Saturday, 28 June 2014

Rustic Console and other changes

I heard you, loud and clear, the blue console was too blue, too small and just didn’t fit with my space. Hey, I’m willing to share my fails too *smile*

I needed something big and bold that would hold my tv and my blankets and some decorative items. I used two plans that I found on line and created this baby. Total cost for the wood was $96, plus stain and some Kreg screws, about another $15. I couldn’t buy this for that amount.

Broadview Heights

I haven’t added the X’s to the sides yet as I don’t have a saw that can cut the correct degrees, so I have to figure out how to do it with a circular saw, another day.

Let’s have a look at the before and after, you will agree I’m sure that after is a whole lot better.

Broadview Heights

I’ve found some great deals on new to me items in the last little while…

Yesterday I was at my local Sally Ann and found this rug for $19.99, brand new. At Ikea it is $159 for this size! (CDN)

Broadview Heights

My old Ektorp sofa was bought second hand and I got 3 years out of it before I had to replace it. I found a new Ektorp sofa with a Risane slipcover for $180. I love the slipcover with it’s tailored finish and the linen colour goes perfectly with my new to me scoop arm chairs.

Broadview Heights

Broadview Heights

And finally I found this Chinese cork sculpture at the Goodwill for $4. It is so pretty and I don’t know how they are able to cut the cork so intricately.


Broadview Heights

Broadview Heights

I keep saying it, but one day I really will get to the painting. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the changes and the thrifty finds.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Faux bamboo chairs, again

I finally got around to painting the set of 6 chairs that I picked up last fall.

Although they looked good in my dining room, the four side chairs have been sold.

To be totally honest, the backs of these chairs while beautiful, are not that comfortable to sit at for any length of time.



The two side chairs received an update with white paint and I made some seats in green with blue piping.


The previously cherry, crappy stained credenza received an update by removing the drawers and adding a shelf and taking out the front cross bar. I picked this up over a year ago and it had a coffee table and side table with it. For only $55 I thought it was alright and I gave away the side table and coffee table. The drawers were dove tailed and I wondered why crappy pressboard/mdf furniture would have that? Turns out the entire piece is solid wood, which I found when I started sanding out the few nicks that were on the top.

This is the only photo I have of it in it’s previous state


Now it’s blue and I think I made a mistake. I guess I could strip the paint off and stain it to a nicer colour. Oh well.



I’m not even sure I like the chairs. Maybe once the wall is painted and the flooring is changed, I may change my mind. Lesson is that not everything needs to be changed.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Garage workbench and what’s been going on ‘round here

It seems like forever since I’ve posted anything. I have been anxiously waiting for the weather to finally warm up. I’m happy to say that despite the overcast day, it didn’t rain.

#1 on my list of things to do is to clean up the garage, yet again. To that end I have had my eye on the plans posted by Shanty2Chic to make a workbench. The best thing about it is that I can roll it out onto my driveway where there is a lot more room than in my single car garage.

Broadview Heights - workbench

I was finally able to put my Kreg Jig to use…look closely, no screws are visible!  It took me 6 hours to build it, which is not too bad considering that I am not very experienced.



I had the casters on hand, which helped to keep the cost down. They are only 3” wheels, but I think they will be ok.  If not I can replace them with larger ones. The materials cost me $72. I used melamine for the top because it cleans up easily and osb for the bottom because it’s inexpensive.

Last weekend I attended my nephews wedding in Montreal. It’s only a 6 hour drive but I’ve never been there before. I would like to go back in the summer time when things are hopping. It was pretty quiet and I didn’t have a lot of time to tour around, but there are some amazing sights to see. It’s like being in Europe, but close to home.








I returned home from Montreal on Mother’s Day. I said hello to my kids, talked a little about my trip, asked how they were doing…I didn’t even notice what my amazing daughter had done for me; She created this cherry blossom tree on the chalkboard wall!  It took her many hours of work. I would be lying if I said no tears were shed. I was so touched and overwhelmed and grateful to be home with the two people I love most.



Tomorrow promises to be sunny and relatively warm, so I’m going to be painting my Chippendale faux bamboo chairs.  I bought a new to me glass table from Kijiji and the chairs are going to look fantastic with it. I have completed the quarter round and can’t wait to move on to my living room.


It’s Victoria Day weekend here which means Monday is a holiday. woo hoo!  Thank you Queen Victoria.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Dining room painted and flooring installed

I think this is the longest it’s ever taken me to get through a project. I finished painting two weekends ago and after living with exposed subfloor for two weeks, I had had enough.

I continued the flooring that I used in the kitchen, Allure Vinyl plank in Hickory.  Now this level looks cohesive.



I still have to install the quarter round, but that’s nothing in comparison to all the work I have done in here. It is so much fresher and the dark grey had started to depress me.





I used Dulux diamond paint in a flat finish, to help hide the lumps and bumps in my walls.  The colour is Fine Silver; I keep saying it looks blue, but everyone else says it looks grey.


I hope that next weekend it’s warm enough to get outside and paint the set of 6 faux bamboo chairs. They’ve been waiting patiently since November. 

Soon I will muster up the energy to paint the living room, but I’m not looking forward to it.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Blue and White–and getting closer to painting

My vacation in Jamaica was exactly what I needed for a fresh start. I feel inspired and invigorated.

I’ve finally decided on a paint colour for the walls, but am still contemplating the colour for the ceiling.

After searching for a decent price on a garden stool, I finally found one at half price at Bombay Co., it was the floor model and the only one in the province! 

Broadview Heights garden stool

While I was there, all of their blue and white ceramics were on sale for 30% off, so I picked up a box of 6 to add to my one measly one. I added them to my big cloche and love the look.

Broadview Heights cloche

The sofa and loveseat combo takes up too much room in my awkward to arrange living room, so I found these two chairs on Kijiji for a decent price. My plan is to recover them since the linen has seen better days.

Broadview Heights living room

This little trinket box was $8 at HomeSense, perfect for storing my smaller remote controls.

Broadview Heights trinket box


The green throw and cushions have come out to remind me that at some point things will start turning green instead of the gloomy brown that is outside, hopefully.

Broadview Heights new chairs

Broadview Heights living room2

So here’s the plan so far:

Paint the walls the light grey that is in the smallest sample. The ceiling and down the wall about 3 feet will be two paint colours up on the same chip, a darker blue/grey. This will have a band of white separating the two colours. 

The drapes will be replaced and hung at a traditional height instead of up to the 15’ ceiling.

The floor will be painted a dark brown in a high gloss finish.

I am going to frame out above the fireplace and paint it white, which is where my tv will go. I realize that it will be rather high, but I have nowhere else to put it that makes sense.

I really wish my living room weren’t so awkward. With the traffic pattern in such an odd configuration it’s difficult to place furniture.

If I find time this weekend, the dining room will get painted in the light grey/blue that the living room bottom portion will be.

I finished painting the bookcase railing before I left for vacation, but I still have to style it with some books and get rid of some of the temporary knick knacks.

So much to do, so little time.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Chilling in Jamaica

I'm into day five of a week long vacation,  a much needed break from the same old same old

There are a few pieces of furniture I wish I could bring back with me,  like two of these chairs.

Back to. Reality soon.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Bookcase Railing DIY

I have had dreams of removing my ugly wrought iron railing in my dining room for eons. I knew what I wanted, but had no clue how to go about getting it done. That is until I read a post by Carol at Elephant Buffet!

Using her simple method, I was ensured that this would be solid and never move, even if sat upon, but why would anyone do that?   I have left it open to allow the light to pass through. It does make my small dining room appear smaller, but that’s the price I had to pay to realize my dream.

It is primed and ready for paint. The build itself took me a couple of weekends. I tend to move a little slower these days. Menopause sucks, ladies! take it from me.




I used mdf because it was more affordable. I found the most amazing guy at Rona that cut everything down for me without a whimper, unlike the guys at HD who refuse to cut anything smaller than 7” in width. Pffttt to you HD!


My entire house was topsy turvy for 2 weeks. I don’t understand how working in one room makes the entire house a mess?


It was caulked and the nail holes were filled with wood filler. Painting underneath is so frickin hard, probably why it’s still not completed. Maybe tonight.


A huge thank you to Carol, for posting her method and for the great advice (some of which I didn’t take, like painting before adding the shelves). Next up is installing the new flooring. At least I was smart enough to remove the old flooring before the install of this. LOL

Friday, 14 February 2014

Creating DIY art

Sometimes you just have to wait patiently for inspiration to hit. As was the case with this large frame that I’ve had for a long time.

A while ago when I was feeling less than inspired, I painted this with diy chalkboard paint, and there it sat, unadorned and bland. Last night while drifting into sleep, I pictured an impressionist painting, with blues and greens and copper.

I used paints that I had in the house and a 3.5” sash brush, that’s it.  It’s just the right amount of colour and depth for my taste.



And of course, a before and after. Happy Valentine’s day to me.

Before and after

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Starting a collection – Blue and White ceramics

Thrift stores provide an abundance of items that allow you to start a collection at little cost. All of these pieces were found within a two week span, the most expensive at $6 and the least expensive at $1, if found on 50% off day at the GW Boutique.

This is the largest piece and the most expensive (ha ha) at $6. It measures 16" tall and is one of my favourites.

Plates in all sizes are usually a buck or two. My hope is to find enough to create an organic wall display someday.

I found a set a five pieces with the same pattern, originally from Pier1. I thought it was a little unusual that there were two canisters, one with a mismatched lid, a bowl, a soap dish and a bathroom cup all in one set; not sure why you would have matching items in your kitchen AND bathroom.

There are some vases, plant pots and other pieces that were  few dollars each, but nothing too special. They will serve as filler pieces in the future. What I need are some bigger pieces, like large urns, an umbrella stand and I would love to find a pair of ceramic garden stools.
For less than 40 dollars, it’s a good beginning. A trip into Chinatown in Toronto is planned for the spring. Until then, I keep my eyes open when I troll the isles of thrift stores.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The ceiling that nearly killed me

I am not exaggerating when I say that I will never, as long as I live, scrape popcorn off a ceiling. It was a disaster from the minute I started, but once you start you CANNOT GO BACK! It did not remove easily as my darling friend told me it would, the ceiling ending up being gouged, ripped and some parts didn’t come off at all.



Now what the heck was I going to do with this mess? I got a quote to have it skim coated and it was way out of my budget. Then I remembered about bead board wall paper. A perfect solution, nope, but I’m going to make it work.


I am quite sure I have have spent at least 10 solid hours of work on this crap. I wanted to cry when I was taking the popcorn off and my arms were burning. I wanted to cry when I put the wallpaper up (have you ever wallpapered a ceiling? Don’t do it).  And then, I decided that I was going to tackle crown moulding. Major failure. Wasted money, wasted time, frustration, anger and feeling like a failure.

So I am now stuck, because I don’t have the money to hire someone to install the crown moulding for me.  I am just going to move on and start the painting, if I can ever decide on a colour. I have gone through several paint samples, a ton of paint chips and still am no closer to a decision.

I did do something that made a nice difference, the one bright spot to two entire weeks of hard work; I put up an electric fireplace (albeit a tiny one, but hey, I’m working with a tiny budget).







That is all I have to show for my hard work. C’est la vie.