Hi there, I haven’t written in a long time.  It just goes to show you that our lives get very busy and before you know it, weeks flash by, before you know it months flash by and suddenly a whole year has passed.  So, what are we doing during this time – working, sleeping, and living our lives?  But, where do we spend this time?  Outside of work (and our car) our home becomes our haven; our cocoon.  We take comfort in our surroundings; at least the ones that we can create.  I know that I feel contented and safe in the nest that we have created.    I love being in my home; surrounded by my “things”.  Things, as most people say, are not supposed to define or own us, but I, for one, love all my colourful (purple) things.  They make me happy because they evoke feelings for me; of prettiness; of treasures; of memories.  They are also visually stimulating.  Sometimes I gloss by pictures and don’t really notice them; other times I suddenly pay more attention to the details and appreciate the creativity that drew me to them in the first place.

This just shows me how important it is to LOVE the “stuff” that you bring into your home!   Make choices that mean something to you.  Love the choices that you make.  Bring things into your home that you can live with, live on and enjoy using day, by day; by week; by month – every year.  We have furniture in our home that was bought half a lifetime ago and still, it gets used regularly.  It doesn’t need to be discarded simply because it is 30 years old.  It has its purpose; like the marble dining room table that gets used for all dinners of more than 4 people; that gets used by our son’s friends every Sunday to play board games; that is the sorting table for my other son’s collection of cards – 1,000’s of them.  This slab of marble earns its place in the home for everyday uses; we don’t save it for special occasions, or else it might not deserve to stay here.

Whatever it is that you choose to buy, love it for your own reasons and include it in your pattern of living.  Don’t make a quick purchase based on discounted price or on someone else’s say so: make sure that you want it!  Because . . . it is possible that you will own this for a very long time.

Trust me, it’s OK to love your STUFF.  I do.  Everyday.


How to buy a Room Divider

Room dividers can be a wonderful way to separate space visually without having to erect a permanent wall.  In most cases they will not be a sound barrier between two spaces but they can create a whimsical look and feel to a room.  Just the fact that you can’t see into the divided space is enough to make the user feel like they are in a different space.  No matter whether the panels are opaque or see through, a room divider creates a unique environment.

Room dividers come in hundreds of different options and materials.  Individual stand-alone frames, two and three part folding frames, multiple folding frames, wall suspended, and ceiling suspended are some of the more common styles available.  You need to decide which option works best for you and your space.  Once you applied tracks to the ceiling or the wall, then the divider becomes more of a permanent item.

The most common materials used are wood and metal frames with countless options available for the covering of the screens.  Wood panel, glass panel, fabric, mirror, and more creative styles with tree branches or perforated metal are all versions to help you create the perfect look.  This is another item that when searching the perfect room dividers go online and see what is available.  Most furniture showrooms will not have room dividers on the floor because they are usually not a top seller and they will be using valuable floor space.  They can easily bring in the unit that you selected once you have found the style you are looking for but check to see the stores return policy in case you really don’t like it once it has arrived.

Pay attention to the weight of the unit an ensure that it is not too heavy to move around the room, if required.  Some of these screens can become quite cumbersome with the materials used so check the units’ weight before committing.

If it is a free standing floor unit make sure that it is not too tippy.  Grab a hold of it and give it a good shake because the last thing you want is for it to fall over on somebody while you are entertaining guests.  The fixed versions will not have this problem however, you want to be sure that it is easy to slide them open and closed without any muss or fuss.  They should literally move with one hand into your chosen position.  If the hardware provided does not give you the feel you want, check to see if the hardware would be easy to change or adapt to your required use.  If not, keep shopping.

Some manufacturers make low height versions of their room dividers to accommodate areas that you might want to keep children or animals out of for safety or convenience.  Often these will match their higher versions exactly and  fit nicely into your room setting.

Check the overall construction and make sure they are well built and solid and rigid.  See how the manufacturer has made their connections from piece to piece and especially from frame to frame.  You want strong hinges that can take being opened and closed frequently.  Make sure that the selected material is well attached so there will be no chance of the covering coming off the frame in the future.  If you are going to be moving the room divider around a lot you want to be sure that will not fall apart.

COLOURS – choose what you like!

Have you ever had a problem picking colours that go together? Never fear!  There is no Right or Wrong when it comes to choosing the colour that you would like to have in your home.  I always encourage people to surround themselves with their favourite colours, ones that make them feel good.  If you are looking for combinations of colours, then there are some basic groupings that you can refer to for ideas to either complement or accent your main colour.

Continue reading “COLOURS – choose what you like!”

How to buy a BED

Before you even think about leaving the house to go look at bedroom furniture you MUST draw a floorplan of the room.  You need to know the following:

  • What is the exact size of the room? Every corner, every angle?
  • Where are your doors – entry and closet? Which way do they swing?
  • Where are your windows? How high are the window sills?  How high are the tops of the windows?
  • Where are the floor vents, forced air heating or base boards for electric heating?
  • Where are the receptacles, (plug ins)?
  • Where is the cable/TV plug in?
  • Where is the computer plug in?
  • How high is the ceiling?
  • Do you have ceiling lights? If yes, where?  (Show on your floorplan)
  • Where are your light switches?
  • Is there any device that cannot be covered by a headboard or piece of furniture? (i.e.: ceiling fan switch, thermostat)

Once you have clearly transferred all of these details onto a drawing then you are ready to start shopping.  Standing in a showroom guessing at what you think you can fit into the bedroom is a complete waste of your precious time.  Many people say that they cannot draw even a stick person, but go buy some scaled paper and do your very best to get all of these measurements down on paper and trust me – this will make your shopping experience a breeze.

Know what size mattress you are after.  There are many specialty sized mattresses but here are the standards.  Once you have determined the mattress size you can begin your planning.


The next part is pretty straight forward.  For this exercise we will use a Queen sized bed.  You know the mattress is 60” (5’-0”) across from edge to edge.  The bed frame will generally add some size, inches, to the width of the bed.  Most bed frames will add 1” to 2” on each side of the bed so a 60” mattress will be 60” + 2” + 2” = 64” wide, (5’-4”).  Let’s now pretend that you desire two nightstands, one per side, for the bed.  Add the width of the nightstands, which for this exercise we will assume they are 30” per unit.  2 x 30” = 60” (5’-0”).  You will always require a little bit of space between your nightstands and the bed frame which we will assume is 2” on each side.

So here’s the math:

  • Mattress and bed frame = 64”
  • 2 nightstands = 60”
  • 2 gaps between the furniture = 4”

64” + 60” + 4” = 128” Total or (10’- 8” wide)   Now with your floorplan you can easily check to see if you have enough space to have a Queen sized bed and two 30” nightstands.  When you check your drawing it will be able to confirm whether or not you can fit the units in.   This mathematical formula will work on any furniture you plan on adding to the room.  You must remember that you do require enough space to be able to open and close the drawers in any units you are considering.  Be sure to allow enough space for walking past the furniture once it is in the room so that you’re not bumping into it all of the time.  30” is a comfortable walking path between furniture items however; I have seen people have smaller openings to fit through in the bedroom.  If this is not a high-frequency used space, then you can get by with a little less width in your walking path.

Master Bedroom Queen Size Diagram B

Another consideration is – which type of bed frame to use.  Most companies sell the headboard, foot board, and side rails as a package.  There are some manufacturers that will sell headboards only, so if you search on-line in your area you will be able to see what is available.

When you choose a high foot board it simply means that you cannot sit on the end of the bed.  Also, if you have a tall person in the bed, their feet may touch the foot board all night long and this could interfere with a restful sleep.

Storage beds are an excellent way to increase drawer/storage space in a room.  Some beds have drawers in the end of the bed which are usually easy to access.  Some beds have drawers in the sides of the bed but possibly two of the drawers may be blocked by the nightstands (if you have them) unless the drawers are offset from the headboard.  Tilt up beds are another nice option for extra storage by having the bed hinged at the headboard position so that the user just simply lifts the end of the frame and it tilts up to allow access to the storage area underneath.  These models are a little harder to find on every showroom floor.

No matter what style of bedroom set you end up choosing the most important part is to know what pieces you want and whether or not they will fit into the room. The floorplan knows all.  You cannot be tricked while you are out looking for the perfect bedroom set.  Know your measurements.  Know what you can fit.

Lastly, the bed frame should be sturdy enough for two people to run and jump around on without banging and squeaking.  There is nothing worse than being in a bed that makes a noise every time you roll over.  Confirm at the showroom that it can support the users and that it can withstand adult activities without everybody in the house hearing about it.