Tag: mental health

Spring cleaning Tips from the Home Experts

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Spring cleaning tips from the home experts

Spring-cleaning

Longer daylight hours are finally upon us and the sunshine is (hopefully) here to stay. But, those gorgeous warm rays are going to highlight all the dust and dirt in our homes! Time for some spring cleaning tips from the home expert team at Good Space Plans Online!

We’re going to share some of our favourite decluttering and spring cleaning tips, and how you can incorporate Spring 2020 home decor trends into your home. 

As you declutter to make room for new furniture, it can be nervewracking making sure it all fits. Subscribe to our newsletter and get our easy to follow free delivery guide to make sure you never sweat a delivery again. spring-cleaning-tips

Cleaning tips for Spring

Spring cleaning can seem like a gargantuan task so many of us avoid it! Like any big task, breaking it down into manageable chunks can make a huge difference and helps increase the likelihood that we’ll actually do it. 

Here are some of our favourite tips to make spring cleaning easier this year:

  • Declutter first: Decluttering your spaces can make a quick, noticeable difference. Seeing how much cleaner your home can be when you get rid of things you don’t need, can be a great motivator to keep tidying and cleaning! That’s why we always suggest decluttering as our first spring cleaning tip. 
  • Use a checklist: Do you love the satisfaction of crossing stuff off your to-do list? Then make a list of everything you want to clean and check it off as you go along. Here is a handy spring cleaning checklist you can start with. 
  • Break it up: If your list looks too daunting, break it into chunks. You could do a few tasks every day, do it one room at a time, or group similar cleaning tasks together. 
  • Work top to bottom: Try to clean higher areas first. This way if dust and debris fall down, you won’t have to re-clean areas you’ve already done!
  • Consider green: When possible, consider eco-friendly cleaners for your home. A steam cleaner is a great, chemical-free way to clean sofas and floors. 
  • Hire help: Who says you have to clean your own house! Hire a reputable cleaning company to clean the things you don’t want to!

When you finish any big cleaning job, reward yourself! Maybe you can go out for dinner (as a bonus this means no dirty dishes tonight). Break open a bottle of special wine. Book yourself in for a special spa treatment. But of course, the BEST reward is just walking around in a clean, clutter-free home!

And, now that your home has been tidied and cleaned, it’s time to bring the Spring inside your home. Next, we’ll look at what spring 2020 design trends we’re expecting.

Spring home decor trends for 2020

Iona Drive Project

Iona Drive Project

Spring signifies rebirth and fresh starts and this year’s home decor trends are no exception. This session we’re expecting design trends that create new space for new energy and rebirth.

Here are some spring home decor trends from House Beautiful:

  • Pops of pink: Picking a bright accent colour is a great way to easily celebrate the season. This spring, we’re expecting pink to be a popular colour. It’s fresh, bright, and can be easily worked into your room as an accent pillow, throw, rug, or fun decor item. 
  • Pendant lights: Pendant lights have long been a popular home decor trend, but this season we’re going to see them in larger clusters. Perhaps you could add them around a traditional chandelier over your dining table. We’re also going to see more pendant lighting made from natural materials. 
  • Floral wallpaper and wall decals: We’re not talking tacky turn-of-the-century floral wallpaper, instead, look forward to larger floral patterns and designs. They are sure to become a great conversation piece at your next housewarming or party.
  • Neutral walls: If floral wallpaper is too loud for your style, then choose a neutral wall colour. It will stand the test of time and work with virtually any furniture and seasonal decor you bring into the room. 
  • Bird decor: Following in the natural and floral themes of Spring 2020, we’re expecting to see whimsical touches of bird-themed decor around the home. 
  • Rattan pieces: Furniture made from rattan palms add great natural-looking textures to your space. Look for Rattan furniture in either vintage or modern-looking designs based on your design style. 
  • Mixed metals: Don’t be afraid to mix different metal fixtures and hardware in your home. We’ve seen some great kitchens with miss-matched knobs and handles. To avoid too much chaos, pick either a finish, colour, or shape to be consistent, and then mix and match other qualities.

Sometimes after doing your spring cleaning, you may notice that it’s also time to buy new furniture for your home! 

We always love to support local and Canadian designers and manufacturers, so we recommend:

When you do choose to buy new furniture, be sure it can actually fit in your space. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve had people come to us saying they bought a new sofa or dresser and couldn’t get it inside their home!

To avoid this, download our free guide to ensuring a smooth furniture delivery this spring. 

And if you need help to redesign and reimagine your new home spaces, contact us to book a Good Space Plan.

The Heartbreak of Homelessness & the Covenant House Sleep Out

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The heartbreak of homelessness is real.

It is even more heart breaking when homelessness is experienced as a young person. I had a short time in my early teens as a runaway kid without a home. I had no name for it then, or awareness of how risky my situation was, but I know how lonely, lost and forsaken I felt. This changed me and many years later without a conscious awareness of the “why”, made me fall in love with Covenant House and the work they do. It was while listening to youth sharing their stories that…

I realized I had been“homeless”. If you are curious to know the definition homelessness read this.

Covenant House provides what I consider to be exactly what is needed for young humans, actually all humans, who find themselves lost in their pain and aloneness, without a place to turn to for safety, comfort and guidance. These are things home and community are supposed to provide. These are fundamental human needs denied to so many people and so many young people.  It is utterly crushing to the human spirit to be without these basic things. 

The one constant thread that runs through all homeless and at-risk youth is that they have experienced childhood trauma. This trauma is compounded.

The more trauma the more damage done. We may have opinions about the cause. We may play the social and family blame game, which may make us feel righteous and smart, but it doesn’t heal or help the situation at all. This Ted talk by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris gives stunning insight into childhood trauma and the health and social impact of that trauma. This is a hurt ultimately experienced by the collective whether we are individually conscious of it or not.

These traumas happened in the tender formative years of childhood. When innocence is the essence of being and it was by no fault of their own.

Although shame may tell us otherwise, we know in our hearts that trauma that happened to us in childhood is not our fault. We carry the pain and damage and then pass it along in the relay race of life. This used to be a life sentence, but  it doesn’t have to be. Modern brain science has given us so many new tools to change this relay race into generational healing.
 

How Covenant House does it:

The  outreach teams working on the streets meet the youth where they are. Among other things they let them know about Covenant House. Once youth arrive, they get immediate care, respite, food and shelter. They have an opportunity to explore options for themselves. Youth are guided by consistent interaction with the same social worker each time they reach out. The youth are empowered to develop a life plan, set goals and determine the actions & support required to reach their goals. They are lovingly held accountable, learning boundaries and self-care. They get mentorship and the Rights of Passage program that guides them into independent living and self-sufficiency, the good kind of self-sufficiency that includes community.

Covenant House is 95% privately funded. This allows them to offer consistent programming without having to adjust to political whims and changes. This freedom of consistency is a powerful and vital part of their work.

 

Most of us live plentiful  lives, we have shelter, we have food, we have family/community, we have enough. I believe that until we all have these things, until we all have enough, then none of us are whole. We suffer as a collective and we heal the same way. Covenant House gives me hope. This is why I support them! By donating and helping to raise awareness and compassion for the important work done by the loving team at Covenant House. They do the work of creating safe space for young humans to find themselves and discover their inherent worth and value. 

On May 30thwe will be sleeping out in an alley for one night to show our solidarity and raise funds and awareness for at risk and homeless youth. I hope you will join us by supporting us in the Mothers or Daughters Sleep Out 2019. Donate here. Right now any donation made will be matched by Alex G. Tsakumis, CEO of Trigate Properties Group and a generous supporter of Covenant House Vancouver. 

 

How Home Makes My Heart Feel

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How Home Makes My Heart Feel

Homeward Bound.

Home for me has always been my safest place in the world. It was in the Fraser Valley- Maple Ridge, BC – on a beautiful piece of acreage. It was spacious, functional and fun. It was something I was unbelievably proud of; always full of food, family and friends. It was my place in the world to feel safe, no matter what. When I came back home from university in Nova Scotia, home was always there waitingfor me. I knew how blessed I was to have this anchor of home. It was a physical place to me as well as a feeling in my heart. At the time, I didn’t distinguish the difference, they were synonymous.

Lost. 

It was in 2012 we lost my father to suicide. The loss was and still is unfathomable. It threw our entire family & community in the deep end of mental health awareness. It left a gaping hole in everyone that knew him. I was left… shattered. I needed to go home, but it didn’t feel the same anymore. The safe feeling in my heart was gone. Shortly after, we sold the family home & property along with a lot of our family possessions. My physical anchor and safe place in the world was gone. At the time it felt like that experience might last forever. After the sale, I ended up renting an semi- furnished apartment off a family friend in Vancouver. It was a space that never felt like mine – I wasn’t sure how it felt, but I know how it didn’t feel, like home. 

Found. 

The next year or so was a blur of trying to make sense of what was now my new normal. It was in late 2013 I moved out of that semi-furnished apartment in Vancouver and into a basement suite in Burnaby with my new partner. I was working for my mom’s interior design firm, Good Space, answering phones at the time. The interior designers at the studio offered to help mock up some space plans for me of my new basement suite with the few furniture pieces I had accumulated. 

They showed me the best flow for the open space feeling of my basement suite and also helped me make a shopping list of things to get for the space in the future. The day my partner and I moved in, we followed our floor plans and began to set up our new space. I filled the shelves with my things, I set up the lamps I had, side tables and some of the personal possession I had at my family home. I felt better about my new space but it wasn’t home, it wasn’t the safety and security I once knew. I didn’t know how to shift this, I felt very stuck.

Home is Created. 

Let’s jump forward to 2019. I still live in Burnaby, still live in a basement suite, and still living with my partner. If you were to ask me today where my safest place in the world is, I would have to say the home my partner and I created in Burnaby. I reflected on how I got here from where I was before and it was a combination of things:

  • Addressing function first in the space I am living, working and playing. It was really thinking about how I use the spaces in my home and honouring their purpose. 
  • Putting aside the desire to have my home look a certain way and understand its about how I want to feel about the space.
  • Making goals and lists for things to get in the future to always be improving the space and function around me. 
  • Most importantly, giving my home the attention it was asking for. 

I honoured that it wasn’t something that was just going to happen, or somewhere that I could just show up at, expecting something from. It is an experience that I am capable of creating in any place I live. It needed nurturing, creating, love and energy.

I learned that home is something I can create anywhere I want to. It’s a combination of energy, function, purpose, my possessions and their meaning to me. It’s a place and feeling that I have learned is both tangible and yet intangible.