23 May 2015

5 budget ways to refresh your bathroom

Oh bathrooms - such small rooms that cause such big headaches for a lot of homeowners. Bathrooms need to function well so that day-day is made easy, and ideally be beautiful at the same time. But to be both practical and stylish means making a lot of decisions on finishes, storage and lighting, and many times people just don't know where to start so don't start at all.

I'm here to say that bathroom updates can be made easy and effective - even on a small budget. Here are just five easy ways you can refresh your bathroom without it becoming a huge renovation.

1. Update your lighting and mirror so that your tasks of shaving or putting on makeup are easier.

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Lighting should not be over a mirror, as it casts shadows and makes you look older. Remove your above-mirror light bar in favour of sconces at eye-level on each side of the mirror. That means that most likely you'll need to replace the frame-less builder mirror that runs the full length of your vanity with a smaller mirror, allowing you to make a big update in style as well. These two things can be refreshed for relatively little money but will make a huge impact. Hint: look for a vintage frame at a garage sale and have a mirror put in it.

2. Update your hardware. A new faucet and vanity handles make a huge impact. There are lovely hardware options that are reasonably priced at local hardware stores. I've shopped at Rona more than once and know that they have a great selection.

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3. Choose a standout tile. Fortunately, bathrooms have small square footage and therefore tile is usually pretty affordable. If you did one thing, choosing a standout tile for your floor would make a huge difference to your bathroom. Or create a feature wall with tile instead.

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4. Get creative with storage. Add rustic shelves, hooks and even vintage racks to the walls.

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5. Add a colourful or patterned shower curtain. Just this one thing can brighten the whole room.

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Refreshed Designs

Disclaimer: this post was sponsored by Rona, but is my own commentary based on my opinions and experience, and not influenced in any way.

20 May 2015

my plant gang (or how to organize your plants)

Have you visited Urban Jungle Bloggers yet? It's a wonderful site with lots of inspiring images of plants in homes around the world. It's quite amazing to see how plants have been embraced as a decorative and healthy addition to homes small and large.

urban jungle in small condo

This month the Urban Jungle Bloggers challenge is to "Show your Plant Gang." So I've gathered up my nine little green friends to hang out altogether on my favourite old bench near the patio door that gets lots of sun. This little exercise turned out to be a great way to organize my urban jungle - I needed to re-pot a couple and decide which ones to take outside to the patio for the summer. After a little sweet talking to each of them they got sorted out and everyone feels better after the adjustment. Mental note: talk more to humans as well as my plants.

plants make a healthy home

urban jungle in a small condo

If you're looking for natural ways to cover old cans to use as planters, I showed you some options in this post. Take a peek.


Do you have plants in your home? Have you ever taken stalk and 'spring cleaned' and organized them? It's a worthwhile exercise. Hope to see you join Urban Jungle Bloggers this month with #plantgang.

17 May 2015

easy organizing: top ways to use vessels

Is the stuff in your home overflowing and preventing you from having a serene, joyful and stress-free home? Invest in vessels.

A vessel, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is any hollow container. One of my favourite vessels for storage is a recycled glass jar - I use them for practically everything from food to tea to craft supplies to buttons to laundry detergent to soaps to office supplies. They're great because you can easily see what's in them and when you need to stock up again. And they're easy to come by  - just recycle them from soup or sauces, or pick a few up at the local flea market.

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

Baskets and crates of course are another good idea for organized storage. Natural fiber baskets and vintage wire varieties work well, as do antique wooden crates.

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

Trays, dishes, cans and bowls are also very useful and stylish for rounding things up and keeping them neat and tidy.

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

refreshed designs: easy organizing with vessels

I hope these inspire you to gather and organize using budget supplies you can recycle and reuse - it's easy and cheap and makes your day-to-day life at home some much more functional, stylish and peaceful. Happy organizing!

26 April 2015

simple no-cost home office update

In my small condo I've created a work space in the main living area, as I showed you in this post. Now that Spring has finally arrived, I wanted a quick update to make it feel a little warmer and colourful. Enter a Spring office refresh - with no budget.

small natural home work space
Spring refresh
white home office
Winter work space
I simply moved out the textured white cushion and sheepskin rugs and replaced them with a colourful cushion and natural jute mat. I added a colourful vase of willows and an antique jug with fresh flowers - move from other parts of my home. Vintage jars and canisters, along with some green plants add interest.

small condo office setup

vintage objects on reclaimed wood shelf

vintage plant shelf

vintage office accessories

Colourful DIY art adds a pop of colour. I simply washed a piece of card stock in yellow watercolour, and glued down a stalk of wheat on one and petals from a flower on another. Natural art in a pinch! 

DIY art with watercolour and natural elements

easy DIY office refresh

Easy peasy refresh done very quickly and without spending a dime. Are you refreshing for Spring?