Thursday, 8 January 2015

House Luv: Guest Bathroom Makeover

Well hey there! Happy New Year!
We are now a week into the new year, and in keeping with my resolution to post more photos, I thought I would start with photos from one of the many home improvement projects that I have been hoarding.

So it took some time, but our upstairs guest bathroom is finally finished from top to bottom. Lucky for me, the tiles and counter were all in good shape so I didn't have to do anything major to the structure of the bathroom, just a couple cans of primer and paint made a HUGE difference in the overall look and feel of the space.

Gone is the glossy pink salmon color on the walls, and in it's place is a blue-ish gray tone called Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore in an eggshell finish.

The oak vanity has been repainted in a dark brown semi-gloss (called Van Buren, also by BM) and I bought some shiny drawer pulls from Amazon to spruce up the look and make it easier to access the drawers. Can you believe that the bottom door pulls on the vanity were from Goodwill for $1.99? I know, I love that place, those exact pulls were selling at Target for $14.99 for the pair.

We also pulled down the 80's flat mirror panel and put up a newly painted mirror that I also bought at Goodwill for $12. The mirror had an oak frame and I gave it a good coat of Rub n'Buff in silver, blue and gold to go with the colors of the bathroom.

For a final touch, I also spray painted the builders vanity light plate with Rustoleaum's spray paint in a metallic oil rubbed bronze to change up the look. Add in some shiny accessories, soft towels and flowers, and I have a whole new space for under $200 dollars.

I'm loving the new feel of the bathroom, and I hope my guests do as well. I have two other bathroom projects to share with you soon, so check back often!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Celebrating Christmas While Looking Ahead to 2015

It's almost Christmas! It's so exciting, because you know what that means? It means the whole house is decorated and I get to spend quality time with my family and friends. Usually around this time, I've already wrapped up all the presents, sent out all my greeting cards and the only thing left is to wrap my mind around all the goals I aim to accomplish in the new year.

Well this year was a bit of a whirlwind and I'm lucky I even got to decorate and wrap presents. Unfortunately I didn't get around to sending out Christmas cards... and the New Year resolutions are running amok in my head. 

Some of my resolutions are big and others are just small day-to-day tasks that I would like to adopt into my life and this year I have to figure out a way of prioritizing them all.

I know that for the new year I want to blog more. My life has been so crazy, but instead of blogging about it, I've been letting it all ride into distance memory. In the new year I want to be more candid, more open and let more people into my life.

I want to take better photos, take more photos, print more photos, and send more photos to friends and family. I want to buy less stuff, make more DIY gifts, take better care of the environment and spend more time researching eco-friendly solutions for everyday life.

I want to travel more, work more, laugh more and cook even more than I already do. I want to read more, sleep more, stress less and be more organized. In fact, I hope that by the end of the year, I can actually be organized enough to send out Christmas cards in 2015.

So here's to seeing more of each other in the new year, I can't wait!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Repainting Furniture: Ikea Dresser


I recently put the finishing touches on our re-vamped bedroom dresser. It was a sturdy and reliable Ikea Hemnes dresser, with 8 roomy drawers but a scratched up top and a color that no longer matched our master bedroom.

Since painting the room different shades of gray and white, I thought it would be great to have a crisp new gray dresser as well. I went about removing the existing drawer knobs and painted the wood with one coat of primer and 2 coats of Benjamin Moore semi-gloss paint in Gray Owl (OC-52).

It always surprises me how fast painting projects finish once you actually take the plunge and start.  Before I knew it the paint was dry (I let it sit for about 2 full days for the semi-gloss to really set) and I was putting the drawer knobs back on. But before I put the black knobs back on, I polished each one with this silver wax product that I love. It allowed me to turn the black knobs into brand new silver knobs with just a few buffs of the polish.

I'm so happy I didn't have to get rid of the old dresser, and now I feel like I have a brand new piece of furniture. Once I've had a chance to post the other little projects that I have finished in the room, I'll be sure to pan out and show you how the dresser fits in with the decor of the whole room.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Ban Plastic Microbeads

Did you know that micro-plastic particles are being found in pretty much all bodies of water, all over the world? This is so terrible for all of the marine wildlife that are being affected by this, but if you don't care about that (you scare me) then you should care about the fact that it all eventually comes back to you and the food you eat. Don't eat fish? Well other animals do, in turn they can absorb those chemicals as well, and then it's another chain cycle of life that all comes back to you. Humans + Toxic chemicals = Birth defects, Illness, cancers, etc... (enough said?)

So do your part, share this infographic created by The 5 Gyres Institute and just sign this petition to ban plastic microbeads already. Your body, and the Eco-system will thank you.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Vineyard Reception Fashion: Elegant Guest Wear

Vineyard Guest Wear

The hubs and I are going to be attending a vineyard engagement party in the Niagara Region soon. I've never had to think so much about what I'm going to be wearing as I have had to for this particular event.  I need to be comfortable, but dressed up at the same time. I need bling but to still look understated. I want something sexy, but romantic at the same time... So below is my checklist of all the fashion madness that's required.

What to Wear to a Vineyard Engagement or Wedding Reception:
  • Smoking hot dress, not too short and classy at the same time. I'm loving this ruffled Susie dress from Forever Unique.
  • Wedge heel sandals. There is nothing worse than sinking into grass while trying to look cool, calm and collected.
  • Minimal Jewelry. Going for few statement pieces with a hint of romanticism. My Venezia Luce pendant does just that.
  • A pretty clutch that can hold my phone, lip gloss, a pen and some cash.
  • Neutral nail color or just a base coat like one that NARS carries.
  • Long last lip color that wont fade or come off on those wine glasses I'll be sipping from all afternoon/night.
  • A feminine perfume that helps you smell like a walking dream. This one by D&G is sure to do just that.
The best part of this whole thing is that the invitations we received in the mail are printed on seed paper like these ones below from Botanical Paperworks. I can just plant the invites and they will grow into beautiful wildflowers!

My small garden of wildflowers will be a great way to remember the union of the happy couple and you just know how much I love environmentally friendly weddings. To get invites like these to a gorgeous vineyard engagement party in the Niagara Region is just icing on the cake. I can't wait for this!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Chair Makeover: The Time I didn't DIY and Hired a Professional

A couple of months ago I bought a pair of super comfortable Bergere chairs off of Craigslist. I was really drawn to their beautiful shape but I bought them knowing that the faded fabric would need to be changed and the frames repainted. I went back and forth between teaching myself to re-upholster them or hiring someone to redo the chairs from top to bottom.

Me taking on the re-upholstering of the chairs would have meant saving money on the labor and being able to splurge on expensive fabric, but there was a huge risk of me damaging a pair of perfectly good chairs as it would be my first foray into furniture re-upholstery.

After much consideration, I decided to transfer my energy on reading local reviews of re-upholsterers. Thank God for yelp, because after sending numerous photos of my chairs to various re-upholstery shops, I finally found a guy that was awesome. He met with me, let me know that I needed about 12 yards of fabric and quoted me about $500 per chair to paint, refill and reupholster (that seemed steep at first, but that was actually the lowest of all the quotes I got and since new Bergere chairs go for double that price I went with it.)

I chose a gray shade for the frame and went with an off white canvas fabric that cost me about $20 per yard. Three weeks later, I had brand new chairs and couldn't be happier.

These past four months I've taken on about 15 different DIY projects, but with these chairs I knew I had reached my limit. I, for one, did not have any spare time on my hands to redo these chairs, nor the patience to spend tons of time learning a new skill.  Besides, I didn't want to ruin the chairs and was also sick of living in a sparsely decorated house. I was so ready for my decor to come together and I think they go really well with my new green throw pillows.

At the end of the day, I get the same pleasure from looking at these chairs that I would have had I re-did them myself. It makes me happy that I got to choose exactly the color and finish I wanted in addition to saving some money compared to what I would have paid had I bought them new.

Sometimes, you just gotta know when to give up and hire the right person to do the job better, faster, with less headache.

Let me know what you think!

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