Baker's Rack Makeover - Shabby Chic Look

I found an inexpensive baker's rack on (free online classifieds) and the seller lived right around the corner from me so getting it home wasn't a problem.  The price was right, the size was perfect and I liked the look of it as well.

The counter was made of laminated MDF and I had a piece of maple in my shop that was almost exactly the same size so I swapped it out.  I added a piece of trim across the front to hide the missing caps on the metal ends.

Then of course out came the chalk paint!!!

My goal was to make the piece look like it had been oxidized over the years so I wasn't terribly careful with my painting... Two coats later and a coat of dark wax on top, I began sanding it all back off again.  Because the metal is hammered, the white paint stayed in all the little crevices giving me almost exactly the look I wanted.

OOPS!  Forgot to paint the drawer sides...

I swapped out the knob for an oiled bronze pull (leftover from my kitchen reno).  I'm not really sure that I like the look of the drawer, I'd rather have a basket look or something to match the counter so changes are ahead.

Then I found this old wood in-box at the re-use centre of our dump and gave it the chalk paint treatment (sorry no before photo!).  I added an extra tin tile to my display as well (chalk painted & distressed of course!).

I also went back and painted the drawer sides and distressed the heck out of the front of the drawer.  NOW I'm happy :)  and I love that I can use that in-box as a tray.

Have a great weekend!

Meet My Buddies

This week I'm feeling particularly appreciative of my life and the pets that are such a huge part of my life, so I'm resurrecting this post from 2011.

Lucy is a husky/retriever/shepherd cross who won my heart 12 years ago.  She is my best bud, constant companion and has the best traits of all three breeds.  I found her as a 6 week old puppy at the SPCA.  Actually I found her brother first but I was set on having a female so the girls at the SPCA found his littermate for me.  It was the best decision I ever made.


She loves water, snow, sun, rain, people, animals, running, swimming, scuba diving (or her version of it),  food and life in general.

Next in line is Maggie:

Maggie was an abused animal when I got her and it took her a long, long time to trust again.  She is a purebred Maine Coon Cat and now weighs 18 lbs.  She tends to look at the rest of us like we are all nuts and she is the only one who understands what life is all about.  She LOVES food and hanging out.  She is extremely vocal about everything - especially the things she isn't impressed with - and when she purrs, it sounds like a squeaky freight train...  What she doesn't love is:

Eloise (her own kitten)

Eloise is a hunter extraodinaire.  There is nothing she can't catch &/or kill (and eat - ewwwww).  She is a very cuddly, sweet and loving little cat.  She especially loves Lucy although I suspect the feeling is not mutual.

But Lucy is a very sweet and loving animal in her own right and even though she becomes a little annoyed at times, she tolerates the adoration of this little cat.

I love them all to pieces, they are my companions and my buddies.  They enrich my life and I am so blessed to have had the chance to love them all.


Update:  I lost my sweet Lou in January 2013 and then Maggie went to join her in October.  Miss them both more than I can say.    

It's the Little Things...

That 'ol project list just keeps getting longer...  I haven't been able to accomplish much on my bathroom reno with the rainy weekends we've been having, so I have been doing little things.  Like the bench in my front entry that needed a coat of paint, except that then it was too white and so I added a coat of dark wax to warm up the colour:

Don't know if you can actually see the difference!  It has an
amber hue to it now.  Looks much nicer against the tan wall.
or the brown box I had in my bathroom that needed a makeover when I repainted the room and went with white towels and accessories:

Funny how I can see now how awful that yellow paint was in the space!!!  Sigh, wish I could figure out colour on the FIRST try - lol!

The baskets in my entry that were dark brown got rollered over with off-white paint:
I love the way these turned out!  Lighter but I still get to keep some of my favourite espresso brown...
which led to me rollering over the laundry basket in the bathroom:
and then I wanted a little window box overflowing with flowers.  This is the window I look through when I'm sitting in my breakfast nook:
A hanging window basket from Superstore and a trip to the nursery for plants - I'm in heaven!!  I've hardly done any gardening this year so far.

All the projects were super simple and quick and sooooo satisfying!
Easy, peasy projects - you gotta love 'em!!

As it turned out, Sunday was mostly dry and I did get a few of the beadboard panels hung in my bathroom.  I pulled muscles in my back & right shoulder in my struggle to install the first ceiling panel and gave up the ghost a little later.  I popped the vanity and toilet into place so I could get a feeling of how it will look.  Here's a sneak peek - forgive the mess!

I hung the mirror up high so I can install a shelf underneath it.  Oh I can't wait to get to the decorating part and hang up this diy contractor's hat for good!  (well, maybe not for good since I bought over $1000 worth of power tools in the last two years...)  Oh and "rollering over it" is a technical term for us painters who always keep a mini painter's cage with a sleeve on it that is full of paint (in a baggie in the fridge) for these little jobs that we can't put off until the next time we paint...  Yes, I'm that crazy.  

Have a happy & creative week!

Coffee Table to Bar Table in 2 Simple Steps!

I'm still  messing around with my furniture, trying to find places for all the pieces I own so that I know clearly what is or isn't going to work for me (then I can sell the rest!).

So back to my mudroom/laundry room...  I had set up my outdoor bistro set as a temporary breakfast nook but I really wanted a countertop height table that would give me room to fold clothes, work on projects, work on my laptop, enjoy the view - yup, bistro table doesn't cut it!

My coffee table was a dumpster find from last summer.  It's been painted and repainted and is waaaaay too big for my small living room.  I was studying it last week and decided it would be pretty simple to change out the legs on it for longer legs.  It actually makes me think of a small kitchen table - I'll bet someone just cut the legs down to use it as a coffee table.

I took the legs off the table & had a look at them.  Then I found a couple of youtube videos on making legs for a table similar to mine.  I raced off to the building supply to buy two 8' 2x2s that were straight, true and NOT full of knotholes and such.  I measured out the length I wanted and cut the wood to size.  After perusing Ana White's blog for table designs, I decided the longer legs would need bracing to keep them from bowing out and to make them a little stronger - they are only 2x2s which aren't really all that strong.

Here is me struggling to do the work in the 5 1/2' wide mudroom because it's pouring rain outside...

I sanded then primed and painted the legs and touched up the table top.  The legs are attached to the table by large screws that are bolted through a metal plate.  The only difficult part was drilling through the plate into the wood making sure the leg was straight!!  The bracing was super simple, the 2x2s are cut to size, installed at the 12" mark and glued and screwed to the legs with 2 1/2" deck screws.  Because I love my new brad nailer so much, I nailed them as well - just so I could use the nail gun :).

Sunday was brilliantly sunny so I could show you how wonderful this space is with the sun pouring in!

I re-used my shutters to cover the side of the washer/dryer.  A quick and light coat of white paint to let the grain and other paint colours show though does the trick. Oh and the pipes under the table will be cut down so that the table fits snug against the wall and then I will box in the bottom half of the pipes so you don't see them.

The crate has to stay as it is my cat's favourite place to sleep...  

Yay - another project done.

Have a happy and creative week!

Covering an Electrical Panel

My front entry now has a beadboard feature wall and my ugly electrical panel is nicely hidden behind a chalkboard door:

I wanted to do a small beadboard panelling project to get used to working with the panelling and my new tools before the major bathroom let's-put-beadboard-on-every-surface project.  I'm so glad I did because I had some issues with the tools that needed to be addressed before continuing...

So back to my front entry. There was a ginormous electrical panel and a huge chunk of missing drywall.  Since I still had some electrical work to do in the house, I had to find a way to hide the missing drywall until I was finished my projects.

Dolling up the Laundry Space (Laundry Makeover Part 3)

I keep playing in my new laundry space - even though it's mostly upside down with all the clutter from the bathroom reno.  Whenever I can't bring myself to work on the bathroom, I procrastinate by making something pretty for one of the other spaces.

So with Shirley at Housepitality Designs goading me on in my aqua-fest, I pulled out that can of paint again :).

I had just picked up a cute little turquoise lantern at the grocery store for $5, and decided to hang it from my hat rack.  That decided me to paint the countertop to match... and then the barstools that I am going to use for my crafting/breakfast/bar table when I get it built.   Soooo cute!!  I love it.  Here are the photos:
I had to touch up the paint on the turquoise rose chalkboard I won because I could never see what I was writing with the two different colours of paint on it.  So I painted it to match the counter top.  It seems you can write with chalk on any paint surface...

Command Central!!
I had an old plastic clock from Century 21 that I pulled apart and refaced with a printable from White Life blog.  I painted the black plastic frame the same white as the legs of my barstools.
I didn't take a before shot of the bar stools so here they are in the kitchen of my last home.

How's THAT for a laundry tub??  I can't wait to use it!

and the counter is deep enough for me to store both the barstools, nicely tucked out of the way.  Pretty soon now I'll be finishing the bathroom and tidying everything up.   So glad this project is almost finished.

Have a happy and creative week!

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