House & Home - August 2010 - Spotted!

April 27, 2011

I get House & Home magazine delivered on a monthly basis, and have quite a large stack of them sitting on my bookshelf. Actually, I also have a large stack on my desk and another on my bedside table, but that's not the point of this post. I was flipping through some old issues when this image stopped me:
House & Home - Aug 2010 - A Different Beat, pg. 42
Image Source: H&H - Aug 2010 - A Different Beat, pg. 42
Anybody else spot the similarity between the rug above and mine (read about my rug here)?

The picture was taken in Arren Williams' home, who is a stylist for House & Home magazine. I think the only real difference between his and mine might be the colour. His colour choice was admittedly much better than mine - I bet he didn't have half the trouble I did finding a fabric for his sofa that worked with the rug.


Bathroom Makeover - Part 1

April 20, 2011

So, I've finally started my long put-off bathroom makeover. When I decided that there wasn't really anything I could do with the blue tiles I lost a little of my redecorating gusto (or maybe it was mojo?) . It's now returning in fits and starts, but that might be because in the last few weeks I have managed to collect a rather LARGE number of other projects that I will have to start on soon, rather than any great desire to try to make something of the bathroom.

After my last post on the subject, Rufusfrom Rufus' Food and Spirit Guide commented and suggested I embrace the Smurf blue  - well, I think I need to conclusively demonstrate that it's not the colour itself I dislike. For this reason alone I felt compelled to share this picture from last Halloween:
Smurf Halloween costume
Embracing smurf blue 
Yes, that's right, I dressed up as a Smurf. I should add this was while at work. My whole department (even our director) painted our faces blue  and we won best group costume, and also Best 80's theme costume!! Ironically  I was handy Smurf. But I digress.

Back to my bathroom. The first step was determining how to fill-in the gap at the bottom of the wall between the baseboard and the floor tile. A common occurrence in older buildings is settling, and my building is no different with slightly off-kilter floors and doorways. This was the only immediately visible indicator of the settling  in my apartment, and it needed to be disguised.
Gap between tile and wall
The gap between the baseboard and the tiled floor
Fixing the gap wasn't difficult - it simply required a quick trip to Home Depot for some quarter round and a little of my time. There were of course the little hiccups - I though I was brilliant when I decided to drill pilot holes for the nails that would hold the trim down, except the drill holes were at an angle that ensured the nails ended up in the gap I was trying to mask. Grumble. Other than leaving me with a few more holes to fill, it wasn't a big issue.

What was a bit of a pain however, was painting my new trim,and then the baseboards and radiator. You don't think about how many nooks and crannies a radiator has until you have to tape around, and then paint one.
Tapping around a radiator for painting
I'm pretty sure I used up at least half a role of tape doing this
I'm very much hoping that the fact that the rad was warm while I painted it won't be an issue down the road . . .

Anyways, after giving the trim and radiator two coats of  paint, I peeled back the tape I had so carefully applied and revealed this:
Quarter round in a bathroom

Much better n'est-ce pas?


Spitting Image Style - Crate&Barrel's Dahlia Mirror

April 12, 2011

Several months ago I was in Crate&Barrel when I spotted this:
Crate & Barrel Dahlia Mirror
Crate&Barrel Dahlia Mirror
It's gorgeous, but at $349.95 I wasn't even tempted to lug it home.

On the weekend I was at my local HomeSense when I spotted this:
Dahlia Mirror copy at Home Sense
HomeSense Dahlia mirror (Excuse the cellphone photo)
While not exactly the same this version is just $29.99!!! That's less than 10% of the original!! My only problem was I couldn't figure out where in my home I'd put it so it stayed on the shelf.  I now think  that might have been a mistake - I should have just brought it home and tried it out on every wall. Sigh - Oh well.


To Paint, Or Not To Paint - That Is The Question

April 09, 2011

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a wee problem with my bathroom - I don't really like it. Most of my dislike stems from one particular feature - the tiles. They are a rather unfortunate shade of blue.

Don't get me wrong - I love blue, just not my blue tiles.
Blue things I love
Some of the blue things I love
As there isn't any way to replace the tiles without breaking my limited budget,  I started to contemplate painting the tiles.

In my search for answers to the question 'can I paint shower tile' I got very mixed answers - some people insisted it was easy and durable, and others vehemently opposed it. Don't you love it when things are so simple?

I found a product at my local hardware store that is meant to be used to paint bathtubs. It's called Klenk's Epoxy Enamel, and it looked quite promising until I read the instructions and realised the amount of work involved for an outcome that was questionable. I was tempted, but when I read that some users recommended use of a respirator while applying the product I decided  it would be better to kill that idea than risk the loss of some much-needed brain cells.

I even went so far as to email the people at Benjamin Moore and ask for their advice. They very kindly sent me  instructions that were much less intimidating than those for the epoxy paint, but again there was no guarantee that  after I did all the work the daily showers wouldn't take their toll, and the paint wouldn't start to peel. If that happened,  I'm positive I'd dislike the tiles more than I do now and be forced to redo all the work, or spend a lot of money to replace them

In the end I proved to be too much of a chicken to try it. On a positive note, I do have a new mantra - 'Square blue tiles are the height of stylish bathroom design'.


A Nice Hot Bath Will Fix Just About Anything

April 06, 2011

Or that's what they say.

What happens if you really don't like your bathroom?  I'm pretty sure a hot bath can't fix that - believe me I've tried (well, I'll be honest - I tried hot showers, but I'm sure the saying applies).  It's not that my bathroom is bad per se, it's just not beautiful, gorgeous, awe-inspiring, and divine like these:
Dream Bathroom collage
1. Sarah Richardson 2. House Beautiful 3. 4. Country Living 5. Living ETC
Here's my bathroom as it stands now:
My Bathroom before collage
My bathroom - storage is an issue
See it's not too bad - unfortunately I don't like it. I wouldn't go a far as to say I hate it, but I feel a good bit of dislike for it.

So what's a girl to do? Unfortunately I don't have the budget for a complete reno, so I'm going to have to get creative.

On my bathroom hit-list:
  • The tiles. I don't like them. Okay, I just don't like the blue ones, the white ones don't bother me so much. It's unfortunate that the blue ones are so visible.
  • Storage issues - there isn't much. And what's with the blue and white plastic towel rails? Those will be first to go.
  • The faucet - I challenge anyone to find a cheaper one.
  • The lighting - Charitably I'd say the fixture  is art-deco style which fits with the buildings age.  Honestly, I'd say it was bad 90's.
So, what kind of bathroom makeover can one get on a very limited budget? I guess I'll have to see what I can come up with over the next little while.


DIY - Dollarstore Easter Wreath

April 03, 2011

I made this wreath a few years ago using items found at my local Dollarama. As Easter is just around the corner I thought I'd share this exceeding simple, cheap and fast project.

You'll need just a few items:
  1. Wreath form
  2. Glue gun and glue
  3. Dollar store Easter eggs in various sizes
    Foam Easter eggs from Dollarama
    Dollarama Easter Eggs
  1. Remove eggs from packaging. The eggs I found had sticks and ribbon attached to the base. I just pulled them out as I didn't have wire clippers  (I'd suggest you clip them off if you can - pulling them out sometimes pulled some of the egg off as well).
  2. Lay your eggs out around your wreath to ensure you have even spacing.
  3. Start gluing.
  1. I wanted a white Styrofoam wreath, but my dollar store only had vine ones. To ensure it wasn't too noticeable below the eggs I first painted it white.
  2. I kept the smallest eggs for the end of the project and used them to cover any holes that remained after gluing on the other eggs.

The finished product:

Dollar store Easter Egg Wreath
The materials cost about $20, and it only took about an hour to make.

Looks pretty good for a DIY Easter wreath if I do say so myself - what do you think?

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