The Main Bathroom Gets a Makeover








Yes, I'm still at it.  Attempt number three to make this bathroom look and feel more spa-like in spite of the fact that I hate the tile and the floor and the tile clash.  Why anyone would think these two would go together is beyond me...

So,  here is the bathroom from the realtor's ad:


Making use of a weird cubby

My spare bedroom has a foyer.  Weird huh?  It was created when the previous owners scrapped their original plan for the house addition to add two bedrooms instead of a family room during the construction stage.  So my guests have a foyer.  Or if I ever sell this house, somebody's child will have a space that makes no sense.

I had just enough space between the door and the wall opposite to the door to add a shelf.  I decided instead to use two heavy-duty brackets and create a narrow shelf desk.  It worked like a charm.  Since there was only one stud to tie into, I bought anchors designed to hold 63 pounds and used three of them for the second bracket. It should be strong enough to hold up almost anything set on that desk.  I had a piece of maple plywood that was the perfect size for the shelf and I edged it with some 3/4" maple trim.  I'm not sure if I'm going to paint it so I just rubbed some mineral oil onto the surface to protect it and when it was dry, I used Minwax paste wax to seal it.



I painted one of my garage sale find chairs to match  my chalk paint armoire that is also kept in this room.

With a few little knickknacks added in to fill it out, it's a cute little writing desk for anyone visiting.

I took Karah's idea, (The Space Between) and added an old window above the desk as a white board.  It has two panes missing, perfect for fitting over the thermostat that is centered on the wall.  I didn't bother painting the glass because the wall behind it is a dark colour.  Another space taken care of!!


and one last little touch added today when my chokecherry tree began to bloom profusely:

Have a happy and creative week!

PS  If you opt to do this project in your own home, please place your brackets on top of studs!


A Tiny Breakfast Nook

My laundry and mudroom are nearing completion!!!  I'm so excited.  I've been waiting two years for my washer and dryer to be stacked.  When I discovered how expensive the plumbing was going to be, I came up with a new layout for the mudroom and laundry room which allowed me to move the washer to the side of my one window (instead of moving the plumbing, I moved the washer as far over as it could go and still be connected to the water lines) and gave me the ability to stack the dryer above it.

The best part of this whole process is that I wound up with a better layout than my original idea.  Now I have a lovely space for a little breakfast nook.  It has a view of my garden and is bright and sunny.  Later this summer I'll build a bar table to fit under the window but in the meantime, I've brought my bistro table and one chair inside.  I have an old crate that I'm using as a mini banquette allowing me to have another seat for anyone popping by for coffee.

Subway Art Kitchen Cart


Who doesn't have one of these carts???


Another Ikea Bekvam hack job!  I've wanted some subway art in my kitchen for a while, but never found exactly what I wanted.  A few weeks back I decided it would be cool to paint up my kitchen cart and print words on the apron sides.  I started my project with great gusto...  Unfortunately, both ideas that I came up with failed miserably and I put the whole thing on the back-burner.

 

               FAIL!                            FAIL!

It's funny how inspiration comes sometimes.  I had just bought some new paper napkins for the dining room and when I was putting away the old napkins (subway art napkins, to boot!) I realized they would be the perfect thing to add to my cart!!


I primed and repainted the cart creamy white to cover up the mess I had made with my previous attempts at subway art.  I pulled apart two napkins so that I only had the top layer with the pattern on it to work with.  I cut the napkins to size and applied modpodge to the sides of the cart.  I applied the napkins over the top of the modpodge and smoothed the surface with my fingers - being very careful not to tear the napkin.  I had centered the napkins on the cart sides, but they were just a little too narrow for the space.

My adoring dog who is always at my side gets a feature role here!
Luckily, the napkins had a gold edge so I cut extra pieces of the edging and applied them to either side of the pattern.  Then I applied another layer of modpodge over the top of the napkins.


I added extra hooks for hanging useful things.


I really like this look and now I have a little bit of subway art in my collection.  (Although now that I look back, I don't mind the other two looks as much anymore!)  Have napkin - create art!!

Visit thecsiproject.com
And then this project was named one of the
top 10 Subway projects!  Hooray!



Mudroom and Laundry Get a Makeover Part 2

Welcome to my neverending mudroom/laundryroom makeover!  I'm finally getting my laundry tub installed!!!  I've been packing that tub around with me for 6 years, so happy I will finally get to use it!   On the other hand, I just discovered that the electrical in that bathroom needs to be completely replaced... Ay yi yi!!!!!!!  Renos!  Why do we do this to ourselves????
AFTER

In order to accommodate the installation of the laundry tub, I had to change my original idea for the layout of the laundry room.  My laundry tub will now be located next to the bathroom to allow for existing plumbing lines to be used.  The plumbing and electrical for the washer and dryer won't move, but I can move the washer away from my window so that the units can be stacked.

Before Photos:

This is the room just after I moved in.  The mess on the far wall was my ex boyfriend  levelling out the very old and unlevel wall with extra mud.  I had just bought the washer & dryer.
The first thing I did was hang a curtain rod and make a curtain out of a twin sheet I bought in a clearance bin for under $2.  I also had a new window installed and trimmed out.  No more single pane windows in this house!!
I bought a sink cabinet to house my laundry tub.  A left-over piece of laminate countertop from the kitchen reno gave me a bit of extra counter space as a quasi work surface.  (Actually, the poor washer and dryer wound up being my work space & now they're all beat up... thank heavens for Abbie at Five Days Five Ways who showed us how to paint our appliances! That's a coming attraction.)


I got a closet organizer on sale and installed it in a cubby.  The sink cabinet got moved and I hung an Ikea hat rack over the counter.


I had painted the room with Ben Moore's Sundial but I found that shade of yellow too drab for my liking.  My new favourite off-white paint is a mix of a white base paint with a cup of Ben Moore's Lenox Tan added in.  I LOVE it!!

Now I've repainted the entire space and swapped out my closet and laundry tub cabinet.  This is a much better layout, the area feels much more spacious.  I'm so pleased I had to wait for this reno!  If I had forged ahead with my original layout, I would have been disappointed.  Instead I've gained twice the hanging space for my closet and it's hidden from view by the stacked washer and dryer.





























This shot is just prior to stacking the washer and dryer.  I cut a piece of maple plywood for a counter beside my laundry tub and hung shelves above.  This all came together so perfectly!!  I borrowed a 4" hole saw and a friend helped me drill the hole for the new dryer vent.  I patched and painted the wall under the window which was full of holes from screw anchors and got another friend to help me stack the washer and dryer.

Now all that remains is to plumb the laundry tub and install the faucet.  Thanks to some wonderful friends helping me with the things I couldn't do myself, this reno cost me materials only.  My laundry/mudroom is almost done!! 

Have a happy and creative week!


Aqua Love Affair

Yes, I am in love with AQUA!  It is so fresh, pretty and bright without being in your face.  It coordinates with white, cream, brown, beige, yellow, blue, green, orange - wow, guess that makes it a neutral!!

So my house is moving from the brown & beige phase into beige, cream and aqua Shabby Chic-dom.  This transformation is thanks to all the beautiful blogs I've read over the last year, not to mention the fact that my 1930s home has many small dark rooms that need mega brightening up.

Aqua first began sneaking into the picture last summer when I painted my shed/studio doors and my potting bench:


and then the baby greenhouse:


Then there was the box makeover series:


 and who could forget the letter "Z" project:
 The frame I won from Mimi at Blue Roof Cabin:

My "let's use up all the leftover paint on my painter's palette" crazy Christmas tree painting:

Then it was the armoire chalk paint project:

Then I made a crackled sign:


Then my coffee table caught the bug:

And then the door between my foyer and living room:

My shabby chic boxes:



Now my pantry cabinet has a turquoise coat as well!


I couldn't be more pleased!  Between all the creamy white and the aqua, everything feels fresh and bright and happy now.  I've embraced shabby chic cottage style like nobody's business! I'm still searching for the ideal basket to stack towels in for my living room focal point, if anyone has any leads - be sure to let me know!!!

Have a happy and creative week!

The Pantry Joins In

One of my co-workers asked me today if I ever rest on the weekend... this was a question I asked myself this past weekend when I was ripping up the tile floor as part of my bathroom reno, painting the mudroom & laundry room, and spending 2 1/2 hours in Home Depot picking out plumbing supplies and the new floor for my bathroom.  Why? I ask myself.  Why can't I stop working on this house???

The first reason is that I am so inspired by all the blog posts and pictures on Pinterest that I can't wait to jump in with both feet.  The second reason is that during the months when the weather is cool (April & May are still cool-ish here), I can work like gangbusters on projects.  Once the temperature starts getting warm to hot, I lose all my energy and things progress at a snail's pace.   In addition to those reasons, I offer a quote from Pearl Buck "To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth."  With the amount of joy I feel working on and finishing these projects, I will be youthful forever!!!

So, what else have I been up to?  I painted my pantry cabinet!! AGAIN!
                                                                                            
Here is the original cabinet (a Leksvik children's wardrobe) which I first painted with Ben Moore Snow White.



OK, the white was just way too stark for me, so I embellished it with a little chalkboard paint.

I loved the way this cabinet turned out, but with my hallway about to be painted in off-white paint, I wanted a punch of colour.  Naturally, I went back to my now tried-and-true home made chippy paint that leaves a rough, chalky finish on the furniture.

The little square knobs had never looked all that good to me, so I changed them to old fashioned round wood knobs and then I painted the whole cabinet in turquoise.  It was a new mix of white paint and Behr's Agave that turned out way too dark, so I mixed in more white paint and rollered the lighter colour over the top.  After that dried, I added streaks of creamy white paint here and there and just kept layering the colours until I got a look that I loved.

Here is the darkest colour of turquoise (the one I didn't like as much):

and here is the final cabinet:


I wiped some paint on the basket to dress it up a little.  The shutter was unfinished maple that I painted a mix of white and turquoise, distressed and wiped Minwax dark paste wax over.  It turned out so great!


I haven't waxed this cabinet and I'm not going to.  I love the extra chalkiness of the streaks of white paint.  All I did to achieve that look was take the little sponge roller still covered with turquoise paint, dipped it in a little off-white paint and roller'd it on here and there.  It worked like a charm!  

This cabinet now makes me feel very happy (and YOUTHFUL)!

Have a happy and creative week!


Gardening 2012!

Yay!  Stuff is beginning to grow in my gardens :)  Of course I failed to take a photograph a week ago when the crocuses were absolutely gorgeous.  I waited until today when they were all droopy and finished blooming.  Oh well, I can share with you the lovely violets and chives that have self-seeded.

 This is right in front of one of the doors to my studio (it never gets opened).  Aren't they beautiful?!  Love the scent as well.  I found the Easter Island head when I cleared out an overgrown garden in the front yard.  Sure glad the previous owners forgot him!!
 Watch out for that turtle, he's been in the studio all winter.  Note the spacey look on his face like he's not really sure where he is!  I think he would bite if he could...

My rock-and-thyme patio made it through the freeze and thaw cycles without too much damage.  I tried to keep a good snow cover on it.  The wooly thyme and common thyme plants did really well.  The alpine thyme (which you would think would be the hardiest!) not so well.  Luckily only one of the plants seems the worse for wear, but I think my dog was peeing on it all winter.

And of course, I need to make you all jealous with the two old wood doors that were given to me late last October just as the snow began to fly:

I took the old brass knobs off before leaving them outside.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the doors and the hardware yet but I'm thrilled to have them!!

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