The beauty of using what you’ve got

I have a lovely, quirky, full-of-life sort of client who has beautiful, interesting things tucked in every closet of her home. Sound familiar? I say it’s time to pull out all the stops and create a unique home that feels like YOU. For this client we added drama to her front entrance without adding a lick of paint as it is a rental home. The hot pink sari curtains and theatre masks may not be your cup of tea but suit this client perfectly. Discover what makes you smile and hang it, display it, enjoy it! xo

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Clients who love colour!

If you know my affinity for white, white and more white, you may be surprised to know how much I also LOVE working with clients who desire bold colour choices in their homes. Over the last two weeks I have worked with two different clients (one residential, one commercial) who opted to go bold with these beautiful colours. Would you dare use a bright, bold colour in your home? Even just a little? xo

It’s officially garden season!

The gardeners out there will appreciate the amount of time and effort that goes into preparing beds for planting. My body feels exhausted in that “I’m so proud of myself!” sort of way as my mind is dreaming of tomatoes, herbs, kale, hot peppers, beans, peas …yes I did say tomatoes! The neighbours’ black walnut was cut down last fall and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it was far enough away that the roots won’t affect my plants this year. The beautiful weather means I’ll be living outside for the season…I’m sure the half finished house projects will still be waiting for me in the fall. xo

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Perennials that came back: asparagus, mint, lavender, sage, thyme, chives and chamomile…also you can’t see in the pic but there are a few rows of garlic that I planted in November too!

Spring Cleaning

Are you feeling it yet? The enlivening energy of spring makes way for the new to come into your life. Be ready! The full moon this weekend signals a particularly good time to clean and clear out clutter in your home (and in your life).  As the chart below indicates, the time immediately following the full moon is about releasing, letting go and gives an extra energetic push behind clearing clutter and spring cleaning in preparation for the new beginnings of the new moon. Need a little more inspiration? Check out this clutter clearing post! xo

moon cycles

Thanks to Nine of Water for this helpful chart!

Small changes can have big impact!

Sometimes all you need is a little paint, a few new accessories and voila! A whole new look! The living room felt stagnant to me, and for over a year, remained the same sad green paint colour as when I moved in. It definitely needed a shift and over the course of a few days of meditative cleaning, painting and careful selection of accessories, a light, colourful, dreamy living room emerged. This was truly an inexpensive update and I’m happy to enjoy this space until I can get to the next phase…keep an eye out for that, I have some dreamy dreams!!!  Paint colours: black iron 2120-20 and of course, simply white OC-117 from Benjamin Moore, carpet: from Homesense. xoLiving room quick makeover

Living room before

Before

white paint addiction?

I do realize how silly it is to even think about being addicted to white paint! I can’t help myself, I truly love it’s purity and freshness, so it’s become a staple for me. And in the case of the meditation room, I couldn’t find a colour I feel more at peace with – as good a reason as any to continue with Simply White. Painting a new home white from top to bottom is actually a great way to start fresh, erase what the previous owners had chosen and decide from there where you will want to go. It’s expansive and light and even if it is an addiction, it’s one I’m willing to live with. xo

All-time favourite whites for walls and trim: (all Benjamin Moore)
OC-117 Simply White
OC-130 Cloud White
OC-118 Snowfall White
OC-17 White Dove

painting

Do my pants make me look like a messy painter?

 

meditation room update 2

Hello friends! Progress has been slow but steady for the meditation room; the drywall is up on three walls, the opening for the exterior door is being cut right now and the new door will be installed on Tuesday. I’m super excited to have a quiet space of my own!

Thinking about the many places I’ve lived, I realize that I have always managed to carve out space to dream, reflect and explore. Once I even converted my bedroom closet into an art studio (well, studio might be a stretch!) but I remember the safety and coziness I felt being cocooned in that small space. This 7′ x 7′ space feels expansive, in more ways than one. xo

 

 

meditation room update

What can you do with a 7′ x 7′ room? Create the perfect yoga and meditation space! The old bathroom will be given new life and just because it’s teeny – tiny, doesn’t mean it can’t be a valuable part of the house. We decided to add an exterior door and small balcony to ‘expand’ the space, create a beautiful perch for sunset watching and to bring my yoga practice outside when the weather is warm. A bit decadent? Perhaps!

We planed the wood for the floors today and are reinforcing the joists. It’s truly amazing that the toilet did not fall to the floor below because the joist was cut 3/4 of the way through! As I write I am listening to the sounds of Shane and Adam telling jokes, and laughing as they work together to make the repairs. This is the kind of happy energy I want in this special space. I promised the yellow brick beauty we’d have only kind people work in this house. Makes sense, after all this is a labour of love. xo

planed boards are ready to install

 

 

shop reveal: before and afters

Welcome to Adam’s workshop! Goodbye to the days of Adam and his chop saw on the sidewalk in front our tiny Toronto home. This is a dream come true for him – in fact, I may never see him in the house again!

workshop exterior before and after

In case you’ve forgotten what we started with (a solid shell with hydro and a few furry inhabitants) here is a link to the before and in-between photos.

The requirements for the space: lots of room to work, storage for tools and lumber, room for ‘clean’ projects as well as messy ones with lots of light, air flow and a heat source for the winter. We plan to re-use our existing kitchen cabinets for storage but since we aren’t quite ready to tackle that project, the shop interior is still a work in progress. But hey, isn’t every space? (However, the bones are done! Insulation, roof ventilation, six windows and two new doors make the shop super comfortable.)

workshop interior before and after

Here are a few more interior pics!

The overall look of the structure – the board and batten, dark stain, and cottage feel sets the tone for what we want our backyard to be; a relaxing retreat, a place where dreaming is highly encouraged, naps are mandatory and living alongside nature is more than just a big city dream.

I can already tell this will be Adam’s happy place, to create, relax, play and dream. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what this artist gets up to next! xo

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3 key habits to change to stay clutter free

Ok, so you feel really great about clearing out your clutter and want to keep it that way, right? If you don’t change a few key habits, you might find yourself back in the exact same cluttered place. Don’t let this happen to you!

3 key habits to stay clutter freeOne: Stop the retail ‘therapy’!
There is a psychology to purchasing – when you feel down or unbalanced and go shopping to make yourself feel better, you end up choosing things that are not really you and will not feel good to you once you are feeling better. This is where we tend to impulse shop, overspend and regret our purchases. Replace retail therapy with a healthier alternative; go for a walk in nature, exercise, talk with a friend, read a good book…you get the picture. Changing this habit will stop bad purchases from becoming future clutter.

Two: Be thoughtful about everything that comes into your home.
Yes, EVERYTHING! From junk mail to gifts, know that everything that comes into your home affects your energy in some way, so choose a positive influence. Get in the habit of asking yourself how something makes you feel and if has negative feelings around it, let it go immediately! Don’t put it somewhere to ‘decide later’, just let it go now.

Three: Be grateful for the things you have.
I have a small newspaper clipping in the bottom of my Christmas ornament box that I ‘find’ every year that says to be grateful for what I already have. To want what you already have is liberating! Being grateful in the context of clutter clearing simply means honouring what you have by keeping it clean, in good repair and ensuring it has a place. Organizing your belongings and tidying up each day will help to keep the peaceful atmosphere you’ve created.

This was meant to be the last installment of my clutter clearing series – but who I am I kidding, clutter clearing is never completely finished. As we grow and evolve, so should our living spaces. We will need to keep at it so our homes support our newest dreams, adventures and the lives we want to lead.

Here are a few of my favourite books on organizing and clearing clutter to keep you inspired! xo

clutter clearing and organization books