It’s Moving Day!

Friends its a big day for me, and my little blog. Today we’re officially moving to a new home over at KrystalKristiansenDesign.com!

I’m going to be moving your favourite posts from here to there, as well as keeping things fresh with new content in the form of DIY’s, design topics and as always, our own renovation adventures along the way. To learn more about my new approach my first post is live here: Oh hey! Krystal Kristiansen Design.

It’s been my pleasure writing here, and having you follow along. I hope to see you pop up over at Krystal Kristiansen Design (the subscribe button is to the right on the home page!)

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Who Cares What That Designer Says?

I’m sure it seems like a loaded question for some, but this is all going to come from an honest to goodness place in my heart. Let me start with some back story.

I’ve been doing some major soul searching for the last month or so. Feeling very uninspired and contemplating whether or not I was doing what I was supposed to be with my life.  I’ve always loved design, found so much excitement in a good DIY project and was constantly looking for the next adrenaline rush that would come from a completed job well done. There really is nothing like a beautiful plan coming together- amirite?!

Lately I’ve been feeling like it was all just too much work. There was no joy in design, in fact I’d say that my ‘idea well’ had all but dried up. Scary for me, since I’ve built a career on it, and especially scary since my family depends on me. Here’s where things turned around, in a big way.

I stopped for a minute and I listened to podcasts, I read books and blogs, and most importantly; I talked about it. To my husband, to my doctor, to my closest friends. I admitted that I wasn’t feeling like myself and asked for help. Simple (and terrifying) as that. And here’s the best part. They listened. They were here for me, and they helped me out of that funk! I took a couple of weeks to re-balance myself, our home life (I’m a work-at-home-mama with two handsome boys) and re-evaluated what was important for me when it comes to design and the kinds of projects I love to take on. I went back to my notes from my most favourite book ‘Big Magic’ and remembered what gave me the most joy when I was creating for both my clients and our family. The answer to both was so clear. Authenticity.

Creating perfect looking spaces that are magazine worthy is great. Creating beautiful spaces that spark joy and conversation among family and friends is better. Designing homes that are both comfortable and functional, personal and tell the story of YOU is what makes my heart sing. In my home and our DIY projects it’s the story of US that I loved, not the constant turning out of projects!

So here I am, at the end of this journey telling you to forget about what that designer you follow on social media is saying (…except for right now, listen to me first and then do as you wish- ha!) Take what they call ‘trendy’ or ‘so over’, or whatever with a grain of salt, and instead of filling your shopping cart with an entire collection of ‘things’ wait. Listen to what calls to you and curate a space that is authentic to you and your family. That tells your story, that brings you peace and makes you feel most at home.

Designing your home should be a personal collection of those things that bring you joy and happiness! Build on those things and fill your space with love!

To say that I’m grateful for my handsome handyman hero (he literally always has my back!), and blessed to be surrounded by supportive family and friends would be an understatement. To have clients who keep coming to me with new and exciting projects, my joy comes from creating with you and for you! And to you, the ones who read my blog a huge THANK YOU! for reading and sticking with me, I couldn’t be more excited to continue sharing our families stories and projects with you!

Finally, here’s to filling your space with joy and happiness, many new and exciting projects on the horizon, and much love from me!

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Family Room 2017

PS- here is my little corner of the world. The place that is the most me, the most comfortable and where my family gathers.

 

Overhead Lighting; It’s More Than Boob Lights Folks.

If you’ve found value in those flush mount lighting multi-packs, (affectionately known as ‘Boob Lights’) that’s great. A dome light has it’s purpose and is terrific for lighting up those hallways and transitional spaces, however I’d love you to consider upgrading a few of those lights in special areas of your home.
Here’s why.
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Not only are you upgrading, you’re actually creating a custom look for your home. Touches that set your foyer, dining room, or living room apart from the other spaces in your home and apart from other houses in your neighbourhood. Setting a theme or mood in your en suite for example, can be achieved by hanging a chandelier over the bathtub, similar to the Moroccan inspired space below.
For a dramatic dining space, dare to hang a chandelier! Whether you choose something modern and contemporary, traditional or timeless, a low hanging fixture will make a high ceiling seem lower and bring an intimate feel to your space. Over your dining table is an especially perfect space for a large fixture because it can be hung nice and low and safely over a table (where you won’t hit your head). For the perfect conversation/sight line views while you’re dining and entertaining you should hang your lighting fixture no lower than 34″ from the table top if you’re working with a room with 8 ft ceilings.

Thinking outside of the box could come into play when looking at your bedroom lighting. Instead of the conventional single light in the middle of the room think pot lights for when more lighting is needed, but also hanging two single pendants over each side of the bed. This eliminates the need for side table lamps, while still providing some nice ambient light for reading or winding down before bed.

Now that I’ve got you thinking about it, what do you think about upping your lighting game? Are you brave enough to go all in, or would you take your time searching for the perfect lights and budget them in over time?

If you’ve started switching lights out or have a favourite hanging already I’d love to see photos in the comments below!

Talk soon!

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DIY Birch Business Card Holder

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Oh hello!

My friend Sarah from Flourish and Knot had the most fabulous idea for a no-spend DIY series! If you’re like me, you love a deal. And it’s even better when its a freebie, amirite? How about when its something you already have, maybe something collecting dust on a shelf, or on its way out the door in a big green bag?! Wait, look again! It’s #thereforthemaking!

This is month 1 of our  eco-friendly, no spend, DIY challenge! Today I’ll share with you the cutest way to show off your business cards on your desk, without spending a dime!

You will need:

  • A birch log.
  • A mitre saw.
  • A back saw (this can actually do both parts if you prefer a hand tool vibe!)
  • Paint and small brush. (Optional)

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First, find a birch log. This one in particular I had stashed away, saved from the wood stove at my Nan’s and is long enough to use for multiple projects. Bonus!

I cut the log into ‘coins’, each 1 inch thick.

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Then I took  a back saw and cut across the coin, to make a slit wide enough to hold a business card or two.

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Next, just because I already had the paint, I painted the top of the birch coin the most beautiful Champagne coloured paint from Fusion Mineral Paint.

It added a beautiful slightly pinkish sheen and a luxurious feel to my original natural wood design. You can use any paint you have at home, even colour coordinate it to your own business card!

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What do you think? Quick, easy and will definitely show off your business cards in a unique way! Have you ever turned an item ready for the trash (or burn pile) into something beautiful or functional? I’d love to hear about it!

We’ll be back in April with a special Earth Day edition of There for the Making. For now, I hope you’ll pour yourself another cup of coffee and visit the other bloggers participating in our no-spend DIY series. The next blogger in our hop today is A Chalk Paint Chair Makeover from 2 Bees In a Pod!. All of these projects prove that we have hidden craft and DIY possibilities waiting in our homes! It IS possible to be creative without spending a dime! Check out the full list of projects below.

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There for the Making – February Challenge!

DIY Birch Business Card Holder by Minty Green Dream

Chalk Paint Chair Makeover by 2 Bees in a Pod

Sponge-Painted Picture Frame Makeover by Flourish & Knot

DIY Chalkboard Monogram by Personally Andrea

Gemstone Wrap Bracelet by Lifeovereasy

“Hello Sunshine” Wall Art by Two Purple Couches

St. Patrick’s Day Wine Bottle Makeover by Green with Decor

DIY Barn Board Mirror – Ikea Hack by Vin’yet Etc.

DIY Organizational Clipboard by DIY Passion

Geometric Planter by Love Create Celebrate

Toilet Paper Roll Turned Plastic Bag Holder by Design Inside the Box

Chair Makeover by Simple Nature Decor

Vintage Toolbox Turned Craft Storage by My Creative Days

A Tale of Too Many Throws – The DIY Blanket Ladder Project.

It’s an age old story of love and betrayal.

Girl falls in love with throw, thinks of how wonderful and cozy it would be to curl up on a cold winters night with said throw and buys it immediately. Until the next time she’s at HomeSense, finds a new warm, soft fuzzy and moves on. Cue the pile of blankets sitting in my linen closet and I think you get the rest.

Our rec room was a cold and dreary place to spend time. (Full makeover post coming soon!) To liven and warm the place up I thought, ‘What better than a blanket ladder!’ I could use it to store some of my beautiful throws and its so convenient having them at arms reach for those chilly movie nights! Looking online however I noticed that most of the ones I was drawn to were priced above $100!

I knew I could do better, off to Home Depot I went!

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I picked up two 8ft pieces of 1 x 4 and two 1 1/2″ wooden dowels and got down to designing the blanket ladder of my dreams! Thinking 5ft 8in long, with 16″ wide rungs (from the top) at 12″, 26″, 40″ and finally 54″. This leaves 14″ at the bottom for the last blanket to hang without dragging on the floor.

 

First I cut the two 1 x 4’s at a length of 5’8″. At one end of both pieces I cut a sliver off at 10° so the ladder will properly lean against the wall. After cutting my dowel into 16″ pieces I found the center of the 1 x 4 and made 4 marker points (at the above measurements) for the drill press to cut 1/4″ deep holes into. Not going all the way through the wood meant having lots of real estate for wood glue.

To assemble I put the wood glue into each 1/4″ rung hole, and then screwed from the outside of the 1 x 4 into the center of the dowel, and continued down the whole right side. Then I repeated the process with the left until I had a sturdy ladder built! (Note: Not sturdy enough to climb!)

For simplicity’s sake I would say staining the wood before assembling the ladder would probably be the only think I’d change. I would guess the ins and outs would be easier, but this did work for me. I chose the ‘Dark Walnut’ Wood Finish Stain by Mixwax. It turned out to be a beautiful dark colour from the first coat, so happily one-and-done it was!

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And TA-DA! There it is! In all its blanket storage glory! A perfect addition to our rec room, and a fantastic way to change up my favourite throws seasonally (because yeah, I have that many… whoops!) And if I had to guess it cost me under $20 to build myself, a win in itself!

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Are you a blanket-aholic like me? Maybe we should have meetings or something to break us of this habit… or we might need more ladders. Let me know in the comments!

Stay warm!

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The Valentine’s Roundup of LOVE Inspired Colours!

Happy Valentine’s Day friends! Or Galentine’s Day if that’s what you’re celebrating (And I hope that you are!). You might not be thinking about colours today but I get all of the heart eyes when I think of pinks and reds and all those LOVE inspired beauties in between!

Here is a roundup of my favourite ‘Shades of Love’ by Benjamin Moore!

  1. Peony (2079-30)
    This one is an obvious choice for me. Its my favourite brave and bold pink. If you don’t get heart eyes just looking at this shade, you must not like fun! A bouquet of Peonies on Valentines day will surely brighten your day!

     

  2. Million Dollar Red (2003-10)
    A million reasons to love this fearless and rich red. Like a good red lippy or your favourite red dress, it’s passionate, it’s fiery and definitely adds a dramatic sexiness.

     

  3. Rose Petal (2010-60)
    The softness of the prettiest pink rose petal all wrapped up in a paint colour. It brings along playfulness, charm and sweet dreams.

     

  4. Caliente (AF-290)
    Hot and spicy this red has just enough edge. It evokes courage and invites you to take chances with bringing colour into your life.

     

  5. Valentine’s Day (2077-60)
    The obvious choice to round out this list is the colour with the namesake to prove it belongs. While this isn’t the easiest colour to throw into your home you can take it easy by up-cycling a favourite piece of furniture!

 

Do you decorate your home for Valentines? I’m guessing you don’t paint, but I just couldn’t resist the thought of it! After all, I am a Colour Enthusiast. Truthfully we don’t paint for the day either, but with our Peony powder room we don’t really need to do we?

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Sending you heart eyes from our home to yours, no matter how you celebrate or who you love!

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5 Ways to Bring Colour to Your Home

We’re only halfway through winter and I’m already craving bright hues! Oh I know, it’s no secret that I am a huge fan of colour. I will admit that I’ve even gone as far as proclaiming to be a ‘Colour Enthusiast’ on my very own business cards! While I understand not everyone is as WILD about colour as me, I do believe that every home should have a bit of it.

Colour can add warmth to a space, can bring through your own unique personality and add interest to parts of a room that may go unnoticed. Believe it or not, there is even such thing as ‘Colour Therapy’! Certain colours are proven to provoke emotions, lighten moods, and promote an overall well-being, and isn’t that the end game in choosing finishes for our homes?

Here are my favourite ways to bring some of those good vibes into your home!

  1. Plants- This is an easy one, whether its bright beautiful orchids in the bathroom or fresh green herbs on the kitchen window sill, you’re adding at least one colour in and breathing life, literally, into your space! (Pro-Tip, if you can’t keep plants alive, fake it ‘til you make it my friend! There are some beautiful ones at HomeSense right now!)
  1. Art- Finding art doesn’t have to be complicated. Do a Paint Night with friends, hang up a gallery of some bright candid photos of your family and friends, or buy a bold piece that speaks to you as soon as you lay eyes on it! (Splurge a bit if it means bringing that joy to your home full time!)
  2. Accessories- Curtains, pillows, throws, small appliances, rugs- you name it! Pick a single colour, or a series of complementary colours to take throughout. These items can be total jumping off points for a bold wall colour if you’re daring, or can be pared with a beautiful neutral for easy change up over time.
  3. Furniture- Whether you use current décor pieces to dictate furniture colour or vice versa, you can make bold moves with these larger pieces. If you LOVE a gorgeous deep, rich colour but you’re not quite sure about how long you’ll love it for, buy an accent chair or side table instead of a sofa. You can play on the colour, or tone it down later with paint or a neutral throw and a pillow.
  4. Small Rooms- Some of you may remember the pink powder room from our own renovation project. I tell you this, it’s been 2+ years and I don’t regret it one bit. Powder rooms act as the perfect little spot to take big chances, whether its with paint or wallpaper. Its OK to have a little fun and have guest will love the unexpected! Remember, big risks aren’t so big in small spaces, ha!

Are you someone who shies away from colour, or are you a colour enthusiast yourself? Maybe somewhere in between? How you have brought colour into your own homes! Post some photos below. I’d really love to see!

Until next time!
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The Post-Holiday Christmas Purge!

Warning. Its not pretty, but its totally necessary!

Every year, just before Christmas we go through the same organizational nightmare. We pull a dozen totes out of the crawlspace, rummage through looking for the holiday decor we like and pile everything else back in. After Christmas, same thing except we’re adding more trinkets and such we’ve collected over the month. Its stressful, its ugly and its all too much! And while I’m thinking of it, why oh why do we keep so many strands of Christmas lights, particularly those that don’t work? *sigh*

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This year we did it differently. Insert the Post-Christmas Holiday Purge! Both Brett and I decided what was most special to our Holiday tradition, which lights, garlands and bobbles we loved and only decorate using those things. Then we did the traditional put the rest away to be ‘laters’ problem. We didn’t even buy ONE new Christmas decoration this year! We were so happy with how the house looked it was totally unnecessary!

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I have to say this was our most relaxing and fun Christmas ever. There was no pressure to be perfect, to have a million gifts under the tree or to really go anywhere. We enjoyed the whole holiday, together as a family!

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Yesterday we went through the old totes, double checking we hadn’t missed anything and making piles ‘donate’ ‘keep’ and ‘trash’. It wasn’t even hard after everything was up and festive. Doing more with less felt better even!

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Everything that came down from the walls and windows went into appropriately labelled totes.

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Its amazing! We’re down to only 6 totes, 2 being tree ornaments! They can be tucked neatly into the back of the crawl space until next year and we feel so much lighter!

Some tips to being successful in your very own Post-Christmas Holiday Purge:

  • Try a purge as you pack away your seasonal bits, keep everything that means something and toss the fillers. You’ll love yourself for it next year!
  • Buy totes. Totes are much more durable and waterproof than any bag, cardboard box or whatever you might be using to house it all together. And they’re stackable! #winning!
  • Label! Label the side- for easy visibility when stacked- which room the decor elements go, and (roughly) label what items are in the totes. When you’re looking for your abundance of white extension cords (because that emergency happens from time to time) you’ll know exactly where they are!

Now that the house is put back together, vacuumed, dusted and scrubbed we can relax for this last day before back to work and school. And by relax I mean play Playdoh and Go Fish and Kitchen and Paw Patrol.

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I hope your Holidays were Merry and Bright, and that when you’re un-decorating this week (or next year if you’re already over it) that you’ll purge, label and stack your way into happier, quicker and much less stressful decorating!

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The Wood Lovers Guide to Summer Fashion.

Friends! Those who know me well, know that my wardrobe consists of jeans, basic tees and Converse sneakers. Who am I to be writing a post on fashion? Especially on a home decor/DIY blog? Hear me out!

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I’m such a firm believer in bringing natural elements into your home whenever possible, that the thought of a watch, made of my favourite go-to DIY material (sweet, sweet wood) had me fallin’ in love!

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Not only are these watches made from sustainable materials, JORD makes ’em lightweight, and this model, the ‘Ely’ in Dark Sandalwood even has a date window. The clasp on the back is stainless steel, but is almost completely covered by wood when closed (and this has GOT to be the easiest watch to put on!)

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I love the balance between the warmth of the wood, and the modern hour and second details on the watch face. Just like in your home decor- its all about balance! Side note, how totally awesome does this piece look as decor while its not on your wrist?

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Of course I had to pair this beaut with my favourite pair of earrings, also made from wood!

Basically, if you’re in the market for a new watch, I definitely recommend checking out the gorgeous selection JORD has to offer! Here is a link to the model I have, and for all of their other watches here. Also because I’m obsessed, this is going on my wishlist!

Oooh! And before I go, because you guys are amazeballs, I’m giving away a $75 gift card to go towards your very own JORD watch! You can enter here, (contest ends 7/24/16) and even if you don’t win, they’ll send a $20 e-gift card your way! BAM!

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K, I’m out of here! I’m working like a crazy person on a big project with a super fun client, and check back soon for a new project made of *wood*! (I totally did the Joey Gladstone-Mr. Woodchuck thing from Full House, out loud just now. You’re probably doing it now too. Ha!)

See you soon!
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Here are 5 Easy Steps to the Door of your Dreams!

Do you often drive around your neighbourhood and find yourself drooling over the freshly painted front doors? Making note of the bright colours and the classic neutrals. Do you dream of the day when your door can look as fabulous as those you see popping up in your ‘hood.

You my friend are suffering from ‘Door Envy’. ‘Door Envy’ or ‘DE’is considered one of the quickest and easily treatable Home Decor disease. I’d say that I’m writing you my own special prescription, but its more of a 5 step program.

Before you start with the steps, you’d better decide on a colour. If you need help with that check out this post, and if that’s still not enough you can always hire me for an exterior consultation! I’d love to help choose a custom colour scheme to make your home sing!

Step 1- Supplies! You will definitely need the following, I will explain how and when below.

Supplies

Step 2- Prep. Guys I cannot say PREP enough. If you want a beautiful, lasting paint job you have to put in the work. It doesn’t really take that long, and makes all the difference in the world- I promise! I started this door by turning on a space heater. I used the exterior paint Ben by Benjamin Moore, and it’s good as long as the surface is 5°C. The temp went down to 5° that night, and went up to 16° that day but I really wanted to make sure conditions were right.

Step 1 A- Heater

Take off the hardware, its easier than painting around, and scraping it later might take off the original finish. Take note to how it comes off though, you’ll need to put it back on later. Once the hardware is gone start sanding the door with a sanding sponge. Depending on what the door is like previously you may need anything from a fine to a course grit. Fear not, you don’t have to sand the old paint off. Just give it some tooth, something for the primer to grab a hold of.

Step 3- Prime. I swear by Stix Waterborne Bonding Primer. Its an interior/exterior super bonding primer, you can find at Benjamin Moore. It doesn’t have a strong odor and with soap and water clean up, I really can’t ask for more. Prime using your brush first to do the panels, then roll the flat surfaces. As you can see the roller handle I was using was majorly gummed up, so it just smeared the primer on. If this was paint it would have been a major problem, but didn’t seem to be a big deal where primer was concerned. Right after this I ran out and bought a new handle, ready for paint!

Step 2 - Prime

Step 4- Paint! Start by choosing the paint that is right for you. I touched on that a bit above, choosing Ben by Benjamin Moore in a low-lustre finish. This was super important for this client in particular because a low-lustre is a lot more forgiving, and is fabulous for hiding those minor imperfections that previous paint, dents and dings that may happen over time. Working with this brave family, and an amazing new throw pillow for the front porch rocking chair, we chose something a little wild, Peony (2079-30). Again, with the low-lustre finish you’re really getting a beautiful true colour!

Peony 2079-30

Next make sure your paint is shaken, and shaken well. This is especially important if your colour is one with  a lot of tint in it. Like the primer you’re going to paint in the panels first, then using a microfiber roller, fill in the flat parts of the door. In between coats let dry fully. I finished this door, in this colour in 3 coats but after the 3rd I gave the door another light sand, and a 4th coat just to ensure a perfect finish.

Step 5- Finishing touches. This is when you’re going to really make that door shine! Clean up and re-install the door hardware, add a beautiful wreath, (this one my client picked up at Michaels, and how appropriate, sports beautiful peonies!) put up some hanging baskets, the gorgeous Moroccan-style pillow that started it all sits in the beautiful black rocking chair. Basically tie in that new door with anything that is purposeful, or brings you joy!

Door After 2

And voila! That’s all it takes! One day, if its dry and warm enough you can likely get it done in an afternoon. You’ve got this, trust me.

**Huge!! Thank you to the Mac family for allowing me to document our journey to the perfect front door. You guys seriously rock!**

And before I go, a couple before, and afters… for good measure!

Before and After Doors

Before and After MacA

If you decide to take on your own front door I’d love to hear from you! Comment, and share pictures – can’t wait to see!

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