Summer Project

Cheryll Gillespie, Summer Project

Looking for a summer project?  Need some rainy day ideas or just a creative outlet? At home, I always have a list of ‘things and ideas’ to do file on the go. I keep a running list of items that need fixing, when I see something that needs to be touched up or something breaks, I always add it to the list. If I have an idea for a specific space, if I’ve seen a photograph of a special new design idea or checked out a blog with an inspirational flower arrangement image or read a magazine with an interesting small detail or organizing trick I’d like to try, I write it done on my list or put the photo in the file. When I have a spare twenty minutes, a few hours free or if I’m lucky, even an entire day to putz around the house, I pull out the list and get to work. What’s on my list? Everything from ‘fix the magnetic closure on one of my cupboard doors’, to ‘spray painting the giant faux moss balls’ that sit near the front entrance, a reminder to ‘buy baskets’ to organize the back mud room closet, and ordering the ‘leather floor’ I want in the gym. The tasks can be big or small projects, expensive ideas or DIY goals that won’t cost a penny, long-term or short-term ideas, but all ultimately must share a common thread: they are all intended to maintain, improve, and spice up your life at home!

This summer, I’ve made some pretty good headway on my list. I’ve painted some clay pots white that were formally terracotta in color (which would never work at my modern house) and they look amazing, contemporary and right on trend. The inspiration came from the last trip to Paris where I saw the most stunning thirty inch clay pots painted a bright red and flanking the doorway to a gorgeous apartment building. When the paint had dried, I filled the pots with Oleander trees and then covered the bases with moss and three succulent heads to create an outstanding arrangement. If I have a little time this weekend, I’ll pull out the paint brush and my glossy white paint and give a couple of coats to some wonderfully ornate frames we picked up at a vintage store last year. Then I’ll add in some black & white photos of family and friends and hang them on my gallery wall (another amazing project to add the the list, if you do not yet have a family wall of ‘fame’ in your home).

I love the effectiveness and organization of making lists and my ‘home to do’ list is truly my favourite list. It’s filled with great ideas and reminders that make life around home better. It also comes in handy if you are making a run to the hardware store or are out and about shopping. I always have a current photo of my list on my phone for easy reference. Living fabulously means taking good care of what you have (repairs and maintenance) and maintaining a constant motivation and inspiration for wonderful additions and makeovers for what is yet to come. Home is always an evolving project and there’s just something so soothing about working and improving the most important space in your lives- your home. That’s living fabulously!

Creatively Yours,

About Cheryll

Cheryll’s keen eye for detail and sense of style has led to a growing and successful career in interior design and the media. Cheryll ran an interior design firm in Western Canada for 15 years, specializing in both commercial and residential design work. As an established and celebrated designer, she began to share her expertise with a national audience – through public speaking, television, radio and print. Today, in addition to hosting two popular national radio shows, Cheryll writes for over 290 newspaper publications a column on construction, design and décor, making her one of the most successful syndicated columnists in Canada.