Getting springy with it (a little organizing, a couple pretty print cushions, and a plethora of new curtains to freshen up our little mauve home)
It’s official: I’ve come down with a serious case of spring fever. After months and months of never-ending snow and cold (and more cold) (and more snow) and wind, the weather is (finally!) starting to suggest that the seasons have changed. Maybe. (Although, as I type this, I see evil little white frozen droplets of water softly falling outside my window.) (Sigh.) But I saw my first robin of the year last Thursday (on the first day of spring, in fact – he was a punctual little bird!) And I suddenly have this unbelievable urge to clean and purge and renew and make the house pretty and lighter and fresher and lovelier. These must be good, spring-is-near-type signs, right?
(Although all this might also just mean I’ve hit the “nesting” phase of pregnancy. Does nesting feel a bit like uncontrollable and obsessive spring cleaning? If so, consider me a momma bird eagerly vacuuming her happy little nest.)
First it was my loo: after months of cursing over our overflowing (and not particularly pretty) bathroom cabinet, I finally tidied it up last week. I ruthlessly threw out any old or outdated cosmetics and prescriptions, and then made it a bit more organized (and way more user-friendly) using some random baskets (courtesy of Bouclair) that I already had kicking around. The result? A much less chaotic and cluttered little cabinet that is not only far prettier from the inside…
…but looks way nicer from the outside too.
(I’m not a huge fan of these clear-ish frosted doors, btw. These doors may eventually fall victim to a little DIY-ing. Because, really, why would anyone want a semi-obscured glimpse at the inside our medicine cabinet? The same medicine cabinet that, while tidy right now, will inevitably end up looking disheveled within a few weeks I’m sure.) (It makes me super sad to type that, but, really, I’m a realist about these sorts of things.)
Organizing this tiny little utilitarian cabinet probably took less than half an hour, but it made me feel about a gazillion pounds lighter. Like stripping away a big bulky winter coat. And mitts. And scarf. And a super static-y winter toque that makes your hair all flooffy (techincal term) but you defiantly wear it anyway because, seriously, if you didn’t, your ears might actually fall off from the cold. Good hair days be damned.
(Have I mentioned how much I dislike winter? I really dislike winter.)
Next, I turned to my couch (which, btw, is overdue for its quarterly date with our washing machine. Don’t look too closely.)
After months of looking at the same dark brown (and, admittedly, very boring) throw pillows, I turned to the brilliant, pillow-scouting buyers at HomeSense with a great deal of pillow-related optimism.
They did not let me down. I found these…
And I think my exact words at the time were “Oooooh. You’re pretty.” Does anyone else talk to decorative objects while out shopping? I most certainly do. It helps me to bond with the blankets, and create rapport with rugs. In this particular case, I got a little complimentary with the cushions. They didn’t mind. And now they’re sitting happily on my couch, looking all spring-ish, like this…
And, they almost match the spring placemats I pulled out of winter storage…
It’s textile fate. It was meant to be. :)
And, speaking of textiles, and continuing in my must-organize-and-improve-the-house-in-celebration-of-that-one-lonely-and-cold-looking-robin theme, I then went a little crazy at Ikea. I purchased no fewer than six (six!) new sets of drapes for our living room/dining room (and all of the required curtain rods/brackets/fancy pieces to accompany said curtains too.)
Pictures of all this drapery actually hanging are still in progress (since, well, Baby decided I needed a day off from all this craziness and urged me to take a very long nap yesterday afternoon) but believe you me: it’ll be one epic and super happy day when the new curtains go up. (Because the sparkly white sheers must go.) (Immediately.) You just wait!
So that’s the story of spring coming to our little mauve-coloured house. At least so far. There’s lots more cleaning and organizing and nursery-decorating and probably another trip to Ikea looming (yay! I heart Ikea so much), but for now I’m happy with the progress made to date.
Now, please excuse me while I go play with my new, non-stark-white, living room drapes. Whee!
Leave a comment
My ongoing staging attempts (you win some, you lose some… but all that really matters in the end is that you got a kickass bee canister)
After Ms Stager’s visit the other day, I headed out to HomeSense, my favourite home-stuff store. Have I ever mentioned how much I adore HomeSense? I probably have. I’d put a big flashing promotional HomeSense sign on my front lawn if I could (but I won’t – that’d likely be bad for resale.) (Although, good HomeSense people, I’d seriously consider it if the price was right? Just saying…)
Anyhow, Ms Stager mentioned that we should probably get a new shower curtain. I’ll be honest – I knew this suggestion was coming long before she stepped through our bathroom door. And I totally agreed with her – while I’ve loved the practicality of our little PVC (ack – I know) shower curtain, and its pretty little dots (oh how I adore my pretty little polka-dotted shower curtain!), I knew that something a little more… grown-up (and a little less college dorm-ish) would likely be advisable.
While out merrily meandering around HomeSense, I found THIS…
…and I swooned. So pretty! And here’s that same shower curtain in our tiny bathroom…
I feel very grown up indeed. And I’m completely enamoured. I’ll occasionally wander into our little loo and just stand there for a few seconds staring at the shower curtain. It’s weird, I know, but I’m a little obsessed.
(I’m also hoping the wrinkles fall out of the curtain soon. Why pull out the iron when I can let steam do all the work for me, right?)
The second thing Ms Stager asked us to do: declutter and make things visually less cluttery. In particular she zeroed in on the clear canister (well, it’s actually a vase) (fancy eh?) of ladles and spatulas and spoons and such that we had sitting out on our countertop.
She asked us to put all of it away entirely. Instead, I went to HomeSense and found THIS…
TWELVE bucks. Twelve! That’s a whole lot of cuteness for very few buckeroonies, if you ask me. And now it holds my pared-down utensils very nicely (and with way less clutter-ish-ness) next to the stove.
Adorable, non? I’d buy this house JUST based on that. And then I’d ask the home owner to throw in that sweet little bee canister. Because it’s lovely.
The third thing Ms Stager requested? All new luxurious bedding for our bed. I almost had a meltdown. For the record, we will not be getting all new bedding – hell, our duvet cover is only two weeks old! However, while out on my HomeSense mission, and as a compromise, I found new red pillowcases that coordinate rather nicely with our pretty Alvine Orter duvet cover.
And here they are all coordinate-y-ish on our bed…
Wait… Don’t see them? That’s because they’re not there. They were very… red. Too red. And not nearly as serene as I wanted. (I’m not sure what I was thinking – red isn’t a particularly soothing colour.) Instead, I dug out the Alvine Orter matchy-matchy shams that came with the duvet (I normally just ignore the shams that come with Ikea’s duvet covers, but in the name of staging, I bravely pulled them out of the linen closet) and grabbed a spare throw cushion and tada! This was the result.
I’m definitely not going to win any bed-staging awards, but it will do. :)
So those were my little moments of staging fun over the past couple of days. It’s been a fantastic procrastinating tactic – I really hate packing. And moving. And applying for jobs. And whatnot. I just keep reminding myself that wherever we end up next will be even better, right?
And besides, I was running out of rooms, here, to paint. :)
Leave a comment
When we bought this house, the previous homeowners had just finished redoing the bathroom. I think. At least it looked like they had tried. Somewhat. There were sad-looking unfinished drywall patches. There was a whole lot of glossy white caulking (apparently their solution to hiding the seam between the tile and the wall.) And there was beigeness. Drab and dreary and muddy beigeness. It was fine for a little while, but as time wore on I grew grumpy with my little unfinished overcaulked beige loo.
And then (as always happens) I just couldn’t take it anymore. So I grabbed my trusty paintbrush. And a quart of BM Woodlawn Blue. And a bit (A LOT) of caulking remover. And a new mirror and a few little accessories. And poof! My dreary drab little loo became a much cheerier loo.
And, because it’s so much prettier now, I kinda want to show it off to you. :)
(That was me trying to be all poetic. Fail, eh?) (Yep. That’s what I thought.)
Firstly… a before. See the beige? It’s very beige.
And when I pulled off the big globs of glossy white caulking, half the drywall came off too. Of course. (Hence all the patching above.)
After. Painted lovely and cheery Woodlawn Blue. :)
I also swapped out the standard (ie: cheap) door pulls for heavier, fancier pulls.
The new pulls make the cabinet look a little less like a Home Depot weekly special, no? Plus, I just think they’re pretty. :)
Before… The “nook” (not sure what else to call it… calling it the “hole in the wall left by the old window that was no longer required because an addition was added to the back of the house making the window a rather silly and useless feature” just seems a little long-winded. So let’s just call it the “nook”, k?)
(See the drywall patches? I believe that THIS would be the exact point where the old owners lost momentum. Just a hunch.)
After, all prettied up! (Ie: painted.)
(The basket is where my blowdryer hides. Shhh. Don’t tell.)
The ceiling before. Yep, it was beige too. In the early morning, it was a bit like showering in a tiny, lightless, cardboard box. Fun.
After (with a light, bright, white ceiling) (yup – more poetry for you!) (but a rather crumpled shower curtain… just ignore that k?)
Much better eh? I like to think so! And because I DO think so, here are just a few more pics…
My old fashioney mirror (I love vintage-ish etched mirrors – they remind me of my grandmother.)
My pretty little soap dispenser (it’s hard to make out in the picture, but the front says “pure soap.” I’m not sure why I like it so much – I just do :)
Peeking out toward the door through polka-dotty Joy, my beloved PVC shower curtain.
And here is everything in one pic (at least as much as I could cram in while standing in the farthest corner of the tub – it’s rather hard to take pictures of a tiny little 5×6 foot loo while in a tiny little 5×6 foot loo!)
And there you have it. :) If a 5×6 foot, near-windowless washroom could be cheery, I think mine would be pretty darn smiley. Or at least rather relieved to no longer be beige. And heavily caulked. And unfinished. (Although I do still want to swap out the super-shiny, seagull-like faucet, but that’s another story.)Leave a comment
I know we haven’t yet chatted about my bathroom (oh, little loo – how you frustrate me so), so I apologize for skipping the requisite introduction-post, but suffice it to say (if you hadn’t already figured it out) that, like the rest of our house, it’s small. Like, really small. Tiny. Minute. Itty-bitty.
Whenever I watch home-buying shows (you know, House Hunters, Property Virgins, Urban-Suburban…) I always laugh (guffaw, if you will) whenever prospective home buyers walk into a bathroom and emphatically declare “oh. It’s a little small.” Guaranteed, ours is likely smaller. But, it’s functional. It is 5×6 feet (including the tub) of perfectly-planned space intended to suit the 1940s family (and I’m sure it served the original owners of this house just swell.) And it suits me and Sweetie just fine as well. There is a tub. There is a sink. There is even a toilet squished into the corner (and some cupboard space to boot.) Can we both be in there getting ready at the same time? Well, no. But we’ve adopted a morning-routine staggering approach that works just dandy for us. :)
With a tiny little loo comes very little space for extra… fluff. I’ve always longed after those bathrooms with the gorgeous ruffled shower curtains a la the Flamenco curtain from Antropologie, or the lovely and appropriately named Ruffle curtain from the brilliant folk at Pottery Barn. But when space is at a premium, extra rufflies and layers just take up additional room. Hence, I’ve always opted for the basic (and less sought after) PVC shower curtain.
I know. Gasp. There are lots of people who believe that vinyl shower curtains should only be used as liners. There are many who feel that they’re tacky and passe and reminiscent of bad 1980s decor. To these folk, I nod in agreement and hang my head just a little in shame. However, when you’re faced with a 5×6 foot loo, one must do what one must do, and just make the best out of the situation. I have done all that. I have found Joy.
I actually located Joy several years ago when we were still in our first house. It too had a tiny little loo. I found her at Zellers one afternoon while wandering the bath aisle, and squealed just a little (being the big geek that I am, I’m always instantly drawn to anything bearing my name.) I purchased my first ever Joy shower curtain that day. I’ve purchased several more since then. And I purchased two yesterday – with my beloved Zellers-store soon to be transformed into a Target, one can never have too many reserve Joy shower curtains. You know, just in case of the inevitable (and unthinkable): discontinuation.
Joy is everything I’d expect her to be. She’s semi-transparent (perfect for a tiny, badly-lit little loo.) And she’s spattered in happy white polka-dots. She’s simple, but pretty, and a little bit of fun. If I can’t have a Flamenco-ruffled-pretty-flowy fabric shower curtain, Joy is the next best thing.
And, in the early morning, when I’m staggering into the loo semi-blinded by the first light of day, Joy does make me happy. Joyful, perhaps. Or at least as content as one can be at 6am on a Monday morning.Leave a comment