Browsing Tag

home living


I want simple. I want joy. I want space. The KonMari Way.

I embarked in a journey to simplify my life. One journey that is filled with what matters to my happiness and to the happiness of my family. One journey that made me reconsider the amount of stuff we buy. One journey towards getting rid of the things I don’t use or enjoy anymore. One journey surrounded by what makes my life better.

Simplify my life starts with the everyday. Like many of you, looking for stuff in our home or the mess are a source of small family disputes. They are unnecessary irritants in our life.  The solution: finishing up the little things that bother us and tidying our home once and for all. Continue Reading


Finding Time to Decorate My Home

Burberry watch

Now that I have set my priorities for the year, I can start to take actions to make it a reality. My first task involves The January Cure from Apartment Therapy. I know me.  If I am not happy with the way my house looks, it will become a distraction. Before I wasted hours talking about what is wrong, become frustrated, I should act now. By getting my home into shape, get it clean, organized and under control right now, I will have no excuses to not concentrate on my plan. And frankly, the idea of the cure energized me. Continue Reading


Chickadee Smoke Detector

chickadee smoke detector alarm safety design

Yesterday we shared a super-stylish alternative to a utilitarian object (the humidifier) – and here’s another we couldn’t help but chirp about.

Smoke detectors are a necessity for living safely in your home, which makes it all the more surprising that designers haven’t leant their creative eye to this uninspired essential.

The Chickadee Smoke Detector, designed by Louise van de Vald, won a fire prevention solution design competition held by the Dutch Association of Insurers back in 2006. Inspired by birds known ability to warn each other of danger, the smoke detector is easily moved to various areas of the home and features a lifelike chickadee chirp when smoke is detected.

It’s unclear whether this version meets Canadian smoke alarm standards, but we’d like to see other designers and brands spread their wings to take on this design challenge.

+ Chickadee Smoke Detector, €50, Charles & Marie


Chalkboard Calendar Wall Decals

diy weekly calendar by pinch design

diy weekly calendar by pinch design

Having a calendar always open in front of you with your to-do list helps you better manage your time. Because we are talking about things to do, you need a method to easy reassign your priorities. This is why I like the idea of mixing a chalkboard with post-it paper.

People wither keep nearby a weekly or monthly calendar. You could write on a post-it the things that can be reallocated to another day since moving a post-it is easy. Write in chalk what you must do by a specific date. At the end of the month or week, plan the next one.

Using chalkboard wall decals or art work allows you to reuse the same support over and over. I particularly like this DIY weekly calendar featured on Ohdeedoh last year (top picture).

chalkboard calendar decals by scribble on everything

Scribble on Everything makes a weekly chalkboard decal set that is available in 2 sizes. It comes with a pack of dustless chalk and an extra space for taking notes.

ferm living's chalkboard calendar stickers

Ferm Living makes a perpetual monthly Calendar Wall Sticker set. Their set comes with post-it. The day numbers are written on the stickers. Instead of moving around the day number, you could write what day it is. The mural measures 39 inch (100 cm) in width.

+ DIY Weekly Calendar on Ohdeedoh
+ Weekly chalkboard decal set by Scribble on Everything – small $36, large $65 USD
+ Ferm Living’s Calendar Wall Sticker $125 USD


Organizing Your Mud Room or Entryway

organizing your mud room

organizing your mud room

Whether you have a mud room or an entryway, you need to take into account form and function to design a beautiful, practical room. It is even harder if you live in a colder climate because you need to store many coats, boots, mitts and hats.

So, what are the must-have items for an efficient mud room or entryway? My must-have list includes:

  • shoe racks
  • a coat and hat stand or hooks
  • at least one top shelve
  • several baskets to neatly organize mitts and scarfs. Ideally, I like one basket per family member with an extra one for your guests
  • an umbrella stand
  • a bench where to sit to put and remove your boots, or to deposit your packages when you enter your home
  • a mirror to see if you look pretty before getting out of the house
  • an indoor/outdoor mat next to the door. I will show you the cool ones that I saw at IDS later.

Mud Room Design Ideas

    designing a mudroom :: inspirations

    For inspirations, I am leaving you with three inspiring mud rooms. The first one was spotlighted on The Wall Street Journal last weekend. Read their article for more good tips by Rita Koning. The Wall Street Journal’s mud room has a cottage feel while IKEA proposed us a more family-oriented mud room.

    ikea entry hall design idea

    IKEA also designed this casual hall way. Here shoe cabinets add a more stylish touch.

    black and white scandinavian mudrooms

    Look at the well-done black and white mud rooms from Skona Hem. I like how the cycling accessories are displayed on the wall as art instead of every items. I spotted these Scandinavian mud rooms on the blog High Street Market.

    + Tidy up the Mud Room on The Wall Street Journal – photo by  Don Freeman
    + IKEA mud room – photos from catalogues


    DIY Kraft Paper Sketch Pad

    Kraft Paper Wall

    Kraft Paper Wall

    Though a chalkboard wall can be extremely useful as a family message center, a revolving menu or a catchall for inspirational ideas, they can also look messy and cause a mess as a result of all that chalk dust. Not to mention that chalkboard walls are walking the fine line of being overdone.

    The DIY Kraft Paper Sketch Pad is smart idea from Sarah.Wandering as an alternative. She cleverly rigged rolls of inexpensive kraft paper on a curtain rod to provide a clean canvas for ideas, schedules and sketches. Best of all, when you need to tidy the room – or your thoughts – you can tear off the paper and start anew.

    Check out all the details on Sarah.Wandering.

    + DIY Kraft Paper Sketch Pad from Sarah.Wandering

    The Joy of an Uncluttered Home | Getting Ready for the Baby

    unclutter your home

    unclutter your home

    Two weeks ago, I found out what are the must-have items that you need before you deliver your baby. I am amazed by the amount of new things that we need to care, educate and entertain a newborn.

    The first thing on my list was to make room. My husband and I sorted and packed all weekend. By splitting the work, we encouraged each other. He did the main floor while I worked mostly upstairs. We separated things into four categories: donation, furniture for sale, recycling and garbage. I tackled a big closet that was filled with things that we do not use anymore. Big closets can be sneaky. I was surprised by how much we hide there over the years. Now, I got the space to hide our photo albums and the beautiful things that should be kept out of reach during my child’s early years. Everything is neatly organized on the shelves. Looking at my well organized storage space makes me feel good.

    Uncluttering your home can seem cumbersome to many. But once you see the results, it is worth every minute on it. Getting rid of unnecessary things removes weights from your shoulder. It’s a soothing experience! I know that you are all busy before the Holiday season. But why not take one weekend or a few week nights to gather the things around the house that you do not use anymore and donate them to a local charity. They need more toys, clothes, food and housewares during this time of the year to prepare their Christmas baskets.

    As for us, we still have a big way to go until we see the end of the tunnel. We will continue to pack so they can proceed with some renovations all over the home. I wish to do all these little, and not so little, projects before the baby arrives. This is part of child-proofing my home. I will show you the results once everything is done.

    Lastly, have a look at these beautiful kitchen linens. After your hard work, you are allow one indulgence.

    + Vintage Kitchen Scale $45 USD at One Sidney Road
    + Kitchen Apron by Studiopatro $68
    + Tea Towel Sets $42 for 2 assorted tea towels at Studiopatro


    Creative Uses for Everyday Things: Magnetic Knife Rack

    Knife Racks

    Knife Racks

    For those of us who like to spend time in the kitchen, a magnetic knife rack is a must-have for keeping knives and other gadgets organized and within arm’s reach.

    Not Just for Knives

    But it’s clutter-busting abilities don’t end there, as I recently discovered. I put one to use in my craft space to store my (growing) collection of sewing and craft scissors. Not only are they easier to find when I’m working on a project, I also use the rack to corral other metal sewing essentials like pins, a stitch ripper and a ruler.

    My husband liked the idea so much he uses a knife rack for his screwdrivers, wrenches and other guy stuff. I even have plans to mount one near our entryway to trap outgoing mail, keys and shopping lists.

    Have a revolving display of children’s artwork on the fridge door? Consider mounting a magnetic rack in another room to create a mini gallery.

    Affordable Magnetic Knife Racks

    Ikea has a few different styles. We opted for the sleek simplicity of the affordable Grundtal stainless steel version – but other options are easy to find in most kitchenware stores. And if you want a more colorful, customized rack, don’t miss the super cute and easy Magnetic Knife Rack tutorial from The Farm Chicks.

    Don’t you love finding new ways to use old things?

    + Ikea Bygel Magnetic Knife Rack, $4.99 CAD / $2.99 USD
    + Ikea Grundtal Magnetic Knife Rack, $14.99 CAD / $8.99 USD
    + Ikea Kroken Magnetic Knife Rack, $9.99 CAD / $7.99 USD
    + DIY Customized Knife Rack Tutorial at The Farm Chicks


    Declutter Your Home | Getting Ready for the Baby

    declutter your house

    The arrival of a first baby means for most couples that they need to reconfigure a room of their house to become the nursery. But before that step, I think there is a more important step to take. Baby gears require space in several rooms of your home from the bathroom, to the kitchen and up to the living room. In fact, I realized that you need to reevaluate the design of all the rooms in your house to make sure that they are baby friendly. Continue Reading


    Clever Kitchen Organizers at Ikea

    ikea kitchen built for a family

    The kitchen is the hub of the house. For that reason, it must be a place where it feels comfortable for the cooks and the rest of the family. More and more kitchens integrate areas for kids to do their homework and play.

    The two most common area of frustrations in a kitchen are storage and the sink area. The good news is that clever and affordable organizers for your kitchen cabinets are now easily accessible. Current kitchen design rules put an emphasis on drawers fitted with several types of organizers. I still think that nothing beats a walking pantry but it is not always possible to integrate a big pantry.

    rationell kitchen storage system at ikea

    Dividers, trays, plate holders, boxes and containers mean that everything is at reach in your drawers. You move the containers on the counter while you are cooking and replace them inside the drawers once you are done. Wooden boxes are practical for potatoes, onions, and dry foods. Basically, we bring the best ideas from a restaurant kitchen to our home.

    For me, the carrousel, which is a modern version of the lazy susan, is a must for a corner unit. I like it because everything is at reach. It is more appropriate for big objects, like pots and pans.

    Waste Sorting System

    With recycling and composting, we need to plan for a waste sorting system. We want bins that are easy to reach but out of sight. Plan a shelf for your compost container as most are not stylish.

    Sink Organizers

    ikea boholmen sink organizers

    From cutting boards to cover plate and rinsing baskets, the sink accessories aim to make our life simpler. I never succumb and buy any. Do you use them?

    Gathering the plates, glasses and cutlery after the meal in a tub reduces the number of trips between the table and the sink. Ideally, the bowl should be on a wheeled cart. Something like the BOHELMEN washing-up bowl would be perfect, assuming that is strong enough.

    Two sinks is a must but if you live in an apartment, you may not be that lucky. The rinsing tub is intended to help you wash the dishes if you only have one sink. It seems like a good concept. The Dish Drainer, if it fits into your sink, will eliminate the need to wipe water from your counter.

    I do not know if it is only wishful thinking but I imagine that if I had a kitchen where everything is neatly stored and is easy to reach, I would find no excuses to avoid cooking at the end of a long day. But one thing is sure, I would feel more relax cooking.

    + BOHOLMEN Rinsing Tub $14.99 CAD
    + BOHOLMEN Dish Drainer $6.99
    + Rationell dividers for drawers $20 for 6
    + Rationell Corner base cabinet carousel $120
    + Rationell waste-sorting system $8.99 to $56.94


    Unique Organizers and Small Storage Solutions

    organizers and small storage solutions for your kitchen and home office

    When everything has its place, you do not lose time looking for it. There is a therapeutic effect of living and working in an uncluttered space. We also need a few storage solutions and organizers to be on display to be practical. For that, you need items that feel more unique than the utilitarian objects.

    It does not have to cost a fortune. You transform an everyday item or repurpose flea market finds. A quick solution is to stencil numbers or letters on Mason jars. The numbered Mason jars available at Pottery Barn have a charming distressed look. Mason jars are great to store anything, not just food.

    No one wants to bring home the corporate office look. Opt for cool desk accessories, like this giant sharpener pencil holder, to infuse a sense of casual style. Old drawers and wood boxes easy replace the desktop sorter.

    distressed solid mahogany Cubby Organizer at pottery barn

    Old-fashioned front-desk organizers used in hotels inspired the Cubby Organizer. This distressed solid mahogany display unit would complement a modern country interior. Each of the 25 cubbies is detailed with a hand-painted number. The design will nicely highlight a few collections of small items built around an overall theme.

    + Numbered Mason Jars at Pottery Barn $39 USD for set of 3
    Cubby Organizer at Pottery Barn$129 USD
    Giant sharpener desk tidy at WhippetGrey £14.50
    + Hardware Store Drawers – No.2 at Three Potato Four $18 USD
    + Foundry Mold – Type B at Three Potato Four $65 USD