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Bigger kitchen or a dining table…do you have to choose?

9 Sep

I have been on the hunt for a workable space (and affordable…ha!) for a young family lately and have run into a whole lot of apartment galley kitchens. Guess what? There is about an inch of counter space in those things and once you add some sippy cups to the equation good luck doing your dinner prep! So often these units do have a dining space beside the tiny kitchen, but just big enough for a very small table. So very small table, very small kitchen. Let’s change that up. Once you have a little one running around you spend a lot more time in that kitchen and personally I think you should maximize that space since chances are you will have worn feet marks in your hard wood by the time they head off to school…chop chop chop! But that being said you don’t want to miss out on a table! Why not expand your kitchen into the dining area, countertop included, and throw 4 stools underneath. Bingo. Plenty of additional counter space as well as a nice table for 4. You might even have some space left over for cute play kitchen;)

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Living Teepee

18 Apr

I’ve definitely got garden on my mind. We are about to jump on our backyard with our friends @ Aloe Designs (if you don’t know them, click here! And Caitlin’s great blog too here!). We really want a fun space to play with the widget and for the Terrier to patrol (not like he doesn’t anyway, it’s what he does best). I’ve been struggling with making an actual “play zone” but the thought of staring at kid crap even once they are in bed makes my head hurt. I always loved to make forts etc when I was little and was obsessed with finding little “secret gardens” outside in the yard and great beyond. I want to have that in our yard! Alas, it is tres tricky here in the city. So…I’ve decided I would make my little lady a teepee for the backyard to play in. But why stop there? Why not make it a living teepee! This is just genius, and easy too. Runner beans will work just fine as they grow so quickly! She can play in her fort, Thomas the Westie gets his bean snacks 1 foot and below and mom gets her beans above:)

 

http://img4.sunset.com/i/2000/04/teepee-vines-m-x.jpg?500:500

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Corrugated Ceiling

13 Feb

I generally find corrugated steel quite cold but I think this idea just might change my mind! Why not use it as a ceiling material. I love how the right lighting can make it glow and lends a really warm feeling to it. I don’t think it would work on anything other than a vaulted ceiling…but in say a vanny special…could be something amazing don’t you think?

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Save a buck, save a tree

4 Jul

Ahhhh, kitchens. They are the place we spend a majority of our time and they are the most costly renovation to a house. That being said there are a lot of ways to save some bucks on your next kitchen reno without sacrificing style or equity potential. Buying floor model appliances is a good one. So is doing your own back splash (I did it and so can you!). Wood counter tops look great and are cheap cheap cheap! I think another great way to save costs is using shelving instead of upper cabinetry. Cabinets are expensive! Yes you need a nice place to hide all bags of rice and cans of beans but a nice pantry will suffice…but what about those wine glasses and your cute eclectic mug collection? Why not put it on display? By avoiding upper cabinets you can really save yourself some money…and I think gain some style (just make sure to have a drawer picked out for all those kiddie cups and tupperware).

 

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Salvaged Stairs

18 May

I thought this was a great idea to bring a little bit of “comfy” into a renovated home. Old apple boxes, etc. can be found at any flea market around for cheap cheap cheap! It helps give some color and interest in a very subtle way…just enough pizazz added to a boring staircase!

donnasmall4.jpg

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Paint that tub!

28 Apr

When ever you walk into a home and there is an original clawfoot tub you have to just say to yourself “wow”. They are a diamond in the rough these days but some are in better shape than others. I thought this is a great idea to revitalize a tired tub and add a little pizazz to your bathroom. Did you know you can paint them any color? It never even crossed my mind! I recommend hiring the professionals to refinish the inside though…and a word from the wise…the more you scrimp on the cost the more you will be swearing when the paint starts chipping of within months. Definitely a time when it’s money well spent!

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Updating a Tired Vanity

11 Mar

So these sinks are beautiful don’t you think? They have quite a wide base which makes them an easy replacement for an old tired sink. A countertop basin sink is an instant modern update for any bathroom bringing it instantly into 2011. If your counter is still in decent shape you can easily install this sink right over the hole of the old one in a heartbeat. Add a new faucet and you’re laughing. You can find a very similar looking countertop basin at my favorite store for $135 www.homedepot.ca

Zenbath contemporary bathroom

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Ceiling Lights

9 Mar

I saw these amazing lights at one of my favorite stores “Vancouver Special“. They’re called E27 Pendant Lights and are really affordable and come in a bunch of different wild colors. I think they would make great kitchen island lighting or over a dining table. You can find them online at Design Within Reach as well.

E27 Pendant

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Color Sorted Bookshelves

1 Mar

This is a VERY cheap design idea. I don’t know about you but I love heading into American Apparel. Not necessarily for their overpriced t-shirts but just to set my eyes ablaze on the rainbow of color. That being said, I have never purchased anything from there. Not because I hate the styles but I can never decide on what color I want…they always look so boring when they aren’t side by side with their colorful friends! So why not do the same merchandising on your book case at home? I love bookshelves in homes for so many reasons. They are such a splash of color in a room and good reads on bookshelves have been known to sell homes (surprising I know but true!). If you are wanting a fresh look in your living room why not arrange your books by color and witness the new look to the room!

4_LondonFR

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Finishing an attic

9 Feb

Finishing an attic is a great way to add square footage and usable space in a home you are purchasing or outgrowing.  So often bungalows only have two bedrooms and limited living space…especially in the Vancouver market when chances are the basement is being used as an income suite.  Attics make beautiful spacious master suites or great offices and playrooms.  If you have enough ceiling height you can easily insulate and drywall the space and maybe add some skylights too, and if you want to make it even more functional you can add dormers to increase ceiling height and functioning square footage.  Dormers do come with a pretty price tag due to the affect it has on the roof structure but it also adds a lot of value to the home, a great idea to prepare your home for sale!

PLASTOLUX “keep it modern” » A 1912 bungalow goes modern in Portland contemporary bedroom

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