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Spring spruce up!

14 Apr

One of the quickest ways to spruce up the home this spring is a quick pressure wash (what fun!) and doing up a few planter pots for out front. Every time I commit to doing this my heart sings guaranteed when I walk in or out of the front door. I do this seasonally, and once you get into a rhythm it’s really quite fun and very rewarding. I like to use some perennials as well as some annuals to make them really sing and last. Here are my spring pots! They were super easy and I have reused the cascading perennial and twigs for several seasons.


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Fireplaces for small spaces

1 Dec

I love our house. It’s cozy in all forms with two little ones, a husband, and a Terrier to boot. Throw in too many toys, a play kitchen, a shopping cart, a doll stroller, and a newly acquired scooter (Happy birthday Dylan! Those are for outside right?!?) our 600 square foot main floor is starting to feel a bit cramped. But I still have my heart set on a fireplace, even if I only get to turn it on for an hour once the kids are in bed and before I fall into my own zombie slumber.

But the thought of putting a fireplace into our small space makes me feel claustrophobic as I’m just not interested in a wall mounted look, electric or ethanol. Gas all the way. We are talking framing, dry walling, mudding, sanding, painting… oh my! So, why not use some dead corner space in the room to fulfill my fantasies? I didn’t want that plant anyway! Meet Malm fireplaces. They started making these in 1960, so they obviously know a good thing when they see it. Wouldn’t it make these cold winter nights so much better and be such a breeze to install! And how awesome are the mid century vibes and endless colors to choose from? Definitely on my Christmas wish list…I’m thinking white…or rust orange…

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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:)

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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!


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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

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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