A House Holds Energy, Good and Bad

Beach house

For me a home is much more than a shell. To me a space breathes along with the family that lives inside it. It holds energy, good or bad and memories stick like holograms frozen in time. A home can serve its purpose for a period of time and then once it isn’t, it can keep the people inside it from growing.

Moving for us was necessary. I loved my old big house, but trying to start over again after divorce was impossible. Both for myself and my kids. You cannot just remove a person from a space and press reset. I had hoped we could, but it got harder and harder to exhale.

Our new house signifies so much. A new chapter and a fresh beginning.

The massive trees, open concept and side-split layout drew me in immediately. Plus, it’s near the beach, which is our favourite place to go.

I found this home before I had planned to buy one. But after telling my kids we were moving and showing them this house as an example of what a smaller house could look like, they were sold. This was their house.

I managed expectations and told them that the housing market was insane. But I would try. I did try and unbelievably mine was the only offer! That never happens these days. This meant I was able to get it for the price I wanted, the closing date I wanted and all of the inspections and conditions… again, something that rarely happens these days.

I’m pretty sure it was the unique layout including the fact that I now share a bathroom with my kids that may have turned off other buyers. But for us it’s perfect.

Something I have realized since being the only adult living with my kids is I use my house differently. I want to be closer to them and when they are with me, I want them to be with me.

We are on the other side now and each of us agree that the vibes here are amazing. My kids have told me that they love the light walls, and the layout. That somehow although this house is smaller, it feels bigger than our last house. We are now surrounded by nature and it’s green outside of each window.


I promised myself that I would put my touch on this house and make it exactly what I wanted. Not much has to be done. It’s already pretty gorgeous, but I know exactly how I want it to look and feel and I plan to enjoy and share every step of that with you.

We are so happy.

Welcome to The Beach House.

4 Easy Zero Waste Lifestyle Changes

A lot of awareness has been made towards the zero waste movement and I have been trying to make easy zero waste swaps in my life lately. Here are 4 of my favourites.

It’s been over a month since Plastic Free July has ended and I am still trying to make simple and easy changes in my lifestyle to be as zero waste as possible. A lot of awareness has been made towards the zero waste movement and I am especially happy with the new Starbucks lids for their cold drinks (no more straws!). I have been trying to make easy zero waste swaps in my life lately and today I will be sharing 4 of my favourites. If you want more inspiration on getting started on the zero waste movement today, check out the tips in this post here. Okay, now on to the easy swaps. 

1. Switch to using bars of soap instead.

I’ve always been the person to use a body wash (in a plastic container) along with a loofa for my daily shower. However, in an effort to minimize my single use plastic consumption, I started using bars of soap inside of soap bags for the past few months and it’s been working great. I used to be grossed out by the soap scum that starts to collect on where-ever I placed the soap bar, however, these soap bags from Amazon are great. You just place your bar of soap inside the bag and not only do they help exfoliate your skin, they also prevent soap scum from building up and you don’t have any of those tiny pieces of soap left-over.

I also have been loving using this GoodSoap from Whole Foods. It is made using fair trade ingredients, smells amazing and is it at a great price point.

2. Use sponge cloths instead of paper towels.

I recently came across this Toronto based company TenAndCo. that makes the most beautiful sponge cloths as well as other home goods. So, I went ahead and purchased a few of their Swedish Sponge Cloths in a variety of colors and patterns. Not only are they the perfect replacement to paper towels, but they also make cleaning more fun since they are so beautiful.

These sponge cloths can absorb 15x their weight, can replace 17 rolls of paper towels, are eco-friendly, anti-bacterial, prevent streaking and are 100% biodegradable. After a few months, you can just throw them away in your compostable waste. This brand even uses biodegradable packaging to send these sponge cloths in the mail. You create zero waste when ordering this product!

3. Make your own homemade cleaning products.

Although this swap may seem like more effort, it honestly is not. There are tons of recipes online for different cleaning recipes and Clean Mama is my personal favorite blog and her book also helps make getting started making your own products so much easier.

I just purchased a few amber glass spray bottles from amazon, a couple of the staple ingredients for almost all cleaning recipes and I have not looked back. You minimize on plastic waste and by creating your own cleaning products you also minimize the amount of chemicals in your household.

4. Use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

This is another super easy swap, that minimizes your plastic consumption as well as cuts down on cost. I really like the Nellie’s brand, which you can find online as well as my favorite place to shop: Home Sense. Dryer balls tend to have a long life span and to keep your clothes smelling amazing, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the balls before tossing them in the dryer. Dryer balls are a safe alternative to the toxic dryer sheets and also help in reducing wrinkles and creating softer fabrics. They can even decrease your drying cycle!

There you have it! 4 easy swaps you can try today and get started on that zero waste lifestyle.

Kamaldeep is the blogger behind the the beautiful and inspiring blog Get Kamfortable. There you will find highlights of her city, Toronto, minimalist DIY’s as she decorates her home, recipes and vegan restaurants that she loves. You can read Kamaldeep’s full bio, and follow her on instagram @getkamfortable.

Designing for Small Spaces

Maybe it’s a brand new home which these days they keep building smaller and smaller, or it’s a century house that for some reason comes with closets that can’t even fit a clothes hanger. Designing for a small space is something that continues to stress people out. Let me lend some insight by delving into this sweet and petite Toronto home. 

With the cost of real estate in the city, every inch counts and this house was ripped to the studs to get the most out of the space.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

If the project allows it you will want to maximize the main areas, and a proper space plan goes a long way. This old house was once broken up into many rooms and doorways. By breaking down the walls and making this an open concept living space it immediately felt so much bigger. This double sided partition doesn’t only divide the space and create areas but also acts as the media wall/fireplace for both the dining and living rooms. This is a great example of how you don’t need full walls to create zones.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

Pick items for the scale of the home. With only a small space for a main floor powder room this area had to be done right. The bathroom size is the right fit with a small scale sink just big enough for washing up and a smart barn door that doesn’t encroach into the hallway.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

When you don’t have a ton of area to work with make points of visual interest wherever you can. This could have easily become a forgotten wall above the stairway. Instead it becomes an area of interest with a great wall detail and a beautiful light fixture that plays with texture and shadow.

Designing for a Small Space - Lara Young for Nesting Story

Planning ahead can make all the difference. For the 100 years before this renovation this master bedroom had flat 8’ ceilings. By investigating what was above the drywall this room gained vaulted ceiling and feels like it has doubled in size. Not only has it gained space but also so much character. This may seem like a big undertaking (which it can be) but keep in mind the ROI as it will also boost the property value. 

This room is also packed with smart details like storage under the bay window and sconce lights above the bedside tables to maximize a smaller furniture footprint. 

Whatever the challenge may be remember that small scale homes often give opportunity to create character and interesting details. Make sure to think it through before a renovation so there are no missed opportunities. 

Lara Young is the Principal of Lara Young Design, and also a new mom. Like many of us Lara is trying to find that quintessential work/life balance. Being her own boss is bringing Lara one-step closer to her dream. You can read Lara’s full bio, or contact her to help with your next design project here.

Jumping Back Into Decluttering Before School Starts

Honestly, I’ve had bit of a mental block when it comes to my decluttering journey over the past six months. I was letting the “stuff” win. I felt overwhelmed, and dreaded the task. So I shelved it.

As we hit mid-summer I started to think about the new school season and how good it would feel to get moving on my decluttering journey again. So, I pulled myself together, found some good podcasts and got to work.

My next decluttering journey started with the kids toys in the playroom.

I decided to begin with two categories that would have an immediate impact on not only me, but my family as well… toys and kids clothes.

decluttering toys in the twins bedroom

Tackling these areas have been monumental and have got the ball rolling again.

You can watch my entire toys and kids clothes decluttering process here…

Little girl’s nursery – Location inspiration!

Since September is the most common month to have a baby, that means many near due baby bumps are living loud and proud right about now. It also means that many mammas have the “decorate nursery” bullet on their to do list nagging them constantly. Knowing where to begin can be the hardest part, and for you here’s some inspiration for little girls rooms (one if my own) where geography inspired the design direction. 

Now let’s be honest, when you’re planning your baby’s nursery you don’t know what that kid’s personality, aspirations and interest will be so the room will instead reflect that of your own. Once you have an idea in mind think about what natural elements, imagery and animals you can include – then don’t overdo it. You can still have a big theme but let it live tastefully in the room. 

Pink mountains location inspiration baby girl nursery decor

This first space belongs to parents with a boatload of Canadian Pride, they are avid skiers and love the mountains. They loved the Canadiana concept, though they felt it to be a bit masculine and wanted a sweet girly quality to be reflected. 

The mountain theme is bold in with the wall motif but I like that it’s not overdone. Otherwise the décor is fairly simple with some sweet framed prints on the walls, stuffed bears and deer throughout and (my personal favorite) the subtle white rug that represents the snow. It’s just the right amount of mountain reference and visual balance having the bold accents paired with simple white walls and furniture.

decor accents
pops of pink baby girl nursery decor

The second room (and sorry in advance, I may be biased cause it’s my daughters nursery) is inspired from the opposite side of the world with a safari theme. My husband and I are (or we’re, pre baby) big travelers and it was important to us that we encourage life outside these walls for our little one. This was planned as a gender neutral room so the pop of color comes in the yellow. 

neutral nursery for baby girl

Again, you’ll notice that I did not want to overstate the theme. Aside from some stuffed animals and one image on the wall natural materials and texture are the driving force here. Continuity is achieved here with white, wicker or a walnut stained furniture. The back wall is cut MDF in a herringbone pattern painted white (which FYI was low cost but labor intensive). 

neutral nursery accents baby girl

Much like everything in life it’s all about balance! You want white, but not too white. Themed but not too themed. My take is don’t be afraid to make the statement you want, but be sure to counterweight that with natural materials and neutral tones. 

Happy nesting mamas.

Lara Young is the Principal of Lara Young Design, and also a new mom. Like many of us Lara is trying to find that quintessential work/life balance. Being her own boss is bringing Lara one-step closer to her dream. You can read Lara’s full bio, or contact her to help with your next design project here.