This is something that has stuck with me since grade 5 at J.W. McLeod Elementary School. And not just because I’m an obsessive compulsive neat freak. Mostly because I argued that “cleanliness” wasn’t a word so why was the teacher making up such a ridiculous sentence?! I went home and complained to Mama about it, and low and behold it actually was a word. I was irritated about being wrong (although I begrudgingly admitted it), and about such a stupid word being correct. But now I’ve evolved into the creature I am today, and also make up my own words on a regular basis (shittily is a perfectly acceptable adverb in my mind – I think it would count as an adverb anyway lol – and I use it frequently, I encourage you to do the same) so I’ve grown to accept it for what it is. And every time I think about cleaning and organizing at all that intoxicating fun that comes along with those things, I sing that little quote in my head. Cause I’m crazy. For cleanliness. HA!
As promised, this post is going to be a happy one. The last post left me feeling a little wrung out and emotionally drained, so I wanted to go to bed with a happier mind frame. Geoff isn’t home until Sunday night so I don’t have someone to snuggle the residual sadness out me at the moment. I’ve got wine and my Kindle and Despicable me for now. I love Pixar. Never fails to make me happy, I watch the Despicable Me’s and Minions at least once a week. Another one of the many things that makes me happy is organization and decorating my space. I know I’m not alone in the need to have everything in its place, and orderly and aesthetically appealing, so I’m gonna hold faith that at least someone out there will be as happy with what I’ve done with my new space as I am.
Mama was into interior design somewhere between her many degrees in many universities, and as expected some of her finesse has rubbed off on her sprogs. Fun fact: our license plate from Calgary was actually a personalized one that read SPROG. I didn’t understand it for years, and even now knowing the definition doesn’t shed any light on the significance of it to them. I’ll have to ask Ma about why they chose that some day. Says the girl whose plates read GIVERGO. Whatevs. I have a weird sense of style, and not everyone would want to live in the spaces I enjoy. But home is where we go to decompress from our days at work, or after surviving a Saturday at Costco (Hell is what that is in a nutshell, I get road rage with a shopping cart and it’s a race to the finish line), where we share love and laughter and fights and tears in privacy. You get to choose who you invite into your house, and I think it should represent your individuality in whatever capacity you find appealing. I don’t like a space I inhabit to feel temporary regardless of how long my stay is going to be. Home is your place to unwind, take the bra off, eat cereal out of the box, and no one can say dick because it’s your kingdom and you rule it how you wanna. And as Geoff’s sister said to me when I was telling her that what I’ve done might not be for everyone, “We don’t live there so we don’t have to like it. It’s your space and it should be what you like, not what other people might.” So solid and so true. And I don’t have to want to replicate what I see in someone else’s home in order to appreciate it, therefore I’m sure even if you guys wouldn’t really want to design your spaces like mine, you can still appreciate my personality in my design.
So let’s get down to it. Beautiful 780 square foot condo in downtown Victoria. And I mean downtown proper. Everything is so close! A few blocks in either direction takes you to the waterfront. Gah I’m in heaven here! 2 bedroom, open concept for the dining and living room areas. Nice half wall for the kitchen, leaving it all feeling very open and inviting. Which is great cause it’s tiny in the grand scheme of things. Spare room is 9×8, master is a whopping 11×10. Walk in closet that provides an entry into the bathroom for the master. And the walk in is maybe 3×3 on either side. Like I’ve said before, not a whole whack of space for a newly reformed hoarder. Originally Geoff wanted me to move without seeing it in person. He sent me the floor plan and figured it would suffice. Needless to say he’s still learning about how much of a control freak and planner I am, and I don’t think he took me seriously when I said I had enough clothes to last months without wearing the same thing twice. He’s shacked up with a princess, bless his heart, and after seeing all the boxes moving in he gets it. But back to the story, I refused to move my life across the country into a space I’d never set foot in. Aka a space I couldn’t draw up plans for possible furniture arrangement, clothing management, etc. I used to draw up floor plans of my room when I wanted to rearrange my furniture. I am neurotic and obnoxious when it comes to that stuffs. One of my many flaws that will never change. So on my last trip to the island as a visitor he acquiesced to drive down to Vic and show me the condo before his tenant moved out. First impression of the outside was that it was super modern, interesting architecture, well laid out. Clean lobby. Lots of natural light everywhere. Mirrored windows during the day in all the units. The condo itself was as small as I was expecting, bare because the tenant was almost completely moved out so there was no furniture remaining in the bedrooms, but Geoff had rented it with his dining room set and massive L couch and TV. But it was super impersonal. All the walls were white or off white. No shelving. No pictures on the walls. No personal touches. The only colour was the blue and grey cabinets in the kitchen, which I LOVED right off the bat ps. So my first order of business when I got home was to draw up the floor plan on paper and plot and plan furniture configuration and to Pinterest ideas of making “small condo living” work.
After Geoff agreed to the plan I came up with (he’s literally the most chill, laid back and easy going man I’ve ever met, he totally balances my high strung, neurotic tendancies) I started looking online for the stuff we’d (I’d) need. Please keep in mind that when I say “we” in this, I really mean “I”. Geoff genuinely doesn’t give a shit what I do in terms of decorating because he says he loves my style and thinks I have good instincts. Super flattering and also made my life so much easier cause I can just splash my personality all over this bitch and he won’t bat an eyelash. The most input he’s given is “I like that colour for the accent wall” when he’s been dragged into Home Depot and then forced to admire 7 different swatches taped to the walls. He’s liked everything I’ve chosen, and nothing has been returned as of yet so we’re doing well on the literal home front 😉
Biggest concern was the bedroom. There is minimal storage space, meaning we have the front hall closet and the spare room closet, for vacuums and tools and ladders and step stools and his storage bins of clothes and books and camping gear etc. He got us a new bed to be delivered the second day I was in Victoria, and when Brit and I got into the condo late on Monday night he had a wicked queen sized air mattress (and I mean wicked, again total princess who doesn’t do the camping stuffs – yet. I will try it because he loves it, his whole family camps, and this is the most gorgeous place to do so) set up for us, complete with pillows, sleeping bag and throw blanket on the end. It’s one of the sweetest things he’s done yet in my mind, I can’t help but smile when I think about him. So we’ve got those stashed in the spare room closet, and it came in handy when Mama was here to visit since the futon still hadn’t shown up. He also had camping chairs and a beer can set up for us on the balcony so we could sit and smoke comfortably. Again, he literally melts my heart and I’m constantly grateful for how thoughtful he is. It was hella cute and hella impressive considering dudes don’t usually do home stuffs. Anyway, I ordered a new patio set, got planters and those camping chairs are back in their bags hanging in the clutter closet.
I just had to stop and review that cause I lost my train of thought LOL, I literally don’t even know what I’m going to type next 90% of the time. Winging this shit homies, bear with me. BEDROOM. CLOSET. How could I forget?! My main concern was space, and the fact that we would need the walk in to provide extra storage space so it wasn’t practical as a clothes closet. IKEA is one of my all time favourite stores, and we don’t have one back east so I was overjoyed at the prospect of being able to peruse that magnificent store in person, instead of drooling over my keyboard on their website. I knew years ago that when I had my own space I wanted, no NEEDED, a PAX Wardrobe System. This is already a long one and I haven’t even gotten pics up or descriptions of the pics. Holy guacamole I literally don’t shut up eh?
***decided to go read for a bit and didn’t bother to get back to it last night so I’m finishing it up tonight, I’m a slacker***
I used the PAX Wardrobe Planning tool on their website to create a wardrobe that would fit in the master without taking up precious floorspace. We decided to go with a queen sized bed, being unsure of how the space would look with a king. Totally could have gone with a king in the end, but the queen is plenty big for us and it fits the space well. We went over to the mainland to IKEA, bought the pieces needed for our dream wardrobe and got to building when we got home. Speaking of which, it’s actually really good quality for the price and was SO easy to put together so I would highly recommend the PAX system to any and everyone. I managed to fit majority of my clothing into my side of the wardrobe, and hung up my longer dresses and Lulu hoodies in the walk in. I feel like I should just add the pics and try to describe as I go. I wish I’d taken “before” pics, when Geoff comes home I’ll get him to rummage up some photos of when he bought the place 4 years ago.
Let’s start with the main bedroom since that’s what I haven’t stopped talking about.
Brit stayed for a few days after we got here and helped me move in, paint and get started setting up. It was white walls EVERYWHERE so we did the bathroom a pretty robins egg blue, the master a grey which I used in Halifax, and the spare room a wicked teal.
Stuart sleeps with me when the boy is gone, but he gets banished from the bed when the boy is home cause he thinks Stuart is creepy lol.
Floor to ceiling corner windows is actually awesome, but the only downside of this room is that it doesn’t have an overhead light. Super weird eh? I got us lamp bedside tables so we had an integrated light for each side.
We’re obsessed with Eiko Jones prints. He’s a local photographer, and we’ve got two versions of his “Kelp” now, one being the pano in our bedroom 🙂
Ooh baby, look at that beaut ❤ I could happily have taken over the whole thing, but relationships are compromise so I’ve gotten better at (reluctantly) sharing space and not encroaching on his territory. Yay me! As previously described, it’s 9′ ceilings so we went for the taller model for the PAX. It left just enough space for storing our suitcases and such up top. Except I need the step stool to get anything above the top rod down.
Shorter dresses and maxi skirts hanging on the left, with a pull out hanger which houses my crop tops. Bathing suits in the top left drawer, followed by bras, then sports bras, then socks and undies. Right side goes from workout tops to dressier casual tops, then blazers and sweaters. Top drawer is nice sweaters that I didn’t have hanging space for and jeans (which never get worn cause fuck doing the worm to get into pants that don’t fit the booty and the waist properly when I can just live in Lulus), next glass front drawer down is Lulus and gym pants, then tees and tanks, fourth drawer is skirts and dresses that I didn’t/couldn’t hang and shorts, and bottom is sweats and jammies. I roll all my bottoms to maximize space, and decided to put down the funky grey and white floral drawer liner after seeing how nice the solid grey looked on Geoff’s side. It was a busy gym week and today was laundry so that’s why there are gaps below and you can see the drawer liner properly haha. It’s all colour coordinated, and goes by length and type.
I wish it was still the height of summer… There’s the suits which will sit lonely until I get back to work and can budget for a trip, or next summer lol. Let’s all say a little prayer for the former.
Pullout tray for sunglasses and clutches.
There are a ton of black crop tops on the back knobs, and all the dresses closet to that end are black too. Can’t see them in the pic which is super helpful *insert eye roll*
Again, colour coordinated in their respective types and lengths.
And the few pairs of heels I decided to keep are living on the shelves above the clothes.
Next up we have the “walk in”. Wouldn’t have been enough space for a quarter of my stuff so I’m stoked we got the wardrobe. It was worth every penny spent. The walk in also houses comforters, knitted socks for work that Mama made with love, towels, my sneaker collection (I have an over the door hanging shoe organizer that houses my 18 pairs of flats), the vacuum, and our laundry baskets. It’s still feeling a bit cluttered but space is a premium here and Geoff suggested putting the “ugly” stuff in there and it works. I installed a robe hook in there too a couple weeks ago which wound up working perfectly. Geoff hasn’t seen any of the new paint in person, or the newly organized and unpacked closets and spare room, or the computer desk. Or my new hair. So he’s coming home to a new girlfriend and new condo basically every shift LOLOL what a lucky guy.
Again, super cluttered so don’t judge. I’ve officially blown my budget out of the water (spent literally double what I had allotted) and now the stuff I would still like to do or add will be on the back burner for a while. C’est la vie. I always run out of money before ideas when it comes to home stuff.I roll all the towels for (again) maximizing storage space. I’m gonna start vacuum bagging the comforters because they’re so bulky.
Next up is the bathroom. There was no shelving in there which doesn’t work for a woman addicted to Sephora and raised from an early age to take the utmost pride in proper skincare. Thanks again for that Mama, if I look half as good as you in 20 years I will be stoked. Geoff had hung up the photo printed on canvas when I got there, it was one of his birfday presents. It’s from our trip to Nassau at Christmas time.
Pretty self explanatory and basic. On to the next area, my fav room I think actually, the spare room!
I’d been planning on getting a MALM dressing table, until I saw that gorgeous table in HomeSense and knew I had to have it. Champagne coloured mirror and hair tower basket thingy match the sand coloured trim in this room. I’m digging it. May or may not paint the table legs white at some point though. For now I’m so over painting. I need shelves for the wall beside it to organize my brushes and such, but again, budget is way gone and it will have to wait. It’s a want, not a need. Also NEED lighting over the vanity but I haven’t found what I envision yet…
And this is where I’m currently sitting, typing all this up for you lovely folks. It’s 3 sq ft and it has SO much storage! It’s from Staples online if anyone is curious. Mama always used a stability ball in her office when I was growing up, and computer chairs are expensive so I’ve been rocking one in the meantime. I wanted a white oval style chair from IKEA to roll between the vanity and computer desk. Maybe some day. For now I’m happy with the ottoman which is currently hiding all my boots, and the ball which is bouncy and kinda fun when I’m stuck for a word haha. The little storage unit next to the desk is my fimo stuffs. I haven’t done any clay work since moving and I dunno when I’ll bust it out next.
That was a cubby that lived in the walk in for towels until I had a “Eureka” moment and realized I could use it in here, and that the blankets could just chill in its place. So it’s got bins for all my extra toiletries, my bags for travel and for makeup, and I put my Polar watch and sensor in that dish every time I come home from the gym so I know where it is the next morning. I installed a coat hook to hang my purses and necklaces from. My old bike plate is tucked on top for now cause I haven’t decided how I feel like displaying it yet. And that painting above is from a super rad artist named Lora Zombie, I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. Geoff snorkelling is the canvas on the wall with the peacock wind chime that his mama gave me for my birfday 😀
The futon is surprisingly comfy. I wanted a sofa bed, Geoff wanted a futon. He’s been amazing about everything else I’ve chosen and bought thus far so it was only fair to get what he wanted. And I gotta say I’m digging it.
Miss bunny featured on the shelf there was actually from Mama and Daddy the day I was born. I take her everywhere I live, she makes my heart happy. The hippo is dope too, sup my spirit animal? Loads of knick knacks from people who love me and who I love, and fun stuff I’ve collected over time.
Another view of the vanity area.
And the clutter closet as it’s been dubbed. Aptly named as you can see. Ladder and heavy duty dolly for furniture and such (condo life must-have), paint supplies in tubs, work clothes in tubs, work suitcase just itching to be used again, camping chairs, pillows, sleeping bag, etc. Mishmash of goodies.
Mmm I’m gonna do kitchen next. Everyone always wants to see how people have their cupboards organized, I literally make my friend Amanda send me pics of how she organizes her life because she is a fellow OCD neat freak and she’s the queen of clean and orderly.
Good amount of space, I really love this kitchen. And the cupboards.
WHO CAN REACH THAT HIGH?! Gawd. I need a stool in here at some point, I literally have to get up on the counters to reach the 3rd shelf and I’m not going near that devil 4th one. Bullshit.
My biggest complaint about these pretty looking cupboards is how deep they go back and you can’t reach dick. What a waste of space. Some point I’ll invest in a pullout rack for each one. Today is not the day. Also slowly getting the spices built up, fresh move meant all new errythang and it’s an ongoing process.
Rice, pasta, and wine glasses.
Managed to find lazy susans for the top shelves in the corner cupboards. Helps with the shitty deep waste of space a bit. Slow cooker, kettle, glass vases and jugs up there, down below is tupperware.
This side’s lazy susan has oils, vinegars, sauces, onions and potatoes. Mini spinning pantry if you will.
I love this hutch. We don’t have a lot of usable space for taller items and storage cause the shelving is super restricted in the kitchen, so I decided I wanted a hutch to serve as a practical and pretty piece. Mirror up top to add some depth, and also Geoff can check his hair on the way out somewhere hahaha. Tray for his mail and things I pick him up when he’s gone, flowers from him actually but usually I buy myself a bouquet on pay day at the market next door. I love fresh flowers. And a jar of Popeye’s dollars cause we are pseudo guidos. Leave us alone.
So inside the hutch is where I keep our paper towel, tissues, lightbulbs, toilet paper and then protein, BCAA’s, and oats lol. It works. Middle open shelving boats the booze needed for Bushwhackers. “Milkshakes for adults” our buddy Jordan calls them. They’re potent and delicious.
I’ll do the hallways and living room/dining room areas now.
The washer and dryer are cleverly hidden behind those doors. Solid setup in my opinion.
Big comfy couch. It’s honestly so relaxing, perfect for napping too. That’s one of Daddy’s paintings hung on the wall, and it matches the throw pillows Geoff already had in here so it’s fate. I’ll do a close up of it when I do my (happy) Daddy post. Got Geoff that rug cause he wanted it but wasn’t sure we needed it when we were at IKEA. I’m an impulse person, and think it’s better to get it and regret it than leave it and wonder. It definitely wasn’t regretted.
On Labour Day weekend, I finished the last of the painting I wanted to get done in the condo, which was the same grey from our bedroom throughout the rest of the area. That was actually Geoff’s idea, I was just gonna do the living room area and didn’t think he would be cool with the balls out grey everywhere. He said if we didn’t like it we could just repaint it. And he got to pick the accent wall colour out of the swatches I liked. We’re a dream team for this stuff I think 😛 So I painted everything else in two days. So much tape. So many 5$ shower curtains for drop sheets. But I LOVE the final product, well worth it.
Such a wicked contrast.
The first “Kelp” we bought of Eiko Jones’ collection. It hangs proudly above the fireplace and we literally just sit and stare at it periodically. That fish came from Nassau too actually, I loved the lantern fish as soon as I saw it. There’s that impulse again.
I’ll throw up the front hall closet if anyone wants to see it, but it’s basically jackets, tools, Geoff’s shoes, my bucket of flip flops and two most frequently worn pairs of sneakers, my 3 motorcycle helmets, and the little shopping dolly I’m learning to pack in the trunk on big grocery shops/Walmart outings. Condo life dudes.
There’s so much natural light here. I love it.
Ooh and the mop lives in there too lol. We gots a lot of stuffs in a small space.
Lastly is the patio. It’s about 5×6 so not big enough for a bbq or big patio set, but I’m a full time smoker so I spend enough time out there to warrant a decent set up. And I get to see the prettiest sunsets from there too so even when I quit smoking, I’ll still hangout there. I just moved Geoff’s palm tree out there today, it hasn’t been very happy since before I moved in so I’m slowly nursing it back to health. There’s been some new growth since I started babysitting it so I wanna see if being out in the direct sunlight helps it any. It used to live in the corner between the mantel and window. Brit made my first hanging basket which I adore, and then I tried to make one too but now it’s end of season so they’re dying on me. My hibiscus had wicked blooms up until a week ago. Now they suck too.
Such wicked sunsets from that patio. Otay speaking of which, I’m gonna log off this one now and go chill out there. This essay’s got more than enough meat already, and I’m tired and wanna bedtime smoke with my wine which I left forgotten while I decided you guys NEED to see where I live and how I organized it all. It’s Saturday night so there will be loads of entertainment as I review this outside lol. Downtown condo living, I love it and now that I’m unpacked and my OCD has been fed for a while I can relax. Today was cleaning day too so tomorrow I can just wake up and go do legs, clean the car, and hang out til I pick up Geoff 😀 😀 😀 happy perusing folks, hope it inspires or at least intrigues someone who has similar space constraints and shopping problems ❤