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organizing

cobi’s home office - take 2

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday August 31, 2016 at 10:19 AM
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Some of you may remember the story I did about my home office back in 2009 when I was working out of our little studio in the backyard. Well we changed things up a few years ago and I’m now working inside the house in our kid’s former ‘playroom’ over the garage. It was a space that wasn’t being used much anymore and it’s simply more convenient for my business of product development and design which involves lots of schlepping. Have a look…

overall view of office towards window

Lots of shelving and nooks and crannies for all my crap - I mean stuff…

Cobi in her home office (window)

I like to leave things out so I enjoy and don’t forget them, so the open shelving is perfect for me. I call it organized chaos.

Cobi's home office jewellery sample

I’ve incorporated a lot of my favourite cobistyle products we’ve had over the years like this lamp and bulletin board…

Cobi's home office bulletin board and stationary

Tea is one of my favourite things and so there’s always a tray on the go.

Teatime in Cobi's home office

This old sofa (my grandmothers originally) is loaded up with cobistyle pillows and sometimes used for an afternoon siesta, I must admit.

Cobi's home office -sofa with pillows

This cobistyle chair from Silva Custom Furniture is a great spot to curl up with the many magazines I still purchase and tear inspirational pages from.

Blue chair and view to bedroom

The room has some original drawers that work well for office supplies. As you can see, I’ve never met a shelf or drawer I didn’t like!

Bulletin board and mags in Cobi's home office

I have the shelves labelled for different products and areas I collect images for, so that when it comes time to work on something, I always have a pile of visuals to get me started.

Cobi's home office product shelves

See how happy I look working in my home office? Haha…I actually am!

Cobi in her home office (desk)

I’m surrounded by some of my favourite things. I still dream of owning a shop some day, but this will have to do for now.

Cobi's home office samples

I’ve always been influenced by Chinatown and the beauty of the gems that are hidden there…

Cobi's home office chinese coin purses

There are a couple of closets in the room where I keep my special clothes for dressy events.

Cobi's home office Chinese jackets

I know I’m lucky to have this space to call my own.

Cobi's home office books

And I especially feel that way when I make myself a pot of afternoon tea. Thankfully this room had original plumbing and so it was easy to install a simple unit from IKEA that saves me from running down to the kitchen.

sink area in cobi's office

If you want to read more about my office, pick up the Special Organizing issue by Style at Home magazine.

Cobi's home office sink

It’s on newsstands now until mid-October.

Cobi's home office tea and cleaning trolley

I’m thinking it’s good motivation to keep my office organized so they don’t make a liar out of me!

organizing

corner office

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday July 22, 2015 at 12:21 PM
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We’ve all said it - “All I really need is a corner!” - and sometimes it’s true! For example, one little corner in the hub of a busy household can make all the difference in avoiding missed soccer games and unpaid bills.

We tarted up a just such a corner in a busy family home - have a look…

cobistyle accessories in kitchen corner

The ghost chair is warmed up with a cobistyle velvet and silk-look reversible pillow (14” x 20”) $50.00. And basic white cabinetry was dressed up with some smartly chosen accessories.

cobistyle storage box with brass trim

cobistyle lidded storage boxes in faux leather and gold trim keep loose papers neat but within reach. ($120.00 for a set of 2)

cobistyle natural grass storage box

cobistyle natural grass storage boxes corral everything from rubber bands to house plants and bring some low-key, natural texture to the area. ($75.00 for set of 3 nesting)

cobistyle inlay decorative box and tray

The impact of grouped accessories in like colours is always more than the sum of their parts. This cobistyle resin inlay decorative box is the perfect colour match to the lamp and our eye picks that up immediately. (8” x 5” x 3” $80.00) The crisp white faux leather tray with gold trim looks polished and clean. (20” x 14” $120.00)

cobistyle yellow glass gourd lamp

This cobistyle glass gourd lamp is a beautiful shade of earthy yellow that’s highlighted by its fresh white shade and Lucite base. Definitely a statement piece. ($250)

cobistyle faux leather kleenex box cover with brass trim

Of course I love it when form meets function and what could be more-so than with a tissue box cover! Necessity meet Style. ($37.00)

corner dressed in cobistyle accessories

Command central - ready and dressed for action, sir!

cobistyle decorative accessories are available in the best boutiques across Canada. Let me know if you are looking for something in particular and we will try to find it in your city.

organizing

bookcase before + after

Posted by Cobi on Monday November 18, 2013 at 06:00 AM
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I’ve neglected our living room for the past few months. No point listing excuses why, but we use this room very little in the good-weather months and I guess it’s just too easy to ignore.

overall living room

Once the winter comes I want to make it cozy and welcoming again and so the first thing to do is reorganize the book cases.

before shot left

As you can see, Bob and I love our books and obviously I never really figured out what to do with all of them after a piano arrived in the living room last year. What a mess!!

before shot right

And so a few weeks ago I started to cull. I got rid of ones that were just too dated or redundant.

after left overall

And I added some of my favourite blue and white pieces from cobistyle.

after left closer

The repetition of the blue and white porcelain breaks up the books and adds a nicely unified decorative element.

after right overall

Plus I find blue and white looks great any time of year - with reds and oranges in the fall and at Christmas or with summery yellows and greens in the fair-weather months.

after right closer

The ginger jars are not just pretty, but make sturdy bookends.

ginger jar on tilt

And I fill planters with either real plants or fake - depending on what’s on hand.

round planter

It definitely looks better when the books have a little breathing room and something pretty to break up the monotony.

ginger jar

orchid and jar

Plus, I now have a nice big new donation to make to Goodwill!

books

organizing

how one sad laundryroom got happy

Posted by Cobi on Monday March 11, 2013 at 07:00 AM
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When we renovated our house last year, I decided to throw in a little tune up to our laundry room.

We’re in an older home with a devoted laundry room in the basement and there was no way I could justify the cost of moving it upstairs (or find the space) but I had no trouble justifying the cost of some new tile, paint and decorative doodads to make me feel better when I’m doing the deadly deed.

God knows it needed it…

laundry before overall

So - how to spruce up a yucky laundry room without a lot ‘a moula?

1. FLOOR

I started with the floor because it looked so sad and I wanted a more permanent solution than a new coat of paint. Tiles are cheap (if you stick to standard sizes and finishes) and they come in great colours. I knew I wanted to paint the room white (for brightness) so why not have some fun with colour on the floor? I went hunting and found this 8” x 8” tile for $2.36 each and remarkably it’s called the Monocottura “Happy Series at first I thought I would just choose one colour. But when I told my daughter I liked both the Sky Blue and Apple Green, she gave me the obvious answer - “use both!”. So I bought half of what I needed in each colour, brought them home and laid them loosely out in a few different patterns until I came up with this enlarged checkerboard (less busy than a regular checkerboard) and told my contractor to lay them on the diagonal.

laundry before of floor

floor after

2. PAINT

Once the floor was down it was easy to choose paint colours. I wanted a fresh, crisp white on the walls - whiter than the warm ones I like in living spaces. I went with Benjamin Moore’s Simply White #2143-70 in the Aura Bath + Spa formula and love it. The whole room was painted in oil originally and we found that Aura paint covers it really well. I’ve now used Simply White in our basement bathroom as well and find it works anywhere you want a really pure white with no undertone. I decided to paint the existing peg board and upper shelves in the same white.

laundry before facing machines

laundryroom after towards machines

Where I had some fun was on the lower built-in cabinet and sewing cabinet. I chose a lime green to match my tiles - Benjamin Moore’s Hibiscus #2025-50 - some might find it too bright and I likely wouldn’t use such a vibrant colour in other places in my home, but it’s clean and fun and I love it here - why not have a bit of fun in a room that only I ever seem to use? (grrrr…)

green counter

3. HANGING

I like to hang clothes to dry whenever possible and so I installed 3 helpers…first this great drying rack made of hardwood, powder-coated metal and a rope pully system. It can move up and down if you have high ceilings (which I don’t) but it stays stationary just fine too. It’s from a website called www.urbanclotheslines.com

hanging gizmo in laundryroom

pully system

I also purchased an aluminum wall mounted extension drying rack to hang over my laundry tubs - really great for wet rags or anything dripping - at www.leevalley.com. I love it that it’s made in Spain!

aluminum rack

And lastly, I had my painter mount and paint a standard pegboard sold at Home Hardware for ironed shirts and the like.

white pegs

4. MENDING

I wanted to replace the puny little shelf that was on the wall when we bought the house because I’ve always loved the idea of a mending area. Somehow it makes the whole idea of mending more probable. My hope was to find a cute old shelf and paint it up with my same pint of Hibiscus but after a summer of searching antique stores (there’s lots of forlorn spice shelves out there by the way, but they were too narrow for my needs) I caved in when I found this perfectly-sized craft shelf on sale at Michael’s craft store. It’s not fancy but it does the trick and thankfully it took the paint too!

laundry before facing counter

laundryroom after facing cabinet

thread on shelf close up

Did you notice I have a little bank on the shelf? - very handy in a laundryroom for pocket change and one day I’ll crack it open and drive the kids at Starbucks crazy with my pennies.

bank in laundryroom

I also bought this great little sewing machine for quick fixes - what a steal for $69.00 at Canadian Tire - another good reason to repair - not despair!

sewing machine

5. DETAILS

I colour-copied two pages off the internet (quick google search) - one defines laundry symbols and the other is from dear Martha telling me how to get out stains. They fit into no-money IKEA frames in exactly my blue tile colour (score!) and act as functional art on either side of the shelf.

ikea frames on either side of sewing shelf

ikea frames alternative shot

Oh - and here’s a little trick. I would have liked to resurface the top of the shelf unit but I just couldn’t justify it. Still, the chipped Arborite did not say ‘happy’. As a compromise, I asked my contractor to skirt the existing top in a decorative wood trim (took him no time) and once it was painted, it added a much more finished look to the counter.

counter top trim

And so there you have it. Nothing revolutionary. Nothing hi-tech. But a happy little laundry room to call my own, even if I’m enjoying it alone (grrrr…)

cobistyle fishies in laundry room

…with my cobistyle fishies and lost socks.

land of the lost socks

organizing

public hanging

Posted by Cobi on Monday November 05, 2012 at 05:59 AM
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I’m so pleased to finally have my necklaces hung up and organized so I can see them!

necklaces 3

I bought these hangers a long time ago and was waiting for our bedroom to be painted for me to hang them up.

necklaces 4

I hung them behind our door which is in a small entry hall to the room.

necklaces 2

The best part is that they’re out of the way but still visible. I’m terrible about buying things and never wearing them - hopefully this will help.

necklaces 1

I know it isn’t an original idea but I kind of thought it was a bit unique, until I went on the internet (of course), where I found necklaces hung on shower curtain hooks on drapery rods…

necklaces on shower curtain hooks

necklaces on hooks

On fabric covered boards with tacks…

necklaces on board

necklaces on tacks

On all kinds of coat hooks…

necklaces on diff. hooks

On peg boards…

necklaces on pegs

On an old rake head!…

necklaces on rake head

And even as an artistic element in a room.

necklaces as art

Oh well, I may not be unique but at least I’ll be wearing a nice necklace.

organizing

all points bulletin

Posted by Cobi on Monday September 24, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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September is a great month to get organized!

close up

It’s also a time when we’re inundated with invitations, schedules, school papers, etc.

bulletin board loaded with notes

This is one of my favourite home office pictures and it’s the bulletin board that really makes it:

nate berkus office

I love this one too:

ruthie office

It’s great to get all of those little pieces of paper and ephemera off the desk or counter and up on the wall.

2 vertical boards

I love the idea of making the bulletin board itself into a design statement.

horizontal around desk

Here’s an artsy version - I think it would be perfect in a teenage girl’s room - when she’s hanging up her clothes she can also hang up the papers!!!

clothes line

Ribbon boards are my favourite though. These are new to cobistyle this fall. We did them in a blue and black caning design (24” x 29”):

black bulletin board

blue bulletin board

I’m going to run them in a line in my new home office - pictures to come as soon as the plaster dust settles!

organizing

makin’ somethin’ outa nothin’

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 04, 2012 at 06:59 AM
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My friend and colleague, Michael Penny inspired me a few months ago on his blog. He was writing about out setting up his office at home (since then he’s opened a fabulous shop in Whitby, Ont. which you should definitely check out). Anyway, he posted a picture of his pencil crayons and markers in containers :

michael's desk

It got the old wheels churning about how satisfying it is to make something visually pretty, out of things we already have around the house.

It reminded me of when Martha Stewart magazine did a beautiful story on jewellery storage and suggested using old teacups…

jewellery in tea cups

Although not always that elaborate, I do this kind of thing around the house all the time. For example, I had a cute unused honey pot and creamer filling space on the counter…

honey pot and creamer

And one day thought - why don’t I get rid of those ugly plastic vitamin bottles in the cupboard and hide them in here…

honey pot and creamer hold vitamins

I did the same with my rings (I have a thing for big rings)…I put them in a vintage bowl and now I wear them more…

rings in old bowl

Back in 2009 I blogged about using glass vases to hold bangles and I still use these…

bracelets in vases

I love it when people treat bulletin boards artistically to turn them into personal art pieces…

bulletin board

Part of the beauty of makin’ somethin’ outa nothin’ is that it doesn’t cost any money!

toilet rolls in basket

We’ve all got baskets and bowls and cluttering up the closets anyway. Just put 2 things together!

I had these french jam jars in the cupboard and use them for toothbrushes and eye glass holders…

eye glasses in cup

When I entertain, I like to put pretzel sticks in milk glass tumblers or old jelly jars I’ve collected…

pretzel sticks in milk glass tumbler

When I was working on cobistyle I was sure to put a couple of items in the accessory line that I knew would double duty like this drinking glass with a woven sleeve…

rattan on cup

And these cute blue and white ceramic Chinese teacups…

tea cup

Now I can admire them on my desk everyday whether I get my suggested servings of water and green tea or not!

desk supplies in cups

organizing

decorating by the book

Posted by Cobi on Monday November 07, 2011 at 06:00 AM
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I once read about a study that was done on how to get your kids to read. Was the key, reading to them every night? Making them read to you? Starting them young? What was the key to teaching kids the joy of reading? The scientists were very surprised to find that none of that mattered as much as one very simple thing. Having books in the house. By simple virtue of having books in the house - not even kids books - children turned out to be the biggest readers. The adults in the house didn’t even need to be huge readers themselves - it was simply the number of books in the house that made the difference. That being said, I can’t imagine a house full of books without an owner who loved to read. I imagine it’s just another life lesson of ‘actions speaking louder than words’. Kids or no kids, books are a wonderful addition to any house.

cobi

They not only add depth and character, but beauty as well.

cobi

I’ve always loved the idea of a ‘dining room/library’. It’s a great way to give a seldom-used dining room more purpose, and what a rich atmosphere in which to dine!

cobi

Black shelving is dramatic… cobi

…but I’ll always be a sucker for white.

cobi

Bookshelves make for a double-duty room divider if you’re short of space.

cobi

And they provide a natural backdrop for bringing colour into a room.

cobi

For some, that means serious colour!

cobi

But for dabblers, books make wonderful pedestals for objets on tables…

cobi

Or on chairs…

cobi

Trolley’s…

cobi

Consoles… cobi

And of course, coffee tables…

cobi

cobi

Books can even make a coffee table!

cobi

Or side table! cobi

cobi

Books are a great way to warm up a mantle-scape…

cobi

Or fill in a big empty hole!

cobi

Wherever you choose to display your books, they’ll help make your house, a home, and it’s probably the easiest thing you’ll ever teach your kids.

cobi

organizing

open to ideas

Posted by Cobi on Monday September 26, 2011 at 07:00 AM
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I’ve often had people ask me about the open-shelves in my kitchen. There’s an understandable fear of dust and grease making them impractical. Well I can tell you that after living with them for 6 years, I don’t find that to be a big enough issue to over-ride the appealing look, and ease of use, they bring to my kitchen.

cobi

Here are some other beautiful examples of open shelves in kitchens…

cobi cobi cobi

Gorgeous! But what if you aren’t renovating and want to create the look in your existing kitchen? Try removing the doors on a section of your cabinetry and paint out the interiors for a similar look…

cobi cobi cobi

Open shelves are often the key feature to a country kitchen…

cobi cobi cobi

But there are very hip looking kitchens with open shelves too…

cobi cobi

And even loft spaces…

cobi

Open shelving is a wonderful way to show off a collection and make sure it gets use!

cobi cobi cobi cobi

If you can’t find a way to incorporate open shelves into your upper cabinetry, you may want to think about a section of the lowers…

cobi

Or creating an impromptu version in a hutch…

cobi

Or even on a basic set of shelves…

cobi

Wherever open shelves are, they’re a beautiful way to create displays and vignettes in your home…

cobi

Or bring in colour…

cobi cobi

The lack of colour on these shelves creates a more calm, classic, almost utilitarian look…

cobi cobi cobi cobi

But hey, if colour is your thing, don’t hold back…

cobi

Basically, this idea is for anyone who’s open to it!

organizing

hard-working heirlooms

Posted by Cobi on Monday February 28, 2011 at 06:00 AM
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It’s wonderful to be given something that has sentimental family meaning. It’s a beautiful way to remember and honour people who have passed and to make your home unique and your decorating meaningful. However, we all know that many heirlooms don’t suit our current day interiors and often create clutter and well, ok, I hate to say it but simply collect dust and we find ourselves including them in our rooms out of feelings of obligation and sentiment while not enjoying the objects themselves.

Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate heirlooms into your interiors while creating beautiful rooms at the same time.

Use the heirloom as a jumping off point for decorating. Here, a few old pieces of red transfer-ware are made into a focal point by building on the look further with toile wallpaper in a pretty hutch. Clearly these pieces are treasured and enjoyed every day this way.

cobi

Photos go from average to amazing when massed together and framed in a collective way. They command attention when placed together and make a great conversation point for guests.

cobi

One heirloom can spark an entire collection and why not? If you love something you’ve been given, it may just be a collection in the waiting. Just don’t forget which one has the sentimental story behind it.

cobi

cobi

Don’t be a snob about pedigree - your home isn’t a museum - mingle special family pieces with new reproductions. They will be more apt to be used and enjoyed.

cobi

Turn something old into something new. Make a few adjustments with paint or in this case, hardware, and suddenly an old piece has a new lease on life. A solution that’s easy on the pocketbook too.

cobi

cobi

If you don’t have the room or desire to display something all the time, bring out heirlooms at holidays - they will make holiday decorating all the more special.

cobi

Decorate around an heirloom. If you love it - let it set the tone for an entire room. No decor theme could mean more than family history.

cobi

Change the function of an heirloom to suit your lifestyle. This silver tea service is allowed to tarnish without apologies - many people love the time-worn patina of tarnished silver - and it’s used to hold flowers rather than afternoon tea.

cobi

And these candy dishes hold shell collections and other natural finds.

cobi

Let family pieces work for you rather than just sit on display. Your tabletops and rooms will look much more unique for it.

cobi

I will be on Steven & Chris on the CBC this Friday at 2:00pm talking more about this very thing. Be sure to tune in!

organizing

armchair traveller

Posted by Cobi on Monday September 20, 2010 at 06:59 AM
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I will be appearing on the first show of the season of Steven & Chris today at 2:00pm EST on CBC. Please tune in if you can! We’re featuring a fun little decorating project that I worked on with homeowner Susan Taylor. It was so easy to pull together and makes a huge difference in her home.

Susan lives in a brand spanking new townhouse that has a landing space part way up to the second floor. The space is about 7’ wide by 8.5’ deep with a ceiling height of just over 9’.

cobi

Susan hadn’t done anything with the space and mentioned to me that she had thought of using it to display her many finds from years of travel in the East. I jumped on the idea and could immediately imagine a cozy little ‘travel nook’ that would display her collection of elephant figures that were currently all around the house, other odds and sods picked up from her travels and related books and photo albums.

cobi

The first thing we did was line the back wall with a bookcase that ran the width of the space. Running it from one wall to the other gives it that built-in look. This piece from IKEA is extra tall which is important, and at $279, it fit not only the space but the budget. Here it is if you’re interested. The rug is also from IKEA and it was my absolute favourite at the store because of it’s lovely muted look - much more authentic than many rugs of it’s kind. I was so glad it fit! It’s called Kattrup and at $229 it’s a steal. As I said on the show, we could have used a rug that delineated the living space and left the traffic area bare - in some ways that might have been more practical - but this rug is a real beauty and at full size gives the space the feeling of being a real “room”. Wait ‘till you see the transformation……

cobi

The other large pieces we put in were all from Pier 1, which of course has built a business on this global look at a great price. The chair we chose is nice and sturdy but covered in a natural banana leaf weave. The little tulip shaped table was just the right size for a lamp and to hold a coffee. And the red ottoman is a handy, occasional piece that will work anywhere and gave that perfect hit of colour.

cobi

Almost everything else is Susan’s - of course! - including the hand carved floor lamp she carted back from India in pieces and had never put together. Here she is on my left and Melissa Coghlan, my segment producer from S&C on my right. The landing really came together as we envisioned and hopefully Susan can use it to plan many more adventures in future!

organizing

the fall chuck-it challenge!

Posted by Cobi on Monday September 06, 2010 at 07:00 AM
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Labour Day. Kids back to school. Ready again for a more routine life. Like clockwork, the Spring and Fall are the seasons to regroup, reorganize and reconsider all the crap we collect!

Personally, I’m a Fall person. I feel recharged from a wild and woolly Summer and ready to take on the world again. Unfortunately my house does not feel the same way. It’s dazed and confused by what just happened over the past few months and it’s begging for help to see the light (at least enough that we can see the dust!).

And so, I present to you today, The First Annual Chuck-It Challenge! Trumpet please!! Stay with me, here’s what I propose:

1 Room per Week. Now that doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
You get to pick the room. You can plan them out, or decide last minute - however the mood takes you - or in my case, whichever kid’s crying the most about holes in their socks.

You have 1 week to clean out that room - take a box with you!! - get rid of unused stuff and look after small repairs. You can clean too if you want, but that’s not what this exercise is about, so don’t get bogged down by the usual maintenance.
If It’s a small bathroom and you get it done on Monday after work - great! - you’re done for the week. But if you know you’re away next week, do two rooms this week. No excuses.

I’m really going to give this little scheme a try. I’ve counted up my rooms (including a outdoor spaces) and I have 16 tackle spots. If I stay on track, I’ll be done by the end of the year. Hopefully I can work ahead so I can give myself the holidays off ; )

If you don’t mind, I’m going to list mine here so I have the added pressure of public scrutiny.
I think I’ll print it off for an official check-list on my bulletin board as I likely won’t do the rooms in this order.

1) Playroom - this has to be first so I can donate a bunch of toys to the school fall fair

2) Aidan’s room - very, very, scary closet

3) Charlotte’s room - oooohhh, that’s a biggy, better book a day off work

4) 4 Bathrooms - I think that’s doable as 2 don’t have much in them

5) Garage - help!

6) Storage sheds - book Bob

7) Mudroom - perfect timing to organize winter gear and see what fits

8) Basement storage room - ho hum, it’s likely going to be cold outside anyway…

9) Living room - looks good on the outside but I know what’s in those cupboards and it ain’t pretty

10) Dining room - pretty light one, do this on a busy week

11) Kitchen - can’t wait to get into those corner cupboards!

12) Master bedroom - yuk, so needs renovation, I’ll do this room very begrudgingly (like anyone cares)

13) Office - easy, I can do it when I should actually be working

14) Laundry room - interesting…can’t remember the last time I did anything in there other than laundry

15) Recreation room and basement bar/hall - better known as “the drop zone”

16) Gift room - yes I have one, I’m obsessed. By now the Xmas gifts should be out and so it’s a good time to do it

To be honest, the list may look long but just having the house divided up this way makes it feel easier to approach. And lets face it, if I even get half way through the list it’s better than thinking I can’t anything done because the job’s too big.

And so how about you? Are you up for the challenge? Or do you just want to tell me to chuck-it? I know, I know…you’re a Spring person.

organizing

something new to tackle

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 30, 2010 at 06:59 AM
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I have a little collection of fishing tackle boxes at our family cottage.

cobi

Here they are sitting on a children’s chair I have. I love the colours of them.

cobi

Particularly the beautiful greeny blue on the bottom one. It’s the colour of water.

cobi

But any of the greens are lovely too.

cobi

If not pretty, there’s something charming about the rough findings of a well worn tackle box.

cobi

cobi

I have to admit, I have yet to find a function for my boxes, but here are a few ideas I found…

cobi

cobi

cobi

And so as summer winds to a close, and life becomes more organized, maybe I’ll tackle one of these ideas at the cottage in the fall. Or maybe I’ll just go junk hunting for another hidden gem of a treasure box.

organizing

a lot of hang ups!

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 07, 2010 at 07:00 AM
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I was in PEI recently, opening our summer cottage for the season, and it occurred to me how much I used coat hooks to decorate the walls. Coat hooks, and versions of, are a practical substitute for art, particularly at a cottage or country home. They fill the wall space nicely and can be both decorative and useful. I snapped a few pictures of mine to show you.

This is a piece in our master bedroom…

cobi

It’s made of reclaimed wood and vintage door knobs. So smart.

cobi

Here’s another version of it I found on the internet - a great DIY project.

cobi

On another wall in the same room I just used hardware store peg boards to fill a blank space…

cobi

Pretty cheap wall art.

cobi

Downstairs we have a lavender coloured room and I found this old piece of cottage green wood someone had used for coat hooks, the colours look great together. It’s been hung a few times as you can see by the holes but it’s got a lot of character and holds pjs, bathing suits and t-shirts with ease…

cobi

And in another bedroom we hung a traditional accordion coat hook contraption, which does the job…

cobi

Behind the front door of our place is a cool project from a few years ago when we took a canoe paddle and screwed drawer pulls into it. I forgot to take a picture of it but you can see a bit of it here….

cobi

Here’s another great front door shot I found…such an affordable solution and I love the look…

cobi

And how cool is this random idea…

cobi

Here’s a more controlled, modern look…

cobi

At a second entryway in PEI, we hung this vintage French piece. It’s an amazing colour and really handy for catching caps, keys and the dinner bell…

cobi

And check out this magazine article for a fun cottage idea….

cobi

No matter what you do, be proud of your hang ups. We all have them!!

organizing

applause for the simple vase!

Posted by Cobi on Monday October 19, 2009 at 07:00 AM
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Here’s a quick organizing trick. I loooove jewellery but really struggle with storing it. Bangles are especially bulky, and take up a lot of room in my little chest of drawers.

Here’s my latest solution: we all have glass vases floating around that we don’t need….

cobi

I feel like I just killed two birds with one stone because by doing this I managed to get rid of two vases off of my stuffed vase shelf at the same time ~ oh bliss!

Yes, I do have to empty out the vase if I want a bracelet at the bottom, but it isn’t a big deal. The best thing is that by being able to see them, I find I’m wearing them more. It’s the worst when you have great stuff and forget to wear it.

I bet there are more uses for glass vases if we put our minds to it….let me know if you use them for other things!

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