Painting the couch + new pillows!

Adam and I spent a great Easter weekend in Massachusetts visiting my extended family. Since we were away all weekend, I took the day off on Tuesday to recover from the long drive and do a few things around the house.

You may remember that our living room sofa (a $200 Kijiji find) used to look like this:

Not bad, but I didn't like the way the wood trim stood out against the black and tan rug. To help it blend in, I decided to paint it black. I put a piece of cardboad under each of the sofa's feet to protect the rug and floor, roughed up the wood with 100 grit sandpaper, and brushed on two coats of black acrylic paint. The whole project took about 15 minutes, including drying time between coats. Still, it was a dramatic transformation.

And to complete the sofa's new look, I also whipped up a few pillows using some fun, new fabric I picked up last week (it was a buy 1 metre, get 2 free deal). I'm so happy with how this quick and inexpensive project turned out - the black frame ties the couch in with the rug, and along with the new pillows, it gives the couch a much more contemporary feel that really works in our eclectic space.


A post about the lack of posts

Hi guys,

You've probably noticed that I haven't posted anything in awhile. There's a lot going on in my personal life right now, so I've had to take a short break from blogging. The reality of having a full-time job and a part-time volunteer gig means that I can't post here as often as I'd like (and I can't transform my house that quickly either). The good news is that I've got lots of DIY home improvement projects on the go, which means that I'll have lots of updates to share with you soon. So please bear with me as I figure out how to fit this whole blogging thing into the rest of my life.


Amelia xox


Pretty hanging plate display

My new bedroom lamps weren't the only thing I spray painted over the weekend. I also finally got around to spray painting a few plates I found at Value Village for less than $1 each - they're for a hanging plate display in my dining room.

Unfortunately I forgot to snap any "before" pics (oops), but here's an "after" shot of all three plates. The two on the left were already white, but different shades, so I spray painted them to better match (it's not perfect, but it's much better). The plate on the right had a pretty ugly floral pattern that I happily covered.

And here are a few shots of the whole shebang:

Like my gallery wall, I'm planning to add to it as I go. I just need more plates first.

Spray painted lamps DIY

I found these matching lamps on Kijiji:

It was a beautiful day on Sunday, so while Adam raked the lawn, I decided to spray paint. I started by taping off the parts of the lamps I didn't want to get paint on and then shook my can of spray paint like crazy for 1-2 minutes (that's our dog Maddie checking out my set up).

Next, I applied multiple thin coats of spray paint, allowing 1-2 minutes of drying time between coats. I've learned the hard way that there are two keys to a good paint job: keep the can 6-8 inches away from the surface you're painting and keep your paint can moving at all times (kind of like you're conducting an orchestra). The whole job took about 15 minutes (including 10 minutes of drying time).

And here's one inside, where the colour isn't quite so smurf-like. Lights off:

And lights on...

during the daytime, so admittedly it's not all that dramatic. I'm really happy with how these lamps turned out - I think it's my best spray painting job to-date. Now I'm on the hunt for some new bedside tables. I want something a little lighter, a little less clunky, and with storage (of course, you've never seen our bedside tables, so you have no idea what I'm talking about - pictures to come, I promise).


Updating the bathroom vanity

Adam's parents came to visit this weekend, and while my future mother-in-law and I went shopping, Adam and his father got down to work installing our new vanity top and bathroom faucet. As a reminder, this is what our bathroom vanity looked like on closing day:

And here it is post-installation (after some painting and hardware updating too):

Much better, no? Good-bye rusty sink! At $179.99, this Moen faucet was our big splurge for the bathroom and I love how it transforms the vanity (plus it uses 32% less water, which is always nice). Since we scored this 49" marble vanity top for only $110, we didn't mind spending a little extra $$$ on a faucet we love.

We also got a great deal on a new light fixture and bathroom set (towel bar, towel ring, toilet tissue holder and robe hook). We can't install anything until we paint, except the towel bar, which was a little too long for the side of our bathroom vanity (the only place we can fit a towel bar). Luckily it wasn't too much work to remove the ends and trim the bar with a hacksaw - now it easily fits in place.

As you can probably tell from the photos, we had to remove the old mirror to install the new vanity top. We were planning to keep the mirror and add a DIY frame, but when we spotted a large beveled mirror - complete with frame - for around $50, we decided to save ourselves some time and energy. But before we can hang the mirror - or do anything else - we need to paint!

Weekend finds

It's kind of funny that I blogged about my rug fantasies on Friday, since I stumbled across the perfect area rug for our living room the very next day:

That's our dog, Maddie, already enjoying the new addition. The future husband and I went to Home Depot on Saturday to pick up a new bathroom faucet (more on that later), when I saw this large, indoor/outdoor rug by Martha Stewart Living for $119. It was the right size, the right price, and it came with the right care and cleaning instructions (i.e. spray it with a garden hose). SOLD. I love how it suits our space, and the simple geometric pattern is a lot more fun than plain ol' seagrass.

But the rug wasn't my only great find of the weekend. My future mother-in-law and I checked out The Bay's store closing sale on Saturday and scored some awesome deals. Like these super cute throw pillows - for just $7.20 and $3.20 each - and this comfy grey-and-white throw for less than $12!

Here they are in their new homes (I tried the throw on the couch first, but I like it better on our antique chair). I'm planning to darken the wood frame around the bottom of the couch, so that it blends in with the black of the new rug (I'm thinking of Minwax's Bombay Mahogany), but right now I'm just enjoying my weekend finds!


Choosing a rug for the living room

The living room is quickly coming along, but it's still missing an area rug. In our old apartment, we had a beautiful white, shag rug - at least it was beautiful, until our dog decided to "decorate" it with you-know-what. More than once. So the new rug needs to be durable, stain resistant and easy-to-clean (and I want it to look good, too).

I've been daydreaming about an 8' x 10' seagrass or jute rug, and here are a few of the rugs I've stumbled across.

This Classic Home - Natural Seagrass Rug from CSN Stores is exactly what I'm looking for - plus it's 20% off the $456 price tag.

I really like the diamond pattern of this Stanton Carpet outdoor seagrass rug - also from CSN Stores - but the $638 price tag is a little steep (even if it is 20% off).

I also like the subtle pattern of this sisal rug from Sears (for $400), but the 5'3" x 7'7" size is a bit too small for our living room.

Then there's Ikea's Tarnby rug. It's a great buy at just $149, but the nearest Ikea is in Montreal, which means it's not really an option.

So, no clear winners yet. The future husband and I are driving down to MA at the end of the month to spend Easter with my extended family, so I'm thinking about trying to convince him to go rug shopping then. He'll likely consider it a form of torture, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

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