Fall ORC – Home Office Reveal

Today is the last day for the One Room Challenge reveals. What I like about participating is how the event gives me a deadline to finish a room in the house otherwise I tend to let them stay unfinished for months.

I didn’t think that this room was going to come together on time because I’ve been looking for a secondhand cabinet and hadn’t found what I was looking for. When I did the Board & Batten Boys room in 2017 it took months until I found the right solid wood bunk beds and that was in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) where the population is into the millions!

Kelowna and the surrounding area is a much smaller population but after no luck on Kijiji, Craigslist and Marketplace I lucked out at Habitat for Humanity Restore yesterday and had the final piece. Secondhand shopping is so much fun when you find what you’ve been looking for.

Here is the cabinet with louvred doors that I brought home last night and painted this morning. I still need to find hardware and raise the height to make it work as a standing desk.

Another more challenging part of this room was installing the floating shelf above the desk. I used blind shelf supports from Lee Valley to display the plants.

   

Some work still needs to be done in this area but it’s so close to being ready.

I painted the mirror a glossy black to play up the round shapes of the wood and give it a more modern look.

I loved this ceramic lamp base that was hiding beneath a very big and brown shade, I’m still looking for the right shade. Part of the inspiration for this office was the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg that mixes traditional, modern and whimsical decor.

Remember what this room looked like at the beginning of October?

There are so many spectacular rooms that have been transformed in these past 6 weeks that are definitely worth checking out at www.oneroomchallenge.com.

Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath Part 2

This post from December 2017 about making a Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath has been getting lots of traffic lately so I am adding a new version to the post.

Now that I’ve made 3 versions with different varieties I will share what I’ve learned in case you are thinking of giving it a try this year.

I made that first wreath using seeded Eucalyptus on a 10″ wire frame. It dried out nicely and lasted about 3 months until the green started to turn a bit brown.

I saved the wreath and the following year I took it apart and used the dried leaves as an accent in my holiday wreath mixed with evergreens (as pictured below).

 

This summer I came across a large bunch of Eucalyptus in the grocery store for $15 and couldn’t pass up the chance to try to make a wreath out of it. Since I made this on a whim late at night I didn’t take any pictures of the process.

It was a bit tricky to work with and my hands were all sticky but the house smelled so good. I also added some lavender from our garden. I used the same process as for the other wreathes linked above.

This picture was taken in July when I had first made the wreath.

These photos were taken in November. The wreath has dried out very nicely, doesn’t drop leaves and has kept it’s colour.  

 

And since I love making wreaths, here’s another one I made last year. This was with seeded Eucalyptus and lavender and it stood up well to a cold Toronto winter out on the front door. Again I didn’t take pictures of the process because I was making it late at night but it was the same process as in my original Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath Tutorial.

 

ORC Weeks #4 & #5

A little update on the progress for the One Room Challenge which is wrapping up next week.

The desk in the office is done and now there is 16 feet of desk to work at. This office by Lori Harrison that was featured in Style at Home was the inspiration for the desk configuration. We had an extra IKEA desk leg that I used to support the corner of the desk like in this photo.

I was a bit apprehensive to get started on the desk construction but once we got started it went together fine. My helper found the studs in the wall and we screwed the 1″ x 2″ ‘s to the wall to act as a support for the pine shelving.

After the desk top was in place I used a hand saw and mitre box to cut other 1″ x 2″ wood to face the front of the desk to not only make it look like the wood is thicker but to also add stability to the desk. Gorilla Glue and painters tape was enough to do this job.

A detail of the corner where the two desks meet. The desk wood was stained with my favourite and easiest stain to use. It’s Saman and is a waterbased Canadian brand.

Now one computer is set up with a hole cut out to put the cord through. There are still a few more things I want to do to complete this room. I have had some set-backs with the floating shelf but hopefully now I have the right drill bit to get going on it.

Earlier this week I was excited to see my post from last week about updating plant pots featured on Apartment Therapy.  They called it a Genius Hack to make Thrifted Pots look more Expensive. I picked up a few more pots yesterday (for $2.50) to add to the collection using this technique.

 

Here’s the link to see the other One Room Challenge Participants before the final reveals next week.

 

Fall ORC – Week #3

 

Unifying with Paint

This week’s update for the One Room Challenge is about a quick and easy project.

We no longer have our plants or pots so I set out to get new ones for the office. Finding plants was easy but to buy new pots gets pricey and I needed quite a few. Now that we’re starting off fresh in so many ways and I’m continuing to use secondhand as much as possible I went to check out thrift stores for pots.   I decided to unify them with paint and in a grey, imitation cement look. Here’s the before (I’m still looking for a pot for the fern).

I used a chalky finish spray paint (and did a terrible job of it) to have a base for the paint to adhere to.

Then I painted them with a couple of different grey paint samples, Benjamin Moore Willow Creek and Baltic Grey to be specific.

Here’s the finished look. Now that the pots are all the same grey it’s not as busy with lots of colours and the plants take centre stage. Being able to choose secondhand items for their shape rather than colour made it much easier to find the right pieces however I still need to find a couple more!

These will be going on a floating shelf that I’m planning to put up above the desk.

 

Here’s the link to see how the other One Room Challenge projects are going:

 

UPDATE: Thanks Apartment Therapy for featuring this project!

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Fall One Room Challenge – Weeks 1 & 2

It’s that time of year again for the Fall One Room Challenge. I haven’t been blogging much since our move across the country because we’ve been enjoying the new city and working on meeting people instead of house projects.

I had planned to do a kitchen update by painting the kitchen cabinets but instead I’m focusing on my husband’s office. Since we moved this summer (with very little furniture)  we have become used to living with less and haven’t set up any rooms properly yet.

This is the temporary set up of the office and how the bedroom looked from the listing photo.

The main priorities for the office:

In the last home office, I made a large L-Shaped desk using Ikea tabletops and legs which created a lot of work surfaces. This time I’m going to make something customized using wood from the hardware store and secondhand cupboards.

Painting the room was the first step – what a difference already! As with our previous homes, we are trying to use secondhand furniture as much as possible. That being said, it can take a while to find the right pieces when shopping used. I was happy to find two matching cabinets at Restore and the white paint for the walls there too.

I painted the cabinets black to work with the filing cabinet that we brought with us and then tried different layout options.

That’s it so far, excuse the blurry phone photos. To see the progress of the 300 + other rooms being transformed visit One Room Challenge.

We Sold our House, now onto House #3

After 5 wonderful years in Newmarket, we are now about to start a new adventure in a new home in a new city – again!

In March the opportunity to move closer to my family in Vancouver came up and within 3 weeks we got the house on the market and sold. We bought a new house in Kelowna, BC and to make the big move we sold all of our furniture except for our beds, couch and coffee table.

We still had almost 40 bins of stuff to move but in my experience with moving, often furniture doesn’t fit the same in a new space anyway. Most of our furniture was secondhand and even though I loved what we had, it will be fun to have the chance to find new pieces and do it all again.

The hardest part about packing for me was all of the materials to make projects that I hadn’t done yet. Some materials I kept but all of those scraps of wood and moulding couldn’t come with us, luckily they will be used by others instead.

I had planned to take photos of the empty house before we moved but there just wasn’t time- these are a few I had on my phone. What I did realize was that the house still had so much character from the moulding and still felt like home, despite the fact that it was empty in the end.

The reality of the last few days before moving…naps on the floor.

 

We’re still waiting for our belongings to arrive at the new house so I can’t start any projects yet.

My husband and father-in-law, who flew from Colombia to help drive our dog and the car out, have been sleeping on camping mattresses until our beds arrive.

In the meantime, I’m staying with our kids at my parents a few hours away until we have our things and can properly get settled into the new house. Aren’t parents the best?

Here’s Cali (via a Facetime call) at our new home in Kelowna. As with our other houses, this one is in great shape and in a nice neighbourhood. I have lots of projects planned but they will just be cosmetic ones to personalize it and add some more architectural interest.

The first thing I’ll do is paint – that is always the easiest, fastest and least expensive way to make a huge difference.

 

 

Spring ORC – Reveal Week 6

 

Week # 6  The Reveal

Here is the final reveal of our bathroom makeover – the mirror, vanity handles & light fixture were the only new pieces. Everything else was done with paint and materials I already had. Reimagining the space and making small, manageable changes made all the difference.

The ‘floating’ wooden shelves are finally as I imagined them, as a feature area rather than just a large wasted space that became a dumping area. More information about how this layer of plywood was added on top is in my last post.

These crates are the basic kind from the hardware store that I stained with vinegar & steel wool. We each have one to throw our toiletries in.

We have a lot of plants throughout our home and garden so we moved a few extras into this room to soften all of that white.

This is the view of our ensuite from the bedroom.

Here is the way it originally looked when we moved in. I hadn’t even painted the walls because I thought it wouldn’t make any difference.

The shower curtain is something that I made a few years ago with canvas and grosgrain ribbon. White and black are the main themes throughout the house.

This is what it looks like when the door is closed. The barn door idea didn’t end up happening because we ran out of time but I left the mirror up to reflect the natural light. We usually keep the door open because it makes the bathroom look bigger.

A reminder of the shelves before.

Another shelf detail because it is finally a space worth showing!

 

Is there a room in your house that could look entirely different by using some creativity and making a few small changes?

To see the other reveals – both small project and major renovations visit the One Room Challenge website.

ORC – Spring Weeks 4 & 5

Weeks 4 & 5

 

Here we go with the last update on the bathroom project I’m working on during the One Room Challenge. I haven’t done many updates because we had some major things happen during the past few weeks — we actually decided put our house on the market and it sold a couple of weeks ago.

I had been planning to do the One Room Challenge for a few months and the project was supposed to be all about doing small manageable updates that could be done over a couple of hours each weekend. Well, good thing it was a simple plan since we had to cram the whole thing into one weekend.

I had planned to do all of the work myself but we were so lucky to have good friends come visit for the weekend – good friends who are very skilled with home improvement. This is Alfredo and he was the one who brought my vision to reality. He brought his circular saw and years of experience doing his own projects. I have so much to learn from him!

I had wanted to create the look of floating shelves in our bathroom closet while using materials I already had. My plan was the use plywood that was from a booth I had made for the One of a Kind Show.

This is the booth I made a few years ago to sell my art & accessories. It has been in storage in the garage and I’ve been saving the wood to repurpose. (You may recognize the shelf & storage unit from my studio).

Shibang Designs / How to create the illusion of floating shelves

Alfredo traced the shape of the shelves onto the plywood and then cut them with the circular saw.

He then created thin strips to go on the front of the shelves to give them depth.

Now the shelves are a feature waiting to be styled rather than a messy storage area — All with reused materials. I had planned to stain the wood but I ended up liking it as is. With the walls and tiles all being white, the wood here warms up the room.

 

Here’s a little step by step guide for how to update a vanity without doing a renovation — it’s easy and makes a world of difference. Next week will be the final reveal.

 

 

 

To see how everyone else is coming along with their rooms follow the link below:

ORC – Spring Weeks 2 & 3

Weeks 2 & 3

Continuing on with the budget bathroom update that I wish I had done sooner — next on the list was painting and a new vanity mirror.

I tried a light grey first for the walls that was a lighter shade of what we have in our bedroom but it didn’t look right so I ended up going for white.

Getting the right shade of white can be tricky.

At first, I intended to use leftover white paint (Benjamin Moore Simply White) but it was too yellow and looked dingy in the bathroom.

Next, I tested out some plain white, straight out of the can, untinted white that I use for baseboards and doors. I was hesitant about how it would look but this article from Houzz about 10 Beautiful White and Wood Bathrooms helped me finalize my decision to paint the walls white without thinking it would look too clinical.

This white instantly brightened the room and made it look cleaner too. Paint is such an easy and inexpensive way to update a space.

To keep things simple I painted the doors and baseboards the same white as the wall.

Next was removing the large mirror above the vanity. This was something that I had wanted to do for awhile but was very hesitant about taking the mirror off. It actually was quite easy to remove and replacing it with a round mirror instantly updated the look of the bathroom – why didn’t I do this 4 years ago??

 

 

That’s it so far, a huge change on a very small budget and something that could easily be done on a weekend. To see the progress other people have made follow along on the One Room Challenge site.

 

 

 

Spring 2019 – ORC
Fall 2017 -ORC

Side Note: Notice the Difference

between the current

ORC and the last one?

ORC – Spring 2019 Week 1

 

 

It’s the One Room Challenge again, a chance for interior designers and bloggers to transform a room in 6 weeks. What I like about this event is how it motivating and inspiring to tackle a project along with everyone else – plus having the deadline helps get it done.

 

The last time I did a project in our house was Fall 2017 when I did a board & batten nursery/boys’ room.

 

This time I am doing a small project and something that is long overdue — our master bathroom. Since it’s been almost 5 years since we’ve lived here and we’re not planning a renovation I want to improve what we have by doing a few small projects so that we can enjoy this space.

      The plan:

  • Replace the Mirror
  • Replace the Vanity Light
  • Paint the Walls
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Create a focal area with the illusion of floating shelves in the closet
  • Add shiplap to the walls
  • Replace the closet door with a barn door 

 

This is how our vanity originally looked and it stayed this way for 3 years until I painted and changed the hardware. There is a post about the process here.

For minimal effort and materials, this made a huge improvement and gave me the hope that I could improve this bathroom without a renovation.

 

To see what the other designers and bloggers are planning here is the link to Week 1: