A fire table and a photo gallery wall

Well, I’m happy to report that the fire table was up and running this past weekend, just in time for our wonderful avalanche of guests for the next month.  Click here to see my previous post which shows our inspiration for the table.

We christened it on Saturday night with some good friends and a little bit of Prosecco, they were kind enough to bring.

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Here’s a little better shot of it the next morning.  My hubby did such a great job of it.  I picture many evenings here with a glass of wine….sigh….

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So totally in love with it, but a little disconcerting when later Saturday night, the bugs just kept flying right into the flames.  We are now nicknaming it,  the insect crematorium :-)

And on another note, I’ve started a photo gallery wall in the upstairs  hall.  It’s been a long time coming, since I wanted to do it ever since we moved in.  Keep in mind that it is just in the beginning stages and it will be added to in the years to come, as it’s a very long hall.  My friend, Mary Anne was kind enough to donate some of her antique finds and I thought they would be a great addition to the gallery wall.  I always like to mix it up and not just have photos and artwork on a gallery wall.

Here’s my process, first I trace the outline of the frames on to newspaper and then cut them out.  With painters tape I arrange them on the wall.  This way you can change it up until you like what you see.  Much easier than putting a huge amount of nails in the wall.  This picture was taken after I had already hung some new frames, I did use the newspaper trick for them as well, just didn’t get a shot of it :-/

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And the semifinished wall. Sorry for the blurred out faces but I just don’t feel right posting pictures of my kids on the internet.

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I’m off to help out my son and his fiancé, with their own art gallery wall tonight. Should be fun!

Lisa

Beachy caribbean blue china cabinet makeover

Hope you had a great Canada Day my fellow Canadians and, to my American readers, hope your Independence Day is fabulous!

We had such great hot weather here that it was hard to get all the jobs done but I did get this accomplished.   I’m thrilled with the little brightness it adds to this dark corner.

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If you don’t remember this is how it looked before the mini makeover.

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Such a cute little cabinet but it needed a happy colour!  P.S. Sorry for the all the reflections, it’s really hard to take a picture of a glass cabinet with three windows reflecting all around it.  You can even see my purple floral sundress that I was wearing when I took the photos :-)

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And it brightens up this corner perfectly.  And if you were really paying attention, you’ll notice that I also changed out the hardware.  I had a cute crystal knob on hand that I used on the top door. But for the bottom I decided on a tiny brass knob instead of the larger crystal one, it just seemed a tad too big on the bottom door).  I also had great fun styling it.

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Some faux coral, a pretty glass aqua starfish, a little white canister from Indigo to add some texture and a trio of small blue bottles I picked up in California last year.  I may add some blooms to them as well.

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And last but not least a glass dome with some green moss and a few seashells to add to the beachy theme.

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P.S. Since a lot of people asked, I thought I would include the recipe for homemade chalk paint that I used for this piece and in these furniture makeovers as well – China Hutch and Buffet (click on the name to read those posts).

Here’s the recipe (which I found online here).

Homemade Chalk Paint

2 cups of latex paint (I used eggshell) in the colour of your choice
5 tbsp plaster of paris
1 1/2 tbsp cool water (the original recipe calls for 3 tbsp, I like the thicker version of the paint)
Mix the plaster of paris with the water, stir thoroughly till there are no lumps.  Then add latex paint and mix completely. It should be just as smooth as the plain paint when you started.
 

The beauty of chalk paint is that very little prep is needed.  I very lightly sanded the piece because it was so dark and then I used a small foam roller to apply two coats of the chalk paint.  For the tight areas I used a tiny foam brush, letting the first coat dry for about an hour.  I then let it dry completely for a few days, before I applied  The Fat Paint Company Wax in antique.  I spread a very light coat  over the entire surfaces, buffing it to a shine, after waiting 10 minutes.  After a half an hour,  I used The Fat Paint Company Wax in natural,  to cover the entire piece and buff it to a shine, once dry.  If more shine is desired, another coat of wax can be used.  It goes on so nice and easy with a clean dry cloth.

If you have any other questions, I’d be happy to answer them to the best of my amateur painter ability :-)

Lisa

Exterior cottage love going on

Well, now with the warmer weather finally here, at least in my neck of the wood, I hope you are enjoying it. School is almost out and I’m sure that is a relief to end all the lunch making, homework checking and routine. Here’s to a great summer for everyone!

I have a bit of progress to report at the cottage.  Hubby has been determined to get the fire table finished, so here’s where we are now, and by we I really mean him.  I’ve done nothing, except help with the design and the finishes…of course :-)   Can’t wait to try it out.

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And I received my fabric order from a few weeks back, so I’ll be sewing up a storm, whenever I can get a second.  These will be exterior cushions for the cottage deck.   Can’t wait for them to liven up the wood chairs, wood deck and log exterior of the cottage….you get the idea…so much wood…and so0000 much brown.

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And kind of another exterior update, Hubby got the terracotta tile laid in the sunroom, right at the entrance to the deck.  It still needs to be grouted, I’ll share the progress once it is completed.  He’s been a busy, busy, boy.

While he was working away, I kept myself busy making over this lovely little china cabinet that a neighbour gifted to me.  I know it’s not really related to the cottage exterior theme of this post, but I’d thought I’d share it anyways.  It’s a perfect fit in this somewhat dark corner of the cottage, so I decided it should be a nice bright colour to liven up the corner.  This is how it looked:

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And in the process:

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I told you it was bright….and quite lively.  I used homemade chalk paint (Cyan Sky) and I will be giving it a going over with some antique wax (which will tone it down a little) and then of course, some clear wax to finish it properly.  I love, love, Fat Wax in case you are looking for a recommendation. Check out their website for locations near you.  I’ll post a picture once it’s completed, hopefully soon.

We also went to the Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour a few weeks ago. I posted about it last year, when all the TBBs went.  Hubby got an adorable candy dish for his office (sorry forget to snap a pic before he went off with it) but I did get this great shot of an old barn on one of the properties.  There is just something about old, timeworn barns that appeals to me.

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Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and an

early Happy Fourth of July, to my American readers!  

Have a wonderful long weekend!

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

Guest room mood board, living room designs and some reno updates

I hope you’ve been enjoying some of the spectacular weather that has been happening.  Makes it really hard to spend the day at the computer, but I may just be bringing it out on the deck.  It has sure been a busy few weeks here.  I’ve just finished a guest room mood board for a client.  Keeping in mind that we wanted to stay on a tight budget for this basement guest room, with a light and fresh beachy feel, here is the mood board.

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The background colour is the room’s current colour – Benjamin Moore’s – Collingwood OC-28.  And I’ve suggested painting the existing unmatching wood side tables in New Hope Gray 2130-50.  A sheer pretty roll up blind for the tiny  window is perfect to let the light in. A soft upholstered headboard in a linen fabric keeps the bed looking fresh and clean and works well with the existing soft blue/gray tone on tone paisley bedding.  A mirror in a fun shape and a simple bright white dresser are perfect for storage needs and a graphic striped runner completes the beachy feel.

I’m also working on a client’s family room that is very long and narrow.  With dimensions of  23′ x 9′,  it’s a tricky one.  I’m loving the suggestions found on Pinterest, check out my Long Narrow Rooms board to see some of the inspiration photos I’ve collected.

Also on my desk, is the finishing touches to a client’s living and dining room that is all things minimal and modern, oh yes…and with lots of Indian touches and style.  Having lots of brilliantly coloured artwork to play with makes me a happy designer :-)

And we also been having some fun with the cottage renovations, the sunroom roof was replaced and some skylights removed at the same time.  Lots of mess, but heaven knowing we will not have any more water pouring into it, when it rains heavily.  And we will be replacing some tile flooring in there as well, stay tuned for a tile repair that will look like an entrance rug…fingers crossed….

Hubby is also in the process of making a fire table for the cottage deck.  Lots of stone and concrete bought for it and here’s hoping he has some time in the near future to actually get it finished.  I’m looking forward to leisurely sitting around the fire with a glass of wine while enjoying the river view.  Here’s our inspiration -

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Via www.techo-bloc.com website

And in anticipation of having a beautiful fire table to sit at, I’ve ordered some outdoor fabrics to make some cosy pillows for our rather hard wood chairs.

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Well, you’re all caught up now, on what I’ve been up too.  How’s your summer going so far?

Lisa

A small bench….slipcovered

I managed to do a tiny little makeover project for my cottage bathroom recently.  I’ve included the basic instructions in case you want to tackle something similar.

I started with this rather old and grubby little bench that I’ve been using as a vanity seat in my bathroom.

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I wanted a cover that I could wash easily and feel clean and fresh.  So I decided on terry towelling, i.e. towels! I picked up two large white bath towels in the clearance section of HomeSense and I was well on my way.  Be sure to wash them in hot water and put them in the dryer, to avoid any shrinkage.

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I measured the top and sides.  This is also where you figure out how long you want the slipcover to be.   I wanted to make sure the legs weren’t showing so I went almost to the floor.  I also wanted the yoke of the towel to line up on all four sides and for the finished end of the towel to become the hem.

I added 1/2″ for any necessary seam allowances, so on each side I added 1″ as there are two sides to sew and 1/2″ on the top of each side piece, which is sewn to the top of the bench.  The photo above shows the process of cutting out the sides from the towel.

Once all the pieces were cut,  I sewed the four sides to the top piece at the edge of the seat.

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Then I proceeded to pin the sides together, being careful that my towel yoke (is that the correct term?) was lined up.   To do this I put the slipcover on the bench, inside out to ensure the fit was fairly tight.   I should also mention that I zigzagged about 3 times over each raw edge to help with fraying.  This was when I wished I had a fancier sewing machine or a serger but alas, I don’t.

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And here’s the finished slipcovered bench.

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It was pretty easy, only took me about 2 hours from start to finish and I zigzagged the edges on the remaining pieces of towels to use as rags.  Waste not, want not :-)

Lisa

Charleston architecture and some beautiful gardens

Well, Hello, anybody still there! I’m sorry for the extended absence, but spring, well…. that and a bad back has wiped me out recently, so I apologize for my lack of posts.  But I’m back, pun intended :-) at it with a long delayed Charleston post.  If you remember, hubby and I visited Charleston last month and I still have a ton of photos to share with you.

One thing that makes Charleston very interesting, is that any building older than 75 years is not allowed to be torn down and therefore they have many historical homes and businesses in the downtown core.  Also, high-rises are not permitted, which means their core retains its charm and small town feel.

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Even partial walls aren’t torn down as shown where it has been incorporated into a newer building.

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And here where it is used in the garden area of a restaurant/bar that we happened upon. I wonder how old those bricks are?

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Some beautiful homes around town.

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The home above shows what is referred to as a Single Home in Charleston.  What looks like the main door from the street actually only leads to a long covered porch (called a piazza).  The piazza looks out onto the side yard and the house is actually very long but only one room deep.  This was a pre-electricity version of air conditioning, so that any breezes flowed through the rooms from the windows to the piazza.

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Rainbow Row for obvious reasons :-)

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April is the best month to visit Charleston, as told to us by the many guides we had the pleasure of listening to, as from May to September the weather becomes exceedingly hot and humid and doesn’t let up until October.  The flowers were in bloom which was a sight for my sore eyes, after looking at loads of white stuff for the last 5 months. DSC_0036 IMG_0625 IMG_8577 IMG_8601 IMG_8602 IMG_8609

Do you see the black round metal piece above the window here? It’s actually a bolt that holds a giant screw that goes through the entire home to eliminate and/or prevent any earthquake damage.  These bolts are in many, many buildings in Charleston as they are on a fault line.

And did you notice that black is a very popular exterior trim colour?

Lisa

 

 

Just in time for Mother’s Day – Get your Party Started

Today I’m posting over at BrazenWoman, on getting your Mother’s Day Party started, with some fabulous party decor from Target.

Click on the photo below to read the post.

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Have a great weekend all you Mothers out there and be sure to celebrate your own Mother or Grandmother!

Lisa

Boone Hall Plantation

Please excuse my silence here, it’s been a busy few weeks with a family member in hospital. However, I’m posting today on the TBB blog about my recent visit to Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston.  Click on the photo below to read the post.

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And on Friday, I’ll have a new post on Brazenwoman.  Have a great week!

Lisa

Charming Southern Iron Work

A few weeks ago, my hubby and I were in Charleston, South Carolina.  I had not been to Southern Carolina before and I had always imagined it as a gentile, historical, civilized place and I was not disappointed….Mint Julips anyone? The weather was perfect, sunny, warm and with a gentle breeze.

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I’ll be doing a few posts on Charleston as it would make one very looooonnnnng post if I included everything in one.  As usual, I took many architectural photos of homes and the iron work that is all over Charleston, so for this post I’ll be focusing on the beautiful ironwork that is all over the city.

 Lots of it was done by the blacksmith and iron work artist, Philip Simmons.  Unfortunately, many of the original iron work was melted during the War between the States (as the Civil War is referred to in Charleston).

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There’s a definite European feel to Charleston, with their quaint little alleyways and cobblestone streets.  I also had a strong sense of deja vu, since sometimes I felt like I was back in New Orleans.

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This was an exterior bar at the back of a restaurant that was so charming in it’s use of salvaged materials, that I just had to take a picture. Note the various pieces of iron work that are placed on the face of the bar.  Each is so intricate and beautiful on their own.

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This grill below was in the middle of a large hedge that bordered a property.  It looks very old to me.

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This very fancy and scrolly (is that a word?) ironwork was on a very old theatre (sorry forgot the name) in the city centre.

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The gated entrance to a private residence from their car port.  And below, a gated side garden on one of the large homes that we toured past.

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Families’ mottos were often included in the iron work gates and grills, to show what their business was. For example,the tobacconist would have a pipe in his gate.  Unfortunately, my photo of this particular gate did not turn out…I hate that.

Next up, some architecture around town.

Lisa