Backyard on a Budget : Part II

May 20, 2016

As spring moves on at a rapid pace my backyard patio makeover is at a standstill.  I am working with Lowe's Canada to re-create our backyard space on a budget, you can read all about it in my first post, Our plan is to makeover the patio area as our family loves to sit outside and enjoy the sun. We have a very old and well loved patio set that has seen better days. My plan is to build a table for the space because the one I really want is NOT budget friendly while adding some chairs from Lowes. It's all about a budget makeover, a challenge that gets the creative juices flowing. Pricing out the supplies, I figured it will cost under $100! My problem has been time to start. My son is a competitive rower and we are in the midst of regatta season. Almost every weekend we are away at a regatta. We had one weekend free and I was going to get started but then he was invited to a regatta in the US and off we went. So...Victoria Day weekend - we are going to get it done!

These two patios spaces have been my favourite for a few years. I love the mix of wood and wicker. Add in a few black and white stripes mixed in with red, and I am weak at the knees.

Lowes has so many amazing products, it was hard to choose which way to go. 

I fell in love with these chairs, and their price point is amazing! They cost $70, plus $19 for the cushion, which came to $90. They have been broken in already, the family approves! What I love is the cushions are simple in design so they can be re-upholstered in a snap. Our current patio chairs have cushions that smell like stinky armpits but to replace them would cost the same as new chairs. 

Throw in the Allen + Roth pillow and it's a done deal. Now if only Lowes had more.....I could only find one. Hoping this weekend I can snag a few more. Such popular pillows.

As I was perusing the assecories section, the lanterns were drool worthy. Being a bit of a lantern lover, I had a hard time choosing until I saw these. 

Unique in their design and on-trend, I couldn't leave them behind. I think the key to being budget friendly is building the base with classic pieces like a solid table and chairs and change the accessories as the trends change. Since we have a southern facing yard, wax candles melt. Lowes has battery operated candles - I will grab those the next time I am back.

 Facing our patio is our shed, I am adding a bit of visual interest to the shed with this....

And this weekend I plan on getting the wood for the table. This table is my inspiration. 

I think I can build it. After last year's potting bench success, I feel my basic woodworking skills will suffice, even though my husband said, don't use the miter saw by myself. He seriously thinks I will cut my fingers off. Hmmm....he might have a point. I am off to Lowe's this weekend to gather up the remaining items needed to finish up the space. Wish me luck!

*This post is sponsored by Lowes Canada

Backyard on a Budget

April 29, 2016

When we moved into this house the back yard was an eyesore. The previous tenant had created raised garden beds using weird angles and in strange places. It was frankly a mess. My husband and I used a bit of elbow grease to rip up the beds, move the soil and using perennial cuttings from my mom's garden to fill in the flower beds.

Now that the garden beds are looking 1000 times better, it is time to set sights on our patio area.  I am working with Lowe's Canada to create a Backyard on a Budget and this girl is redoing her patio area! Our sad, sad, sad patio table with cushions that smell like stinky armpits have seen better days.
It will requite a bit of DIY, involving some wood and stain (I am building a table) along with some mixing and matching. My husband has his doubts. All he said was, "Don't saw off your fingers, and don't sell the patio table until we see the finished product."

 Oh, he of little faith!

Last Sunday I ventured out to the nearest Lowe's at Queensborough Landing. We on the west coast only have ONE Lowe's, but I hear another is about to open in Abbotsford! Before Sunday, I had never been inside Lowe's. Being somewhat familiar with the store because of the radio commercials narrated by the deep and sexy voice of Bryan Baeumler's, I had no idea what was in store. After shopping at other big box hardware stores for most of my adult life, Lowe's was a pleasant change from the usual. Having a quick tour of the backyard living section with the assistant manager, David, who explained that Lowe's only strives to offer high quality products with varying price points. I was impressed! Their outdoor accessories were to die for. Feeling like a kid in a candy shop, it was hard deciding which way I was going to go design-wise.

Check out my favourite finds:

They have a gorgeous selection of outdoor rugs.

Their lanterns are stunning.

These copper beauties may have followed me home.

And I am still thinking I may have to go back for these copper beauties.

And HELLO gorgeous! I have no words...

Loved these pillows. But I found some even more delicious ones.

Browsing through their garden center was so relaxing, I always find inspiration roaming among plants and flowers. There is something serene about garden centers. Don't you think?

After browsing through Lowe's for over an hour, feeling overwhelmed with all the selection. I narrowed down my choices. These chairs, and pillows all came home with me.

Here is my inspiration for the backyard.

Style at Home Photo: Edward Pond

Style at Home

Follow along behind the scenes on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat (barbaramatson)!

I can't wait to get started!

XO Barbara

Spring Cleaning: The Family Throne

March 28, 2016

Living with just boys in the house while my girls are off at university, I find the family throne needs a bit more cleaning to keep it smelling fresh. If you have boys in your house, I am sure you know what I mean!

Clorox reached out to me to see if I wanted to try their Toilet Wand with disposable spongey scrub refills loaded with Clorox toilet cleaner that is supposed to kill 99.9% germs.  At the same time I overheard on the radio on my way to work about things we should be replacing in our house more often but don't. One of those items are toilet brushes. I have to admit, I have no idea how old some of the toilet brushes are in this house. Ick. I do not like cleaning toilets, find the scrub brushes flick water everywhere. I get kind of grossed out about that. While some like to use the old fashioned method of rubber gloves and a rag, I'd rather not stick my hand inside that bowl, even with gloves on. So why not give the toilet wand a whirl?

The toilet wand came with a handy holder and the spongy refills just fit inside the holder. All you do is snap the spongy refill onto the end, scrub away and with a click, dispose the refill in the trash. I found the sponge refill loaded with a disinfecting solution really scrubbed under the rim and got out some grime I never knew was even there. Kind of gross. I will spare you the photos of that.

Easy peasy.

You can purchase the Clorox Toilet Wand at various stores across Canada such as Walmart, Loblaws, etc. 

*Clorox sponsored this post*


March 23, 2016

Since moving into this rental home I have been slowly decorating it to make it feel like home. Teaching kindergarten full time is exhausting,  I teach in an inner city school where many students are living below the poverty line which can be so mentally exhuasting that I have no mental energy to blog or decorate. Glad some of you are actually still out there reading my blog!

Love you.

If you follow me on Instagram I have been posting about my love of FAT Paint. Not only do I love the chalk paint, but I love the lady behind the brand, Victoria. She was one of my first followers of my blog, encouraged me to keep at it. So when her life took an unexpected turn she decided to do something for herself and started FAT paint with her brother, Brad. Together that have created a chic paint! So proud.

When they recently collaborated with Amanda Forrest, I was given a package of paint to try. I am still on the fence about painting a bookcase in my family room, but decided to open Blushing Bombshell and paint a mirror in our master bedroom. I have been slowly tackling that room. Last year I replaced the ugly venetian mini-blinds and made custom Roman shades using fabric from Tonic Living. I am still hoping to get side panel drapes, from Ikea of course, and drapery hardware. New bedding is needed and possibly something for the end of the bed, like a bench?

In the meantime, I love the added punch of colour this newly painted mirror brings.

Now I just need to get my butt in gear and get drapery to add an extra layer to the windows. Then maybe a bench at the end of the bed? A new dresser? 

XO Barbara


February 10, 2016

As an avid fan of my dear friend Victoria's chalk paint and company, I am thrilled for her recent collaboration with Amanda Forrest to create a special palette of colours called the Amanda Forrest Collection, to the already juicy palette.

All photos by Tracey Ayton unless otherwise noted.

Photo: Barbara Matson

Photo: Barbara Matson

Lucky me was given a box of paints which I am itching to try out. I have plans for Navy State of Mind and Blushing Bombshell. 

Photo: Barbara Matson
 Blushing Bombshell 

Can't See Me Camo

 Couture Linen


 Navy State of Mind


Please pop over to FAT Paint's website to see where you can grab yourself a can to whip up something fabulous!

I CAN'T wait to paint a project or two -  the items are staring at me, taunting me, whispering "paint me".

Hoping in the next week or so I can show you what was transformed!

XO Barbara

Christmas 2015

December 22, 2015

This year I kept the Christmas decor as simple as I could. With the busyness of the season, I felt I didn't want to feel overwhelmed by the stuff that goes along with it. After seeing Christmas home tours pop up in November, homes that are all too fluffy for my taste, my reaction was to simplify. Out came all the bins and up went only my favourite things. The rest went back to storage. After waiting for a sunny-ish day, hard to come by here on the rainy west coast, I managed to snap a few photos. Hoping to get a tripod for Christmas so I can take decent photos despite the lack of sunlight!

This week both my girls will be home from school, I am off for 2 weeks, the husband gets time off after Christmas and I hope we can just relax and enjoy each other's company!

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday!
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