Small Space Solutions

I may be in the midst of building my dream home, but that doesn't mean that I'm not conscience of making the most out of my space. And for those that are short on space, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to maximize what you've got.

Take for instance, the downtown renter, who when it comes to a finding an apartment, location is everything. This apartment for rent in Ottawa (my amazing and beautiful hometown) is small but sweet - perfect for the person who wants to be close to everything.

To make the most out of an apartment this size, consider these great ideas for a beautiful home.

1. Paint

First and foremost, paint is your best friend. You can change a space in an instant with a great wall colour. Plus, when it comes to renting, you can easily repaint the space back to a neutral beige or white (depending on your lease agreement). A bold accent wall can also define the space, especially in a studio apartment like this.

You can also use wall stencils as a faux-backsplash in the kitchen.

2. Furniture

The key to picking great furniture pieces for small spaces is to choose things that are double duty. Ottomans that can be used as a coffee table when placed together, a dining table that can be used as desk during non-meal times, and ovens for sweater storage. No, wait, that's Carrie Bradshaw's apartment.

This coffee table is chock-full of extra storage for DVDs, magazines, etc.

These cube ottomans are perfect for those that are short on space. The top flips over for a flat-top to use for drinks and the inside gives extra storage space. And you can easily move them together to use as a coffee table, or apart as extra seating.

 I love the clean lines of this pull-out couch, so no matter how small your place is, you can still have guests stay overnight.

3. Art & Mirrors

Just because a studio apartment is small on space, doesn't mean that the art on the walls needs to be downsized. In fact, I would go the opposite. Bigger is better. Define a space with an oversized colourful piece of art. Same goes with mirrors. Mirrors help bounce around the light in a room and when placed correctly, can make the room appear larger.

I love these mirrored shelving. They would be perfect in a small entry wall and can be used as a quick catchall for your keys, sunglasses, and cellphone.

What are your go-to tips and tricks to save on space in your home?


Dream Home: An Update

First of all, I want to address what happened here at home in Ottawa yesterday. Our city (and country) was rocked with a terrorist attack and a soldier was shot and killed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. I went home last night and hugged my daughter so tightly - I appreciate and am grateful for everything the police and first responders did to keep our city safe. #ottawastrong

Now, onto to something a little lighter... an update on the construction of our dream home.

Since I last posted, a lot has happened.

The windows have been installed along with the front door (to be shown in an upcoming picture). All electrical, plumbing, HVAC has been installed. The insulation and the drywall has been completed as well. The siding has been started on 3 of the outside walls (the 2 sides and the back). Next week, the painter will begin with the primary coat, and I'm hoping trim work and flooring should start shortly after that.

It's coming along - pretty quickly actually, but I wish I was moving in tomorrow!

Stay tuned for more pics!


Raise the Roof!

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen the latest on our dream home being built. But if you haven't seen it, here she is...

The roof shingles are officially on! And over the past 2 weeks, both HVAC and plumbing have been installed. We're hoping that windows and electrical start to go in this week. We're very excited everytime we drive by and see what else has been done. In fact, my husband and I have little bets when we turn on our street about what we think has been completed.

If you don't want to miss out on the excitement of our dream home building, follow me on Instagram!


Big Changes

It's been awhile since I've posted here, but lots has been happening over here on the home front. Back in April, my hubby and I started chatting about maybe selling our house and maybe looking at moving. That maybe turned into a huge YES!

We loved our home but the neighbourhood and the lack of backyard were far from ideal. We lived in a new build community where the houses are built too close to each other for our liking and you have very little backyard to do anything with. So, we started talking about finding a new home with more space. We started our search for an older home that we could renovate and make our own, but with the prices of the "decent" homes that we found, it would blow our budget to have to then turn around and renovate it. Ideally, we would have loved to custom build our dream home. We thought that wouldn't be an option for us either as we thought it would cost us too much. But, we thought wrong. We found a great small builder who already owned treed lots for sale and were willing to work with us in creating the perfect home for us. We were sold!

By the end of May we had signed the agreement, put down a deposit, and finalized the architectural plans. By beginning of June, our home was on the market, and within four days, it was sold! It was all happening so quickly. We were given a closing date of December 19, 2014 for the new home, but with luck we're hoping to close by beginning of December.

We have moved out of our old home and are currently living with family while our dream home gets built. We have already selected our interior and exterior finishes. And within the past few weeks, the foundation has been poured and the house has been framed.

We are so excited to start this new journey and of course I'm thrilled about designing new spaces for our home. Our dream home will be just over 2,700 square feet with four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, dining room, study, family room, kitchen and breakfast nook, laundry room and mudroom. I'm giddy with excitement for all the new furniture, lighting, artwork, and decorative accessories I get to source and buy. Not to mention finding new places for my old favourites in this fresh space. I'll be sure to post more about the building process and of course all the new projects that I'll be tackling once we move into our home this fall/winter. Also, make sure to follow me on Instagram as I'll be posting plenty of pics too!


Ensuite Bathroom Refresh

It's amazing what a little paint can do to transfer a room. I spent my last weekend painting our ensuite bathroom with a fresh light grey (Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray).

Here is the before picture of the bathroom painted in builder's beige...

And here is the after...


The Perfect Big Girl's Room

My baby girl is not yet a year old (and of course I wish I could keep her small forever), but I can't help but envision what her big girl room will look like. 

You'll remember from previous posts that her nursery currently looks like this...

We originally went with a gender-neutral nursery, but I would love to go with a fun girly room once she's a big girl. Here are a few things that are a must to include in her new room.

This Princess artwork from Urban Barn would be a great jumping off point. Plus, no one is more of a Princess than a little lady, right?

Every girl needs a great place in her room to relax, read her books, and maybe take a nap, and nothing would be more comfortable than this bean bag chair from Bean Bag Boss. This Teardrop bean bag chair has a unique shape and it would allow her to sit in any position that she wishes. I also love the quilted seat and shiny metallic fabric. The perfect throne for a little princess.

I also found this great upholstered headboard from Wayfair in a rose pink. I really like the clean lines and simplicity of the headboard. I'm sure it could follow her into her teen years.

And no bed is complete without these adorable and girly toss cushions. The two floral cushions are both from Indigo, and the middle peacock cushion is from Structube.
I LOVE this chrome light from Mobilia! There are no words on how much impact this lamp would give to a big girl's room. Plus, it coordinates so well with the silver bean bag chair.

And finally, these accessories would be the perfect "cherry on top" for her room. All of these items can be found at Z Gallerie.

Someday her room will look like this, but for now I'm going to try to keep this little girl a baby. Well, for as long as she'll let me.


Dream Home

If I am ever so lucky to own my dream home, I would hope it would look something like this (keeping in mind that expense is not an issue)...

A girl can dream, can't she?!

(all photos courtesy of Houzz)
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