Before and After: Windsor Chair

Shortly after I finished the makeover the writing desk for our guest bedroom, I was in search for a chair to go with it. I found this sad little guy on CList for $20. This comb-back Windsor chair is an antique piece, and was passed down to a pastor from his family for generations.

 He seems in high spirit after a few coats of paints in Martha Stuart’s Chinchilla.
 Look how perky he is dressed in a blue chevron cushion? The chair pad is a DIY job by yours truly.
 And now they are finally an item in our guest bedroom waiting for to be used by our lucky guests!

Total costs = $20 (chair) + $0 paint leftover + $0 fabric remnant + $5 foam insert = $25.


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
 AFTER in Antique White with Oxidized Pewter Knobs
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.

The Pursuit of Happiness (in Bargain Hunting)

We have some overseas guests over to stay with us for a while, so I have been very busy getting our second guest bedroom ready. The room is now double-duty as Anthony’s video game/media room. I need a multi-task desk that can be used as a writing desk, laptop table, and vanity/lady’s desk, etc. The pursuit was challenging with my mind set on a certain style and size. After exhausting my search in major furniture stores, I have decided to give some local classified sites such as Kijiji and Craigslist a try again. I would have turned to one of my favourite custom furniture stores Anne-Quinn if I wasn’t in a hurry to get it. So here is how my bargain hunting trip went:

Verdict: No Deal after L’absence de réponse
Listed on Kijiji, the dimension is perfect, style and function are in-line, and price is excellent at $300 for a piece supposedly antique maple. However, when a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. After many attempts to connect with the seller, I gave up when they went L’absence de réponse on me. Oh well, this is still a buyer’s market and I had to move on.

Verdict: Faithful Louis XV but too Flamboyant
This is an antique reproduction, but both the price tag (upward of $3,000) and the ornate style scream too much for me.

Verdict: My Favourite, but wait, it’s a Custom Piece!
Words can’t describe how much I love these legs! The curves remind me of Christopher Guy’s signature chris-x (pronounced kriskrôs) leg design. For those interested in buying this piece and have the patience to wait for it, you can go to InDeco Furniture to order it.

Verdict: Sold!
Also listed on Kijiji, this young antique piece is in mint condition, made of solid cherry and with a price tag that made my jaw drop! I was told I was the first one to call after the seller hit the “List the Item” button. After zooming through the traffic in Bathurst & St. Clair area, I scored this bargain at $200!!! I will probably have it spray-painted in the future. I can already see how fantastic this desk is going to turn out in antique white or grey color.

Ciao for now, until next time I have something exciting to post again.

Summerize Our Home

This past week we had our outdoor lights replaced with those wall lanterns I bought from Rona. Coincidentally, the bronze finish of these lanterns matches the brown undertone of the new paint. Here are some pictures.

I am a big fan of mix-n-match as long as in a coordinated fashion. I chose a half wall lantern for our porch in the same antique bronze finish. The circle pattern on the lantern echos our Sausalito foyer light from Troy Lighting. I feel quirky happy (just like Audrey Tautou from Amélie) when my guests notice details throughout the house like this.
This west-facing guest bedroom was like a boiler heated up by the afternoon sun. As mentioned in my last blog, this past week I had it changed to this soothing Light French Gray color from Behr.
I picked up this throw/blanket in Waverly’s Coral Trellis from Home Sense. If a blue coral/foliage pattern like this doesn’t scream Shabby Chic, I don’t know what else does. Oh by the way, it is my plan to decorate all our bedrooms in different themes: so far this guest bedroom is predominantly in French Provincial/Shabby Chic style. Our master bedroom is modern classic/transitional, and I am yet to figure out the other three.
I highly recommend the Sun Control Film from RCR. As long as you watch the installation video ahead of time, this window film is very easy to put up, and it drastically reduces glaring and temperature. Our guest bedroom now feels at least 3-4 degrees (Celsius) cooler. It also blocks up to 98% UV rays and therefore protects furniture from fading. The only downside is the film is tinted so it slightly darkens the room. You can buy this window film from Home Hardware stores by special order.

Crank Up the Curb Appeal

Earlier this week we had Andrew from Lusso Glass replace our front door with these wrought iron panels. Don’t let Andrew’s young appearance mislead you. My professional instinct asked me to give him a chance when we first met him. He was very well organized, and sincere in helping potential customers make their own decision. It turned out that our tummy was right: he did a fantastic job on the day of installation, and before that he constantly kept us up-to-date on our custom order.

So here we present you with our new entrance door. We chose Listral Glass for its simple yet elegant and functional (privacy) characteristics; and Ulysses – a custom design wrought iron insert. I wanted ours to be different from our neighbours’ — don’t people just get tired of those mass-produced, imported styles like Juliana or Luna? We chose Antique Bronze (Oil Rubbed Bronze) handlesets to match the door hardware in the rest of our house.
I couldn’t believe I found a Moorish Tile pattern rug here in Canada! I kicked myself for not buying the one from Pottery Barn before they discontinued it. You’d never guess where I got it from, yes, who would guess it’s from Home Depot? This 32×48″ rug now serves as a doormat in the foyer. Now that the doors are in, the next step is to pick a paint color (or two) for the garage and the front door. I am still debating whether to paint both the same color, or paint garage door a lighter shade (such as taupe or beige) then front door darker color (such as charcoal or espresso). I will post some pictures when we finish this task. Stay tuned.