If I have one addiction, it’s shopping. I’m a sucker for fun fashion, expressive pieces, cool textures and playful colours. I have a lot of fun dressing myself, and I am lucky to have a partner who indulges me by allowing me to act as his own personal style consultant. I love playing dress-up so very much that I found myself a job with a great company which allows me to play dress-up all day long, and get paid for it. I think I hit the jackpot.
I’ve always sung the praises of items which can transition your wardrobe from season to season, and finding new ways to wear items which you already own. I love shopping, yes, but I also know that we’re real people with real budgets and real rent and hydro and car bills to pay, so I really emphasize the versatility of certain items which will help you get the best bang for your buck.
Last weekend, I was meandering around my apartment, and I realized that I had lots of everything. This everything has a place, yes, but instead of having one area where I keep, say, hair accessories, I had several. One special spot in almost every room. I also noticed that our black-and-white decor which once seemed modern and cool, had become a bit bland for my tastes. I set out, mentally re-organizing our place, room by room. After only a few hours and a lot of garbage runs, I cleared out our junk, sorted the keepers and tidied everything. I was really impressed with the turnout, so during the week, I treated our place to some new bits and pieces, ranging from fun little art pieces to a whole new TV bench. I have planned a painting party for next weekend which will give our place a fun splash of colour. Today, I’ll be sharing some of the simple tips I used to makeover my apartment, and how to create an oasis out of chaos with little pocket damage and only a few hours of work.
The easiest way to re-do a room? A fresh coat of paint. You can add interest with a focus wall painted in a vibrant hue, or add warmth to white walls with a toasty tan colour. Keep the use of the room in mind too. For example, if you’d like your washroom to take on the feel of a calm, spa-like atmosphere, painting the walls a rubber-ducky yellow may not be the most soothing on the eyes. Similarly, painting your breakfast area a dull shade of blue-grey may cast a lethargic shadow on your day. Colour is directly tied to mood, so consider who will be using the room, and when, and pick accordingly. Also, while fresh matte paint is lovely, it can definitely attract scuffs and smudges, especially in light colours. Picking an eggshell or semi-gloss paint will provide low-maintenance walls for years… or until you decide to redecorate again! I’ve become increasingly smitten with vintage-looking furniture too, and a coat of paint can be distressed with sandpaper or steel wool, creating a romantic, old-world feel for your ho-hum furniture too. Inspired by my black-and-white Miz Mooz Patsy shoes, I’ll be transforming my dove grey walls to bright white, with jet-black trim to make our new seafoam furniture pop! Easy and affordable!
INVEST IN CUSTOM ORGANIZATION
Simple. We use what we like. By investing in organizational items and fixtures, you’ll be far more prone to using them. Forget about the pre-established organizational containers and find your own. Have more necklaces that you’d normally fit into one of those tiny jewellery boxes? (Like I do! I have more Curious Oddities and Sailor Girl jewellery than I know what to do with!) Skip it and find an interesting cork board and fun pushpins and space it out as you need. Loads of purses? Pass on typical purse hangers and opt for S-hooks, hanging them along an easy-to-instal secondary garment rail. Customizable closet organizers are wonderful because they allow you to alter your space to accommodate your needs. That way, you don’t have a gaping space where you’ve hung two long dresses, while the tiny spot for tops is jam-packed. Organizing in a way that works for you is important. If you normally blow-dry your hair in the bedroom, store your dryer and brushes there. If you ONLY read in the living room, placing your bookshelves in the same room will avoid displaced clutter. Do you take your shoes off before you enter the home? Keeping space free for a shoe cabinet will relieve your hallway of old-shoe landmines and streamline your entrance way. Storing things in visually attractive containers will encourage you to sort them more often, and making them easy-access will ensure you get all the use out of the garments and accessories you have.
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
If you’re like me, you have a lot of little things. Little things which often don’t really have a “right place”. So I will say this once, and I’ll hope that it doesn’t get abused: Having a junk drawer is okay. For the rest of the stuff, even if it IS organized impeccably, any collection of items which is visually accessible can look like clutter. So, rather than storing it away and having to fish for it later, add a barrier to contain the items. For example, having a shelf full of DVDs can take away from colour or themed decor, so placing them inside a cabinet with doors will keep them accessible but out of sight, creating that much more of a neat environment. Rather than having a dozen bottles of perfume scattered across your dresser, place them inside a neat, little, patterned box which matches the theme of the room. I’ve grabbed some cute fabric boxes in patterns similar to our Mandala Design and Annie50 fabrics. Leaving some items free can create a cool effect too, as you’ll read next, but for non-exciting items which have little to no artistic or decor value, keep these guys tucked away so that the focus of the room is on the fun stuff.
BUNCHES OF BUNCHES
To totally contradict what’s written above, we’ll chat about the few times that bunches of “organized chaos” is attractive in a home. Some of our jewellery designers do this when setting up their cases, to make the small space visually dynamic and interesting. Scattering small clusters of colour co-ordinated items (like books, candles, or vintage-looking glass bottles) can create a warm, inviting and interesting vibe for your space. Typical statuettes and photo frames can easily be replaced by quirkier items, which are intended solely for decor. This does not mean that you should crack out your Mum’s old 60s blender and plop it on a side table, but rather display items you truly enjoy and ones which have a story or history behind them, and can act as discussion topics. No one is fascinated with your son’s collection of toy cars, but they do want to hear about the adorable vintage alarm clock which is sitting on your mantel.
Impulse buying happens when a person reacts to a product which they were instantly attracted to. We’re rarely attracted to a neutral, safe curtain, or to a muted throw pillow. If you see something which really grabs your attention, think of how fabulous it’ll look incorporated into your place! Its those instant “wow” moments and the items which inspire them, which are so telling of our style and tastes. For example, our stores always showcase our most vibrant, and exciting items prominently, because we know our customers will love them, and we want to make it easy for you to find what you need. Taking ‘risks;’ on things like coloured rugs, textured vases and oversized clocks can bring about a totally fresh vibe for your home! So, if you’re browsing your favourite home store, and you come across an item which draws your attention, find one in a colour which suits your theme (an accent colour, not a neutral! No cheating!) and bring it home with you! Its those touches of design flare, like a chevron curtain, or a crystal-look chandelier, which give your place character, taste and personality. Go crazy, have fun, and make your space YOURS!