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Home Finds - Is 2021 your year to get organized?

Home Finds

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Home Finds

Our Editor picks her favourite home finds this season.

Is 2021 your year to get organized? It can be overwhelming to think about whole home organization. So, take it one room at a time. Since many of us are working from home these days, why not start with your office space? Create an environment that is streamlined and inspiring to work in every day.

Gold wall STORAGE UNIT $39. | Blue WALL CLOCK $29. Grey wash WOOD DESK with built-in outlets. $299. | GOLD FRAMED LETTERBOARD $24. | Grey tufted OTTOMAN $99. | RATTAN STORAGE BASKET $29.99. Velvet office chair. $99. | Grey DESK LAMP. $39. | FRAMED ART PRINT $149. homesense.ca

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WFH

Even if you don’t have a dedicated room to work in, you can still have a functioning space that gets the job done.

1. Pratt READING/DESK LAMP in brass by Globe Electric. $129. bedbathandbeyond.ca | 2. Cubist multi-shelf WALL DISPLAY by Umbra. $119. amazon.ca | 3. Fantol DESK in oak. $1,099. article.com | 4. Nordmarke WIRELESS CHARGER. $19. ikea.ca | 5. WEEKLY PLANNER cali coast. $16. indigo.ca | 6. Meow & you MUG. $14. indigo.ca | 7. Soundlink around-ear WIRELESS HEADPHONES II in white by Bose. $269. bose.ca | 8. Felson TASK CHAIR by Langley Street in flat white. $314. wayfair.ca | 9. ACRYLIC CASE with three large rows. $39. muji.ca

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Book worm

Need a little inspiration to meet the organization goals you set for 2021? Here are five books to spark the expert organizer in you!

1. BEAUTIFULLY ORGANIZED: A Guide To Function And Style In Your Home by Nikki Boyd. $23. amazon.ca | 2. THE DECLUTTER CHALLENGE: A Guided Journal For Getting Your Home Organized In 30 Quick Steps by Cassandra Aarssen. $20. amazon.ca | 3. THE HOME EDIT LIFE: The No-Guilt Guide To Owning What You Want And Organizing Everything by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin. $38. indigo.ca | 4. JOY AT WORK: Organizing Your Professional Life by Marie Kondo, Scott Sonenshein. $30. indigo.ca | 5. ORGANIZING: The Manual For Bringing Order To Your Life, Home & Routines by Martha Stewart. $35. amazon.ca

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Bird watching

Bird motifs are trending this season

1. Flight block print BIRD PILLOW with down-alternative insert. $65. cb2.ca | 2. Miles MARBLE BOWL. $52. cb2.ca | 3. Metal BIRD PLANTER. $44. crateandbarrel.ca | 4. Pjatteryd GOLDEN BIRD PICTURE. $19. ikea.ca | 5. Red BIRD SCULPTURES with metal feet. $29 for set of two. structube.com | 6. Ibis TABLE LAMP. $945. elte.com

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Nifty storage

Keep your clothes and bed linens secretly stored in the drawers of this bed. Danielle queen channel headboard with upholstered storage base in Van Gogh fog. $3,098. crateandbarrel.ca

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Fresh air

Breathe clean air indoors with one of these air purifiers. When buying an air purifier, look for one that contains a HEPA filter – these filters are effective at removing ultra-fine particles such as dust and dander.

1. PURE HUMIDITY + COOL PURIFIER. $999. dysoncanada.ca | 2. AIR – AIR PURIFIER. $1,199. molekule.com | 3. INTENSE PURE AIR AUTO PURIFIER with HEPA filtration by Rowenta. $459. bedbathandbeyond.ca

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Listen up!

Do you want to do your part for the environment while listening to your favourite music? Sounds good, right? The Nest Audio is covered in sustainable fabric and is made from 70 per cent recycled plastic.

NEST AUDIO. $130. store.google.ca

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Create a gallery wall

Have you ever wanted to create a gallery wall but don’t know where to start? It can take a lot of time to choose the right images and organize the layout just right. Desenio has a great line of gallery wall posters in a variety of colours, decor styles and finishes to suit your distinct style. Just select the gallery wall that you love, and voila the images are already organized for you according to size and style. desenio.com

Living Room: Monochromatic dreams gallery wall
Living Room: Monochromatic dreams gallery wall

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Stylish storage solutions

Keep a multitude of items (kid’s toys, shoes, magazines, mail, skincare) organized with these options.

1. BAMBOO STORAGE BASKET. $34. homesense.ca | 2. Fjallbo SHELF UNIT in black. $69. ikea.ca | 3. Marie Kondo CERAMIC BULK CANISTERs in cloud white. $25-$34. containerstore.com | 4. Mod SMALL LOCKER. $749. cb2.ca | 5. Large WIRE BASKET in gold. $59. hm.com | 6. Hardage MAGAZINE RACK by Mercury Row. $393. wayfair.ca

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Japandi style

A marriage of simple Japanese aesthetic and modern Scandinavian design, the Japandi style brings together the best of these two design worlds. The look is minimal, functional and inviting. Think neutral colour schemes and non-fussy decor. This style started gaining popularity in 2020, and Pinterest (and its 400 million users) predicts this design trend will be big this year, as well. We couldn’t agree more! Here are some of our favourite items to achieve that Japandi look at home.

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Face time

Line-drawn portrait decor items are the perfect touch of whimsy for any space.

1. Line drawn PILLOW COVER face by Oui. $34. indigo.ca | 2. Faces multicolour ART PRINT. $15. indigo.ca | 3. PLANT POT with graphic design in beige. $19. hm.com | 4. Ceramic SCULPTURE. $34. hm.com


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Garden Expert: Birding 101

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Garden Expert: Birding 101

The do’s and don’ts to ensure the longevity of our fair-feathered friends

One in four Canadians buy bird food and/or consume ‘ birding’ products. The average amount spent is $1,000 per year. If that sounds crazy, count me as one of the crazy ones. With 14 feeding stations on my property, I spend a lot of time and money providing sustenance to my local bird population.

Most Canadian bird lovers live with the fantasy that we feed them to help the little darlings along the way. They need us. Not true. If all of us hung up our feeders in the garage, and stopped feeding the local bird population, they would be fine. We feed them to bring them to us: they are our entertainment.

REALITY CHECK

However, the part about them ‘being just fine’ is not accurate. According to Bird Studies Canada (BSC), the country’s foremost authority on the subject, our bird population is anything but ‘fine.’ There are many bird species in decline. The population of eastern meadowlarks, chimney swifts, barn swallows and nighthawks are all in trouble, if the numbers mean anything. Across Canada, four bird species in 10 are in some form of long-term decline, some of them quite seriously.

BIRD’S EYEVIEW

After years of reviewing the facts, Bird Studies Canada has determined that birds are an excellent ‘indicator’ of environmental health and trends. BSC uses their now famous ‘citizen science’ models to help them determine how many birds are out there, one species at a time.

Here are some of the facts, courtesy of Bird Studies Canada:

  • Birds eat enormous amounts of seeds, fruits, insects and invertebrates. Changes in bird population numbers often reflect changes in less visible forms of life in nature. Put another way, a decline in some bird species may allow for an unnatural outbreak of certain insect infestations. A farm without a hawk or other raptor hovering over the fields will have far more rodents prowling around.
  • Birds are a ‘canary in the environmental coal mine.’ For example, the dramatic decline of the bald eagle population, two generations ago, was an indicator of the effects of the chemical DDT on our natural landscape. Once humans were alerted to it, we mobilized to change our behaviour.

PERILS & PROACTIVE STEPS

Cats. For all of the discussion about how birds meet their demise at the ‘hands of man,’ none is more impactful than cats. I am not suggesting that you should get rid of your cat, but be mindful of the impact that a cat with claws can havein your yard and neighbourhood. Consider not letting your cat out the door, or limiting their time outdoors to the night hours when bird activity is low.

Plant native shrubs and trees, especially those that produce fruit. To maintain a healthy bird population, plant serviceberry, mountain ash, American highbush cranberry, and many native perennials that can stand upright over winter to provide food and shelter for birds.

WHAT CAN I DO?

You can help to build a database of information about birds and the bird population by joining the Great Backyard Bird Count, February 16 to 19, 2018. Take 15 minutes per day (or more) to count the birds and species in your yard or community (you can take a walk through a local park or conservation area if you like, don’t restrict yourself to your backyard). Report the numbers that you record on the Bird Studies Canada website.

This information is aggregated across the country, as it has been for many years. With these numbers, BSC can determine the increase or decline of bird populations across the country.

PROJECT FEEDER WATCH

Another great way to get engaged and help is to count the birds on your feeder and report them to BSC on their website. Project Feeder Watch was instigated by Bird Studies Canada in 1976. Through a partnership with Cornell Lab of Ornithology as their U.S. partner, they have expanded the program to cover the entire continent. The program occurs from November through April (so there is no better time to get started than now). For details of both programs, visit birdscanada.org.

Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, member of the Order of Canada, author and broadcaster. Get his free monthly newsletter at markcullen.com. Look for his new best seller, The New Canadian Garden published by Dundurn Press. Follow him on Twitter @ MarkCullen4 and Facebook. markcullen.com

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