ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 5: RACE TO THE FINISH LINE

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 5: RACE TO THE FINISH LINE

If it's your first time to the blog- welcome to my little corner of the internet where I talk about Interior Design, Productivity, Family and my design business. Happy to have you here for another installment of the One Room Challenge, this fantastic challenge set out by Linda at Calling It Home. It's going to be a mild race to next week's finale, but I am pretty pumped with my progress- cause look at these floors! 

With the help of Creekside Tile, I came up with this fun idea to use a normal 12" x 24" porcelain tiles in 3 different colours. Originally, I was going to order tiles half the size, or have these cut in half (which would have been an expensive option). But when I saw these in person, I actually liked the scale. And really I am just in love with how you can use a practical, reasonably priced product, and with a little ingenuity use it in a unique way. Thrilled with the results. 

It will be a serious race to the finish line but so happy to be racing alongside all my fellow ORC participants. You can see what the 20 featured participants are up to here, and what the 150+ linking participants are up to here. Thanks for following along! 

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 4: WHY I LOVE DEADLINES

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 4: WHY I LOVE DEADLINES

For a good part of 2014 I ran the design team on Buying and Selling with the Property Brothers. So I am used to racing to the finish line. To get ready for reveal days, we would sometimes work until 2am to get an entire main floor to camera ready perfection. It was grueling, sometimes gruesome, but gorgeous results always came. So deadlines don't scare me. In fact, completing a space in 48-hours actually makes me excited!  

But this time it's a little different. I don't have a big team, I don't have a big budget, and I'm juggling lots of other work and life demands while completing this laundry room project for the One Room Challenge (you can get caught up on my progress herehere and here). Which, may I say, the ORC is such a cool concept- complete a room in 6 weeks and blog about it in real time. Linda, if you ever find yourself in Toronto drinks are on me! Love the support and mutual celebration I am seeing demonstrated among bloggers and designers across North America and beyond! So great to celebrate each other and highlight so much talent. 

This week has been slow and steady, impacted by the fact that I thought I was in full on labour last Friday, and the fact that I had to wait on stock for one of my tile colours. So while I wait for stuff to happen this is what we do at the Canning House:

Mommy tries to take a selfie and my youngest wants to play too. While we were doing this, a team was at work downstairs. The space is now fully drywalled, insulated, and ready for tiling. Speaking of tile:

I've committed to a fun, graphic approach to the floor in three shades of grey. For my backsplash, continuing the graphic treatment with matte white 4" x 16" tiles in a herringbone pattern which will be such a fun contrast against the floor. Massive thanks to Enrique and his creative team at Creekside Tile in Toronto who helped me resolve a ton of indecision! So wonderful to work with vendors who can expertly guide and offer awesome design insights.  

So as you can see it's going to be a BIG push to get this puppy done, but bring it on! I have been loving following the progress of the featured 20 One Room Challenge participants, and everyone included in the ORC Linking Event! A big hello to all my new friends : )  

THE COOLEST ECO-LIGHT BULB I HAVE EVER SEEN

THE COOLEST ECO-LIGHT BULB I HAVE EVER SEEN

Where possible in my home and in my business I try to operate as eco-friendly as possible. This includes composting, recycling, reducing paper use, and using energy-efficient light bulbs. But let's keep it real- the spiral shaped bulbs are not the most attractive. And with exposed bulbs being so popular in design right now they aren't the most esthetically pleasing choice. 

Say hello to the Nanoleaf Gem, as shown on the ends of my Atelier Nomade rope light installation in my daughter's room. 

When a bulb is exposed like this it really is crucial that the actual bulb looks fabulous too. The Nanoleaf Gem satisfies that and then some with its faceted design and opaque white colour. It casts a soft warm white colour which is so lovely (compared to the more harsh white of typical energy-efficient bulbs) and it's shatter resistant which is great for a home with small kids like mine. Unlike other LEDs, which are too bright and harsh for atmosphere lighting, the Nanoleaf Gem is the first LED that has the same inviting light as an incandescent while using just a fraction of the energy. 

They are launching this new product today on Earth Day. Here's to great design that also helps conserve on energy. Where do you try to conserve energy in your home? Love to know in the comments below. 

5 MOTIVATING PEOPLE YOU SHOULD FOLLOW TODAY

5 MOTIVATING PEOPLE YOU SHOULD FOLLOW TODAY

When I am overwhelmed with life I have a few tools in my back pocket I go to often. But my favourite technique to battle overwhelm is to simply fill my brain with as much good stuff as possible- meaning reading things that fill my soul, make me better, and following people with great practical tips in general. So today I would love to share my favourite motivating people to follow on the internet- and why you should follow them too.

 1. Michael Hyatt

So it's no secret I am a fan of Michael Hyatt. In early 2014 my husband introduced me to his blog and book. His blog, podcast and membership site Platform University are great sources for leadership development, how to be a great blogger / writer / platform builder, and I just love overall his attitude towards living with intention and integrity. 

You should check out: this podcast interviewing Greg McEwen, authour of Essentialism. Amazing stuff on the disciplined pursuit of less.

2. Marie Forleo

I swear my baby is going be born with a New Jersey accent I have been listening to so much of Marie's content. She is just awesome. With her happy, sometimes a little crass, everything is figure-out-able attitude, you can't help but be in a good mood after listening to her helpful videos on getting more done in less time and overcoming fear and self doubt. 

Fellow entrepreneurs check out: her video on how to determine how much to charge.

3. TIM FERRISS

​I have just discovered his platform and what intrigues me is his approach to lifestyle design. He has several products with the 4-hour promise: 4-Hour Work Week, 4-Hour Chef, 4-Hour Body, etc. Essentially he is full of strategies and hacks to be efficient and get more done in less time. I look forward to delving into his content more. 

Favourite thing so far: he suggests to check your email ONLY TWICE A DAY. This would be a huge departure from my current behaviour- but I totally see the merit and how it would save me a TON of time. 

4. LYNNE KNOWLTON

I have known Lynne through the Toronto blogging scene for a little while now, but when you read her blog, I feel like you really get to know her. Her blog is full of design tips, cool DIY projects, crazy helpful blogging strategies, but the best is Lynne's vulnerable self that is pretty darn motivating (and often times so funny you'll be crying) even in the worst of moods. 

Don't miss: her family's story of cancer, why your voice matters and 40 funny things about men – this last one had me laughing SO hard. 

5. Stu McLaren

Doesn't this picture say it all? Sign up for his emails for regular motivating posts on growing your platform while making more time for the things that really matter. Stu practices what he preaches by making time for his charity he runs (with his wife!) World Teacher Aid.

For visual motivation: Check out his instagram feed filled with great quotes. 

Who are your favourite motivational people to follow online? Love to now in the comments below.  

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 3: DEMO AND FRAMING

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE WEEK 3: DEMO AND FRAMING

If this your first time to the blog welcome! To refresh your memory, I'm participating in the One Room Challenge, this fun and ambitious project where I am completing a room, in real time, in 6 weeks. Get caught up here and here. And did I mention I am having a baby super soon?!?!? Nothing like a baby coming to keep a girl motivated… 

So we have gutted the room which as you might remember was FULL OF CRAP. Tip for purging a room of its contents: have a ruthless friend with you who can ensure you actually purge instead of going on a sentimental road trip of delusion. Purge that stuff and get it gone. Speaking of purge here was our crazy old, crazy heavy cast iron sink:

And here it is broken in two to make way for a beautiful new modern sink cabinet.

Confessions of a pregnant renovator who should really know better since I do this for a living advising clients all the time: I get super overwhelmed when it comes to my own home. It's like I completely forget all my years of experience and the fact that people pay me to do this for them. People pay me to be their cheerleader, be their strategic guide. For some BIZARRE reason, that all goes out the window for my own home and I become an emotional lunatic (#uglycry). Any other ORC participants feel the same way?

I'll be back next Thursday with lots more progress- some of my finishes will be installed over the next week and then it's going to be a close to the wire finish- which also could be dramatically impacted by the arrival of our 5th child. Stay tuned for all the drama! To keep up with the mayhem of all the One Room Challenge featured bloggers click here, and for fellow linking party participants click here.

Special thanks to the team at Black General Contracting who have been so helpful with this tight deadline : )