Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Keeping it Clean!

So it's that time of year...spring!  the birds are chirping, the sun is out and the grass is peeking through and now it's time to clean house1  You might be surprised to hear what the 10 dirtiest things in your home are -

1.  Your cleaning equipment.  Yes, your mops, rags and sponges are so dirty and they need to be cleaned too!  So, run your sponges through the dishwasher or zap them on high in the microwave to kill the germs.  Nylon and stainless steel scrub brushes can go through the dishwasher.  Run rags through the washing machine, especially once they start to smell and if they have touched raw meat wash them right away!

2.  Your toilet base.  The rim, the base and the floor space that directly surrounds the toilet are the dirtiest parts especially if you have young children.  So, always clean those areas - personally I like to use my steam mop for anywhere where germs like to hang out!

3.  Your kitchen sink drain.  Yes, the drain!  Food gets stuck in there, it starts to smell and even clog.  So, pour 1 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar let it sit for a minute and then pour 1 kettle of boiling hot water down the drain - this is an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to clean your drain and deodorize it!

4.  Your pet's eating area.  If it stays dirty, you risk you pet eating bugs or worse.  So, be sure to wipe up spilled water, wash their bowls regularly and protect your floors by using a charger, a mat or even a baking sheet and clean those too.

5.  Your litter box.  OK, your cat's litter box but more specifically the surrounding area of the litter box.  So, be sure to vacuum, and wipe clean using a hot water and vinegar solution to kill any germs.

6.  You doorknobs.  If the people in your home wash their hands frequently it may not be on your top ten list but it tends to be a hot spot for germs.  So, wipe down your doorknobs with hot soapy water (once a week)

7.  Your diaper bail.  Kind of obvious why.  So be sure to wipe down the exterior with hot soapy water and try to do this daily to prevent the spread of germs.  Wash the interior as per the manufacturer's instructions.

8.  Your microwave.  The splatter of various food makes the inside of the microwave a very dirty place and no one ever cleans it after they have warmed up their meal.  So, clean the interior with hot and soapy water, don't use harsh chemicals.  For stubborn baked on food, run the microwave with a bowl of water or a wet rag for a few minutes, the steam will help loosen the residue.

9.  Your bathroom walls.  Especially the wall area closest to the toilet.  Yes, pee and more can splash on the walls - yuck- but it's true.  So, use a hot water and vinegar solution to disinfect and deodorize.

10.  Your floors.  Especially the highest traffic areas.  So, always remove your shoes at the door (your kids too) that will help keep outdoor germs from spreading throughout the entire home, sweep, mop and/or vacuum weekly, mop up spills immediately.  Hot water and vinegar is an easy, eco friendly way to mop up messes effectively and it won't damage your flooring.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Favourite things: Capital Closets

If you have been following me on Facebook or my blog, you already know that these days I'm all about getting organized and de-cluttering my own home.  If you are in the Ottawa area and need some help in that department, look for Capital Closets

They offer an array of service to help you make the most of your storage needs.  they will help you plan and organize any size space, it doesn't have to be a spacious closet - it could even be a laundry room or bathroom.

Check out their website for some amazing before and after photos too.

They start by getting to know you and your home with an in-home consultation and find out about you and your family's needs.  the designer will be very details in measurements and your specifics and create an incredible closet system for you.  And the installation is done by professionals and they follow every spec that the designer has created just for you!

Getting organized and eliminating clutter creates a peaceful space for you.  Clutter and disorganization actually leads to high stress and no one needs that.

A Capital Closets consultation and installation is also a great idea for anyone looking to sell their home.  Maybe you have certain areas that would really benefit from some professional closet design like a mudroom or the laundry room which are great areas for families - having a professional designed closet would really set your home apart from the other on the market.

It feels really great to have a space that is totally catered to you and your needs!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Condo living - think big!!

So you've decided that condo living is for you!  What an exciting time!  Condo living is so chic and truly urban and from what I've heard a bit of a liberating experience.  You no longer need a car, you don't need the big appliances stocked with food for 40, you get to de-clutter and totally purge all of your junk...what a great feeling and a fresh start! 

But you still need the basics like a sofa, seating for guests, a dining area-  so now how do you decorate it to truly maximize your space?

Many say that you have to go with lighter colour tones, every thing has to be smaller and you'll have to sacrifice somethings like a home office or a larger dining table and that smaller furniture is of poorer quality -  FALSE.

use as coffee table or for extra seating

You need to really plan out the space you will be living in and use it wisely, no more wasted space.  Yes, some of your furniture pieces will need to be smaller (you are in a smaller area) but that doesn't mean you are scrimping on quality. 

Small, rectangle room.  Excellent for tv or study space.

Think about keeping it streamlined, so wall mounting the TV and furniture that isn't fussy or too busy.

So what about the home office?  Yes you could have one.  If you have a two bedroom place.  I would turn the 2nd bedroom into a very multi functional space with a workspace, a pullout sofa (good quality) and storage too.  If you don't have the extra space of a second bedroom try using a corner of the kitchen for a computer/workspace or maybe get creative like a little nook under the stairs (we are staging a condo in early April where we are doing just that). 

Think about the office items you will be using, you may not be able to have some massive piece (and a lot of office furniture tends to be on the bulky side).  Take a look at a narrow table or perhaps a compact glass desk.  And for the office chair, try a sleek dining chair that matches your set - this create a look that really flows and the office chair can easily be used in the dining room for extra seating

Wonderful Work Space | Content in a Cottage

So what about colour in your condo?  You don't have to stay light but you should have some contrast.  Everything dark can feel very cave like.  But if you love grey, use it just keep the look monochromatic - that will make the space feel bigger.  Using a lot of bright colours will make the space feel choppy and small.  Use colour in accents like candles and pillows

Big Art will make a Big difference.  Lots and lots of small photos or art pieces on a wall will feel small and cluttered so keep it simple with one big piece.  Same goes for furnituree, a few key pieces is better that a lot of small ones.

A great tip for a dining room, use a bench seat instead of two chairs.  It keeps the line of vision super clean and clutter free without sacrificing seating for guests.  Or, customize your kitchen island by attaching the dining table (basically extending the island surface and adding legs).  A very chic and streamlined look that is just perfect for entertaining.

small space

Condo living is a lot of fun but can be a bit of an adjustment.  Be sure to measure, plan and measure again and always ask about a return policy before committing...

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Conquer that clutter: jewellery

OK, so I love jewellery - don't you?  I love the way it can completely transform any outfit. I love it so much that it has become a bit of a storage problem.  My vanity drawer was becoming overloaded with costume jewellery and it was making getting ready a time consuming problem plus I never really knew what I had because I couldn't see it.

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to get organized!  And I'm really sticking to it but in baby steps.

So for my jewellery issues, here's what I did:

I purchased a cutlery tray (well, actually two)  I think they were $9.00 each

I then removed all of my jewellery and did a purge.  I kept my favourite pieces of course and any big, bold and crazy stuff that could be used in my kids dress-up truck I kept.  Everything else is being donated.

Using the sections of the tray, I separated my bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces.  Now I can see everything.  It's clean, easy to use and clutter free.  Oh and inexpensive, too!

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wooden you like to know...

How to use wood in a space, any space is such a common dilemma -  do I mix my wood tones? And, do I use a light stain or dark stain for my furniture?  Here are some helpful tips to solve this wood and wood stain problem.

We have seen a big trend toward the dark espresso stain for everything from flooring to cabinetry to furniture and it really is a dramatic and rich look but too much is too much.  A number of years ago when this dark stain was at the peak of trendiness my younger sister had just purchased a condo, when it came time to select her interior finishes she did not listen to me (that's family, I guess).  She went ahead and selected the espresso cabinets to match the espresso floors and her new espresso table and chairs.  I told her to mix up he wood tones to create contrast instead she ended up in a dark espresso cave.  Lucky for her, the flooring was installed improperly and every piece of hardwood flooring buckled and popped, so when it came time to replace the flooring she listened to me and opted for a mid tone with an ashy finish.  We also added some cream slipcovers to her dining chairs to lighten and brighten.  Moral of the story - don't match all of your wood tones it doesn't have a sophisticated look or feel in the end!

Mixing Wood Tones

When it comes to wood stains mix it up don't match it up!  look online or in magazines for ideas...

So to go light or dark with your furniture stain is really up to you and the look you want.  A dark stain is always more formal so if you want a formal dining room opt for a darker stain and the darker the stain the more dramatic the room will look. 

Spanish Home by Pablo Paniagua

A lighter stain is always more casual and if you mix your stains (say a light base and chairs and a dark stain table top like I have in my eat-in kitchen)  that's casual, too.
Keltainen talo rannalla: Tyyliä tiistaille
  There's no right or wrong but just think about your lifestyle and how you want the space to look.  Love a dark stain but don't want a formal look?  Be aware of the style of table - is it a harvest table? or, a streamline contemporary table?  Use some different chairs to keep the look casual too.
Come to dinner

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Organize me!!!

Have you started your spring cleaning?  I know with these 40 cms of snow on the way it's hard to believe spring is coming but it is on it's way!!!  I decided I'm giving my house a totally organizational overhaul.  The task can be daunting but all I'm doing is a bit at a time and I've created a list. Over the weekend, I cleared out my 'junk' drawe and  my recipe books - it felt great and it's amazing how much stuff you accumulate.  Yesterday, I tackled my kitchen pantry.  Everyday I have an organizing task which isn't too overwhelming and keeps me motivated to continue in other areas of my house.

Looking for tips??  don't know what to do in certain rooms?  Or, how to get started??  Check out the 'Better Homes and Gardens Secrets of Getting Organzied' edition  - this really inspired me to get organized and really helped me set up certain areas of my home like my children's playroom and the mudroom.  Plus it has some great ideas to get ready for filing your taxes!!

Some great tips from the top organizing professionals...

'" If you earmarked something for donation, take it directly to your car! Items in 'waiting' for a trip to the charitable drop-box linger, grow and mutate into a mountain of clutter" - Susan Pinsky, The Fast and furious Five step Organizing Solution

"Keep a basket near the door of each room to collect toys and regularly take these baskets ack to the centralized storage area" - Lorie Marrero, The Clutter Diet

"the space under the stairs is the perfect location for items not used regularly, such as christmas decorations and luggage.  Put hooks or nails underneath the risers to get items off the floor" - Laura Wittmann, Clutter Rehab

" Purge clothes at the end of the season, when what you've worn and not worn is still fresh in your mind.  If you didn't wear it this season, it's time to let it go." - Laura Wittmann

"Make your bed daily.  It is a small gift you can give yourself each morning that you will appreciate throughout the day.  Your room appears neater and more organized instantly." - Lorie Marrero

"Clutter breeds when we stock a 'library' of choices.  children get out of the house easier in the morning if they don't have to puzzle through more than two choices of cereals, juice boxes ans snack foods" - Susan Pinsky

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Giving back and doing good!

Now that March is here, the weather is warming up and the dreaded task of spring cleaning is upon us...if you have started already and have a bunch of children's books that you don't know what to do with, you could sell them at a garage sale or....for the month of March Michael's stores are collecting children's books in any language and donating them to the Boys and Girls Club

Other great organizations that help you with your decluttering....

Project Smile - collects stuffed animals for emergency responders to give to frightened children in the aftermath of fires, accidents or natural disasters.

Soles4Souls - provides shoes to people in need worldwide.  Enter your ZIP code to find a collection site near you.

Local daycare centres and group homes for troubled youth often appreciate gently used toys, books, magazines, games and even older model computers.

Dispose my meds - lets you search by ZIP code for local pharmacies with take-back programs to help keep potentially harmful pharmaceutical waste and personal-care chemicals out of the environment

Recycle my cell phone - accepts old cell phones by mail and recycles or refurbishes them to prevent toxic metals from getting into landfills.  Also most carriers like rogers and Telus will also take your old cell phones. - helps you locate recycling centres near your home for batteries, electronics and more.

Replacements, Ltd - buys china, crystal, and silver - from soup bowls to nut dishes in more than 360,000 tableware patterns.

Media Exchange 123 - buys CD's, DVD's, Blu-Ray discs and video games.  Simply enter the UPC number of the item you'd like to sell to find out how much they'll pay.

Gazelle - buys a wide array of electronic equipment such as Blu-Ray players, camcorders, laptops and e-readers.

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