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.

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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:

 

DIY Aged Terra Cotta Pots

Do you add more houseplants & flowers to your home this time of year?

Terra cotta pots are a classic & inexpensive option for plants but the ordinary colour isn’t my style. Doing a quick paint job adds that aged look.

Here’s a look at the before and after – which only took a couple of minutes and hardly needed any supplies.

Supplies:

  • Terra Cotta Pot (from a home improvement store, dollar store)
  • Paint Brush (any size or shape)
  • White, Cream or Grey Paint ( I use my leftover house paint samples)
  • Newspaper or scrap paper to dab paint

 

The trick to this look is using a dry brush technique. Dip the paintbrush into a tiny bit of paint, then dab most of the paint off onto the scrap paper. Apply the paint to one spot on the pot and then rub it with the brush and gently spread the paint outwards until no more paint is left. Continue these steps until the whole pot is covered.

Using very little paint is key.

Here they are finished and below is a pot I did a few years ago with white paint. This larger herb pot was left outside over a couple of summers too so that’s what added to the patina.

Well spring may be a few months away still but it feels more lively in here with extra plants & forced bulbs around. 

Weekend Project – Panel Moulding Feature Wall

Christmas may be over but I am in no rush to take down these holiday wreaths from the dining room.

This wall has become an area that I love to decorate for special occasions and it really was the addition of moulding that finished off this space.

A couple of years ago I partnered with Metrie to add wainscotting to the front entrance, stairway and upstairs hallway and had a bit of extra panel moulding leftover. That panel moulding from their French Curves Collection was the perfect solution that I had been searching for to go above the wall of the banquette in our dining area.

 

This is what the room looked like from the real estate listing photos when we purchased. Bit by bit I’m working to add layers and architectural interest to our builder basic home.

One afternoon I drew up some sketches to figure out proportions and by the end of the day, this was complete.

A small project like this can easily be completed with a few manual tools, including a hand saw and mitre box.

So if you’re looking for a little project this New Year, here is one that is very doable over a weekend if it’s a small space.

Here’s the original post:

Right now Jennifer Flores at Rambling Renovators is in the midst of powder room makeover that she plans to have done before hosting here NYE party and it’s looking so good. See the progress on her Instagram

 

 

 

How to make a Fresh Holiday Wreath

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Every year, my friend and neighbour Kate and I have a tradition of making wreaths together. We call it our own workshop where we have coffee while making some holiday decor.

This year we added juniper berries and dried eucalyptus (from the wreath I made last year) to our base of blue spruce from the tree in our front yard.

Here are some photos from the process.

This is the tree that gives so much to us!

Materials Ready

Creating little bundles with your greens in the secret to getting a cohesive look.

Layer the bundles of green over one another as you go around the wreath form, wrapping with paddle wire.

In a couple of months when the season is over, save the paddle wire to use again next year after you pull out the old greens.

Here it is at the front door — where it stayed for a couple of weeks until I had an idea that involved making a second one and bringing them both inside. More photos of that to come later but in the meantime, there is a sneak peek in my Instagram feed.

 

More Fresh Wreath Tutorials:

Boxwood Wreath DIY

 

Eucalyptus Wreath DIY

New in the Studio: Screen Printed Tea Towels

Here’s a look inside my studio from the side of the room that I haven’t shown before. I did a mini makeover last year with several more DIY projects, which included building a new work table for screen printing.

With all of the focus on doing home improvement projects, I wanted to make an accessory for the finished space, in this case the kitchen.  Here’s a look at the process and finished pieces.

 

 

They are designed to be functional for everyday use and the linen will get softer with every wash.

Also, a tutorial for this wreath as seen in the photo above will be coming to the blog within the next week.

This board and batten wall works well for hanging fabric to dry too. The tutorial on how I built is here and was recently featured on Apartment Therapy.