Saving is Believing

I’ve been searching for a small TV/media stand for one of our guest bedrooms. I wanted the stand to be pretty slim in size but with reasonable room for storage, inexpensive potentially a fixer-upper, ideally not white in color, solid wood, and preferably a vintage piece in a shabby chic/French Provincial style (and you wonder why I couldn’t find it!). After my rigorous hunt on CList and Kijiji and various furnishing stores turned out to be fruitless, I’ve decided to give HomeSense a try. I didn’t think I’d be that LUCKY!

This little beauty made my eyes pop as soon as I entered the furniture section…here it is, a TV/media stand that fits all my search criteria! I knew if I could think of it, it existed!

Solid Wood TV Media Stand in Buttery Yellow Stain: $99
Fulfill my vision and complete my guest bedroom look: Priceless!
 

 Love the casual look from the slatted sides of this TV stand.

Petite Secretary Desk Makeover

I picked up a small secretary/writing desk from Kijiji last week for $70, and painted it in antique white so that it could go to one of our guest bedrooms. Our guests will then have a comfortable desk to write and use their laptops on.
A desk in solid wood with a design like this could easily cost me hundreds of dollars buying it brand new.All it takes is a couple of coats of paint to freshen it up and modernize it. A vintage piece in such great condition is not only economical but environmentally responsible and stylish.
Here is the BEFORE
 BEFORE
 AFTER in Antique White with Oxidized Pewter Knobs
 AFTER
Now all I need is to find a matching chair or bench. I am thinking along the line of French Provincial or shabby chic style. We shall see.

SPRING into Action

The sun came out today and I started to see the hope of warm weather around the corner. After all, who can’t use some spirit boost in the midst of worldwide desperation such as New Zealand earthquake and Japan earthquake-tsunami?
I see it’s about time for us to “spring” into action.
It all started with this…a design inspiration picture I saved to my hard drive years ago and still like to-date. The whole idea is to expand the entertaining space from inside out during summer months.
So here is the design board with my wish list. I have interviewed a couple of landscaping designers so far with the hope to start the project in mid-late April. I will share the design template I select later on.
1. Retaining wall; 2. Emerald Cedar fence facing the patio door; 3. Lilac tree; 4. Storage shed (big enough for bikes, snow blower and lawn mower); 5. Hudson patio set from Canadian Tire; 6. Weber Genesis BBQ; 7. Ikea Balso “Golf Ball” Planters; 8. Bamboo Chinoiserie Chairs purchased from CList for $50; 9. 10×12 Gazebo from Sears — it will be set up right outside of the patio door. We considered a cedar pergola but decided against it first due to cost ($4000+) and second its practicality (lack of).

Laundry Room Makeover

After $2500 bank poorer (or house richer), our laundry room makeover is considered complete. I would consider this one of the easiest projects we’ve done so far in this house. After all, how difficult could it be just to design, pay and get other people to put it together for you?

So this is what our laundry room looks like. I love to be able to drop my purse on the countertop, put away my shoes in the pantry, and wash my hands in the sink before I head into the house. The colorful  “Kiwi” enamel tile in the far right corner is a gift from my mother-in-law from her trip back to New Zealand.
After all I did put up these mosaic tiles myself. I reused all the tools from our kitchen backsplash, and only spent half an hour putting everything in place. The Dal Tile MI96 Blue1 mosaic tiles from Home Depot look so perky and airy — the sort of ambiance I was after for a laundry/mud room.
And remember that $25 wall-mounted ironing board cabinet I picked up from Home Outfitters? Here it is: slide the cabinet door to the left, flip up the ironing board and you are in business. Now you see it…
And now you don’t…

I am still debating whether to paint or wallpaper the wall or leave it as is. The weather is too dingy these days that I can’t wrap my head around what color would work for a sunny room like this. We are heading to Italy for a few weeks, so I will have plenty of time to think about it.

Our next project? Shall we Take It Outside?!

Done with Laundry Room Makeover….Almost

As a follow up to the last night’s post, this is how my laundry/mud room looks after the makeover. The frame is done, so now I can be off to my favorite part — decorate it.

The Formica Smoke Quarstone countertop in Radiance/Glossy finish looks fabulous. A laminate countertop is practical and economical for a laundry/mud room.

 I opted for a smaller (21″x21″x8″) kitchen sink to make room for more storage. After all hands will be all we wash here.
So I started to pick out tiles for the backsplash. Thankfully this time we only have a tiny area to tile, and with the kitchen experience under our belt, this one should be smooth sailing. So far I’ve settled on this greyish blue + white stone and glass mosaic called Dal Tile MI96 Blue from Home Depot. It’s really inexpensive, and it seems to work with the room’s color scheme.
 Dal Tile MI96 Blue from Home Depot
 And this is a cheap-n-chic DIY drawer liners I made today. The plastic placemats are two for $1 at Dollarama. After cutting them to fit the pantry shelves, I used double-sided tape to secure them in place. And that’s it, $1 for a water-proof, washable and stylish drawer liners where Anthony could park his shoes on.
 And here’s something silly we did today. While at Ikea looking for Salong vases (btw, though beautiful they are too small for my laundry room), Anthony suggested these Socker Plant Pots to add some colors to the room. They are very light-hearted and cheerful. I will leave them there for a few days and decide if I want to keep them.
 This is what I was initially thinking to put on top of the shelf — wooden letters – such a design cliché, isn’t it?
More pictures to follow after the complete makeover.

Laundry Room Work in Progress

We kicked off our laundry room makeover yesterday, and we immediately learnt that no matter how well we planned ahead of time, no matter how great it looked in any type of design software, we need to embrace ourselves for surprises. And just like that “Love It or List It” show, we don’t always get all we are promised.
So here is the final design of our laundry/mud room. The bridging shelf I was very much excited about didn’t happen as there’s not enough clearance for the rod. The double-door sink cabinet showed up as a single-door one. The power outlet for the washer is well above the countertop so it needs to be relocated.
Here is a WIP picture of our laundry room as of tonight. The electrian/plumber is still try to hook up the faucet/sink and relocate the power outlet. The countertop can not be secured until his job is done. The Ikea Adel cabinets turn out great.
So back to the laundry room I go. Will post some more pictures later.