It's never too soon to talk about the holidays is it? At least not in my book. Although my job requires me to be in the holiday spirit 12 months of the year (we have our first Christmas campaign meeting at work in January each year...) I still love it and can't wait to start decorating!
The holidays can be really stressful though, there's so much anticipation, so much to do and it can easily become too much.
5 information-packed lessons including holiday planning forms, checklists, and worksheets you can use year after year.
6 bonus handouts:
Bonus handout #1: Pre-workshop assignment “Create a Holiday Planner.”
Bonus handout #2: "Simple + Fun Ways to Celebrate Your Holiday Inspiration Statement" by Aby Garvey
Bonus handout #3: “Tips to Simplify the Season” by Aby Garvey
Bonus handout #4: “Holiday Meal Planning Made Easy” by Laura of the popular OrgJunkie blog.
Bonus handout #5: “Simple + Stylish Holiday Decorating Ideas” by Benita Larsson of the popular Chez Larsson blog! Yes, that's me :) and I'll be joining in the forum for a few days too!
Bonus handout #6: “Holiday Card Organizer Project” by Aby Garvey
Learn on your time schedule in a format that works for you–online web pages, printable PDF handouts or MP3 audio files.
Access to the workshop forum and photo gallery for a full 10 weeks.
In all you will:
Figure what’s most important to you and your family to have a joyful holiday season.
Create a holiday planner and fill it up with printable forms and worksheets that will organize all aspects of your holiday preparations.
Create a customized holiday plan so you can get it all done. You’ll be organized, prioritized and energized!
Learn practical, doable strategies for simplifying the key areas of your holiday preparations…from cooking, baking and entertaining, to shopping, wrapping and sending out holiday cards.
Share gift ideas, recipes, holiday traditions, tips and more in the private workshop forum.
Learn a simple process for getting your holiday gifts put away and your home put back together.
Learn how to store your holiday décor efficiently and effectively.
Get tips and ideas for making next year’s holiday season even better than this year, and exchange ideas with your classmates.
Share photos of your holiday decorations and storage solutions in the online photo gallery.
Create a simple and fun project to organize your holiday cards so you can enjoy them next year.
I took this class last year and besides from it being great fun (the forum) it also was really, really, useful (the handouts). I learned a lot and enjoyed reading my classmates thoughts on what was important to them during the holidays and it really got me thinking of how I want my own to be.
So, if you want to win a spot in Aby's class which starts November 3rd please let us know via a comment below which one of the workshop topics above interests you the most. Comments will close on Sunday afternoon (my time) and the winner will be announced on Monday! Good luck!
I'm sneezing and blowing my nose as I'm writing this. Have a terrible cold and as soon as I'm done I'm getting in under the blanket on my favorite armchair. I'm so not going to work! Great thing is that I'll get a bunch of laundry done today. Every cloud does have it's silver lining.
Before and Afters downstairs coming up!
Downstairs Bathroom sink side
I guess this was pre homestyling before putting your house on the market. The used tooth brushes and other hygene products on the yellowed plastic shelf really give this bathroom that special touch, no?
Still the same tile and basin but we managed to clean up the space slightly. Still not my fave area in the house but I can live with it.
Not very nautical as is but this was to become the boat room. Low ceilings painted dark red, wood floors stained a weird mustard brown and cheapo panels.
Floor boards painted white. Wonky walls covered in fabric, ceiling painted white. And there it is, the little former kitchen table, turned into desk upstairs and then desk in here and later catchall in the storage room.
Early this year I ripped the fabric off the walls, wall papered, painted, repainted the ceiling, trim, windows and floor and Martin and I later builtthe desk along the window wall.
The radiator had this odd position on the wall above the day bed. The boat room is partly under ground so mybe this was what one did back in the days? The door leads outside in front of the garage. Cosy decor, don't you think?
We had the radiator removed and repositioned under the window and because of some very weird phone cable placement in the ceiling I did a quick cover up job with a canopy. Good enough for MIL to come stay which was what the room was used for initially.
Here's that same corner a year ago. Martin reluctantly agreed to Billy book cases along the wall (he wanted to custom build the whole thing but I put my foot down seeing as I was the one who would have to paint he whole thing...). The odd choice of widths is due to the door being behind the third book case. We figured, if we ever wanted to have access to the door again we could remove that one section. We added trim and molding to give the whole thing a more built in, less Ikea look.
Here's what the foot end of the bed and the two book cases that the previous owners left us looked like a few years ago. My best tip if you want to make people happy AND get rid of stuff is to put "For Free!" ads on Craigslist (Blocket over here). We've gotten rid of so much unwanted stuff that way and it gets snapped up and removed within a couple of hours.
This is a fun shot because I didn't arrange it, the crew that came over to shoot a commercial at our house a year and a half ago turned the bed around and I loved the look. We kept it like this for a while but ended up turning it around again because Martin didn't want the desk facing the wall.
Ok guys, my nose is dripping all over the place. Need to blow it urgently! See ya tomorrow!
So from what I understand you don't mind more B&A's so here's another one. This one starts upstairs and ends up in the basement. Enjoy!
TIny upstairs bathroom
Wasn't it just lovely? Ivy patterned paper, olive toilet seat, wonky cabinet and lighted mirror. Ugh. Oh and not to forget, the cracked tile floor.
This was taken quite a few years later but this space was one of the first I tackled. I say I because there was no way Martin could tackle anything with me in there. We can barely squeeze past each other to get our toothbrushes in the morning. I tore out the masonite boards that the wallpaper was pasted onto and simply sanded the bare wood down a little bit and then painted it all white with water based paint. I laid white floor tiles and installed the glass shelves. And no, I didn't change the toilet and sink. It's the same, just a really bad photo back in 1998, but I did switch seats... Actually, the toilet and sink color was one of my favorite things about the house when we viewed it.
Some years later we built the narrow cabinet to the left. It matches the other corner where the pipes run and the dis-symmetry of the space before always bugged me AND we needed more storage. I switched the glass shelves at the back wall to painted wood ones and took the opportunity to give everything else a fresh coat of paint too. Next project to do in here is to lay a new tile floor with under floor heating. Hopefully I'll get it done this fall, around the hoildays or maybe next spring.
Right next to the door to the tiny bathroom is the door to the basement and I remember the feeling of dispair when I saw it after seeing the OK upstairs in terms of decor. Just about every pattern imaginable was represented in this small space. Yellow faux brick wallpaper on two walls, ships-in-stormy-weather paper on two walls, orange faux brick vinyl floor, blue/grey patterned runner on stairs, grey painted stairs, burgundy doors. It was all a bit much. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the lovely open-for-all-to view fuse boxes.
I just had to hide the fuse boxes so I sewed a piece of fabric that I attached at the top of the stairwell and fastened over a pipe at he bottom. Not the most sophisticated solution but at least I didn't have to see the dang things everytime I opened the door. By this time we had tiled the floors downstairs, painted the stairs and the walls. Before painting the walls I removed the old wallpaper by wetting it and rubbing the whole thing off with a scrub sponge...very messy but also very satisfying. Oh, the doors are no longer burgundy, I painted them and the stairs in a sort of jadeite color. Très Martha.
I don't know if you can tell the biggest difference here, besided from this being a better photo and that there's a door covering the fuse boxes. The big difference is actually the light switch being white and not black as in the previous photo. By now we had had our whole house rewired. It's something you should definitely consider doing before starting any other renovations but it took us quite a few years to be able to afford it so we did it after we had done almost everything else. We have THE best electricians though so after they were done you could barely notice they'd been here, besides from everything now being safe and with all new (but vintage in style) white light switches.
You are in luck! Not only do you see the ships-in-storm wallpaper up closer but the burgundy doors are very much in your face now. And the bonus, the piece de resistance; the pipe from the upstairs toilet. All lovely features in the downstairs hallway. Actually there is a lovely feature, for real, in this photo. No not the coat but the coat rack. It's is the one we use upstairs now. It's a classic and is still available in some design stores. The cool thing is that it was designed in 1937, the year our house was built. By the way, that door to the left is what we built the bench upstairs out of.
There was virtually no heating in this part of the house so we had a radiator installed in the area of the coatrack (you can just barely see the top of it in the lower left corner ).To disguise it we built a rad cover around it and a book shelf above. The shelves are open at the back so air can circulate. The toilet pipe is still there but not visible from where I was standing.
A little later still and there's a cover which lets air circulate in front of the radiator, an additional shelf had been built next to the now covered up pipes after they had been switched out to new and improved ones.
Here's the post I was meaning to publish while in China on Friday. I'm concluding the upstairs living portion of the delayed Before, in Between and After Week with the bedroom and small walk-through room that leads into it.
The family who lived here before us had two sons. These houses are really tiny to begin with, only about 667 square feet on one level (with same square footage in the basement including garage) so both Wille's room and the walk-through and bedroom were added to in the 50's. The latter rooms became the boy's bedrooms. We are using them as dressingroom/craft area and bedroom.
Initially there was nothing but a weird hanging bit of closet in the dressing area. Apparently they had to take the bottom part of the closet out in able to get a bed in there. We started out with just a wall of two tiers of hanging rods and added shelving under the hanging closet bit (seen further down towards hallway) but after a while we decided the hanging closet thingy needed to go so we could put sliding doors on that whole wall space. First they were orange trellis.
Here you can see the temporary arrangement we did under that hanging cabinet in the top photo. Baskets with underwear at the front and because it's a fairly deep space, piles with clothes at the back. Hamper at the bottom.
In our family Martin has the most extensive wardobe. My closet used to be in the corner by the window. Just some MDF shelves on brackets and a rod for hangers underneath. Martins space used to be twice that (the whole length of the sliding doors) because 1) He holds on to stuff 2) He's much more vain than I am :).
I'd been wanting a craft area for a long time and since our house is so small small there's not a whole room to dedicate to it so Martin suggested we use my former closet space and build a craft desk there. He even offered to purge is own wardrobe so I could move in on "his" side. Said and done and this was the result.
What can I say? I love my organized nook. Wanna see what goes where? Check this,this and thisout.
Ok guys, I have posts lined up with downstairs and exterior photos. Are you fed up with these Before & After posts and want me to wait a while until posting the rest or do you want more right away? Let me know!