Category: Organization + Storage

West Elm: New for Fall 2014

July 9, 2014

The Summer heat finally kicked in and I’m loving it! I’m still taking things pretty easy after my surgery a few weeks ago but I’m feeling much more like myself and I cannot wait to get back to my usual activities, work and family fun. This “relaxing” business has been far more difficult than I thought it would be and I’m eager to get on with things, including finally decorating our new house. West Elm sent me a press kit for some of their new arrivals and I’m really loving the retro-meets-global vibe they’ve got going on for Fall, with price points for every budget too! Here are some pieces that I would be more than happy to bring home:

West Elm: Mid Century Glass PendantMid Century Glass Pendant
West Elm: Ladder BookshelfLadder Bookshelf
West Elm: Ainslie SofaAinslie Sofa
West Elm: Mini Smeg FridgeMini Smeg Fridge
West Elm | Hand Blocked Stepped Diamond Pillow CoverHand Blocked Stepped Diamond Pillow Cover
West Elm |Arriving Fall 2014Fall 2014

I’m crushing hard on all of these new finds (especially that pendant light…I kind of need it!) and how cute is that mini Smeg fridge?! Pretty sure I’d let Brad have 3 beer fridges if they all looked like that 😉 Hope you’re keeping cool, enjoy your Wednesday!

Dreaming of Summer: Links to Love this Week

June 18, 2014

Happy Wednesday! I’m sharing some link love early this week as I’m heading in for surgery first thing tomorrow morning and imagine I’ll be pretty groggy for the next few days. It will be very strange to be out of commission and in recovery for the next couple of weeks but it will also give me time to finally plan our Summer holidays and I’ll have a chance to catch up on Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black! Not to sure when I’ll feel up to blogging but here are some links that have inspired me this week:

1. This photo simply feels like summer to me, as does much of Joanna Henderson beautiful photography:

Photo by Joanna Henderson, by Joanna Henderson via SF Girl by Bay

2. My recipe “file” is a complete mess and it’s high time copy my favourite dishes onto pretty cards like these… they’re free to download here!

Printable recipe cards / blank cook book by CoCorrinaPrintable recipe cards / Blank cook book by Co Corrina

3. I’m so in love with the photos that Mikaela Ruth Photography snapped of our extended Spruce family last week and you can see more here on our shop blog, if you’re curious about more of the story behind Spruce Collective:

The Families of Spruce Collective. Photo by Mikaela Ruth.The families of Spruce Collective | Mikaela Ruth Photography

4. Emma’s new baskets are a genius idea for storage…now to find fishing baskets from Madagascar for my own home!

Hanging fishing baskets from The Marion House BookThe Marion House Book

5. Are you following Cartolina stationery designer Fiona Richards (fionacartolina) or her husband Doug Jones (riderjones) on Instagram? If not, start now because they’re in the midst of an absolutely incredible renovation of their first retail store in Nelson, BC, transforming a dingy Chinese restaurant into a heritage dream of a storefront…the before pics are mind-blowing! I cannot wait to visit later this Summer when we make the trek out to Brad’s family cabin in the Kootneys…road trip!

Cartolina retail renovation, Nelson BCCartolina retail, opening July 2014

That’s all for now! Wish me luck (and hopefully a speedy recovery!) and I’ll be back to chat very soon 🙂 xo

Friday Finds: Link Love, Ikea-inspired

April 25, 2014

Happy Friday! Sorry I skipped school here on Wednesday but this week has been a blur of work/packing/family and I imagine the next couple of weeks will be more of the same and then some. I’ll likely be pretty sporadic around here until moving day (and shortly after) but I’ll do my best to keep you posted and you know you can always find me on Instagram (I’m addicted, I admit it)! On a side note, did you know my shop, Spruce Collective, is on Instagram too? It’s true, find us here. Brad + I have been stocking up on closet organizers and storage solutions for our new townhouse and, of course, if anyone knows how to tackle storage and living small, it’s Ikea! Here are some great Ikea finds spotted this week:

1. Loving all of the minty greens popping up at Ikea lately (we have a couple of these green FABRIKOR cabinets for jewelry at the shop), including this HOLMSEL chair and LERBERG desk. Using stacked vintage books as the other leg is pretty darn genius too, if you ask me! (You know I’m a sucker for vintage books and you can’t imagine the hoards we have in our vintage rentals):

Ikea Livet HemmaLivet Hemma via Poppytalk

2. Can you believe that this stunner of a home in Lakewood, WA used Ikea cabinets? And that island. Seriously. Such a dream:


3. Love how these two Ekby Gallo wall shelf systems are stacked on top of each other for a shared kids’ room. Might just have to do the same in our girls’ new room:

A Merry MishapA Merry Mishap via Apartment Therapy

Well, of I go to a field trip at the bowling alley with Sadie’s class before getting the last of our junk organized for tomorrow’s garage sale. Swing by Green Avenue if you’re local, starting at 9am until whenever! No early birds, everything must go 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

Au Naturel: Wood Ceilings, Shelves + More

March 5, 2014

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 🙂

Friday Finds: Links to Love this Week

February 28, 2014

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!

On Display: Organized Collections

February 19, 2014

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!

Collective Thinking: Shared Workspaces

July 26, 2012

Rachel and I have mentioned several times before about our longing for home workspaces of our own. Now that the kids on vacation from school it’s been especially hard for me to sit down and write (between “I want a snack!” and “can you turn the sprinkler on?” interruptions) and I’ve pulled a few more late nighters than I anticipated. I did plan on stocking up at least a few more blog topics this week while they were at their day camps but suddenly found myself very distracted with a potential business adventure and it’s BIG! I am literally chomping at the bit to tell you more but for now will have to leave you hanging, at least until some key details fall into place. But these pictures may just give you a huge hint about what’s in the works for the very near future…

Photo by Bethany Nauert for Apartment Therapy


Micasa Revista. Photo by Jake Fitzjones.

Amy Osaba Floral Workshop via 100 Layer Cake

Photo by Carina Olander for Bolig Pluss


Design Milk

Atlanta Homes via Verdigris Vie

The Globe & Mail. Design by Kelly Deck. Photo by Barry Calhoun.

Photo by Jennifer Causey for Design*Sponge

Have you had the opportunity to sit with a group of like-minded people to brainstorm and swap ideas with? I’ve been lucky enough to share plenty of creative sessions with Rachel (who I’ve been missing more than ever this week!) and casual coffee dates with other vintage sellers, bloggers and larger groups as well. It always feels great to bounce ideas off of others who “get” what you’re doing and I’m always amazed at the amount of creative inspiration that can spark from seemingly chance encounters. Fingers crossed that I’ll have many more of these meetings-of-the-minds very soon! Sorry for the cliff hanger but please stay tuned…

An Organized Work Space

January 24, 2012

Rachel and I are about to delve into our year-end bookkeeping and, while we do keep our paperwork relatively well organized, it’s always slightly overwhelming when we repeatedly put it off for a few months at a time! But tax time is drawing near and ,with Rachel about to pull up anchor, it’s high time to put this tedious task behind us.

Ikea kindly sent us some photos of their latest organizational goodies and I am loving the look of these well sorted work spaces. My desk has six roomy drawers but it’s all to easy for them to become a dumping ground for mismatched paperwork, sticky notes and other office paraphernalia these days.We’ve spoken before about our dreams of having an actual room or studio to call our own but for now I must be content to type away at my workspace in the corner of our living room. Some of these simple yet stylish desk accessories would definitely help me keep my desktop clutter to a minimum…




Whether you work from your your kitchen table or are lucky enough to have a studio space to spread out in, it’s easy for bills and other paperwork to start taking over. How do you keep your space organized? Colourful boxes, vintage crates and baskets are some of my favourite solutions…

Livet Hemma (Ikea Sweden)



Do you like a perfectly clean desktop or do you like to have inspirational images and objects on display where you can see them daily? I like a bit of both and would definitely have an inspiration board nearby, if my desk wasn’t in our shared living space. I have three calendars always on the go and love the idea of a single large chalkboard calendar to fill in each month and help keep our family organized…

Janis Nicolay. Banquet feature for Canadian House & Home.

Rue. Photo by Matthew Williams. Design by Robert + Cortney Novogratz.


House to Home via Bright.Bazaar. Photo by Dominic Blackmore.

Neutral colour schemes are so visually calming and make great backdrops for artists and other creative souls but I find some pops of colour to be much more energetic and inspiring, myself. Which do you prefer? And vintage touches always help warm up a space and add personality…

Casa de Valentina

Weekday Carnival

Style At Home

Whatever your style, I’d love to hear your tips on how you keep your workspace sorted and paperwork filed. I think it all comes down to filing things away daily rather than waiting until desk drawers can no longer close. Hmm, guess I’d better empty a couple of desk drawers today!

The Art of Display

January 7, 2011

So, we’ve been talking a lot about getting organized, purging the excess and reducing the clutter around our homes. But what to do with the knick knacks, mementos and sentimental items that you really love? Rachel and I both take pleasure in displaying our vintage treasures wherever possible….on our mantles, credenzas, table centerpieces, and more. But at what point do our “displays” become clutter? I suppose it comes down to personal opinion. To some, less is more but to others more is never enough! I’d like to think I’m somewhere in the middle, slightly to the “less” side. When redecorating, I like to empty the mantle or surface that I’m rethinking and start from scratch rather than adding more to what’s there already and I definitely lean more towards symmetry and balance.

Geninne Zlatkis is an extremely talented artist living in Queretaro, Mexico in an amazing home built by her husband, Manolo. I love her watercolor paintings and how effortless she makes the process look on her blog…I highly recommend that you take a look! She also has a lovely Etsy shop that she’s currently taking a little break from but I can’t wait ’til she opens up again! Her birds and other paintings are simply gorgeous. But back to her home….it’s a combination of modern lines with natural wood and materials that I am really drawn to these days. And what’s not to like about this open floor plan and soaring ceiling? But what I love most about Geninne’s home is how she’s managed to display art, found items and plants in such an easy and uncluttered way. Subtly and with a light hand, she’s managed to bring personality and splashes of colour into every room of her family home…

Geninne’s Art Blog

Whether you lean towards the “less” or “more” end of the scale, there are plenty of ways to display your trinkets and collections without allowing them to take over your space entirely. Containing art, books or other collections to one wall, cabinet or surface, for example, makes them a focal point and keeping the number of pieces to a minimum prevents individual items from being lost in the crowd. Rachel and I both constantly edit and rearrange our homes throughout the year and keep any out-of-rotation items stored away out of sight. Once again, these vintage crates would be perfect for such storage and easily accessible too…

Hus & Hem via Emmas Design Blogg

The Selby via Geninne’s Likes On Pinterest

Canadian House & Home

Petra Bindel via Emma’s Design Blogg

I’m a big fan of collections, and while I don’t have many on the go myself, I love seeing them displayed in other people’s homes. Rachel recently put together a lovely post about how to display collections here. Natural history and found objects are a big, not to mention economical, trend right now. My kids love collecting feathers, seashells and rocks from any of our holidays or excursions and covering them with a glass cloche dresses them up from treasure hunt find to scientific specimen, don’t you think? Hindsvik has so many fabulous vintage finds in their Etsy shop….


Mixr via French by Design. Photo by Christoper Drake/Redcover.

Rachel gave me Sibella Court’s book, Etcetera, for my birthday last year and I was so happy to add it to my book collection! Sibella’s style is definitely rooted in the More is More approach, and while I couldn’t live amongst it all myself, I really do enjoy looking through the pages of all of her amazing treasure displays and undone rooms. Walking into her home or store would be like entering a museum! I found a few pictures depicting the opposite ends of the display spectrum…which do you prefer? The white pantry and open shelving are organized perfection to me!

1. Country Living 2. Sibella Court via Design*Sponge

1. Sibella Court via Design*Sponge 2. Tine K Home via Apartment Therapy

Of course, I’m a strong believer that vintage finds can be added into any room. I love the industrial shelving mixed with milk glass and other finds in this bathroom vignette. Simple, crisp and far from cluttered. If you’re unsure of how to add vintage objects into your own home or fear it will look like Grandma’s basement when you do, I recommend starting small with framed wall art. Vintage paper goods or art, like these blown-up Canadian stamps, look wonderful framed. Choose a frame that will compliment your room decor and, voila!, easy and affordable art for your walls!

1. Rue via sfgirlbybay 2. Canadian House & Home

There’s no need to go out and buy all new accessories to freshen up your space. Sometimes all it takes is a quick shuffle, swap, and a splash of creative thinking to make your old treasures shine like new again! Think outside the box and  you’ll be surprised by the many ways you can decorate with what you already have!