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A blog about thrifty DIY, furniture makeovers, decor and design for the home with a farmhouse cottage lakeside feel.
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    This vintage three drawer dresser was a garage sale find from a neighbouring street that I picked up in September. I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White.

    It is a solid wood piece and has four original little casters. I chose to keep the original pulls but sprayed them silver for a bit of an update.

    There are some cute details like the double waterfall top and a little built in corner piece in the top drawer for coins or something small. I considered distressing this chest of drawers, or adding some text details, but plain sells the best here.

     I did paint the drawers in a fun turquoise for a pop of colour.

    I've had wear problems with wax and Old White in the past, and since it is a resale piece I went with a satin poly protection.

    Maybe it will find a new home soon.

    I hope you had a great weekend. Are you busy decorating for Christmas, still too early, or have you finished? I started decorating for Christmas three weeks ago and I'm almost finished. I do a bit each night after work and on the weekends. I also made some ornaments and sewed new pillow covers, a table runner and white twill stockings for our family room. More Christmas photos to come!

    Sharing at the following link parties...

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  • 11/30/15--17:06: Our Christmas Mantel 2015
  • Today I am sharing our fireplace mantel decorated for Christmas. The board and batten and shiplap on our fireplace/TV wall is finally finished and for the first time since we bought our home 17 years ago, I have a mantel to decorate! 

    Our home is decorated with lots of neutrals (whites, greys, browns, black and wood tones) year round and I add red and some sparkle for Christmas.

    The fireplace is in our family room beside the TV nook. Now that I finished the shiplap and faux beam mantel I love sitting in here while my guys watch TV. I check up on my favourite blogs and Instagram feeds and enjoy the view.

    I chose to keep the rustic feel on our mantel with vintage wooden spools, pillar candles wrapped in birch and tied with twine, a 'snowy' garland with frosted pinecones and berries, and a carved white deer. 

    We have cross-stitched family stockings that I am hanging upstairs so I sewed some simple white denim twill stockings and added upholstery webbing for a cuff. Large black metal letters with burlap ribbons add a bit of interest.

    The greenery with frosted berries and pinecones hanging from the mirror matches the garland on the mantel. I added tiny twinkle lights to the mantel but the batteries are dead so I will replace them and take some evening photos.

    Our fireplace gets lots of light from the kitchen patio doors, family room windows, and two skylights at the back of our home. I just wish the front rooms were as bright!

    I enjoy mixing our Christmas decor with my vintage collections and year round decor, changing it up from year to year. 

    My goal is always to use what we have in different ways, hand craft new items, and only spend a small amount on a few new pieces and supplies. My budget limits me to not buying all the latest things but at the same time encourages me to be creative in making our home comfortable and pretty. 

    The old milking pail is filled with greenery, birch logs, pinecones and red wood berries on sticks.

    I love seeing the boad and batten finally continue around from the kitchen side of the wall. It was a project that I started in 2011 so it is nice to only need a few little trim pieces to be totally finished.

    I was going to make stocking hangers but ran out of time but with a rustic mantel a few extra nail holes adds character.

    I am very close to being finished decorating in our family room, kitchen, dining room and living room and will share tours of those spaces over the next week or two. I still need to pick up and add fresh greenery.

    Way too many photos of my mantel but after waiting this many years, and purposely trying to avoid taking pictures of this wall, I was having too much fun.

    This very old antique Canadiana buffet that we use as our tv stand (and stores all my pie and cake pans) is not quite finished. I still need to add another coat of black, distress it and refinish the top. 

    At this busy time of year I am very thankful that you took time to stop by. Is your holiday decorating finished, have you yet to start, or are you somewhere in between? I hope you have a great day!

    Sharing at the following link parties. Be sure to stop by for lots of inspiration.

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    I'm joining the Link Party at Jennifer Rizzo's Holiday House Walk 2015 and sharing our Home Tour.

    Be on next years holiday house walk! Join the Holiday house walk 2015 link party!

    Welcome to our Rustic Farmhouse Christmas Home Tour! If you are visiting for the first time, my name is Elizabeth and I live with my husband and two older teen boys in the suburbs of a small town in southern Ontario, Canada, about an hour west of Toronto. If you are a regular reader, you may notice some changes in our home from last Christmas.

    Our family loves to visit extended family on farms and spend time in Ontario's beautiful cottage country. We have been working on affordable diy projects to update our 17 year old builder home and to reflect our interests in farm and lake living, here in the 'burbs. Today I am sharing our rustic casual home where nothing is fancy but friends and our large extended family are always welcome. Prepare for picture overload ;)

    I am finishing up our outdoor decor this week, so we will begin the tour at our front door. I decorate with mostly neutrals in our home year round but added red and plaids for the Christmas season. 

    Our small entry has a coat closet but also serves as our mudroom for the comings and goings of a busy family. My guys wear lots of work boots, barn jackets and work wear, so I added this shelf with extra hooks to supplement the hooks in our basement stairwell.  

    I challenged myself to use the decorations and supplies we already have to deocrate our home for Christmas this year. I had fun finding new ways to display everything and crafted some new items too. I added grapevine wreaths with deer burlap ribbon to both the hall closet and half bath doors.

    The black cabinet holds baskets full of hats, mittens and gloves, and my knitted scarves.

    The half bath is tiny but I managed to fit this narrow rustic cabinet in for extra supplies. It is also a great spot for my collected Santas.

    The quilted Santa advent calendar is several years old and I'm still working on the ornaments that hang on his tree.

    I like incorporating my regular decor items into the Christmas vignettes. This swivel lid wood box that our 16 year old made gives some of the Santas a lift and adds the wood tones that I love using to this room.

    I added red and black check pillows that I made (some with moose fronts) to the year round white with grey and wood front living room. 

    We love the new retro industrial pendant light that we installed last week. The fresh greenery in an ironstone pitcher is a great way to add the scent of real pine when you use an artificial tree.

    I decided to hang the vintage skis above my new chalkboards. The writing on the chalkboard is not perfect but the message is sincere.

    I switched up the usual tray on the coffee table for a footed trifle bowl filled with faux snow, large mercury glass balls, small balls in matte white, shiny white and silver, stars and some greenery.

    Hopefully this display will survive our chocolate Lab Remington's tail and my sister's rambunctious Labradoodle puppy. 

    The living room tree is my 'fun' tree. I used buffalo plaid ribbon, red and brown moose, pinecones, glittery deer, words and stars, sweater trees and balls, wooden candy canes, glittery vintage bulbs, and plaid wrapped balls, plus lots of shiny balls.  

    The farmhouse table I remade has lots of mercury glass pieces, pinecones and a sign I painted. 

    Fresh greenery makes every arrangement look better. I got ours free from a local tree farm by picking up their trimmings.

    I always keep my latest needlework project in our living room, this time a knit scarf in chunky grey. We use the big white pillows in the galvanized washtub as floor pillows when the young people are hanging out. I bought the galvanized tub for our tree but the stand didn't fit.

    I added a strand of bells to the buffet and hutch and a trio of clear glass vases filled with silver balls to the dining room table. The vases were clearance at a local grocery store for 74 cents each!

    I painted the cardboard banner letters with chalkboard paint and wrote Merry Christmas on them.

    Moving on to the family room at the back of our home. I am so happy to finally have this fireplace shiplap and board and batten wall with mantel finished. I will share the before and after in an upcoming post. I found the glass vases at the thrift store to hold bells and the free birch limbs. We still have some trim work to finish in here but it is a huge improvement from last year.

    The new faux beam mantel is decorated with vintage wooden spools, candles wrapped in birch, and the deer nestled in the icy garland. The vintage milk pail is filled with more greenery, birch and red wood berries. I sewed the white twill denim stockings this year and used upholstery webbing for the cuff.

    I will add better photos of our family room tree to the individual room tours coming up. 

    I added tartan plaid and buffalo check pillows to our leather seating. The gallery wall has a few Christmas accents. The big black wooden bowl holds vintage silver and red ball ornaments and pinecones.

    Looking toward the back yard and the cathedral ceiling end of our home, we have a new computer table. I cut down an old farmhouse table and restained the butcher block top. I also added castors to the metal tool drawers that I repurposed for office storage under the table. Our family tree with all the collected and special family ornaments sits between the family room windows and the kitchen patio doors.

    Some vignettes in our family room. The only newly purchased item in this collage is the plaid fabric on the ottoman.

    Moving around the tree you come into the eat-in area of our kitchen, which shares the cathedral ceiling and skylights with the back of our family room.

    If you don't know, I work full time in education, but I also paint furniture for our home and resale. I wanted to finish building a rustic console shelf for behind the table but we didn't get it finished in time. Instead I am using a vintage dresser that I painted for our hot chocolate bar. The dresser might be going to a new home this week. 

    I added strings of red bells and beads to the chalkboard. I sewed the tartan table runner. The tray is easily removed for family dinners.

    Greenery with pinecones was added to the crock that holds my rolling pin collection.

    I kept the open shelves beside our breakfast bar simple for Christmas with just the NOEL, some red berry garland and fresh pine added to my aqua mason jars and ironstone pudding bowls. 

    The little tree in the galvanized bucket is decorated with vintage moulds, small ironstone pitchers, vintage biscuit cutters, bulbs from old Christmas light strands and burlap garland and bow.

    Our little hot chocolate bar with candy canes and marshmallows. The gingerbread people cookies are from a local bakery and were delicious!

    I added a small wreath to the board and batten wall and a little cow angel ornament to the bread box.

    The work area of our kitchen has only a few Christmas additions.

    Well, if you made it this far, thank you! I will end the tour here in the kitchen as we are currently in the patching and priming stages of our master bedroom, guest bedroom and ensuite bath. I will be sure to share these spaces when they are finished. If you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer them. Thanks for visiting at this busy time of year! I wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and a very Merry Christmas.

    Thanks Jennifer Rizzo and Joss and Main for hosting all the beautiful Holiday Housewalk Tours. I look forward to seeing the tours in the link party.

    Sharing at ...
    Show and Share at Coastal Charm
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
    Be Inspired at Elizabeth & Co.


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    Two weeks today is Christmas Day! I hope you are getting everything you need done and are taking some time to enjoy this special time of year. Earlier in the week I shared our Rustic Farmhouse Christmas Home Tour and today I wanted to share just the kitchen with more photos and details. It is a busy time of year and there is so much to see and do so I will try not to bore you with too much information. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments. 

    I use a neutral pallette year round with lots of white, black, metal and wood tones. For Christmas I used pops of red and plaids. The eat in area of our kitchen is at the back of our home under the cathedral ceiling with skylights.

    The little tree I decided to decorate and add at the last minute that has received so many kind comments on both the home tour and Instagram. Neutral ribbon for garland and a bow, vintage jelly moulds, vintage biscuit cutters, ironstone creamers and old Christmas light bulbs decorate the tree.

    I need to refinish the table top and finish the console shelves for behind the table but for now I added this vintage dresser I painted. I sewed the plaid table runner with fabric that matches the pillows in the adjacent family room. The tray is easy to move for our family meals.

    A simple Christmas wish on the chalkboard I made. The galvanized JOY ties in with the galvanized bucket and the moulds on the tree.

    Our little hot chocolate bar with marshmallows and candy canes. 

    I added red bulbs to the vintage mason jar. The vintage Santa mugs were a thrift store find. 

    I hope to one day find more red and white transferware but for now this little creamer is a favourite find.

    Delicious gingerbread cookies from a local bakery.

    The scrabble letters spell out RUSTIC FARMHOUSE CHRISTMAS.

    I strung red bells and added a strand of red wood beads to the chalkboard. The galvanized star hangs on a vintage ironstone platter.

    A breakfast bar separates the work area and table area of our kitchen. 

    I like to keep the vintage aqua mason jars and ironstone pudding bowls on the open shelves but added the NOEL letters, a strand of red wood beads, and some greenery

    At the last minute I added another large sugar cone.

    Greenery and pinecones was added to the crock holding my collection of rolling pins.

    The jar on the breakfast bar is filled with cookie cutters and rests on an ironstone platter. This is where you see the Simply White on the kitchen walls merge with the Revere Pewter on the end wall.

    The not fancy but totally functional work area of our kitchen. Greenery in a vase, white lights in a mason jar, a pretty kitchen towel stitched by a sister, a small wreath, chalkboard and frosty fern add Christmas touches without cluttering the counter tops.

    My sister gave me the frosty fern with the little cardinal and I plopped it in this little galvanized pot. I sewed the little stocking on the mirro and love the reflection of the wreath in the mirror. 

    A cow angel ornament on the bread box, the second wreath on the board and batten wall and a peek at our family tree in the family room.

    I sewed a pair of these little denim bags, filled them and hung them on the end walls of the board and batten that wraps the kitchen and tv/fireplace walls. 

    And finally back to the table area of our kitchen looking past the tree in our family room. Thanks so much for visiting and I would love if you left a comment to let me know you were here!

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    I can hardly believe that Christmas is this week! It has been a busy month but I wanted to share more photos of our front living room decorated for Christmas. I shared our full Christmas Home Tour here and our Christmas kitchen here. 

    Our living room is at the front of our home right off the entry hall. It is a cozy room where we visit with family and friends, and where I often read or do needlework. Similar to last year, I once again added red to our year round base of whites, wood, grey and black. We do things with a very limited budget and affordably around here so very little money was spent on new Christmas decor this year. Instead I try and find new ways to arrange things and make a few new things.

    Our living room tree is my 'fun' tree and is decorated with a rustic winter in the woods style.I used larger C6 LED lights in both warm and cool whites (because that's what I had) and used my favourite red wood bead strands (I bought so many strands 20 years ago and use them every year on both trees.) The ornaments are red and brown felt moose, white glittery deer, glittery words, silver glittery snowflakes, red and white wood candy canes, glittered and snowy giant pinecones, white, silver and cream ball ornaments, etched glass balls, sweater trees, fleece hearts, vintage Christmas tree bulbs as ornaments that I glittered silver, and sweater and buffalo plaid wrapped balls.

    I sewed the red and black check flannel pillows, and made the JOY painted pillow, two years ago. The charcoal pillows are new this year and I sewed the covers from fabric my oldest sister gave me. Although we use artificial trees so I can get them up nice and early, I love using fresh greenery in arrangements throughout our home.  I love the new retro industrial pendant light that we just installed. 

    My $10 vintage skis have been in quite a few places but this year I decided to hang them on the wall above the chalkboards I made. I'm not an artist but I can live with the quick greeting on the chalkboards.

    A very sunny photo of the end wall with a table top vignette and a wreath on the mirror.  We used to have a dresser here but switched it out for this farmhouse table that I painted ASCP Old White (I removed the old hutch and table top and added new pine planks.)

    For the tabletop vignette I used an ironstone platter, greenery and pine cones, mercury glass candle holders, footed glass bowl and heavy mercury glass balls, Christmas balls in silver, white and cream, old black books, some architectural salvage, a wooden candy cane, and a reindeer names sign I painted. The grey knit star and black metal orb are gifts from my friends. I sewed the little denim stocking with white lace trim.

    The footed mercury glass bowl is filled with pinecones, greenery, wood stars I painted white and a wood candy cane. 

    This garage sale trifle bowl is filled with faux snow, and more of the heavy mercury glass balls, small balls and painted stars, plus greenery. I added extra buffalo plaid ribbon to the pair of lanterns.

    I am seriously considering adding stained wood planks to the top of this freebie coffee table that I painted General Finishes Snow White.

    I bought both architectural salvage posts from Meg at Oliver and Rust.

    I love the little details. I always have a knitting or crochet project on hand and this scarf is close to being finished.

    The large white crocheted throw was a new $2.50 thrift store find. The moose Canadian fabric pillows are backed with the same red and black flannel check as the ones on the couch.

    The white pitcher is filled with greenery tied with a buffalo plaid ribbon. I bought the large wash tub for the tree but the tree stand doesn't fit. Bummer. Instead I keep large floor pillows in it.

    Looking into the front hall, between the tree and the front window, is a matching chair and pillows.

    One of these days I am going to make or get a flocked tree so it looks nice and snowy but I do love this tree! 


    Thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoy these last few days leading up to Christmas and that you are able to relax a bit and enjoy this special time. Now that I am finished work until the New Year I have a few more things on my list and then lots of time with family planned.

    Linking up to the party at...
    Coastal Charm's Show and Share

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    I hope you are enjoying these last few days until Christmas. It is hard to believe that tomorrow night is Christmas Eve! We are in the Christmas spirit here, even if our typical snowy and cold southern Ontario December weather isn't cooperating. With temperatures around 11 Celsius (in the 50's for our American friends) kids are playing road hockey in just shirts without coats or mittens. Definitely different but at least there isn't a dumping of snow for travellers.

    After sharing our full Christmas Home Tour here I have been sharing individual room tours with more photos. Today I am sharing our family room that shares the back of our home and the cathedral ceiling with our kitchen. I am so happy to have our faux beam mantel, shiplap and board and batten wall finished for Christmas. 

    Our home is rustic with a year round neutral base of whites, grey, black and wood so it was easy to add plaids and red for Christmas. I sewed pillow covers using tartan plaid, check and buffalo plaid and added them to a white sweater pillow and other neutral pillows on our leather couch. 

    I loved being able to decorate a mantel this year. I shared lots of details in this Christmas mantel post.

     All of our collected, handmade and special ornaments are on the 'family' tree. It makes for a very eclectic tree.

    It is especially nice sitting in here at night watching tv or netflix by the white lights of the kitchen tree, the family room tree, the tiny lights on the garland and with the fireplace going. Very cozy.  

    I added my hand painted sign and some silver bells to the stars above the TV. The old sideboard is only half way through a paint/refinish makeover but it is nice to have the board and batten finished.

    This is the view from our computer table in the back corner of the family room looking towards the front of our home. I filled one thrifted glass vase with jingle bells and the larger one with faux snow and birch limbs.

    We have quite an eclectic assortment of ornaments including Santas, snowmen, bears, hockey, cross-stitched, school craft, dogs, deer, angels, stars, red and gold balls, cows, cowboy, baby and more.

    Our youngest son and I made the three sided wood crate last year. It slips easily under the tree. 

    The black painted tool box on the computer table is filled with pinecones and greenery. I keep a big suede and sherpa blanket folded on the tool drawers that I made over. The drawers hold office supplies like a stapler, pens, hole punch etc. 

    Vintage silver and red Christmas balls and pine cones fill a black wooden bowl on the ottoman. The little Christmas tree in the corner is undressed except for a star topper and a piece of plaid fabric lining the bucket. The picture ledges got a few touches of Christmas as well.


    The mantel is decorated with candles wrapped in birch paper on vintage wooden spools, a frosted and berried garland that I added tiny twinkle lights too, and a white carved deer. I sewed the white denim Christmas stockings, added jute webbing for a cuff and hung them with our initials in black metal. 



    And finally, the vintage milk pail filled with birch, greenery, pinecones and red bead sticks.

    Thanks for visiting! I wish each of you and your families a very Merry Christmas! 

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    Yesterday I shared our winter living room. Today I want to share our winter dining room. Our dining room is a smaller space so I like to keep it simple and light year round. There are only a few additions for winter.

    Part of the dining room is also the traffic path from the front entry and living room through to the family room and back of our home so furniture has to stay closer to the window side.

    The walls are painted Benjamin Moore Simply White (except for the Revere Pewter wall that runs from the front entry to the family room.)  

    My favourite colour combo for our home is white + wood + black and this room doesn't stray far from that. Lots of fabric with the white cotton drapes, white table runner, crocheted tablecloths in the crate and lots of white linens in the buffet and hutch. I have had this little battenburg lace star for years and think it looks so cute hanging from the knob. 

    Some wintery type decor with the faux snow and votive cup in the trio of vases. The boxwood clippings from our garden have dried out and are tied on with simple twine. I also like pine cones and mercury glass from Fall right through till Spring. There are mercury glass candle holders on the window ledge and on the buffet.

    The small boxwood wreath adds a nice pop of colour against all the white dishes and neutrals.

    A few of my favourite things. I don't think I will ever have too many white dishes and serving pieces.

    I pretty much paint everything either black or white but this buffet and hutch came black. I am considering re-painting it all black. Time will tell lol. 

    This little bookcase is a stand in until I find or make something else for this spot. It holds extra ironstone platters and vintage mason jars. It also gives me another spot to decorate seasonally.

    I moved the vintage black and white agricultural scenes ironstone from the living room to this wall. I had to take down the brown transferware plates from either side of the window but I really think it looks better here.

    More mercury glass in this footed bowl full of pinecones and some icy twigs in the sap bucket. Did I mention I have a 'thing' for galvanized pieces too?

    A few more of my favourite things lol. It is said that you should love what you surround yourself with and I certainly love these items, colours and materials.

    And a few close ups of the super heavy ironstone plates and platters. Our 19 year old son is an ag guy, owns a couple of cows and wants to farm one day. He knows that mom sells stuff and has made me promise that I will never ever get rid of these plates. He claims they are his. I should ask him for the $20 I paid for them haha.

    Some close ups of the pieces...

    The extra large and extra heavy platter. I use the yellow disc hangers so that they are safer.

    The large platter.

    The dinner plate. There were quite a few in the box but many were badly damaged and I didn't keep them.

    I have two of the smaller side plates. Someone once shared the age and details about this set but unfortunately when my old phone died I lost the info.

    Well, thanks for visiting today. I have a Valentine's mantel and decor to share soon.

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    Late last year I changed the computer area of our family room by making over our old dining room table into a desk and rusty tool drawers into storage drawers. I'm finally getting around to sharing some current photos of this area with a few before photos.

    Our family room is long and this end of the room, adjacent to our kitchen eat-in area, is a good spot for our computer, printer, modems and some office supplies. 

    The previous table was too small and made it difficult to work at but we didn't need a huge dining sized table either. I compromised and saved money by cutting down an old dining room table.

    My brother-in-law had these metal tool drawers in his garage and when I showed interest he gave them to me. Some black spray paint freshened them inside and out, and I added a plank base with wheels. The long drawers are perfect for office supplies. 

    Here's a before of the table when it was our dining room table in 2009, and it also served as a work table in my hobby studio for a few years.

    I cut down the width of the table and reassembled it.

    To save money I cut the rounded edge off the butcher block table top and resized it. After it was sanded down I used Minwax Early American stain and a poly top coat.

    I painted the table base with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White then used ASCP Soft Wax and finally a bit of MMSMP Antiquing Wax. 

    After spray painting with a matt black, and the drawers in their rusty green condition. They are banged up but function really well.

     I still need to finish painting the chair.

    I still need to work on some cord management and I'm thinking of drilling a hole to drop the wires below the table.

    The drawers need some simple labels and I have a plan for the printer and a spot for the modems.

    I would also like to replace the table lamp with a metal task lamp. This project cost less than $20 because I had all supplies on hand except for buying two cans of spray paint and four wheels ($1 each at a garage sale.) It is way more functional and I think it looks much better too. Thanks for visiting and I hope this inspires you to reuse something you have to make a space work better.

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    Happy June! Today I am sharing our dining room where I am working towards a farmhouse - lakehouse style. I love farmhouse style furnishings and the simplicity of lakehouse style.

    When I painted our walls Simply White a few years ago it really helped to brighten this room that tends to be a bit dark. Now that I have a lighter and brighter dining room, and using furniture we already own as a base, I have plans for some changes. I removed the two end Windsor chairs and added these tan slipcovered chairs that my neighbour used only for display. 
    PB Comfort Dining Square Arm Long Slipcovered Side Chair, Denim Warm White:
    image:Pottery Barn
    I plan to add white floor length slipcovers to them. A rug is not in the budget right now but would really break up the wood floor and wood table nicely.

    Sorry for the window blow out but taking photos of this room is challenging for me. I kept the dining table simple with a pair of lanterns and this wood crate that our youngest son made for me. I stained and stencilled it to look old and then filled it with collected white plates and dried hydrangeas.

    I really like the buffet and hutch but I hope to restain the buffet top and touch up the black paint this year. The stain is a bit too orange for my taste.

    Lots of white collected china but there is always room for more. 

    The mini Muskoka chairs are some of my favourite summer accessories and add a little more lakehouse vibe in my favourite colours.

    Birch bark wrapped candles for texture.

    This weekend I plan on painting a buffet for the other side of the dining room, opposite the china cabinet. It will be nice to have additional storage and another horizontal space to decorate.

    I was using this piece that belonged to my niece and her husband. They asked me to sell it for them and it finally sold this past weekend. 

    I bought this solid oak buffet with dovetailed drawers and curved drawer fronts for $75. It is more my style and I think it fits in better with my other furniture.

    The buffet will be painted a pretty grey, Cobblestone by Country Chic Paints. The grey will go nicely with other touches of grey in our home.

    And here is our girl Remington who loves to follow me around. This angle makes our dining room look larger than it really is. Where Remi is laying is actually the traffic path to our kitchen and family room at the back of our home. I think though that the buffet will fit in nicely and add a little balance to the room. One more month of work and then I am off for the summer and I will have more time to devote to my projects. Thanks for visiting! I appreciate you stopping by.

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    Is there a place in your home where you keep trying out different 'temporary' pieces of furniture until you find the one that is just right for the spot?

    I'm happy to say I finally found the additional buffet that I had been searching for. I gave it a makeover and now I think it is the perfect colour and style for our dining room.

    My search criteria was that it had to be solid wood, dovetailed drawers, similar in style to our black painted buffet and hutch, cost under $100 ($75 score!), and be suitable for a paint makeover. I almost settled on the nine drawer dresser that was recently in its place that I was selling for my niece and her husband but the style wasn't quite 'me' and there were no doors. This solid oak piece almost didn't make it home because it was sooo heavy but I'm so happy that it did. 

    I started by giving it a wipe down and sanding the top, then re-stained the top surface with Early American and three coats of non-yellowing water-based poly.

    Then the fun part begins with choosing a colour for the base. I toyed with the idea of a layered and distressed look but decided that this piece would look good in a solid colour. I can always go back and distress it later if I want (the beauty of a clay paint/wax finish.)

    I picked Cobblestone, a beautiful mid-deep grey by Country Chic Paint. The sun today is lightening the colour but at other times of the day it really is this beautiful rich grey. 

    Happy mail from Country Chic Paint. The paint is eco-friendly and contains no harmful solvents. We have a chocolate Lab that sneezes and won't hang around when I use some other paint and refinishing products but not with this paint. She happily lay nearby while I tackled this right in the dining room. Did I tell you that it was heavy? There was no way I was moving this sucker again once I finally got my three guys to haul it in from the garage!

    So easy to apply the paint and it has a really nice smooth consistency without drips. No priming, especially on this older oak piece. I used their oval paint brush and really enjoyed the application compared to my 'good' paint store brushes. This will be my go to brush for furniture from now on.

    I did two coats of Cobblestone to fully cover it because it is a grainy oak. This is closer to the true colour. It has such a nice smooth matte chalky finish that I almost didn't want to add wax. But I did. I wanted a bit of depth and some protection.

    The natural wax has beeswax and only the barely there smell of the beeswax and other natural oils. I used a white lint free rag to apply and lightly buff the wax but looking back I should have used my wax brush. Because those lint free rags didn't end up being as lint free as they were supposed to be.

    The original hardware was an antique brass and with the cutouts in the drawers I decided to spray paint the existing hardware satin black. We have a lot of black hardware in our home so it works. 

    This photo is a truer look at the Cobblestone colour with the natural wax.

    I love the extra display and storage space. The drawers are felt lined and one drawer is already dedicated to tealights, votives and tapers.

    This piece also really helps to balance out our small dining room. I will share a full tour with the new buffet soon.

    I like the wood top but I always have the option of doing a dry brush technique or a solid grey on the top. Luckily the finish is not orangey like in these photos.

    The surface will be great when entertaining and it gives me another horizontal spot to decorate!

    Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great day! There are a lot of furniture and decor painters out there but if you would like more info on this or any of my projects, don't hesitate to email me. I'm always happy to help.

    I was compensated with product to try, but as always any opinions expressed are truely my own.

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  • 07/01/16--15:16: Front Porch Canada Day Decor
  • Happy July 1st and Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends. 

    Today is my first day of summer vacation and I am looking forward to lots of relaxing, some travel in our beautiful province and more time to tackle some DIY and creative projects. 

    I enjoy decorating seasonally and since this is Canada Day I'm taking a break from my more neutral decor with red and white on the front porch. Canada Day is our national day of Canada celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867 (British North America Act) which united three colonies into one single country. Basically it's our 149th Birthday!

    I sewed new pillow covers with Canada Day fabric and backed with white cotton/linen. 

    Using extra fabric and a piece of twine I quickly sewed a banner to hang. I ran out of time to make a wreath for the door but that is on my list for next year. While I love a bargain or thrifty find, I don't regret paying full price for this pair of wicker Harvest chairs a few years ago. I love the quality and the lakehouse style. 

    Our porch is covered and allows for some lovely shade and a breeze. It's the perfect spot to sit with a cold beverage on hot days.

    My sister gave me the trio of roses and baby's breath and I added them to one of my vintage CROWN - Made In Canada canning jars.

    Our porch needs pressure washed and I need to get a new front door mat but that will be next week. I decided to go ahead with the decorating because I will have more time for scrubbing and cleaning next week. There are usually several pairs of work boots under the bench from my guys that work in landscaping and spend time in barns but I moved them for the photos ;) This is our main entry and unfortunately we don't have a mudroom or garage entry. I also need to finish painting the little bench (I am in the process of covering up some heart cutouts on the bench.)

    I have two vintage croquet sets that are usually in our basement TV room but I brought them to the front porch for a touch of summer nostalgia. I painted and sewed the Canada flag pillow and stitched the buffalo check pillow cover.

    This little wicker stool is great for holding a beverage, a book or propping one's feet. It was a garage sale find for a few dollars and gets a fresh coat of white spray paint every few years.

    While this is not a grand Muskoka cottage country lakehouse, we love our home and I am happy that I was able to give our porch an Ontario summer at the lake look for Canada Day. I hope you enjoy this long weekend, whether you are celebrating Canada Day or the 4th of July. Thanks for visiting! 

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    This summer I worked on quite a few projects and I'm just getting around to posting some of my completed pieces. This French Provincial Buffet makeover had a bumpy start but ended up being a great piece.

    The eat in area of our kitchen has seen many buffet and hutch combos, a metro wire shelving unit and most recently this lovely French Provincial piece. 

    My hair stylist hooked me up with clients of hers, also locals. The couple had moved their father into a retirement home and were remodeling the home for resale. They offered me a bunch of free furniture. It pays to let your friends know if you are looking for furniture for yourself or your business.

    I decided to keep just the base because I wanted a bigger display surface for our kitchen. My mistake was priming in the garage in the heat of summer. The primer dried too quickly and was so streaky and rough. I have never had this experience before and almost tossed the whole project. After a cooling off period (me, not the weather!) I gave it a light sanding and decided to see how it would look painted. 

    Country Chic Paint sent me chalk paint, their natural wax and a paint brush. I chose Simplicity, a lovely white, and Cobblestone (for a different project.)

    We moved the buffet indoors to avoid the heat. The Country Chic chalk paint went on beautifully and in my opinion saved this piece from being tossed. I'm not always patient ;) I used their natural wax for protection and to give the buffet a soft sheen. Seriously, no yucky smell. My iphone photos are not the best quality but at least I got photos lol. 

    I decided to keep the original hardware but sprayed it black. 

    As I mentioned, I didn't want another buffet/hutch combo like I have had in this spot several times. I decided I was looking for a buffet style piece so I could use the horizontal surface for serving and display. I like that a buffet is less bulky than a tall piece for this smaller space. But as lovely as the lines of this piece are, especially in this pretty Simplicity, I decided that French Provincial doesn't 'speak' to my design style. I prefer a rustic country or modern farmhouse look. Once the decision was made, I listed this piece for sale and it quickly went to a new home. 

    I am in the middle of a DIY project to add that horizontal display surface but this time with more open storage. The reveal will be in the next week or so. The decision to sell pieces isn't always easy, but I am getting much better at understanding my preferred design style. And the added income from sales is always welcome. 

    After a great two month summer vacation I had a rough time settling back into my work routine. I always appreciate my time off work but the change in routine and extra time available in the summer makes it hard for me to go back to full time employment.  A few weeks later I am now feeling more motivated and hope to share here on the blog more often. For frequent updates you can find me on Instagram

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    Recently I was invited by HGTV Canada as a blogger to be part of a phone conference roundtable interview with host Sangita Patel and Canadian builder/design stars Scott McGillivray, Bryan Baeumler and Sarah Baeumler. This was an opportunity for another blogger and myself to pose questions to the panel of experts who are 3 of the 30 HGTV stars that will work in teams on rooms in the second season of Home To Win. 

    Hightail Spaces lets you send unlimited files, of any size, to anyone. Collaborate with your team and evolve your work.:

    The topic was that while moving into a new home can bring a family closer together it can also bring on many challenges. Fixer-uppers and small spaces are becoming the only affordable option in today's restrictive housing market resulting in families working together to make renovations on a budget and maximize space. One of the questions I asked was "Often fixer uppers and small homes lack character. What are some ways to add architectural details and character to otherwise plain rooms?" Both Scott McGillivray and Bryan Baeumler answered my question. Some of their suggestions were barnboard, texture, wallpaper, ceiling details, colour, mouldings, feature walls, paint, panelling and trim work. I have included some examples below that I find particulary inspiring and that could be done by most DIY'ers fairly affordably. 


    barnwood wainscoating | Barn Siding & Paneling | Arc Wood & Timbers- Isaiah would love this in his room!: via Pinterest

    Panelling (or Shiplap, Board and Batten etc.)

    I didn't even know about shiplap until I began watching Fixer Upper. Joanna Gaines has shared her love with me. Look at this deliciousness in all its glory. So gorgeous!!:
    Image: Pinterest

     Mouldings and Trim Work

    Muskoka Living, clean and fresh. Reminds me a little of my uncle-in-law's guest bedroom.:

    Recessed Panel Wainscoting with Chair Rail:

    Image: sdstair via Pinterest


    beautiful laundry room | Ryland Witt Interior Design:

    Image: via Pinterest

    Paint Colours

    Accent wall at end of hall, link to light at Lowes:

    Image: via Pinterest

    Feature Walls

    Wood pallet wall in living room:

    Image: via Pinterest

    Ceiling Details

    Hall with Shiplap walls and reclaimed shiplap wood ceiling.:
    Image: via Pinterest

    Sarah Baumler mentioned the importance of a layout and design plan. By having a layout and design plan it would be easier to avoid costly mistakes, budget for your projects, and have a better design flow throughout the home. With 30 HGTV Canada stars participating in Home To Win Season 2, I'm looking forward to getting lots of ideas and inspiration. 

    Hightail Spaces lets you send unlimited files, of any size, to anyone. Collaborate with your team and evolve your work.:

    Season 2 of Home To Win starts Sunday April 30th at 10:00 pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada. 

    "Hosted by Entertainment Tonight Canada’s Sangita Patel, the series’ returning stars include Mike Holmes, Bryan Baeumler, Scott McGillivray, and Sarah Richardson among others. A few of the additional stars joining the series this season include household names: Jonathan and Drew Scott, Dave and Kortney Wilson, and Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot. In each episode of Home to Win, two celebrity builders pair with two fan-favourite designers to complete two rooms within the waterfront property. Week-to-week newly renovated rooms are revealed and the dramatic season finale sees three Canadians compete to win the completed home in a series of challenges leaving one lucky competitor with the keys to the spectacular waterfront home"

    Hightail Spaces lets you send unlimited files, of any size, to anyone. Collaborate with your team and evolve your work.:

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    Continuing on from the Fall tours of our kitchen and dining room, today I am sharing our Fall living room. For this season I have cozied up our very light front room with textures, cozy throws and some darker colours. 

    Our home is rustic casual and neutral with lots of whites, wood, greys, browns and black. Our living room is not our tv/family room, but a room we enjoy for reading, visiting with friends and family, and my favourite spot to do needlework while my guys flop down and we talk about our day. 

    The gallery wall we had over the couch for several years was replaced with this pair of chalkboards I made last month.

    I used the same pine and stain as the farmhouse sofa table that I made over, and the kitchen chalkboard. The IKEA bookcase I was trying in here in the summer was moved upstairs and replaced with the farmhouse table. The big white crocheted throw adds some texture and is so soft.

    This is the view from our front entry and staircase. Our living room was the first room that I painted white back in 2011 (Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls.) Over 4 years later and I still love it, Since then I have also painted  our basement guest bedroom Cotton Balls white and other rooms BM Simply White: half of our kitchen and family room, our dining room, my hobby studio, our basement stair way and now I am working on our upstairs guest bedroom. White walls are not for everyone but I truly enjoy them in our home.

    As much as I enjoy white, I am finding that I love the rustic contrast of white and wood. Wood planks will also soon be added to the top of our 'for now' coffee table. 

    I simplified the Fall accents I used this year. This dark grey wood tray on the coffee table gets a lot of use year round. I changed out the white cut work linen piece for an ecru crocheted piece. To keep the look simple I added pillar candles wrapped in birch bark and tied with twine, and a simple wood berry garland in Fall colours.

    On the farmhouse table I added a wheat sheaf tied with burlap ribbon and a white ceramic pumpkin to pieces that I like to use year round: wood spools, mason jars, mercury glass, metal, architectural salvage and candles.

    I was going to use a runner on the table for more texture but couldn't bear to cover up the plank top that I added when I made over the table.

    I use a variety of metals and on this one side of the room there are wire baskets to hold books and magazines, a galvanized watering can and wash tub (it holds larger floor pillows and a plaid throw), a black painted metal sphere and star, shiny silver on the lamp and an aged brass ceiling fixture (not shown.)

    The grey buffalo check pillows are from Ikea. I painted and sewed the True North, gather and punctuation pillow covers. The grey plaid pillows were made using Ralph Lauren napkins. Last week I sewed the charcoal grey pillows using suiting fabric my oldest sister gave me.

     The grey wool blanket was a thrift store find. I painted the barstool then re-stained and added grainsack inspired stripes.

    We keep sunglasses and safety glasses in the small galvanized pots in the wooden crate. I found the vintage black and white ironstone plates and platters with farm scenes in a dusty box at the Aberfoyle Antique Market for $20. The platters are very heavy and I hung them with DISC adhesive plate hangers.

    That is the front entry through the opening. The hall paint colour is Revere Pewter. It has been cold here this past week so definitely time to bring out my winter scarves. The grey and white striped curtains are from IKEA.

    The tables are all garage sale or kijiji finds that I painted white (and the farmhouse table is ASCP Old White and Provence.)

     A shutter that I painted grey and the galvanized pieces add a bit of interest to this corner. One of my favourite scented candles is nestled in a wood berry wreath on a simple white plate.

    Thanks for stopping by our cozy Fall living room. It is decorated with lots of inexpensive finds but is one of my favourite rooms in our home. Our Canadian Thanksgiving was two weekends ago so except for decorating our front porch and entry for Halloween, it is full on planning for Christmas decor for me.

    Sharing with...
    The Scoop at Worthing Court, Confessions of A Plate Addict, StoneGable and Cedar Hill Farmhouse

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    Today I am sharing the second dresser that I painted with General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint.

    GF Lamp Black is such a pretty black and a really easy product to use. It only took two coats for complete coverage and the paint goes on smooth and levels really well. Later I will share the three large pieces that I painted with one can. I tried to get the GF Top Coat but after a 45 minute drive each way, the supplier I normally buy from was out of Top Coat and Lamp Black. Lesson to self: call ahead! I was disappointed but ended up using Varathane poly in satin.

    This three drawer pine dresser was part of my original bedroom set that I bought when I was 19. It is a well built solid wood piece with dovetail drawers. 

    Eventually the dresser ended up in our oldest son's room (keeping it real with the cattle brochures and junk on top before he changed bedrooms.) The finish was well worn with lots of knicks and scratches so I didn't feel bad painting the wood finish.

    Our previous night stands in our bedroom were too short for our high bed so I am using this small dresser as a night table. I am really enjoying it's new look and all the extra storage space. I chose not to distress it at this time but I will probably change out the porcelain knobs.

    I still have the double cannonball bed and a night table that are part of this set and they will be going in our guest room after I paint. If I end up finding a matched set with the right dimensions, this dresser will return to the guest room. We had a 3 way room switch recently (oldest son to basement bedroom, youngest son to oldest son's room, and guest bedroom from basement to youngest son's room. Confused lol?) 

    I shared the other dresser I painted GF Lamp Black for our room. Yesterday I patched the walls and I will be painting soon. I was going to make a white denim slipcover for the headboard but now I am considering making a wood headboard. Baby steps, and we really need new flooring, but it is coming along.

    Linking up to the following parties...

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  • 03/30/15--06:00: Spring Dining Room
  • The snow is still melting and it is cold here but some sunny days have inspired me to lighten our home for Spring. Today I am sharing our dining room and an Easter tablescape.

    Our dining room is simple and is starting to reflect the rustic farmhouse/lakeside feel that I am working towards. Our dining room table and chairs are not as orange as they appear in this light. One day I would love to add some white slipcovered chairs and a rug. We recently centered the light over the table and that makes it look much better but we still need to shorten the chain.

    Our cabinet is filled with white dishes, some mercury glass and few favourite pieces. I plan to paint my black buffet and hutch for a less distressed look and to cover the more orange tone of the stain. It will be a more solid black. The little boxwood wreathadds a pop of green and inspired the Spring tablescape.

    The dining room walls are painted Benjamin Moore Simply White and the far wall that acts as the hall to other rooms is BM Revere Pewter. I like white and grey as backdrops to all the white, wood and black that I use.

    I love that the ceilings are smooth since our oldest son stripped the popcorn texture. Blue and turquoise are my normal accent colours but I like the fresh green that I added using items we already own. The only newly purchased items in this room are the boxwood wreath and a bunch of white tulips from the grocery store for $5.99.

    The green chargers were on clearance at Michaels for 75 cents each. The simple white plates are caterer's plates that I use for buffets, parties and bbq's. They were very inexpensive, are sturdier than paper or foam and we can put them in the dishwasher after a big crowd, 

    I only had four green napkins so I used two white ones on the end settings. The curtains are several years old and I sewed them from simple tone on tone striped cotton. I also sewed the table runner using moire cotton left over from the wedding dress my sister sewed for me.

    I bought the tulips yesterday and they are just starting to open. Maybe it's because I was an April baby, but I do love Spring and tulips.

    The crown mason jar filled with speckled eggs inspired me to fill some little numbered galvanized pots with faux coloured Easter eggs. I didn't want to go to the store to buy basket filler so I made some from cardstock and burlap.

    I sold the white and turquoise jelly cupboard that was in this corner. We would like to make a long buffet-like table for the wall opposite the china cabinet. For now I am using a little pine table that I recently painted.

    I still need to add some art or decor to the walls but I haven't figured out what.

    The opening in the wall adds light to the basement stairs but the partly open concept with limited wall space in this room makes it a challenge to arrange things on the walls.

    Pussy willows, bunnies and a nest add some Spring and Easter touches to the little table.

    White tulips are my favourite. In fact white flowers in general are my favourites. Does that make me boring lol ?

    Thanks for stopping by! I will be sharing some basement stair way progress and a before and after on the little pine table later in the week. 

    Linking up to the following parties...
    Show and Share at Coastal Charm
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

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    Have you ever had one of those projects that you gave up on because it just wasn't working out? I gave up on this little table for a year before taking it back out and trying one last time to finish it. I am kind of impatient sometimes.

    I have painted a variety of furniture pieces using many different paint brands and even homemade chalky like paints using latex and plaster of paris. This was my first time using Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. I bought a package of Ironstone powder, MMS bonding agent, and a little battery operated mixer. 

    I started by cleaning and lightly sanding this little pine table. It was a kijiji find with dated stenciling and a worn finish.

    After watching several videos and reading up on the do's and don'ts I mixed up my first small batch. I tried it on a small area but I made it too watery and lumpy so I ended up dumping it out and starting again. For the next batch I used the little electric whisk. Too bubbly and watery. In my frustration I ended up breaking the safety lid off the bonding agent container. My third attempt was better and I painted two coats on the table. I had to work out some small lumps but at least I didn't make it too watery this time. The lessons here: don't throw out a batch, keep working on it, let any bubbles settle a bit, you can always add a little more paint powder or a little more water, and most importantly don't be impatient like me! Due to my impatience and inexperience with the product, I put the table away for awhile. Okay, just over a year. 

    We have been organizing and selling/purging items in our home recently and I decided to give this little table one last chance. There was only a bit of the Ironstone MMSMP left in the package but it mixed up nicely this time and there was just enough to add the last two coats. I skipped the bonding agent this time (remember I had broken the safety lid off and couldn't open it.)  There were only a few tiny spots of chipping and cracked paint so I helped with some distressing. I also very lightly hand sanded any small bumps. Finally I waxed it.

    The waxing gave it a super nice feel and finish. I plan to buy a glass knob on my next visit to the hardware store.

    For my Spring Dining Room tour I added a black knob from my stash. I may end up selling this piece but for now it displays a simple Easter vignette.

    My intent in sharing my mishaps with the product is not to complain, but to explain that a bit of practice and patience certainly helps. I wish I had not gotten frustrated because I could easily have finished this little table a year ago. I could probably have painted more than one piece with a whole package too. Ironstone truly is a lovely colour. 

    Happy April friends! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit. Have you ever had a furniture painting project not work out? Were you able to rescue it?

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    Black is one of my favourite colours for painted furniture. This past week I updated this solid oak buffet and hutch with Fusion Mineral Paint in Coal Black.

    I had been wanting to try Fusion Mineral Paint. Next Time Around in Cambridge, Ontario sells Fusion and the owner emailed me a picture of a similar cabinet done in Coal Black. She suggested leaving the buffet top, beadboard and shelves in the original oak. 

    I also kept the interior of the lower section oak as it is in great condition.

    Fusion is supposed to have a very durable finish with no top coat needed so I was able to finish this fairly quickly. I used most of the container of paint probably due to the grain in the solid oak.

    This is the before, a very solid piece that we got off a neighbour who had it listed on kijiji online classifieds. It is a great size for smaller spaces.

    New hardware was added to update it even more.

    I added back a vintage scale and a few ironstone pieces. The kitchen table was moved for better photos but it is back in place now and I will share a few photos tomorrow.

    While the black better suits our style, this piece is for sale. I am looking for an industrial style metal shelf unit that is wider and shallower to better fit this small eat in space in our kitchen.
     Have you tried Fusion paint?

    Joining these link parties..

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    Today I am sharing a farmhouse table that I have been working on. I love farmhouse tables. 

    First I started out with a base coat of ASCP Provence and then ASCP Old White. I waxed with Annie Sloan soft wax and distressed in just a few places to let the Provence show through.  

    The before was part of a two piece open hutch that I picked up for $25. The dated forest green hutch part was damaged around the crown moulding and too short. I didn't like the curved front and flush back of the butcher block so I ended up just using the table base with drawer.

    It was easy enough to unscrew the butcher block top and cut some pine planks for a new top. Some sanding, then I used Minwax wood conditioner. Finally I stained them with Minwax Early American, added 3 coats of poly and used the same pocket screws to re-attach the top.

    I haven't found the perfect knobs for the drawer so I am using these iron ones for now. We moved the big white office armoire upstairs to my hobby room so I am keeping the table in this spot for now. 

    We get soooo much light from the skylights, windows and patio doors in this area of our family room.

    The turquoise beads were originally a strand of red wood Christmas beads that I spray painted turquoise. The aqua mason jar holds flowers clipped from our Rose of Sharon bush. 

    I think this farmhouse table could easily be used in many different locations in our home. It is the perfect height for a small desk or sofa table.

    It perfectly suits the rustic farmhouse / lakehouse vibe I am striving for in our home.

    Thanks for stopping in! While I haven't been busy on the blog recently, I have been working behind the scenes organizing and maintaining our home, just nothing overly blog worthy. I am enjoying being off for the summer, spending lots of time with family, and reading into the wee hours of the morning. Later in the week I have a pair of barstools to share that I picked up for $5 and painted. Hope you are enjoying your summer. Hard to believe summer is half way through!

    Sharing with...

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    Barstools are handy for extra seating and make great easy to move side tables. 

    We will find lots of uses for this wood and white pair of barstools with grain sack inspired stripes.

    I sanded down the tops and used Varathane Wood Stain in Early American and then painted the stripes with General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint. The tops are protected with three coats of Minwax poly. The bases are painted with GF Snow White Milk Paint and waxed with Miss Mustard Seed Antiquing Wax and Annie Sloan Soft Wax. Yeah, quite a few products there but I like using what I have on hand for these almost no cost projects. The GF milk paint goes on so beautifully although without a primer the Snow White needs three coats. I discovered that the antiquing wax works better on projects with more raised details but it did help 'age' the bright white. I used painters tape for the lines, 'aged' the stripes with a wet paper towel and removed the tape almost immediately.

    The before was a simple but sturdy varnished wood from a garage sale ($5 for the pair.)

    The white, wood and black suits our home so much better and is versatile enough to use in any room in our home.

    It is a rainy day here today so I photographed them on our kitchen table under a skylight. We are using one bar stool in our living room beside my favorite knitting/reading chair for my water or iced-coffee and the other in our family room beside the leather recliner for our guys' cell phones while they watch tv. Handy and they don't take up as much space as a full side table.

    Our home is truly a work in progress and done on a tight budget but it feels good when even little projects like this one that cost $5 (and supplies on hand) fit my design style. Thanks for visiting!

    Sharing this with....
    Vintage Inspiration Party at Bliss Ranch, Villabarnes, My Salvaged Treasures, Organized Clutter and Knick of Time
    Five Star Frugal at A Tray of Bliss

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  • 08/17/15--10:13: Pedestal End Tables Makeover
  • This weekend I painted two different but similar pedestal end tables for our living room.

    We have been using a round pedestal table on the window side of the couch and I was happy to find a similar sized table with a square top for the other end of the sofa.

    The round table needed repainting so I primed both with Zinnser Cover Stain and then painted them with two coats of General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint. Finally I protected them with a poly topcoat.

    I like that the side tables are the same colour and a similar but not matching style. I sold the large round pedestal coffee table even though it was a favourite piece. It was too big and heavy for our small living room and three pedestal tables seemed a bit much.

    Tomorrow I will post a late summer living room tour. I have some changes planned for Fall and didn't get a chance to share an early summer tour. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you can come back to see the full tour.

    Joining the following link parties...

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  • 08/18/15--05:30: Summer Living Room Tour
  • Before I make some minor changes to our living room and decorate for Fall, I thought I would share some photos of our white, grey and turquoise living room in late summer.

    Our white slipcovers need washed and I am trying out an IKEA billy bookcase but this is our smaller front living room as it was this weekend. Our living room doesn't get a lot of light so the white walls really work in this room (Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls although the rest of our main floor is BM Simply White and Revere Pewter.) 

    Yesterday I shared the makeover of the pedestal end tables. We sold the large heavy pedestal coffee table. It was a favourite piece but was quite big for this smaller (10' x 14') room. 

    We moved the wood dresser and mirror to try an IKEA billy bookcase but I'm not sure if this will stay. Maybe two bookcases would look better? I am thinking of using the  farmhouse sofa table I painted or possibly bring back the wood dresser

    We have a family room and a basement sitting room for watching TV so our front room is more for visiting and where I often read or knit. I use a white set of string lights in the window at Christmas and decided to add them back but first I stuffed each light into a little natural rattan ball. They look so pretty at night.

    I like wood and galvanized pieces mixed in with the whites and there will be more of this in the changes I have planned. 

    Our living room is open to the front entry and dining room. The galvanized pots in the wood crate on the ledge hold our assorted glasses and sunglasses, easily accessible from the hall table on the other side. 

    We had a lot of rain the other day but I rescued a few hydrangeas to fill a pitcher on the coffee table. The grey and white buffalo check pillow covers are IKEA and I made the floral and grain sack inspired pillow covers.

    I stuffed big 26" feather inserts with simple white pillow covers into a $5 galvanized wash tub (but first sprayed the interior with a sealer to keep any bits of rust off the linens.) When we have family gatherings the young people often end up sprawled on pillows on the floor.

    A moss ball in a little urn is on the black plant stand neear the window. I like using black in all the rooms in our home.

    And this is a dark photo of our 5 year old girl Remington, a chocolate Lab. She is one of the reasons I love my white slipcovers (and leather in the family room.) We are puppy sitting my sister and family's 5 1/2 month old Labradoodle for a few days so I won't be getting too much done haha. These girls are neighbours and see each other a lot, but they are still getting used to each other. Thanks for visiting today!

    Linking up to the following parties...

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    I finished a large chalkboard for our kitchen and I love how the pine stained frame looks with our Simply White and Revere Pewter wall colours.

    After painting and selling several buffet and hutches I have finally figured out that I prefer this wall in our kitchen with a lower storage piece. I have plans and bought the wood to make a lower sideboard/shelves. That leaves me with wall space to decorate above the future storage piece.

    I wanted a big chalkboard for this area and made one using pine planks and a piece of white board. Four coats of chalkboard paint and I will season it with chalk soon. The chalkboard measures 28" x 45" overall. I stained the pine with Minwax Early American (that looks darker and less orange in real life) and gave it one coat of satin poly.

    Besides making the sideboard shelves I also plan to make a tall and narrow cupboard (sort of like a chimney cupboard) to use for a broom, mop and a few cleaning supplies. It will go to the right of the chalkboard next to our patio doors. Our laundry room is upstairs near our bedrooms and there is no mudroom in our home so finding a storage spot on the main floor for a broom etc. has always been a pain. There will be items on the shelves below the chalkboard and I am thinking of adding some ironstone platters or plates above the chalkboard. Would that look too busy? 

     I hope you have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

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  • 09/23/15--18:33: Our Fall Farmhouse Kitchen
  • Today I am sharing our kitchen with some simple Fall decor. Last week was hot and humid here in southern Ontario but after heavy rains on Saturday it cooled down quite a bit. Fall is definitely in the air. 

    Our home is 17 years old and we are the original owners. The kitchen is the same age and I hesitated about taking full photos. While I would love all new cabinets, appliances and hardwood floors, that is not in our near future. Instead I am learning to be thankful for what we have and I am doing small projects as time and budget allows. 

    Late last year we painted our main floor, including our kitchen, Revere Pewter and Simply White. We use the eat-in area of our kitchen regularly so I kept the decor simple. The chalkboard I made last month got a quick message and I added a simple arrangement to the farmhouse table. 

    The ironstone platter and plates above the chalkboard add a bit of interest while still being neutral

    I sold the aqua barstools last year and replaced them with this pair of black metal barstools. I like that they are light and tuck in out of the way. I hope to add some chunkier corbels to the breakfast bar.

    I would like to make a narrow sideboard-like shelf for under the chalkboard and a tall narrow cabinet (similar to a chimney cabinet) in the corner for our broom and mop. It drives me a bit crazy that our builder didn't include a pantry or broom closet. 

    On the table I used a linen runner from a few years ago (simple linen tea towel by the metre and I only had to sew the ends.) I love using neutrals in our home and pulled this little centerpiece together without buying anything new. I used a small wood cabinet door painted ASCP Old White as a base then added the last of my hydrangeas, a berry wreath, pinecones and the faux pumpkins. The pumpkins were the typical orange plastic variety that I painted. 

    The open shelves have stayed the same for some time now. I used to change the shelves each season but lately I prefer the simplicity of the ironstone pudding bowls and my collection of aqua CROWN canning jars.

    Our family room and eat in area of the kitchen are flooded with light from a pair of skylights, patio doors and a wall of windows in the family room. This seems to make the windowless work area of our kitchen darker, especially in late afternoon. We added the board and batten several years ago.

    The framed photos are some I took on a relative's dairy farm. This is the farm where our 18 year old son keeps his Jersey cow and calf. 

    I love to bake and have glass canisters with metal scoops to keep our flours, sugars, and oatmeal handy (I need to add whole wheat flour and white sugar to the grocery list.)

    The work area of our kitchen is not fancy but it works well for us. I plan to change the brass knobs to black soon. I added the trim detail to the soffits above the cabinets and still need to finish caulking and painting it.

    I'm hoping to add some kind of backsplash. Bringing some wood to this end of the kitchen would be nice but I may just use beadboard or shiplap since we aren't replacing the counters. New light fixtures are on my wish list as well.

    There isn't a window above our sink so I added a mirror for a little interest. I originally painted this vintage garage sale mirror turquoise but recently changed it to grey.

    I always enjoy bringing out this framed Autumn cross-stitched piece from several years ago.

    There are only four drawers in our kitchen so this crock works well for storing wooden spoons and cooking utensils. The last of the rudbeckia in a vintage milk bottle adds a bit of colour.

    I painted the bakery sign but got a little crazy with the distressing. It needs a touch up.

    I used stamps to make this tag and added it to the basket on our fridge. The basket stores bags of chips.

    Well that was quite a few photos and lots of projects I still want to do but probably the most I have ever shared of our kitchen. I am working on embracing the imperfect :)  Thanks for visiting! 

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    Welcome to our suburban southern Ontario home. While my guys were up north on Sunday I took some photos of our dining room decorated for Fall. Okay, a lot of photos. 

    I like using neutrals in our home and love the Benjamin Moore Simply White walls (the wall opposite the window is actually Revere Pewter as it is also kind of an open hallway/traffic path from the front door through to the family room.) Whites with wood plus lots of black and grey are my preferred colours.

    We have a very tight budget for decor so there are mostly handmade, garage sale, kijiji and clearance items mixed in with a few purchases. We had the farmhouse table and Windsor chairs made after we got married 23 years ago and I'm pretty sure the light fixture was Home Depot full price.  

    I pulled the table back a bit for this full shot of the pine Mennonite made buffet and hutch. I am thinking of painting it a solid black. The cabinet is filled with white dishes. I love collecting white pitchers and have a line of them on top of the hutch and some inside on the shelves.

    The small boxwood adds some texture and a bit of colour. I am feeling the need for more greenery and plants in our home and need to work on this. 

    The pumpkin covered soup bowls are from HomeSense a few years ago. The trio of candle holders have a stained glass look to them and my favourite scented candles are baking related (maple, brown sugar, cinnamon, pretty much anything that would make a good dessert lol.)

    The pine farmhouse table is simply set with painted grey chargers, white dinner plates and thrifted 'The Friendly Village' bowls. 

    I love the wavy glass of these lanterns. A few pinecones and painted pumpkins are scattered on the layered table runners with a wood berry garland.

    Oops, I just realized I forgot the cutlery! So not a pro at tablescapes lol. 

    But I have sorted through my collected plates and napkins and narrowed them down to my favourites. Now I know what filler pieces to keep an eye out for. 

    The grey chargers were originally shiny green post-Christmas clearance chargers (90% off at Michaels.) I spray painted them with grey primer and then finished with grey chalky paint and wax. 

    I would eventually like a rug under the table to break up the wood tones.

    The opening in the wall lets light into our basement stairway. That is our small front entry and front door beyond.

    On the weekend I moved this extra little bookcase in here until we make a long rustic console table for this wall. I shared more photos and details in this post.

    I took these brown transferware plates down when I painted the main floor last Fall but brought them back out recently for either side of the window

    I sewed the curtains several years ago from cotton sheeting fabric with a narrow tone on tone stripe. Our dining room tends to be a bit dark despite the white walls so this weekend I put clip rings back on the curtains to allow them to open more fully.

    So that's our rustic farmhouse dining room with some simple Fall decor. Our Canadian Thanksgiving is next weekend but since we host 11-20 on average our dinner is often buffet style. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a chance to let me know you were here!

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