Articles written in the category : Do it yourself

Liven up your Halloween

Even though big-box stores offer all kinds of ready-made Halloween decorations, you can also create your own low-cost decorations. Get your kids involved and you’re in for a fun family activity. Need ideas? Feel free to use ours!

  • Pumpkin carving is obviously a must. For an original twist on this Halloween classic, use hollowed-out pumpkins as decorative cachepots. Most importantly, don’t forget to save the flesh—you can use it to bake yummy muffins for your little ones. And why not top the muffins with coloured icing? Preferably orange, of course.
Decorative cachepots

Decorative cachepots

  • Use coloured cardboard to make bat, witch or pumpkin cut-outs and display them in your windows. You could even make small mice to place inside your home, as if running along the bottom of walls (you’ll find a template below).
Small mice

Small mice

  • If you’d like something more adult-looking, you can make stunning small squash arrangements—these vegetables come in several shapes and colours. Place them outside in rustic baskets filled with autumn leaves, or use them inside as a centerpiece on a modern-style plate.

To get you and your family in the mood, why not light up some scented candles while you’re working on your decorations? The smell of apples, cinnamon and spices will remind you that fall has arrived—and that sometimes there’s nothing like home sweet home.

Once a princess, always a princess

Closet door

Closet door

Generally, around the age of 2 or 3 years old it’s time to leave the crib or toddler bed and upgrade to a big-kid bed. I have two girls, and I don’t know whose fault it is—mine or my partner’s—but at this age they really like princesses and the colours pink and purple. I’m kidding of course; I also loved that stuff as a kid.

While I do like all films by Mr. Cryogenic (a.k.a. Walt Disney), I don’t necessarily want my comforter, lamp, rug and clock covered in his magical characters. It’s clearly a question of personal taste, but I prefer to use them sparingly because they are quickly dated and I don’t want to redecorate every two years—not enough time or funds! And to be honest, I am a little tired of seeing them all over the house (e.g., puzzles, story books, umbrellas, crayons . . . the list goes on).

Like all parents, I still want to please my girls and decorate their room the way they like so that they feel at home.

Here are a few tricks that I used to create a paradise fit for a princess; a princess who no longer sucks her thumb and can ride a bike.

Taking care of laminate furniture

Our laminated particle board furniture is no different from wooden furniture: it requires care and attention. But how should you clean it if you can’t let liquids or damp cloths sit on it? Here are some tips from our experts.

  1. Always use a clean cloth to prevent scratches.
  2. Avoid ammonia-based cleaning products, which could damage the finish on your furniture.
  3. You have two options: either a dry electrostatic cloth or a slightly damp cloth (but make sure you wipe your furniture with a dry cloth when you’re done).

We recommend using felt pads under figurines, lamps and storage boxes to prevent scratches.

You should also avoid direct exposure to sunlight, as this can cause the finish to fade over time.

When you take good care of your laminate furniture, it lasts longer —and you get a better return on your investment!

How to get rid of monsters under the bed

The other day on the airplane, some of my good karma finally paid off: in the seat pocket were three beautiful magazines left behind by the last occupant. JOY!

  • OThe Oprah Winfrey magazine, a magazine full of wonderful ideas for your home, kitchen, body and soul.
  • Health Magazine: maybe a sign that I took it a little too easy on my vacation?
  • Redbook, which I hadn’t heard of, but the tagline Love Your Life piqued my interest.

In Redbook, there was an article about how families manage their sleep routines. If you’re a parent, you probably know what the most challenging time of day is: getting the kids to sleep is more art than science. But what are some ways to promote rest and relaxation?

As a designer, my first instinct is to ask if your room or your children’s rooms are optimized for sleeping. If they’re full of toys, books and clothes littered all over the floor, maybe you need a new storage solution.

One option is the mate’s bed (or captain’s bed), which offers plenty of integrated lower storage. This bed also solves a major problem: it makes it impossible for monsters to find a good hiding spot.