Browse Tag: decor

Spring Living Room Flip

Some people call it being a feminist, others being stubborn… it seems when I have an entire day to myself at home I end up flipping furniture around and taking on a task that is far beyond my physical ability. But do I ask for help? Naaaa I want to enjoy the pride in saying I did it all myself. I can take my time, I can move it five times without someone else saying “really? moving it again?!” Its something I do to feel better, to lift my spirits.

I love my hutch but I felt it was getting lost in the wall on the opposite side of the room, basically if I sat on my futon I wouldn’t be able to see it. I am not a big tv watcher, quite frankly I don’t have cable or satellite just a hard drive that I can play some movies on. If I do I am generally doing other tasks while it plays in the background. The view out my living room window is beautiful, especially in Spring with the rushing water flowing down from the mill through the trees. Where my futon was before I could not see this view.

I love my apple green chair that my mom and I reupholstered a few years ago and wanted it to be more predominant in my home. With all the plant life and hints of green here and there I thought it might blend into the colour scheme nicely. Although these are the colours the space are year ’round, in Spring it just feels so much more lush.



Estate Side Table Flip

If you haven’t checked out the Estate Sale Finds post and video I recommend reading those first as you’ll get more of the back story on these two matching side tables.

The paint I used for all my previous flips was the wall paint I picked up for $18 at Walmart, the Glidden brand in three colours. It worked exceptionally well at the time and now I realize that was probably as I was painting all the items outside in the heat of summer and they dried fast. I bought the same white paint to try to cover these end units and it was a complete disaster.

First I removed all the handles and hammered out the damaged ones that were stuck on the drawers. Once it was just the bare unit I was able to do a light sanding over the entire thing. Wiping them down afterwards to remove all the excess dust.

These units had a fair amount of dings from regular wear and tear, one had a faded cup stain burned into the wood surface. If you want the finish to be pristine I would recommend using wood fill to fill in all the chunks missing but for me I feel like it adds more character. The hutch I redid in my living room actually has fake “intentional” dings in it to look more rustic… it would be believable if they weren’t so symmetrical haha!

One unit had two coats of the barely-there white paint I had bought originally, very faint and a waste of time to be honest. So I scratched that idea and decided to use the exterior Tremclad that I was using for the oil tank and mailbox outside earlier in the day. Normally I go for a standard white so that all the furniture can be interchanged in any room at any time… but lately the grey has been popping up throughout my house, especially in the bedroom where these two pieces are going to go.

Now this paint includes a primer base within it and I think that makes a world of difference, its thicker and has better coverage. Much like makeup, its better to coat with a primer first. I applied two coats of the Tremclad paint over the exterior of the unit letting it get a bit thicker overtop of any nicks in it as the paint is thick enough that it will fill in any flaws. The finished ended up very smooth and solid. Finally I applied new handles and knobs, the same ones I buy in bulk from Walmart that I have used on previous flips. This keeps with the flow of my furniture too even though the colour is different.

I created a video while doing this flip that will be posted this week, stay tuned!

DIY Make A Retro Mirror More Modern!

If you cannot see the video above please check it out on YouTube: https://youtu.be/T6_hftzAYSs

I picked up this mirror at an estate sale a few weeks ago and wanted to give it new life. Most of the mirrors I find have really unique shapes but dated finishes such as this faux wood one. The paint I had intended to use was bad when I opened it thanks to it freezing in the car, my bad, so I used basic white acrylic paint which did a great job!

Bedroom Renovation Complete!

My bedroom is finally back in order! Let me take you through a walk from the day I first looked at the house to now.

The basement “rec room” had an awkwardly placed feature wall with very high contrast black and white damask stick wallpaper. The kind that is one solid sticker, super thick and supposedly easy to get off… provided the wall isn’t wet perhaps! The previous owner’s staging featured brown, apple green and black furniture to make it look like the wall blended in, for me it was an eye sore as I have nothing black.


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I decide this is the right house for me and figuring out what room is what is my hardest decision to make. I’ve never had so much space for just me! I ultimately decided to have this large rec room as my bedroom as it has no windows (don’t worry it has three doors!) with an adjacent bathroom and the opposite room could be my wardrobe. The staging had this room as a rec room and the opposite room as a bedroom.


The carpets were disgusting housing many cats for 30 years, you can imagine the smell… if I was to live here the first thing that would have to go is those carpets as I’m allergic to cats and couldn’t tolerate the urine smell. The moment the carpets were rolled up in a pile in the driveway the smell was gone! It made a world of difference. My dad spent the next few weeks on his hands and knees filling the cement floor with sealant so it wouldn’t be so broken and full of holes. Lots of floor filler to try and make it smooth instead of slanted. 
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As I’m sitting on the floor waiting for my Dad to cut more pieces of laminate, I thought I’d get to work on that wallpaper. I start pulling and notice the wall is discoloured underneath, wet and I’m pulling off sheets of paint along with the wallpaper. Next comes the stench of wet dry wall. Perfect. We knew in advance there was likely going to be water damage despite the previous owner assuring us that the porch built outside this room was professionally sealed – it wasn’t, no sealant of any kind… Hello water!! 
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My dad finished the floor but the wall remained in this chipped away look for a few months until we decided what the next step would be. The porch had to be fixed and this wall needed addressing. Although before this I thought that it being cold in this room was simply because the room under the porch wasn’t insulated (nor the bedroom wall for that matter) As it turns out there was a lot more work to be done than I bargained for. 
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Thankfully I work with a woman whose family is in the home building – maintenance business! Her son took on the job of “keeping Pam warm” by properly finishing the cement porch above then ripping out the damaged wall and rebuilding it with new insulation and framing as well as a new door frame. Once the structure was redone  a fresh coat of paint really made a world of difference in giving life back to the room. Lesson learned about paint, always physically go into the paint store to see the paint, looking at the colour online is a whole different ballpark. This colour was originally neon – “Cucumber” online looked like a soft greyish green. In person it was very vibrant and definitely not the colour I wanted.


reno2 As it turned out even adding a lot of grey into the original Cucumber colour it looks different depending on which wall you are looking at because the lighting is very different. I have two dimmer lights, a very yellow toned overhead light and one fluorescent tube style one in the back room. It can look very grey or more green depending on where you are. I took this opportunity to rearrange the room a bit, keeping the elements I liked from my previous setup but adding part of the hutch from upstairs and moving it downstairs as my computer desk.

Note to self: hire boyfriend for moving furniture, some things you have to admit you shouldn’t do alone.

Finding My Home

As you may know I am a first time home buyer right in the thick of it, busy spring buying/selling season and competition unlike any other I’ve ever experienced. To date I have looked at 6 houses which in the grand scheme of things is not a lot, some people look at 100, others 20… I knew the distance radius I wanted to be in based on my 12 hour work days and social life I wanted to stay close to Kingston’s boundaries without actually being right in town.

I had no idea that buying a home was going to be such a competition, but now that I think about it, I probably should have. Anyone of my age group or younger tends to have a more limited budget, and myself being a single woman I need to have a home that is suitable for one income only. The price point is what makes it competitive, basically $250k and under as there is so many needing an affordable home and so few options.

The first home I looked at on Realtor.ca was the one I am buying. Curious isn’t it? I actually ruled it out early on because of the price point, but after months of looking at my ideal price point ($175-$200k would put me in the same payment category as my rental property) I realized what I could get for that price was a phenomenal amount of renovation and in the end, a much higher price tag. I love old character homes, unfortunately a girl of my income and ability, cannot manage to flip a house like that as much as I would dream to. If I could save all the abandoned homes I would. Continue Reading

The Quarterly Re-Arrangement

livingroom3 It seems every 4 months I feel the urge to rejuvenate myself through changing my home. At last look in September I repainted some of my existing furniture to blend into the space better. I had been quite busy with work and travel so I hadn’t thought too much more about changing it up but recently I started feeling my slump and decided to redo the living room. Usually these are a catastrophe because I make the decision to change late in the day on let’s say a Sunday.


livingroom1This time however it was a gorgeous sunny summer-like day in May and thought, hey, I’m going to draw out some ideas first! Sadly the furniture never fits quite like your drawing suggests but it was a new look that I was feeling regardless. Unfortunately my futon is much larger than I think it is, so the diagonal across the corner space was just not plausible. One day when a smallish couch comes into my life the design will work better. I also made a huge change, not so huge to me but shocking to most people. I removed my tv from my living room! I wasn’t using it anyway, and I prefer the feel of the room without all seating facing this big black screen. So it has found a home at my parent’s house.

livingroom2 With the tv gone I was free to utilize the lovely storage unit for a more aesthetic purpose: my plants! My mother has been loading me up with potted beauties now that I’ve started learning how not to kill them! I absolutely love the space now because of all the green, it feels so inviting. My chairs are now in a cozy conversational setting – it all just feels cozy! I think this is my favourite setup so far it really feels good.
bedroom I also took advantage of the disaster that is me organizing my house – to redesign the bedroom too! Over the years I’ve started piecing together bedding in my favourite colour palette: brown, green and turquoise. Much like the mixed prints in the living room I apply the same technique in my bedding. I swapped out the curtains for a sheer light print – which occasionally requires me to wear a mask over my eyes to sleep but for the most part it really opens up the room! The bright sunshine makes this small dark room a whole new space! I changed all my clear plastic boxes (for my bead storage) to transparent green which makes the room pop too!

 

September’s Furniture Overhaul

I decided after a summer of ups and downs that I needed to start fresh in September as most people do. What with back to school or work it seems like a better time than New Year’s Eve to start a new. So I’m thinking to myself I have a full weekend to rearrange, clean and spice up my home which for me is a huge jump start to feeling better.

As much as cleaning is a drag I always find I instantly feel better when dishes are done, or when I’ve finally put my closet back in a tolerable state. The problem with being a small framed individual with no male assistance hanging around, I run into slight issues when I decide to take on such a big project.

I am currently living in a semi-detached house that coincidentally a friend of mine used to be the previous tenant. I recall seeing on Facebook one day of her living room setup and I spent my three rearrangements (of the living room) trying to avoid copying her setup. This is also the reason I like to view apartments when they are empty then you aren’t forced into thinking that’s the only way furniture can be arranged in this space.

I decided to give it a shot anyway doing it similar to what I envisioned she had based on the location of her tv unit. This meant a complete flip of the room including a large wood tv unit I picked up recently, two large white shelving units, a futon, two chairs and grand finale: the awkwardly deep wardrobe unit. Most people don’t even realize how big the unit it as I had painted it to blend into the wall save for its white trim.

This huge flip ended up having two sacrifices by the end of the two day venture: my tv’s HDMI cable and my hard drive with all of my movies and tv shows. Lesson learned: as much as you think it won’t be a big deal, disconnect absolutely everything before moving a tv setup.

At the end of the day I had to recruit my mother to help save me from myself, and still didn’t feel quite right about the new look. After some thought, we had realized a simple coat of paint may just make the room flow that much better. It appears my grandmother’s china cabinet, as pictured above, was simply too white and stood out painfully in an otherwise more neutral space. I then spent the next few nights painting it up with the caramel wall colour to match the wardrobe I’d painted the year before. I also took the same thought and repainted the plant stand which didn’t exactly fit with the decor too.

DIY Furniture DIY Furniture



I can honestly say I’m quite satisfied with the final look of the space, and now all my thrifted furniture looks like a matching set!

 

The Chair That Could Have Been

greenchairNot all thrifting adventures are successful, in fact a lot of times we leave disheartened and empty handed. Maybe you completely fell in love with those shoes that were three sizes too big or the style of that dress was beautiful but your hips were too big. I am always frustrated when I go into Salvation Army – which is probably why I choose not to go very often, the only nice pieces of furniture always have a sold sign on them.

I guarantee you, walk up to any piece of furniture and it’ll have a fluorescent sticker saying “SOLD!” There’s nothing worse than seeing something you can’t have. Well last night I fell in love with a chair. You read that right, a chair. A beautiful green wingback chair full of life and character, not to mention shredding fabric and a flat cushion. But like they say, the heart knows what the heart wants. Ha ha I’m teasing my heart would heal I’m sure in a matter of minutes. But to see a chair with such flair for only $19.99 had me starstruck. I didn’t buy it last night only for sensible reasons. Would my mother be able to reupholster it?

greenchair2 I wasn’t going to give it a second thought seeing as I don’t have my own space to put it in, but I took a few photos so I could at least show her. At dinner I showed her the chair and she too was intrigued. My father grunted and said I should focus on saving money, but here I was thinking of the endless possibility and all that this feature piece of furniture could be. Later in the evening my mother approached me and suggested we go first thing in the morning to get it. We arrived not long after 9:00am when Value Village opened.

Straight to the back to the chair, we analyzed and pawed through each element. It was clear it was the ideal chair for what I wanted to do, was comfy and had such a nice shape. A few tricks may be required to cover it due to the gromets but mom wasn’t concerned. She asked if I wanted to grab an end and carry it to the front… to which I replied: “They don’t let you do that, you have to get a form filled out and pick it up at the back.”

By the time I walked to the front of the store and got the attention of a sales rep finally, my mother’s voice came yelling from behind me: “Pam! Pam! Its sold!” My heart sank as I turned around. Sure enough while my mother waited, another woman approached and said she was buying it. My mother stood firm but after a few minutes passed a sales rep came out with the appropriate form. Moments too late. We left and returned to the car. Next to us was a large pickup truck with two very similar wingback antique chairs in it’s back end – so we can only assume a collector or dealer of sorts had snagged it at 9:00am.

You cannot win them all, but as Fief says, “If it was meant to be, it’ll be here.” This beauty of a find was not meant to be for me, but I know that’s what I’ll be on the hunt for in the near future.

The Purple Couch

The final verdict comes with mixed reviews. Personally I think they look fantastic and unfortunately (for Mom!) it makes me want to source out more cheap furniture to recover for my new place. Luckily it takes time and a great deal of preparation to take on this task. You can expect I’ll have something very cool planned out for the new year!

Reupholstered ChairReupholstered Chair



Mom’s greatest challenges were the hand-stitching, pulling the thick fabric in such a way that it wraps the shape of the couch or chair precisely. The couch is still in the works but is certainly useable, just don’t get too close to the arm rests as they have tons of pins sticking out! She said if she were to do it again she would be more particular about the fabric choices as the one she found for the chair was a far better, stronger upholstery fabric. The couch fabric was an after thought and based on the amount required she thought the material would work the same as the chair. Apparently it is a lot less durable and more thin which long term won’t be the greatest.

Reupholstered Couch Reupholstered Couch

What was the greatest challenge you faced?
“Trying to cover it properly without running out of fabric because I wouldn’t be able to get more… I start projects without realizing I don’t have enough material!”

If you did it again, what would you do differently?
“I would use stronger fabric on the couch. I don’t know that its going to last, just doesn’t seem durable enough. I’d also pick a fabric with more pattern to it.”

What do you like most about the new look?
“The colours and the updated design. They look artsy, no longer looking like the old pieces of furniture that we’ve had forever.”

What do you like least (if anything) about the new set?
“The fact that the dog hair sticks to the couch!”

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