Monday, May 31, 2010


I have been looking for a rug for my kitchen project for awhile now and still haven't come across exactly what I am looking for (for within my budget). BUT while looking the other day I came across this cleaver DIY zig zag rug at Adventures in Dressmaking. You can view the tutorial on how to make your own zig zag rug here.

(Source: Adventures in Dressmaking)

Isn't it cute?? If I had the time and patience I would LOVE to make something like this for the kitchen... alas I don't think I have that kind of patience... SO the search continues for the perfect rug for the kitchen!!!!

On a side note I ordered the wallpaper for the kitchen today!!! YEAH!!!!! I'm VERY excited for it to come!!! If its rainy this weekend I am going to get a head start on hanging it!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Side table Makeover

This weekend was a glorious weekend! I had plans to do so much BUT it was so beautiful out I lay in the pool most of the weekend! BUT on Sunday I did makeover the side table for the living room. It didn't take long at all but wow was it HOT outside!!! It took longer only because in between coats of paint I had to hop into the pool. :-)

Just a reminder, this is the table before hand. (don't you love the blue trunk in the background? We stole that from my parents place, they were going to throw it out... we plan to use it in our shed to hold all of our gardening stuff and pool stuff so the mice won't get into the stuff!!)

First I sanded down the entire table with 100 grit sand paper. Then 2 coats of primer and 1 coat of paint later it looked like this.

I was VERY happy with it!! NOW the plan was to decoupage the top of the table with the same material as the curtains. But after I got the table in the living room I decided I liked it just the way it was! SO for now I'm leaving it, I may find something in the future that I want to add to the top but for now I like it!!!
This week I am working on my light fixture for the living room, it looks FANTASTIC!!!! I'm VERY excited to share it... but not till it is completely done!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


OH HERE SHE IS!!! Isn't she a beauty!!
We have been waiting 3 whole months for this baby to arrive and she finally arrived today!!! I was so excited I just had to show you!!!

We bought her at Bad Boy... word of advice... NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM BAD BOY!!! We bought it because we were looking for a sectional that would fit our room... which is VERY hard to find because it is a small room PLUS the way we wanted the sectional they don't make very many that way... Most of them have the chaise as the short end and that would mean we would have a chaise pointing at the wall to our spare room. And that just doesn't work! SO we were VERY excited when we found this couch especially because it is 4 pieces AND if we move in the future and need it to go on a different angle we can completely do that!! VERY VERSATILE!!! (sorry can you tell I'm incredibly excited.... I tend to use a lot of exclamation marks and capitals when excited). Anyway the price was amazing for our couch so we bought it! THEN we waited.. and waited and waited some more.. originally our couch was supposed to be delivered 4 weeks from the date of purchase.... SO we sold our old couch... yes that is right.. stupid us! SO we just had a love seat in our living room. Then we called 6 weeks after buying wondering where our couch was.... and low and behold it wasn't coming for another 2 weeks... OK not a big deal. BUT we had company coming and we needed more sitting room in our living room. SO up came the futon mattress to be rested against the walls and used as a low couch... NOW our house was looking like student residence!! It was GHETTO!!! BUT hey it was only supposed to be 2 weeks right! WELL 2 weeks turned into 6 weeks! NOT FUN!!! BUT finally this week it was in and being delivered! I was so excited this morning that I have been up since 6am waiting!!!!! Just to show you our ghetto student residence looking living room before I took a picture last night after our love seat was moved downstairs and it was just the futon mattress leaning against the wall... this is how we relaxed last night! (ignore the mess.. I figured there was no point in cleaning up for the picture if I'm proving how ghetto it was!!)

And here is Ryan chilling out in his pj's!

Lets show that wonderful after picture again!!!!

Now some of you may be going.. WOW that is one big couch!!! That's exactly what I did when it came..(we had to take it in through the window because its so huge!) And yes technically we probably should have gotten a smaller couch because we have a smaller living room. BUT then we would have to go back to the 2 love seats in the living room which yes it looks nice BUT is NOT COMFORTABLE to lie down and watch TV. SO we got the big honking couch and I LOVE IT!!! In our next house we will be able to bring this baby along and it will be great (not that we have ANY intention of moving anytime soon).

ANYWAY, with that said we have discovered a few of our side tables won't be working anymore with the big couch. Instead of buying new ones I took a peak around the house to see what we had lying around and came across this fold out table that was Ryan's grandpas. (if you look at the photo of our new couch you can see it strategically positioned on the right side of the picture by the door).

Now Ryan is making fun of me because I tried to throw this table away 4 or 5 times and each time it magically reappeared inside the house.... (Ryan won't let me throw anything away...) BUT I'm super glad he saved it from my purging because it is going to make a GREAT side table! The plan for this table is to paint it a nice white (same as the baseboards and trim in our living room). I figure with a big dark couch I should keep the side tables light and airy so as to not overpower the room in darkness. (as I typed that all I could hear in my head was "Luke I am your father" from Star Wars... Oh I'm a nerd!).

ANYWAY, then I plan on using the same material as the curtains (to read how the curtains were made go here) and MOD PODGING the material to the top to add a little extra zing. I told Ryan my idea and he just laughed at me because he knows how much I LOVE to Mod Podge!! Here is the material below in case you forgot! SO it will be a cute little white table with a stripped colourful top to it. If you don't totally understand what I'm doing you can go here to check out what the people over at Mod Podge Rocks did with their table.

NOW I just have to find another table to use as the side table on the other side. We currently have a nice wood side table/magazine rack but it is too big. I want something smaller!! I have a few other tables in the house that may work out. I will update you on my progress when I can!!

Just because I'm so excited about it.. here is Ryan on our new couch!!!

(To view our living room renovations go here and here)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Throw Away Garbage in Style

Over the long weekend I was reading my June edition of Canadian House and Home magazine (LOVE IT) and I came across pages 78 to 81 which were all about different types of garbage cans.

Now as I was looking at this page I was like WOW I need to go out and buy a new garbage can for Ryan's office because the one in there was my old garbage can from university... I had a leopard theme going in university.
SO as I was looking at the garbage cans in the magazine I was like these are REALLY NICE.. not something I frequently think when looking at a garbage can... but they are all colourful and fun! THEN I started reading the descriptions. The first one was from Ikea and was a simple wire basket for only $8. Ok not bad for something you put your garbage in.. but wire basket for $8.. nah not for me... The second one was the metal can.... not my style. Then the 3rd one is another wire basket... again not my style. THEN we get to #4 (the green and white one in the top right) which I was like WOW I LIKE THIS so I continue reading... it is from Worlds Away and imagine my surprise and complete shock when I read that it was $140!!!!!! SERIOUSLY????

Its a can/paper basket where you throw your garbage and its $140!!!! Instantly I stopped reading and just looked at the pictures because I didn't want to know how much the rest of them were! Then slightly disappointed and thinking I would just keep our ugly leopard garbage can I put the magazine away and went to make myself a snack... WELL on the way I was putting something into my desk and found this green paper I had bought months ago and never used. Instantly my snack plans went out the window and out came the Mod Podge and ribbon and away I went my project. I grabbed the plastic leopard garbage can and covered it in glue, using a sponge I smoothed out the glue and put my green paper over top of the leopard. It instantly started to look better. Then once the green paper was on it still looked blah so I grabbed some brown ribbon and added it to the top. And voila instant garbage can makeover! The green isn't showing up too well BUT believe me its a pale swirly green.

With that done I felt much better about not spending money on a new garbage can because lets be honest... its a garbage can!!! Mind you I shouldn't say too much.. our bathroom garbage can (which matches the whole bathroom... towels, tooth brush holder, soap dispenser, shower curtain) cost a pretty penny BUT that was a splurge. Anyway, I opened up my magazine again and went back and realized I really like garbage can #6 which is an eco-friendly garbage can made from recycled paper wrapped into a garbage can. Now about a year ago I started making coasters from all of my magazines that I didn't want anymore (instead of throwing out the magazines I reused the paper from them). The coasters look GREAT and you can specify which colours you want by using pages from the magazine that are that specific colour. I have made a few friends the coasters now to match their apartments. SO making a garbage can... hmmm can you hear yet another project coming along??? This specific garbage can in the magazine is Shiraleah wastebasket which you can purchase here for $30. OR if you have some time you can grab all of those old magazines, rip out the pages you want, fold the pages (fold the page in half and unfold, then fold the edges into the middle, repeat folding both sides into the middle until the paper is the thickness you want, and start to swirl the paper into a spiral, gluing the ends... very easy yet time consuming). I have also seen these made out of newspaper at The Bay where they have baskets as well BUT they are pricey.... and as everyone knows I refuse to pay for something if I'm able to make it!! SOOOO stay tuned for my recycled garbage can!!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Since it is the Friday before the long weekend I thought I would post something about all of my favourite things in our house that we were either given or bought at an incredible price!!! Hopefully this long weekend we'll find some more things to add to the list (YEAH garage sales!!)
SO lets start off with some of my favourite things in the kitchen!!!

First we have our fantastic dark wood framed mirror! (sorry side picture.. I kept getting a glare from the window) We got this mirror at The Brick for $1!!!! Yes that is correct! It was originally a $350 mirror and it was on sale for a whooping $1! We couldn't refuse! The only thing that was wrong with it was it didn't have anything to hang it by (easy fix) AND it has a small scratch which we filled in with left over dark stain. Isn't it pretty???

Next favourite item of ours is our kitchen table set!!! I LOVE this table! It was formerly my Great Oma's (great grandma) table. It is a Duncan Phyfe table that extends out and can seat about 12 people around it!! I just love it because for everyday purposes it folds down into practically nothing and fits our kitchen perfectly!! (PS and for those wondering YES you can fit 12 people for dinner in our kitchen... you just can't open the fridge or move... haahaa) My uncle had this table for a long time and decided to get a new table so being the only family member who wanted it this table was given to us!!! YEAH!!

Moving onto our next favourite... this is more of a funny favourite. For Ryan's birthday my brother and sister-in-law made him a switch plate that HAD to be hung in the kitchen. Now these switch plates typically sell for a lot!! BUT they made it themselves by painting a normal white switch plate! Isn't this the best thing ever!!!!!

This is our Bombay clock (sorry picture if blurry... I didn't realize it when I took it) that we bought at a yard sale for about 10 cents! (it was fill a grocery bag of stuff for $2 ... this was in our grocery bag) The only thing wrong with it was that the piece at the bottom of the clock that spins was cracked off... nothing a little super glue wouldn't fix!!!

In our hallway this is my favourite picture! Its VERY fitting don't you think?? Now this is one of those things we did pay full price for. We bought this at The Bay for $39.99. BUT we bought it with gift cards that we had been given from our wedding... so I like to consider it FREE. (Ryan disagrees with me about it being free... oh well)

OHH OUR FRENCH DOORS!!!! I LOVE THEM!!! Mind you I love everything about our living room (especially the bright green walls... ps this picture the colour is distorted and the walls aren't that colour AT ALL!!!) We bought, installed and stained these babies!! The doors are from Home Depot and cost $48 each! We bought stain and stained them to match the flooring we installed. I love them because it opens up our living room/office/spare bedroom if we want to BUT at the same time if we have guests staying over we can close them and separate that room off. (PS the curtains hanging are actually the same length.. apparently when taking the photo I forgot to put them even... oops!! They fold down so when we have guests they have some privacy)

Above our french doors I have hanging 3 plastered blocks of wood that my mom bought me as a Wedding Shower gift (for one of the 6 wedding showers we had... yes my mom bought us presents for all of them!!! Isn't she awesome!!!). She bought them at the One of a Kind Show. The 2 on the outside have hearts on them and the picture on the inside (sorry its hard to see) is 2 outlined people. Aren't they super cute!!! It just so happened that they matched our walls PERFECTLY just by coincidence!! THIS is the true colour of our walls! Isn't it bright and cheery!! (this picture was taken before the doors were stained!)

Where to begin with my favourites in this photo... First we will start with the photo over the bed. That lovely photo was taken by Sarah Guy at Labour of Love as one of our engagement photos. Then for our wedding Sarah blew up the picture and had the matting put around it for our guests to sign. I LOVE the picture (sorry its slightly chopped off.. see the next picture below for the actual picture) ANYWAY I just love the picture!!! Next thing that I love is our bed!!! (now I may want to stain it dark brown in the future.. for now its fine the way it is) We got this beauty off of craigslist for $150. It is solid pine and I LOVE IT!!! Finally in the bedroom we have our fabulous quilt that my super cute Oma made for us as a wedding present. Its all hand done and gorgeous!

NEXT is our spare bedroom/office.. Don't you just love the huge canvas that is on the wall!!! Once again this is a Labour of Love photo. This canvas was a wedding gift that we were given by someone. (aka HB ...thats for you Kelita.. haahaha) We had to get the canvas framed but I completely love it..don't Ryan and my butts look cute! HAHAHA!! And then we have the desk... I know its hard to see it.. but this puppy was going to be thrown into the garbage!!! I KNOW ITS A CRIME! At Ryan's previous job his boss was getting new office furniture and they were just going to throw this desk out (its SOLID wood.. they don't make them like they used to) so he asked if he could take it! His boss said if he could pick it up by the next day it was his.. so Ryan borrowed a friends truck and a few friends and went to pick it up along with the credenza that matches it (the credenza is used as our TV stand/games and DVD storage unit) This desk is gorgeous and I LOVE that it was FREE!!!

AND FINALLY this Favourites list wouldn't be complete without me talking about SHOES!!! OH I LOVE SHOES!!!! This next photo has 2 favourites attached to it... (PS I know shoes have nothing to do with renovating and home decor... BUT WHO CARES!!!! YEAH SHOES!)

#1 - I LOVE THESE SHOES! These were my wedding shoes (yes they are bright pink!!) I bought these from Winners for $29.99!! They are fabulous!!

#2 - This is one of my favourite pictures from our wedding (once again by Sarah Guy at Labour of Love) I plan on making this into a canvas one day and hanging it on our wall.. but alas we don't have enough wall space for it just yet so EVENTUALLY!!! I love how its all black and white except for my shoes!!! OHH I LOVE YOU SHOES!!! Ryan loves to make fun of my shoe obsession!!!! (but shhh what he doesn't tell everyone is he has a shoe obsession too... he has about 20 pairs of black work shoes!!!! )

There are SOO many other things that I LOVE BUT not enough time to write about them! Have a GREAT long weekend!!! Hopefully I'll have some more project updates after the weekend!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

House Before and Afters

Three years and 5 days ago (ok I'm a little late with this post) we took possession of our house. We have done a TONNE in those three years. I do have to admit that I hated our house for the first year and a bit because it seemed nothing was going right. Everything small task we took on turned into a huge nightmare of a project. BUT now that most of it is said and done I LOVE our house!!!! A short run down of everything we have done to date, gutted living room, spare bedroom and third bedroom down to a skeleton and rebuilt, cleaned (ie. using TSP) and painted every inch of the house, installed new flooring in living room, spare bedroom, kitchen, hallway, bathroom... ok basically in the entire house! Updated the upstairs bathroom, installed closets in the main bedroom, painted the basement, installed 2nd bathroom in the basement. Oh the list could go on forever. Instead here is a brief before and after of most of the rooms in our house!

Lets start with the master bedroom!

Master Bedroom Before

This is what the room looked like when we moved into the house. The carpet was so stained and stinky, we pulled it up to find hardwood floors!!!!

Then we temporarily lived like this for a few years.
Bedroom After

This is what it looks like now! You can see details on what we did here and here.

Smallest Bedroom

Smallest Bedroom Before

The smallest bedroom was a real 'piece' of work. This was the view to the right when you walked into the room. They had taken out the closet and put the fridge in the place where the closet was but never covered it up with drywall... resulting in a wonderful view of the back of the fridge!!!

This was the wallpaper mess that we had to deal with. When we started to peel wallpaper it was discovered that the wallpaper had fused itself to the plaster and lathe so this room ended up being gutted as well and insulated properly!!

Third Bedroom During

Third Bedroom (AKA Nursery) After

To see all posts about what we did go here.


Kitchen Before:

Kitchen After
We redid the flooring, painted the cabinets, put in wallpaper. See all kitchen posts here.

Main Bathroom
The main floor bathroom was RIGHT out of the 70's with flowery wallpaper on top of wood panelling... For full details on what was done go here and here.
Main Bathroom Before

Main Bathroom After

Back Stairway

The back stairway to the basement was by far the grossest in the house! The green astro turf stunk like cigarettes and mold!!!

Back Stairway Before

Back Hallway After (the paint colour is Behrs Mellow Yellow and it runs into our kitchen as well! We felt the need to brighten it all up!!)

Living Room

The living room was one of our biggest projects to date. We had to rip down everything and fix the roof that was drooping about a half a metre!!! It was FUN!!! We lived in the kitchen and bedroom for almost 4 months with the rest of the house barriered off!

Living Room Before:

Living Room During: Can you see that the room was being held up by a 2 by 4 on its face!!!!

Living Room After: Nothing from the original house exists now... other than the windows. Everything is new!

Spare Bedroom

The spare bedroom was gutted just the same as the living room. You can tell it needed it!!! Sometimes I look at the pictures of our original house and wonder what were we thinking in buying this house?????

Spare Bedroom/Office Before

Spare Bedroom/Office During

Spare Bedroom/Office After

Notice the closet on the far right, we created a HUGE closet in this room since we don't have a front hall closet to store coats and shoes in so we used part of this room to make a LARGE closet! And we got closet doors at a Wacky Wednesday Ikea sale for $55 on sale from $450!!!!! Yes that is correct!!!


This section will have to be updated because we are in the process of fixing up the basement and putting in the basement bathroom. To see progress so far on the basement go here and for progress on the basement bathroom go here.

Basement Before

This is what it looked like when the former owners owned it... EWWWWWW

And when we first moved in.
Basement After
Pictures to come shortly.