Tuesday, April 24, 2018

5 Must-Read Tips for a Family-Friendly Interior Design

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It’s important to provide your children with a safe space both during and after the decorating process. You therefore need to invest in the right furniture, paint and layout to create a beautiful home without compromising on your children’s health and happiness. Here are five must-read tips for a family-friendly interior design.

1. Buy Durable Fabrics
Are you planning to buy fabrics for the home? The more durable, the better when living with children. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a fabric sofa or drapes, you will want upholstery that will stand the test of time when raising kids. To identify if a material is durable, simply run your fingers along the fabric. The more noise it creates, the more durable the upholstery will be, meaning it will require less maintenance. Stain-proof, low maintenance materials often include leather, pleather, wool, twill, and felt.

2. Child-Safe Paint
Regardless of whether you are painting your child’s bedroom, embarking on a creative project with your kids, or restoring an antique, you will want to provide your son or daughter with a safe environment. For this reason, you should click here to find eco friendly paint for kids projects or an interior design project, as it will be non-toxic, so is great for your children and planet Earth. Unlike with other paints, you will not need to worry about harmful chemicals damaging your child’s health.

3. Accessorize Out of a Child’s Reach
You do not need to compromise on style when living with children. You simply need to make a few adjustments to your interior design. For instance, you should always accessorize with items that are out of a child’s reach. Add candles, frames, and pewter bowls at the top of a bookcase or shelf they cannot access. You should also ensure the items are immovable when at a height to avoid an injury.

4. Invest in the Right Flooring
Parents will have a million and one tasks to juggle within the home, which is why you will want to select something that’s effortlessly stylish and easy to clean. You will also want to avoid slip and trip hazards within the home. Carpet can therefore be a great choice, especially if your baby is starting to crawl or is a little unsteady on their feet. However, you might want to pull up the carpet as they grow older and replace it with a hardwood floor, as carpet can be unforgiving when children start handling their own food. Consider a rustic, pre-distressed hardwood floor in a medium to dark tone, which can be forgiving in a family home.

5. Use Different Storage Options
Living with children means picking up an endless array of toys and clothing off the floor. Not only can this make your home appear cluttered and unkempt, but loose items can also be a trip hazard. Declutter the space by buying various storage products to maintain a clean, clutter-free, safe space for your children. For example, you can add their toys and books into attractive boxes on open shelves, or you could store board games and shoes in an antique chest.

5 Organization and Care Tips for Home Business

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Running a business from home is a truly rewarding experience. You get to work from your comfortable space and there will be no paying rent or commute expenses. Additionally, you get enough time to take care of your family. However, having your work tools and materials at home will take up some of your living space. If you don’t organize well, your house may soon turn out to be a little messy. Additionally, children can mess up your work files or products, giving you a headache. To ensure this doesn’t happen, consider the following home organization tips.

Choose a Specific Work and Storage Space
While you can work from different spaces, it is essential to have one storage space for your work documents, raw materials, and finished products. This will ensure that your stuff is not scattered around the house. You can choose a specific room in the house, part of a room, the garage or even the basement as your work and storage space. At times, you can work from the living room or outside, but once you are done, bring back your stuff to your dedicated workspace to keep the house tidy.

Storage Containers for Home Organizing
Investing in storage containers, boxes, and baskets for home organizing will help to keep the house tidy. If you are dealing with more than one item, consider having a different container for each. Ensure that the boxes are labeled to avoid confusion and time wastage. For the important documents, you could have a lockable cabinet with a number of drawers. Lost or damaged documents could result in lost sales, so keep products safe.
You could also have some small portable containers for carrying around materials when you want to work outside your dedicated space.  

Protect Your Floors and Surfaces
When you are working from other parts of the house, ensure that you protect your floor and other surfaces. For instance, if you run a T-shirt business, consider placing a protective mat between the T Shirt Maker Machine and the surface. Alternatively, you could have a special table made for your machines. This will help in preserving your floors and surfaces and keeping them stain free. Stains can take time to clear and this makes your house look untidy.

Clean up When You Are Done
When you are done working, clean up and put everything back in the dedicated storage space. Don’t leave things lying around, as this not only makes your house untidy but could also cause injuries to your kids and pets.

Self Storage and Outsourcing
Most small businesses that start from home end up expanding with time. Therefore, when that time comes for you and your space becomes too small to handle the boxes, consider moving some to self-storage facilities. Outsourcing packing and fulfillment can also help in keeping your home tidy. Outsourcing can also give you more time to focus on marketing and sourcing new ideas for your business.

Working from home gives you convenience but do your best to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with the beauty and safety of your house. Keep everything organized and when the business expands, consider seeking storage elsewhere.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Home Security Features Checklist

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After working so hard to buy, furnish, and decorate your home, the last thing you want is a stranger breaking in and stealing or destroying your treasured belongings. Intruders can also harm your family members and thus the safety of your home is something that you should take seriously. While the insurance company can compensate you for the loss and damages, the bad memories may haunt your family especially the young ones. Fortunately, securing your home doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars. Consider the following simple safety tips.

Deadbolt Lock for Outside Doors
Deadbolt locks are great security features for outside doors because they make it hard for someone to forcefully break into your home through the door. This is because unlike standard locks, they have a unique locking mechanism that cannot be opened by crowbars, knives, or other objects. Since they are harder to break, a burglar will give up easily for fear of being caught and if you are inside the house, you will have enough time to call for help.

Having proper lighting outside is also another security feature to keep intruders away at night. When there is light, someone will be scared because you, your neighbors, or even people passing by could easily spot them. To save on energy bills, consider investing in outdoor solar lighting systems.

Security Sensors for Home
Every home should have six types of sensors. These include glass break detectors, motion sensors, door and window sensors, smoke sensors, heat sensors and water leak sensors. When something is not right, the sensors will detect the action and sound an alarm or send an alert to your mobile device.

Home Automation
Thanks to home smart features, homeowners can have better control of their homes from a mobile device. With technology, you can see and monitor what is happening at home while you are away on a trip. If you are considering automation, choose your service provider well, keep your devices away from strangers, and avoid sharing passwords. Be very careful because hackers can also take advantage of vulnerabilities in the system.

Surveillance Cameras
Surveillance cameras can deter intruders and when someone breaks in you will have a chance of identifying them. The system can be connected to your mobile devices, allowing you to check on things when you are away.

Strong and Reliable Garage Door
As you are fixing the outside doors, don’t forget the garage door too. Keep the door locked when the garage is not in use to keep away intruders. This especially critical in cases where you have a connecting door between the house and garage. Garage doors that have lasted for decades should be replaced with modern ones.  If you have a modern door but a problem opening it, consider investing in a new garage door opener system.

Avoid Hiding Keys in the Compound
Hiding the keys under the doormat, flower pot or stones, in the mailbox, and on the window is something that burglars are aware of. Instead, try and have copies made for every member of the family. If you need to have a spare key nearby, give it to one of your neighbors whom you can trust or a family member who lives nearby.  
While security features don’t guarantee that your home will be 100% safe, they can be useful in deterring criminals from breaking in or notifying you before the damage is done. Don’t leave any loopholes that could invite criminals to your home.

Monday, April 16, 2018

DIY Moroccan Wedding Blanket Tassels

As you may be aware that I embarked on this Scandinavian journey to decorate the summer home we built last year. Ever since then, my style has taken a more modern and simplistic turn. I almost see different corners of my house a minimalist photography: it's all about giving the subject the attention it deserves, stripping down a scene so that only the most important elements are included in the frame. It's no longer about "more is more" and "go big or go home". Rather, it's all about relaxing my eyes and keeping the palette clean and quiet. Consequently, I broadened my horizon to embrace those stores I wouldn't necessarily shop at before. Hygge styles are all about how you make them. If you haven't shopped at the H&M Home section, I urge you to check out their web site. Each season H&M came up with a themed look. May it be "warm minimalism" or "serene staycation", all of them are modern, at times rustic, Nordic and incredibly lagom and hygge

Case in point, how awesome is this black dipped stoneware vase with handles? The rug is also from H&M, and I got it on sale for a song. It's handwoven and 100% cotton. 

This whimsical hand vase is also from H&M. I have to say I am really impressed by the quality of their products. If you see something you like, buy them right away because they will sell out quickly. But don't panic if they are out of stock online, just check back from time to time to see if they come back (most of the time they do!). You also have the option to buy them in store. Note in Toronto only the H&M store at Dundas Square carries home goods. 

Now onto the Moroccan Wedding Blanket - does it ever go out of style? Believe it or not, this one is also from H&M, a less elaborate version. 

I love it's 100% cotton, and planed to use it in our loft bedroom. Imagine how incredible the bed would look with this blanket on. Below is the design board of my cottage loft bedroom - I actually don't remember which iteration this one was but I called it final :))

I felt the blanket was a bit too beige and needed some enhancement in dimensions. Tassel was a super easy addition, though a bit time-consuming. 

There are numerous tutorials online on how to make DIY tassels, super easy really. 

I started out wanting to do all black but ended up with cream and black tassels. Remember to use cotton yarns as they are less sleek to work with. They also kick up very little lint so no downsides. 

What I did was I cut a small opening of the hem and inserted the top strings of the tassel into the opening. I then sewed up the opening and secured the rest of the strings to the hem. You probably wouldn't even know those tassels were add-ons if I didn't tell you :))

Now I just need this weather to improve so we can open up our cottage. This girl has a long list of projects that need to get did! 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Tour of Alanna Cavanagh's Art Studio

Last weekend I had the distinct pleasure to tour my favourite illustration artist Alanna Cavanagh's art studio in downtown Toronto. A kid in a candy store would be an accurate way to describe how I behaved. To be able to meet your favourite artist in person and share hugs and laughs was the most fantastic experience. I started following Alanna in 2008 when I first spotted her iconic Big Orange Scissors print featured in the Wish magazine. Ever since then, I've been trying to find ways to incorporate her artworks into my design.

Picture below: Alanna's Eloise and SJP Sparkley Shoe prints on my basement hallway gallery wall.

Now let's take a peek at Alanna's stylish art studio, shall we? No surprise that she has wall-to-wall artworks, all of which appear so effortlessly cohesive. 

Her living room: I love the overall earthy tones with a touch of vibrant orange, so nonchalant, and so very chic! 

Picture below: her bar nook featuring her Big Pear print. I am really loving this modern industrial vibe. 

And her Big Boss Woman print. 

Of course I didn't leave empty-handed: this Bluebell Bouquet print is going all the way to our summer home! 

I even did a mockup on the intended wall.

For now it's looking pretty in our home foyer. I have to break the habit of buying it for cottage and ending up keep it for home :))

Alanna is the nicest and sweetest artist I know. If you are up for some design and art inspirations, great conversations and plenty of laughs, send Alanna an email and book a studio tour with her at alanna@alannacavanagh.com. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Get Your Yard Summer Ready

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Summer is fast approaching, and the sunny, warm months are the perfect time to enjoy lazing outside and soaking up the rays. The light evenings mean that you can enjoy being outside for longer, so in preparation, take the time before the hottest months of the year are upon you to pay attention to how your yard has weathered over the winter, and get it ready for the summer months. Make your yard your serene retreat this summer, decide what needs patching up, cleaned, and replanted, and relax in the knowledge that you have a space for relaxation and calm.

The Conservatory
If you already have a conservatory, ensure that it has maintained its structural integrity during blustering winds and heavy rainfall over the winter. If your conservatory is looking a little worse for wear, then get started with the restoration. It might only need a lick of paint and some filler here and there so don’t be afraid to get stuck in and undertake the work yourself.

However, if you currently lack a conservatory and you’re excited by the prospect of having one of your own, you’re not the only one! Conservatories are an economical way of extending your home to provide additional living space and double up as the perfect place to unwind in the heat of a summer day. Compare Companies can help find quotes from reputable companies to get the ball rolling if you’re keen on having a conservatory in time for summer.

Spread Grass Seed
Your carefully tended lawn suffers when the temperatures soar which means that you are often left with patchy brown grass that doesn’t look appealing. Therefore, you need to make sure you’ve laid plenty of grass seed in time for summer. Scatter the seed over the area you want to cover and make sure you give it plenty of water.

Patio and Decking 
A patio is a great space to add a table and chairs ready for BBQ season. If you don’t have one, consider adding paving slabs yourself to one corner of your yard and making a small entertaining area. If you feel happier leaving this job to the professionals, ensure that you contact a building contractor first. Decking serves the same purpose, and it stays warm since it’s crafted from wood. Think about how much time you want to spend sunbathing and relaxing in your yard, and plan appropriately. If you know that you’re going to want to spend your free time outside, then seriously consider getting decking or patio as part of your yard.

Flowers and plants can cheer up any area where you plant them. After all, they bloom vibrantly in the summer, so ensure you’ve planted many of different varieties. If you’re unsure about which to plant, then conduct some research about where and how to give your flowers the best chance of flowering. Flowers and plants will improve the appearance of your yard tenfold and will succeed in making your yard look and smell summer ready.
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