Wow wow wow I have to start this post with a great big thank you for the love and warm wishes on my video collaboration with Style At Home. If you're just joining me, I recently completed a renovation of my Toronto semi-detached home which took so long I had not one, but TWO babies in the process. And we filmed it, just to add to the general chaos. You can also check out the other videos in the series here and here.
There were 2 aspects I found really difficult while renovating:
1. Indecision. I had paralysis about EVERYTHING, for fear of making the wrong decision. I over thought every single decision and carried around finishes in my purse everywhere I went. It was terrible. If I were to do it again I would have tried to be a bit more objective and treat myself like I would a client.
2. Exhaustion. Partially from the decision making, and partially from the regular displacement and lack of routine that can come from living through a major reno.
But we made it- and the bathroom in particular really helps our family to thrive. Using a barn door and a wider than normal door opening allows us to make the hallway feel like the bathroom, giving us the extra space a family of 5 kids desperately needs.
I've seen it with countless parents as clients- and we were exactly the same- parents often put themselves last. The master bedroom is way too often where stuff gets dumped. And as you'll see in the video our closet was a literal avalanche of crap. I'll let you in on a secret- the film guys asked if we made it look that messy on purpose cause we were filming. NOPE! THAT IS JUST HOW GROSS WE WERE!!!!!
You can watch the transformation below or click here.
I hope this video has given you some inspiration to put yourself first and tackle your own little oasis.
To help get you started I’ve compiled all the items used in my house, PLUS a fun PDF on how to survive a renovation with kids to jump start your plans.
Just enter your email below to get all the goodies in your inbox.
For the next 4 weeks I am doing something I have never done before- I am taking a sabbatical.
For 4 weeks I am taking a planned sabbatical not just from my work- I am also removing all social media accounts from my phone.
If you know me well, you will know this is radical for me. My phone is literally by my side at all times. It is the last thing I look at in bed and the first thing I pick up when I wake up. I don't think I have gone longer than 2 hours without looking at my phone- probably shorter to be honest.
I debated this decision really heavily- things at Lisa Canning Interiors are as busy as they have ever been. My online life is a beautiful one and full of really fun people I have loved getting to know. Even just moments before writing this post I almost caved and called it all off.
But I am confident that this is the right time to be unplugging. Here are a few reasons why:
1. I was more focused on sharing my life than living it.
In the pursuit of growing my platform, there was a point recently where I was becoming obsessed with grabbing and sharing "the shot", writing "the post", and literally having anxiety from not posting something somewhere within a 12-hour period. Here is an analogy- we don't rest so we can work better, we work so that we can rest. Similar is true with life and social media. We should share beautiful things we experience in life, not live so we can can create more Instagram content.
2. My phone has become an escape mechanism.
I used to justify this- I used to justify that my phone allowed me to be connected to the outside world, connected to a world of fancy high heeled grown ups when in the midst of the chaotic grind of messy mothering. While the connection is great, and social media a powerful tool for building community (and high heels are amazing!) it can also be really challenging. Comparison can creep in, jealousy can permeate, and for me I was spending so much time in rabbit trail after rabbit trail with no final destination in sight. It was also eating up a lot of my limited free time.
3. I am mentally not as available for my family as I would like to be.
This is a really hard one for me to admit. I have realized that while I am physically present to my husband and kids, there are too many times I am not mentally present. There are too many times I am just finishing up one last post, or checking one last comment, or irritated that I have to put my phone down one more time to tend to someone's needs that aren't my own.
So I am going on a 4 week hiatus- with some things pre-programmed on my various social media accounts in my absence. I have handed my email and business duties off to my incredible staff, and if you're looking for me I will be "hands-free" parenting my 5 gorgeous kids.
Taking a sabbatical might not be realistic for you right now, but here are some questions you can ask yourself to check your relationship with social media:
– How much time do I spend with my phone? Is it at the expense of my relationships?
– How much time do I invest in getting the "perfect" shot to share? Does it impact my relationships or schedule?
– Am I more concerned with sharing than I am living my life?
– Do my social media feeds make me feel more (or less) adequate?
– How much time do I spend every day on social media?
Social media enables lots of good things- but part of designing the best life possible for yourself is about putting the BEST things over the good things. And that is why I am suddenly checking my relationship with social media during my sabbatical.
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know we embarked on a pretty ambitious renovation of our Toronto semi-detached home in 2015. We started it when we were a family of just 3 kids- and finished it as a family of 5!
You read that right- designing and renovating my own space took FOREVER (enough time to have not one, but two babies!) for a plethora of reasons (read: indecision, procrastination, busy working on client renovations, more indecision, more procrastination, more babies, LOL etc. etc. etc.)
Well I am so excited to share that while we renovated- we also filmed the experience. I partnered with Style At Home.com, one of Canada’s leading shelter magazines, and brought cameras in to capture what it is like to go through a reno in the city, do it with a ton of kids involved, and come out the end with a family home we LOVE.
The transformation is kinda crazy- I’d love for you to join us along for the ride. Watch below or click here.
I hope this video has given you some inspiration to make your own home amazing for your family.
To help get you started I’ve compiled all the items used in my house, PLUS a fun PDF on how to survive a renovation with kids.
Just enter your email below to get all the goodies in your inbox.
Physical fitness has recently become a big time priority to me, as I revealed in a blog post last week. So much so, that for the last One Room Challenge, I decided to makeover my home gym. If you're going to exercise, which let's face it, is hard work- and if you're anything like me, getting to the gym can be quite the endeavor (if my trainer did not show up at my house I would still be in the 3-poutine a week shape I once was in). So I chose to create a space that would make working out fun and inspiring. Here are 5 essentials to a modern home gym that you'll actually work out in:
1. A FUN PATTERNED FLOOR
I think a gym is a really fun place to try out a bold patterned floor. A pattern this intense might be a bit too much for a bedroom for example, but in a space where energy is literally required for exercise, I think it's a fun design decision. There are tons of ways to achieve a patterned floor- I used FLOR carpet tiles that come in pre-designed configurations (or of course you can customize your own!).
2. ARCHITECTURAL MOULDINGS
When I think of typical gym designs, I think of clip on wall to wall mirrors, and not a ton of style. Consider adding details that would be applied in a residential setting- like crown and applied mouldings. The level of elegance and modern edge when painted out a uniform colour is so fun and unexpected in a gym I argue- and bonus, if you ever want to convert the space back to a bedroom, it will be one elegant space. I used Metrie's Very Square collection for baseboards, crown and applied moulding.
3. A LEANING MIRROR
Again, instead of a wall-to-wall mirror, I opted to go with a casual leaning mirror (picked up for a steal at HomeSense!). You can check out your form and bounce off some light- but again it feels more residential and decor based than it does a commercial gym. I flanked mine with some really adorable (and also crazy inexpensive) sconces from Canadian Tire's Canvas colelction.
4. BAR FRIDGE
I was a bit skeptical at how much we would actually use this fridge (our house is not so big that you can't walk next door to grab a drink). But when you've got a hundred kids like I do, and your "you time" is precious and few, it is pretty amazing to lock the door, crank the music, and enjoy a beverage uninterrupted. Keep the fridge stocked with bottles of water, apples, and if budget allows fantastic pressed juices- I love Juice Matters.
5. INTEGRATED SOUND SYSTEM
This is an amazing element to factor in to your budget- the sound on our integrated Sonos system is so great- and so practical to exercise to as no cables or cords get in the way. Sonos players are controlled by your phone and we stream music off our iTunes account, Spotify or local radio. The sound is so robust and a fun addition to our mdoern home gym.
What are your essentials when working out at home? Love to know in the comments below.