A place for Everything Mudroom

I am Chez Sharah’s guest blogger today and sister!  We moved into our 1987 home two years ago and we have been slowly renovating.  When you came in from the garage originally, you came into this empty room that the previous owners used as an office:

It had some sad hooks on the wall

It had some sad hooks on the wall

It was holding all the random things we didn't have a spot for when we unpacked

It was holding all the random things we didn’t have a spot for when we unpacked

When we looked at the house I knew right away that it would be our mudroom to keep everyone organized.  So we had it painted the rest of the house color and left it sitting for 8 months.

Meanwhile, next door was our cramped “laundry space” in the powder room in a dark closet:

It was dark and had no room to sort or fold the laundry

It was dark, and there was no place to sort or fold the laundry

Fast forward 8 months where the renovation began with moving the washer and dryer next door to our empty room.  This required a plumber to move the pipes over, electrician to put in new wiring, and even a new dryer vent cut to the outside of the house.  These are a few pictures of the moving process:

Hole in the wall to move the plumbing and electrical over

Hole in the wall to move the plumbing and electrical over

The wall is repaired and the washer and dryer are moved over

The wall is repaired and the washer and dryer are moved over

Once the washer and dryer were moved over, it was time for the cabinets:

Cabinets were built to the ceiling to give optimum storage

Cabinets were built to the ceiling to give optimum storage

Now, I’m sure that I took more pictures, but I couldn’t find them, so let’s get straight to the good stuff, shall we?  The final product:

Washer and dryer tucked under a countertop, deep sink for handwashing clothes, or filling car washing buckets, a spot for my laundry basket, and an organization station for all those papers!

Washer and dryer tucked under a countertop, deep sink for handwashing clothes, and filling car washing buckets, a spot for my laundry basket, and an organization station for all those papers!

The upper cupboards hold the off season items, and the hooks and drawers hide everything.  The big cabinet holds the ironing board.

The upper cupboards hold the off season items, and the hooks and drawers hide the everyday stuff. The big cabinet holds the ironing board.

Full view of the room, and yes, I made that roman blind!

Full view of the room, and yes, I made that roman blind!

One thing you can’t see in any of these pictures was the closet.  Before the renovation, it was the basic 80’s closet with a shelf at the top and a long bar across for coats.  I had the cabinet maker rip it out and make me very specific shelves.

Lots of shelves for shoes and a very small area for coats since we keep our coats in our lockers on the hooks

Lots of shelves for shoes and a very small area for coats since we keep our coats in our lockers on the hooks

Now back to the old laundry room.  There was not a lot of shelving  or closet space on our main floor, so I had the cabinet maker also build me shelves:

Front view of the closet

Front view of the closet

Side view of the closet

Side view of the closet.  Sometimes the teacher in me happens to shine through with organized pencils, and markers!

The next step for our renovations is to add a light in the closet above and completely renovate the powder room.  Thanks for reading and happy renovating!

Seven Minutes in Heaven

You actually only need one minute in my closet to realize you’re in heaven!
This is the first time that the hubby and I have shared closet space. In our first home, the master had two closets and in our last home, I kept all my clothes and accessories in an entirely separate room. But, after six years of the marriage, the time had finally to come to share a closet!
As mentioned in my previous posts, we took space from the master bedroom and bathroom to increase the overall size of the closet. The result was totally worth it – we both have a lot of space and room to grow into it (i.e. I can buy more shoes and clothes, right honey?)!
We did a “his” and “hers” space, using the closet from Sex and the City 2 as inspiration. We worked with our cabinet maker to get the exact  look and function we envisioned.
Here’s a couple before shots of the closet:

1 2 3

And here’s what the closet looks like now ( I tidied it up just for you guys):

IMG_3514 IMG_3515 IMG_3516

Andrew’s side is panelled entirely in walnut. His drawer fronts are made from glass and the pulls are stainless steel.

IMG_3517IMG_3520IMG_3521IMG_3522

IMG_3524

We went more feminine on my side with painted white cabinetry and crystal knobs. I also incorporated open shelving to display my jewellery and my shoes. My cabinet maker suggested I add in the mirrors, bench, and little drawers to the awkward space at the entrance of the closet – those little drawers have actually come in handy for storing all my extra makeup! I planned on making a cushion for the bench, but right now that area just tends to collect junk!
I have one more room to share up stairs and then we’ll move onto the main floor which is where some more dramatic renos took place!

As always, thanks for reading!

I’m back…I think…I hope!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a shitty blogger (sorry to my mom and mother-in-law for the foul language but it’s the most appropriate adjective here). My last post was over six over months ago. That’s really not acceptable, is it? Good thing I am not trying to make money at this blogging thing!

I’ll be honest with you folks and tell you that today is the first day that I felt like blogging in a long time. This is not because I’ve lost interest in decorating, renovating, organizing, or the blog itself. The truth is that the last several months have been a little rough because I am with child!

I am 21 weeks pregnant and, well, I felt really shitty (again, sorry mom and M-I-L) for about 14-15 weeks. It felt like eternity! When I finally got over the nausea/morning sickness, I still didn’t have the energy to tackle projects to blog about or just blog period. Apparently, growing a human being takes a lot of energy! I am beginning to feel like myself again and am back to tackling some projects around the house – hallelujah!

I still haven’t finished sharing pictures of our new house which I will continue to do over the next few months. We are also doing some work in our backyard this spring and, of course, there is the nursery which I will be decorating in the summer when I go on maternity leave. So, there will be a lot to share with you!

Anyway, that is the update from Chez Sharah and thanks to all who are continuing to read despite my absence!

IMG_3466

Here we are, showing off the baby bump (there is actually a decent sized bump there – just hard to tell in this photo!). As you can see, we take ourselves pretty seriously 😉

Stay Tuned!

Basketcase

My name is Sharah and I am a basket-aholic.

That’s right, I am addicted, obsessed  and enthralled with baskets. They are all over my house and I can’t stop myself from buying more whenever I’m out. For the sole purpose of this post, I walked around my whole house and took an inventory of all my baskets  – 58 baskets and counting…

Why do I love baskets so much? Well, I’m glad you asked!

To put it eloquently, they hide shit! They make any closet, storage area, or cabinet instantly look organized and pretty (even if you’ve just shoved a bunch of random stuff in them that really doesn’t go together). In the words of my wise BFF:

Baskets are indeed an organizer’s best weapon.

I like this quote because it makes me feel like I’m an organizational superhero! In fact, my favourite brand of baskets is called Clutter Busters….Isn’t that a great superhero name for a neat freak like myself?

Allow me to demonstrate the organizational power of baskets in “Before/After” picture form:

basketcase1 basketcase2

basketcase3

And just so you can really get an idea of the extent of my problem, here’s a sampling of my basket collection:

basketcase4 basketcase5Now, go out and buy yourself some baskets – I know I have instilled an intense desire in each and every one of you!

Thanks for reading and Happy Mother’s Day to my mama and all the other awesome mamas out there!

Weekend Project: Jewelry Organization

I tackled a fun project this weekend: reorganizing my jewelry collection!

I had been on the look out for quite some time for fun ways to organize/display my jewelry. I trolled the internet for cute jewelry trees, boxes, or trays, but nothing really captivated me.

While searching, I stumbled upon this closet and thought this system was fantastic:

Courtesy of moth-design.com

But I couldn’t find a tiered jewelry tray that was nearly as cute as that Tiffany Blue one!

Then a few months ago, I spotted these framed corkboards at Homesense and thought they would be perfect for hanging my necklaces. I hung them up in my Makeup Room (yes I got a whole room to myself for my clothes, makeup, jewelry, and shoes – that’s the beauty of having no children…yet!).

IMG_0758 IMG_0760

I previously purchased this egg tray from Anthropologie to hold my earrings (I stole the idea from some other blogs):

So I decided to try and find other cute trays to hold the rest of my earrings and bracelets. I was thinking glass dishes or vintage-looking china bowls.  Yesterday, I popped into Value Village and another second hand store to see what I could find. It was my lucky day because all of these glass dishes came home with me for under $20:

IMG_0762

This is how it all came together:

IMG_0776

IMG_0765

IMG_0770

IMG_0771

IMG_0772

IMG_0773

IMG_0777

Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, the display is quite practical too because it allows me to see all the pieces in my collection easily which makes it more likely that I will wear each piece more often!

Thanks all for reading!

Some Updates to the Bathroom

It’s the little things in life that bring me the most joy. Hence, why I am super pumped about some changes in my shower! I recently purchased a new shower curtain from Target. I had been wanting to replace my tatty old one for awhile. Here’s the old one:

IMG_0569

I had my eye on this one from Etsy:

My motto is you can never go wrong with ikat and chevron! Okay, I just made that up, but don’t you agree?

While I was down in Phoenix last week, I spotted a pretty darn awesome shower curtain at Target (I can’t wait for Target to get to Canada!). It’s from their new Threshold line and it was only $19.99. What’s not to love?! So I bought it and stuffed it on my carry-on for the ride home!

After purchasing the new curtain, I decided it was time for a new rod and shower rings (the ones I had have some serious rust going on). I purchased a brushed pewter rod from Canadian Tire:

IMG_0576

And these rings from West Elm (you can purchase these almost anywhere though). These are the only kind of rings I use because they slide across the rod so nicely:

IMG_0580

While I was at Canadian Tire today purchasing the shower rod, I spotted this Simple Human shower caddy that I’ve had my eye on for the last 4 or 5 years!  It was kind of pricey as far as shower caddies go ($39.99), but it has a bunch of cool features. Don’t take my word for it – check out this delightful little video about it!

It has now has a beautiful home in my shower and holds everything so the shower ledge is no longer cluttered with items that don’t fit.


IMG_0570
IMG_0573
IMG_0575

Here’s what the bathroom looks like now:

IMG_0585

The new shower curtain matches great with the accessories I purchased from West Elm several months ago:

IMG_0586

IMG_0587

One more look:

IMG_0590

And here’s a project that will keep me out of trouble over the next few days:

bathroomclutter

Thanks for reading y’all!

Weekend Project: Prettying Up The Pantry

Although February is over, I am forging ahead with my complete home re-organization efforts. This weekend, I tackled the pantry. It was just me, the label maker, and a whole lotta non-perishables on Saturday night! I know what you’re thinking – this girl sure knows how to part-ay!

In an ideal world, my pantry would look like this:

Courtesy of countryliving.com

Or this:

Courtesy of feastingathome.com

Unfortunately, not everything in my pantry is the same colour, nor do I think that’s very realistic. I mean, the Primo chick peas have to live somewhere!

Let’s have a look at the pantry before:

pantry_before

I am blessed with a very spacious pantry (it even has two doors – one leads to the mudroom which is handy for putting away groceries). The downside is that more space means more junk, as you can tell!

Step 1: I emptied the entire contents of my pantry.

My poor kitchen looked like this:

kitchen_mess

kitchen_mess2

Step 2: I vacuumed and washed every shelf and the floor.

Step 3: I threw out old/expired food.

Adios rock hard marshmallows and potatoes with limbs! I also found a new home for anything that didn’t belong in the pantry, but ended up getting shoved in there out of convenience (i.e. laziness).

Step 4: I put everything back in the pantry in some sort of organized fashion.

I made 3 trips to Wal-mart throughout the weekend to purchase various storage vessels (I cleared all the product off the shelves!). I stored baking supplies, nuts, and dried fruit in glass jars and pasta, beans, and other grains in metal tins. I had previously organized my spices in little magnetic tins. That system works really well so I didn’t change it. I already had the baskets, but stole some of them from my linen closet (which is now a big mess)! They store items like cookbooks, napkins, and extra baking stuff. Then, the fun part: labelling with my trusty label maker!

Here’s the finished product:

pantryafter1

pantryafter

Eventually, I would like to put the oils, vinegars, and wines in new bottles and place them on rotating trays. I would also like to repaint the walls and use some leftover wallpaper for the areas between the shelves. All in good time because getting this far was enough for one weekend!

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you had a lovely weekend!