Browse Tag: home 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.



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!

Flipping a 100 Year Old Desk

For a few months my sewing and jewellery studio has been in shambles as I wanted to repurpose the hutch I had refinished into two separate pieces. The base was far better suited for me as a computer desk now located downstairs in my bedroom. The top half of the hutch stores my bead containers so I needed a surface for that to sit on. Its rather large but I managed to find a simple base table for it.

Then came the issue of needing a table or desk for my sewing machine and newly added serger (a gift from my mother’s friend Margaret). I had been distracted with other things for a few months and would pass by the room, look at all the bags of things on the floor and immediately walk back out.

One day it came up in conversation that I was still waiting for the right piece of furniture for the space that wasn’t too big that could work for a sewing desk. My dad mentioned a piece of furniture that was pulled out of an old Masonic Lodge building that had closed that he was using out in the barn for woodworking materials.

We went out to look at it and I thought, hmm that could work! Naturally he said I could change it any way that I wanted, you had to know that would be my first question. The surface was very scratched and rough from 100 years of use in the main foyer of the lodge. I’m always attracted to the unique shape of older furniture so I could see definite potential!

I grabbed the only can of white paint left in the house and began to work away at it. The tricky part about painting a dark stained piece of furniture stark white is that it bleeds through. About three coats were done, to be honest a fourth couldn’t hurt. The drawer is still a mystery to me as in two places it is leaking through the white bright blue.

Its honestly the strangest thing no matter how many layers of white paint it still leaking through blue! Oh well, adds character right?


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.

Before & After Updates

I haven’t shown you an update on the home renovations, the before and afters that I adore so much! I’ve recently joined a DIY home decor group on Facebook and it got me thinking about the progress of my own.

15171194_1008303195966152_5943799071639004587_n Kitchen

This room has experienced the greatest change out of all of the ones I’ve done so far. It feels like a whole new space with fresh grey cupboards and open concept shelving. I am loving the grey palette lately, it makes my apple green accents pop! When I have extra cash I look forward to expanding the kitchen and replacing the laminate floor.

15181427_1008314459298359_3884252533415913348_n Living Room 

This is by far the most cozy makeover in the house with a fresh coat of Sea Spray paint by Glidden it adds a whole new life to the room. I felt the natural palette the previous owner had throughout actually darkened the rooms rather than brighten. To be honest I have never chosen a colour like this before but it has done wonders for the space.


15230587_1008320125964459_6341422854961468318_n Bedroom

This poor girl has suffered a great deal since I moved in. As you saw with my last post the wall was completely destroyed by the cement porch that was installed on the front (my guess was as a selling feature so they didn’t care about quality) and had zero in the way of water sealing. The wall is still under construction as I write this, the wall to the right which you cannot see!


15284840_1008356522627486_366935915709318331_n Bathroom
This is the downstairs “en suite” bathroom, a very basic room with awkwardly too much space that I think I was able to fill and make more impressive. A deep claw foot tub would have made excellent use of the extra space, however that requires money. I changed the wall and cupboard door panels to the same Zeppelin grey as upstairs and added some long sheer curtains for focus.


Elka Three

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I would like to talk a little bit about my awkward excursion to Value Village last week where I discovered this enchanting work of art, a print if you will by Michelle Armas. I was actually looking for boots which I discovered (see my post Boot Lust) when across the store I could see this fascinating not to mention huge piece of art along the back wall. All of my favourite colours pulled me in from afar. I managed to get this 48×36 frame down off the wall to my delight it was only $24.99… naturally I had a coupon too so less than $20 by the end of it.

Getting it into my new car was a feat I must say. The Tucson was certainly the most spacious ride I had for thrifting, it made my life easy. Now the Civic Si shows off my bold personality but does not compare in regards to trunk room! Sports cars not good for large scale thrift adventures! I managed to wedge the frame into the trunk and slowly made my way about 2 minutes down the road to work to unload. Once inside I was able to look at it closer and found a sticker on the back of the frame with Michelle’s logo and Etsy website.

After scrolling through the most beautiful artwork on her page I came across “Elka Three Print” for $60. This beautiful print was wrapped on a wood frame and now waits in my hallway for the perfect wall to display her.

You can order online from Etsy!

Tour My Wardrobe

If you cannot view the video above please check it out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8YL9TtVNLM

People often say to me “wow you must have a huge closet!” well there are a few ways to respond to this. Yes and no. I live alone and have a two bedroom home so therefore I have a master bedroom that can be better used to make my life easier. Complete with sewing station, garment rack, makeup desk and storage.

My closet was reconstructed by my father as it was not useable in the state it was in. The bar was located deep into the back of the closet, one shelf above the bar that was installed too close to the bar, so I wouldn’t be able to hang any clothing on it as is. My father lowered the bar in the back and installed a second one at the front of the closet – easily enough space in this deep closet for two rows of clothing.

I use the back row for off season so currently it has my summer tops and dresses, as well as my vacation clothing. The front is what I use most frequently. Yes there’s also the garment rack, and this is because it was offered to me so I wanted to make use of it to keep myself organized. It actually fills the empty space in the room as well as giving me a place to sort my ready-to-go business outfits for mornings when I must be up and out the door before 6:30am.

As I say in the video this home is exceptionally old (close to 100 years old according to my landlord, at least a good 75) and was not built with decent lighting or shelving of any sort. All storage would have to be created using thrifted cabinets, bookcases and desks. It makes for a lot of furniture and a cozy atmosphere.
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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!

 

Recovered Wingback Chair

wingbackchaircomplete It has been decided that my home is a source of work to my family, not often do they come by for a nice visit with a cup of tea and relaxation. It seems to always been that there is a task I need assistance with. While most people have bigger eyes than their stomachs, I have bigger ideas than my hands can create… every now and again.

My latest source of thrifty enjoyment is reupholstering furniture. This most recent project, or series of projects was actually inspired by my sister, who had been inspired by my altering clothing… a lovely creative cycle! She recovered her desk chair with a lovely black and white damask fabric to cover up all the “art” her cat had made with her claws into the original fabric. In her own way she came up with a plan for the pattern, purchased the fabric she wanted to use and completed the recovering using a method of elastic that would hug the fabric to the seat underneath.

When I was sifting through the fabric at Value Village recently with my parents, intending to find some fabric my mother could use to make yoga bags – I found this beautiful celery green fabric – and a lot of it! It dawned on me that maybe I could use this to recover my wingback chair in my living room that I had thrifted for $20 last summer. It seemed as though the more it was used the worst it looked, including the fact that it cannot be cleaned – soap simply makes it an ungodly disaster.

There appeared to be an endless amount of this fabric for $10, first pitching the idea to my mother to see what she thought. It was an instant hit with her as well! Little did I know, this project was a massive 3 day undertaking. I am not sure exactly what I had thought (aside from the giddy childlike oggling of my favourite colour) but seemed to think it would be a one evening stapling type of job. My mother in her own way, a perfectionist and master of the hand stitch. Her plan was a little more realistic.

Chair, Before & After We planned for a full Saturday of sewing beginning at 9:30am. We decided to do the smart thing and create a pattern out of quilt batting… Followed by laying it out on our fabric a few different ways until finally all the pieces fit, save for the back panel. This is why it is usually better to buy 10 metres of fabric rather than piece together using what you’ve randomly found!

By noon my sister had arrived only to ask if we had just started…! I suppose the chair didn’t look like much after 3 hours but we had done plenty of preparatory work! By the end of the day we had about 2 thirds of the chair completed, my assistance ending roughly around the 1 third mark when my mother switched to her hand sewing art. By day 3 all that remained were a few hand stitched details (her perfectionist ways!) and putting a back on it. Fabricland was having a three day sale conveniently so we picked out a similar fabric that we would do the back panel in seeing as we ran out of fabric!

I must say the chair looks far better than I could have ever imagined. We removed the dust ruffle from the base to expose the wood structure, removed the arm rest openings and gave the whole chair a new modern look!

 

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