Friday, February 15, 2013

Showing our home some love

The title of this post was inspired by non other than Young House Love's book that my sister gave me for Christmas.

Now that our wedding is a lovely memory I day dream about almost daily (totally true), I am excited about putting some of our extra time and money towards other areas of our life.  Yes, Derek, don't worry - that includes saving and paying off debt if you are reading...

If it was up to me I would put all of our disposable time and income towards decorating our condo.  I’m pretty obsessed with moving things forward, but just can’t seem to find the time or energy.  Well and the obvious big kicker, the budget.  Anyone with me?  

The money part is not going to stop me from getting started on my plans though, since there are a lot of things I think we can do for little money or even free!  (i.e. organize the closet, purge clothing, hang art work we already own...)

One of the reasons I love my blog is that I can treat it like a diary and write down my plans and goals.  And they say that if you write things down you are more likely to accomplish them.  They also say that sharing your goals with others is a good way to put the pressure on.

Bonus: creating a list means you get to cross things off!  Crossing things off a list is like my favourite thing in the world.  Sometimes I write lists of things I’ve already completed just so that I can cross them off.  I knnow that is sort of cheating, but whatever.  Makes my heart sing.

So here it is, a breakdown down of what I would to love to accomplish in each room of the condo.  The list is long and will probably evolve over time, but at least I will have put the first draft out there.  I've also included an estimated budget for each item.  I have no idea if this is accurate, but it will at least give us something to work from.

I've also included some inspiration photos so you can see where my head's at!


I am very happy with the bedroom furniture that we have (it’s the pieces we are missing that bothers me).  I have a vision for this room that includes moody gray walls, with purple and dark wooden accents. 
  • Walls: choose paint colour and decide whether or not to do an accent wall behind the bed (I’m thinking stencil, wall paper, or grass cloth). ($250 for supplies if we paint ourselves)

  • Clothing storage: we need to organize our closet, purge items and purchase a dresser for the room.  This may be a top priority, as I’m starting to go bananas from our disorganization.  I’m thinking something tall and slim for the corner of the room where our mirror currently leans.  ($300)
  • Lighting: we have a ceiling outlet without a fixture.  I would love to find something soft and romantic with a dimmer, mostly for mood lighting.  I am totally in love with capiz chandeliers. ($100)
  • Artwork: there is nothing on our walls.  I would love to have a few of our wedding photos blown up for above the bed and then go from there. ($150)
Total budget: $800


Firstly, the bathroom is pretty tiny and there is no counter space.  Any impact that is going to made must come from the wall colour or shower curtain – there is hardly room for artwork or accessories!
  • We need a new, longer shower curtain that doesn’t make our shower look like it’s wearing Steve Urkel pants. ($30)
  • I don’t like the placement of the towel bar which is above the toilet and would like to remove it.  I think we can hang a few hooks behind the door as a replacement. ($15)
  • Under the sink: well this is kind of a disaster.  I need to figure out an inexpensive way to organize our toiletries. ($20)

  • Medicine Cabinet: I love that we have a built in medicine cabinet and I am totally inspired by these photos.  I want to make it pretty, colourful and organized in there so that it puts a smile on my face every time I open the door. ($15)
  • Colour: because I’m not ready to paint yet, I’m going to try and add some colour through hand towels and maybe some art. ($40)
Total budget: $120


I’m pretty happy with how the kitchen functions.  With our book case on the opposite wall I feel as though we have ample storage.  We do however have extra items that are never used and take up precious space.  This calls for a de-clutter.
  • Stools: we would love to have some stools for our island; we just need to find the time to hunt for them! ($200)
  • Accent Wall: I would love to do something with our little wall at the end of the island.  Chalkboard paint, a bold colour, wall paper? ($40)
  • Shelving: I think some shelves on the kitchen side of the accent wall will add interest and storage.  I like the industrial look, and these IKEA shelves. ($60)

Total budget: $300

Living/Dining Room

This is where we spend the majority of our time.  The good news is that we love the big pieces of furniture we already have and are just missing a couple items. 
  • TV Situation: I believe I’ve mentioned before that the TV set-up is temporary.  In my dreams that wall would house a midcentury modern console, adding a warm wood tone to our space while hiding away all those pesky wires.  ($500)

  • Walls: we like them white for now, but maybe one day a soft gray would be nice. (no idea?  This is a ways away)
  • Artwork: we love our California collage above Cedric, but now that our new table has finally arrived it needs some love too.  We can’t decide what to do, but thought a wood framed mirror would like nice. ($100)
  • Lighting: our floor lamp is awesome, but we still have a ceiling outlet above our dining table that needs a chandelier.  We have a few gift certificates from ZONE that have added up over the past few months so we thing there would be a great place to start looking and so far I've found one I really like. ($150) 

  • Area rug: I want one bad!  Not only to ground the space, but to add some comfort and softness to the room.  I love how a Persian rug looks in a modern space, but I don't know if Derek is sold. ($300)

  • Curtains: I can’t decide if I want to hang panels just to soften the space and add colour/pattern. ($100)
Total budget: $1260


I really need some inspiration for this room.  Its main use is to hold junk and our laundry.  It is where our friends sleep when they stay over and our future plan is make it a (very small) nursery with built-in storage.
  • Artwork: my goal is to create a gallery wall above our futon by spring!  I have almost everything I need; I just need to get my act together.  YHL actually just posted a tutorial on how they hung a gallery wall, so I think I’ll follow that. ($50, mostly for the frames)

Total budget: $50


We don’t have much of an entrance, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create impact in this small space (along with some organization).

  • Closet: this is a huge closet, and although it’s not terrible right now, I think we can purge some things.  I would love some pretty, matching baskets with labels too J (free)
  • Bench: a place to sit when we put on our shoes and also act as a semi divider for the den would be nice.  If it included storage – bonus! ($150)
  • Entry table: we have a little guy who has been serving us well.  We’ve got a spot for our keys and loose change, but I would love to get some drawer dividers and add a mirror on the wall above it. ($15)

Total budget $165


This is a small space that won’t take much to spruce up, but once the warmer weather hits I do want to make good use of this extra square footage.
  • Outdoor rug: we had one at our old place and loved the pop of colour it added! ($75)
  • Plants: I would like a tall palm plant of some sort along with some flowers boxes. ($50)
  • Storage box: I keep my soccer bag on the balcony in the summer time – it would be good to have a storage box to hide it (along with any other random sports equipment) away in. ($30)
Total budget: $155

Woah, things add up quickly, eh!?  Almost $3000 for all the little improvements I would like to make.  If we put away about $170/month over a year and a half I will have enough money to do everything on my list.  So, maybe I will make that a goal: save a little bit each month, and work away as the time goes by, beginning with the smaller things first, while saving for more expensive changes.

You heard it here folks: Meaghan has put together a budget!

So, how do you guys do it?  See a piece of furniture you love, put it on your credit card and pay later?  Or do you save your pennies until you have enough to pay in full?  It can be hard to wait sometimes, especially if you see something you LOVE!  But then it can be hard to justify large purchases too.  Especially since we haven't saved up for other priorities like an "emergency fund" (I had no idea this was supposed to equal approximately 3 months salary).  Not to worry - we will get there!

The Great Glebe Garage Sale is coming up in the spring and this year I will definitely be creating a detailed list and taking the shopping very seriously.  Derek - be warned!  

My goal is to tackle the bathroom organization first.  I actually stopped at the dollar store and picked up some storage containers that I love.  I can't wait to share that with you!

Happy Friday everyone!

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