Browse Tag: home

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.

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.

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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.

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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.


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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.


Basement Renovation

Let’s take a break from clothing for a bit and discuss the heavy stuff. When I looked at the house in the spring I knew right away that the awkward wallpaper was hiding things, as the choice in paper, especially in the basement – didn’t suit the room and looked to have no real purpose. The previous owner chose a very bold black and white damask print, that super thick sticker wallpaper to hide all manner of sins. The house had been professionally painted (except the door frames where you can see the original colours) and behind wall fixtures they suspected would not be removed. The basement was painted a soft khaki beige which didn’t go with the harsh black and white print, but they tried to make the staging look like it was there purposely.

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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!

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

Saying Goodbye to Union Street

Since paying off my car in November (or realizing I could go ahead and pay it off at any time without penalty!) I realized that with the help of my budgeting system I am able to save decent money and live off a smaller amount of income. I am working very hard at a few jobs and doing my best to live comfortably. I decided recently that I was close enough to start the process of looking for my first home.

The first step in making this decision come to life is giving notice on my rental house, cancelling services and beginning the process of finding out about the legalities of buying a home including mortgage, insurance and fees required. What I am looking for in a home is that of my current rental, a cute older home that has had some renovations done but still holds its original unique character. As I will be living there alone I do not need a ton of space but I do hope to have a decent yard that I will be able to actively use and garden.


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The Living Room

I have rented many apartments in my day, but this was the first real house, a semi-detached 100+ year old home in an old suburb of Kingston. When I toured the space I knew it needed considerable work but that’s never an issue as I enjoy the renovation process. At first glance it needed a solid cleaning, holes filled in and fresh paint.

The living room I’ll admit, is rather busy looking at the moment. I change it around every 4 months which is also when I do a deep clean of every room. I love my thrift treasures, artwork and trinkets so naturally it can look packed very quickly, but I assure you it is nice and cozy when you are physically in the room.

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