ORC - Week 4!

April 27, 2017

Welcome back! If you are popping by for the first time, I am participating as a guest participant in the One Room Challenge hosted by Linda from Calling It Home. It is where 20 guest designers make over a room in 6 weeks! As a guest participant you jump into the madness yourself and cry and wish you didn't sign up in the first place.

Where were we last week? Oh, my chairs fiasco. Well, they aren't so bad. I learned that the clear coat needs to be lightly sprayed on. So I sanded the bubbled parts, and touched up. As of today, the chairs are painted and ready to be upholstered. My room hasn't progressed much as I was away for the weekend celebrating my baby girl's upcoming wedding at a bridal shower hosted by my two amazing sister-in-laws! This week will be madness as I try to finish the space.

This paint colour is going onto the walls, Savana Oaks from Cloverdale Paint.

It is painted on other walls in the house and I quite like it. It manages to tie in some of the finishes that I am not redoing, like the baseboards. The landlords had the house professionally painted and used a designer to choose colours. The designer did a fabulous job with the exception of the dining room. It was just to dark. So hopefully this colour will lighten things up. Then I hope to paint the dining table with Cloud White. I am still so nervous about it....

Hoping to find some more blue and white chinoiserie ceramics. And some lamps?

Thinking this bowl from Bombay and Company.

I am truly winging this space, finding things as I go along. It's all about budget (it's the baby girl's wedding this summer!)

To Do:
  • Paint chairs
  • Upholster seats
  • Slip cover 2 parson's chairs
  • Paint or stain dining table
  • Paint walls
  • Accessories for sideboard
  • Art?
  • Repaint sideboard (decided to keep it red)

Be sure to follow the One Room Challenge, so much goodness to be found. You can also follow my progress on #oneroomchallenge on Instagram or Facebook

ORC - Week Three

April 20, 2017

In case you are popping by for the first time, welcome to the One Room Challenge! I am joining in the madness as a guest participant, but if you want to watch some amazingly talented designers tackle their spaces, check out the 20 who are part of the fun. If you want to follow along with crazy me, who decided last minute to join in at week 2, then be my guest!

Hosting Easter dinner threw a wrench into my dining room plans. I couldn't paint the walls, the sideboard or deal with the table. Hoping I can make some headway this week. I did manage to prime and paint the vintage cane back chairs, but had a major setback. More on that below....

With these two fabrics from Tonic Living as contenders for the seat, black is what I was going to go with.  Having spray painted many a project I knew I wanted some with very little shine. Flat spray paint was too dull. Satin was ok, but I wasn't convinced. Being a lazy painter, I did not want to get out the ol' paint brush. I popped into Home Depot to get another can of grey spray primer (love this stuff), I discovered spray chalk paint! I am not wanting a shabby chic look at all in the dining room. Traditional eclectic is my goal. This chalk spray paint was intriguing. After one chair was complete, I squealed with delight. It had a velvety charcoal look. Just what I was looking for!

But I have had a major set back. I tried applying a beeswax coating and the paint just wiped off. Then I tried the Rustoleum Clear Coat that is supposed to seal the chalk paint and it ruined the paint surface by bubbling. After spending all this time and money getting a perfect paint coating, I have to start over. So not impressed with this product. After going online to read the reviews, I have read that MANY people have had the same issue. Argh! I should have gone with what is tried and true.  So who knows if I will be finished in the next 3 weeks since I am going away this weekend and there is no way my hubby would paint or would I let him paint...

I am very, very upset.

To Do:
  • Paint chairs actually no, I have to repaint
  • Upholster seats
  • Slip cover 2 parson's chairs
  • Paint or stain dining table
  • Paint walls
  • Accessories for sideboard
  • Art?
  • Repaint sideboard (decided to keep it red)

Be sure to follow the One Room Challenge, so much goodness to be found. You can also follow my progress on #oneroomchallenge on Instagram or Facebook

Hopefully others aren't having any glitches!

ORC- Skipping To Week Two!

April 13, 2017

This is it!

I have decided instead of sitting on the sidelines watching another One Room Challenge take place without me, I will jump in and join as a guest participant skipping onto week 2! I was a featured designer in the One Room Challenge way, way, way back when Linda, from Calling It Home, began the genius idea! It has been fascinating to watch it grow.  Of course I am a few days late joining in because I was paralyzed with fear about joining in. My blog design is so 2010, my Google ranking is low (so I am told weekly by SEO marketers) and I have been just plain uninspired. But I am thinking this might be what I need to jump start things again and to finish unfinished projects.

One room in our house that drives me crazy is our dining room. It is dark with very little natural light and the black table and chairs sucks whatever light there is. My goal is to try to work with what we have and update the space with paint, fabric, art and a few thrifty finds. We are renting (still - but hey, it's Vancouver) so no renovations are taking place. The pleather chairs NEED to go. The table and walls will get a coat of paint. After months of prowling on Craigslist, I came across a vintage dining set in a sad state for $90!  Part of the set has vintage cane back chairs with a more streamlined profile, just what I was looking for. The table will go to my daughter who is getting married this summer. My Ikea sideboard got a makeover for a past ORC project  (horrid photos!) in a luscious red paint but I am thinking maybe navy??? Thoughts?

Vintage chairs I found for a steal!

This was when we moved in. Gotta love the 90's light fixture. It reminds me of one that should be in an interrogation room.

Here is the current state of my dining room. Sigh... Blah blah blah.

Here are my inspiration pictures.

To Do:

  • Paint chairs 
  • Upholster seats
  • Slip cover 2 parson's chairs
  • Paint or stain dining table
  • Paint walls
  • Accessories for sideboard
  • Art?
  • Repaint sideboard

Wish me luck!

Be sure to follow the One Room Challenge, so much goodness to be found. You can also follow my progress on #oneroomchallenge on Instagram or Facebook

Quick Christmas Decor Ideas

December 5, 2016

It's that time of year to dig out the Christmas decor, or to add pieces to a collection you might have. Being a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas decor, I love sticking with basic red, mixed metallics such as gold and silver and black accents to tie it all together. 

My living and dining combined room always gets the royal treatment decor-wise over the holidays, but our family room and kitchen tend to get overlooked. I popped into the nearest Lowe's to check our their holidays collections. They have categorized their collections into Comfort and Joy, Deck the Halls, Cold Spell and Sweet Noel, each creating a different theme for your home. Of course, I like to mix and match, so the collections caught my eye.

Wanting to add a bit of visual interest to our kitchen table where we enjoy breakfast or lunch when the whole family is home for the holidays, I purchased the gorgeous pillar candleholders along with a nutcracker to add to my growing collection.

Using a mixed bough swag from Lowe's Garden Centre wrapped in a satin ribbon I had around the house, along with a glass nutcracker ornament from the Deck the Halls collection, I added a quick and easy Christmas update to our kitchen chalkboard.

The mini spruce trees were also a find from Lowe's Garden Centre. Popped into some urns I found at a thrift store and spray painted matte black paint, they add some height and greenery to the table.

Clipping rosemary from the garden, I twisted the branch to create a ring, which I tied with some twine from Lowe's hardware section. Voila! I've create min-wreaths to decorate the place settings. Adding my own mini nutcracker ornaments add some visual interest on each plate.

Our family room gets neglected every year, but not this year! The velvet and plaid reindeer pillow from the Deck the Halls collection, along with the reversible metallic silver with a soft fur back from the Cold Spell collection add Christmas cheer to the sofa.

Wanting to jazz up our coffee table, I added the hurricane lantern, glass nutcracker ornament and gold star ornament from the Deck the Halls collection, along with a Christmas cactus found at the Lowe's Garden centre that I simply popped in a plant pot.


Can't wait to get our tree this weekend and finish decorating the rest of the house!

*This post was sponsored by Lowe's Canada, but all opinions are my own

Follow Lowe’s on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

Holiday Cards from Minted

November 29, 2016

After ordering beautiful holiday cards last year from Minted, I couldn't refuse the opportunity to order some this year. There are so many designs to choose from on their site,  I wanted gold foil and one design caught my eye immediately. Aren't the simply stunning? I love, love, love them!

An added bonus was that you can get free matching envelopes and recipient address printing as well! You can also customize your cards, by adding a photo collage and a Christmas letter on the inner part of the card. The use quality paper and I appreciated their proofing service. I noticed a few typos which they correct, not only once but 3 times! Proofreading is not my forte.  Now all I have to do is pop the card into the envelope, slap on a stamp and slide it into the mailbox.  

It's still not too late to order yours! 

*I received Christmas cards from Minted in exchange for this post. 

A Quick and Easy Update

November 22, 2016

We have several pieces of furniture around the house that need a freshening up with some paint. Way back in 2009 when I started my blog, I was a stay at home mom with time on my hands and many pieces received a lick of paint. One piece was a solid pine dresser we bought when my mom moved in to help me out when I was in school full time training to be a teacher while my husband was relocated to the Washington DC area. It sat painted black for the longest time. Eventually I decided to stencil the front and blog about it. Ugh (so embarrassed that I though that stencil was cool and that my photos were blog worthy) and for the past 6 years have regretted that decision. 

With the goal to get rid of some furniture as we hope to down size in the near future, I decided that dresser needed to go and it needs an updated paint job.  FAT paint to the rescue! In the spring I was given some pints of paint from the Amanda Forrest collection, and Navy State of Mind was a perfect choice! Giving the dresser 2 coats of paint, a light sand with some slight distressing on the edges and then 2 coats of wax the dresser is good to go.

I have it listed on several local furniture Facebook sites. Hope to sell it soon.



Recently I snapped up a gorgeous coffee table for $20 from Craigslist. Can't wait to give it some life with paint. Will share once I am done.

Make sure to pop by later, I am excited to be working with some fabulous brands for the holidays! Think cards and decor! Eek. Excited over here!!!

Fresh & Clean

October 31, 2016

** Sponsored post **

Lavender has to be one of my favourite plants to grow and to use in my home. I have lavender essential oil which I use along with Castille soap to make my own face wash in soap pump. Lavender helps with stress and aids in sleep. When I was dealing with some sleeplessness I had a lavender sachet under my pillow. That sweet scent was heavenly and helped me relax and sleep.  I also use lavender sachets in my t-shirt drawer and have one hanging in my closet. Every week I scrunch it up to release the oils that scent the air and my clothes.

When Pinesol asked if I wanted to use their latest lavender Pinesol, I was intrigued. It has a nice scent while still has the disinfecting power of regular Pinesol but without that woodsy clinical smell the regular Pinesol has. I used it to clean our master bath, heaven forbid I show you photos of that sad space stuck in the early 90's, but my tub was sparkly clean!

Now if only I have my kids back into the house, so I could pay them to clean the house for me!

XO Barbara

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