Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pottery Barn Holiday Inspiration 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

DIY Project Three- Box with Chalkboard Label

The first post I made on this blog was about a "Fun Find" of a basket with a chalkboard label that I had seen at Michaels. I have had every intention of making my own for the last 2 years and have finally done it. All it took was a friends baby shower and trouble finding the perfect gift basket (for a resonable price).

What you will need:

- an unfinished wood box (mine was from JYSK and cost around $8 on sale)
- a small wood frame (mine was from the Dollar Giant and cost $1)
- a thin piece of fibreboard for the chalkboard surface
- stain for the box itself and sponge applicator (here I used dark Walnut to go with the decor of the babies room)
- chalkboard spray paint
- construction adhesive to adhere the label to the box
- chalk

Putting it together:

1. Stain the entire box in a well ventilated room (outside being preferable). Make sure to do the inside, outside and bottom of the box. Allow for an appropriate drying time (about 1 week).
2. Remove the glass and backing from the frame.
3. Cut a fibreboard piece to fit inside the frame.
4. Spray the fiberboard with the chalkboard paint outside (to avoid getting overspray on anything inside your house).
5. Once the chalkboard paint is dry, rub a piece of chalk on its side all over the chalkboard surface to initially condition the surface and then wipe it clean.
6. Glue the chalkboard into the frame.
7. Glue the frame onto the box by placing the box on its side and putting some heavier books on top of the chalkboard label to hold it in place and make sure it adheres well.
8. Lastly, once the glue is dry use the chalk to write on the label.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DIY Project Two- Framed Doorsways

On a recent trip, Stu took the liberty of photographing several doorways he thought were architecturally interesting and worth documenting. I printed four of them out in colour (4 x 6) and framed them in 11 x 14 black frames with large white matts. They now hang by the front door of our Montreal apartment and look fantastic. An easy and inexpensive project for anyone in need of a focal point in a room, especially when they are hung in unisense.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sofa Shopping Finished!!!

We selected a sofa today! It is not one of the ones I blogged about but it is similar. Stu and I have different tastes when it comes to sofas. He likes the wider arms and I like the square arm. We compromised on the tappered square arm. We are going with a woven wool-like fabric in a taupe colour that is very similar to our living room wall colour. Also getting a great deal = total for the sofa and chair is $1962.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wood Countertop Inspiration

Stuart and I are thinking of replacing our current kitchen countertop (which is laminate) with a wood countertop and single basin farm sink (which we saw on a recent trip to IKEA). I love my kitchen but feel it lacks warmth and I think the best way to solve that is by adding wood. The bonus is that I will finally get the breakfast bar I have always wanted.
I was searching the web to see if I could find any pics that have light coloured wood countertops with darker hardwood floors (which is what we would have). I thought I would share the pics I did come across.

Pictures with both wood contertops and farm sinks...

Pictures with just wood contertops...

The above 2 pictures are of the same kitchen but from different angles and display how nice the 2 different woods can look in a space.

Pictures with just farm sinks...

Jenn's kitchen has the larger version of farm sink I want...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mud Room- After

It is such a shame that we do not have a before picture of this room but I will do my best to describe it and try to capture just how hideous it was.

On one side of the room the washer and dryer were divided by one of those plastic utility sinks... which had taken a beating over the years and was marked with stains and rust. On the wall above the washer/dryer was an exterior window (window panes left in and all) on a now interior wall. The other side of the room had an unfinished "built-in" closet made with exposed 2 x 4's and plywood. The floor was a vinyl sheet that was completly ripped up around the exterior door.

Now the after...

What we did:

1) Removed the exterior window from the wall above the washer/dryer and finished the opening.

2) Removed the utility sink and installed a free standing IKEA cabinet which houses the kitty litter. We finished the cabinet by adding and staining a small section of wood counter top. The basket on the counter holds dog towels for rainy and snowy days.

3) Added shelves for visual interest. Also added a chalkboard (not shown) above the dryer where I leave messages for our guests.

4) Removed the "built-in" closet and replaced it with 2 free standing cabinets and a bench. The cabinets are from RONA and are solid wood. They came unifinished and we painted them cream. They hold pet supplies, laundry and cleaning supplies, shoes, craft supplies and much more. The bench in between the cabinets is from Michaels and holds our winter hats, mitts and scarves. The bench came unfinished and we painted it cream to match the cabinets.

5) Removed the vinyl floor and replaced it with a neutral coloured ceramic tile. The tile was from the Home Depot and was super inexpensive. Stuart installed it himself.

6) Added a long shelf above the cabinets which houses my outdoor summer plants for the winter. This was more or less necessary to conceal a change in drywall depth where the wall goes from two pieces thick to one piece thick... don't ask.

7) Expanded the opening to the dining room. This was actually a fun job for me. Stuart was not sold on the idea so when I was alone in the house one day I decided to do the work myself. He came home to a large section of the wall missing. In the end I am glad we did it. The room is much more functional this way.

8) Added some hooks for jackets, etc. One of the major problems that I have had with this house is a lack of convenient places to hang jackets. This solves that and the hooks themselves are quite nice to look at on their own.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sofa Shopping Cont...

Fifth stop- The Brick

Just for comparison purposes I have been searching the bargain furniture stores online. I am actually surprised at some of the deals I have found.

I was pleasantly surprised at the Preston Contemporary sofa, chair and ottoman from The Brick.

- the fabric is a great colour (graphite) and highly durable
- good size with clean lines
- nice coloured (espresso) wooden legs
- delivery from the local store will be reasonably priced
- amazing price for sofa and chair at total = $1150 so why not get the ottoman too for total = $1450
- stain guarding is an option

- not sure about the quality!
- no choice on fabric
- may not be able to see all pieces in person
- style may be too contemporary for my space

Sixth stop- Leon's Furniture Store

I was also pleasantly surprised at the Tiger Lily sofa, chair and ottoman from Leon's.

- all 3 pieces are currently on sale!
- the fabric is a good colour (wheat) and highly durable
- good size with clean lines
- nice coloured (espresso) wooden legs
- delivery from the local store will be reasonably priced
- amazing price for sofa and chair at total = $1028 (on sale) so why not get the ottoman too for total = $ price yet!
- stain guarding is an option

- not sure about the quality!
- no choice on fabric and not 100% about fabric texture
- may not be able to see all pieces in person

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halloween- Better late then never

It took me a while to actually post our halloween party decor pics but here they are.

The budget breakdown is as follows:

- white sheets, candy bowl, black vase, skeleton, white serving dishes and 3 small black pumpkins were all things I already had
- cob/spider webs, bats, 2 skeleton tongs, pumpkin napkins and black plastic utensils were all from the Dollarama
- flower arrangement and black tapered candles were from Micheals

Total cost = $15