ironing-board-cover

 

There are no big projects happening for us at the moment – after all, Spring Cleaning month is all about those little updates that maybe only you will notice.

Once such tweak I’ve just done is replace the ironing board cover we’ve had since we moved in over five years ago (I know, nothing but excitement around here). It had gotten a bit scalded and threadbare and the wadding was so thin I was getting the metal pattern of the ironing board imprinted into whatever I was ironing.

I picked up this cute cover from Barefoot Lake on Etsy, plus some new wadding. I’ve been a big fan of Joel Dewberry’s patterned fabrics for ages so I’m happy I’ve finally found an excuse to have some in my home.

Only problem is, the little birds are upside down!

Oh well, if you don’t look too closely it’s still a fun addition to the laundry.

Have you had any great Etsy finds lately?

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This post is sponsored by Fisher & Paykel.

Living in a small space can be a double-edged sword when it comes to housekeeping. There is less to clean (yay!) but it also means that it can get chaotic very quickly if we’re not vigilant.

Any home, no matter the size, needs a well-functioning system to keep the household running smoothly. Adopt a mix of new labour-saving appliances, clever space-saving tricks and good old fashioned chore routines and you’ll be well on your way.

Make it shared

Many hands make light work, so divvy up the responsibilities around the house with your family (yes, including kids). How you split it will be up to your individual circumstances, as well as ability, interest and other commitments.

Even if you do already share the housework, it can be helpful to discuss a more specific arrangement so that you can take responsibility for your own tasks and not have to worry about the rest.

Make it multi-function

Only have space in the laundry for one major appliance? Instead of having to sacrifice a dryer, opt for a washer-dryer combo for maximum convenience in a single appliance.

On a smaller scale, choose all-purpose cleaners so you don’t need a cupboard full of specialist products (plus you’ll win points from Mother Nature).

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Make it space-saving

These days space isn’t the limiting factor it once was when selecting appliances. For example, you can replace one drawer in your kitchen with a Dishdrawer for all the time-saving bliss of a dishwasher while maintaining your storage space.

Also available are cabinet-depth fridges and under-bench fridge drawers for a streamlined look in even the tiniest of kitchens.

Make it fun

No really! Cranking up some upbeat tunes or listening to an interesting podcast will make your housework feel like less of a chore.

Make it easy

Dry-clean only? Porous kitchen counters? No thank you. Select easy-care surfaces and materials for your home and clothing to make maintenance a breeze.

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Make it ergonomic

Housework isn’t just a drain on your time, it can also be physically demanding. Take a load off and try back-friendly appliances such as dishdrawers, upright vacuum cleaners and wall ovens.

Make it automatic

Embrace amazing new innovations such as self-cleaning ovens and robotic vacuum cleaners to put your housekeeping on autopilot. Plus set timers for things like your washing machine and coffee machine to do their thing ready for you to wake up.

Make it routine

Setting aside certain times for each chore is the easiest way to prevent things getting out of control. Just as importantly, make sure everyone in the household is clear on the schedule too, so that they can do their bit when wash day or bin day rolls around.

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What are your favourite tips for easy housekeeping? Tell us in the comments!

This post is sponsored by Target.

cloche centrepiece

I’d recently been suffering a case of the decorating blahs.

There are only so many times you can rearrange the same ol’ pieces after all, so I’m delighted to be working with Target to freshen up my decor for the new season.

cloche centrepiece close-up

It was time to send the hurricane lamp to the bench for a break and bring in a new player for the dining table centrepiece.

I’d been wanting to try out a cloche for ages, but they were always too boring, or too formal or too expensive, so I was pleased to find this quirky one with a metal base. At the moment it is housing a stunning faux giant peony from Lotus Flowers but I can imagine it will be a really versatile piece that I’ll be able to change up with the seasons and holidays.

Flowers are the ultimate decorating accessory, of course, so I paired it with some supermarket tulips for a really fresh, happy centrepiece.

frame vignette

I picked up this sweet artwork by Peach Patrol a few weeks ago at a market and it had been sitting waiting for the perfect frame. I’ve bought frames like these from Target before and I keep coming back to them as the double mat gives it a way higher-end look than the nine bucks they cost!

laundry shelves

laundry shelves close-up

I then turned my attention to the laundry. I am terrible at keeping indoor plants alive so it makes sense for me to go faux. There was a great selection but I ultimately decided on this cracked glaze potted succulent. I think it’s rather charming!

I also spotted this cute gardening tool kit (green! in a tin!) and knew it would be the perfect practical accessory for the laundry shelving, which is adjacent to the door into the courtyard. (Sorry, I can’t find the link online but check your local store.)

So there you have it! A mini freshen up of our downstairs was just the thing to get me out of my decorating funk.

How about you? What have you been tweaking at home lately?

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Ironing mat

We already have a pretty good small space ironing solution (a tabletop ironing board) but this ironing mat from Solutions takes it one step further.

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IHeartOrganizing laundry before & after

I’m always inspired by Jen of I Heart Organizing, but never more so than at the moment because my house is in such an atrocious state.

This makeover proves you don’t have to replace everything to make a big difference: just look at what a coat of paint, updated flooring and a few well-chosen accessories can do!

(Also? I was dying to show you this fab rug. I had come across it earlier and decided that it was my dream rug. Seeing Jen’s laundry confirmed that it is, in fact, the most awesome rug I have ever seen. Unfortunately Mr-Remember-I-Have-Veto-Rights started to make vomit noises at my suggestion. The search continues…)

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Design*Sponge were kind enough to feature another one of my makeovers recently, this time our laundry.

It reminded me of this fabulous laundry makeover.

laundry before

laundry after

It almost makes me want to do my ironing with a glass of champagne in the other hand.

Almost.

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Laundry before 1laundry update

A little while ago I discovered IHeart Organizing and was immediately addicted to the daily dose of inspiration. So I was thrilled when the super sweet blogger Jen agreed to share one of my own organised spaces with her readers. You can read her feature here.

Thanks so much, Jen!

If you’re here visiting from IHeart Organizing, welcome! You might like to start by browsing the organising category or project file. You can also find full details of the laundry-related projects:
Initial laundry makeover 
Installing taps 
Removing window film 
Gallery wallpostcard art, greeting card art, book art

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laundry after1   laundry update

One thing that’s always bothered me about our laundry is the gross, cloudy window film. I first attempted its removal a year or two ago – completely unsuccessfully – by trying to peel or scrape off the film wtih a metal paint scraper. But boy, was it stuck on good (I suspect it has been on there since the block was built in 1973). But after recently switching to some snazzy new tapware, my desire to remove the window film was reinvigorated.

By the way, I’ve got nothing against a good frosted window, but this wasn’t a frosting film, it was a tinted film that had gone cloudy and patchy. Here it is up close:

laundry window before 2

You can also see evidence of the problem with window screens: people, or at least I, don’t clean what’s hidden beyond the screen. Eww. We never really open that window (if we want some fresh air we’ll just open the back door) so there wasn’t any need to keep the flyscreen. A crusty security sticker that’s quite obviously thirty years old is long past its effectiveness as a burglary deterrant, so I was happy to get rid of that too.

After some research (thank you, Google) I found that ammonia was consistently recommended as a way to remove window film. I poured some into a sprayer bottle, applied to the window, left it a while to soak in. When I returned with the scraper, exactly the same thing happened as in my earlier attempt. That is, nothing. I couldn’t so much as chip off a corner. I applied more ammonia, this time covering it with cling wrap in an attempt to have it soak in rather than simply run down the window. Again, nada. I walked away and sulked tried to think of a plan C. Then The Man strolls in with his annoying handy habit of trying everything until something works, which was: what I was doing + some manly biceps = success! In the end, all it required was a bit of force behind the paint scraper to get the sodding stuff off once and for all.

laundry window before

laundry window after

Pity about the view of the neighbour’s washing. But overall it’s great, it lets so much more light in and looks so much cleaner and fresher.

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postcard artworkJoan Miró Carnival of Harlequin (1924-1925)

As part of my mini gallery wall in the laundry, I framed this art postcard that I’ve actually had since childhood (apparently I was into Modernist art even as a ten year old!). I also had the frame (an Ikea Ribba) elsewhere in the house, so no cost there either.

Postcards are a fantastic type of affordable – or often free – art. Sure, they’re small, but what they lack in size they make up for in cost and variety. You may already have one lying around like I did, or you can keep your eye out at cafes and galleries where they may be used as promotions. Small-scale art can get lost on a wall, so try having a whole set or incorporating a single one in a larger arrangement, like I’ve done here.

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Hands up who keeps greeting cards they receive? I definitely don’t keep them all (ugh, clutter!) but I do keep cards that have particularly sentimental messages, great design, were handmade or were for extra special occasions. laundry; art; artwork; reuse; repurpose; recycle; upcycle; DIY; make; easy; project; cheap; budget; free; frame; clip frame; greeting card; personalized; personalised;

This card, made by a dear friend for The Man and I for our engagement, falls under all of those categories. I just love how she’s added our initials to the design. Certainly one of the perks of being a designer is that I’ve made a lot of wonderfully talented friends!

card artwork

If you haven’t got any frame-worthy cards sitting in your memory box you can still achieve a similar look. Find a piece of pretty wrapping paper, take an abstract photo or cut a fun pattern out of a magazine and add your personalised text using Letraset (you can find this at graphic arts supplies or scrapbooking stores).

Tiny Space card

That’s not the only cheap-but-meaningful greeting card art around our place. This cute illustration is actually an oversized greeting card purchased while on our recent New Zealand trip. I was running out of unused frames lying around so I simply used a bulldog clip instead.

framed bonjour card

The final example is one of my own designs, a letterpressed calligraphy greeting card. I think the sentiment is ideal considering its location next to the front door.

So what do you think? Time to drag out the shoebox full of old cards and breathe new life into some of them.

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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