Saturday, April 17, 2010


I have a dilema. In the last two days I have decided that I COMPLETELY DESPISE the layout/function/design/lack-of-design in our house. Despise. Hate even. Despise in a can't-stop-thinking-and-scheming-long-enough-to-fall-asleep-so-lays-in-bed-for-hours kind of way. I could hardly sleep last night because I COULD NOT get my mind to stop thinking of all the ways I would change things, how I would do it... what it would cost...

One of my biggest issues right now is organization. A place for everything and everything in its place, right? That saying used to make me roll my eyes, but now... now with three kids, homeschooling, a getting-busier-every-week photography business, I need for things to have a place AND TO BE IN THAT PLACE.

Cause when things don't have a place, they invariably get left/thrown some place that IS NOT their place and then all THAT STUFF just looks like JUNK. And when I feel like I'm surrounded by junk, I have little motivation to keep things tidy BECAUSE WHERE DO I EVEN START?

I've come to the conclusion that this family and open shelving DO NOT go well together. We have open shelves in our kitchen, all open book shelves in our living room, the boys playroom used to be a kitchen (there was a basement suite) so there's a fair amount of counter space... The problem? Every square inch of available surface space seems to be covered in Lego.

I kid you not. I could spend half the taking every last thing off our book shelves, putting everything back in its place, returning stray objects -at the very least- to the room in which they belong, cleaning, dusting, organizing, then re-loading my now sparkly clean shelves... only to turn around AND FIND LEGO.

And if it's not Lego, it's Playmobil or GI Joes, or Nerf darts or wooden fruit and kitchen utensils. Or... OR Andrew has pulled every last thing OFF the shelves.

I just can't win.

I need furniture pieces WITH DOORS. Doors and drawers and other things to hide things behind. Preferably these things will lock... and be treated with some sort of anti-Lego spray.


This need for closing/locking/hiding type furniture, however, leads us to the next problem...

I've spent some time scouring Kijiji, Used Ottawa and similar sites. I've feasted my eyes on some of the loveliness to be found on various design blogs. And I've come to a somewhat surprising (to me) conclusion...

I like antiques.

I like big, thick, wooden furniture that has personality and character and a story to tell. I love the idea of hunting for amazing pieces that have history. The thought of Ikea and its clean, simple, modern lines leaves me feeling cold and sad.

I love antiques.

So what's a girl to do? We do definitely need some new (to us) pieces of furniture. But where do I start? Keep checking Kijiji obsessively? Antique stores? Are there any good flea markets in/around Ottawa?? Also, I'd love to hear about your favourite design blogs. I think I'm well on my way to kinda/sorta figuring out "my style" but I could always use more inspiration.


  1. Woah. I could have written this. Every word. As for antiques, we've picked up a few great pieces off craigslist. My mum (a true antique aficionado) gets hers from auctions and antique stores.


  2. I love antiques, have a lot of pieces in my home

    I'm curious to hear where people recommend shopping!

  3. I love antiques too and definitely love storage with doors and drawers! I love to go to estate sales...although, they are bittersweet...usually wonderful purchases are found, but also a bit sad, since most estate sales occur because often the beloved items are those that no longer have any one to hand down to or appreciate.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (Oh, I'm following you now at #75 :o)

  4. Oops! one more thing...I would love to have a professional organizer come and organize my "treasures/art/sewing/quilting/crafts,etc"! But then I admit that I would feel that I would have to organize my stuff first, cuz it would be kinda embarrassing to have someone see how unorganized my things are!

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (I'm off to's after 1am! I try not to blog or blog read on weekends when my hubby is up...and try to spend quality time instead :o) but I am soooo behind on replying, so wanted to get a couple comments in :o)

  5. Hmm, I'm not too sure since I am an IKEA lover myself. I love the modern look.

    Garage sale season is starting soon and that might be a great way to find some deals.

  6. Auctions! Now, they can be a lot of work because you have to wait for when the item you want comes up and then you aren't even sure if you're going to get the thing that you want, but we got our very nice 1950s style dining room set (table, server and 6 chairs) for about $350!
    The biggest problem with this is that you need to be patient for the auctions to come up, to find stuff you actually like, and then to actually win it. But there is some really neat stuff that comes up at auction. Might be worth checking out. This is the company who ran the auction we got the dining room set from:

  7. I love IKEA too. And IKEA does have pieces that look like antiques/not modern pieces and they don't cost an arm and a leg. Going to auction can be quite expensive. If you're going to be cheap, go to a yard sale.

  8. I would keep an eye on kijiji, craigslist, check out garage sales, flea markets, value village and put the word out to friends what you're looking for. The treasure hunt can be half the fun.

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  10. I love craigslist and garage sales... of course, garage sales depend on where you live. For example, where I live "garage sales" are for the most part "junk" sales. Anything that isn't broken costs almost as much as you would pay to get it new. Sooo, I look on craigslist in Seattle, where the pickings are a lot bigger, and the prices are a fraction of what they would be here! So... maybe look outside of Ottawa. Are you willing to drive a few hours to get something good and at a great price? Miss you guys!!


  11. Oh I hear you! The last time my home was organized to my liking was... well... never. But nevermind, it is a process.

    I'm afraid I am an Ikea and bin girl myself, out of necessity and budget. My handy hint for lego is a big, under the bed storage box. The big flat design prevents dumping everywhere to find the pieces and it also stays in the bedroom. If the kids are bored I bring the whole bin down to the family room but then after a few days it gets taken back up to my son's room.

    Good luck finding those perfect pieces!

  12. Oh, Amy! I am loving the vintage look too these days and would love to go to flea markets and estate sales with you. So sad that you live so far away. I love organization too - a place for everything - but it's easier said then done when you have kids!! Anyway, it will be neat to see future posts with some of your awesome finds. Good luck!

  13. I have nothing to offer in terms of inspiration, but I must say I can totally relate. If there is tons of stuff around (and obviously there is always is with kids) I have a hard time finding any sort of "mental peace." Even if it's just a sink full of dirty dishes (we live in open concept, so they can't be hidden away) I won't relax until they are done. It drives my husband bananas, he says, sit, relax. I say, I CANNOT as long as chaos reigns. People keep telling me I should let it go...but I'm with you...doors are probably the answer.


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