Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Office - Creating a Realistic Command Centre

 My office quit working for me.
It wasn't just that it was getting messy, it also wasn't doing the job I needed it to.
Things were getting lost in the piles on my desk.  The bulletin board was overflowing.
I wasn't able to enjoy the special treasures I keep close because they were getting devoured by paperwork.

What happens when a space isn't doing the job you need it to?
Things tend to go downhill quickly.

In order to fix the problem, I had to first figure out what had gone wrong.  What I discovered was that I was not being realistic about how I was trying to maintain my office space.

I wanted to be living like this.


But hey, guess what?
I'm on the Pastor Search Committee in my church, the World Mission Planning Team, and I coordinate a weekly Women's Bible Study.  I volunteer in a few places to help organize and decorate, I write the blog, run a business, volunteer at my kids' school, try to keep those 4 kids organized, do the laundry and cleaning and cooking and, and, and...
This is not a complaint nor am I suggesting that I'm busier than anyone else.
Not at all.  Everyone is busy.
This is reality.  And in my reality, that pretty, perfect, tidy desk set up won't work.

This laundry room make-over shot gave me just the inspiration I needed to get my office back in order.

Better Homes and Gardens

Come on back later this week and check out the changes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tea Towel DIY (with yet another Ikea steal)

I've been noticing these tea towels in a few magazines lately.

House and Home 

And then I saw this idea for pillow covers which was actually done with
 "European linen grain sacks".

Country Living

Since I'm currently short on European linen grain sacks, I scootered over to Ikea.

Yah baby.  
Sixty-nine cents!

When you see a look you like but maybe can't afford to copy exactly, keep your eye open for similar looking products that can stand in.  Ikea is a great spot to find them.  It's their business to bring you current looks at a low price.
No, I do not work for them, but I do appreciate that they help me decorate in up to date ways at a price I can afford. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

$2.99 Ikea Steal

Look at the cute rugs Ikea has for three bucks!

Country Living March 2014

You could use one on your table as a runner,

or on a chair to add a pop of stripes,

or, you know, on the floor.  
(Yes, you should iron it)

Or you could wrap one up and give it away for Easter!

Check out all 8 colour choices here.  
But be warned, they were not all available at the Winnipeg store when I went.
Thanks Ikea!

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Living Room/Dining Room

Awhile back I gave you a sneak peek at the plans for the Forbes' new living room and dining area.  Let's have a look at the finished product!

The goal for the open concept living/dining space was to go neutral with the wall colour and update the look in general while creating more seating at the dining table.

 We started with the dining room.  


We added a larger table and by trading in the china cabinet for a side table, we were able to store 4 extra stools beneath it for more seating at larger dinner parties. 


Any storage lost from the removal of the china cabinet was gained back by switching out a sofa table with this storage unit.

The white photo shelves in the dining area and on this opposite wall provide ample display space.

In the living room we updated the furniture,


 to create a generally more sleek and airy feel.


Painting out all the oak trim white made a huge difference!

It's fun to have clients who are so willing to go for a totally new look and who are so quick to paint and prep the space!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Permanent Marker Removal

It's that time of year when those who organize and decorate for a living should be talking about 


But temperatures that insist on dipping into the -20's during the last weeks of March are causing me to feel quite hibernatey.

So instead, let me send you into Spring Break week with a tried and true stain removal tip.

At a family gathering we had the kids write their names on their pop can or plastic cup with a permanent marker.  
And as often happens with sweaty fingers and dewy drinks, some marker smudged.

Here on the left you can see a spot on our wood dining table.
On the right...gone!


And just in case you don't believe me, I did a purposeful stain on my laminate countertop.


The no fail stain remover?

Works every time.
On permanent marker and pen as well.

Happy Spring Break everyone! 
See you back here in April.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Photo Collage Trick

 We've talked about tracing out your frames and taping the papers on the wall to determine how you want to hang a photo collage, but I added an extra step the other day that made it even easier.

Sometimes working with these big papers gets a bit finicky...they're always rolling up on you and you have to keep standing back to see what you think, pull off, re-position, re-tape.  
You know.

Southern Living
So when I planned out a photo wall for a volunteer job I did a few weeks back, I cut out miniature frames from graph paper first.  I did them more or less to scale, and then worked them around until I figured out a pattern that I was happy with.

When it came time to hang the actual frames, I continued the old method of trace and tape, but I knew exactly the pattern I wanted and by starting with the centre photos and working outward, I just recreated the look.

This method takes a bit of time, but I promise you, it works great and saves hours of headache in the long run.