Well ya’ll, today is a very special day in our home that will forever be recognized as ourCONDOVERSARY!
Yeup, that’s right, today marks one year that Ry and I have been in our place, and considering we forgot our own real life couple anniversary in March (lawlz), you can tell this means a lot to me — Not only is it our first home together, but it’s the first home I’ve owned rather than rented, and I wanted to make everything perfect and true to our style while staying on a budget (bc let’s be honest, especially in Toronto, home buying is expensive AF). I’ve gotten a ton of questions on social about some of our chosen details/decor, so hope you find the below do’s and don’ts helpful whether you’re in a similar spot, looking to buy, or really just living anywhere & trying to achieve that #interiorenvy.
xxLet’s start with the DO’S, shall we?:
DO invest in details that add character
Despite the many things that we have bought for our place (& there are MANY), my faves are still those that make it look less cookie-cutter. That includes our faux-brick accent wall in the bedroom, our barn door off the kitchen, custom bar stools and our copper kitchen pendant lights. They’re all examples of super easy ways to make your place your own, and without fail are what people comment on as soon as they walk in. The best part is, they aren’t even close to the most expensive pieces we’ve bought, which leads me to my next point…
DO be a savvy shopper
Homesense is your best friend (or HomeGoods & Target for my lucky stateside friends). I kid you not, those same copper pendants lights were in my online shopping cart for $200 a pop when I found them for $29 each. It does take patience & very frequent visits to different locations but is well worth it (I love Sherway and Leaside if you’re in Toronto). That being said, even big box stores have great sales if you keep an eye (I don’t think we’ve paid full price for one thing in our place), and new comers like Wayfair have literally every style of item for good prices. Lastly, IKEA can still be a lifesaver for simple, affordable minimalistic pieces.
DO buy a dyson
No cute heading here, just seriously go buy one and thank me later. This thing will change your life lol!! It is so easy to use and empty and takes me half the time as my old vacuum. I know this may seem to go against my last point, but even at full price you will not be disappointed. Plus, they do still go on sale as well (we got ours at Canadian Tire for almost half off).
DO invest in storage
Welcome to condo life lol! I consider myself the opposite of a hoarder (seriously, I throw out everything), and we still had constraints with amalgamating all our stuff. We installed closet organizers to all three closets as soon as we moved in and other space saving hacks (to name a few, a narrow floor-to-ceiling shelf to maximize our laundry room, pot organizers in our kitchen drawers, shelving in the master bath AND I’m about to do pull out shelves in our pantry). To me, even more so than décor, money well spent is anything that increases functionality.
& now for a couple quick DON’Ts:
DON’T feel the need to decide on everything at once
Take. Your. Time. I have seen so many friends rush to get a place together and spend money on items they ultimately end up hating or swapping out. It took me a solid 9 months to find something as simple as a runner for our kitchen, and I’m still debating on new night tables for our master bedroom. Wait till you love a piece to buy it, and if that means holding off on a formal housewarming and other things that put on the pressure, so be it!
DON’T forget about your outdoor space
Again, if you have a massive house maybe this doesn’t apply to you, but in Toronto you have to maximize what you can get. We’re super lucky to have a great size balcony so made sure we bought our outdoor rugs and patio set right when we moved in. That allowed us to enjoy the space last summer, and now spruce it up with more décor this year (think planters, lanterns, etc.). Even if it’s only for a few months, we’re getting another couple hundred square feet to enjoy! Also, spend on window cleaners. SO worth it.
DON’T be shy to ask for help/advice
If I didn’t ask my girlfriends for help with my décor deliberations, my place would still look very empty. Sure, there are some things you are set on having or fall in love with at first sight, but a second opinion is always helpful. Plus, from an installation perspective, asking for help can be a time and money save. I had never put up wallpaper, but my dad was a pro. And rather than hire a stranger to install those infamous lights, we paid our friend who’s an electrician instead. I’m also lucky to have a very handy BF, but the point is, use your resource and I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to assist.
Please feel free to let me know here (or via insta or twitter @intl_peach), if I’ve missed anything you have questions about, but in order of mention — Barn Door: our own DIY with hardware from Home Depot | Brick Accent Wall: wallpaper from Wall Pops | Bar Stools: custom made from Home Craft Decor | Lights: copper pendants from Home Sense | Shelf: Vittsjo from IKEA | Vacuum: Dyson V6 Slim from Canadian Tire | Bathroom Shelves: floating style from Target | Patio Set: 4 piece + fire pit from Home Depot | Outdoor Rugs: 5×7 size from Home Sense | Planters: Kronos from Cb2