Category — Organization + Storage

Au Naturel: Wood Ceilings, Shelves + More

Living on the West Coast, we’re no strangers to wood. It literally surrounds us in live forests and is one of our most used building materials and resources for export. While I would never balk at painting out dated finishes (like those weird bleached pink cabinet doors of the ’80s or that shiny orang-ey oak of matching dining sets or lacquered cherry anything) I’m definitely a big fan of highlighting exposed wood throughout the home. It brings so much natural warmth to a space, especially when balanced with other finishes and textures to keep it from looking like a hunting lodge (not that I wouldn’t enjoy a good hunting lodge, especially with a roaring fire and hot toddy in hand but you get my drift). Our own ceiling (which you can catch a glimpse of here and here) are original circa 1969 cedar tongue + groove and were the selling feature when we first walked through the front door 6 years ago. I love them just as much now as I did then, especially when it rains. We have no attic and it really feels like we’re cozied up in a cabin in the woods (or possibly a hunting lodge) with raindrops (and often pinecones) pattering down overhead. Here are some great spaces made even better with the addition of natural wood accents:

Domino. Photo by Brittany Ambridge.Domino. Photo by Brittany Ambridge.

Better Homes & GardensBetter Homes & Gardens

RTL WoonMagazineRTL WoonMagazine

How genius is the above bench? Seriously, such a great idea especially for entertaining when it can just be tucked out of site or pulled out in a pinch. I also love that the designer chose a different wood colour than the floor to make it stand out. Not a fan of anything matchy-matchy, can you tell?

Sugar & ClothSugar & Cloth

Manhattan NestManhattan Nest

See the last picture? It’s a fabulous reno of a formerly hideous space (so rude, I know but you really have to see the entire transformation to see what I mean!) and I love how Daniel painted out the original wood floorboards (gasp! don’t worry, they were in really bad shape) before building a natural wood desktop and floating shelves. What do you think? Well, I’m off to the shop now to sort through the vintage treasures that my partner Jessica and I bought yesterday (we went on a mild spree South of the border!) before a creative brainstorming session with the rest of my Spruce girls. Have I mentioned before that I love my job? Because I do :)

March 5, 2014   3 Comments

Friday Finds: Links to Love this Week

Hurray for the weekend! I’m feeling a little low on the energy scale this week, you know that feeling when you’re moving in slow motion and start several tasks without finishing any? Yeah, that’s me. But the weekend is here so I’m hoping to reboot and recharge before jumping into several creative projects, both at the shop and at home. Speaking of creative, my Spruce Collective girls and I recently filmed our first YouTube video (totally out of our comfort zone, fyi!) and I thought you might enjoy a little look behind the scenes in addition to some other links I loved this week:

1. Our first YouTube video for Spruce Collective!:

2. Although our own basement renos have slowed to a snail’s pace, I still love living vicariously through other peoples renovation adventures. Can’t wait to see the end result of Sarah‘s home and here’s a glimpse at her DIY studio in the meantime:

Smitten StudioSmitten Studio

3. Winter can be a little lonely, can’t it? Especially when temperatures drop, brrr!  But I can’t think of a better way to come out of hibernation than with a communal dinner like this one, attended by Shannon Eileen and hosted by Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle Et Vanille:

Happiness IsHappiness Is

4. A big kitchen reno is high on my wish list but isn’t remotely realistic at this point in time (wah!) but I’m hoping to come up with a few creative and budget friendly tweaks to make it at least a teeny bit happier. Loving the concrete counters and open shelves in this small Dutch kitchen:

Fantastic Frank via April + MayFantastic Frank via April + May

5. I love a good motivational quote and absolutely love this DIY “wallpaper” by blogger Marij Hessel! So awesome and sooo easy too, my kind of project!

My AtticMy Attic

Off I go to attempt at least somewhat of a productive day, wish me luck :) And have yourself a fabulous weekend too!

February 28, 2014   4 Comments

On Display: Organized Collections

There are a few areas of my life that feel a little out of my control lately (including but not exclusive to mounds of laundry, bulging closets + our ongoing basement renovations) but I find that starting and finishing one organized task every now and then can make all the difference. Single small tasks make that looming mountain of to-do’s suddenly seem achievable (or at least within reach!), one baby step at a time. My partner Jessica and I spent a couple of hours yesterday styling some new product displays at the shop and, while it certainly didn’t solve world hunger or magically fold my laundry, it sure felt great to purge some shop clutter and make things look pretty! Although it’s all just stuff, I think our personal surroundings reflect our emotions in at least some small way, would you agree? Here are some more orderly shelves, art + collections that are soothing to the eye and to the soul:

Spruce Collective, Abbotsford BCSpruce Collective (excuse the iPhone pic!)

Image removed at request of photographer. See The Glitter Guide for photo.

Oh Joy!Oh Joy! Photo by Casey Bradley.

Kelli MurrayKelli Murray

Tracey Ayton Photography for Style at Home. Michelle Morlean Design.Tracey Ayton Photography for Style at Home. Michelle Morlean Design.

Lonny. Photo by Patrick Cline.Lonny via SF Girl by Bay. Photo by Patrick Cline.

Do you find organizing your living space therapeutic or overwhelming? A combination of both? Me too! With my busy schedule, I find it much easier to tackle small tasks like a drawer or single kitchen cupboard rather than pushing my luck with an entire closet or room. Organized moments may be fleeting these days but they sure feel like a breath of fresh air!

February 19, 2014   3 Comments

Organized Thoughts: Studio Dreaming

Thanks so much for your well wishes, emails and texts after my last post. I didn’t mean to worry anyone but I think it’s important not to gloss over the dreary bits in life as reality often isn’t nearly as pretty as what’s filtered through Instagram, agreed? Life/marriage/parenting/etc is a series of hills and valleys (some steeper than others) but I think my situation is starting the climb back uphill and I’m feeling much brighter than I was at the beginning of the week. Talking things out always helps (although it’s super hard for me) and I’m blessed with a pretty awesome support group, even when I don’t feel like sharing much.

Also brightening my thoughts are some upcoming renos at the shop. We’ve all been sharing a shoebox sized office at Spruce Collective for over a year now, not easy considering there are 5 of us partners plus our full-time store manager and 4 employees! Needless to say, when working on our website/paperwork/phone calls/etc we’re always tripping on each other (or locking the door!) and it’s impossible to stay 100% organized. Earlier this summer, we divided our workshop in half with a temporary wall (made of vintage doors) to create a fashion boutique. It’s been an amazing success so we’ve decided to put up a permanent wall and allocate the other half (currently workshop/lunch room/catch-all disaster) to one gloriously spacious shared workspace. First on the agenda is a huge 3-month calendar to keep track of all of our store events, vintage rental bookings, financials and more. It will be life changing!

The Design Files via DwellHome of Lucy Feagins/The Design Files via Dwell

Ferm Living Wall CalendarFerm Living Wall Sticker Calendar

Design Love FestDesign Love Fest Studio

Country LivingCountry Living

Fancy-New Zealand Design BlogFancy-New Zealand Design Blog

A sense of order makes everything easier, doesn’t it? Sometimes simply cleaning a closet or drawer can make all the difference on stressful day. I’ve got quite a bit of organizing to do on the home front starting with Sadie’s room, which I painted last weekend. Hoping to finish decorating it over the next few days and I will definitely share some pics. What organizing projects do you have looming? Let’s tackle them together!

January 8, 2014   4 Comments

The Domino Effect: Greenwich Glamour

Although I haven’t actually flipped through the new issue with my own two hands, I couldn’t be happier that Domino magazine is back on the shelves. It was the first go-to design website (pre-blogging) that I visited regularly, (especially while studying interior design) and I was sooo sad when it closed down…especially when my collection of deco files disappeared with it! Before Pinterest, it was my favourite way to “collect” inspiring interiors. But it’s back and based on this stunning Greenwich Village townhouse, it’s better than ever. Come take a look…

Birch + Bird: Domino MagazineAll photos by Brittany Ambridge for Domino

While this family home is definitely more glamourous than those that usually catch my eye, it is anything but pretentious. The fine finishes (those herringbone floors!), neutral palette and gold accents throughout are seriously pulling at my heart strings and I love that they could translate into the average home just as beautifully as they do here….

Birch + Bird: Domino Magazine

Birch + Bird: Domino MagazineAll photos by Brittany Ambridge for Domino

Owner Ali Cayne worked alongside her architect throughout the extensive renovation and made all of her own decorating decisions. “The whole idea behind this house is to nourish and feed people, “ says the busy mother-of-five and restauranteur.

Birch + Bird: Domino Magazine

Birch + Bird: Domino Magazine

Birch + Bird: Domino Magazine

Birch + Bird: Domino MagazineAll photos by Brittany Ambridge for Domino

Beautiful, isn’t it? Although, somehow I can’t quite picture 5 kiddos running through it! You can see more photos over at Domino too. Hope you’re having a wonderful week so far!

October 9, 2013   0 Comments