My Closet Workspace

writing and coffee

Downsizing from a house to a condo is something we enjoy a lot more than we thought we would but the lack of space to work on hobbies and projects can be a challenge. Tom and I are very fortunate that our building has a theatre room we can utilize and he has a little space that he rents outside of our home where he can drum and create art. However, lately I’ve really been wishing for my own workspace more and more. I plan on starting my first quilting project this fall and I knew that if I had to lug my sewing machine and supplies out every time I wanted to work on it, it would never happen. I did a lot of brainstorming on how I could rectify my situation and was inspired by this piece on smaller office spaces. I quickly decided that having a small, dedicated space in the condo was better than having to do a full setup and tear down each time I wanted to work.

I started looking at how to transform half of my bedroom closet into a little nook for my hobbies. The closets in our bedrooms are split in half and you walk through to get to the bathrooms. Luckily, because I’ve downsized so much for my capsule wardrobe it wasn’t too hard for me to move everything to the other half of my closet, aside from keeping some storage bins on the shelving above my soon-to-be “office”. Here’s a before shot:

closet before

It was hard to find a desk that wasn’t too big, but was also sturdy enough to hold my sewing machine. My goal was to keep the furniture simple and streamlined so my already small space wouldn’t look too overcrowded. I looked at a TON of options and finally found a desk that fits the space really well.

closet after 3

When considering storage I knew that I didn’t want to clutter up my desktop, so I hung one of those shoe hangers in the empty space between the desk and the wall. I sorted my different supplies in pencil cases to place inside the compartments and can store my fabric in here too. If I need more space on the desktop, my sewing machine can be placed underneath the hanging storage. I purchased a holder for my hobby-related books and placed that on the shelving above my desk.


I wanted a chair that was sturdy but comfortable with no arms so I could slide it right under my desk. I found this one on Varage Sale and decided to take it although the chocolate brown color didn’t really go with the rest of the space. I thought it had good lines and I could spruce it up somehow. I sanded the vinyl to distress it, and then painted it white, rubbing the wet paint with a damp cloth to make it to look weathered. Then I applied two coats of Modge Podge over top to set it. I think it fits the space much better now!

chair before  chair after

This clip lamp works great for focusing light exactly where I need it. This will be helpful for food photography also.

clip lamp

I really wanted to hang an inspiration board in here. I found these small cork boards at Dollarama, painted them white and sanded the edges lightly. I like that the white brightens up the space and is a blank canvas to pin whatever I want on them. Those colorful push pins make me happy.

corkboard DIY

I threw on a vintage table cloth I already had and added a small wastebasket underneath the desk and my space was ready to go! Here’s my after shot:

closet after

I’m super excited to put this space to use! Knowing that I can sit down here and get to work whenever inspiration strikes is a really good feeling.

closet after 2






Flower Love

colorful bouquet

Flowers make me ridiculously happy. I’ve forever wanted to be one of those ladies who always had fresh flowers in my home and more recently I’ve made it my mission to keep them around regularly. They add such a happy and welcoming vibe to our space. The cost used to be a concern for me but I’ve figured out how to keep my fresh flower habit affordable and thought I would share what I’ve learned.

Shop Around

The most cost effective place I’ve gotten flowers is the grocery store. I’m partial to Safeway and Save-On-Foods. Both stores have a good selection that changes all the time and regular specials, as well as helpful staff.

Choose Well

It’s no secret that different flowers vary in their lifespan. Once I figured out which flowers lasted the longest my costs went way down. For example, if a bouquet of roses is $20 and lasts a week and carnations are $6 and last three weeks, it’s easy to see which option is most cost effective. I’ve found that anything that has a tougher, woody stem usually lasts a long time. Also, use your judgement when looking at the condition of the flowers. If they are already soft and droopy in the store, they won’t last long at home.

Stay In-Season

When something is in-season the store gets more of it so they can sell it cheaper. The flowers will also be in better condition because they are in their prime. Look for the in-season bunches to be displayed in a high visibility area (in front of the till or store entrance) with a sign like, “Market Bunch” or “Special of the Week” and a price tag under $10. I’ve gotten peonies, hydrangeas and sunflowers for just $7.99 a bunch this way. Even if one of those seasonal bunches only last a week (and they have lasted much longer!), that cost is well worth it to me.

full peony


You know those bouquets that are already put together with a bunch of different flowers? They look pretty but if you want long lasting and budget friendly, step away. Those pre-made bouquets can easily cost $30-40 even at the grocery store but the value typically isn’t great. They usually include a few more expensive flowers (like roses or lilies) which jacks up the cost and those tend to die faster, also decreasing the life of your bouquet overall. You’re better off to choose a few long lasting varieties and put them together yourself. You’ll easily cut your cost in half this way while increasing the lifespan of your blooms. Safeway has a 3 bunches for $18 special that I like for this. The first photo in this post is of a bouquet I put together myself using a mix and match special!

Great Greens

Most stores sell bunches of leafy fillers that tend to be very long lasting. I am STILL reusing the greens I purchased for our wedding flowers; they were $4.99 a bunch and are still in perfect condition two months later! Including greens makes your bouquet look full while keeping costs down and I’ve just been swapping out the flowers as they die. I’ve also had just greens themselves in a vase and they look great. Bunches of mixed greens are inexpensive and a unique way to add colour and freshness that will last a long time.

Clean Them Up

Once you get them home, don’t just stick them in water and forget about them. Trim the ends of the stems on an angle and remove all leaves that will be underwater. If you don’t, they will rot once submerged and the flowers will die faster. My flowers lasted way longer once I started doing this.

Water Works

Change your water regularly to keep it fresh; I change mine every two days and always use cold water. Also, use the flower food; it really does help increase the lifespan of your flowers. I like to ask for an extra packet too.

orange sunflowers

What’s your favourite flower?

Mine are peonies, of course!  They remind me of being a little girl, running around my great-grandma’s yard. She had tons of them…it’s a nostalgia thing for me.