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Friday, 23 September 2011

Finding Inspiration

When repainting a piece of furniture, it can be really hard to choose a colour that will re-make your piece into something special. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to have been asked to paint some furniture for an 8 year old's bedroom. This sweetie is a dear friend to my daughter and so I am familiar with her amazing personality. She is a hilarious and adventurous person and her Mom Chrystal wanted to reflect her sense of fun in her room make-over.

I had an old desk that my neighbour had offered me (free!) in spring that was sitting in my basement waiting for her Cinderella moment. I can't find the "before" picture, in fact, there is a good chance that I forgot to take one... It was a bright, fire engine red that would need a big sanding to be ready to repaint. I was very happy to be able to do this outside as there was red dust everywhere! The desk was just the thing for this project. We also had an old window frame that was the source of colour inspiration.

The front of the frame was just plain weathered wood, but the back!

Since this was the back, we couldn't use the existing paint, but the greeny blue was the perfect jumping off point. I brought home about 600 paint samples and found about 4 that were in the same neighbourhood. We picked one that everyone loved and then I started painting.

I used the new Benjamin Moore Advance paint in Jade Garden. This product is just perfect for a less distressed looking piece. It dries to a smooth, hard finish. It is quite a bit more expensive to buy than a regular latex, but can be worth it when you take the time to use it properly.

Here is the desk before the pulls went on:

The expensive part of these makeovers can be hardware, especially a desk with 7 pulls! Chrystal found a bulk pack of them at a hardware store that finish the desk off and add a pretty touch.

The window frame was painted in the same colour. I added some wire to hang pictures and jewelry and a little bulletin board in the centre.

I found some ceramic pulls to add along the bottom edge to serve as hangers for necklaces or scarves, or just to look nice. I covered the cork with a pretty black and white fabric scrap.

I am excited to see the finished room ~ it will be a creative and exciting place for some awesome girls to hang out pretty soon!

If you have an old piece that needs a little loving ~ please feel free to contact me and we can talk about doing something special...

Monday, 12 September 2011

Fall Flavour

If you follow my Facebook page, you will know that I was fooling around with trying to make a wreath yesterday. I had an old book I bought from a thrift store and a wreath form from Michael's and a glue gun (always a little dangerous). I have been investigating a few different websites with instructions on how to make a Book Page Wreath this past week and so I thought I would give it a try.

I have to say, that I am really pleased with how it turned out (and more than a little surprised...). This book, Madame Castel's Lodger was pretty old and the pages were yellowed which lent it a very vintage feel. Also a nice touch...

The top edges of the pages were coloured red! I love the little punch of colour in there.

This was really easy ~ there are many how-to's on-line, but I was inspired by The Nester site originally, so check it out if you want one for yourself.

So after I finished this work of art, I started fussing about where to put it. My husband has a tradition of making a wonderful dinner for two on Sunday nights for after the kids have eaten and are on their way to bed. While he was prepping our food, I had a glass of wine and thus fuelled, was inspired to tear apart our mantle and redecorate. The weather has really turned in Alberta this week and fall is in the air so I wanted to add some harvest-y touches. I am trying to do more seasonal stuff on some of our horizontal surfaces rather than leave them static and dusty all year long. I LOVE the dollarstore for this. So this is the mantle:

I managed to stick the wreath in there and some fall type colours and a crow with glitter. I bought the crow last year as a joke because my daughter hates them and I enjoy teasing her a little bit about that (mother of the year, right here).

I am not sure it is done, but it is a start.

During a fit a few days ago, I also got a start on my sideboard in our eating area.

The ceramic pumpkins were a purchase from last year after everything was marked down and I think they were something like $.35 each. I love the glass jars because they are nice to fill with seasonal stuff to make a mini-statement. I used dried beans in the bottom and styro squashes and sticks of berries from the dollarstore. The beans are a fun thing to bring home to scare your family into thinking you are going to make some sort of really healthy, beany soup. 

The mirror box is also made from dollarstore mirrors and a glue gun. I read how to do it here at The Art of Doing Stuff site (which everyone needs to read ~ Karen is hilarious).

I also pulled out a few other gems I had stored and it is starting to feel like fall all of a sudden.

This week I have a few things I will change outside as my flowers die off with these frosty nights. Until then, this little guy will stand guard, waiting for Thanksgiving:

I would love to hear where you get your inspiration for decorating. I know you are out there even though you might be shy to comment (I have a counter on the blog!)...  There are many inspiring decorating websites on the internet, but I love Pinterest for this as well. It is so nice to have people's inspirations all in one place.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Some Fun Tables

{Shabby Red Chalkboard Table}

This table has a real sweetness to it. I think it is the gently scalloped edges, but it just shows the extra thought that went into the design.

This little guy was a rescue in the most literal way. I found it  in the back of a very crowded thrift store in Edmonton last spring looking very wobbly, water stained and sad. There was even a huge wad of chewed gum on the bottom ~ yuck.

A good cleaning (with gloves on, thank-you very much), a little sanding and some glue and he was ready to shine again. I had a little rustic red paint leftover from that great bench I did in spring and this seemed like to perfect project for it. After painting, I thought it needed something extra-fun to take it to the next level so I added a chalkboard feature as well as a little distressing to showcase those sweet curves.

21.25" wide
17" deep
18" high

This would be a fun message table, a great little activity table for a toddler, or a nightstand ~ ready for little love notes...

To purchase, shoot me an email or see the kijiji ad here.

{Shabby White Tray Table}

I really love this type of piece as it is something so unique, yet functional. This was another find that I discovered neglected in the back of a thrift store. It was also pretty rough looking.

After a good cleaning and sanding, the charm of this piece started to show. It actually adjusts to 2 different heights and the tray is removable so you can load it up and use it to deliver snacks and treats to your impressed guests. 

This would work so well as an end table in a living room or at the end of a bed (think of the nice breakfasts you could get served), or even in the corner of a dining room as a little drink station.

27.5" wide
17.5" deep
23.25" height #1
20.5" height #2

Fire me an email to purchase this sweetie or take a peek at the kijiji ad here.

I have a page on facebook where you can get alerts to new pieces and posts and you can follow me on twitter (@hourtwenty5) as well, if you just can't get enough.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Not-so Paltry Hall-Tree

So, the kids are back in school and the sun is shining and I have had a few weeks of holidays with my husband and kids. It has been a great way to end a very nice summer. I made a point to try and stay relaxed ~ my motto with the kids was, "Try to say YES". This meant that I made an effort to not say "NO" as my first response. I think it went pretty well for the most part. On a very sad note, we had to say a heartbreaking good bye to our much loved pup of 15 years. He was my constant companion and for anyone who has come to my house to pick up a piece, you know he loved to come and say hello. When the house is empty like it is today, I feel his absence even more.

Good bye to my sweet Scona.

On a happier note, I love to meet some of the great people who bring me their furniture to make over. In August Owen and Cindy brought me this super hall tree with that good old 80's vibe.

The curves and mouldings are fantastic on this but it did not fit with this fun couple's vision for their home. They inherited it from his parents and could definitely see the potential here. They wanted a fresh and unique version of this great piece.

First I painted it with the famous blue:

It actually looked pretty cool, but would probably be a little overwhelming in most homes. I did this in my garage with the door open and I had people stopping to come in and see what I was doing ~ this colour catches people's attention!

I gave it a few coats of a very creamy white and then distressed it pretty aggressively to have the blue and the original wood break through the white.

It gave it that vintage and cottage feel that Owen and Cindy were going for as well as making this piece a funky and fun addition to a hip house. I could not resist adding a little bit of glam though:

Just a little hit of pretty wallpaper to line the storage area. I just like knowing that it is there... I am running out of my wallpaper scraps ~ if anyone is doing a wallpaper project and would like to donate the leftovers, let me know!

This was a great project and a fun way to kick off fall. I have some interesting pieces that I will be listing this week as I get back on a regular blogging schedule. I also plan to add a few other features in the next few weeks now that I am back into my routine for the fall/winter.

Thanks again to Owen and Cindy for letting me work on this unique project!