Wednesday, September 12, 2018

How to Maximize the Feeling of Home Space

~ This is a featured post.~ 

It doesn’t matter whether you live in a single room apartment or a three-story house, there will never seem to be enough room for all your belongings. Owning a bigger home will be a dream for many of you. However, unless you’re left a sizeable inheritance or win the lottery, you’ll be forced to make the best of what you’ve already got. Making the most of the space you’ve got is possible. Take note of the following tips, and your home will stop feeling claustrophobic and cluttered. Maximize the space in your home, and you and your family will feel free and comfortable.

Start by Decluttering
The best place to start, before you start looking at the latest interior design trends and spending money, is to offload some of the junk that is cluttering up your rooms. Over the years it’s amazing how much clutter you can gather. Before you know it, you’ll be losing things, have nowhere to sit and struggling to keep your home clean. If you’ve got kids, then the problem is even bigger. Start in the basement, if you’ve got one, and work up to the attic.

Maximizing Space in the Kitchen
A lack of space in the kitchen can be very frustrating. It might seem like a good idea to have everything near and close to hand, but when you’ve got a galley kitchen, it can feel very limiting. All the utensils, pots and pans will be piled on top of one another, and there will be no room for anyone else to get in and help prepare food.

Brightening up the room will make a difference, so consider keeping the window treatments to a minimum. If there are no neighbors overlooking your property you could do away with them all together. A roller blind could be an option if you’re worried about your privacy.

Maximizing Space in the Living Room
Your living room should be somewhere you can retire to when you want to relax. If it’s cluttered and feels small, you’re not going to be keen on holding dinner parties or inviting friends over to watch a movie. In a small living room, you can make a difference by choosing a few larger accessories rather than lots of smaller ones.

Look for a dining table and chairs that can be folded away when not being used. Alternatively, get rid of the giant dining table and choose a small, round dining table instead.

Have you mounted your TV on the wall yet? If not, now’s the time to get that space waster up there and reclaim some of your floor space.

If your living room is also used as an office space keeping it organized can be a full-time job. Look for multi-functional furniture and make good use of any storage space you have.  

Maximizing Space in the Bathroom
The bathroom is often the smallest room in a house and generally dark and dingy. Give the illusion of more space with carefully positioned mirrors. It will also bounce the light around, which will again give the illusion of more space. Using mirrors is the oldest trick in the book. Neutral colors are also very useful if you want to fool the eye into thinking a room is more spacious. You’ll need to add subtle patterns, or the space will feel very flat.

If there are a number of people who use the bathroom, open shelving and baskets can be used to hold combs, jewelry, small accessories, makeup, and appliances. Make use of the space under the sink for storing cleaning supplies, towels and toiletries.  

Maximizing Space in the Bedroom   
Did you realize you spend almost a third of your life in your bedroom? Admittedly, most of that time you’ll have your eyes closed, but nevertheless, you still want it to feel warm and inviting not cramped and uncomfortable. If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, it could be the position of your bed that is the problem. To maximize space push your furniture up against the walls and use shelving and storage units that are off the ground, so you’ve got more floor space. Add storage boxes under the bed where you can hide away all your clutter.

Space Saving Outside
While not as important as having more space inside, the exterior of your home should still be inviting. Keep your lawn cut, your flower beds tidy and free of weeds. An unkempt and overgrown backyard will feel like it’s cramped and be unwelcoming. Increase the curb appeal of your home by painting your front entry a bright and cheerful color.  

Design Tips
  • Use light colors – light and airy colors give a room a feeling of openness. Choosing colors that are very similar will have the same effect.
  • Use stripes – stripes can be used to lengthen a room. Choose a striped design for your walls or add a long striped rug. 
  • Draw the eye upwards – this is a trick that is used by designers and will make your windows look bigger. Position your drapes above and a little wider than the edge of the window.
  • Oversized art – it might seem counterintuitive but hanging oversized art on the walls will make a room feel bigger. You don’t need to go crazy. One or two pieces will do.
  • Widen doorways – if you’ve got narrow doorways you can make them appear bigger by painting around the edges in a contrasting color.
  • Multi-functional furniture – a smart choice will be to pick furniture that serves more than one purpose. For example, an ottoman that can be used as a coffee table or a bed that can be folded back and used as a sofa.
  • Add some glass – glass has always been a cool addition to have in your home, but it also helps to free up space.  
Freeing up some of the space in your home and giving the impression that it is bigger than it is will mean you won’t find yourself worrying about renovating or looking for somewhere else to live. If your family is getting larger and you need to maximize space, the tips above will definitely help.

8 Useful Hacks To Declutter Your Home

~ This is a featured post.~

No matter how small your interior space is within your property, there are many ways in which you can truly make it feel more like your own home. If you have recently moved into a new house or apartment and are looking to put your own stamp on the place, or perhaps have children and struggling to keep each room chic and clutter-free, there are many simple hacks you can follow to give your interior space a stylish and cozy boost.

Here are a few tips and tricks on how you can make your home feel less cluttered and more inviting:

1.  Clean up your hallway
The hallway is the very first room of the home that guests will see, therefore, it is important to keep the space free of clutter and ultimately, welcoming. To begin with, it would be best to get rid of any muddy shoes, hanging coats and other bits of added clutter that in a simple phrase can make the whole house seem extremely disordered. One of the best ways of keeping your hallway organized is by investing in a storage bench, in which you can store the likes shoes and bags to prevent a build-up of clutter in your living space.

2.  Color Palettes

The choice of color you decide to paint your walls can have a major impact on making a space seem bright, fresh and airy. It goes without saying that neutral color schemes are far more calming in comparison to bold colors, which are far louder and are destined to make a real statement.  It wouldn’t be advised to use such colors in small rooms, as bold color schemes can often give the illusion of a more confined space. If you live in an apartment, for example, you should keep color palettes fairly neutral to give the impression of fluidity. Find out more tips and tricks on how to achieve stylish
apartment decor.

3.  Be clever with your space

If you have an office within your home, you are likely to have a great deal of stationary, files and books lying around. However, as offices are usually in the spare room, knowing where to store such items can a challenge. One of the best space-saving methods would be to purchase a desk with a range of storage options to keep your belongings organized.

A bathroom can also get cluttered extremely easily with the number of toiletries and cosmetics used on a daily basis and knowing where to store them can be difficult if you have extremely limited cupboard space. One good option would be to make or purchase colorful storage bins to place on shelving. A mirrored bathroom cabinet is also a great idea, as many do contain interior shelving to store extra bits and pieces.

Laundry storage bins are also ideal for keeping washing out of view; which is especially important when guests come to use your bathroom. A tired looking laundry basket isn’t the most attractive of sights, therefore a furniture style piece should blend into the décor well and give a much chicer feel. A traditional style bathroom cabinet is also an idea for combining both style and function; in which it compromises a wash basin at the top and ample storage space underneath. These styles were once extremely popular before plumbing was introduced, but many of those now keen on vintage interior styling are known to revamp old dressers and make them the center piece of the bathroom.

4.  Good lighting
One of the best ways to make your home feel much more inviting would be through the use of good lighting. For full lighting, an overhead light is the best option, however this can become intrusive and uncomfortable on the eyes, so wouldn’t be used to create a comforting environment. Placing floor or table lamps around the room gives a much cozier feel, but steer clear from fluorescent lighting which can make the space feel more like a store, rather than a living space.

5. Symmetry
In order for your space to appear less cluttered, it is always an idea to have a good amount of symmetry in each room to ensure there is good balance and flow. When planning out any interior layout; bear in mind that furniture shouldn’t be placed randomly around the room or it will make the space seem somewhat unorganized. Be aware that the furniture you decide on is appropriate for the space rather than being too oversized, or on the other hand; doesn’t look lost against expansive walls.

6. Shelving
Shelving is an extremely effective way of keeping your home clutter. If you happen to have any rooms in the home that are painted with minimal wall décor, shelving can add that bit of depth and visual interest; especially if you choose to display quirky belongings that fit in with your décor.

7.  Make it match
One of the most exciting parts of decorating the home is choosing furniture items for your main living spaces; however, it can be fairly easy to get carried away with choosing items that are simply just to your taste rather than intending to stick to a particular theme. Aim to avoid a mish-mash of colors and instead, take time to consider the individual color themes for each room before you purchase. A clever idea would be to stick to neutral color palettes so you can swap your furniture items around if you wish to change up the space.

8. Plants

Plants are a great way of inviting a touch of outdoor charm into your home and doesn’t necessarily require you to be a keen gardener either. Plants are an ideal way of filling an empty corner for example and would look great when placed in a vibrant-toned pot against a neutral wall to achieve an eye-catching pop of color. Plants give a sense of calm to any room; but would look particularly great in a living room, kitchen or bedroom.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Master Bathroom (Small) Makeover

For those of you who have been following me on Instagram, you probably know by now that I am giving my master ensuite bathroom vanity a small makeover. No, I am not ripping out the entire vanity. Rather, I will be replacing everything from above the counter, including the counter itself, sinks, faucets (especially faucets, more on that later), mirrors and wall sconces. As a lot of you DM'd me on Instagram, you are right, the vanity looks perfect as is. It's functional and packs a ton of storage. 

Why, you might ask? Getting tired of the look is definitely not one of the reasons. We've had the two-handle faucets from six years ago when we first renovated the master ensuite, and that was six years too long for me to have to put up with them! Granted, two-handle faucets look luxurious and stylish, but, they are just not practical for daily use, at least not for me! I am not the type of person that would leave my tap running when brushing my teeth or washing my hands/face. I would like to turn it off. But imagine trying to turn them off with your hands full of foamy soap and making a mess around the tap which I would need to go into all the grooves to wipe clean later on, no thank you! Give me all the simplicity from the single-handle ones please. Having years of interior decor experience taught me an important lesson: function should always trump style! 

I threw together a quick design board for this small makeover - small in terms of scope but not $$$. This was an expensive lesson. On the upside, I am super excited about the single-handed operation of the tap, and all the stylish (and functional) accessories I picked along with it. The Caesarstone Statuario Nuvo quartz counter will be installed this Friday. I will post some updates next week. If you live in the GTA and are looking for a natural Carrara Marble counter with two sinks and two 4-month new faucets, please message me. You can have the complete set for a song. The dimensions are 72 inches L x 21.5 inches D.  

Monday, September 3, 2018

6 Reasons For Going With Vinyl Flooring

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Vinyl used to be viewed as a budget option when it came to flooring and it always carried a sort of stigma around it, until recently. Vinyl flooring has evolved by leaps and bounds over the last few years and is now becoming a genuine option for both budget and luxury flooring. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages vinyl has to offer and see if it’s the flooring option for you.

It can Genuinely Compete with Hardwood
There was a time when hardwood and vinyl were in two completely different categories. But now, with all the different types of vinyl flooring available, vinyl is up there with hardwood and tile as a high-end option. Luxury vinyl plank, or LVP for short, has many of the advantages of hardwood floors without the disadvantages. For one, it’s incredibly easy to install and can be done in a fraction of the time it would take with hardwood floor.
Second, it’s much cheaper and the difference when it comes to aesthetics is barely noticeable. And you can get tons of different textures too. If you want something that looks like distressed stone in the bathroom or old beech hardwood in the bedroom, the choice is yours.

What’s great is that there will hardly be a difference in price between the two. When compared with any other flooring option, LVP usually beats hardwood, stone and ceramic tiling in terms of price. This can make a huge difference when comes the time to redo the floors for an entire house.

Luxury vinyl tile or planks can replicate textures so well that’s it's almost impossible to see with the naked eye. The type of technology used today produces results that are truly impressive. You can get the texture of any material you want, without the disadvantages and limitations that come with them. You can get stone without it feeling incredibly cold, or hardwood without having to deal with it warping over time.

Another great advantage of luxury vinyl plank flooring is that it’s 100% waterproof. Which means that you can get much more creative and have more flexibility as to which type of look you can go for. Hardwood floors in the bathroom don’t seem so crazy right now, and you’ll have literally thousands of different patterns to choose from.

In addition to being easy to install, LVP is also very easy to maintain as well. LVP won’t scuff or stain as easily as other options and can be cleaned with nothing but a duster or a mop, which can’t usually be done with hardwood floors. All you have to do is make sure that you take preventative measures and make sure that you don’t drag heavy objects on the floor and you’ll have a great looking floor for years to come.

Luxury vinyl planks also have some padding underneath, making them noticeably easier on the feet than other types of flooring. And some will also have an advanced coating that will make them more resistant against stains, scratches, fading, and moisture.

Perfect for High Traffic Areas
Another great advantage of vinyl flooring is how resistant it can be. Vinyl has always been a popular choice for kitchens for this very reason. Now, with luxury vinyl planks, you can get a high-end look in your kitchen without worrying about scuffs, marks and spills staining the floor.

Vinyl flooring is one of the most resilient and durable options, which makes it a great choice for areas that see a lot of foot traffic. Families with small children love vinyl since they don’t have to think about it being damaged by heavy items or banging toys for instance. If there’s generally a lot of foot traffic in your home, and maybe a few pets, then vinyl is a perfect choice.

It is Highly Resistant to Fire
Another great thing about vinyl is how fire resistant it is. Most are made from flame resistant polymer and a lot of vinyl flooring is composed of non-combustible fillers and additives such as calcium carbonate, which makes it even more fire resistant. As a matter of fact, it is one of the few materials to meet the requirements of the National Fire Protection’s National Electrical Code.

Easy to Install
All vinyl floors tend to be very easy to install. You can even do it yourself with little experience. However, it’s always better to go with a professional if you want better results. Planks and tiles already have a stick and peel adhesive attached to them, so you don’t need to worry about things like applying grout for instance.

Vinyl planks are also much thinner than other options, which makes them lighter and easier to work with. They can be installed on any level, even basements, and can often be installed on existing floors, as long as the surface is level.

If you are interested in installing the floor yourself, the main thing you have to look out for is making sure that you are working on an even surface. The floor underneath needs to be perfectly level or you’ll see some imperfections. Any lumps or bumps will stick out when installing the floor, so make sure that the surface is perfectly smooth before you start.

It may seem counterintuitive to call a synthetic material like vinyl “eco-friendly”, but the impact vinyl flooring production has on the environment is much lesser than other options like stone or hardwood for instance.

And since vinyl is so durable and has such a long lifespan, you won’t have to replace it as often, which eventually leads to less waste. Not to mention that many manufacturers these days manufacture their flooring products using recycled materials, making them a great option if sustainable building materials are a priority to you.

Vinyl is probably the most versatile flooring option available today and is great for all types of needs and budgets. If you want to learn more about vinyl flooring, we suggest you contact a supplier today and see which options are open to you.

Tips for Buying Mosaic Tiles

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Mosaic tiles can completely change the look of any room and quickly add a sense of flair and charm to a kitchen or bathroom. But before picking the right set of tiles, you have to consider a few things to make sure that they will complement the room they’re intended for. Here are some of the things you should consider before choosing your mosaic tiles.

Choose the Colours Wisely

The colour you’re going to choose for the mosaic will depend on what effect you’re aiming for. When picking your colours, make sure that the tiles coordinate with the whole room, not just a wall or a random tile wall in the bathroom for instance. If you want to make a room seem larger and brighter, go for tiles that will be light and vibrant. How reflective the tiles need to be will depend on how much natural light fills the room.

Try to Push Boundaries

Mosaic tiles come in a wide variety of styles, shapes, materials, and finish these days. Try to go for something more original and don’t be afraid to push boundaries. Try to look at options that would be considered unusual for the room you’re thinking of installing them in. This will create a much more dramatic effect and make the room stand out even more.

Quality is Not an Option

If you’re going to go for mosaic, you cannot afford to skimp on quality. If you think buying cheap tiles will allow you to save, be aware that they are much less durable and will need to be replaced much sooner. This is especially true for floor tiles in rooms that see a lot of traffic, like the kitchen for instance. So that’s definitely somewhere you’ll have to go for quality if you want something that will look good for a long time.

Don’t Forget the Grout and Adhesive

Picking the right grout and adhesive is also very important. The adhesive will be responsible for keeping the tiles in place whether on the floor or a wall and the grout will be used to fill the gaps and make the floor look nice and neat. So, make sure you pick high quality grout and adhesive if you want a durable job with a nice finish.

Structure a Plan

Before you start any work and pick which tiles will be needed, make sure that you put an actual plan together. Know which textures, material, surfaces, and colours will be needed for the particular room where they will be installed. You should also make sure that you buy more tiles than is actually needed; about 10% more. This will give you more room in case some of the tiles break or if you need to do some cutting.

You also have to make sure that the tiles you pick will be functional. Glossy tiles on a bathroom floor might be a nightmare when wet. On the other hand, glossy tiles on bathroom walls retain less moisture and are much easier to clean, so make sure you take that into consideration when picking the tiles.

The right mosaic tiles can turn any floor or wall from ordinary to a true design piece, so make sure that you choose wisely and take your time to invest in the best tiles possible for your space.

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