Don’t Wait For Spring Cleaning! Helpful Tips to Get Your Home in Shape This Winter.

It’s hard to believe it’s the last full week of January already! We are in the midst of Winter and sure, spring is coming, but there’s no need to wait for spring cleaning to get your home looking its very best. Many of us focused on fitness and self improvement for our New Year’s resolutions, but maybe it’s time to think about some home improvement, too. Here are some helpful tips to get your home in shape as we enter the second month of 2017:

1 Declutter. The start of a new year is also a great time to do some decluttering. Put those long nights to use and go through your closets, cupboards, drawers, etc. Consider tackling one room per week to make it seem less daunting and donate unwanted items to a local charity here in town. As tax season nears, make sure your office is well organized to make year-end goes as smoothly as possible. Don’t be afraid to tackle that bedroom closet of yours. Investing in some baskets and shoe racks can really help tidy up a closet (we love under-shelf baskets). If you haven’t already, think about keeping your favourite accessories and clothing in sight so they are easier to keep in rotation. This will help you asses what clothing you really need when Spring finally arrives. Most importantly, a well-organized home will help contribute to a sense of calm – and accomplishment.



2 Safety first! Change your smoke detector battery and check your CO detectors. This is a task that needs to be done annually. Be sure to replace the batteries and make sure your smoke and CO detectors are still working properly. It is recommended that you replace your detector every ten years to ensure it is working at its optimal capacity. This is also a good time of year to check in on your fire extinguisher. Every home needs at least one fire extinguisher and it should be located in an easily accessible location. If it needs to be charged again, have it re-charged or purchase another one to keep your family safe for another year.


3 Deep clean! Clean the lint traps. This is another annual task that should be performed to ensure your home is operating at its best capacity and reduces risk of fire. Clean lint traps and the hood above your stove and fans in the bathroom. While you’re at it, clean your humidifier. The cold winter months can be harsh on your skin and on the air quality of your home. Be sure to clean the humidifier so that it will continue to combat dry air for the duration of the winter.

4 Create space to work out. Sure, the weather has been great so far this winter. But some days it’s just too cold to get outside and exercise. Maybe your New Year’s Resolution was to get in shape? Think about creating a space in your home where you can get a workout in. Maybe it’s a corner in your home office, a space in the TV room to do some yoga, or even a home gym in a spare room. Do whatever works for you! But, creating a designated space for you to exercise may help you stick to those fitness resolutions.

5 Organize your pantry. Take stock of your kitchen cupboards. Those cans and boxes that have been pushed to the back won’t stay good forever. Do some meal planning around the items that are going to expire the soonest and you may also see your grocery bill dip over the next week or so. Think about replacing your spices, too! They may seem immortal, but over time, spices lose their potency and ability to flavour your food as intended. Be sure to keep them sealed in air tight containers. A general rule of thumb is that whole spices should be replaced after 4 years, ground spices after 3 years and dried leafy herbs after two years.

Instagram Accounts to Follow for Design Inspiration

We get our inspiration from many different avenues. Magazines, hours of HGTV, our customers, the buying shows, blogs, Pinterest – and of course, Instagram. We love how Instagram provides us with daily visual design inspiration to scroll through at our leisure. This week, we’ve compiled a list of our must-follow suggestions for some snippets of design inspiration. Go ahead and click follow!

  • @stevenandchris
    Steven Sabados offers us a glimpse into his life and his S&C line that we love so much here at Above & Beyond. Follow for some great decorating ideas from Steven's new CBC show, The Goods.
  • @nateberkus
    The world was first introduced to Nate Berkus during his inaugural appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002. We have been fans ever since and so has the rest of the world! He has become one of the world’s most recognizable interior designers and we adore his philosophy that, “Your home should tell your story. What you love most collected and assembled in one place.”
  • @apartmenttherapy
    Apartment therapy claims to be saving the world, one room at a time. And we tend to agree! This account is a treasure trove of inspiration for small small spaces with its countless apartment and home tours.
  • @designmilktravels
    Follow this account to add some wanderlust to your scrolling. A travel guide for the modern design enthusiast, this will leave you wanting to plan your own getaway.
  • @pantone
    The other leader in colour, Pantone claims to be the worldwide standard for color communication and inspiration since 1963. Their account is full of fun (and coulourful) photos - including many snaps of their colour of the year, Greenery.
  • @benjaminmoore
    Leaders in paint colour, Benjamin Moore's account is a go-to for paint colour inspiration. Follow for 2017 Colour Trends and how to incorporate their Color of the Year 2017: Shadow 2117-30 into your own design.
  • @houseandhomemag
    Follow House & Home for daily decorating inspiration. We love the glimpses into homes, trends and products from across North America and around the world.
  • @houseplantjournal
    Don't have a green thumb? Worry not! Follow this Toronto-based blog for plant watering tips (and gorgeous images of plants). This account is your go-to for responsible plant parenthood.
  • @thejungalow
    Add some greenery to your Instagram perusal with The Jungalow. Author of the New York Times best-selling book The New Bohemians, L.A. based designer and blogger Justina Blakeney posts pictures that celebrate colour, pattern and plants!
  • @paddywaxcandles
    We love Paddywax candles! Many of you may know them from the very popular candle that we can't seem to keep in stock - Tobacco & Patchouli. This account shows us how to re-purpose the reusable vessels the candles are poured in to brighten your home.
  • @savoygardens
    Add some garden inspiration to your scroll through Instagram. Savoy Gardens posts stunning gardens and estates that will help get you through these long winter months until gardening season is here again.
  • @elledecor
    Elle Decor is one of our trusted go-to's for ample pictures of up-and-coming trends. The account posts all sorts of design styles from modern to traditional, contemporary to eclectic. Go ahead and hit follow!
  • @archdigest
    From dreamy house tours that grant us access to celebs' homes, to stunningly helpful how-to's, the visual inspiration to be found on Architectural Digest's account is endless. Whether you're looking to renovate or just escape into a realm of beauty, this account is definitely worth the follow.
  • @em_henderson
    Emily Henderson is a stylist, New York Times Bestselling author of STYLED, and runs a daily design blog that we adore. She offers a transparent and honest look at how to decorate without rmaking the world of home decor seem intimidating. Her designs are fun, colourful, and never look unattainable. We love her site for how-to's!
  • @mercanaartdecor
    This is another one of our favourite suppliers and a fave amongst our customers. Mercana sells excellently curated fine home furnishings & decor, and their Instagram account is just as well curated!


Let’s be friends on Instagram! You can find us at @abovebeyondhomedecor.

How-to: Decorate Your Home for Winter

With this weekend’s snowfall, it looks like winter has officially arrived. Perhaps you’ve resolved not to hate winter as much this year, or maybe you’re just looking for ways to enjoy it while it’s here – we’ve got some suggestions to help decorate your home for winter! Now that the Christmas decorations are put away, we’re feeling like our homes are a little bit bare and could use a some of that cozy glow for the rest of these long winter months. So, this week we’ve compiled a list of ways to winterize your home decor.

1. Get cozy. Add lots of layers and warm textures to your furniture this season. Think woolly pillows, chunky knits, fluffy blankets, and faux fur accents. Add textured rugs to cozy up underfoot. Sheepskin rugs are the perfect way to make a bedside or reading nook warm and inviting. Adding texture to couches, chairs, and to your bed will immediately cozy up any room and make the space look and feel warm and inviting.

2. Add a pop of colour. The landscape outside is looking pretty monotone these days. We recommend adding a pop of colour to infuse some life back into your space. Introduce colour into your space by adding colourful accent pillows, throw blankets, new art, or even some colourful curtains. Looking for a low budget way to add colour? Think about adding some colorful books on side tables, shelves or coffee tables.

3.  Style your fireplace. The weather outside may be frightful, but the fire [can be] so delightful. If you have a fireplace in your home, make it a focal point during the winter months. Style the mantel with wintry objects – don’t be afraid to leave your snowy garland out for a few more months. Or, add some of your favourite collected knick-knacks from over the years. Create depth and texture by stacking books, adding glass pieces, candles, pictures or older treasures. Around the hearth, add some cozy texture with logs and baskets (at a safe distance, of course).

4.  Add some life to your home. We mean plants! There is no better way to liven up a room than to add some greenery. Think about adding large, leafy floor plants if you have the space. A simple succulent on a side table can go a long way to infusing some colour into your home, too. And that kitchen table of yours? Add a big colourful floral arrangement to the centre of it to brighten up your day (and your room).

Source: Paddywax

5. Lighting. The days are short and the nights are long. But we might as well take advantage of that. Introduce accent lighting into your home that makes it cozy and inviting. Think about adding more lamps to side tables, and lighting those candles you’ve been hoarding away. We also love the look of battery powered strand lights in a cloche or a decorative bowl – they’re not just for Christmas.

6. Add some fragrance to your space. Don’t underestimate the power of smell to curate a cozy and warm space! We already mentioned candles, but we can’t stress how much we love them. Lampe Berger is also an amazing way to add scent to a space. We recommend a warm and sweet fragrance, such as the ever-popular Orange Cinnamon, Gourmet Vanilla or Mystery Patchouli. Longing for those summery days? Try adding a fresh scent to your home with Citrus Leaves, or Ocean Breeze.