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Refresh and organize the entryway or mudroom to keep it functional and safe.

light fixture via Luminaire Authentik / mirror via Will's and Prior / mini bowl via Rainsford Company / bottle of hand sanitizer via Dillon's / plant via V de V / cabinet via Crate & Barrel Canada / Schlage Encode Smart Lock and entry set via Home Depot / enamel bin via Home Smith House  / vinyl mat via V de V / bench via Crate & Barrel Canada / french market bag via Wills & Prior / pillow via Tonic Living / coat hooks via Home Depot /

Keeping our entryway or mudroom clean and organized has never been more important. In this in-between space, it's where we shed our outdoor things as we walk through the door, it's a holding area for deliveries or groceries, and a spot to stash a mask or gloves before we head inside and scrub our hands. But it’s also a space that we want to feel happy about - after all, our home has literally become a refuge.

The simple act of walking in our front door has changed in the last few months. No more throwing your keys on a table and walking in the house. The entryway, whether large or small, has become a bit of a workhorse these days. Not only has it become a holding area and decontamination zone but it’s where we can hopefully breathe a sigh of relief as we walk through the door.  I can’t even believe I’m writing this ... who would have thought I’d be writing a post about how to make your entryway safe and welcoming during a pandemic? 

Well here we are, and to inspire and hopefully help, I've partnered with Schlage Canada to put together an inspiration board with ideas for refreshing your entryway or mudroom and keeping it functional and clean.

Use bins, crates or boxes to store deliveries.

I’ve heard many people say that they just leave deliveries and some non-perishable groceries in a waiting area for 3 or 4 days. I do it too and I’ve noticed some days the floor is full of boxes and bags that we don’t want to bring inside. Creating a space, a sort of holding area for things that enter your house is useful if you have the space. Even if it's a designated box or bin that everyone in your household knows is for these items.  Normally, I use baskets to corral things like this, but these days I'm looking for options that can be easily cleaned. A metal bin could work brilliantly, it's easy to clean and gets bonus points for style. 

Shoes off please.

I’ve always been on team don’t wear shoes in the house. Especially now. Store shoes in a designated spot - a boot tray, shoe rack or shelf under a bench works well.  In addition to a console that is also a shoe cupboard, we find boot trays work well for our family.  This bench has a handy shelf that can be used to store shoes. I love the pop of colour from this metal cabinet (easy to clean!) that seems like it's also a good spot to store shoes.

Refresh your entryway with easy-to-clean items.

A new door mat is a great way to refresh your entrance. Opt for one of the stylish and easy to clean vinyl mats that are popular now. They come in amazing patterns that look like vintage tile or even antique rugs. 
Keep things off the floor. 

Install a rack with hooks to hang up jackets, the dog’s leash etc. 

Designate a spot for your keys and phone. 

There are sterilizer gadgets that you can buy to disinfect your device and keys but we just do it the old-fashioned way. Everything goes in a dish that can also be washed.  Apple says it is safe to clean your iPhone with alcohol wipes or Clorex disinfectant wipes. Our keys also get disinfected regularly.

Keep face masks handy.

Store clean face masks in a bin or bag so they are ready to grab & go. It might also be useful to have a dirty bin or bag that can be easily washed. 

Refresh your space with things that are useful and make you feel good.

The light fixture from Quebec based Luminaire Authentik is a welcome pop of colour. I just discovered this company and have my eye on a few things. The lighting is available in a rainbow of colours.  A green plant or fragrant pot of herbs is always a nice touch, as is a new throw pillow.

Clean door hardware often.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that in addition to washing your hands often, that you clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily including this like door handles. Schlage has tips on how to clean your door handles and hardware here.

Smart home technology makes sense.

Digging through your purse or bag for a house key can be annoying and these days, it's also just one more thing I have to clean after I touch it. Smart locks like the Schlage Encode let you unlock your door using a touchscreen or with your voice when paired with the Schlage Home app on your phone using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Nowadays, smart home technology isn’t just a convenience, the benefits of using touchless, voice-controlled technology can also mean less
exposure to surface that can be dirty.

Keep hand sanitizer ... handy.

We keep mini bottles of sanitizer in the entryway, ready to grab and go. Don't forget to clean these bottles too!

Disclosure: I've partnered with Schlage Canada in this sponsored post. All opinions and text are my own.  

Refresh your home for spring

Paint something Pressed Fern Fusion Mineral Paint via Home Smith House / Art Deco Vase via vintage and antique shop B√©azley  / Rattan cage pitcher via June Home Supply / Gorgeous Morris & Co. Vinyl floorcloth via Wills & Prior / Woven Flora Blanket via Bookhou / Helen End Table via Home Smith House / Small jade bowl via G Ceramic & Co. /  Campobello Check lumbar pillow via Tonic Living / Plant via Plant Collective

In the spirit of shopping local, supporting makers including Toronto-area shops, as well as provide a little distraction, I'm sharing a spring mood board - with some things I'm loving right now. 

I'm a firm believer in filling you home with things that bring you joy - adding touches such as flowers, plants, art books and found objects not only lets your personality shine through but also creates a meaningful space for you and your family to enjoy.

What are the things that you love in your home? For me, it's definitely the things I've collected over the years - antiques and vintage items picked up on trips to the markets, often with my daughter. There is also the art, photographs and family heirlooms which has a special place in our home.

I love exploring antique markets, thrift store and local shops. Since those options are mostly off-limits these days, it's a good time to get creative - shop your home, forage your backyard for fallen branches or as a neighbour if you can take a cutting, make art or refresh an old piece of furniture with paint. Adding a fresh touch to your home doesn't have to cost anything.

Many people have been impacted financially during this time. I've spoken to many artists, makers and shop owners in recent weeks who are worried about the future of their small businesses. These are difficult days for many, and although fluffing up your home with decorative objects isn't an essential expenditure, if you are in a position to shop please think about supporting independent makers and small local businesses.  Many are offering online shopping and will ship, or in some cases, do local porch or contactless deliveries.

Create a sense of calm and freshen up your home for spring

Girl Power Vase via Scout / Bird Art Print by illustrator Geraldo Valerio via Zebuu / Ivy Plant via Plant Collective / Sprig Blanket via Bookhou Design / Candle via Citchen Candle Co. / Teakwood + Tobacco Room spray via Rose City Goods / Schlage Encode Wifi Lock / Uncomplicated Cookbook by Claire Tansey / Porcelain Plates by Atelier Make Studio via Likely General / Savon de Marseille Soap via Oliver and Rust / Wooden Dish Brush via Pretty Clean Shop / Citrus Sponge Cloth via Ten and Co./

With all this time at home, it’s more important than ever to create a sense of calm, order but also brightness. We want our homes to be a place of comfort, a place we enjoy, especially now as everyone is adjusting to the new reality of living and working at home, in our collective effort to battle Covid19.
It’s also spring, so we want to open the windows and doors and let in some fresh air.

Tending to our homes, whether it’s spring cleaning, getting things organized or adding a few fresh touches can brighten our homes and our moods.

How is your household coping?

As a freelancer, I’m used to working from home, but it’s a challenge to try to stay focused, now that I’m working in a full house. But I’m counting my blessings. We are safe and well.

I've partnered with Schlage Canada to put together an inspiration board with ideas for creating a sense of calm and to freshen things up for spring. Covid19 has created chaos, and for many - lost income and uncertainty, so I've sourced products from Canadian makers and small businesses in an effort to encourage people to support the local economy. All of these items can be ordered online.

Spring cleaning

If there ever was a time to be enthusiastic about spring cleaning, it’s now. There are so many great products on the market that help us clean our homes. Plus, they get bonus points for looking great.

Instead of buying disposables, consider buying more eco-friendly tools like Swedish sponge cloths which can replace about 17 rolls of paper towel and can be thrown in the washing machine or dishwasher and are biodegradable, compostable and recyclable.

Wooden dish brushes made of beech wood and natural bristles. The head is removable so you can reuse the handle with a replaceable head and reduce waste. I just ordered a replacable head for ours and I treated myself to a fancy French Savon de Marseilles soap for my kitchen counter. No packaging and let’s face it, it looks so good. Meg at Oliver and Rust has some great tips on how you can use these soaps on her blog.

Feed yourself

It seems like everyone is baking these days. My Instagram feed is full of sourdough loaves and cookies. Whether you are cooking out of necessity or for comfort there are things you can do to make life in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable.

Now is a great time to organize the pantry. Take stock of what you have, what you need and what you might be craving – emergency chocolate anyone?

It may be beneficial to come up with a meal plan so you know what you’ll need to stock up on - especially if you are trying to limit trips to the grocery store and keep an inventory of what you have and what you need.

There are so many great online resources for recipes. Whether it’s your favourite foodie Instagrammer, blogger, chef or cookbook author, there’s something out there for everyone.

Food writer friend, Claire Tansey is a great one to follow. She shares fun recipes and videos through her website Claire Tansey’s Kitchen, on her facebook page, and her cookbook, Uncomplicated: Taking the stress out of home cooking is indispensable for anyone looking for easy-to-make recipes.

Bob Blumer ( @bobblumer on IG ) is also sharing some great tips on how to use what you have in your pantry and minimize food waste. One of my favourite IG foodies is Rachel Roddy, author of My Kitchen in Rome is a regular contributor to Guardian Feast at The Guardian and shares recipes and stories about life in Rome ( @rachelaliceroddy on IG) and of course Jamie Oliver who has a new video series on his website called Keep Cooking and Carry On . These are just a few, there are so many more.

Brighten things up

If you are able to, support local artisans and businesses. Many shops have pivoted to offer online shopping, delivery or even local delivery.

Art is a great way to do that. You can even find downloadable options on sites like Etsy. I love this cheerful bird print found online at Zebuu.

Tend to any indoor plants and start thinking about outdoors. Now’s a great time to start growing some fresh herbs, flowers or veggies by starting some seeds that you might be able to find online.

Add some fresh flowers or plants to your home. Some florists are still delivering or offering curbside pickup. I love this ‘Girl Power’ vase from Scout.

A cozy throw from Toronto maker Arounna of Bookhou looks perfect for curling up on the couch.

Take care

Try to find some time or space to spend alone, if you are in a full house. A walk around the block for sunshine and fresh air will make you feel great.

A smart Wifi lock like the Schlage Encode can be a good choice for any home. They can save time, add convenience, and make it safer and easier to share access by eliminating spare keys. You can control the lock on your door with your voice using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant or using apps like Schlage Home, Key by Amazon or with Ring. In these times of cleaning all the things we touch, eliminating keys can be a good thing.

Do something creative. Now’s the time to learn something new. There are so many great online tutorials and resources.

Scent can do wonders to life our spirits. Try a natural soy candle or room spray made with essential oils.

Also, I’ve been unplugging from social media and news for obvious reasons. As hard as it is, put your device away and do something that makes you feel good. Whether that’s a good book, doing something creative, working out, meditation – whatever works, my friend. These are stressful times, so take care.

Disclosure: I've partnered with Schlage Canada in this sponsored post. All opinions and text are my own.