Want to Improve Your Space Without Spending A Lot? See What I Did Thanks to Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Izola, Enviro-Curb and Oblong BoxTote!

My friend Allana is finally painting her apartment after perusing paint chips for months, Cindy is moving into a brand new space and my girl Allison is shopping for a new apartment as we speak (Good luck!).

My guy and have lived in the same space for 4 years and while our place is my favourite place on this earth, I am antsy for a little change.

So I went looking for some fun and interesting products that would liven up the place and wow am I thrilled with the new look!

Come see what I found!

Warmest wishes,

Stephanie Dickison
Publisher & Editor – the knack

Let’s Get Comfortable: How to Furnish and Decorate a Welcoming Home by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

The first thing you want to do in reassessing your space is take a good look around and see what you can move or change. Sometimes it’s a simple thing like moving a piece from one room to another.

I looked to the book Let’s Get Comfortable: How to Furnish and Decorate a Welcoming Home by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams because it’s one of those decorating books that you can flip through easily and pull ideas from without having to pour over swatches and shop for months for a piece. I mean, you can do that if you want to, but I love that it’s an accessible, quick read with lots of ideas that you can put into place quickly!

They use a lot of neutrals but punch it up with accessories and occasional bold prints. And sections like “Layouts for Living Rooms” (p 158-159) and “How to Balance a Room” with step-by-step pictures of Mitchell and Bob taking a plain space and moving things in piece by piece, allow you to see that change is possible, even on the smallest of budgets.

One of my favourite parts of the book, though, is Mitchell and Bob’s bulldog Lulu. Not only is she a cutie pie, but she makes herself comfortable on every piece of furniture, going to show that you can have a pet and still have nice things!

And after looking through the book, if you see a piece that you really love, well, through the magic of the internet, you can buy the piece online.

Ahh. Now, isn’t that better?

Izola Shower Curtains

Our bathroom is incredibly small. Brooklyn small, I’d say. So when I wanted to add a little something something to it, I knew I wanted something really fantastic. Something that would stand out.

And an Izola Shower Curtain was just the thing I was looking for! Thick and fantastic quality, these shower curtains come in a range of designs that are sure to please everyone. They have curtains that have World Destinations, Maps, Patterns, Artist Series and even Eco-Friendly! In fact, these shower curtains are so fantastic, the only problem you’ll have is choosing just one.

I mean, how much fun is the Patrick McMullan Shower Curtain? Or the Bamboo?

I absolutely love the PEVA World Map Shower Curtain because sadly, I still don’t know where a lot of places are. But we have a world map in the bedroom for this purpose (I should really get on that), so we went with Paris because that is probably the next place that we’re going to go, and really – looking into that city everyday, is just about the nicest thing.

In fact, sometimes I don’t have to pee, but I stand in the bathroom looking at the city. It’s relaxing somehow.

And it’s really made the bathroom, well, uh, a kind of destination for when people come over.


Enviro-Curb is a manufacturer of 100% recycled plastic furniture and plastic lumber, which makes it environmentally friendly and sometimes a more suitable choice than say wood or metal.

But what I am really excited about is all the different recycling box choices that they offer. There is nothing worse than having to fit a huge box in a small space!

That’s why I love my new Apartment Recycling Bag! It is slim enough to slide into a small space, but actually holds quite a ton of stuff (you should see how much paper and plastic I recycle daily!).

You can use it in any room in the house. I am using it under my desk so that I can sort my paper recycling on the spot. I take it out at the end of the day to our big bin in the back and then it’s back to filling it up the next day, yet it doesn’t overwhelm my space like those big square boxes and is so easy to carry, thanks to the big wide handles!

I don’t know what I’d do without it now. It’s one of my most used items throughout the day.

Oblong Box Tote

Once you get a look at these, you’re going to want to buy them by the case!

OBLONG BoxTote is a kind of tote bag made of high-quality, laminated paper. It comes in 3 pieces that snap together in a couple of seconds.

Once you’ve snapped it together, you’ve got this amazing boxy tote that is sturdy yet light and water-resistant and holds everything from files and books to your lunch and shopping items (it can hold up to 7 lbs!). I'm thinking it would also be a great little carry-on!

You can actually use it as a kind of handbag if you like. I got it in Petite, which is purse size, and Medium, which is more of a portfolio size and file. And you can use it in the rain – just be sure to wipe it down afterwards.

And the chocolate and robin egg blue pattern is so modern and pretty, that you will soon be leaving your other bags at home.

But here’s the decorating part – I use mine in my home office to file things, then I grab it to take to meeting and then I hang it up again beside my desk and it becomes my portable filing system. Not only has it made my transporting work to and from meetings a breeze, it is the prettiest I’ve ever had. I also really love that it hangs, as I have no more free space on the floor around my desk!

They also have matching file folders, which I’ve put into the BoxTote to keep my life organized.

I love my BoxTote and matching files! Now if only they could help me find that invoice…

Stephanie Dickison

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