Great Organizing Tips

Nearly 43% of people consider themselves disorganized.* Whether you’re naturally organized or you’re part of the 43%, here are some tips to help you get and stay organized.

1. Sort by type and colour. Whether you’re organizing your books, clothing or other items, putting items of similar function and colour family together creates a clean and orderly appearance.

2. Invest in the right tools. If you want your items to last, make sure you store them right. For example, to help ensure that your business or special occasion clothing stays in wearable condition, buy nice hangers. Wood and fabric-covered hangers drape your clothes well, and help your clothing maintain their shape. Us wooden hangers to hang your suits, jackets or business clothes and padded fabric hangers for delicate dresses and blouses.

3. Store your seasonal clothing on a metal rolling rack, and keep it in your attic, basement or garage. Cover it to help ensure that your clothing stays dust-free until you need them again.

4. Commit to organization. It’s easy to fall back into old habits from time to time. However, to ensure that your storage spaces remain organized, commit to keeping them that way. When you put away your laundry, make sure everything goes in its designated location. And, to keep down the clutter, when you buy a new item, get rid of something you don’t
use anymore.

5. Display collectibles, such as designer handbags, in storage cubes or on shelves. That way you can enjoy looking at them every tim you open your closet.

* Source: IKEA Life at Home Survey, July 2012

Get the Closet of Your Dream

Perhaps inspired by the closets seen on popular home design television shows and websites, homeowners are beginning to look at their closets in a new light. Whether your closets are the size of a small bedroom or the size of a locker, here are a few tips to help you get the storage spaces you’ve always wanted.

  1. Clear everything out of the closet, and organize it into three piles: keep, donate or toss. By clearing the clutter and getting rid of items that are broken or underused, you’ll have more room for items that you use and love.
  2. Assess the space you have, and decide how you want to organize and store your items. Discount department stores and specialty shops have a variety of baskets, shelves, hanging rods, drawer units, etc. to store your stuff.
  3. Install lighting. Great lighting will help you see everything that you have, from clothing to craft supplies. However, it’s important to have a licensed electrician install your lighting so that you can be sure that it’s up to code.
  4. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bold colour and patterns. Since your items will fill most of the space, pops of bright colour or bold patterns will give the space some character. If your closet has a door, spruce it up with paint or change the hardware.
  5. Take off the doors, and put up curtains. Closets in older homes tend to be smaller than ones in newer homes. However, you can create the illusion of space by removing the door and putting up a curtain. Tie back the curtain when you want to see your items at once or close it when you don’t. This idea is perfect for bedrooms, hobby rooms and playrooms.
  6. Install built-in custom cabinets. Cabinets aren’t just for kitchens anymore. In homes with small closets, floor-to-ceiling cabinets may give you the space you need, and they come in sizes that are perfect for the items you intend to store.
  7. Turn a wall into a closet. Who says a closet has to be built into a room? Line up a dresser, hutch, cabinet, shelving, bookcase, etc. along a wall of the room. Mix and match the furniture to fit your needs. Paint it all the same colour to create the look of uniformity.
  8. Look for furniture with storage space, such as an ottoman or bedframe with drawers under the bed, to keep the closet clutter in check

*image is California Closet

Freshen Up Your Bathroom— No Demolition Required!

If you want to make over your bathroom, but don’t want to undertake a full renovation, here are five things to do to make it look almost like new.

1. Paint. Go classic with white, create a spa retreat with soothing blues or energize your space with orange or yellow tones. Look online or through décor magazines for a surge of inspiration.

2. Lighting. See yourself in the most flattering light with new light fixtures. New lighting is an easy way to update and modernize a space without gutting it. Just be sure to hire a professional if your plans involve any rewiring.

3. Fixtures. As with lighting, new faucets add style to your space with minimal effort. Although silver-toned faucets are the finish of choice among homeowners, brushed nickel and polished chrome are also popular choices.*

4. Window treatments. Tie the look of the room together with blinds, shades or curtains—or a combination of these options. Choose bold shades to add a pop of colour to the room or keep it neutral. Whatever you choose, make sure that it complements the overall theme or style of the room.

5. Accessories. Add style and function with new accessories. If you’d like more storage, add a wall cabinet or storage tower, or repurpose an unused storage unit from around the home. Install a new mirror or towel rack to enhance the look of the room. Buy new rugs to complement the new colour scheme, and add colour or texture with vases, wall décor or similar items.

 

Top Trends in Bathroom Renovations

The bathroom is the second most popular room in the house to remodel, after kitchens.

The master bath takes center stage. 60% of homeowners who are renovating their bathrooms are renovating their master bathrooms, with 61% choosing to start from scratch after gutting the existing room.

Who needs a bathtub?

The older the homeowner, the more likely they are to skip a bathtub in master and other full bathrooms.

• 59% of homeowners aged 65+ plan to skip a tub in the master or other full bath.
• 36% of 25 to 34 year olds plan to skip it in the master.
• 39% of 25 to 34 year olds plan to skip it in another full bathroom.

Top 3 types of tubs for bath lovers:

1. Freestanding tub
2. Drop-in tub
3. Spa or jetted tub

 One sink or two?

  • 91% of homeowners are replacing their master bathroom sink.
  •  45% of homeowners aged 25 to 44 are installing two sinks
  • 58% of homeowners aged 45+ are installing two sinks.

Glass rules the master bath.

• 79% of homeowners prefer glass shower doors over a shower curtain.

Greener flushing.

• 91% of homeowners are installing high-efficiency toilets.

White cabinets are the top choice for renovations. However, dark and medium wood tones are also popular.

The top 3 wood choices:

1. Cherry
2. Maple
3. Oak

Ways to Make Your Kitchen Greener

According to the Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, 49% of homeowners say that using eco-friendly appliances and materials in their kitchen is important. If you want to make your kitchen renovation project more eco-friendly, follow these tips:

For greener cabinets:

  • Choose adhesives or glues that have no- or low-Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and formaldehyde-free.
  • Refinish cabinets with no- or low-VOC, water-based paints and stains.
  • If you use reclaimed wood, find out where the wood came from. Old wood may contain toxic chemicals.

For greener countertops:

  • Look for countertops that are made from recycled or sustainable materials.
  • Avoid using formaldehyde-based glues and adhesives during installation.
  • Seal stone with water-based, low-odor sealant.

For greener flooring:

  • Traditional linoleum is durable and easy to maintain.
  • Cork is another green option, but make sure that you use cork that was manufactured in Spain and Portugal, where environmental and health regulations are stricter than in other foreign countries.
  • Bamboo is a great choice. Just make sure it wasn’t made with formaldehyde-based binders.

Look for the Energy Star® certification on the appliances you buy. These appliances are energy efficient, which may mean more money in your pocket!

 

What’s trending in kitchen renovations? 

  • 77% of kitchen renovations involve opening the space to other rooms
  • 65% of people plan to incorprate stainless steel appliances into their kitchen
  • 50% choose granite countertops and 36% choose quartz
  • 35% choose hardwood floors, followed closely by 32% who choose tile
  • 75% choose a decor that is soft and neutral

Love is in the Air!

Sigh…. I love this time or year.  Romance, pink and red hearts on everything and candy what could be better?

By no means am I a culinary connoisseur or even a real foodie but I do like to eat! I thought this week I would suggest my fave romantic restaurants in Calgary.  

Alloy Fine Dining

Don’t think you have made a wrong turn as you approach Alloy – keep going and inside you will find a modern restaurant with sleek finishes and a very creative menu.  I always feel like a bit like an uneducated diner as I am the one, in any dinner party, to ask a million questions about the menu.  In the case of Alloy, it is because everything sounds delicious and because I’m sure it would be uncouth to order one of everything.

Chef’s Table

Nestled in the boutique Kensington Riverside Inn property, this restaurant caters to those with a sophisticated palate.  For Valentine’s Day Chef de Cuisine Michel Nop and Executive Chef Duncan Ly have developed a special seven course menu.  You will need a reservation, but I know for sure that any set menu that starts with a Lobster Bisque is sure to blow you away.

Sky360 Restaurant and Lounge

With stunning and ever changing views of our beautiful city there isn’t really much that compares. It says “the Sky 360 menu takes culinary inspiration from international cultures while maintaining a fresh & local ingredient base. Prepared through contemporary French techniques, this menu takes international cuisine to the next level” and I must say that I agree! Remember if you have a reservation you will not have to pay the elevation pass to go up the Calgary Tower.

CHARCUT Roast House

Any list would be amiss without this restaurant, ranked the #5 Best Restaurant in Canada and winner of the Best Female Chef in Canada it serves local, chef-driven, urban-rustic cuisine. My suggestion is to start with the Charcut Board and then anything else that suits your fancy – you really can’t go wrong here!

Rouge

Making a stop in my Calgary neighborhood – Inglewood – is a must. At Rouge expect a warm European like atmosphere and a gourmet menu with incredible local ingredients (some even from the backyard garden). If you are new to fine dining do not hesitate to go to Rouge when you get a chance, you will not be disappointed.

 

Making your sweetie’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean taking them to any of my favourite restaurants (although that is a nice gesture) it means taking some time to let them know they are special to you.  For other great date ideas this weekend in Calgary visit The Valentine’s Day Guide.

 

To all my friends and family – love ya xoxo