IKEA Project 4: Kitchen – Organising the Pantry!

September 28, 2015 | Personal, Singapore, Sponsored

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with IKEA, however all ideas, opinions, and thoughts are my own. 

I can’t believe this is the last of my IKEA collaborative posts! Big sad face. It’s been so fun, I don’t even know where the last 4 months have gone.

For this last challenge we were tasked with doing something fab in the kitchen. Yeaaahh kitchen! I love cooking. Well, I used to anyway, before I had a fussy toddler who throws my lovingly homemade meals on the floor, preferring a peanut butter sandwich over 8-hour slow cooked lamb tagine. Phht.. whatevs, his loss.

Instead of cooking for this challenge though, I decided to attack a problem area in our kitchen – the pantry. Uhh, the pantry. In my head, the perfect pantry is a gorgeous walk-in number, with plenty of shelves to hold rows of jars with little labels and scoops… like these:

dream pantryLeft: Emerson’s Pantry via Apartment Therapy  Right: NEAT Method pantry via Arianna Belle

Ahhhhh, perfection.

Back in reality though, our pantry is just a large cupboard in our kitchen, with 4 very deep shelves. Don’t get me wrong – I’m in no way complaining.. our last apartment didn’t even have a ‘pantry’, just a few small cupboards we’d deemed good for food storage. So the one we have now is actually pretty amazing.

Exceeeppptt.. we had no order. It was madness! Just look at this embarrassment… try not to shudder.

Pantry disgrace

Finding anything took a lot of time, and we would buy double-ups of things because we didn’t realise we had them in the first place.

Pantry disgrace Pantry disgrace

Uhh, look away! Needless to say this pantry needed a makeover like, yesterday.

So off to Ikea I went. And I bought about 50 (not kidding) of their 365+ food containers in all 3 sizes. And I got some very strange looks. And Arlo was super embarrassed by all my containers and got angry and loud. But I was excited because I was going to have an organised pantry!

I particularly liked the 365+ containers because they have a flip lid on one end, making it easy to pour the contents out without opening the whole lid. Win!

Then when I got home, I unpacked the pantry and repacked it into my wonderful new containers, labelled them all and stacked them back into the shelves in all their organised glory. I’m glossing over this part because it actually took a while and was a bit messy, especially with a toddler thrown into the mix. But we got there, and it was absolutely worth it!

Bask, in my pantry…

Pantry perfection

And side-by-side:

Before and After

Perfection! And, no surprises – it’s SO MUCH EASIER to find things now!

Pantry perfection

The bread-making box.

Pantry perfection

High-use foods.. rice, cous cous, quinoa…

Pantry perfection

And on the top shelf I even managed to get some baking ingredients in that were previously stored elsewhere!

It’s still not like those spectacular Pinterest pantries I started the post with, but it’s the greatest pantry I’ve ever had – and I love it. I’ve found that when I organise things around me, in our house, I feel a bit like I’m organising my brain.. I feel better, lighter, clearer. Less highly strung. And it was the same with the pantry, it’s a happy place now :)

So a huge thank you to Ikea for making my life easier in the kitchen – and the rest of our house for that matter. We’re big fans over here, and I feel so lucky to have been able to work with them on this series. Thank you!

IKEA Project 2: Living Room – A nook for Arlo

July 27, 2015 | Personal, Shop, Singapore, Sponsored

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with IKEA, however all ideas, opinions, and thoughts are my own. 

I was so excited when I heard that the Ikea theme for this month was Living Room! It’s the most used area of our house (maybe after the kitchen) and is where we tend to gravitate to at all times of the day. It’s where guests relax, where we eat some of our meals, and where Arlo plays most of the time.

Earlier this month, after 4 years in our old place, we moved apartments to a bigger, brighter space (happy dance!). I’m so excited about the possibilities for our new space (particularly the living room) and wanted to rush out and buy a bunch of stuff as soon as we moved in to make it more homely. But I stopped myself, and have instead decided that I really shouldn’t rush into this decorating project.. I need to live with the space for a month or two before deciding exactly what we want and need.

Here’s our living room before we moved in, and as it is now – not finished or perfectly styled, but a work in progress.

Living Room

But what about the Ikea challenge?? Well, even though the ‘adult’ area of the living room is still under maintenance, I’ve managed to finish another little part of it that’s just as important.

Adjacent to our living space above, I’ve created a little nook for Arlo. At this age, he doesn’t seem to like to play in his room and wants to be out where we are, so when I saw that this living room had a cut-out nook in one wall I thought it’d be perfect for Arlo. That way, I can keep his toys condensed in one area, but he still feels like he’s part everything happening in the living room. Here’s the before and after…

Nook for Arlo

We already had the Kallax bookcase, so I bought some perfectly-fitting baskets to put Arlo’s gazillion toys in (down nice and low so he can pull them out himself), and added the little kitchen because, well, it’s cute. So far his favourite thing to do with it is to open close, open close, open close the doors. Open close.

Nook for Arlo

On top of the shelf I used a bamboo basket to hold some balls, added some artwork that used to be in his room, and repurposed an old bathroom basket to hold a few rattles that he’s grown out of (that are too cute to be stored away in a cupboard).

Nook for Arlo

So far he loves it! Once he’s started playing with everything it quickly becomes a big mess, but I like that he can reach and explore things on his own, and that it’s easy to clean up at the end of the day.

Nook for Arlo

And if I step back a little, you can see a few other little corners of our new place, with stuff still waiting to be unwrapped and unpacked. It’s kinda nice seeing all our possessions in a new space.. :)

Nook for Arlo

So there we go.. I know it’s not exactly a re-do of our living room, but I love that Arlo now has a little space of his own, where he can keep an eye on me, and I can keep one on him.

These are some of the pieces we used from Ikea (which, btw, is a brilliant place to grab kids toys.. they’re fantastic!)…

Get The Look

1. KALLAX Bookcase  2. MULA Shape Sorter  3. BRANÄS Baskets  4. DUKTIG Felt Veges  5. DUKTIG Play Kitchen  6. GADDIS Basket  7. NIPPRIG Boxes  8. SPARKA Ball.

Cooking up a storm

.. and if you missed my first post in this Ikea series, you can find that here.


Gong Xi Fa Cai!

February 20, 2015 | Drawn, Personal, Singapore

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone who celebrates!

Gong Xi Fa Cai

We’ve got a 4-day weekend here this weekend in honour of CNY, and it’s been BLISS. Don’t get me wrong, now that I’m not working I can hardly tell what day it is, let alone whether it’s a weekday or a weekend.. but it’s been really nice to have more than just a quick weekend to hang out with Dave and our little man. It’s such cherished, relaxed time and I’m loving it. Every weekend should be like this I say!

I hope you’re all having a lovely long weekend, or have a great weekend coming! Gong Xi Fa Cai :)

PS. In a bid to get better at drawing, I set myself the task of illustrating something for CNY.. and above is the result! Our family, and the goat I wish I owned haha :)

Arlo’s Nursery

February 6, 2015 | Baby, Personal

Yesterday I showed you some of my inspiration for Arlo’s nursery, and today I wanted to share how it turned out. I’m no interior decorator by any stretch of the imagination, but here we go ;)

Arlo's Room

We’d been very generously gifted the Stokke Cot, the blue Eames Elephant, the teddies, and loads of books from family and friends, so we used those as the starting point. We knew we wanted a touch of mid-century modern, so we bought this beautiful sideboard (from here in Singapore) that we’re using as a change table and storage. I love it! Not only the look, but also because we can very easily use it elsewhere later down the track.

Please excuse the slightly ill-fitting change mat cover… I couldn’t find one here so decided to make my own. I didn’t have a pattern to follow, and it shows haha.

Arlo's Room

These three bears are very special to us. They have personalities and each have a story. The awesome Dinosaur print by Corby Tindersticks was a gift from a lovely friend of mine.

Arlo's Room

My wonderful Mum came over to Singapore before Arlo was born and we spent the week sewing up a storm. One of the things we made were the organiser boxes above (I saw them first on my friend Julia’s blog). They’re so super handy! The pattern is from Noodlehead and you can find it here if you’d like to make some too.

Arlo's Room

The mobile above the change mat was one I made years ago, and I was thrilled to finally have the perfect place to hang it. Arlo adores it, he could watch it for hours :)

Even though it’s only a small room, we really love how it’s turned out. The only thing we weren’t able to fit in comfortably was a chair, but for now I just nurse in our bedroom. Hopefully this will become a space that Arlo will enjoy as he gets older too :)

If there’s anything I’ve missed out and you’d like to know where we got it, please just let me know! I’ll do my best to answer. You can find some of the items in this post.

Nursery Inspiration

February 5, 2015 | Baby, Inspired by..., Personal

Last year, when we found out we were going to be having a baby, we were super excited (as many people are, I think) at the prospect of decorating a nursery for our little boy.

We decided that we’d convert our guest room into the new nursery, which is the smallest (tiny!) room in the apartment. Because we’re in a rental, we were pretty limited with what we could change, so unfortunately the walls couldn’t be painted, and the ugly beige curtains had to stay. But we tried to make the most of it!

Before I show you what we ended up with, I thought I’d share some of my inspiration.. we really wanted earthy blues and greens, lots of neutral, and a touch of mid-century mod. I also didn’t really want it to look overly “baby”.

Pinterest was my best friend while I was looking around for inspiration (of course!)… here’s some of what grabbed my eye:


Top: Amber Interiors via Mini Style | Nursery Notations   Bottom: Project Nursery | Charleston Mag

So with all that in mind, I went on the hunt for the perfect furniture and accessories – or at least, something close to what I’d seen online. A few of the items I put together below aren’t what we ended up with (as they weren’t available here in Singapore), but were a good starting point for style. We’d also been generously gifted a few items – the Eames Elephant, the Stokke Sleepi cot, and loads of beautiful books – so we went from there :)

Arlo's Room inspiration

1. Oliver Jeffers Books  2. Utopia Elephant Lamp  3. Alhede Rug  4. Ellipse Dresser  5. Stokke Sleepi Crib  6. Baby Jives Cloud Mobile  7. Poang Chair  8. Eames Elephant

I’ll come back in a couple of days and share some photos of the finished room with you guys… we’re really happy with how it turned out :)