Monday, March 21, 2011

DIY Project Four- Updating Old Chairs

The following 2 chairs were curbside pick-ups (aka garbage). One chair was in perfect condition but the other needed the leg re-attached (glue & screw).



What you will need:

- old chair(s)
- sand paper
- paintbrush
- paint (I used a paint & primer in one)

How to do it:

This is pretty simple- give the entire chair a light sanding (including the underside) and using the paintbrush, prime and paint the chair (3 coats should do it).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Multi-functional Mudroom

In a small space every inch counts. Our house is around 1100 square feet so we have had to take multi-functional to the next level. A few months ago I revealed our mudroom/laundry room renovation . Now I would like to share with you everything we managed to fit into the 8'x8' space.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scottish Themed Dinner Party

Scottish themed...

What you need to make it work- think old world pub- plaid tablecloth or pashmina, candelabra with dark coloured candlesticks, rosemary and/or lavender plants- thistles would be ideal but are extremely hard to find, a family plaque if you have one and plaid bordered place cards and menu. Now I am on the hunt for a Scottish flag to complete the ambiance.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where to Buy What- Part 1- Kitchen

I consider myself a bargain hunter. To me, this is someone who researches the things they intend to purchase to find the best quality item for the least amount of money. Over the years I have researched basically every household item and wanted to share my findings with you.

For the Kitchen...

I think simple white porcelain dishes are the way to go with everyday dinnerware. Anyone I know who has purchased coloured or patterned dishes has hated them after a few years when their tastes change. White dishes look great, are widely available and go with everything. The best place to get simple white everyday dishes is Walmart. You can get a set of 16 pieces (4 dinner plates, 4 side plates, 4 bowls and 4 mugs) for $9.99 i.e., service for 8 people for under $20.

I would also suggest Walmart for your basic white serving platters. You can get both small and large sizes for $6.99 and $9.99. Again, under $20 for 2 sizes if everyday serving platters.

If you are like me and like to entertain, you probably also like to serve things on more unique dishes (versus basic serving platters) e.g., olive trays or 3-sectioned bowls (shown above).
The beauty of having white everyday dishes is that you can get matching serving dishes from anywhere. I have found that the best place to get unique serving dishes is JYSK. You can get a variety of white porcelain dishes (including ones similar to the pictures above) for between $4-10 and on sale they go as low as $2-$8.

If you like colour or pattern, introduce it in small and inexpensive ways e.g., bowls. The best place to find colourful or patterned bowls is IKEA. You can get a variety of patterns and colours for anywhere between $1-6 e.g., the above bowls are $1.75 a piece.

For flatware, I suggest spending a little more for good quality stainless steel i.e. 18/10 gauge stainless steel. The higher the nickel content in your flatware (in this case 10% nickel) the more protection the flatware has from corrosion. The best place to buy 18/10 gauge stainless steel flatware is Loblaws. The President's Choice flatware is currently available in two different styles (one style similar to the picture above) and you can buy it open stock which means you only buy what you need. Each package contains 3-4 utensils and is reasonably priced at $5 i.e., service for 4 persons for $25.

Next- Part 2- Living Room

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why my obsession continues...

Check out the mid century chair I got off the Kijiji online thrift store for $12!!
I was looking for a wood armchair -similar to the ones in the picture below- but know they will go great together.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Themed Dinner Parties

I love to throw themed dinner parties (which just happen to correspond with our favorite types of foods). Here are some of the ones we have had in the past:

Asian themed...

What you need to make it work- think zen- basically anything natural or earthy (e.g., wood, bamboo, stones, orchids, etc.), chopsticks, oriental spoons (if you are having soup) and place cards that bring it all together.

French themed...

What you need to make it work- think french bistro- red table cloth, basket(s) for bread, carafe(s) for water, small candle holders and chalkboard place cards.

Indian themed...

What you need to make it work- think bright and colourful- a really funky tablecloth (e.g., orange and pink), bright coloured flowers, reflective candle holders, some type of unique figurine(s) (e.g., elephant, etc.) or decorations (mine were gold coloured Christmas ornaments hanging from the chandelier).

I try to use the same white dishes for all the themes, just change up the accessories. I get most of my accessories from thrift stores- recently I have had the most luck at Value Village. We have a small house so to keep myself from going overboard, I limit myself to only enough accessories to fill one of the baskets in my kitchen. I have 4 baskets in total so I have one more theme to come up with yet- I am thinking Scottish...