Over the past couple of years my interests have shifted towards interior design and decorating. I’ve been working on a lot of projects that are home related and now I’m getting back to fibre and rediscovering what I truly love most — dyeing wool. For me inspiration comes from working with the material. While I’m a big fan of neutral interiors, I love the power that textiles can have to change the feel of a space.
This is some wool yardage that I’ve just pulled out of the dye pot and now my mind is racing with ideas about how this will become a new part of Shibang Designs.
Lately all of my posts have been focused on furniture and painting so getting back to working with textiles feels good. This pillow is made with white wool fabric with my hand dyed wool applique on top.
While I love neutral decor just adding a bit of colour can change the feel of the room and that’s where textiles are perfect for accessorizing.
Farmhouse tables with light wood and trestle or pedestal bases are my favourite style for dining and I was determined to make it work in our small kitchen and on a small budget. Many tables in the market aren’t narrow enough to fit our space so when I came across this one at a thrift store I knew it would work after a major refinishing job.
It took hours and hours of scraping and sanding until I was able to get it right down to the wood so that I could stain it a light driftwood grey.
For the pedestals I took an electric sander to get rid of all that varnish and gloss to reveal the solid wood below. I am not a perfectionist when it comes to furniture refinishing in our house because I’d rather get the job done and I know that it’s going to be subject to heavy use and abuse.
The next step is going to be constructing a banquette to go along wall which is why having a pedestal base was important to make it easy to get around the table.
This was the original look of the powder room when we first moved in. It’s tiny and since the rest of the house is white or light grey I wanted to make this room dark and dramatic. I replaced the mirror with a vintage one we already had and painted the walls a dark teal.
This really is a small room but there was space above the toilet for shelves that could be 7″ wide which could serve as storage and display space.
The basic idea of how to make the shelves was based off of the idea of various shelves I’d seen online where you support the weight of the shelves on the studs in the wall. Getting the wood cut at the hardware store simplifies the process and for the smaller pieces I used a hand saw.
Staining wood used to intimidate me but now it’s the part of the project I look forward to most and it makes the whole look complete.
Here comes another painting project post — a mountain mural in the nursery. For some reason I always want to paint every surface of a house just to make it my own but in this case the blue-grey walls were a good neutral and allowed me to concentrate my painting efforts elsewhere.
After debating between doing stencilling to look like wallpaper or colour blocking I went for a mountain range instead. The mountain wall from Syrinveien was so striking and a quick way to instantly add character to the room so I basically did the same thing. I continued the mountains over to the edge of the door frame and used a very pale semi-gloss paint that I had left over from the bathroom. Masking off the mountain peaks took some time but the painting was fast and easier than repainting the entire room.
Now the room has more personality and with the rain clouds above the mountains this reminds me of the familiar scenery growing up in Vancouver.
Have you ever thought about painting your interior doors black? I saw a story on Houzz this summer about painting interior doors black and they had great reasons to do it. While picking up the black paint roller seemed risky at first I never second guessed that decision.
We have a narrow hallway with four doors in a very small space. After painting the inside of the front door I really hesitated about doing the closet door too and waited a few days to paint it. Then I also changed the basic door leading to the garage into a chalkboard door. The hardware was all shiny brass and I spray painted them following the instructions from The Creative Cubby using oil rubbed bronze spray paint.
Here’s a look at the basement door that I just painted black a couple of weeks ago after re-reading the story on Houzz about how a black door can make the ceiling look taller by drawing the eye up with the contrasting colour.
As much as I love the quick and transformative effect of painting furniture with chalk paint I have also begun delving into refinishing and staining wood. It seemed daunting before and I was afraid of ruining furniture in the process but after our coffee table frame broke it didn’t seem as risky to try to refinish the table top.
Two hours of scrubbing to finally remove all of stain.After one coat of Sun Bleached by Varathane the colour was exactly what I wanted and all of these beautiful textures and patterns that had been masked by the dark stain were now revealed.
Originally I had planned to have the table frame fixed but the quote from the welder was going to cost as much as buying a new table and it was too big for our new living room anyway.
What I didn’t mention is that this table top is 1 metre square and it ended up being the perfect size and shape for our kitchen table. It was quite simple to remove the round top and screw the base and legs onto the former coffee table.
This is the best photo I can find of what the table looked like before.
Now the table has a more modern feel and is way more functional in this space.
Living in Eastern Canada where there are a lot of bare branches for several months of winter makes me appreciate evergreens, more than I probably did growing up in Vancouver where it was always green.
After a walk in the woods after a windstorm this Christmas we collected some fallen boughs and a couple of lichen covered sticks which became forest bouquets.
This was also my first attempt at making a boxwood wreath. I used a wire wreath frame, floral wire and boxwood that was so widely available at the grocery stores in December. Maybe if I’m lucky the wreath will stay green all winter.