Friday, July 31, 2009

12 Ways to Use an Armoire

1. Laundry Station: A space for folding laundry as well as storage for detergent, fabric softener, and laundry supplies. You can even attach hooks on the outside and hang your folded up ironing board.

2. Gift Wrapping Centre: A flat surface for wrapping gifts and plenty of storage space for supplies - gift bags, kraft paper, tape, scissors, and greeting cards. Install long dowels on the back wall to hold your rolls of wrapping paper and ribbon. A birthday calendar on the inside of the door helps make sure you don't forget any special events.

3. Entertainment Centre: An excellent way to hide the TV, DVD player, video games, stereo, and their less-than-pretty wires.

4. Microwave Cart: In the kitchen, an armoire can hold your microwave, freeing up counter space. You can use the shelves and drawers for anything from cookbooks and tablecloths to mixing bowls and baking needs. Paint the inside of one of the doors with chalkboard paint and you have space for a quick grocery list as well.

5. Home Office: If you're short on space, an armoire can make an excellent home office – you get a work surface as well as storage for office files, supplies and paperwork.

6. Bathroom Vanity: If you have the space in your bathroom, an armoire with a mirror installed on the inside makes a great vanity – and the drawers are perfect for stashing towels, toiletries and cosmetics.

7. Bar: Perfect for mixing drinks and storing bar supplies – bottles, cocktail napkins, and garnishes. Screw a slotted rack into the top shelf for hanging stemware.

8. Baby Changing Station: Makes a great hide-away change table with plenty of storage space for diapers and accessories.

9. Linen Closet: If you don't have a linen closet, an armoire is a great place to store bedding and towels.

10. Jewelry Box: Have a lot of jewelry and accessories? Mount small hooks in rows along the inside walls for a great way to store necklaces and earrings. Scarves, rings, and hair accessories can all be kept in small baskets on the shelves or in the drawers.

11. Gardening station: Store your gardening pots, seeds and soil, and use the flat surface for potting and tending to plants.

12. Craft Station: A great place to store craft supplies with a flat surface for working on projects – scrapbooking, stamping, beading, cardmaking and more. Everything is within reach when you need it, yet easily hidden away when you're done.

Can you think of any other uses?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Awesome Project Update!!

We're going to be on TV tonight!!

CTV news is covering the room makeover project - we were interviewed this afternoon and it should air tonight at 6 (cross your fingers that no bigger stories come up to bump us!!).

Donation-wise, the project is coming along well - Timmins Decorating Centre is contributing the paint, and Home Depot is providing us with a closet organizing system, the wood to build my top-secret craft station, and new carpet. Some of the nurses at the local hospital have donated money to purchase craft supplies as well.

I can't wait until September when we put the room together!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quick & Easy Bathroom Makeover

The main issue with this small bathroom: the client hated their bland colour scheme. Throw in a floor with pink undertones and a way-too-orange vanity, and the result is less than pretty. As the home's only bathroom it's always used by visitors, which made the homeowner cringe...she wanted a prettier room that wouldn't have her afraid to offer drinks to houseguests!

The solution? We started with a gorgeous shower curtain (Martha Stewart), then drew our other colours from that. Walls were painted a much more interesting red (Benjamin Moore's hot apple spice) and the vanity was painted out in davenport tan (now it's no longer the first thing your eye goes to when you walk into the room). The plain mirror was updated with wood trim - also painted davenport tan.

The result is a room the homeowner loves - done quickly and easily on a budget!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We made the newspaper!

The local newspaper ran an article about our project today!

A new bedroom for Kendall

When Designers Unlimited first formed, it was simply a place where women who own their own businesses could network and learn from each other.

Today, the group of seven local business women is putting its efforts into a very worthy cause.

A couple of years ago, the group redesigned a waiting room in the critical care unit at Timmins and District Hospital. Wanting to recreate that effort, the group poured its expertise in home design and art into the room of one special little girl.

Last year, seven-year-old Kendall Fountain's life changed forever when she was diagnosed with craniopharyngioma, a slow-growing benign tumour in the central part of her brain.

After contacting the Canadian Cancer Society, Designers Unlimited was informed of the little Timmins girl who was spending a lot of her time in a hospital being tested and treated for her illness.

Knowing that Kendall will be going through difficult times as she battles her illness, the group decided to try and brighten up a small portion of her life -- her bedroom.

After meeting with Kendall and learning her likes and dislikes, group member Heather Cote of Stylish Solutions put her skills to task and already has a design in mind.

"I know her favourite colour is pink and that she wants an area to do crafts and puzzles without the cat walking all over it," Cote said. "We want this to be a special place for her in which to recuperate and relax."

Kendall's mother, Carmen Fountain, said her daughter will soon be going into treatment. Carmen is looking forward to her daughter being able to enjoy her new room.

"It'll be nice for her to come home to the new room," Fountain said.

But Kendall will be just the first to receive a room makeover.

Cote said the group hopes to renovate a room every year for a child in Timmins with a serious illness.

At no cost to the parents, the group will come up with a design and do the work, while depending on local businesses to donate the needed items, such as paint, fabrics and bed clothing.

"We can't fix what's wrong, but we can do something to make them feel better while they are going through their ordeal," Cote said. "These kids are sick and we want to treat them to a nice place to play that's their own outside the hospital."

The children will be able to talk to the designers to ensure that the room truly becomes the dream room they've always wanted.

Cote started Designers Unlimited when she first moved back to Timmins and was working to start up her own business. Since then, graphic designer Denise DeForge, portrait artist Elaine McCurdie, photographer Julie Regimbal, window treatment and bedding creator Renee Bellavance, professional home cleaner Tina Green and Lisa Bryce, who specializes in event stationary and giftware and digital scrapbooking and genealogy, have joined.

"It started out with those in home decor, but we've expanded to include any woman in business," Cote said. "Still, everything pretty much compliments each other."

While work on Kendall's room is currently underway, the actual makeover is set to take place in September.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Quick Painting Tips

As much as I love choosing colours, I really dislike painting. I end up with paint in my hair, on my clothes, in the middle of the ceiling...

Here are a few painting tips to help the job go more smoothly:

When you remove your outlet covers and light switch covers for painting, tape the screws to the backs of the covers so you don’t have to look for them when you’re ready to put them back on.

Alternatively, you can use Ziploc storage bags - just put each switch plate and its screws into a small Ziploc bag, marking its location on the bag. (This also works well for curtain hardware.)

When painting a room, if you don't finish all in one day, just cover your roller with a tightly wrapped plastic bag or saran wrap, and put it in the fridge. When you take it out the next day it will still be wet and ready to go.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Our project is underway!!!

Last night I got to meet the little girl who will be receiving our dream room makeover. I can't wait to get started - I was awake half the night thinking of ideas to create the perfect room for her! It's going to be a wonderful project for our group.

News releases are going out today, and we've started our search for materials and supplies (cross your fingers for us!). Throughout the project I'll be updating here as well as on my facebook page and website.

Here's a before picture to kick things off...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Don't Forget the Ceiling!

I love the look of tin ceilings, especially in older homes like ours...but the cost can be prohibitive. Luckily you can recreate the look with embossed wallpaper in a tin-panel pattern. Once it’s up and painted, it will look just like a real tin ceiling, but at a small fraction of the cost. (Side note: when hanging wallpaper on the ceiling, a third person comes in really handy. So does a heating pad – working overhead can really do a number on your neck!). A but more expensive but MUCH less work – 12” x 12” tin-style ceiling tiles. The result is the same, but it becomes a one-person job.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Back home after a week away visiting friends and family down in Southern Ontario. We had a great time visiting, sightseeing, Great Wolf Lodge, etc....and also got to see some great decorating ideas (yes, I'm a little obsessed)! I think the kids thought I was a bit nuts getting so excited over the decor in each of our hotel rooms (first time I've ever been in a hotel that had the walls painted something other than beige...our Barrie hotel actually had a mustard yellow accent wall!).

Also got to introduce the kids to one of my favourite stores from when we lived down south - Ikea. I behaved myself and only bought vases though!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I love happy clients!!

A couple of weeks ago I was waiting to pick my kids up at school when a young girl walked up and introduced herself. Turns out the bedroom I had recently designed was hers, and she wanted to tell me how much she loved it!

"Thanks for picking out the stuff for my room - it's awesome! I love it! Thank you!"

It's so great to hear from happy clients! And my kids were quite impressed that Mommy is now what they consider "famous"...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quick & Easy Kitchen Makeover - On a Budget

This kitchen had several things that bothered the homeowner (aka me!)...the previous owners had chosen everything they liked without considering whether or not they went together (they mostly didn't!). The biggest problem was the backsplash - the contrasting grout
and the pattern on the tiles made the room look way too busy. Since a full kitchen makeover was being planned for a couple of years from now, all that was needed for now was a quick fix to make the room bearable for the homeowners who frowned every time we entered the kitchen.

Our quick and easy solution? A quart of paint (Davenport Tan HC-76) covered the backsplash and got rid of the busy lines, instantly making the room seem less cluttered. And a few $4 placemats were used to create a custom valance for the window.
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