Finding Inspiration

Shibang Designs Process

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.

Shibang Designs ProcessThis 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.
Shibang Designs Process

Beach Souvenirs

Bowen Island

In our home I like to bring in souvenirs from places we’ve visited or lived. After a trip to Vancouver this summer these shells and driftwood came back in my suitcase.

Shibang Designs Beach SouvenirsThe mussels and shells look like mini watercolours with their painterly blues and purples.

IMG_0311Driftwood Garland


I love how driftwood is so sculptural like in the photo above. The garland is made of small pieces like the one by BHLDN.

Wool Pillows

Shibang Designs Wool Pillows

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.

Shibang Designs Wool Samples

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.

IMG_5896_2Shibang Designs



Thrift Store Farmhouse Table

Table Process

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.

Thrift Store Farmhouse Table

Thrift Store Table BeforeIt 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.IMG_3697

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.
before and after pedestals IMG_5502

Thrift Store Farmhouse Table Refinished DetailPedestal TableThe 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.
Limelight Hydrangea & Boston Ferns

You can also check out this table featured on Apartment Therapy.

Featured on Apartment Therapy

Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Shibang Designs Painted Cabinets
Kitchen Cabinets Painted Before & AfterBeforeWhen we chose this house one thing that I liked was the potential for some cosmetic improvements. The cabinets were wood and in good shape and luckily the counter and floor tiles were neutral greys.Shibang Designs Painted Kitchen Cabinets

I finally decided on which shade of white to use (Vanilla Milkshake, partly because of the name) and tackled painting the kitchen cabinets late in the evenings. Benjamin Moore Advance Paint Vanilla Milkshake

Shibang Designs Painting ProgressEven with a single coat of primer the space already looks brighter and bigger.

Shibang Designs Adding Pine Panelling At the end of the cabinets I added pine panelling to give a more custom look instead of the little plastic plugs that were originally there.IMG_4927

Shibang Designs Kitchen Before

Painted Kitchen

Shibang Designs Kitchen Hardware Before

The only hardware that I changed was on the drawers because I really believe in working with what you already have and the existing hardware was classic and simple.

For a minimal amount of money (and many hours of work) the kitchen feels brighter and less dated. Of course there are several other things I’d like to add but for now it’s a huge improvement.

At Home: Wooden Shelves in the Powder Room


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.

Before Painting

Shibang Designs Floating Shelves

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.

IMG_4874 Front Before & After Powder Room
For more information on how to build and stain shelves I like Rain on a Tin Roof and  Jenna Sue Design.



Mountain Mural Nursery Wall

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.

Mountain Mural Nursery Wall

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.

Nursery Before

Mountain Mural Nursery ProgressNow the room has more personality and with the rain clouds above the mountains this reminds me of the familiar scenery growing up in Vancouver.

Mountain Mural Nursery Wall

Also thanks to my mum for making this quilt!

Black Interior Doors

Paint it Black!

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.

Before & After Black Interior Doors

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.

Black Door Painting

High Impact with Black, White & Grey 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.

Before & After Black Basement Door

Black Basement Door

IMG_4458I recommend reading 11 Reasons to Paint Your Interior Doors Black on Houzz if you haven’t already.

A New Kitchen Table Top

Refinished Table Top

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.

Coffee Table BeforeCoffee Table Before


Two hours of scrubbing to finally remove all of stain.IMG_3179After 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.

Driftwood Grey Table

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.

IMG_4349Shibang Designs - Graphite Chalk Paint Chairs

This is the best photo I can find of what the table looked like before.

Before and After Table

New Table Top

Now the table has a more modern feel and is way more functional in this space. 

Forest Bouquets

Forest Bouquet 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.

Forest Bouquet in Milk Glass
Forest Bouquet Forest BouquetOld English SheepdogBoxwood WreathThis 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.