25 September 2014

organizing and styling a tiny laundry closet

I downsized last year into a small condo that I love. The problem is that I have only one storage closet, and it's one of those tiny laundry and storage closets that holds a stackable washer and dryer and pretty much nothing else. I really needed to make the most of this small space for storage capability and better functionality. And of course, to bring in some style!

laundry soap organization; pretty cleaning supplies; homemade cleaning supplies

There are 12 inches of space between the wall and the laundry machines, which is exactly what's needed for the IKEA LACK wall shelf.  It fit perfectly and tightly so I didn't even need to anchor it to the wall. It's tall so takes advantage of that awkward space and provides shelving for laundry soap, cleaners, an iron and lots of other stuff.

small laundry closet organzation' pretty laundry closet

I wanted to make this room not only functional but pretty ( possibly even making laundry fun?) so I wallpapered some foam core board from the Dollar Store and cut it to size to go behind the shelf unit. This hides the mess of pipes behind it, and adds some interest. I then papered one matching strip on the opposite wall (it's removable wallpaper so great for renters) over which I hung pegs for air-drying clothes and keeping a small ironing board off the floor.

laundry closet organization; condo laundry storage; pretty laundry closet

I continued adding style by using glass jars for laundry soap and mason jars for homemade cleaning solutions. Now I have them on hand quickly when I need them and can identify them by their handwritten labels.  I painted the lids black and put waashi tape around the cover edges.

organizing homemade cleaning supplies; DIY cleaning supplies

I also took old cleaning spray bottles and covered them with scrapbook paper and filled them with natural homemade solutions (check out my pinboard for homemade cleaner recipes).

pretty homemade cleaning solutions; natural home cleaners

Baskets keep sewing supplies, shoe cleaning items, lightbulbs and candles tidy and easy to find. A matching large basket on top of the dryer allows for blanket and linen storage.

organized storage in baskets

basket storage for small spaces

small laundry closet organization

This easy organization not only takes the pressure off of finding storage space, it also makes cleaning and doing laundry fun! OK, maybe I'm going a little overboard there...

Hope this inspires you to get organized too.

22 September 2014

organic week and antique weekend

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had an enjoyable weekend. I certainly did - and made a good start to Organic Week by visiting a local Saturday market that hosts some wonderful organic farm stands. I stocked up on greens to kickstart a Fall of boosted nutrition and goodness. I couldn't resist picking up some local flowers too - these irises were calling out...

organic week; market vegetables; organic; photography; flowers

My breakfast on Sunday was chia seeds, organic oats, raisins and vanilla soaked in almond milk overnight. I added slivered almonds and some cinnamon in the morning and it simply delicious.

I also attended the Aberfoyle Antique Market for its Fall show, and it did not disappoint! There were so many great vendors and good buys, I had a tough time not over-consuming. In the end I stuck to what I wanted to find - an old enamel measuring cup which I now use to hold my wooden kitchen spoons and antique soup spoons and a serving fork. Oh, and an adorable small bottle (perhaps an old ink bottle?) that works perfectly as a bud vase.

vintage treasures; antiques, antique market

What a super way to spend the last weekend of summer. I noticed on my evening walk last night that the leaves are beginning to turn. Let Autumn's splendour begin.

coloured maple leaves

19 September 2014

find it: eco-chic Fall items for your home

Brrr...can you feel it? The season has changed and it's bringing out my nesting instinct! I'm digging out my wool blankets and pumpkin soy candles. Are you ready for Fall at home? Here are some wonderful items on Etsy to help you prepare for a cozy Autumn.

1. These birch cutting blocks will come in handy when entertaining this Fall and have a warm and natural vibe. I adore this little shop in Prince Edward Island.
wood, rustic cutting boards, natural, kitchen, Fall items, eco-chic kitchen
Cattails Woodwork
2. A cinnamon or pumpkin spiced soy candle is a must for ambience and a healthy home this Fall. This shop has so many simple and chic options that 100% soy.
soy candle, healthy home, healthy candles for fall, eco-chic candles

3. Ditch your unhealthy vinyl shower curtain and go for a beautiful hemp version like this one. With windows closed so much of the time now, you'll want to ensure your home isn't filling up with harmful toxins from plastic.
healthy home, healthy bathroom, organic shower curtain

4. While you're in your toxin-free bathroom, take a soak to warm up and relax. This lavender box set will do the trick and look pretty on the counter too.
bath, organic soaking powder, healthy bath
Roots Soap Co.
5. Gray and white linen on the table feels warm but modern for Fall. These lovely handmade linen napkins will do nicely!
organic table setting, healthy home, linen
maalikaa creations
6. Nothing is better on a crisp day than a steaming cup of fragrant organic tea, right? This sampler set is calling my name.
organic tea, tea for Fall, healthy tea
Chad's Chai
7. And wouldn't you want to drink your tea wrapped up in this cozy organic, undyed natural wool blanket? Yup.
organic blanket, wool, healthy home, handmade wool blanket
Texturable Decor
8. Aren't these hanging fern and moss wood planks adorable? Such a great way to bring nature inside for the season, and keep the air in your home clean.
wooden planters for wall, living wall, indoor garden
9. I love this barnboard headboard with lighting built right in. I'm down with anything that's recycled, and to have extra lighting when it gets dark so early through the Fall and Winter is an even bigger bonus.
reclaimed wood headboard, barnboard bed, bedroom lighting
ReBarn CHF
10. Finally, who doesn't love a twig wreath to welcome Fall with style? This simple birch wreath is lovely, as are others in this georgous shop.
twig wreath, birch, Fall wreath, handmade wreath
There you have it! Hope this helps you transition your home for Fall and gives you a warm and cozy place to spend lots of time in. For even more shopping and inspriration, check out my favourites on Etsy.

14 September 2014

How to transition your home for autumn

Well it's here! Autumn weather has arrived here in Ontario and though I must say summer vanished in the blink of an eye, this is my favourite time of year. The leaves will soon be changing, we'll go back to jeans, boots and comfy sweaters, and our green plants will come back inside to freshen our homes once again.

So how to transition your home design for the Fall season? Here are a 5 easy ways to make your house comfy and healthy for autumn.

1. Bring house plants and herbs in pots indoors. They'll bring life back inside and clean your air at the same time, making your rooms healthy and fresh. It's easy to create a new little corner vignette with a stool and a plant. Hey, even dormant plants in vintage pots look interesting in a windowsill!

bring plants indoors for winter and fall
transition your home for autumn
fall bedroom, plants indoors, baskets, quilts, cozy room for autumn
2. Create a serene and cozy bedroom for reading and getting a good night's sleep. Pull out the wool blankets and duvets with organic cotton covers and pack away bright summer sheets and pillows. Paint over picture frames in neutral colours, add white bedding and sew up new covers for toss cushions in soft tones. Introduce wood through a stool or baskets and include other organic elements that let you feel connected to nature. Make sure to dig out your cozy throw mats so your toes won't get cold when jumping out of bed in the morning!

netural bedroom, natural design, wood in bedroom, autumn bedroom, winter bedroom
transitioning a bedroom for fall and winter, white quilts, winter white bedroom
neutral bedroom, cozy bedroom, white bedroom, winter bedroom
3. Organize your entry for the onslaught of boots, school notices, backpacks and calendars. DIY an organizer with plumbing pipe and corkboard, or use reclaimed wood to create hooks at all levels and nifty boot racks. Keeping your clutter and footwear at the door instead of letting it come into your home will let you remain peaceful and your floors remain germ-free.

DIY, entryway, organization, mudroom, autumn home
reclaimed wood, organized mudroom, entryway, winter mudroom
 4. Make sure you have very good (and interesting!) lighting in your workspace area, since there will be less natural light coming in. You can find great vintage lighting on Etsy or at your local goodwill store or flea market.

transition your home office for Autumn
vintage lighting, small home office, industrial desk
5. If you haven't already, change your your shower curtain for an eco and health friendly version. Get rid of vinyl and plastic immediately (read this post on the benefits of an eco-friendly healthy bathroom) and swap it for a PEVA liner and a 100% organic fabric curtain.

organic shower curtain, eco-friendly bathroom
Good luck with your transition and have fun!

7 September 2014

natural bathroom renovation on a budget

When I was home in New Brunswick over the summer I worked on finishing and decorating my parents' bathroom, which they had renovated earlier in the year by replacing the tub with a new shower including a seat, and adding space at the back of the narrow room in order to eventually bring the washer and dryer up from the basement. For now, they will use the space for extra storage and organization.

natural gray and white bathroom

This was a project that needed to be done on a very limited budget. No new countertops or sink, no new cabinets, no new decor. Only a new floor was purchased, as the old tiles were busted up when the new footrprint was created.

As evidenced in this post, I tried -  to no avail - to convince my Dad to purchase a flooring option other than vinyl, but alas, due to budget limitations and the ease with which it can be installed, vinyl won out. I did, at least, get them to leave it outdoors for a few days to air out the gasses from the PVC. You can see that the vinyl does indeed, look great, as we chose a marble look.

DIY bathroom reno

The gray then inspired us to go for a soft misty gray on the walls. Well, that and the fact that we had leftover gray paint from a project a couple of years ago! The paint colour is Behr Hazelnut Cream.  The bottom of the walls were already clad in wainscotting so it was carried through on the new walls as well and given a new coat of ultra white semi-gloss (again left over, so no cost for paint).

budget bathroom reno

adding design to a shower curtain

My mom sewed the curtains from material she had for another project, which went brilliantly here. She then also used a strip of the same fabric and sewed it along the bottom of the shower curtain to add some punch.

decorating a bathroom with antiques

natural bathroom decor

storage in the bathroom

Natural and vintage pieces were used to fill in the room and make it pretty. A glass-door bookcase hutch was painted and distressed, and it holds baskets of toiletries, towels and hand-made family quilts. An old vintage medicine cabinet was hung on the wall, and jars and crocks hold rocks, shells and wheat for a natural touch.

budget bathroom refresh

A bench hand-made by my grandfather was whitewashed, and four hooks on the wall above it offer ample hanging space for towels. Baskets hold essesntials like toilet paper.

This project was accomplished on a very small budget and gives their country home a modern but still relaxed and rustic vibe. You can see the master bedroom in the house that was refreshed on a budget here.

1 September 2014

natural home: old schoolhouse apartment

This home, spotted on Architectural Digest, is so lovely it made me stop and be still for a moment.

It has such lovely old brick bones, and living spaces that connect to the outdoors, which I think is so important for the soul. Inside, the painted white brick, multitude of sunlight, and lots of living green plants (check out that climber!) creates a peaceful home in which to relax and breathe deeply. The books and interesting objects displayed on built-in shelving throughout the home add a personal element that is interesting and makes the uncluttered space feel warm and inviting.

All of this serene beauty wrapped into sustainable principles through reclaiming an old schoolhouse instead of building new.

natural home

living space extended outdoors

natural home

natural home decor

Worth a pause, don't you agree? More photos over at AD.