The Hub ...
Hub is where the heart is

As defined by Wikipedia.org in the context of a computing hub: ‘referring to a node with a huge number of links’.

What a wonderful analogy for the family computer area in the upstairs landing that accesses: two kids and the parent’s bedrooms, bathroom, laundry area, bookcase/learning centre (transformed linen closet) and the stairwell. This is a crossing of paths becoming a major intersection of family life in the home.

Bordering on the Family zone in terms of Feng Shui this is an ideal placement! With a wood desk and artwork representative of the family, complete with a lively upward growing plant, all the Feng Shui implements are present.

Due to the high volume of foot traffic the vertical space was used to the advantage with this slim style ladder desk. The black accent colour provides a much needed contrast to the uniformity white of the doors and walls. This decorative while purposeful long oblong ‘catch all’ bowl camouflages any temporary items.

Home sweet home; hub sweet hub!

September, 2021

‘Create a life you don’t need a vacation from’

Two summers ago my family made the move from urban life to one that’s more suburban. This was a big move - not so much in distance, but in life change. Previously having only a concrete pad a green space was a dream come true …. a place to play, a place to create, a place to socialize, a place to relax.

This dry creek bed is a pivotal element representing that of flowing water. Water in addition to elements of earth, wood, fire and metal are at the essence of the Feng Shui philosophy. By bringing all the elements into balance this symbolically also creates balance within.

Starting with a mini field of overgrown weeds; then project by project this yard has grown into a wonderful oasis that I get to live everyday!

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August, 2021

‘Creating something is all about problem-solving’

(Quote by Philip Seymour Hoffman)

An end of season deal this sling top pergola kit sat for the winter in the basement. This was ideal as my brain needed time to percolate on ideas of how this was going to be adapted for my yard.

Since there is no level patio area the base needed to incorporate a levelling mechanism. So was born both an elegant and practical solution.

By attaching the four metal posts to varying numbers of plywood squares a level base was created. To disguise these bases the posts were embedded into four tall custom planters filled with rocks to solidify the foundation. Landscape cloth then layered over the rocks and was covered with soil to provide mini flowerbeds to the plants.

To offer additional shade a pair of fabric shower curtains are hung on a basic drapery rod attached by zip-tie loops. When not in-use the curtains simply flip up and around through the corner arches of the overhead structure.

By thinking outside the box a marvellous custom pergola was crafted!

July, 2021

Don’t get hung up on the labels

Moving to a new house I was most excited about closets. Yes that’s right! ... front entry closet, cleaning closet, large pantry and the linen closet. In my previous home there were many shortfalls in storage space including the absence of a linen closet!

I had adapted by buying an independent wardrobe unit that I allocated to linens and other storage. While it was yet another piece of furniture it served well making items easily accessible; having a mirror as one of the three doors just increased it’s usefulness.

Now spoiled with a real linen closet I was ready to switch things up - so I thought. After filling the closet with all the towels, sheets, blankets I found it was not as convenient as the wardrobe set-up that I had created and become accustomed to. With a large master bedroom there was space for the wardrobe, so the reverse switch was done leaving an empty closet in the upstairs hallway/landing area.

Sooo here it is - linen closet turned kids bookcase and learning centre!

June, 2021

Size Doesn’t Matter with Good Space Planning

My spouse has commented on more than one occasion how every square foot of our home (almost 1,500 sq. ft in size) is used daily. I translate this into a huge compliment towards my ability to space plan.

Upon first viewing our now home I marvelled at the large foyer space with glowing natural light shining through the door sidelights, complete with a double door over-sized closet. One could say the front entryway had me at ‘Hello’…

This area is priceless! It has become the office, the craft room, the school room, the ‘dumping’ zone. This is all in addition to the normal tasks of an entryway.

On an average morning I sit at the desk with my cup of tea checking my e-mail while basking in the morning sun. Then it’s ‘go-time’ … rain pants, jackets, hats, gloves and boots all pulled from their respective storage locations to get two young children off and out-the-door. Now onto mid-morning the space is transformed into a preschool video class involving a craft; video and work stations - check, check; class supplies retrieved from storage - check.

With a momentary reprieve, then comes the after-school dump … backpack, projects, outdoor wear strewn everywhere, but at least limited to the foyer area. Then sets forth the imagination station - closet doors open to expose an organized array of paint, play dough, construction paper, glue. And finally a quick clean-up - all to repeat again the next day!

May, 2021

If nothing changes, nothing changes

(Quote by Courtney C. Stevens)

As kids our living environments changed regularly ... cribs to big beds, introduction of a desk then adding on a lounge area, art and wall decor were a rotating gallery allowing for personal expression. This evolution responded to both our physical and inner needs.

While we may stop growing in height, inside we never stop evolving ... so why do our living spaces?

If I feel stuck or inspired for growth I will often start changing things up in my home ... re-orientating furniture, moving around decor, decluttering. The risk is low as there is no cost or commitment, but the impact can be profound.

A little change - can create a big change. The possibilities are endless!

“El had suggested with the darker colour of my walls and wanting to bridge in the two colours of my duvet, that we remove a large original painting above my bed so we could have a blank canvas to work from to focus on just the colour of my duvet and my walls. After the initial trepidation with this suggestion (as I adored this painting and it had hung in that spot for 13 years), to my surprise this painting took on a new life in the Zen den. This precipitated the move of the bookshelf from my Zen den to a cove off my dining room and moving a sofa table to Zen den (to anchor the painting) to create a new home office in my cove.

Over a few hours, by moving around furniture and artwork we transformed the use of some spaces and opened up new perspectives and possibilities! My spring cleaning has taken on a new level! I feel passionate and rejuvenated to enhance the home I love into one I love even more with small and thoughtful changes that are having a positive domino effect. I am so thrilled ... thank you El for your creative brilliance!” - Dawn

April, 2021

Layering in Happiness

It all started with a problem: 'Where the heck do I put this very well-loved recliner ???'' - that is apparently here to stay and takes up a surprising amount of space!

Answer: The empty area in the corner edged one side to the fridge and the other the dining table.

Next: Layer in happiness...

-Build character... The side table is a refurbished stool that my Mother’s father had handcrafted.

-Create purpose... With the addition of task lighting the space is now defined as a reading nook.

-Soften the look... The addition of varying textiles creates a sense of opulence and comfort. The faux cow hide breaks up the hard floor and continual darkness; while the faux cream sheepskin serves double duty to warm the brown leather and camouflage the well-worn chair arm.

-Embellish with colour... The existing colour palette of browns, creams and blues is reflected in the circular tray. The throw pillow in a pop of blue draws the eye in.

-Feng Shui the area... As this area relates to the prosperity zone displaying items that symbolically enhance the idea of wealth and reflect life dreams are ideal. Additions of a jade plant, also know as the money plant, and the inspirational wall canvas are reminders to this thinking.

-Personalize... The stool legs provide the perfect support to display a collection of soul-filled books unique to my interests.

This space has evolved over time with many hours rocking back and forth. That once ‘dreaded’ chair has found new love within me. I can honestly say this is now my ‘quiet, calm, reflective happy place’.

March, 2021

Celebrating life!

A few summers ago I got chatting with a gentleman sitting at the same wedding reception table. Weddings unto themselves involve numerous celebrations of love ... engagement parties, bridal showers, then the big day! Anyhow this gentleman was commenting on how we don’t celebrate enough in life ...

My initial response as I am striving for a more minimalistic lifestyle was one of shock. Thinking of all the excessiveness these festivities bring. Where do you store those endless decorations, is matching everything dining really necessary? But as I reflected more he was right; life is worth celebrating - how we do that is one of personal desire.

I have strategically allowed for some blank canvasses in my home to ‘celebrate’. I celebrate inviting the fun of decorating into my life.

Mountain shelf, art wall, porch post are my transient pieces that are forever getting costume changes as I celebrate my life!

February, 2021
Evolving an idea into reality, Transforming normal to remarkable, Discovering a fresh perspective, Injecting soul and vitality, Rejuvenating ways to live