{i'm featured: diy club life and home ezine}

Check out the latest issue chock full of organizational and DIY ideas!

{I'm on page 56}

{the great clean out}

Today I am participating in 10 Rooms' The Great Clean Out.

It is fitting as we just had The Great Switch at our house to start the new year of with an organizational bang.

 For those of you who don't know what I mean by that, we switched around 3 rooms upstairs in our home in order to create a space for the kids to hang out with their friends. My daughter moved out of the large room {which technically is a games/playroom} and moved into her brother's room. Her brother moved into what was the den. The den moved into the newly carved out games room. A switch of this magnitude required planning. My daughter and I drew up plans to make sure furniture fit in their new spaces. We had to switch the ownership of a few pieces, which are now waiting for an updated paint colour.

What I am focussing on for The Great Clean Out is the bookcase and closet in the new games room, since the room is not quite finished. 

What this great switch forced me to do was to finally go through all the boxes and books we stuffed into the bookcase and closet when we moved in 2 years ago. I failed to take a before picture but here is an in-the-middle of the switch picture.

After sorting, purging and re-organizing...

here is the after.

The bookcases are Billy bookcases from Ikea filled with the kids' books, photo albums {which I hope to either re-cover or replace}, photo boxes, a few mementos and reference books.

Using boxes from Michaels {only $2 each}, I was able to house all the photos {pre-digital days}we have that still need to be put into albums. The labels were just printed onto card stock. Some of the boxes house ipod cables, camera cables, and other small computer "stuff".

Baskets are used to corral other stuff that just don't really have a place.

Out came our "vintage" cameras to put on display. One is my dad's old camera from the early 70's that takes the most amazing photographs. The other was our last film camera. Something the kids probably don't remember using!

Using large canisters from Ikea, we were able to house and display our large collection of seashells from our trip to Florida.

Moving onto the closet...
Which is a work in progress.

The closet in this room is very generous and I was able to house all our boxes with files, momentos, games, my teaching binders, husband's coaching binders, and office supplies. I am still waiting for a wire shelf to come in at the local hardware store to fill in the blank space above the games. so some of the items that are stacked will head onto that shelf.

Into the closet I placed a small Billy bookcase we have had for 16 years. It didn't fit into my son's current space and fit perfectly into the closet! Now it houses, bins with crafts, beading supplies. paper, games, etc.

{sad blurry photo, still learning how to use our SLR}

This closet still has a way to go but I am happy with the progress thus far.

Can't wait for this room to be finished.

Being frugal and a procrastinator it is moving along slowly.

Make sure you check out the other bloggers participating at 10 Rooms The Great Clean Out!

xo Barbara

{thrift store chair}

My giveaway has been postponed until next week{fingers crossed} because a special one came along just few days ago, so I'll put off the other one for a later date. Just waiting for a few details to be ironed out.
I need to celebrate 354 followers! 

 So today I bring you my thrift store chair.

{Sad before photo -but aren't before makeover photos supposed to be blah?}

 This beauty I found back in November while shopping with 2 local bloggers, Nancy from Marcus Design and Victoria {formerly from Design Ties} now starting her own blog, Edin's House.

For $50 I couldn't resist.

My plans are to re-cover it in a black and white strip fabric from Ikea, to look like this inspiration photo that Victoria sent me.

{source unknown}

A few versions of my chair has popped up on the internet. One version is owned by my garden plot neighbour {we watered each others plots all summer but never met} who has started a fantastic blog, Simply Inspired Home {still haven't met}.

Here is another from Restoration Hardware, look familiar?

Hmm..$1295 {on sale}

I have put off re-doing the chair as I am not quite sure how to upholster it, have never done anything like that before, shocking, I know...

My dilemma is whether or not to paint the arms and legs of the chair or to leave them the lovely mahogany stain the currently wear. They have such a lovely patina.

What do you think?

xo Barbara

{art wall: inspiration}

One plan for the games room is to create an art wall, where the television will be incorporated into the art all, such as my inspirational photo from Emily A. Clark.

I will be using photos, posters and artwork of and by my children to fill the space.

But the fun won't stop there, 
I also plan on using their artwork mixed in with family photos to run up the stairwell.

Here are some gallery walls I just love:

{Steven Gambrel via House and Home}

This staircase art wall in the home of Emily Norris, a Style at Home editor, is one of my favourites. It is a kid friendly wall with so much for the eyes to take in, an eclectic mix of children's artwork, posters, art and photographs. This is the look I hope to achieve!

{Just wish the landlords would let me paint the railings on our staircase}

This is another favourite from the home of Joseph and Kimberly Mimram, a Canadian dynamic design duo.
I especially love the mix of graphic elements such as typography with art and photographs.

My love for gallery art walls runs deep, maybe because they remind me of the amazing museums that I have visited, full of curated treasures. Our gallery wall would be our family's story running along the wall.

 Hoping to accomplish that not only in our newly created family games room {which is at a stand still because my trip to Ikea was postponed due to the stomach flu making it's debut at our home } but up the stairwell as well. 
Hoping to get to it soon as I have been stock piling frames and art work, where I almost have enough to hang up!

XO Barbara


Many thanks to:

and to 

where Maria listed my Silver leaf Ikea Rast dresser hack in her 10 Interesting Posts post.

Thanks Maria! 

Today I am off to Ikea to source and price out a few things for our newly appointed games room.

Hoping to find something to sit and curl up on, like this:

and maybe something for a media centre like this:

Hoping to get the ball rolling on finishing the space as ...

next week I am participating in 10 Rooms 
Also later this week I am hosting a giveaway to celebrate almost 350 followers!

Happy Monday

XO Barbara




should I say... 


{since we are a bilingual country}

Let's just say I was giddy with excitement when my husband informed me early yesterday morning. 

XO Barbara

{guest room: fabric}

I have had an overwhelming interest in the fabric I am using in my games room. Several of you asked where I bought it and do I know the manufacturer? I bought my fabric at Fabricland, a Canadian fabric store, for 50% off at $7 / meter.

Now that has me thinking, do I dare share, or should I keep all of this lovely fabric to myself?

Well, you will be happy to know that after some soul searching I have decided to share ;)

 I searched a few online fabric stores to find the fabric and found the same fabric but with a different coloured background at L&S Fabrics, unfortunately they don't carry it with the cream background like mine.

After reading Little House blog yesterday, Lindsay posted a link to an online fabric store called HouseFabric.com where I found my fabric in the exact colour and for a fantastic price as well!

They also carry it in red, called Lucy Cardin.

Hello gorgeous!

 Now I am off to track down more of Lucy Eden for my games rooms. Since I love this fabric, I could use some more to possibly dress up some Ikea drapes.

xo Barbara

{stylish blogger award}

Got a lovely email in my inbox from the very talented Canadian designer and colour expert, Anne-Marie from 10 Rooms. She nominated me for the Stylish Blogger award, which made my day! Coming from someone with such a keen eye for colour and design I was very flattered to say the least.

If you need a bit of colour help and design tips, her blog is one to check out.
The rules that come with this award are:
1.  Thank and link back to the blogger that awarded this to you.  
2.  Share seven things about yourself, I think I am going to share 10!

3.  Award other fellow bloggers, let them know they were nominated!

So here are random bits about me:

1.   I love coffee, actually it's more like an addiction. I can't seem to write a blog post or start the day without a cup of coffee. My children say I have a problem, I think they might be right.
I can't help it, I love the smell and the taste! Along with that addiction comes my love for collecting pretty coffee mugs, I love choosing the right mug for the right mood. Weird, huh?

My hope this year is to cut back {well, maybe just a little}.

artwork: Made by Girl

2.    Despite being Canadian born, English is my second language. My parents were immigrants from the Czech Republic and my mom spoke only Czech to me at home, so when I started school, I knew very little English.

Charles Bridge in Prague via The Brooklyn Nomad

3.     My husband and I have been married for almost 20 years and we have moved 9 times. Our absolute favourite place to live was in the Washington DC suburbs of Virginia. We lived there for almost 3 years and we had the most amazing experience there. We still miss our home and neighbours dreadfully even though we have been back in Canada for over 2 years, we are still "homesick." One of the reasons I love reading Pure Style Home blog is that Lauren lives in the same town we lived in! 

 Source: {Mt. Vernon, George Washington's Plantation}

4.    I am a procrastinator. It drives my family {and me} up the wall. I always have too much on my to-do list that I just put it off. I think part of the problem is that I am indecisive, I just can't make up my mind, so it is easier to put if off. That is where blogging helps, if I post a project on the go, then I am more motivated to finish it. 

5.     I like to talk, a lot.....enough said.

6.   When I was little I liked to sew Barbie dresses. Before I learned how to use my mom's sewing machine, I would drape fabric on my dolls and stitch up an outfit {sometimes those outfits couldn't come off, but they at least my doll was wearing a one-of-a-kind}.

7.   I love creating, anything from sewing, painting to furniture re-vamping. That is where my passion lies. There are times when I can't fall asleep because I have design projects and ideas floating around. In order to clear my head I jot or sketch out my ideas in a notebook so I can fall asleep. Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy - am I alone in this? {But because I am such a procrastinator, half of those projects don't get done!}

8.    I love fabric. I tend to hoard collect fabric.
One of my favourite things to do is to browse through fabric stores. I love feeling the varying textures and taking in the colours and patterns. Fabric can be so inspiring, I can come across a fabric at a store and create a whole room design in my mind around that one fabric.

9.   I love liquorice. Mmmmm...I buy black because then my family won't steal any, but I also love red liquorice.
10.   I love to sing in the car, especially when I am alone.  I love to sing. My kids know that I like to listen to the radio when I drive and if there is a good song on, I LOVE to sing along. I am sure other drivers on the road think I may be a few screws short, but I don't care.

Having enjoyed receiving this award I am as thrilled to be passing it onto:

1. Jodi from Simply Inspired Home, a local gal {and was my garden plot neighbour-small world!} that has done an amazing job renovating her home. She is a DIY gal with an eye for pretty.
2.   Alissa, from 33 Shades of Green, a blogging buddy who has a such a pretty blog. She is a sewing extraordinaire, photographer and can really cook, her photos are drool worthy.
3. Sundeep from Designwali, a beautiful design blog with a south Asian twist. 

Hope you go and check out their blogs!

Looking forward to their posts as well!

xo Barbara