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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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    Little did I know when I used Simply White to paint our family room in July 2014, our kitchen in November 2014, and our dining room in November 2014, that Benjamin Moore would announce, earlier this month, Simply White as the Colour of the Year for 2016. At the time I searched through tons of white paint chips and decided on Simply White OC-117. Now, over a year later, it is the upcoming Colour of the Year. 


    I know I have said it many times, but I love love this colour. We bought our newly built home 17 years ago and I have painted many times. Never have I been happier with my paint choices than I was last year when I picked new colours for our main floor.


    The rooms on our main floor flow into one another and share walls. Because we have the board and batten on one kitchen wall...


    and wrapping around to the family room fireplace wall, I didn't want to use Simply White above the board and batten, which is painted BM Snowfall White. I wanted the board and batten to stand out a bit.  (The photo above is a nighttime IG photo of the new faux beam fireplace mantel in progress.)




    We have lots of light in the kitchen and family room end of our home from patio doors, family room windows and two skylights in the cathedral ceiling. The white looks so fresh in here and I think it works really well with the wood stained chalkboard frame and open shelves. Black is one of my favourite accent colours and I think it looks so good against the Simply White backdrop.


    Our dining room and front of our home often appear darker as there is only the dining room window (which faces our neighbour's brick wall), a narrow window in our living room, and the front entry door and sidelight. By painting the walls Simply White our dining room no longer feels gloomy. 


    Just like in our kitchen, I love the white with our wood tones and black furniture pieces. 


    Besides being brigher, the white also makes our small dining room appear larger. 


    I think it is the perfect backdrop for our brown leather sofa and recliner and keeps the family room from feeling dark.


    From Benjamin Moore:  "The Color Studio arrived at Simply White OC-117 after careful review of the company's more than 250 white selections. According to the Color Studio, it was the most neutral, level and constant in the various light sources used in today's design environments."


    I have used white on our walls in other rooms as well, BM Cotton Balls in our living room (May 2011)...


    ... our oldest son's basement bedroom (January 2012),,,


    ...and our 4th upstairs bedroom/hobby studio (July 2011). 

    If that isn't a crazy amount of white rooms, our guest bedroom upstairs is patched and waiting to be primed and painted Simply White and our master bedroom is partially painted Simply White (I stopped in the middle of painting our master bedroom when the new roof  leaked again and I had to repatch a freshly painted corner wall.) 

    White walls are not for everyone but I love them with the neutrals, wood tones, browns, blacks and textures that I use in our rustic casual home. And I have a wee bit of a head start on using the Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year for 2016 -Simply White ;)

    Linking up to the following parties...
    Show and Share at Coastal Charm
    Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life


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    Along with the shorter days this time of year it is starting to feel like winter here in southern Ontario. Hubby had to scrape frost off my van windows before I could leave for work this morning. I have put away our simple Fall decor and I am just beginning to work on ideas for our Christmas decor. This past weekend I painted two small signs to help add some holiday cheer to our home.


    The signs are not my original designs but they were fun to work on. I cut a pine board that we had on hand in half and just started painting. The best part is that I had all the supplies on hand and in a few hours (including dry time) I had two new signs. These instagram photos don't show the distressed edges very clearly, but I will be sharing photos again when I decide where to use them.


    I don't have any fancy cutting tools so I just printed off some font on the computer for the Rudolph sign and traced the letters. The lettering is not perfect but it will do! For the JOY sign I traced large alphabet stencils.


    Our fireplace wall is finished and I will be sharing it and a faux beam mantel just as soon as I can take better photos. I also need to share the farmhouse table that I cut down in size, stained and painted in ASCP for our family room computer desk. I wanted something for the corner of the desk and went looking for a large vase at the thrift store. This 12" glass vase was $5 and I filled it with birch branches, corks and red bead berries. I may switch the beads out for bells.

    Are you hanging on to Fall a bit longer? Are you American and waiting for your Thanksgiving or do you like to combine the holidays? Our Canadian Thanksgiving was in early October so I hope to get a start on more of my Christmas decor this weekend. Thanks for visiting!

    Sharing with..
    Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style


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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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    We have a new light for our living room and I love the retro industrial feel that it adds to our home. I was super happy to replace the 17 year old boob light we had in here with something that better suits our design style.


    Recently I was contacted by a lighting company, parrotuncle.com, with an offer to review a light from their website. I started by looking through the large selection of lighting in Parrot Uncle's web catalog and narrowed my choices down to pendant lighting.  From there I decided that the look I wanted was vintage industrial pendant lighting. 


    There were several that I thought would be perfect for either our living room or family room and I finally decided on the Retro Industrial Style Pendant Light with Matte Black Metal Box Frame. Although this light would suit either room, we decided on our living room for two reasons: it can be seen from the front entry hall and the coffee table below keeps traffic flow from bumping into the lowered pendant.


    When the light arrived we were impressed with the quality of construction. The weld points were nice and neat and it was packaged safely. All hardware for installing it was included and there was lots of wire and chain. We ended up shortening the wire and chain a bit to better suit our living room's 8 foot ceiling height.


    I love black metal so it is a good fit style wise for our home. Isn't it pretty? My favourite part is the seeded glass shade. Love it!


    They even included the edison bulb. I love the glow it gives, especially at night. The light is actually centred in the ceiling but the opening to our living room though which I took photos, is off center.


    Right after we bought our new builder home 17 years ago, there was a leak from the washing machine in our laundry room, directly above our living room. At that time we noticed a tiny bit of stucco discolouration around the 14 inch ceiling mount light but the leak was resolved. When we took the old fixture down our boys discovered some hidden popcorn texture damage. Our living room and cathedral ceiling are the last of the popcorn texture on our main floor and this room is next on our hit list. Our boys did the rest of the main floor, and I told them they had to wait until at least spring to attack this ceiling. We might try a plank ceiling treatment instead. 


    That is the front entry through the parapet opening. I so enjoy seeing the new pendant light from that angle too.


    Now I'm going to make myself a peppermint tea, turn on the Christmas tree lights and the new pendant light and knit more of my new scarf. If you are looking for some affordable holiday lighting, Parrot Uncle has a sale on Christmas lighting right now, starting at $1.99. Thanks for visiting and I'll be back soon with our Christmas home tour. 

    Sharing this with...


    I was compensated for this post with product to provide opinion on the product and services. As always, the opinions expressed are my own, I will always give my honest opinion, findings or experiences on this topic or product. 


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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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  • 12/25/15--11:45: Merry Christmas
  • Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!





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    Before Christmas I shared photos of our newly finished fireplace wall and mantel. Today I would like to share the long process of completing this DIY. Like almost 4 years long! Crazy I know.



    This is the finished mantel that I sharedhere, here and here all decked out for Christmas. 


    I found this old photo from several years ago. We have owned our home since it was a new build 17 years ago but I was always unsure of what to do with this wall. The builder did not include a mantel or offer one in upgrades. They also installed the fireplace off center which was my real dilemma. How do I add a traditional mantel surround with an off center fireplace?!


    The starting point was when I added board and batten to the kitchen side of this wall. It added the character that I wanted but I couldn't figure out how that would continue around to the family room side. My good blog and Instagram friend Grace (who I have also met in real life) emailed me a mock up drawing that she did over the plain fireplace photo. That was the next step that I needed.


    I changed her drawing a bit and went with a ship lap type front of the fireplace. Keep in mind that all this was done as we could afford it and occasionally waiting for my brother to rip a few pieces when we didn't have the right tools. 


    I was determined to have a mantel this Christmas so while I waited for the last few pieces of mdf to be ripped (my brother was doing a bathroom reno at the time) I went ahead and constructed a rustic mantel using pine boards, wood glue and nails. I decided that without corbels or side pieces the 'floating' mantel would appear less off center.


    I distressed the wood to make it look more aged and stained it with Minwax Early American. 


    Once the last boards were up, I patched nail holes and painted with Benjamin Moore Snowfall White (I freshened the kitchen side and end walls at the same time.)


    My hubby helps when he can but he's not very handy. He is however very helpful making dinner, or doing the dishes and laundry. Our boys have learned some serious skills so I asked our 18 year old son to make some cleats and hang the mantel.


    Finally, after 17 years, including 4 years in progress, I had a mantel to decorate. My favourite combination of wood + white. Rustic, casual, and to me just about perfect.


    I may still add stained wood veneer pieces to the ends for more of a 'beam' look.


    This is the TV nook to the left of the fireplace with more of the board and batten wall treatment. The wall paint colour is Benjamin Revere Pewter.


     Finished just in time to decorate for Christmas!



    And now that the Christmas decor is put away, I am thinking up ways to decorate our new mantel for other seasons too.

    Later this week I will be sharing a few 'top 2015 posts.' Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are enjoying these days between the holidays.

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    A belated Happy New Year to you! I am back to work after a lovely Christmas break and have also been busy cleaning and organizing our home. I am continuing this new year in my quest to simplify. To simplify our life, our home and our belongings. More on that later. For today, I wanted to share my Top 5 Painted Furniture Projects for 2015.


    Many of you may know that I make over furniture for our home and to sell. The furniture makeovers for resale help to add some money to our budget for home repairs and new pieces. I also paint furniture to better fit my design style for our home. Sometimes the ones I keep end up being sold if I find a piece I like better or an offer comes along that I have a hard time refusing ;)

    This year my top 5 Painted Furniture Projects (according to blog stats) are:

    {Click on titles to go to the blog post with more photos and details}

    #1  General Finishes Lamp Black Dresser with Industrial Inspired Hardware


    This was a makeover on the solid pine dresser in our bedroom. I love the new colour (General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint), light distressing and awesome hardware. We are currently painting the walls BM Simply White and hope to get new hardwood one day but I love how this looks in our master bedroom. I need to work on the night tables soon. Oh, and this is the second piece that I painted using only one can of GF Milk Paint. The other two pieces finished with the same can are a large vintage sideboard and the three drawer dresser below. Three big pieces painted with one can of GF. I was impressed.

    #2  Fusion Coal Black Oak Buffet and Hutch


    This solid oak buffet and hutch was a piece I picked up for resale. Less than a jar of Fusion Mineral Paint in Coal Black took this piece out of the 1980's. So well made and a really easy makeover. It sold right away.

    #3  General Finishes Lamp Black Three Drawer Dresser


    This three drawer dresser is part of the original solid pine set I bought with a cannonball double bed and washstand night table when I was 19, living at home and had my first Nursing job. It was the set I took to our first apartment with my sister and brother when my parents retired up north. Also the set my hubby and I used until we had two kids and needed a bigger bed. It took some real thought to paint it, but the finish was really needing an update. Now painted with General Finishes Lamp Black Milk Paint it is awaiting the guest room makeover. This dresser is sentimental and a keeper.

    #4  Farmhouse Sofa Table in ASCP Old White and Provence


    Originally picked up with a very dated butcher block table surface, hunter green finish and upper open hutch in poor condition, this became a sofa table or desk. I added a new plank wood top stained Early American and poly protected. Smooth as butter. The base was painted ASCP Provence and then Old White and lightly distressed to show peeks of the Provence. It is currently in our living room but I wouldn't refuse if the right offer comes along. Hazards of having a little business... I can't keep them all.



    And coming in at number 5 are the pair of barstools that were a dated honey colour. I sanded the tops to bare wood, stained and added the Lamp Black faux grainsack stripes and painted the bases with General Finishes Snow White Milk Paint. I use these as little side tables and they are easy to move around.

    It was fun looking back at my blog posts and completed projects over the last year. Now I'm looking forward to working on some new painted pieces. But first, I have some wall painting to finish upstairs. Okay, a whole lot of wall, trim and door painting. I hope your New Year is off to a great start and thanks for stopping by!

    P.S. I have been having a lot of fun over on Instagram. If we haven't hooked up over there yet, you can find me on Instagram here.

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    It is a cold but beautiful sunny day here in southern Ontario and I thought I would share photos of our winter living room before I start to switch things out to Spring. Not quite yet though.


    Working with what we have, lots of DIY and handmade, and some thrifty and sale purchases over the last few years I feel like this room is beginning to have the lakehouse/farmhouse style that I love. Think Muskoka Living at the lake meets rustic farmhouse. In the suburbs haha. 


    The white walls (Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls) and white slipcovers help to brighten this front sitting room that doesn't get a lot of light. 


    While not a large room, I was able to squeeze in the two IKEA Ektorp chairs for comfy seating as we often have friends and family visiting. The slipcovers still need washed and the rug could do with a shampoo but that is life with a dog and guys who work in trades, fix trucks and frequent barns. My tagline is 'rustic casual home' and most of the time it is clean, just lived in.


    The sherpa backed sheep pillow was a $7 HomeSense find, the popular grey check are IKEA and I sewed the charcoal pillow covers. 


    I would like to add wood planks to the top of the white painted coffee table. I have a real love for wood + white. 


    The wood + white barstools  that I painted make great little movable side tables for a cup of tea or book. 


    I like using lots of wool and crocheted blankets for texture and snuggling.


     My chalk writing is not perfect but it is fun seeing what you can come up with in 5 minutes balanced awkwardly on the couch.


    There was a bit of interest in the sheep pillow on Instagram when I shared it. It is kind of adorable. 


    The vintage wood skis will be moving to the basement TV room soon. 



    Lots of texture by the front window.


    Another chalkboard and skis view because I just can't help myself.


    You may notice some things missing from this wall. I sold the farmhouse table that I made over and also the mirror that hung above it. Hazards of a little side business ;) I know other pieces will come along and the money helps with bills. I'm on the look out for something that offers more storage and/or presence than the table/mirror combo did. Like a china cabinet that I can paint and use as a bookcase, or a sideboard with hidden storage. I think that wall needs something a bit more substantial. In the meantime it is looking rather minimal. 


    Thanks for stopping by! With my work and family/home stuff I haven't been posting as often but I do have a few projects in the works with a couple of bedroom and bathroom reveals in the next few months hopefully. I will also be posting our winter dining room in the next day or two. Hoping you all have a great week ahead!
     

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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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    Happy Wednesday!
    (I'm trying a new Wordless Wednesday to share what I'm doing over on Instagram)
    My Instagram: rusticmapleelizabeth

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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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    Our guest room has been getting a makeover these past few weeks and I am excited about some of the changes and plans that I have for this room. I just want to say that these are iPhone photos as I had left my Nikon at a relative's home.


    I chose Simply White for the walls (Benjamin Moore.) You can see from this post that I love white walls. I am keeping the pine cannonball bed frame that I bought with money I saved from my first Nursing job back when I was 19. My guys are attached to it and were not too happy when I said I might replace it. So it stays.


    Lake House Lovin: Lake Muskoka:

    This photo from muskokaliving.ca  is my inspiration for the room. Light, white and airy with a 
    coastal or lake house feel. 


    One of my niece's who lives close by volunteered to help with the painting. I did a lot of patching and then we sanded and primed the walls. The room was one of our son's rooms before we did a three way switch. He liked posters and got a bit carried away one day hanging up some hockey memorabilia.


    Primer and first coat on and it looked better already. 


    The linens so far are white sheets and a white matelasse coverlet. I need to work on pillow covers for this pair of 26" inserts. When we don't have guests, which is most of the time, I am enjoying using our guest room as a quiet spot to read. To keep warm and snuggly I decided I needed a throw for the bottom of the bed. 

    I wanted a blanket that was nice and soft and that had a pattern that would gently blend into the soft colours of the room. I am really looking forward to getting this fleece blanket that I ordered fromwww.visionbedding.com  They have so many images and products that you can add images to.  I narrowed my choices down to a wood print and decided on this White Wood Wall double layer fleece blanket. I think it going to look awesome and I can hardly wait to get it.


    I wanted to hang these boat prints that I got from freckledlaundry and printed at our local photo shop. Using an old pine frame, some twine and mini clothespins I made this collage frame. 


    I think it turned out quite well and I plan to hang it on the wall. 


    This is the original dresser that I bought at the same time as the bed (plus a night table) and I painted it General Finishes Lamp Black last year to use as a night table in our bedroom. I decided to bring it back into the guest room. The night table is awaiting a makeover.  I still have lots of plans for our guest bedroom but the changes so far are really fresh and just the feel I was going for. 

    Thanks for visiting!
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    Our guest bedroom is coming along nicely, especially with the addition of a few accents like a soft woodgrain print throw and a sign I painted. Stay with me to the end of this post for the details on the giveaway.


    While I am trying to keep the cost of this makeover to a minimum using items we already have, repurposing and making some items, it is nice to add a few new pieces. I shared the before, the inspiration and the early progress of this room makeover in this post.


    The 'white wood wall' print double layer fleece blanket I ordered from www.visionbedding.com arrived and I love it! I love how soft this throw is and my photos don't do the wood grain print justice.


    The 'life is beauty full' sign that I painted was inspired by the one in my inspiration photo but I chose to use black lettering on a grey background with stain and a whitewash. I need to either paint the night table and cannonball bed or deal with the scratches that time has brought to this antique set that I bought when I was 19. 


    The throw adds some interest without overpowering the neutral and white colour scheme. I also think the pattern could easily blend with other seasonal pillows and colours.


    I love that trays can add some pretty details and yet be moved aside so easily. 


    The collage frame with boat and dock photos is the only other item on the wall in this small room.


    A wood plank barn door will be added to the closet when the budget allows but for now I added a basket and white pillows to the top shelf and a quilt rack with extra throws. I will add some wood hangers for guests, but otherwise we have lots of storage space and this closet can be just for guests.


    The 2" wood blinds are staying for privacy but they will get a good spring cleaning outdoors as soon as the weather improves. I also plan to hang simple white curtains from a black rod.


    There were so many great images that I could have had printed on this double layer fleece blanket but I am very happy with the white wood wall pattern that I chose.


    Black is one of my base decor colours so I chose a black fleece backing. Super soft and it ties in with the black lines between the planks on the front.


    Although there are some other projects that I still want to complete, our guest bedroom is guest worthy at this point and that feels really good. So for the giveaway... the throw I ordered is from Vision Bedding and they have offered one of my readers a coupon code for $100 to use on their products. They sell bedding, bath decor, wall art, murals, pillows and other products with so so many great images to add or you can add your own image.

    The rules are fairly simple: 
    • Open to readers (and hopefully you're a follower somehow too -bloglovin', on your blog list, by email subscription etc.) of Rustic Maple here on the blog and/or follow rusticmapleelizabeth on Instagram.
    • There are up to 2 chances to enter. Comment here on the blog (one per person with a valid way for me to contact you ie. your blog or email) and/or comment on my IG account rusticmapleelizabeth on the Giveaway! photo
    • I am Canadian so this giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. readers (note that I am not responsible for shipping.)
    • Entries end Wednesday April 20th at noon at which time I will combine all entries from both the blog and IG and draw one winner for the $100 coupon code to use at visionbedding.com

    Thanks for stopping by and good luck!


    I was compensated for this post with product to provide opinion on the product and services. As always, the opinions expressed are my own, I will always give my honest opinion, findings or experiences on this topic or product. 



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  • 05/19/16--14:32: Summer Lakehouse Mantel
  • I'm a bit behind sharing some decor changes for summer here on the blog but life gets busy sometimes. Today I want to share our family room fireplace mantel decorated for early summer with a lakehouse vibe. 


    One of the beauties of a base of neutral colours is being able to easily add pops of colour. For our family room I am adding blues in lake house inspired shades. 


    The shiplap and board and batten that we added to the fireplace wall of our family room is still one of my favourite DIY's to date. It allowed me to add the faux beam mantle that is fun to decorate seasonally. 


    I started by making a bunting with string and little canvas pieces from Michaels. The big galvanized sap pail is filled with birch limbs and cotton stems. Cotton is not natural to our beautiful Ontario outdoors but it is a nice filler until I find something else.


    The mason jar filled with river rocks reminds me of our beautiful lakes and rivers. The glass vase is filled with sand and a votive. 


    I painted the sign last year and the napkin ring Muskoka chairs (or Adirondack chairs to those of you south of the border) are some of my favourite things to use in summer. Scrabble letters spell out BEACH and LAKEHOUSE.


    The mantel decor may change as summer approaches but I really like that I pulled this off using items already in my decor stash. After some unseasonable cool weather, and even snow flurries and hail last weekend, we are enjoying warmer and nicer weather heading into our long Victoria Day weekend, also known as our May 2/4 weekend (Two Four as in a case of 24 beer lol.) Thanks for visiting and I would love to know if you have been able to plant flowers yet. We can finally do it here in southern Ontario.

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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. 

    Barnboard


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

    image:arcwoodandtimbers.com 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.:
    Image: muskokalivinginteriors.com


    Recessed Panel Wainscoting with Chair Rail:

    Image: sdstair via Pinterest

    Wallpaper

    beautiful laundry room | Ryland Witt Interior Design:

    Image: houseofturquoise.com via Pinterest


    Paint Colours


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

    Image: littlehouseoffour.com via Pinterest


    Feature Walls


    Wood pallet wall in living room:

    Image: lizmarieblog.com 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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    Rustic Maple Designs is now offering cozy hand knit and crocheted items.


    My Park Series toques are inspired by the beautiful Provincial Parks here in Ontario, Canada. Beautiful sandy beaches, rocky shorelines, dune grasses, tree filled parks and gorgeous sunsets. All toque/beanies are available with yarn pompom, faux fur pom pom or without.


    They are available in sizes and prices as follows:
    Newborn                     (12"-13" circumference)      $26  Cdn
    Baby 0-6 months        (13"-15" circumference)      $28  Cdn
    Baby 6-12 months      (15"-17" circumference)      $30  Cdn
    Toddler 1-4 years        (17'-19" circumference)      $32  Cdn
    Child 5-12 years         (19"-21" circumference)     $34   Cdn
    Adult                          (21"-23" circumference)    $38  Cdn

    (Shipping to Canada, US and International please inquire.)


    For orders (and shipping prices) please contact Elizabeth @  rusticmaple@gmail.com

    My Etsy account is currently in progress but I can fill orders through my gmail account in the meantime. Thanks for looking and for supporting my small business!