A tray table makeover, how to turn souvenirs into decor and cottage updates

As the title suggests this post is a little meandering :-)

So first off, I had a busy back to work week, but I’m so excited to share an Ottawa Citizen interview I did recently that has been published online this past weekend. It’s on how to turn vacation souvenirs into decor items that will fit with your home’s style and decor.  And yes, that’s my powder room featured with some Paris vacation photos turned into art.

Read it here.  

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In my last post, I mentioned that I had done a few DIY projects at the cottage, while on vacation.  Well, here’s another one.  I was a bad blogger and forgot to get a before photo but trust me, it looked just like this but with a totally damaged top (due to being left out in the rain one evening…d’oh).

 

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I sanded the top and even smoothed on some polyfil to try and even it out.  I then painted it all over, with some of my leftover Fat paint in a custom blue that I used for my bathroom vanity.

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I did paint the legs after this photo was taken.

I knew I wanted to do some sort of pattern or stencil on the top but hadn’t figured out what, until I was inspired by some pretty striped fabric I saw.

So out came the painters tape and some little jars of sample paints that I have hanging around, that I thought would go together well.   And, I just randomly laid down the tape some with thicker stripes and some with thinner stripes.

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Then I just painted some lines.

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The first pass turned out like this.

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Not quite enough stripes, so I added more tape and kept painting.  I also fixed up any little boo boos.  You can nicely see the tree shadow on this one, as I was painting outside on the deck.

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My final step was giving it two coats of semi gloss varnish to protect the top, as I fully intend to use this tray for serving drinks and snacks on the deck :-)

Ta Da!

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And hubby made a ton of progress on the glass railing.  I am so happy to see the old, rotting wood railing gone, I actually couldn’t stop smiling all day!  We are really hoping to have this part finished up soon.  Just one more side to do, that will have to wait for next year’s budget.

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Lisa

How to furnish and love a long narrow living room in 5 easy steps

So, you have a long narrow living or family room, and perhaps you are a little puzzled on how to go about using it to it’s full potential or at least making it appear less long and narrow.   Well, I have some quick tips for you so you can achieve this.

1.  First off, do not make the shorts walls a featured area.  This will just draw your eye right to the other end of the room and emphasize it’s narrowness.  So therefore, no accent walls of paint or wallpaper, and if possible, do not place the television or fireplace here.

2.  Do try and place the television/fireplace or other focal pieces, on one of the long walls, so that your focus is redirected there.

3. Place furniture away from the short walls wherever possible, so that they are drawn more into the center of the room.  Creating two seating areas works well in this kind of room and enables it to be used to it’s full potential.

4. Built ins or shelving units are your friend and can be used on the short walls to create some additional storage and they will inevitably cause the room to be shortened in length.

5. Don’t be afraid of larger pieces of furniture, like sectionals.  They take up less space than a sofa and loveseat and give you just as much seating, if not more, and allow you to stretch out to watch your favourite Netflick shows.

Recently, I did up a floor plan for a client with just this dilemma and here’s the two options I gave her.   *There is an interesting closet like space at the end of the room that we needed to work with, you know old homes and all their character.  Also, keep in mind drawings are for design layout purposes only and not necessarily suggestions for colour or specific pieces.
Option 1 - 
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End of the room closet area was brought forward by using a console with a piece of art above and two matching chairs in front as the secondary seating area.  The remainder of the room is focused on the television set in the middle of one of the long walls with a sectional facing it.
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Option 2 - 
The east side of the room remains the same, with the west side accommodating a built in bookcases and storage.
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So what’s your favourite Option?
Lisa

Transformation from living room to home office

I’m very excited to share this transformation.  It started back in the fall and is now entirely finished, just in time for spring.   You can click here to read my previous post on this project and how rooms in your home can be altered to suit you and your family.   Needs and wants change throughout life, and your home should change and adapt right along with you.

So without further ado, here’s the finished space  -

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Here’s a couple before shots -

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So to recap, the stairway wall was closed in and the half wall by the entrance were both closed in to allow french doors to be added to the room.   A trio of long,narrow and frosted windows were added to the now full entrance wall to keep the light flowing from room to room.

The first item purchased was the desk with its dark grey wood legs and glossy grey lacquered top, and it help dictate the mood and style of the space.

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Next, the Ikea’s Galant cabinets and bookcases were purchased in grey to coordinate with the desk.  Add, a black and white patterned area rug for a graphic punch and a cosy chair and a half for reading and conversation.  My client’s new artwork made it easy to choose colourful purple as an accent.

Lighting is provided by the great sparkly and modern fan that my client found, a modern floor lamp and a glass table lamp that adds a touch more sparkle.

And a few more pretty shots.

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My client is thrilled and is now inviting clients to her office. I love how changing your space, can transform your life as well.  What room do you want to transform?

Lisa

 

Design Plan – Gray, Mauve and Yellow

For this cold St Patrick’s Day, I’m sharing I’m  a little bit of spring with a fresh and pretty design, even though there’s not much green in it.

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I’m totally in love with the yellow chair, the artwork, the rug, the console…okay I just love everything.  This entryway design is for a client’s home. It was decided to do the entryway after we had finished converting their main floor living room into a functional and pretty home office, a little bit of reno creep.

Stay tuned for the home office reveal soon.

Lisa

 

 

How to spring clean your home without trying too hard

So, if you are like me and spring fever has hit hard and fast, and you really aren’t Molly Maid, here’s some tips for spring cleaning your home without really trying too hard.

I try to do one room at a time, that way you’ve felt like you’ve made some headway instead of being overwhelmed by the entire house.  Today, let’s focus on the bedroom.

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1. Start by removing all the bedding, yes, all of it! Start washing….and open the windows (if it isn’t snowing and blizzardly, as it is here in Ontario today).   Nothing like a breath of fresh cool air to make your home feel shiny and clean.

2. Take one of the long handled swifter type things and dust off your fan blades.  That way, there will be no more dust swirling around every time you turn on your fan.   No fan?  Then dust off the light fixture, you’ll be amazed at how much more light it will give off.  Remember to vacuum the lampshades as well, with the upholstery attachment, of course :-).

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3. Move all table top/dresser top/accessories to one area.  Dust off the empty table tops and sort through the accessories. Only put back the ones you love and put the rest in a box to either use in another part of the house, store for another season, or giveaway.

4. I like to tackle one junk drawer, cupboard, closet at a time.  Set aside about 1/2 an hour for each, maybe 1 hour for the closet.  Have a garbage ban or box for giveaways, a small box for things that belong elsewhere and a garbage bin or bag for garbage (which trust me, will be the fullest thing) at the ready.  It’s amazing the junk  stuff you keep.  Be ruthless.  By the by, this also goes of your clothes closet.  Though you may want to set aside a half day or a whole day for this, depending on your level of shopping addiction. Honestly, if you haven’t worn it the past season, why are you keeping it?  You’ll love being able to find the items you actually love, fit you, and that you want to wear, easily and quickly.
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5. While vacuuming, move the bed, dresser and sofa, or at least pass the vacuum under it.  That way those sneaky, pesky dust bunnies won’t be coming out at the most inopportune time.

6. Remake the bed and stand back and be amazed!

IF YOU ARE NOT AMAZED BY THE LOOK OF YOUR BEDROOM, GIVE ME A CALL AND WE’LL HAVE IT BEAUTIFUL AND FUNCTIONAL IN NO TIME!

Lisa