Ways to Refresh for Spring

It’s the that time of year where we all get the itch to press restart. You know, the second attempt after the new year (no judgment here!). With organization and decluttering on our minds (thanks to the lovely Marie Kondo), I thought what better time to share my tips for ways to refresh and renew your home for spring!


Refresh

The first thing I do when getting my home spring ready is swap out all the winter themed scents. The apple pie and bonfire candles get stored away for next year, and out come the floral and fresh linen scents that make us feel like warm weather is near.  This year, I’m trying something new and opting out of using candles. Instead I’m using high quality diffusers. My absolute favourite - West Coast by Vancouver Candle Co.  

living room-3.jpg

Add some greenery! Did you know some indoor house plants can actually improve the air quality in your home? Plants like the split leaf Monstera (philodendron family) actually do more than just look pretty. They are always working to actually detoxify the air in your home.

living room-4.jpg

One of my favourite parts about getting my home spring ready is stripping all the linens, slip covers, and curtains, and taking them for dry cleaning. It’s like jumping into fresh hotel bed sheets the first night you check in. I mean, is there anything more satisfying?


Declutter

I’m a firm believer that everything needs to have a place in your home. It keeps not only your home tidy and organized but also helps to keep your mind clear too. I didn’t realize until moving that I had A LOT of stuff. I was definitely guilty of the “one day I’ll use it” saying. Since then, I make it a habit to go through our things every season and donate, toss, or recycle any items we are not using. The best method I have found for this is taking everything out of its spot and going through the items one by one. Deciding what you use most and what has really just been collecting dust. Whether it be the kitchen cabinets, your makeup drawer, or your closet.

When going through your makeup and toiletries, keep in mind expiry dates, brushes and tools that are worn out, as well as products you may not have liked but have been holding on to. For clothing, part with items that are ill-fitting and/or worn out, in addition to items you never seem to wear.


Organize

IMG_0739.JPG

Once you have decluttered, the fun really begins. But before you go out and buy a ton of dividers and containers, measure your spaces first!  Measure drawer openings and cupboard heights to make sure you maximize your storage potential.  My favourite places to shop for storage solutions are Ikea, the dollar store, Home Sense, and Amazon. For food storage solutions, Williams Food Equipment and Gourmet Warehouse

Do you have any refresh rituals? Share them along with what you’re doing to refresh and renew your home this spring by tagging @ohsomona

Our Kitchen Renovation

kitchen-reveal-feature-image.png

Boy oh boy was this a long-awaited post or what?!  I feel like I’ve been in kitchen reno mode for ages!  But like most renovations, delays are always expected at some point or another.  However, it was all totally worth it. Using our kitchen now, I almost can’t even remember what our old kitchen ever looked like!

….Who am I kidding? Who can ever forget that orange range hood? 

Before I jump into this, let me just give you a little reminder of what we started with:

image.jpg

This kitchen had two good things going for it, its linoleum floors and its teeny tiny fridge. Just kidding! For real though, this kitchen had killer space and an awesome layout.  Even though it was hard to tell before, I think we have really maximized it’s potential now. (P.S. don’t let the picture fool you, I was taller than that fridge, and I am not tall LOL).

img_4728.jpg

We started by gutting the kitchen.  We removed everything including the bulkhead that ran along the top.  This part was kind of scary, we really had no idea if we were going to open the bulkhead only to find that we could not remove it. Luckily, the renovation gods were looking down on us. All we needed was to reroute one small pipe and that was it! At this time, we also cut out a window into the dining room to open up the kitchen more.

Next, we patched up the walls and added drywall where needed.  At this time we added some additional outlets and lighting.  As you can tell the lighting previously was very minimal, so we added 4 recessed lights in addition to the hanging pendant light.  We found this awesome all-in-one recessed light set at Costco that are both budget-friendly and nice to look at.

img_5102.jpg

Our next step is where it started to get exciting.  Mudding, sanding and priming the walls to get ready for installation! We purchased our flooring from Plaza Ontario in Windsor, ON.  Kim was awesome in helping us to find the perfect tile for the space we had.  We decided to lay the tiles in a straight lay pattern so we could avoid making the space feel super busy.  We ended up going with a thick rather than thin grout line to help pull the grey out of the tiles a little bit more.  Then the fun really began. Our cabinetry built by Darius Ghib and designed by myself and Mike was the icing on the cake.  We really wanted a kitchen that was modern but yet still traditional and timeless.  I kept saying to myself “will we love this in 10 years time?” and the answer I believe will always remain, yes. 

As you can tell, we didn’t waste time getting things back into the cupboards. I was more than ready to be back to an organized chaos LOL.



img_5206.jpg
img_5225.jpg
img_5252.jpg

When we first decided we would be doing a kitchen renovation, I started to really focus on my time in the kitchen and my uses for it. Like, what am I using the most? Or how far do I want to have to walk for something? I know it sounds lazy but it’s really just all about efficiency to me.  I think coming from a restaurant background and having a husband in manufacturing makes efficiency top priority in our house . Also, what small appliances do I want out and what do I want to make room to hide?  We aimed to make this kitchen as clutter-free as possible so that we would have lots of room for baking and food prep.  See that humongous package of plastic wrap? Hiding that thing while still having quick access to it was one of my major kitchen goals LOL….Spoiler alert, we succeeded . We made the top drawer next to the oven deep enough to hold it. It’s the perfect spot! Anytime we need to use it, we just slide open the drawer and pull what we need.  Not having to take it out of the drawer-BIG BONUS.  Hey, it’s the little things right?!  I’ll go more in-depth into what else we did space saving and organizational-wise further into this post.

img_6081.jpg

After installing the cabinetry, we installed our countertop and backsplash.  We had such a big dilemma with our countertops! Did we want quartz or granite? Both our hearts wanted quartz, and white to be specific.  We love the solid/non-busy patterns available with quartz but was nervous about is durability.  We heard so many mixed reviews about quartz and white tops in general.  Some said it will stain so easily and other said it withstands stains no matter what because it is not as porous as granite.  We ended up just taking the plunge and going with this Stellar White Quartz countertop from Universal Granite and Marble and I’m so glad we did! So far, the upkeep on it has been great.  It was so funny because when we first installed it, the big rule between myself and Mike was NO POMEGRANATES! Lol, have you seen that video?  If not you can watch it here and you will know what I mean . But over time we realized that you do not need to cut pomegranates out of your life.  As long as any mess is cleaned up quickly, no stains are left.  We are careful not to leave anything on the counters that could leak and we don’t put hot pots on the counters either.  We were told it can discolour the white in the counter…sorry, I didn’t want to test this theory out . But like I said, absolutely no regrets! So if you want white counter tops, YOU GET white counter tops!! If you’re going to take anything away from this post, it would be that.

Okay, I’ve talked enough.  Time to show you the reveal!

kitchen-reveal1-1-1.jpg

We purchased the spindles for the sides of the sink from Millers Hardware in Windsor Ontario.

kitchen-reveal-feature-image.png
kitchen-reveal-30-1.jpg
kitchen-reveal-33.jpg
kitchen-reveal-20.jpg
kitchen-reveal-23.jpg
kitchen-reveal-19.jpg
kitchen-reveal-22-1.jpg

So remember the empty space in the previous kitchen?  Below the pendant, there used to be a small kitchen table. This is also where we cut the window so you could see into the dining room. To replace the old area, we added more counter/cabinet space.  We are really into baking so we designated this counter to the baking counter.  My mixer finally has a permanent home and it makes me sooo happy .

kitchen-reveal-26.jpg
kitchen-reveal-4.jpg

This tap from Wayfair is just golden.

kitchen-reveal-6.jpg
kitchen-reveal-10.jpg

I would just like to add that so far I’ve managed to keep these plants alive for a month, so… gold star for me!

Orange Juice anyone?

Orange Juice anyone?

Okay, now let us jump into the little quirks of the kitchen.  Have you seen the hidden microwave?

kitchen-reveal-12.jpg

Or perhaps you would like some tea?

Still working on my tea selection…I feel now I can only buy the tea with super pretty packaging , but I’m working on it lol.  I picked up this sleek and clean cutlery tray from Ikea and I just love it.

kitchen-reveal-13.jpg
kitchen-reveal-14.jpg

These containers from Williams Food Equipment are a necessity to the baking counter.  I have one in each drawer holding my flour, sugar, rice, and more flour lol.  I love being able to just open the drawer and scoop what I need.

kitchen-reveal-16.jpg
kitchen-reveal-28.jpg

Is it a thing to be addicted to storage containers?  These OXO Containers also from Williams Food Equipment just make everything look ahhhhmazing.

kitchen-reveal-24.jpg

Just showing some love for this gorgeous piece from The Cross.  I searched forever for a kitchen rug and never quite found what I was looking for until I saw this one.

kitchen-reveal-32.jpg

And Last but not least, we were aiming for a clutter-free counter, so anything we could put in the drawers was a key.  I found these knife block inserts on Amazon.  They were so inexpensive and a great addition to our storage solutions.

And that’s it! I hope you guys enjoyed reading about our kitchen reno process :). I would love to hear your thoughts! If you have any crazy reno stories..I want to know!

I’ve linked some more of the items we purchased below:

Hanging Pendant Light / Knobs & Pulls / Apron Sink

-Mona

Stay up to date on the next home reno project by subscribing to my mailing list!