Buying guide: Daybeds
A daybed is a wonderfully versatile piece of furniture to have in your home. Both functional and aesthetically pleasing it can help shape your space, making it more inviting and comfortable. Available for a myriad of price points and made in a variety of styles, a daybed will be a welcome addition to any room of your home. The following five tips will help you choose the best daybed for your space or show you how to make better use of the one you have.
1 The all-purpose daybed
One of the best features of a daybed is its incredible versatility. Placed in a living room, it's the perfect lounging chair for entertaining or cozy evenings and will then make a comfortable sleeping option for overnight guests. It also works wonders in a guest room or lobby area. A daybed is also the ideal piece to accessorize: add a few decorative pillows and a throw by day, and a colourful duvet cover for a good night's sleep.
Photo courtesy of West Elm.
4 Small space perfect
3 Creating spaces
One of the challenges of a large space can be figuring out how to arrange your furniture. A daybed is an easy piece to place and can help solve that issue. Showcase your daybed in the center of your room to act as a divider and create a more intimate feel. A daybed that feels light and open is ideal for that purpose.
Photo courtesy of Crate and Barrel.
Organizing 101: 30 holiday clutter busters
Get organized for the holidays (and throughout the year) with our clutter-busting, time-saving, space-maximizing tips.
Here are handy Christmas tips designed to make the festive season not only more enjoyable, but stress-free, too.
Instead of dismantling mantel arrangements and centrepieces after the holidays, simply store each as is in large clear plastic bags placed in labelled containers. Both decorating and cleanup will be so much easier. -- Jennifer Trussler, A Welcoming Home, Orillia, Ont.
When decorating for the holidays, remove everyday accessories and store them in your Christmas decoration box to reduce clutter and make your holiday decorations more noticeable. -- Kelly Brown, Tidy Trends.com, Stayner, Ont.
Store small, breakable decorations in labelled foam egg containers to eliminate the need to wrap each one. -- Duhita Speck, Your World In Order, Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Spend more time relaxing with family and friends by ordering a special holiday dinner. Many fine hotels offer delivery service. All you have to do is set the table! -- Andrea Hodgins, Organized Results, Vancouver
Hire someone to clean your house for the holidays. Consider it a gift to yourself and your family that reduces stress and increases the time you have for shared activities. -- Susan Yearwood, Yearwood Efficient Solutions, Ottawa
Carry a small notebook in your purse year-round. While shopping or looking through catalogues, write down gifts you see that would be perfect for someone. When Christmas arrives, your gift-shopping list will be complete. Use the book for birthdays and special events, too. Keep previous years' notebooks to avoid giving duplicate gifts. -- Jane Cownley, The Organizing Way, Milton, Ont.
If your stepchildren visit on weekends, help them properly schedule their time so they don't lose too much of their everyday routine. Plan for homework and chores, and make room for special parent-child quality time by organizing fun activities like tobogganing or festively decorating their bedroom for the holiday season. -- Clair Roxburgh-Giamprini, Roxburgh Organizing Solutions, Ajax, Ont.
Choose one behaviour you want to change, such as putting something back where it belongs after using it. Do it consistently for 30 days, rewarding yourself every five days. After 30 days, it will become automatic. -- Shari Puddicombe, 5-S Simple Organizing Solutions, Montreal
Edit your greeting cards after each occasion; keep only a few special cards from each person in your life. Store the keepers in a card box. -- Susannah Coneybeare, The Sorting House, Toronto
Divide light and dark laundry into designated baskets so you don't have to sort while loading the washer. Wash and dry socks in separate mesh bags filled by each family member to avoid the trouble of sorting later. -- Lina Phan, Organized by Design, Pointe Claire, Que.
Cover the inside of an armoire or closet door with bulletin-board cork and hang necklaces, bracelets and earrings on push-pins. Stick the brooches right into the cork. -- Carol Manuel, Everything In Its Place, Lower Sackville, N.S.
Have a mending bin to store clothing in need of repair, otherwise shirts without buttons and pants needing to be hemmed can become clutter at the bottom of the closet. -- Douha Al Sawan, Dives Solutions, Laval, Que.
Keep your rented videos and library books separate from your personal collections by storing them in a large basket in your family room. -- Faye Stone, Organizing Coach, Burlington, Ont.
If you see something out of place -- keys, mail, newspapers or toys -- and you're going in the direction where they're kept, pick them up and put them away. -- Jacqueline Donovan, Organizing Your Lives, Oshawa, Ont.
Organize tools in the garage or workshop in old heavy-duty steel filing cabinets outfitted with casters (label the drawers so the contents are easy to find). -- Sandra L. Sornberger, Absoluteorder.com, Dunsford, Ont.
Organizing your time is crucial for a more organized life. If you feel overwhelmed by too many things, decide on a maximum of five to seven key areas that are directly related to your happiness and success, and try to focus only on those areas. Make sure daily tasks are always related to the areas you've chosen and let the unimportant stuff go. -- Jane Veldhoven, Get Organized! Professional Services, Halifax
Turn crawl spaces into accessible storage areas with bins on wheels or build a plywood storage platform and attach casters and a rope handle. -- Judy Besserer, Homefree Organizational Service, Ottawa
Store gold and silver earrings separately if you own a lot. You'll save time finding a pair. -- Eileen Chong, Simple Organizing Services (S.O.S.), Thornhill, Ont.
Corkboards cause clutter! Instead, buy a mounting strip and hooks (like the kind for hanging kitchen utensils), mount the strip above the desk in your home office and hang big bull-nose clips from the hooks. The strip holds a ton. -- Marie Harrison, Be Organized -- Achieve More, Vancouver
Remove closet doors in children's bedrooms and store toys and clothes in closet organizers easily reachable by kids; hang a colourful curtain across the opening. -- Kimberly Lathigee, Organize This! Services, Richmond, B.C.
Give yourself a junk drawer. Many people can't live life defined by a label maker. If having a little bit of controlled chaos makes you happy and keeps you stress-free, go for it. -- Alex Fayle, FayleSafe Solutions, Toronto
Put all of your tried and tested recipes on four- by six-inch cards and place the cards in both sides of plastic sleeve pages in a stand-up photo album. -- Jacki Brown, Well Organized/Tout Bien Rangé, Quebec
Try the 10-Minute Toss. Each day, set aside 10 minutes to unclutter a drawer, cupboard, shelf or area that needs attention. Doing that daily keeps clutter under control. -- Katherine Gibson, author of Unclutter Your Life, Victoria
If you reuse zip-lock bags but find they clutter counters and dish racks while drying, hang them from mini clothes pegs on a retractable clothesline above the sink. -- Soraiya Kara, POSabilities Personal Organizing, Burnaby, B.C.
If you're building or renovating, work with a professional organizer before meeting with your interior designer or architect. An organizer will examine your lifestyle -- including your job, hobbies, sports, habits and more -- and detail how everything that supports your lifestyle will fit into your new space. -- Janis Nylund, Orderly Concepts & Solutions, South Surrey, B.C.
Fold linens and tablecloths and hang them on multipurpose skirt/pant hangers that have four to six rods. Also, hang a sheet of fabric softener with bedsheets for a fresh scent. -- Suzy Polanco, Organize It & Cleaning Co., Toronto
Keep a health history diary. Include dates and details of medical procedures, tests and results, past and present prescription medications, lists of alternative health treatments, notes on genetic medical conditions, and phone numbers for health-care professionals. That will save you hours when filling out medical forms -- Patricia Saya, The Organizing Goddess, Aurora, Ont.
Dedicate one clean kitchen counter strictly to cooking. Store your ingredients (spices, seasonings and so on) close by. That saves time because one counter will always be ready for you to work on, and you won't have to spend time running around gathering ingredients. -- Dolly Bhatia-Frolick, Organized Environments, Whitby, Ont.
Use simple, inexpensive utensil trays with square or rectangular compartments to organize small items in bathroom and home office drawers. -- Kathy Vincent, Organizing Solutions, Windsor, Ont.
Keep a small dish near every place you take off jewelry; for instance, beside the kitchen and bathroom sinks, sofa, bed. When you take your rings off, you'll have somewhere to put them so they don't get lost. -- Shelley Beaubien, Organized By Design, Edmonton
How to: Paint outdoor furniture
When undertaking a DIY project, there are usually a few things to consider. Add tempermental weather to the list and suddenly that little list has multiplied. How do you prepare your furniture for painting? What type of paint do you use? How does it differ for different types of material?
Though the process of painting outdoor furniture may seem daunting now, the best way to go about a DIY job is to be prepared. We talked to an expert at Canadian Tire to do just that. Michael Bache, Category Business Manager at Canadian Tire, shares his prepping and painting how tos to help put your DIY nerves at ease.
1 What supplies will you need for prepping and painting?
Depending on the state of the furniture (e.g. new wood, old plastic, painted metal, painted wood) and the type of paint chosen, a variety of items should be considered.
If using brush-on paint, consider using a primer before applying a new fresh coat of colour. When priming your furniture, make sure to use a good quality paintbrush and rags or drop cloths for clean-up. However, if you're using Krylon® Fusion™ no primer is required.
If repainting a metal or wood surface that has loose peeling paint, it must be removed for best adhesion. You can use sandpaper, steel wool, wire brush, scraper, or a stripper. You may require a tack cloth to clean up dust residue when sanding. If sanding a latex paint, a simple damp rag will work just fine.
2 Do these steps differ when prepping different materials, such as metal, plastic, wicker or wood?
Yes. Some products don't require primer, saving you a prep step. Using an aerosol is a benefit, too, as you also save a step in the prep. It generally dries faster and doesn't require clean-up since no paint brushes are involved. Even better, aerosols tend to give a factory style, air brush finish when applied properly, as opposed to a brush-on paint.
Bare wood generally requires a primer to seal the wood prior to painting as the surface is porous. The primer is used to provide a nice, smooth finish. Krylon Dual saves a step on both bare wood and metal since it primes and paints in one easy step. This saves time and allows people to have more time enjoying their furniture and less time prepping it!
3 What type of paint should you use for outdoor furniture?
Always follow the directions on the label for specific product use. This will ensure proper adhesion to your surface.
Plastic patio furniture should only have a paint specifically designed to adhere to plastic and hard-to-bond surfaces. Many general purpose paints can adhere to most surfaces except plastic.
For wicker or rattan, spray paints tend to make a nicer finish and easily gets into the grooves. Muskoka chairs are also easier to paint when using an aerosol as opposed to a paint brush. Now there's even an aerosol wood stain by Krylon. Spray stains make fast work of Muskoka chairs and planters - no brushes to clean up either.
5 What about rust prevention?
Paint designed especially for metal surfaces tends to add rust protection into the paint - make sure the paint says "rust proofing" or "rust inhibiting".
As our climate changes, U.V. rays are also a consideration - they're hard on our skin and our exterior patio furniture! Some paints actually have U.V. protection in their paint. This will help protect your finish to resist harsh weather conditions. We suggest storing patio furniture during the fall and winter months when not in use. If space is a problem, a variety of covers and tarps are available to help protect your investment.
6 What are the best painting methods to use?
Much of this is personal preference. However, some surfaces, like wicker and rattan, have a nicer finish when sprayed versus brushing.
7 What kind of finish, if any, should you use?
Most paint companies offer a variety of finishes to choose from - satin, gloss, textured, metallic, hammered, and more. As long as you use an appropriate paint for your exterior surface and follow the instructions, you should achieve the finish you want. The really nice thing about the variety of paints and finishes available is that people can turn "garage sale finds" into treasures. Mixing and matching old and new creates a different and personalized patio set.
8 How many coats should you use
Follow the instructions on the can, however many paints suggest two coats. When painting remember this rule of thumb: Thinner coats are better than thicker coats. Thinner coats dry faster and produce a harder finish.
9 What should you look for in a brush?
Is it the right paint brush for your paint? Oil-based paints generally have different bristles than latex paints. The brush label will specify this.
Is the paint brush the right size to do your project? If you are painting furniture, smaller brushes may be better. Ensure it fits into your paint container.
A roller can be great for large flat surfaces, like a tabletop. This can help reduce brush marks, too!
10 How does climate affect the painting process?
Weather is a big factor. For the most part, if you're getting a sunburn and sweating, it's probably too hot to paint. This will cause the paint to dry too fast. If it's too windy and you're using an aerosol paint, your paint may dissipate before it reaches the surface. Either wait for the wind to die down or use cardboard to build a spray tunnel. Humidity can affect the paint's dry time, which leaves more time for surface imperfections to take place on your finish. In general, 21ºC and about 50% humidity are ideal conditions for painting.
12 Any last tips?
Remember to protect other surfaces if working outside by using masking tape and drop cloths. Most importantly, regardless of your project, remember to always read product labels thoroughly and follow directions.
DIY project: Salt dough ornaments