Tag Archives: Lisa Canning

Strategies for busy parents

Strategies for busy parents

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Strategies for busy parents

Being a parent is a full time job and it can often feel like a juggling act you just cannot win at times.

by Lisa Canning

Being a parent is a full time job. Add in your job, household chores, attempting to exercise and squeezing in time for yourself, it can feel like a juggling act you just cannot win at times.

As a mother of six — and soon-to-be seven — children, trust me when I say I have seen it all. I have experienced times when my life is super organized and productive and it feels like I can conquer anything, and times when it feels so overwhelming and impossible that there is no way I can keep up.

But let me tell you — there is a way. There is a way to balance life, kids, work, and house and not lose your mind. I’m going to be sharing my five-step framework for doing it all at this year’s BabyTime Show in two special presentations on April 27 and April 29. At the BabyTime Show, you can also pick up copies of HOMES Publishing Group magazines, including Condo Life, HOMES Magazine, Active Life and RENO & DECOR.

To get you started, here are some of the strategies that I use to save me time.

SCHEDULE SELF-CARE TIME

This is a simple strategy, but so important. No one else decides how we spend our time, but us. While there are certain duties that we might not have a bunch of flexibility in, I bet if you looked carefully at your calendar you would realize there are a lot of areas where you do have control. So I suggest you schedule time to yourself like you would anything else you prioritize in your life, like a kids’ soccer practice, or a meeting for work.

Literally schedule a block in your calendar and make it a repeating appointment. And spend it however you want, whether it be curled up with a good book, going to the spa, or enjoying your favourite treat (check out my blog right now for my favourite time-out treat recipe with Green and Black’s Chocolate).

SIMPLIFY REGULAR HOUSEHOLD DUTIES

I cannot tell you how many parents I speak to that find cooking for their families a stressor in their home. My solution? Get rid of decision fatigue and simplify the process as much as you can.

For me, this means prepared meals, and let me tell you they are simply the best. You get meals that are nutritious and delicious, and so much of the decision-making and prep work is done for you.

I’m currently loving M&M Food Market’s prepared meals — quick, easy and delicious meal solutions for you and your entire family for your busy weeknights. They have no artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners, and you literally pop them in the oven and in minutes you look like a culinary genius. And many M&M locations offer Click & Collect services, where you place your order online, drive up to the store, and your order is ready for you, often within an hour. Eliminating the time and energy it takes to grocery shop is a huge time saving and energy saving strategy for me.

AUTOMATE YOUR HOME MAINTENANCE 

I have worked in the field of interior design for over 10 years and as a result my own home often gets put last on the list where maintenance is concerned. Trying to set up a time for trades to come, and ensure they actually show up, is quite the exercise at times. So, where possible, automate the process by setting up recurring appointments that you set and forget, or use an app like Jiffy that connects you with qualified, insured trades, who come at a time that you specify. The app is also really great for reminding you of seasonal maintenance tasks like barbecue clean up, eaves trough cleaning, or snow removal as the season demands.

CREATE A CENTRALIZED HUB

The amount of paper that comes into a house — between bills, correspondence and school forms — can be overwhelming for a family. How many times have you misplaced an important receipt, a school trip form, or something you need for tax time? This is something I struggle with on a regular basis.

To keep paper clutter manageable, I like to create a centralized command centre of sorts where all this paper lives. So, as soon as the paper comes into the home, it has a place to live until it can be filed away. You can do this simply by having a three-ring binder at the front of the house with dividers for all your important papers, or a series of clip boards that hang on the wall that organize all these documents. I’d also encourage families to place a centralized calendar in the same area so everyone knows what’s going on at all times.

Lisa Canning is a coach, parent, interior design and lifestyle expert. Learn more about her sanity-saving strategies at lisacanning.ca 


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Creating the ultimate craft room

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Creating the ultimate craft room

By Lisa Canning

I wouldn’t exactly call me a crafter (my lifestyle of six children and a business means I am of DIFM — do it for me — than DIY), but I might change my ways after creating this space for my most recent makeover. We created a craft room that I think is pretty ultimate.

Here are some essential things to consider if you want to create your own:

Keep it Colourful

If you can’t have fun with colour in a craft room, where can you have fun? In this case, we went with a beautiful teal called Sylvan Mist by Benjamin Moore. It’s soft and inviting but definitely saturated enough to be whimsical and playful. I think it’s also a really fun accent to the MDF tongue and groove we applied to the walls from Metrie.

And I had to add a bit of colour with the cabinet hardware. Shayne Fox Hardware is a newcomer to the Toronto artisan community and her handmade hardware really is a piece of art. We used her cast bronze knobs in bright bronze for a pop of contrast against the white cabinets.

And, again, because it’s a craft room and why not, we chose a bold colour on the chairs. These chairs from Wayfair provide a fun pop against the white base cabinetry. And don’t forget about accessories — even in stationary products you can incorporate colour like paper clips and the feather-shaped pen holder (and pens) from HomeSense.

Keep Practicality in Mind

A craft room has to be really practical so keep paint spills, sticky fingers and a general mess in mind. For this reason, I wanted a really durable, but beautiful floor. I used ErthCovering’s Tivoli natural stone plank, which has the texture of wood but the durability and liquid resistance of stone.

Including a sink makes so much sense. We used the Delta Cassidy faucet, with Touch20 technology, which allows you to simply tap anywhere on the faucet when the handle is in the on position. When your hands are covered in glitter glue, and the faucet is as pretty as this, you better believe that Touch20 capability comes in handy. I also love how the pull-down spout is integrated so elegantly in the design, and you can position elements like the spray toggle and handle as per your personal preference. Finally, I love how the Champagne Bronze finish looks with the knobs.

Keep it Cozy

This room is in the basement adjacent to the backyard entrance and is cold and drafty, especially in the winter. To keep it cozy, we put in the Celeste stove by Dimplex. My favourite thing about this electric fireplace is how portable and easy to install it is. It provides instant warmth and a cozy atmosphere to a space, with very little fuss, mess, or expense. The pop of colour in this carpet from HomeSense completes this cozy vignette.

To help with that exterior draft, we replaced the window with an Energy Star-rated, top-quality vinyl window in white by Fieldstone Windows and finished it off with Metrie’s Very Square casing to keep the details contemporary.

Keep it Personal

Again, I feel like a craft room is where you can get really fun and personal. This homeowner loves the outdoors, nature, and essential oils, so I worked with Posterjack to create all of the artwork in the room using personal photos to create unique pieces. With an assortment of styles and sizes to choose from including canvas prints, framed prints and acrylic prints you can really create a customized look featuring your own photos.

Keep it Organized

This is arguably the most important element! Keeping craft supplies organized really is the key to an ultimate craft room. And the best solution to this, hands down, is strategic storage cabinetry. I partnered with Tailored Living on this project, a custom organization company with franchise locations across Canada and the U.S. They provide all the tools to create effective storage solutions that will help you meet your organizational goals. In a craft room, this means a combination of shallow drawers for small items like essential oils and paper, base cabinets for tall bottles and jars, and tall cabinets for rolls of wrapping paper and banners. Colourful baskets from HomeSense keep the interiors neat and tidy.

www.lisacanning.ca

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Laundry room makeover

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Laundry room makeover

Laundry room update is the perfect opportunity to add a pop of colour and create more strategic storage.

By Lisa Canning

A design dilemma if ever there was one: How to create a customized space for a room that had to serve many different purposes. Without a basement, garage or garden shed, the space had to be able to store off-season clothing, sports equipment, paint cans, as well as random odds and ends. Plus, it had to function as a laundry room.

If you’re looking to give your laundry room a refresh soon, here are a few ways you can add some custom elements to your space.

Start With Colour
I think the laundry room is the perfect spot to inject a bold hit of colour — you can be more adventurous than you might typically be in a bedroom or living room. With all the natural light in this space, I knew we could go dark and bold, so I used Benjamin Moore’s Bermuda Blue on the custom cabinets and picked up the colour in a beautiful patterned rug from HomeSense and striped towels by Pamuk and Co. Bright, bold colour in any application (but especially in painted millwork) can really make a space look and feel more custom and original.

Add Architectural Details
Another way to instantly make a space look custom is to add architectural details. We changed the swing on the original door to open against the staircase to maximize the space in the laundry room and replaced the interior door with a beautiful Metrie Pretty Simple door with Millennium patterned glass. In addition, we wrapped the entire room in Metrie’s MDF tongue and groove to create a shiplap look. I like shiplap (and all mouldings, really) as it provides a subtle texture to a room.

Customize Your Storage


Strategic storage makes me really happy. Proper storage is essential to keeping a space clutter free and a family from feeling overwhelmed by stuff. The millwork I designed for this room is 36-inches deep to give the family lots of space for large, bulky storage. But to make sure these large cavities remain really practical, I used a series of large, easy-view bins by Neatfreak to keep things that require more frequent access — like towels and cleaning supplies — in plain sight. The triple-sorter laundry system with built-in ironing board, also from Neatfreak, allows the family to create an additional surface area for laundry sorting and folding and eliminates the need for a folding ironing board, saving precious storage space.

Lastly, we created custom floating shelves out of the same Belanger laminate counter we used to provide the room for additional storage and decorative display.

Add Some Bling
I love me some handcrafted cabinet hardware, and these pieces by Shayne Fox Hardware are my current obsession. These bright bronze pulls and knobs are made out of cast bronze and are finished in what is called a living finish — they are going to oxidize and patina over time.

And we continued my obsession with all things bronze with the Cassidy faucet by Delta in Champagne Bronze. A small hit of a warm metal is a really on trend way to provide a custom element in your laundry room.

Customize Your Cleaning
And finally, don’t forget you can customize the most important aspect of your laundry room, your washer and dryer. We selected a stackable pair by Whirlpool to maximize all available space. The front load machines offer a multitude of settings that allow the family to wash and dry everything from well-worn sports gear, to delicate dance costumes. Available in three finishes, we went white as a bold contrast against the blue cabinetry.

https://lisacanning.ca/

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A SPA-like BATHROOM – in your own home!

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A SPA-like BATHROOM – in your own home!

Who doesn’t love a long soak in a hot bath? And if that bath is in a totally gorgeous bathroom, that’s like a prescription for relaxation. To create a luxury retreat-like bathroom, here are some tips:

FIRST ADD WHITE

When I think of a spa, white instantly comes to mind. Fresh white walls combined with the beautiful natural light in this recently renovated bathroom are ideal. Here we used my personal favourite white of all time – Benjamin Moore Decorator White. To ensure the room didn’t start to feel bland and boring we incorporated a lot of texture – mainly  in the tiles. We used Daltile’s Octagon & Dot mosaic on the floor, and their Florentine tile on the shower walls. This tile is a glazed porcelain tile that has a marble design printed on it, so it is a great budget saving option. Having a mix of patterns and textures ensures a monochromatic colour scheme like this does not feel boring! We picked up the grey on the floor with the neutral grey in the Auguste vanity by Foremost.

IT’s IN THE DETAILs

Have you ever thought about trim? Well I do. In every room I ever design. Trim can help you to achieve a whole new level of luxury with a material that has a very reasonable price point. To ensure this white room did not feel too plain and basic, we added crown, applied moulding and baseboard in Metrie’s Pretty Simple collection. There are so many options, sizes, profiles available, but if you want to add a level of luxury through trim and don’t know where to start, Metrie has simplified the process with its curated Then & Now Finishing Collections. They take away all the guesswork by presenting coordinated lines. Each moulding element within each Collection has been meticulously designed, so every joint and reveal is seamless. Look at this bathroom – I just love how the trim turned out!

ADD NATURAL, RUSTIC ELEMENTS

All the white in this room called for some contrast, so we incorporated some pieces from one of my favourite retailers, Artemano. This tree stump makes for a perfect perch for a wine glass or book while relaxing in the soaker tub. Artemano’s buying team travels the world in search of modern solid wood furniture pieces, and other home decor accessories that add artistic flair. We also added a small rustic wood shelf for candles adjacent to the tub. These little contrasts give the bathroom a grounded, earthy element. And what spa would be complete without candles? Handcrafted candle holders in natural textures like concrete are definitely essential.

Your Fixture is the room’s JEWELRY

Plumbing fixtures are like jewelry on an otherwise plain outfit- the jewelry makes it fancy. In this spectacular bathroom we used the Ara collection by Delta to bring a bit of a modern edge to this space with its geometric angles and edges, and it took the room’s luxury level up to that of a five star spa. I love the contrast of the modern fixture next to the traditional soaker tub- it makes for such a bold statement!

LUXURY doesn’t have to break the bank

There are so many ways to add luxury to any space – and a bathroom is no exception. This room wasn’t just supposed to be a bathroom – it needed to feel like a spa! So we added as much luxury as possible, without breaking the bank. First of all, we created a custom shower, complete with a bench. This looks and feels grand, but we kept the costs reasonable by using pre-fabricated glass shower enclosures (as opposed to all custom glass) by The Shower House. For a truly invigorating shower, we added body jets on the wall.


A few perfect touches included adding a decorative hamper, modern stool and this leaning towel ladder from Bouclair, which adds a gorgeous visual element and can show off plush, luxurious towels. Quality towels are a must – and I love these striped Turkish cotton towels.
The detail you cannot see – floors heated by the Nuheat flooring system so that even your feet are happy when you get out of the shower or bath.


And the final piece of this puzzle – the soaker tub! This soaker tub has been with the homeowners for years, literally sitting in the garage just waiting for the perfect bathroom renovation. With a brand new coat of Newburry Port Blue, I must say that this tu steals the show.


These tips will help you to create a spa-like oasis in your own home. Remember, creating a spa is all about relaxation, comfort and luxury. And you deserve all that!

Special thanks to the brands mentioned above for partnering with me on this project. Photos by the talented Dann Tardif.

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