CREATING THE ULTIMATE CRAFT ROOM

CREATING THE ULTIMATE CRAFT ROOM

I wouldn't exactly call me a crafter (my lifestyle of 6 children and a business means I am more of a DIFM than a DIY-er), but I might change my ways after creating this space for my most recent sponsored makeover! I partnered with some incredible brands to create this craft room for the most gracious client who runs an essential oils business from home and boasts an incredible collection of ribbons, paper and paints for her various craft projects. We created a craft room that I think is pretty ultimate- here are some essential things to consider if you want to create your own:

1. KEEP IT COLOURFUL

If you can't have fun with colour in a craft room, where can you have fun? In this case, we went with a beautiful teal called Sylvan Mist by Benjamin Moore. It's soft and inviting but definitely saturated enough to be whimsical and playful! I think it's also a really fun accent to the MDF tongue and groove we applied to the walls from Metrie

And I had to add a bit of colour with the cabinet hardware. Shayne Fox Hardware is a newcomer to the Toronto artisan community and her hand-made in Toronto hardware really is a piece of art. We used her cast bronze knobs in bright bronze for a pop of contrast against the white cabinets. 

And again because it's a craft room and why not, we chose a bold colour on the chairs- these stools from Wayfair provide a fun pop against the white base cabinetry. And don't forget about accessories- even in stationary products you can incorporate colour like these paper clips and feather shaped pen holder (and pens!) from Home Sense.

2. KEEP PRACTICALITY IN MIND

A craft room has to be really practical- keep paint spills, sticky fingers, and general mess in mind! For this reason, I wanted a really durable, but beautiful floor. I used ErthCovering's Tivoli natural stone plank, which has the texture of wood but the durability and liquid resistance of stone. 

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And because it is a craft room, including a sink makes so much sense. We used the Delta Cassidy faucet, with Touch20 technology which allows you to simply tap anywhere on the faucet when the handle is in the on position. When your hands are covered in glitter glue, and the faucet is as pretty as this, you better believe that Touch20 capability comes in handy! I also love how the pull-down spout is integrated so elegantly in the design, and you can position elements like the spray toggle and handle as per your personal preference. Finally, I love how the Champagne Bronze finish looks with the SFH knobs.  

3. KEEP IT COZY

This room is in the basement adjacent to the backyard entrance and as a result, it is cold and drafty, especially in the winter. To keep it cozy, we put in the Celeste stove by Dimplex. My favourite thing about this electric fireplace is just how portable, and easy to install it is. It provides instant warmth, and a cozy atmosphere to a space, with very little fuss, mess, or expense. And this pop of colour in this carpet from Home Sense completes this cozy vignette!

And to help with that exterior draft, we replaced the window with an energy star rated, top quality vinyl window in white by Fieldstone Windows, and finished it off with Metrie's Very Square casing to keep the details contemporary. 

4. KEEP IT PERSONAL

Again, I feel like a craft room is where you can get really fun and personal. This homeowner loves the outdoors, nature, and essential oils! So I worked with Posterjack to create
all of the artwork in the room using personal photos to create unique pieces. With an assortment of styles and sizes to choose from including my choices Canvas Prints, Framed Prints, and Acrylic Prints you can really create a customized look featuring your own photos.
 

5. KEEP IT ORGANIZED

This is arguably the most important one! Keeping craft supplies organized (rather than jumbled in large plastic containers like mine currently are!) really is the key to an ultimate craft room. And the best solution to this, hands down, is strategic storage cabinetry. I partnered with Tailored Living on this project, a custom whole home organization company with franchise locations across Canada and the US. They provide all the tools to create effective storage solutions that will help you meet your organizational goals. In a craft room, this means a combination of shallow drawers for small items like essential oils and paper, base cabinets for tall bottles and jars, and tall cabinets for rolls of wrapping paper and banners.

Colourful baskets from Home Sense keep the interiors neat and tidy.

And the best part? Tailored Living will come and take care of it all for you. From free in-home initial consultation, to 3D design, quote and installation, you are guided through the process in a streamlined, organized manner. 

What do you think? Could you see yourself crafting up a storm in this space? Let me know in the comments below.

Special thanks to all the brands that partnered with me on this makeover. I work very hard to research the brands I work with- I love working with brands that will make your life more beautiful, organized and intentional. Opinions are my own. Photos by Dann Tardiff. 

If you enjoyed this blog post and seek even more organization in your life, why don't you join me and hundreds of others in my 7-day declutter challenge! Just enter your details below and you'll be on your way to a more beautiful, organized home! 
 

 

WHY EVERY BEDROOM NEEDS A FIREPLACE

WHY EVERY BEDROOM NEEDS A FIREPLACE

Where I live in Toronto, Canada, we have had an incredibly cold winter. Like minus 30, freeze your toes, can't feel your face cold. And these cold temperatures have got me craving everything spring! But until then, it's cozy scarves, fur blankets, and doing everything I can to stay cozy at home.

So in the spirit of staying cozy at home, I am excited to be partnering with Dimplex, the leader in electric heating, and creator of some incredibly beautiful electric fireplace units. Now, I know what you might be thinking- an electric fireplace? Can you really use the word electric fireplace, and beautiful, in the same sentence?

In a recent project I have affectionately been calling A Tale of Two Houses, I designed two homes, for two neighbours, with totally different styles. The houses are mirror images of each other, and their styles are totally different (one more modern, and one more traditional).

So when it came time to design the bedrooms, I knew I wanted a fireplace in each of them. Fireplaces in the bedroom, regardless of what climate you live in, are so essential to me- so I want to walk you through why I think every bedroom needs a fireplace.

1. Nothing like that ambient glow

A fireplace provides an ambient glow that is just so cozy, and inviting, in a bedroom. I love making a bedroom feel like an escape, and a sanctuary. And an ambient glow does just that for me! 

In this bedroom, we used some pretty amazing technology by Dimplex called Opti-myst. Opti-myst is revolutionary ultrasonic technology that creates a lifelike flame and smoke look using water. Check out how the "flame" dances in my YouTube video here. The technology allows for some pretty cool installation opportunities, including 360 degree, free standing units, with no glass enclosure! In this bedroom I designed, the "flame" dances around in the open space in a truly magical way- and is a great option where little fingers that may get burned are a concern.

2. Controllable heat

While I definitely use gas fireplaces in my projects, one downside of gas is that it gets incredibly hot, incredibly quick. And in a small space, it can be overwhelming. A benefit of electric in a bedroom, especially those on the smaller size, is that you can control the heat really well. In this bedroom, we used the 34" Prism Series by Dimplex. Simple installation, a beautiful modern aesthetic, and controllable heat make this a winner for me, especially in smaller bedrooms.  

Don't get me wrong- when I am freezing outside and want to warm up, quick heat is essential. But I also don't want to feel uncomfortably hot- so I love how you can control the heat level with a remote control- even from bed! 

3. Easy install and instant results

This is the major benefit that an electric fireplace unit has over other options- incredibly simple installation. You can in many cases, in an afternoon, pick up and install your fireplace in your bedroom and have instant warmth in your space (caveat- you will need to make sure you have the correct electrical outlet to handle the amperage of the fireplace- but other than that, install can be very simple!) Warmth and ambiance can be only a few steps away!  

How are you staying warm this winter? Leave me a comment below and let me know : ) 

Special thanks to Dimplex for partnering with me on this blog post. I work very hard to research the brands I work with to provide info that will make your life more beautiful, and more functional.

DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS WITH KIDS OF ALL AGES FEATURING THE NEW BUGABOO DONKEY2

DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS WITH KIDS OF ALL AGES FEATURING THE NEW BUGABOO DONKEY2

I love Christmas, especially the decorating part! But involving a bunch of little people, of all different ages and abilities, without too many tantrums or feelings of being left out can be somewhat of an interesting challenge. Today I am teaming up with Bugaboo to share how I get my little squad involved in our holiday decorating.

This year, I did not think we’d be able to decorate for the holidays as we listed our house for sale and figured we would have to keep our house nice and neutral- but since the house sold, we’ve been having fun with all the Christmas things, including getting our outdoors prepared for the holidays.

My kids are 8, 7, 5, 4, 2 and almost 12 months. My older kids are very vocal about how our home is decorated, and my little kids love trying to keep up with the big guys. At first, I thought I could get away with the little guys staying inside and watching us work through the window, but a few protests proved this strategy to not be a winner! So I bundled up the little guys in our new Bugaboo Donkey2 to join us in all the outdoor decorating action.

The brand new Bugaboo Donkey 2 is a really versatile stroller that can grow with your family (there has literally never been a time we have not needed a stroller in my house!) From birth up to three years, the stroller expands from a single stroller with side luggage basket, to a side-by-side double with full storage underneath in just a few simple clicks. And when you have as many kids as I do, storage in a stroller is super essential- I can store so many things in the storage compartment, including Christmas wreaths and ribbons!

My favourite thing about our double stroller is how it provides our family the opportunity to maneuver through our activities (like decorating for Christmas!) as a crew. The new foam tires mean no filling the tires with air, and the stroller can navigate crowded malls or outdoor trails. The little kids don’t have to feel left out, and they do their best to “help” where they can.

And in true Bugaboo fashion, the stroller comes in a multitude of fabrics to reflect your personal style. Choose from three base fabric color options and 11 different color options for the sun canopy and side luggage basket cover.

The holidays are really about creating family memories and spending aimless time together. How does your family get ready for the holidays all together as a crew? Leave me a comment and let me know : )

Special thanks to Bugaboo for partnering with me on this post. To learn more about the new Bugaboo Donkey2 click here.

HOW TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR LAUNDRY ROOM

HOW TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR LAUNDRY ROOM

Laundry rooms are on of my favourite spaces to design. I’m not sure if it’s because they are often dark and dingy neglected spaces where storage items go to die (anyone remember what my laundry room used to look like?!), or if it’s because it’s an area where so much care happens for a family (we do minimum one load a day for my family of 8), but whatever my attachment, I just love the opportunity a laundry room presents to do something fun!

In my newest sponsored makeover at the lovely Jenn Pike‘s home, we created a customized laundry room for her family of four. This space presented quite the design dilemma as it has to serve a lot of purposes. Jennifer’s home has no garage, no basement, and no outdoor shed. So this room has to fit off season clothing, sports equipment, paint cans, and random odds and ends. Plus, it has to function as a space to wash, sort and fold clothing!

If you’re looking to give your laundry room a refresh soon, here are a few ways you can add some custom elements to your space.

1. START WITH COLOUR

I think the laundry room is the perfect spot to inject a bold hit of colour- you can be more adventurous that you might typically be in a bedroom or living room. With all the natural light Jenn gets in this space, I knew we could go dark and bold- so I used Benjamin Moore’s Bermuda Blue 2061-30
on the custom cabinets and picked up the colour in this beautiful patterned rug from HomeSense, and these striped towels by Pamuk and Co.  Bright, bold colour in any application (but especially in painted millwork!) can really make a space look and feel more custom and original.

2. ADD ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS

Another way to instantly make a space look more custom is to add architectural details. We changed the swing on the original door to open against the staircase to maximize the space in the actual laundry room, and replaced the interior door with this beautiful Metrie Pretty Simple door with Millenium patterned glass. In addition, we wrapped the entire room in Metrie’s MDF tongue and groove to create a shiplap look. I like shiplap (and all mouldings, really) as it provides a subtle texture to a room. And I am all about wrapping it on every wall, especially in small spaces.

3. CUSTOMIZE YOUR STORAGE

Strategic storage makes me REALLY happy. Proper storage is essential to keeping a space clutter free, and a family from feeling overwhelmed by stuff! I designed the millwork here 36″ deep to give the family LOTS of space for large, bulky storage. But to make sure these large cavities remain really practical, I used a series of large, easy view bins by neatfreak .to keep things that require more frequent access like towels and cleaning supplies in plain sight.

This 3-Tier Home Storage Organizer by neatfreak  provides ample storage for Jenn’s collection of yoga gear and hides pool toys and sports equipment conveniently close to the backyard entrance. I like the portability of this unit- the entire thing can be picked up and brought outside for easy access.

With space at such a premium, I had to maximize literally every available square inch. This triple sorter laundry system with built in ironing board by neatfreak allows Jenn to create an additional surface area for laundry sorting and folding, and eliminates the need for a folding ironing board, saving precious storage space!

Lastly, we created custom floating shelves out of the same Belanger laminate counter we used to provide room for additional storage and decorative display.

They key to customizing storage is to think of the specific activities that need to be performed in a space, and then select the bins or systems that will make it easy for you to stay organized.

4. ADD SOME BLING

I love me some handcrafted cabinet hardware, and these pieces by Shayne Fox Hardware are my current obsession. These bright bronze pulls and knobs are made out of cast bronze, and are finished in what is called a “living finish”- they are going to oxidize, and patina over time. With Jenn’s commitment to natural living I thought this collection was such a great fit for her family.

And we continued by obsession with all things bronze with the Cassidy faucet by Delta in Champagne Bronze. A small hit of a warm metal is a really on trend way to provide a custom element in your laundry room.

5. CUSTOMIZE YOUR CLEANING

And finally, don’t forget you can customize the most important aspect of your laundry room, your washer and dryer. We selected a stackable washer and dryer by Whirlpool to maximize all available space. The front load machines offer a multitude of settings that allow Jenn’s family to wash and dry everything from well worn sports gear, to delicate dance costumes. The Load & Go system holds enough detergent to wash 12 loads of laundry, so you can fill it and forget it while the Precision Dispense releases the right amount of detergent at the right time so all your family’s clothes receive the best care. Available in three finishes, we went white as a bold contrast against the blue cabinetry.

Creating a space to provide the care for a family that laundry is so important- I hope this makeover gave you some ideas to try in your own space!

Special thanks to the brands mentioned above for providing product and partnering with me on this project. I love recommending products that will make a family’s life more beautiful, and easier. Opinions are very much my own! 

HOW TO FIND YOUR FAMILY’S UNIQUE INTERIOR DESIGN STYLE

HOW TO FIND YOUR FAMILY’S UNIQUE INTERIOR DESIGN STYLE

Interior design to me is so much more than beautiful things. If you’ve been following my adventures on YouTube, you know how passionately I feel about families thriving at home, and how your home sets the stage for lasting memories.

But how do you actually do that? How do you create a home that is not only beautiful, but reflects your family’s unique personality and style?

As I share in my most recent video, I just wrapped a project I am calling A Tale of Two Houses, where I worked with two unique families, who are neighbours, who allowed me to work with them to make their homes their own. You can tour the more modern kitchen here, and the more transitional kitchen here.

If you want to find your unique style but don’t know where to start, here are a few steps to help start the process.

1. COLLECT IMAGES

Go on to a website like Pinterest or Houzz (or just grab plain ‘ol fashion magazines) and collect images without any judgement or filter. Just collect anything that sparks joy, anything that makes you feel good, anything that gives you a glimpse of what you want your future to look like. Collect atleast 50 images, and pay attention to any images that might come back on repeat a few times.

2. FIND SIMILARITIES

Now that you have collected a large grouping of images, look for similarities in the images. Perhaps you have collected lots of white kitchens, kitchens with generous islands, living rooms with applied mouldings, etc. Identify some common themes and place them in like groups/

3. GIVE THESE GROUPS NAMES

Find some words to describe these groups. Think of words like: farmhouse, modern, traditional, Scandinavian, retro, bohemian, transitional, etc. If you’re lost for the words, look at the article the image may have come from or the advertisement it appeared in for key words.

4. GO SHOPPING WITH THESE WORDS

Now that we have done a bit of research, and have a few words to guide us, test out these words on the market. When you walk into a store, what lights you up? When you’re in a kitchen showroom, what are the details that make you really excited? Do these items match up with the words you wrote down? If you’re stuck, work with a designer  to help you articulate your style in a really clear way.

Now your job is to use these words as your funnel, or filter, for all your decorating decisions. For some fun practical examples of what I mean, hit play on the video below!

TRANSITIONAL KITCHEN REVEAL: A TALE OF TWO HOUSES

TRANSITIONAL KITCHEN REVEAL: A TALE OF TWO HOUSES

If you have been following me for a while you know I have taken part a few times in Calling It Home's One Room Challenge. I have completed my home gym, and my laundry room in this mad dash challenge, and just this past spring I completed this amazing modern kitchen. If you've been following along, you know I attempted to complete not one, BUT TWO kitchens, for neighbours who built houses and both worked with me at the exact same time in this series I am affectionately calling A Tale of Two Houses. Due to realities beyond my control, the second kitchen didn't make it to the finish line. But now… I get to share it in its finished glory for you here! 

 We kept it tried and true and classic in this kitchen. A beautiful, classic grey on the island with all kinds of trim goodness, and white cabinets for the win. 

We used the Cassidy faucet collection by Delta on the island faucet, the pot filler, and the main sink on the back counter. The gorgeous curves of these pieces fit in so nicely with the transitional style of this space. 

And to keep things interesting we repeated the island colour in the pantry area for a nice pop of contrast.

I love creating spaces that reflect the personality and lifestyle of the people who live there. Interior design is so much more than paint and pretty things. Interior design sets the stage for lasting memories for families to make at home. It matters, and it's important- and designing homes for families so they can thrive at home is a job I take very seriously. 

What do you think? Are you more classic and prefer greys and whites, or could you bo bold with a blue island? Tell me in the comments below. 

Cheers to designing your beautiful life,

Lisa

Photos by the talented Arnal Photography.