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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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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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‘Tis the Season!

30 Nov

It’s that time again that decor gets stepped up a notch! I am often posed with the question “Should we forget about decorating for the holidays when we have our home listed for sale?”. Well, in my opinion there is nothing more charming than a holiday home, simply and tastefully done. Besides, you try to tell the kids they have to have most their toys in storage AND they don’t get a Christmas tree! I think the key to holiday decorating while selling your home is to pair it back and keep it simple. A candle here, a wreath there, and a tree on the small size if you have the room. Analyze your space…if you have limited square footage utilize wall space for decorating instead of trying to squeeze in a tree. Play up your entry way and exterior spaces the same way you would in the spring with a few winter planters, and perhaps some simple white lights. Just remember, simple can be festive at the same time!

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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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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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Iridescent Tiles

30 Mar

I never used to like the look of these types of iridescent tiles while perusing the tile shop…I always thought they looked a bit too fussy. Then I saw them done in a shower and I thought they looked fabulous. I think the great thing about these tiles is that they create a watery sort of feeling for me, like the ocean and shells and pearls, and you can use them for detailing or as a feature wall. I think they would also be a great option for a low fuss shower or bath as the shimmer of them would hide soap scum and water marks. An added plus is that they are made of recycled glass. They look rich non?? (but not really:)

Parasol

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Stairs With Limited Space

21 Mar

So often when you buy a home you have the opportunity to add some value and square footage by opening up the attic space. A lot of the time the problem lies in finding a spot in the home to put the staircase, as they take up so much room and affect ceiling height. More often than not you end up with a tiny, narrow, steep stairwell. This is a great idea to make that weird little staircase a piece of art! Show it off right in the center of the house instead of hiding in a far off corner of the house.

03_07staircase.jpg

 

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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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