Time Management: An Expert Interview With CTV’s Julie Nolin

Nowadays, many of us struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Between working late hours, worrying about finances, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and keeping up with family and friends, we are left with minimal time to pursue other passions in life.

Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Julie Nolin, an award-winning journalist at CTV Vancouver and instructor at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), to discuss how she manages the many different facets of her busy life. Julie identified a few tips and tricks in regards to time management and also addressed the link between Interior Design and productivity.


Photo Credit: Pexels

Natalie: Do you consider yourself an expert at managing time?

Julie Nolin: I don’t think I’m an expert but I do think I’m constantly studying how to be better with time management. I think efficiency is a sign of intelligence. If you can constantly think of more efficient ways to get things done, that’s helping not just yourself, but also others around you who are relying on you. I think that because I am so insanely busy, if I didn’t try to figure out strategies all the time in order to get work done or to spend quality time with the people I love, it would be hard on them, not just me.

Natalie: On a scale of 1 to 10, how busy would you say you are?

Julie Nolin: Oh.. I’d have to say I’m about a 9 out of 10.

Natalie: Can you tell me a bit about all the different things that you juggle in a day?

Julie Nolin: My full-time job is here at BCIT. That includes teaching, marking, preparing, mentoring and participating in other commitments on campus. Then I have my other life at CTV which includes jobs such as producing, reporting, and hosting. That job is INSANELY busy. Yesterday I was going from 8:30 in the morning until 7:30 at night. Even if someone else is driving the car to Whistler, I’m sitting there and I’m preparing or I’m researching. I’m making the most of every second that I have. My saying is “ABM” or “Always Be Marking,” even if I’m standing in the lineup at the bank.

I also have one 17-year-old son who still lives at home but he’s pretty much self-sufficient. Then I’m making time for my friends and my family.

I think, like I said to you earlier, I’m admittedly really overstretched right now. I like to say ‘yes’ to the things that I’m passionate about but sometimes, if I know I’m too stretched, there’s no point in me saying yes because I’m not going to be able to do as good of a job as I’d like. I’m learning more to say no but honestly, I’m insanely busy.

I hope that I don’t let anyone down around me. I think that’s my biggest problem. I don’t like letting students down, I don’t like letting my family down, I don’t like letting my friends down.

Natalie: Do you find you have enough time for yourself?

Julie Nolin: I LOVE what I do and am so fortunate that I get to do everything that I do. As I admitted earlier, I’m a little bit Attention Deficit Disorder. I don’t think I could keep doing just one thing as my mind needs to keep going. But, to your point, I do try to do little things for myself. If it’s even just having a really nice bubble bath. That’s so lovely.

I’ve committed to doing some school work this weekend so I’ve built in a little reward for myself.  I’ve got my spa appointment on 2pm on Sunday so I’m going to work through all of this stuff Saturday and Sunday morning so I have a reward. I will purposefully do this sort of thing. If I don’t build rewards in to what I do, then I’m not very productive.

Natalie: How do you manage it all? Do you have any tips for people who may be struggling to balance it all?

Julie Nolin: I think it’s important to triage and figure out what needs your attention now. That’s the key sometimes.

It’s like looking at your plate and thinking, I’m not a fan of peas but I really like pork tenderloin..Well, if I ate the pork tenderloin first I’d probably only pick away at the peas a little bit. So sometimes I think you need to eat your peas first and then you can manage the other stuff.

That’s how I do it and I try not to procrastinate but I think that’s human nature. We all have that in us. I think I’m better at tackling procrastination by eating my peas first.

I’ll also do things to try to make the tasks that I have to tackle more enjoyable. For example, I’ll go to Starbucks and invite my 17-year-old son to come sit with me and do his homework while I mark. That way I’m parenting and finishing up the tasks that I need to complete. Even though I have to get work done, those are some of my favourite times because I’m sharing it with him. We’re still sharing ideas and we have great discussions.

I think too being infectious about what you’re passionate about brings people into your life in new ways.

Natalie: Do you think a functional space would benefit you or make you more productive?

Julie Nolin: Yes! Because I just moved in February and I’m in a new space that is not big enough, I’m struggling. I need to be able to have things make sense and I don’t have the space so I’m really struggling with finding a solution. In fact, I’ve kind of hit the brakes with what to do with it. I need to either invest in new furniture or get rid of some things and I think sometimes we don’t fully appreciate how life changes can impact those functional spaces.

There are certain parts of my home, such as my office, that are very functional but I don’t have all the organization that I would really like.  I love the space but I don’t have as much room for everything else and that’s what creates those struggles.


Photo Credit: Pexels

These are just a few tips to consider when trying to achieve a healthy work-life balance and enhance your time management skills. Please comment below if you have any other tips and ideas!




Colour Psychology: What Is It and How Does It Affect Interior Design?

Have you ever wondered why you are overcome with certain emotions or feelings upon entering a space? Chances are it has something to do with the colours that are present within.

‘Colour Psychology’ is known as the study of how our brain perceives what it visualizes. It is based on both mental and emotional effects and is examined in many different fields of study such as Marketing, Graphic Design, and Interior Design.

Colour evokes many different moods and feelings. That said, it is a very important tool for homeowners and designers to utilize when considering which colour palettes to incorporate.

Below is a list of the most commonly used colours and their associated psychological effects.


 Photo Credit: Canadian Log Homes


The colour red conveys drama, romance, power, passion, and even danger. It encourages appetite (it is actually used in many food and drink brands around the world for this very reason!) and heightens the senses. Red is suitable for use in dining rooms and kitchens.


Photo Credit: Plastolux


The colour orange conveys friendliness, happiness, innovation, energy, and fun! It attracts attention as well as makes spaces feel approachable and welcoming. Orange is suitable for use in entryways, home gyms, living rooms, and dining rooms.


Photo Credit: Home Design Lover


The colour yellow conveys energy, optimism, hospitality, communication, and creativity. It also increases metabolism and improves concentration. Yellow is suitable for kitchens and breakfast nooks.


Photo Credit: Frenchy Fancy


The colour green conveys growth, renewal, relaxation, gentleness, reassurance, safety, and balance. It creates a calming and feel-good atmosphere. Green is suitable for use in bedrooms.


Photo Credit: Home Bunch


The colour blue conveys strength, dependability, tranquility, calmness, freshness, and serenity. It is considered the most productive colour and can create a mood that is cheerful and refreshing. It also evokes feelings of reflectivity. Blue is suitable for use in bedrooms and offices.

Lilac washrom

Home Credit: South Shore Decorating Blog


The colour purple conveys mystery, eccentricity, luxury, sophistication, and spirituality. It encourages feelings of romance and nostalgia. Purple is suitable for use in bedrooms and bathrooms.


Photo Credit: Home BNC


The colour pink conveys compassion, tenderness, and love. It encourages feelings of hope and positivity. Pink is suitable for use in bedrooms.


Photo Credit: Decor Pad


White conveys honesty, peace, inspiration, courage, wisdom, creativity, and simplicity. It creates a refreshing, airy, and clean look within homes. White is suitable for use in small spaces as it can make them feel larger and more spacious.


Photo Credit: One Kindesign


Grey conveys change, communication, reflection, and eloquence. It also emulates formality and creates a clean, refreshing appearance. Grey is suitable for use in living rooms.



Photo Credit: Looks Like White


Black conveys perseverance, confidence, independence, authority, protection, strength, and boldness. It implies self-control, discipline, independence, and strong will. It also gives an impression of authority and power. If integrated correctly, black creates elegant and sophisticated designs. It is suitable for use in any room in moderation.

Deciding which colours to incorporate within your home can be a daunting task. Hopefully the information above makes the process a little less overwhelming and a little more enjoyable!

What are your go to colours when decorating? Do you feel a emotional connection to the colours you are drawn to?




How to Create a Functional Home Office

Nowadays, many of us work from remote locations rather than in the typical corporate environments that our parents did. A few of us are even lucky enough to get to work from the comfort of our own home!

While avoiding the commute (and having to put pants on) seems like a dream, I gather it can be tricky to remain productive and maintain a healthy work-life balance when your office is 10 steps away from your bedroom. With that said, having the tools to create the best home office possible is crucial.

Below I’ve compiled information from a few of my favourite websites in order to outline some of the most important things to consider when planning your home office.

Style Me Pretty

Style Me Pretty’s post “10 Steps To Designing an Inspiring Home Office” showcases many tips for designing an uplifting home working environment.

Invest in Proper Seating

It is SO important to have the correct ergonomic set up in your home office. It is nearly impossible to work efficiently and be productive when you are uncomfortable. A supportive chair, correct desk height, and proper computer monitor set up can make all the difference!


Photo Credit: Decor Pad

Showcase Your Favourite Things

One of the best ways to ensure you love “going to work” is to surround yourself with your most prized and cherished possessions. Your space should be inspiring while promoting innovation and creativity. Displaying a few of your favourite things makes your space a little brighter and sets you up for success.

Favourite things

Photo Credit: The Everygirl

The Home Edit

The Home Edit’s post “11 Tips to a More Organized and Stylish Home Office” offers great ideas in regards to organization for home offices.

Bring Out the Baskets

Baskets are a fantastic way to organize! They allow you to compile like items and create an organizational system so that you know exactly where to find exactly what you need. They also help to clear some of the clutter that collects on top of surfaces within the space. Baskets come in a variety of colours and textures and can also be an easy way to add to your overall office aesthetic.


Photo Credit: The Crux

Organize and File Papers

Building on the basket idea, banishing clutter can help to create the ultimate functional office space! If loose papers and bills are taking over your office space, your brain is likely being taken over by them as well. Organizing and filing these papers into filing cabinets will get rid of some of the clutter. This results increased productivity as you know exactly where to find a document when you need it.


Photo Credit: Style Me Pretty

Style At Home

Style At Home’s post “10 Home Office Essentials” features important elements in creating the perfect home office.

Incorporate Proper Lighting

Layered lighting within an office space is absolutely necessary! Ideally, your space should incorporate natural daylight (from nearby windows or doors), ambient or general lighting (from overhead ceiling fixtures), and flexible task lighting (from table or floor lamps). While aesthetics are obviously important (I mean, I am studying Interior Design..) it is also essential to ensure your task lighting actually illuminates what you need it to.


Photo Credit: Desire To Inspire

Count on a Clock

Whether it be mounting a large clock on the wall or placing a small clock on your desktop, knowing what time it is will help to keep you on track with your deadlines. Incorporating a clock as part of your decor will also ensure you are able to maintain more of a work-life balance as you’ll know exactly when to clock in and out.

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Photo Credit: Michael Nangreaves Photography

If you are looking to create a functional home office, try incorporating a few of the tips above! Small changes can lead to huge increases in productivity and creativity.

Can you think of any other tips for creating home offices that inspire increased efficiency?



Why Neutral Colour Schemes Don’t Have to be Boring

Are you of the mind that neutral colour schemes are boring and safe? If so, I’m here to change your perspective!

We are not all brave enough to incorporate bright, stimulating design trends within our interiors but that doesn’t mean that our spaces have to be dull and lacklustre. Neutral colour schemes act as the perfect backdrop for many bold design elements and principles!

Architectural details can be enhanced through the use of a neutral colour scheme. Rather than fighting for attention, arches, vaults, and beams become prominent features.


Photo Credit: Brit+Co


Photo Credit: Yatzer

A subdued palette allows textures and patterns to stand out and steal the show! Textural layering is a technique that can really transform a space but unfortunately it is often overlooked and under-utilized.


Photo Credit: Only Deco Love


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Scale and proportion can be successfully showcased through the use of a neutral colour scheme. Interest can be created within our interior spaces just through the consideration of the sizes of our furnishings.


Photo Credit: AD Magazine


Photo Credit: Stylish Eve

If being able to feature the design elements above is not enough to convince you that neutral colour palettes are anything but boring and safe, don’t worry!

Another plus to utilizing a less intense palette is that typically neutral schemes work with any design style as neutrals are classic! In addition, you’re much less likely to get sick of a neutral palette as you have the ability to add inexpensive, colourful design details and switch them out as you please.

There are endless opportunities to create visual interest within your interiors should you decide to stick with a neutral colour scheme. Would you incorporate a neutral colour scheme into your home?






5 Ways Interior Design Promotes Balance and Well-Being

Some may not fully understand the real power of Interior Design. Our interiors have a huge impact on our lives and, if successfully executed, Interior Design can improve our quality of life in many ways.

Here are five ways that Interior Design can inspire balance and well-being in the routine of our everyday lives.

Encouraging and Improving Organization

It’s no secret that we are not all organizationally-inclined. Some of us need a bit more help in this department than others. Interior Designers are trained to transform their client’s interiors into places of organization and order. The use of custom storage solutions, whether in bedroom closets or kitchen cabinets, can make a huge difference! Improved organization can also reduce stress levels and encourage positivity.


Photo Credit: Naina Singla

Forming Functional Spaces

Sometimes existing design layouts just do NOT work. Prior to commencing work, Interior Designers ask a ton of questions in order to examine and fully understand their client’s needs and desires in regards to their interiors. They then re-work the dysfunctional spaces and transform them into functional ones that cater specifically to their clients’ needs.


Photo Credit: Decora Cabinets

Creating Relaxing Environments

When it comes to balance and well-being, it is SO important to have a comfortable place to decompress after a long day. As our lifestyles are more complex than ever before, having a comfortable space to return to at the end of a busy day is an absolute must! Interior Designers know which colours and furniture pieces will promote a serene and relaxing environment.


Photo Credit: MyDomaine

Producing Healthy Spaces

These days most of us are very concern with our health. We spend hours at the gym and try our best to eat healthy but most of us do not consider the pollutants that we are exposed to everyday in our interiors. An Interior Designer can create a healthy space that utilizes eco-friendly materials and products and can even improve indoor air quality.


Photo Credit: Mipuf

Establishing Zones for Everyone

It is so important to incorporate a delicate balance of collaborative and individual spaces within our interiors. We need spaces that allow us to enjoy the company of our family and friends but also need spaces that we can flee to when we feel that we need a bit of alone time. Even our pets need spaces that they can call their own! It can be hard to incorporate a combination of these spaces in a harmonious way but it can definitely be done.


Photo Credit: House Of Turquoise

If you’re feeling like you could use a bit of help finding balance and creating functional spaces in your interiors, try incorporating a few of these tips! Let me know if you can think of any other ways that Interior Design can promote balance and well-being in the comments below.