Home tour Part 2: The rest of the condo

Categories: House & Home
June 24, 2010

Welcome to part 2 of our virtual home tour.  Part 1 was our living dining area.  The rest shouldn’t take too long, as I’ve said, our house is cozy, plus I’ve left out the Den for Men and the bathroom.


Our kitchen is purple.  Really purple.  You’d think it wouldn’t work, but it does.  We lightened things up with stainless steel accessories, and overall it’s a very chic look.  However, I was convinced that we needed to paint it some boring colour, like beige, in order to stage it.  Scott disagreed.  Our realtor sided with Scott and so the purple stayed, but if I had my way our little kitchen would look a lot like this one from Young House Love.

Let’s take it to a vote, what do you think.  Purple or Neutral?  Place your votes in the comments.

Condo staged kitchen


This is our pretty little bedroom.  Yes, there are a lot of windows.  When we list our condo we will advertise “Beautiful light filled bedroom with floor to ceiling windows” instead of “buy a sleep-mask now”.

Condo Bedroom staging

I even staged the closet.  You never know where nosy home-buyers will look.  Note to anyone selling their home, hide your…erm…discreet items carefully, people do look in your closets.  Well, we do anyway.

Closet staging

I can tell you, it will be a shame when we have double the clothes storage that we have now.  I don’t think I’ll know what to do with it.

As for decor, we kept it pretty simple and neutral in this room.  As you can see, the mirror is going back, but we’re on the look out for a mirror or some artwork to go above the dresser.

Condo bedroom staging

This view isn’t very exciting, but I wanted to show off my brother-in-law Daniel’s artwork to the left.

Condo staging bedroom

Front Hall

There isn’t much you can do with a front entryway that’s just a straight line.  For our wedding, my cousin (a teenage guy) gave us this beautiful print that says “Family, all because two people fell in love.”    We loved it, so we put it above the door.  Then, we put a goofy picture of ourselves in a gold frame on the door and called it a day.

Front hallway, Gold frame, Goofy Picture, Family all because two   people fell in love

And that’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.   Now you can share in our excitement of staging the condo, getting ready to sell, and (fingers crossed) buying a new home.   Then we can give you another tour and possibly even some tips for small space living (though on a slightly larger scale.)

Home tour Part 1: the Living Dining Area

Categories: House & Home
June 22, 2010

As I mentioned yesterday, we cleaned up our place to stage it for selling. Now it looks pretty enough to be in a magazine (yes, I’m biased.) Feel free to take a peak and get an idea of how we thrive with small space living (with a storage unit of course).

Living/Dining area

Our living dining area is one of my favorite parts of the house.  It may look small, but we’ve had parties with around 35 people in this place (yes, it’s cozy).  The bookshelves are Ikea’s Liatorp system, and for small space living they have been the best $2500 we’ve ever spent.

Condo staging, IKEA Liatorp bookshelves, Living/dining area, bookshelves

This is our dining area.  You can see that we’ve added a small bar into our Liatorp bookshelves for mixing drinks.

Dining area, Tablecloth, Liatorp bookshelves, bar area, picture wall, picture arrangements

As for the picture wall, sometimes I just sit and stare at it, I love it so.  There are so many fond memories in family pictures and a picture wall is one of the best ways to showcase them.  I searched and searched online for ideas on making a ‘picture cloud’ style arrangement and found very little.  Maybe I’ll post a tutorial of my own one day.

Photo wall, photo arrangement, arranging pictures

This is just a view of the living area from another angle.  If you look closely on the left, you’ll notice the office area that we carved out of the bookcase for me.  And, no home should be without a handmade afghan from a Gramma.  This one was made for me by my Grandma Stewart.

Living room, afghan, bookshelves, staging

Continuing our tour to the left, this is the space that leads to the bedroom.  My mother made the mirror for Scott and I as a wedding gift.  It’s actually a window taken from the cottage that’s been in our family for ages.  She refinished it herself, she’s a handy woman.

Living dining area, condo staging

And so ends the tour of our living dining area.  Thanks for stopping by!  Come on back tomorrow for part 2, the rest of the condo.

Clutter Begone: What we learned from staging our condo

Categories: House & Home
June 21, 2010


In the past week, my husband and I have spent a considerable amount of time cleaning and decluttering our condo to get it ready for sale.  After we cleaned every inch of the place and we cleared away items for donation and storage, then we staged it.

We love our home, it’s cozy and well…homey, and it’s close to everything.  But for a long while now we’ve both subconciousely felt like we were drowning in our own stuff.  We live in a 645 sq. foot condo, and when you live somewhere this small, living space becomes storage space.  It’s just not pretty when, no matter how much you try to keep on top of things, the clutter just keeps creeping up on you.

Clutter creates so much stress…stress that we can’t even identify until we clear it away.  Once our space is clean, we can take a deep breath and feel the weight lift miraculousley from our shoulders.

I used to be fundamentally against storage units.  I figured, if you have so much stuff that you can’t even fit it in your house, then you have a problem…you have too much stuff!  You need to simplifiy!  But I was wrong, at least for the people living in teeny tiny condos in downtown Toronto (or anywhere, but I’m sticking with what I know.)  So, I won’t say that Scott and I have too much stuff and that we need to change our lifestyle to become drastic minimalists.  That just wouldn’t be true.  Neither of us have a lot of possessions, but in such a small space with so little storage, even the small amount we have that we use all the time can crowd us in.  Add to this our off-season clothing, holiday decorations, luggage, craft supplies, photo albums and books that we rarely look at but couldn’t part with, and of course Rockband, and we get feeling like we should be on the TV show Horders.

So, for the staging, we sent boxes and boxes of our non-daily-use items to temporary storage, and we both literally breathed a sigh of relief to see our ‘Secret Stress’ walk out the door.  Then the house purchase fell through, and the need to sell was pushed to an undetermined future date.  So, we made the decision to find a way to store our belongings permanently for the 4-6 months until we move into a bigger home.  The result is that we can more peacefully enjoy our living space, and that makes both of us happy.

And now I feel confident to show off a few pictures of our home before we a) clutter it up again, or b) move (hopefully the latter).  So, tomorrow I will be giving you a little tour of  our condo, which I very much hope you enjoy!


And here I thought a lego kitchen island was a silly idea.

Categories: House & Home,Neat-Oh! Thursday
May 27, 2010
Lego House

Lego House

James May (the guys from car show Top Gear), apparantly a way bigger Lego afficionado than my husband, used 816 million pieces of Lego to build this house in the countryside.  Sadly, it was demolished just weeks after construction.  The upside is that all 816 million Lego pieces have been donated to charity.

More on the project here.

Found via Penguin Creative.

Hi, I'm Tori, and welcome to my open book. I'm a freelance writer and web designer. This site is my scratch pad for thoughts and ideas, experiences and inspiration. Go ahead, eavesdrop on my life a little bit, you know you want to...