Friday, June 24, 2011

52 Week Challenge: Week 25 - RVing made easier! The Power of a List

I know I said I wasn't going to post this week, however, it occurred to me on the drive home from my Mom's last weekend, that I needed to get my act together regarding our upcoming vacation. I have six days before we leave - and I work five of those days and I'm meeting with a client one night this week so that leaves me Sunday to get it together...

I like lists. I love making lists, I love following lists, I love striking things off my lists. I'm a list-o-holic and I get it from my Mother. She likes lists too. She is probably the only person I know who itemizes her dinner lists so she doesn't forget to serve anything. We were at her house today for a Father's Day barbecue. She had a list - and as she got everything out, she checked it off. It was awesome and just a little inspiring!

How do I prepare for this? I make lists. Lists for what clothing we need, toiletries, food, activities, regular gear, things we need to get, toys, books, crafts, staples. There are lots of lists to be made and a bit of shopping we need to do. I have to (well, I don't have to but I do) bake for the trip - cookies are a must, granola bars, snack mix, trail mix, dog treats...

I don't have a fancy template for my lists and they aren't necessary organized in any particular fashion but I know, without a doubt, that I couldn't plan a successful trip without a list. Even the trip to my Mother's, which I've made a 1000 times, is generally done with a list... Especially if it is an overnight trip! We dared the turn-around trip without a list... And guess what?

We forgot our fur-son's food!

So, how do you organize? Are you a list junkie like me? Do you wing it?

This week, I decided to ORGANIZE my lists - what a good idea, I say! I pack the same things all the time - so why not create a master set of lists to use to make my life easier...

This week, I'm going to share with you two of my lists. The first is an RV Checklist - we have a motorhome and although it is essentially a duplicate of my bricks & sticks kitchen, I feel more secure knowing that I've double checked all the essentials before I leave. I also know the other list I can't live without is my clothing/activities list.

I've created both in a handy-pdf for everyone to download an enjoy and use to make your next trip a little more organized! Please note, the preview looks a little weird, when you open it, it is better but I'll need to revise the font type.
RV Checklist_Basic Inventory

Of course, these aren't exhaustive lists and I've already thought of 4 other things to add to the RV list (walkie talkies, matches, barbecue lighter & tongs) but it's a start and oh-so-pretty!

Clothing Checklists

Do you have a list? Are you a list keeper? Do tell and share what works for you! I'm linking up this week to the Org Junkie's 52 Week of Organizing. Thanks for stopping by and come back soon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We-Design-Day: Upcycled Interior Chic - a way to save MONEY!

As promised, here is the updated budget! I'm so excited to see the savings! By repurposing old previously loved furniture, I can save over $800! And it will be CUSTOM to my tastes and needs. Does it get better?


Perhaps! I've been scouring the free ads and looking for 'second' hand flooring. There are an amazing number of ads posted by people who bought too much flooring (or not enough and can't match it) and are trying to get rid of it. I'm just waiting for the right opportunity to come up! I did consider doing a painted treatment to the floor - like an etch or staining - but my husband assured me it would be worth getting a floor - and he's likely right. Bare concrete (especially in a basement application) can be cold! And because I hope to be working in the space for long periods of time, I better make sure it is inviting.

The construction schedule is still behind (and not updated as it's on the home computer) - but I have good reason! We leave for holidays on Friday so I won't be blogging or renovating anything! We are taking a week off - from everything! It doesn't do the renovation any good, but I'm sure it will do a whole bunch of good!

So come back for the next installment of We-Design-Day, coming to you on July 6th! Until then, happy renovating!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Cold, the continuous rain and baking with TroubleMaker

Maybe I'm crazy, maybe I'm hormonal... Maybe it's the seven straight days of rain or maybe it's that the world is out to get me but whatever it is, it has my patience at an all time low and my internal temperature gauge set to boil.

It could be that we leave in four days time and I'm no where near ready. The past couple of years has been like this when we leave for vacation. I don't remember what's in the motor home, what isn't, what needs to be and what I'll forget.

Did I mention the rain? We are considering trading in our RV for an ark. I just saw a family of ducks merrily float down our avenue with a raft in tow.

First, I'm hot - really hot - and cranky and my throat hurts and, well, I'm hormonal. But not sappy hormonal, raging hormonal which makes me feel even worse because generally, this doesn't go away until I blow a gasket and the vein in my neck bulges. I've tried placating myself with cookies but to no avail. I considered my favourite snack but I knew I'd eat my way through several bags and payday isn't until next Tuesday.

Where was I? Oh yes. Rain.

Our car flooded today. At least 3" of water in the passenger side foot well.

I'm sick. I have as sore throat. Last night, every time I swallowed in my sleep, it woke me up. The only respite was plugging TroubleMaker into the TV this morning and sleeping in my easy chair. My throat feels better now - it hurts but at least I can talk (but still not to my usual volumes, hence the MEME blog post). This afternoon, TroubleMaker and I made the shopping trip I was to make tonight.

Apparently rubber boots are at a premium right now. We have a pair but TroubleMaker flooded them on the weekend and we can't get the things to dry out. I wanted running shoes for him too. But I did not want black, branded with lit bottoms - so I was out of luck. I also wanted a "Chutes and ladders" board game but that wasn't to be had either. I bought socks, cute socks, so that did encourage me a little bit.

Then we came home and I decided we needed more baking. I like to take lots of fresh baking when we go camping. It's a thing I do... After consuming half the bag of Skor Toffee bits, I dumped the rest into the cookie dough... But not before TroubleMaker showered the kitchen in a brown sugary concoction. I just about came unglued (he did this with every batch of baking he and I did yesterday too). But I just smiled and ran for my Zantac. When that didn't work, I ate a half dozen of the Skor Cookies - I was able to rationalize that TroubleMaker mashed half of them while "helping" me get them off the cookie sheet.

Now as his sights are set on shooting candy sticks around the house, I'm just sitting here waiting for Calgon to take me away... In case it doesn't, please send my Sanity to:
Attn: TroubleMaker's Father
PO Box 123, Itseemedlikeagoodideaatthetime, AB
Canada T6E 1N4

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - The Vacation Edition

This week, my week only has five days in it. Yay! I say "yay" because I leave for holidays on Friday. Yay! I like holidays. I like this holiday because I'm going to Jasper National Park. Yay! Mostly, I'm just happy to be going anywhere and spending time in my favourite place on Earth.

Athabasca Falls

This week is going to be CRAZY busy - I have a bit of shopping to do (recently learned with all the rain we've had here that one pair of running shoes and one pair of rubber boots is not nearly enough for one very puddle happy three year old), packing, planning and getting things ready to leave for Friday. I hope to do a tich more baking too... I got two types of granola bars made today and one batch of my honey's favourite cookies but I wanted to try these cookies and I'm hoping to get a batch of my fur-son's favourite PB Cookies made for our trip. However, TroubleMaker is sick and I think I am getting sick (my throat is VERY sore) and the only thing I want at the moment is my pillow...

This week is again about convenience and using up what fresh things I have left in the house. Short of a few bits of fruit, I don't want to buy a whole bunch of food before we go.

June 20 to June 25

Monday: KD & fish sticks (TroubleMaker has been asking for this for days)
Tuesday: BBQ Chicken & Rice w/ Garlic Parmesan Asparagus
Wednesday: Meatloaf and noodles
Thursday: Tuna sandwiches & Salad
Friday: Bye, bye birdies!!!!! Up and away!!!!! TTFN!!!!!
Saturday: Soaking up fresh Rocky Mountain Air!
Sunday: Still lappin' up that fresh air!

One of the Locals

Have a great week and I'll see you in a couple weeks when I'm back from holidays and getting back into the groove of summer and working! Thanks for popping in and for more fabulous menu planning ideas, check out the Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

52 Week Challenge: Week 24 - back into the trenches

Well, I am proud to report that this week, I made more progress in my office. And how apropos with Laura at the Org Junkie busting us this week with our unfinished tasks!

With the We-Design-Day project behind schedule, I had to get back into my office so we can move it out and and move my husband into my space and try to get the project back on track. I opened my office door and felt completely overwhelmed. Where would I start? Sure my white sheeting idea worked for Phase One, but now the area I'd tacked in Week 19 was done and the rest of the room was covered up...

Remember my before?


I was SO proud of what I accomplished.

Until I walked back in two weeks later.


I did what, where? I left the office, went and got a gummy dinosaur and then went back in. I still didn't know where to start but I thought "Ok, self... TroubleMaker is at the neighbours, husband is out with a friend... I should go have a shower and do my toenails. No one would blame me - taking a little 'me' time - sure, that's what I need... me time... Forget organizing, I need to recharge."

The thought was promptly followed with me getting to work (so world, please forgive my naked toes). I piled, I moved, I tossed in my boxes. I folded and sorted and cursed my love of fabric. I wished I wasn't messy and disorganized and I even wished for a bulldozer to mistakenly take down my house so I wouldn't have to deal with all the junk I have. No, not really the last one but I did mention to my husband that I was getting pretty close to being featured on "The Hoarders"... Additionally, if I had saved all the money I've spent on stuff I've never used, I'd have a lot of money... Wouldn't we all???

But I kept working and an hour later, I had a floor... Did you know that room had carpet? I'd almost forgotten!


The other thing I'd forgotten was that I've been down this road before... Can you see the three boxes stacked just behind the white table in that picture?? Do you want to know what is in them? Me too. I packed them up more than four years ago (it could even be five) in a previous (failed) attempt of cleaning up my space so I'd have more studio space to sew all the things for the baby we were going to have...

I feel a little more focused - getting through more in my space really helped me to feel like I'm in control and back on track. I also did a lot of reading last week and seeing that I'm not the only one struggling with these tasks did a lot to bolster my confidence!

I'll also be taking a blogging hiatus - we are leaving on our family vacation next Friday so I won't be able to post... If I get to a cafe, I'll post a few pictures but until early July, my 52 Weeks of Organizing will be on hold... But do check out all the others playing along! Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you again soon!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We-Design-Day: Upcycled Interior Chic

If I told you people were doing things that are (going to be) the wave of the future, a way to reduce consumerism, keep things out of the landfill, and give old products new life – that would excite you, wouldn’t it? It excites me! Probably a little too much! This idea I’m going to present to you isn’t new – it’s something old, really. Probably really old… If you think back to a time when most homes were single income, had multiple children and money was scarce, everyone ‘reused’ everyday items until they wore out and fell apart.

The photo below is of my grandparents. It was taken February 8, 1935. I love this picture – it’s so beautiful and whenever I see it, I’m reminded of a few things my Grandmother told me about her early married life. Life was tough for her and my Grampa!


It was the mid –thirties and the country was embroiled in a depression. Although we are North of the United States, the ripple of the 1929 stock market crash was felt globally and by the time Gramma and Grampa married, jobs were scarce, unemployment was high (it hovered around 10% for the entire decade) and the once fertile and supple prairie land had been left drought-stricken, dry and cracked with plagues of grasshoppers.

Take another look at the wedding picture - see my Gramma's dress? Can you guess what it is made from?

Flour used to come in flour sacks. It was common practice to keep the material, bleach the print out of it and sew it together to make clothing, bedding, curtains and an entire blog post of additional uses. But this dress, this beautiful, bleached flour sack dress, was sewn and adorned by my Gramma!

So what does this have to do with (what I’m hoping will be a new - you heard it hear first, Blue Door Interiors, We-Design-Day original) design trend called Upcycled Interior Chic©? Well, as my budget has been getting smaller and smaller for the renovation, I began at looking at how to get all the things we need on our budget – which, by the way, is now around $800 (down from $2000).

But despaired I am not! I’m re energized, excited and I cannot wait to get going! This is so much more my style – funky, odd and so GREEN! It’s like my eyes opened and everything I see now (almost) gets my brain working overtime thinking about how it can fit into my plan! I popped over to my parent’s garage sale this weekend and found the PERFECT piece!

With some paint, mactac and a piece of plexi, I’ve already got four pieces to refurbish! A simple desk will be the new family computer station, an old wall unit will become the storage centre for my studio! It’s only the beginning but already, by reusing and repurposing these items, I’ve kept them from the landfill AND I’ve saved almost $500! And yes, I know my time is worth money but I’m either assembling knock-down furniture or I’m painting. This way, I get a custom piece that I can ‘funky’ up.

This also allows me to spend what we do have on the most important things: power upgrades and new lighting! I'm now on the hunt - scouring the Freecycle and Kijiji listings for anything usable and FREE! How is this not the perfect plan?!

Let's get knocking some walls down!

Come back next week as I'll be posting an updated construction schedule (as obviously, we're behind) and revamping our budget. Thanks for stopping in and what piece do you have that you can see Upcycling?

PS Please note that the phrase "Upcycled Interior Chic©", to the best of my knowledge, has not yet been used or applied as an interior design finishing concept. Being that not-everything is original, I am hoping this is. If you have seen or heard reference to it else where, please let me know (and provide the link). Otherwise, I do believe this is an original concept and would appreciate any use of it being referred back to here. Thanks!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Easy Menu Week

This week's menu isn't very inspiring. Sometimes when I plan our menus, I get tired of the same old stuff and things requiring much effort from me. I suppose everyone feels that way now and again!

Quick and easy - that describes my plan this week! Without fanfare, here it is!

June 13 to June 19
Monday: Thai Satays & Thai Slaw
Tuesday: Tuna Melts w/ veggies & dip
Wednesday: Chicken Caesar Wraps
Thursday: Crockpot Meatballs w/ Egg Noodles
Friday: Chicken Fajitas
Saturday: At My Mom's for a BBQ
Sunday: ?? (I misread my print-out on the fridge and made next Sunday's supper tonight)

What's on your menu this week? For more great ideas, check out the Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What flavour are you?

Today I went to the Pride celebration in my city. I worked as a volunteer for one of the many organizations helping out with the festival - I worked the beer beverage tent. I helped set up all the umbrellas on the picnic tables and then I helped stock all the tubs of alcohol.

Then I had the honour/joy of being a "Beer Tub Girl". An honour usually reserved for skinny, barely 20somethings hotties. But I was one of the 'chosen ones'... So I (wo)manned my station in the blistering heat and served their beer (and Big Rock Dry Cider) with a smile, some wit and always a "thank you!" It was a fabulous way to spend a few hours outside on a sunny afternoon. The plus was NO mosquitoes!

I hadn't volunteered at Pride before but I'm so glad I did. I like volunteering but I'm an introverted extrovert and I often find new situations awkward and uncomfortable... But this event was just so much fun - and it had nothing to do `with the crowd`- it was just the volunteering - being out, doing something positive and lending a hand. I ended up worked part of a `double shift` because many volunteers didn`t show up - I didn`t mind. It was a few hours from my day and I got to talk to many people, laugh, see some fantastic performers and just have a good time.

I even got told I was the `best lesbian ever` - I just smiled back when that was said. I love people, all people, and Pride, for me, is about celebrating diversity. We are all different - and that`s a positive thing.

How boring would the world be if we were all the same flavour of ice cream?

Friday, June 10, 2011

52 Week Challenge: Week 22 & 23!

This week, Laura proposed that every home needs a “command centre”. I myself had been thinking about this very thing. Last year, we implemented a family calendar – which has been an amazing addition to keeping our lives on track! Although previously, we had been digital, it didn’t always work because:

1. We’d forget appointments

2. We’d forget to invite each other so it would show in the others calendar

3. No access when the computers weren’t on

So we use “THIS” family calendar and it’s good. It’s got lots of room to write and it fits perfectly on our broom closet door (which is adjacent to the kitchen). We keep a pencil clipped to it and all appointments, meetings, classes, get-togethers, play dates and days off work get written on it. It is the bomb! My only wish is that we could amalgamate it with our phone desk. Although the phone desk doesn’t get used as a desk (remember week xx?) I like the idea of pens, note papers, address books, phone books and other implements of a good command centre all is in one place! However, until we get there, our Family Calendar keeps us organized and on track!

For my organizing chore (really, it is a chore for me – one I don’t mind, but all of it seems so laborious – thirty some odd years of disorganization will do that to a person) I’m working again on my magazines. In theory, I’ve did this last week too. I did the big box from my Mom but I still had five magazine holders of my own to do.


As I mentioned here, the session I attended with the professional organizer, stated that most people misuse magazine holders. They are not to be for long term storage – one should look through their magazines and pull out the pertinent sections. Only those should be filed in the holder. The rest of the magazine can be recycled. I thought this was sound advice.

Last Sunday, I went to the stationary store and purchased page protectors, a large binder and reusable dividers. Tonight, I finished going through the last of the holders. It's taken two weeks - working a couple hours each night - and I even went through some of the ones I did initially in Week 20 and got rid of a few more pages I thought I would keep! I am getting rid of over 100 hundred magazines and about 10 craft books. It was a tough choice to get rid of the books but most of them date back 5 or 6 years and I haven't opened them since they arrived in the mail!


I'm really working on letting go of stuff. It is stuff. It brings no happiness, joy or even use. It takes up space and reminds me of all the things I've not done (that I wanted to). But there are so many things (like making Barbie furniture out of plastic canvas) that even if I did make, I'd have no use for. My niece is getting older and the dinosaurs my son plays with don't have bendable knees to sit on furniture! Furthermore, I want to spend the time I do have (for crafting - if I ever get the basement renovation completed) doing the stuff I love!


Each week it's getting easier to let go - I just wish I had more time (and energy) to devote to it! The picture above is what I'm passing on... Sure, there might be crafts I'd like to try in those pages, but the reality is, I don't have to do the things I love - when would I find time to do the ones I might like to try???

Thank you for stopping by and to see more inspiration and great ideas, check out all of us playing along with the 52 Weeks of Organizing!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We-Design-Day: Need vs Want

The one thing I've learned in my years doing design - and even working - is that sometimes, the need must outweigh the want. Remember when I mentioned how interiors often get pushed to the back burner because the building envelope takes presidence? Well... Guess what?

First, our roof needs replacing. We've known about the necessity to do it since we bought the house (the shingles had 5 to 10 years of life left - we're at 7 now). Second, our shed... It's just a rickety old tin shed and we planned on replacing it our second year here. However, during our first winter here, we learned that our garage floods with the spring melt... Like really, freezes your tires and garage door in place floods so we spent the money we'd saved for the shed replacement and had the garage mud-jacked. Last year, the clasps that hold the doors close broke so we've had to jimmy the door in place before we lock the shed. It works - however, if there is a strong wind (which there has been several this spring), it starts to blow the both doors inwards, thus revealing all of our gardening supplies and treasures. So as we retooled the doors for the 52 time this spring, I told my husband I thought we should take half the basement renovation budget and apply it to the shed rehab.

I have sad face - mostly because of all the work I put into finding the right solution for my storage issues and the excitement I had over getting a spanking new space... But, being the eternal optimist who always looks for silver linings and was inspired by a song on the (only) children's only television station we get, I've decided to forge a slightly different path...

I'm still working out the whole plan, but if you watch the video, you'll see what inspired me why it's not all that bad to be going back to the drawing board and looking at this project in a different light!

Teaching me New Tricks

When I started blogging , I decided I should probably learn HTML. I had a very basic, very rudimentary understanding of the code – mostly I know knew how to make things bold, underline them and italicize font. I knew how to add pictures too. I had done some previous web page stuff – and by stuff I mean I posted a new header each month for an online chat group, was an administrator of another chat site and I “filled in the blanks” on a website template for my former union group. Essentially, I had no idea and knew nothing about HTML.

Last summer, I decided to do some ‘online’ training, I found a few free tutorials and worked through them – only to likely be more confused than when I started. And I’ll admit it was my (then) two year old son who taught me how to get the code from any website. But having all the code in the world didn’t matter if I didn’t understand what it was saying! I’d make changes that I thought were reasonable and accurate edits, only to once completely ‘lose’ the look of my blog – thing is I don’t actually know what I did that made it change.

So when the opportunity came up to do some actually hands on training, I jumped at the chance! And as I start Day 2, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever employ these skills enough to actually develop a website (and a “good” website at that). I kind of feel like Homer Simpson – the episode where he developed a website but just stealing bits from other sites. I keep expecting to see a dancing Jesus appear with cheesy music. I’ve done three ‘sites’ so far – all just bars of colour with columns, headers and footers. I’ve come to realize that nothing in this field works without another part stacking on top.

For instance, a few weeks ago, I took an Illustrator course, which is good in its own right but now having taken this course, website development is truly nothing unless you have graphics and short of ‘borrowing’ graphics, you require a program to make graphics. It’s all a conspiracy, I’m sure, but one I’ll likely buy into – hook line and sinker!

I also think it will be some time before I publish an actual website – I have a distinct feeling that my son will surpass my programming skills before he turns four – the interior designer’s son may not yet know red from green, but he most certainly is a child of the 21st century when it comes to understanding technology! So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get my abacus, my Letraset and my rotary telephone and phone a friend who also remembers the ‘good ole days’!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - When the motivation runs away with the spoon

I don't like it when I have the get behind, under the gun and have to plan everything in one night because life got to busy, I had too much wine at the barbecue and spend Sunday "recovering", was in a course all day, had heartburn and am now further behind that I was last week, husband had to survive without a menu on the fridge but they didn't starve 'cause we always got peanut butter blues.

I'm behind - so behind that I think I've spent a whole bunch of time walking backward in my sleep and it's really last week. I like menu planning - I like that I'm really in control of one aspect of my life. But I'm not. Although June ended more than a week ago, I only finished my monthly menu plan tonight and I didn't really do the entire month as we are going camping the last week and I'm holding out planning a menu until we sit down with my parents (as we are going camping with them) and plan out our meals.

My new menu planner is causing me grief too. It still has a couple of 'bugs' that I've not been able to iron out so it kind of makes planning a pain.

Oh, and did I mention that I am feeling so NOT inspired by my culinary abilities. Everything on our menu looks boring, sounds boring and in no way holds my interest. I feel like I've made everything I know how to make one million times and if I have to open one more can of soup or dice another carrot, I will, with out a doubt, expire.

I am also very tired of rotating the "chicken, beef, veggie/fish, pork, pasta, slow cooker" days of my week. I want something new and exciting that will enliven our my Menu Plan blues.

I want to taste France and Portugal and experience Far Eastern delights, I'd love to sample new and exotic flavours fused with traditional, earthy delicacies. But the reality is I've got to feed a child and a husband who knows his enemy - fishies and anything dried (like fruit). I have forty-five minutes to get dinner on the table when I arrive from work. I need simple. I need fast. I need not going to break the bank.

What is a working mother to do? Plug seven more drab meals into the menu planner and hope next week works out better! ;)

June 6 to June 12
Monday: Perogies & sausage
Tuesday: Chicken Burgers (from last week)
Wednesday: Sloppy Joes
Thursday: Mushroom & Chicken Linguine
Friday: Barbecued Steak
Saturday: KD & Fishsticks (I'm volunteering all afternoon and the boys will be on their own)
Sunday: Pizza

I know. Never before has a menu lacked originality, variety and interest. It is boring. It is blah, it is all that I could come up with.

For other, more creative menu planning ideas, check out the Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday! Come back next week and see if I've kicked the MPM Blues! Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WeDesign Day: Inspired Interiors - the paint made me do it!

Feeling Inspired?

I was when I sat down to figure out the colour palette and design theme for the main floor of our home. I flipped through the new Benjamin Moore Accent colour fan deck,I found a colour I loved. Moroccan Spice. I knew that I had to have this colour in my house. So as I sat down to figure out companion colours I remembered a book my husband gave me many years ago for Christmas. Moroccan Interiors! I dashed into my office to find it… Then I realized that my office was still in a state of disaster b/c of the renovation… I further recalled that I’d amalgamated my interior design books with the non-fiction library. In any event, I found it. And I remembered why I was so drawn to anything Moroccan or Middle Eastern inspired.
There is such realism to this style of interior design. It’s earth, homey, warm and lush – without being pretentious. It’s a style of design with simplicity of materials coupled with ornate embellishments that can be easily recreated. The colour palette is unique and warm, opulent and inviting. And who doesn’t love Moroccan tile?


This is my look and even though it in no way related to the architecture of our home, my main floor will be Moroccan inspired with modern twists.
Since the beginning of this project is focused on the Foyer (aka Back door), I wanted to make sure that what we do in that area will flow into the rest of the house. Initially I thought it would be too soon to figure out the whole house plan, once I saw that colour, flipped through some inspiration, I knew I had it. The additional bonus is that with some touch-ups, I don’t think I’ll have to refinish my existing cabinetry as the present colour is dark and rich in tone and with updated hardware and perhaps a topical treatment, they will work very well!

Because our dog is an enthusiastic wonder, the gypsum board around our back door damaged, as it the casing around the door and there is a hole in the wall behind the door because the door stop didn’t stop the door… I decided I wanted wainscoting to protect the dry wall. The standard size available is only 32” high – Max is taller than that so I’m bumping it up 4” and adding a nice chunky baseboard and am capping the top with an ornately detailed quarter round. I’ve decided to build a custom unit in the closet that will act as a seating bench and shoe storage. In addition, to free up some space, I am removing the clothing bar and installing iron hooks for our coats. Bulky or heavy coats or those without any hanging loop can be hung on a hanger and then hung on the hook. The shelf will get renewed with dark wicker baskets liked with rich materials to house the seasonal gear. I will likely rehang the existing ‘leash’ shelf and I’ve found ‘the’ light fixtures to illuminate the entire main floor design without breaking the bank! New paint, baseboards throughout and painted handrails will cap the area. I’m also installing picture shelving to begin the start of a rotating gallery wall of my husband’s photography. I’d love to replace the back door with something ornate and distinctly Moroccan but I think I’ll just settle on a nice clean white door with little detail and a window to add additional light to the space.


I like it when I get something right that excites me! I cannot wait to start the rest of the house (yes, yes – I know I have to actually finish the basement first)!
This week, I’ve my sample board to show and the rendered illustration of the Foyer – the colours may not be exact as I was using a new program to do these illustrations and I’ve not yet settled on the paint colours – when I sat down with my fan decks, I came up with 20 different colours. So my next step is to get my big chits out and pull all the colours out and look at the different combinations and view the colours in the Foyer at different times of day.


Design Tip When stepping outside of your colour comfort zone, it is worthwhile to buy sample jars of the paint and paint a small area of your room. Look at the colour throughout the day and in all the different light that will be in the space. This will help you be able to properly conceptualize the colour. Benjamin Moore sells many of their paints in small pots. If sample paint pots aren’t available, try to order the biggest chits available – most companies offer 8.5x11 sheets – often, however, only available to professionals but it’s worth a try if you’re thinking of painting your living room orange!

This week, I'm heading back into my office to continue to get ready for the basement renovation. I'm hoping to get it cleaned up enough to move my husband's existing office into my office so we can begin emptying the rest of his space and packing up so we can begin the demolition!



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