Feb 11, 2010
organic canvas storage bin
Feb 11, 2010
organic canvas storage bin
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Find helpful budget-friendly makeover ideas.
Make over your home with decorating tricks that don’t cost a dime!Who says you have to spend money to makeover your home? Here are some easy, fun and practical ideas for spiffing up your space without spending a cent.
Hellen Buttigieg, the maven of organization, shares some simple tips for organizing your world in a flash.
Hellen Buttigieg knows a few things about getting organized - and staying organized. As a certified professional organizer, life coach and TV host, she helps people clear the clutter in their homes, minds and lives. Her successful TV show, Neat, ran on HGTV for three seasons and is still showing on Global.
Her company, We Organize U, is a full-service organizing haven. She and her staff of organizing experts help people sort through the clutter to find the gems. Just as people are different, so are their organizing styles, so she and her staff dream up solutions based on the individual needs of their clients.
According to Hellen, there are so many reasons why you should organize your life, home or business. One reason to get organized is to reduce stress. One sobering statistic on her company's website, weorganizeu.com, is that a disorganized, stressed out person spends about 10 to 20 percent of the day looking for misplaced items. When you think about how busy our lives are, that number represents a huge chunk of leisure time.
Below she shares some simple tips to help you get organized in five minutes or fewer so you can start enjoying your life. Her book, Organizing Outside the Box, offers more tips and tricks to get organized and be happy.
Photography by Robin Stubbert
Around the house
1 Make the bed, fluff the pillows and duvet.
2 Pick up dirty clothes and put them in the laundry hamper.
3 Put clean laundry away.
4 Take excess shoes out of the hallway closet or front hall and place them in the bedroom closets. Each family member should only keep one or two pairs of shoes (depending on space) by the door or hallway closet.
5 Go through your sock drawer and give up any socks without partners. If you haven't worn panty hose since 2008, it's time to toss those, too!
6 Gather up all your accessories (belts, hats, scarves) and let go of the ones you no longer like or use.
7 Gather all the wire hangers in your closet and put them in your car. Next time you go to the dry cleaners, you can take them in for recycling.
8 Before starting something new, spend five minutes putting away anything that's left out from the last project you worked on. This is a technique that teachers use to keep the kindergarten classroom tidy and it works equally well at home.
Photography by Stacey Brandford
9 Transfer all the photos from your camera onto your computer before your card fills up.
10 Scan the emails in your junk folder (to make sure nothing important ended up there) and then delete them.
11 Delete all the old voicemail messages from your home phone and cell phone.
Photography by Donna Griffith
12 Toss out any spoiled food from the refrigerator.
13 Toss out any stale food from the pantry.
14 Clear out one ‘junk drawer'. Toss anything you don't need or recognize. Divide the drawer by using old cheque book boxes or small plastic containers to keep similar items together.
15 Clean out your wallet/purse. Toss gum wrappers, scraps of paper and old tissues; file receipts and business cards.
16 Go through your cosmetics and toiletries and toss any items you no longer use or are past their expiration date (usually 6 months to a year).
17 Sort through 3 to 5 file folders and shred what you don't need. Keep a coloured folder upright in your filing cabinet to mark where you leave off.
18 Go through your collection of coupons and toss the expired ones. Put the others in your purse or the glove compartment of your car and use them next time you go shopping.
19 Put all the newspapers and mail flyers in the recycling bin.
20 Make a list of all important documents and contact information and remember to tell someone where it is, in case of emergency.
Luxe hardcore bundle, Brooklinen.
With the cooler weather coming it's time to prepare your home with these eight fall accessories that can warm up any night in.
If you tend to spend a bit more time keeping warm in bed on chilly fall nights, you might want to invest in quality bedding. Brooklinen’s buttery smooth sheet sets come in an assortment of stylish stripes and solid colours and have a bit of a sheen, which adds a luxurious feeling every time you slip between them. Made with long staple Egyptian cotton, you’ll appreciate the quality every night. Luxe hardcore bundle, Brooklinen, prices vary depending on size.
Crisp fall evenings mean turning up the heat in the house. But install a Nest thermostat and you’ll enjoy having your home at your ideal temperatures all day long while also making your home more energy efficient. You’ll be able to remotely control your home’s temperature from your smartphone, even if you’re traveling. All of this control means you’ll save money on your heating bills, too. Nest learning thermostat, Nest, $249.
This Indigo exclusive pillow cover unites the rich colours of autumn beautifully. Boasting gorgeous florals in earthy hues, this seasonal throw pillow is a simple way to bring a touch of fall into your home. Toss on a couch or bed for an instant facelift! Midnight floral pillow cover, Indigo, $30.
Classic. Iconic. Canadian. This signature HBC Collection striped point blanket’s popularity dates all the way back to the 1800s when it was first commissioned. Since then, this high quality, 100% woven wool blanket has never been out of production, a sure sign of its enduring style. Fall has never been cozier! Hudson’s Bay Company multi stripe point blanket, Hudson’s Bay, starting at $295.
Warm up the chilliest of days with a treat that the whole family will love. This premium cocoa powder is flavoured with natural vanilla to deliver a perfectly sweet cup of hot chocolate each and every time. Sweet ground chocolate, Williams-Sonoma, $15.95.
Blanket? Check. Hot drink? Check. Now you just need a good book to make your evening complete. Mindy Kaling to the rescue! If you watch The Mindy Project, have read her first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, or secretly wish that Mindy was your real-life BFF, then you can’t miss out on her recently released second book Why Not Me? This collection of essays, though thoughtful and personal, is also just as hilarious as you’d expect from the queen of comedy. Why Not Me, Indigo, $20.
When it’s cold outside and all you want to do is stay snuggled up inside where it’s warm, you’ll be thankful you’ve got your AppleTV to keep you company. Bringing all the apps you love to use on your computer to life on your television screen means you can get really comfortable as you settle in to watch your favourite shows on iTunes, Netflix, Crackle, CraveTV, Shomi and other streaming services. Apple TV, Apple Store, from $199.
Keep those tootsies warm with these adorable, comfy reading socks. They’re made with just 12% wool so they’re cozy but not itchy. When regular socks just won’t do, these cable socks will be your perfect indoor companions. They make a great gift, too! Cabled cozy reading socks, Indigo, $29.50.
A fresh seaside-chic lake house
This cozy lake house in Port Carling, Ont., boasts a fresh seaside-chic vibe while paying homage to old-school Muskoka.
Nestled on the south shore of Lake Rosseau in Port Carlin, Ont., this 6,800-square-foot six-bedroom house is decorated the way one would dress when visiting: in a crisp Polo Ralph Lauren Oxford shirt and comfortable, well-worn chinos paired with Sperry Top-Siders. It's a timeless look that's coastal, casual and effortlessly chic with a neutral palette at its core.
"The homeowners wanted to capture that warm, windswept lake house aesthetic but with a relaxed, cozy Muskoka feel for their young family of four," says Cory DeFrancisco of Mukoka Living Interiors, who designed and built the home from scratch, finishing in 2013.
Like a friendly smile and a firm handshake, the entryway makes a confident and inviting introduction to the home.
"A lot of old cottages have those tunnelling hallways in their guest cottage or service quarters, and this beadboard wall treatment references that," says builder and designer Cory DeFrancisco.
This small boathouse sunroom is literally right on Ontario's Lake Rosseau: On windy days, you can feel waves crashing up through the floorboards.
"We took up 90 percent of the wall with windows," says Cory of the gorgeous great room, where the ceiling's oak beams guide your eye directly to the view. "The overstuffed sofas are insanely comfortable," he adds. "They're slipcovered in high-quality Belgian linen that gets softer with each wash.
Though the spacious kitchen is crisp, white and polished, simple details, such as the grain of the reclaimed-oak floors and the texture of the brush strokes on the hand-painted cabinetry, keep it humble and homey. "It's a new take on a traditional cottage kitchen, with all the modern amenities," says Cory.
A big weathered farmhouse table paired with slipcovered seating and sophisticated lighting that doesn't block the view equals a dining room with easy elegance. But the best feature of this space is that, with the doors open, you really feel like you're eating alfresco.
Even though this home is grand, the family who lives here wanted an overall feeling of togetherness, so Cory kept it largely open concept.
The west-facing Muskoka room, with wall-to-wall windows, is so bright that it can pull off the charcoal walls. "The darkness acts as an anchor, while the light that shines in highlights the furnishings," explains Cory. The modular sectional is meant for the outdoors (so go ahead, get it wet) and can be reconfigured when company comes to create multiple sitting areas.
The whole master bedroom is very generous, but its sleeping area is quite small. In it, you'll find only an upholstered bed, two small side tables and a 180-degree view of the water.
The large window behidn the free-standing bathtub overlooks a garden and granite. "It's hard to make boulders sound nice," says Cory with a laugh, "but it's a beautiful view."
"All of those elements are, I think, what makes it feel authentic to Muskoka. There's nothing ornate in the whole place," says Cory. And just 35 feet away, in the boathouse, the look is much the same. The palette is almost all white and the dress code is bathing suits - after all, the lake's right there. Take one step out the door, and jump right in. The water's perfect.