Room for Two

When we were searching for a house for our then family of three, our realtor advised us to consider a 3-bedroom, because it is better for resale than a 2-bedroom.

In the area we were looking, 3 bedroom townhomes are essentially the same square footage, but with smaller rooms.

The place we fell in love with had 2 bedrooms, and was really bright and well laid out. I knew that we were buying a relatively long-term home, so I didn’t feel that our choice should based on “resale” potential. We bought it, and we haven’t looked back 🏡❤

So what does two bedrooms mean for a growing family?

At some point it became customary for each child to immediately have their own bedroom, though there are many benefits to sharing a room with siblings. 👫

First and foremost, I want my kids to learn how to share a space and toys, while respecting each other and others’ personal belongings. And if the choice is between two small barely functional bedrooms and one large functional space…I think it’s a no-brainer! 💡💡💡

Now that our family has gained a member, we’re gearing up to transform the kids bedroom to suit the needs of two girls, and I’m so excited!

We’re removing the original built in closet to build in a loft bed, leaving lots of floor space for playing.

Current state of bedroom – warts and all. Built in storage is going to help a lot!

We’ve already installed a wardrobe to replace the lost closet space, and will be building in a window bench with storage below to house all the extra toys and books. Something akin to this:

Source: Samantha Pynn for HGTV

My 6-year-old is excited about the changes, and has been mentally preparing to share her room as soon as she found out she’s going to be a big sister.

Once baby has outgrown the “roll off the bed” and “swallow anything” phase, she will be officially moving to The Girls Room, and I can’t wait for them to take their sisterhood to the next level 💪 ;

Bedtime chats, inside jokes, playing and giggling instead of sleeping, telling each other stories, and sharing their dreams 

I know that sharing a room will come with conflicts and challenges, but it will teach them valuable skills and bring invaluable bonding — and I can’t wait to create the space to facilitate all that!

💞 Vera

Botanical Wall

If I love a dress a friend is wearing, I will ask where she got it, and I will buy it and I will wear it, regardless of the silent disapproval. 🤭  I feel that if you love something, there is no shame in acquiring it, even if someone else “got to it first”.

In this case, when I stumbled upon the photo below on Pinterest, I immediately felt that my life would be incomplete without that same botanical grid in my dining room!  I loved how crisp and colourful it looked – a real modern take on botanical artwork.

Source: Dimples & Tangles

I searched high and low for the same book of botanical drawings and finally found a used one that wasn’t outrageously expensive. When it came in the mail, I imagined myself using the same butterfly pictures Jennifer used, since that’s what I loved most in the Pinterest photos 🦋, but upon closer inspection I realized they just didn’t coordinate with my soon-to-be curtains.  

Unfortunately, at first glance it seemed that all the images with the perfect colours were phobia-inducing spiders and insects…not the vibe I was going for in the dining room.

It took several hours of going through every page in the book to first find a selection of images in the right colours (with minimal bugs),  and then to lay out the right composition.

In the end, I actually got a few pretty butterflies in, and decided to throw a zebra into the mix – to lighten up the otherwise pretty traditional artwork.

I should note that I didn’t start this project as soon as I got the book, since I needed to find the right frames first. Because I needed at least 9 frames, I had to hold out until I found big enough ones for a low enough price.

A Dollarama came through for me eventually, with some matted black frames at just $3 a pop. If you don’t know, that’s a steal! 👏

The mattes that came in the frames allowed me to nicely crop each picture. The challenging part was the hanging, since the loops on the back side were in different spots on each frame, but c’est la cheap frame vie!

The day was long since done by the time I’d finished, but the result was worth the effort.  It doesn’t look exactly like my inspiration but it fits beautifully with the rest of the space, and really anchors the dining table in the room.

Here it is in all its finished glory!

To me it feels nostalgic, and warm and welcoming.

It’s the first thing you see when you walk up the stairs, and it’s exactly the impression I want to give to anyone entering my home…though my husband still feels that there are too many bugs 🙄

Interior Design is not a luxury

When I started Design school I knew that I wanted to have my own business when I graduated, and I knew that I wanted to provide services for people with typical (read: small) budgets. I truly believe in the importance of a well designed home, and that it shouldn’t only be accessible to those with $$$ spilling out of their wallets.

Interior Design doesn’t need to be a luxury, and it is as much about practicality as it is about beauty. It starts with the simple question – how are you going to use the space?

Design is in the accessibility of your favourite accessories or food. It’s in the comfort of your sofa, and the location of your favourite reading spot. It’s in the availability of sufficient seating for your dinner guests, and the arrangement of your living room for the various activities your family performs daily.

When your home meets your needs, your quality of life increases. And when your home reflects your taste and style, it becomes a truly special place. Everyone deserves a home that feels special and functions well for their way of life, and the best thing is that you don’t always need to hire a professional to help you achieve this goal!

Simply ask yourself the question, “how do I…” or “how do I want to use this space?”, and be conscious of anything that isn’t working for you.

When you shift from trying to make your life fit your home, to making your home fit your life, it can open you up to very creative and rewarding solutions.

Follow the hashtag #designtiptuesday on Instagram for weekly design tips that may inspire you to make small changes on the way to achieving your ideal space!

👋 Vera

Hard Work Wednesday

I’m not adverse to hard work. I have taken on many do-it-yourself projects in the name of creativity, thriftiness, and saving money for myself and my clients.

More often than not I forget to document the process because either I am so excited and involved in my project (like the time I refinished a beautiful teak director’s chair for my brother and sister-in-law ✨👏), or I just want to get it over with as soon as possible (like the time I reglazed a [supposedly unused] bidet for a client 🤢🤫).

In any case, it’s nice to remember both the labour of love and just the labour I’ve put in over the years! 😄 For that, I am starting #hardworkwednesday as a way to compile all those DIY projects (such as the botanical print grid pictured above) and other “hard work” I am so drawn to! More on the picture grid project and others to come 📻

👋 Vera