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Entries in Kim's renos and decos (141)

Wednesday
Oct052016

My credenza makeover

Yesterday I shared my dining room makeover, so today I thought I would show you what happened to my credenza. Some may love, some may hate, but it's working for now so I am going to enjoy it until I can maybe afford something fancy. 

Soon after we moved in I noticed Benjamin Curran was selling a bunch of pieces of this walnut veneer (??) vintage furniture in Montreal so off we went with my mom's massive SUV and trailer and picked up this credenza, a headboard, 2 side tables and an armoire. All for an awesome price (or free because some of it he just wanted to get rid of). I loved the somewhat brutalist pattern in the doors and still do, and it fits PERFECTLY in this alcove (7' long). It has SO much storage with pull out drawers behind the doors on the left and right sides and drawers down the centre. 

Pre-makeover of the room it was pretty cute. But then we went and refinished the floors grey. Then I had that hemlock dining table made (blonde and grey wood). After that the orange tones of this credenza were just AWFUL. We looked into buying Ikea kitchen cabinets to fit in the alcove and getting a marble top made but the cabinets alone with shelving/drawers inside would have been over a thousand dollars. YEAH. NO. And I could not find anything this long that wasn't a gazillion dollars. 

After much thought, I committed the worst crime of all and painted the credenza. It was a bitch of a job but in the end, saved me a ton of money until I can afford something totally fabulous. 

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Tuesday
Oct042016

My dining room makeover

Progress on my house has been slow, and every room had finishing touches that never seemed to get done, like stupid baseboard trim. Thanks to a photo shoot of my home a couple of weeks ago (so exciting!!!) my husband and I finally completed the majority of the rooms, and I spent last weekend shooting the dining and living rooms. More photographing required, but it is a good start, and today I would like to share my dining room in its current state (I say that because I am always changing things around and on the hunt for decor items that are more fab than what I currently have). So above is what the space looked like right after we moved in. Boring white ceiling that did not showcase the amazing curve, horrible HORRIBLE mahogany coloured stain/varnish/crap on all the window trim, doors and corner built-in. All of the hardwood on the main floor is oak and was stained this hideous yellow/orange. Whoever thought red trim and orange floors was a good idea was a complete moron. The previous owners took the chandelier with them and left us with nothing hence the lack of overhead light. The table was the rather small and narrow one from our last house with some random chairs and a bench. This room needed a COMPLETE overhaul. Note: The photo above was taken with a very wide angle lens - the room is 10'x14' and the alcove is about 1.75' deep.  

A little peek into the room because I had to show you what the gorgeous curved double doors with stained glass leading into the room from the foyer look like. These doors slay me. They are so freaking fabulous. Especially now that they aren't mahogany!!! The colour is Black Blue by Farrow & Ball. 

And this is the space now. All new everything! 

The vintage reproduction tulip chairs and credenza I picked up in Montreal from Benjamin Curran. The paint is Calamine on the walls and baseboards and Dove Tale on the ceiling by Farrow & Ball. I have gone dark with most of this house so I decided to go with light colours in here for something a little unexpected and to make this house not seem so cave-like. And mostly so my family will stop poking fun at me. 

The cushions are upholstered in brown velvet which is not my first choice but given I have many cats, velvet is really the way to go. One day I will have new cushions made (the foam is basically disintegrating) and upholster them in something crazy like red or a deep burgundy. The rug I picked up at Homesense, and its super duper low pile makes it the easiest rug to clean I have ever owned. We had the floors refinished and had about 2 colours to choose from in the grey family (annoying) so we went with Minwax's classic grey. Luckily I love how they turned out. 

Rona is my all-time favourite source for plants. Their selection is ridiculous and prices are amazing. This guy was I think $16. The pot is maybe from Rona too. (I could use a newer, better one. Maybe in brass). 

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Wednesday
Jul272016

My raised vegetable and herb garden

Last summer my husband decided to build a garden in our backyard. It was not planned out and in the end I was really not happy with the quick and dirty execution of it. Basically it looked like crap. (No offense husband dearest!) This summer I insisted he destroy the existing garden and WE come up with a plan for something much more aesthetically pleasing. We did a quick google image search one day for raised garden beds and came across a photo very quickly that we both loved. It was essentially a big rectangle with an area cut out in the middle to walk around in. Simple yet a great layout. And let me say right off the bat that if you're thinking of building a garden GO WITH A RAISED GARDEN. Weeding is actually FUN when it's not back-breaking!

We found a super resource of cedar so we went with unplaned cedar to keep the cost down (in the end it cost about $380, and the garden is about 6' wide and 18' long). The wet spot above may or may not be me having just hosed down cat pee. 

We placed it against the side of our garage (that one day in the not so distant future needs replacing). We have grand plans of building a screened in gazebo type shed thingy next to it so we can hang out with the cats and not have to tie them up with leashes/harnesses. 

This garden is fairly large but aside from the gazebo and a larger back porch we don't really need anything else back here. Note the random ferns. They are all over our property. I had no idea they grow like weeds. Best looking weeds out there I'd say! 

The wood on this side of the garage was rotting so husband found something called plytanium. It's an outdoor wood with grooves to look like planks. I decided to hell with it, we would leave it unpainted and I don't care that it doesn't match the rest of the white garage because at least it blends in with the garden. I thought that would make a prettier, more organic backdrop although the plants have grown so big in the few weeks since they were planted that it doesn't show much anyway. 

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Tuesday
Jun282016

My bedroom transformation

I know it has been ages since I have mentioned house progress on the blog but the gift of a new rug that happened to work really well in my master bedroom gave me the swift kick in the ass to style and photograph my just-about-complete space. My bedroom has been a slow work-in-progress for the past year or so, ever since we FINALLY purchased a king-size mattress (memory foam - our first one and we love it). This rather large new mattress was a god-send since we have many cats, most of whom love to sleep with us. The room is about 10'x12' which for a master bedroom in a 4-bedroom house is pretty freaking small. It basically fits the bed and not much else, which is fine because we each have our own dressing room. OH YES!

Here is a photo I took about 10 days after we moved in (with our old queen mattress) 2 years ago.

And this is what it is looking like these days...

I was looking for an earthy, natural theme and colour scheme so it is all about reclaimed wood, plants and brown tones. I was recently asked by EcarpetGallery to pick out a rug to feature on the blog and this beauty above was what I chose. A 4'11" x 8'10" hand-knotted antique wool rug from Afghanistan. It is absolutely beautiful and fits perfectly in this room (and tones down my orangey birch hardwood floor). It took me days to pick out a rug because they have such an amazing and large selection of traditional rugs, modern rugs, tribal rugs, transitional rugs, kilim rugs, shag rugs, persian rugs etc. Endless possibilities! And I was stoked to find out they are based in Montreal (YAY Canadian!) and New York so shopping is a breeze! (They now offer free shipping on all orders shipped to Canadian provinces and the continental United States with a 30-day free return policy).

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Thank you so much EcarpetGallery for this absolutely gorgeous rug, and giving me a reason to finally shoot my bedroom even if it is not quite complete. 

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Wednesday
May252016

New art (again) in my living room

I had been trying to find a large piece of art for over my sofa for months and months and could not find anything that really shouted "BUY ME I'M PERFECT" or that wasn't bank-breaking since my taste in art changes frequently. I had a photo printed on canvas as seen in this post and had no where to hang it but over my sofa in the living room (also seen here when I received a new sofa) which made me realize how badly I needed something BIG and BOLD and DARK because I am enjoying my monochromatic dark grey theme I have going in there. When I spotted this photo randomly on Instagram I fell in love. Now I generally hate art behind glass because glare makes me nutty and taking a decent photo of it can be difficult. I did some searching for options on printing photos (the photographer Amanda emailed me a high-res copy of the photo to have printed myself since she lives in Bali and I'm in Canada) and came up with printing it on photoboard (1/4" thick, dense white material). Posterjack is based in Toronto and offered this at a really good price considering I decided to go 40"x40". And no, this isn't a sponsored post. I came up with this all by myself. :) Because my husband is a very handy guy who is into woodworking, I asked him to fabricate a frame for the photo to make it look more weighty and less poster-y. The result is exactly what I was after. I think it is a dramatic addition to the space. It is in keeping with my dark theme, will not irritate me when I try and photograph it, the printing turned out fantastic and sharp, and the frame was exactly what I wanted. BOOM. 

(Sources for just about everything are in this post. Sadly the cats would not leave the new wool covered sectional sofa alone so it is now up in our 3rd floor storage-supposed-to-be-library space awaiting that transformation and the old sofa with 999 claw marks is back.)