as she coursed down the driveway.  

Isn't that the way life goes?
Today I'm terrified of my new role without kids at home.
There's crying and sadness and that feeling like it will NEVER be okay.

But I know there will be a tomorrow where I'll scream with delight at God's new plans for me.  
I know I can trust Him.

Just this past weekend I was glancing through my gratitude journal (which was a bit of a mistake because I came across an entry where I'd written my thankfulness for Cate's little fingers reaching back at me through the stroller as we walked...BIG cry-fest) and I noticed I'd written an entry in gratitude of God giving me Zephaniah 3:17 as a promise.  Then I opened my devotional for that day and guess what verse was listed?

"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Yup.  Zephaniah 3:17.


I'll see you back here next week, childless, ready to focus in on decorating.  
And organizing.  
And decorating.