Our latest project

Tuesday, March 25, 2014



This is what we are working on right now. We are beyond excited to be paired up with Homes By Highgate on another amazing project. Stay tuned. More pics to follow soon. 



Love of the old

Sunday, May 19, 2013


On Thursday night after a full day of school, running errands for clients, and chauffeuring the girls from one activity to the next, the girls and I hopped in the car and drove close to five hours to my parents' farm.  For those of you who don't know me, my parents' farm is my home-away-from-home.  It is where I spent every summer growing up as a child; where I learned how to fly a kite, stack a mean pile of wood, plant a vegetable garden and milk a cow.

It is also where I learned the true meaning of hard work.  Over the years my dedicated parents have spent thousands of hours restoring the farm house to its original state. They have scraped, sanded, and painted until their hands and bodies were too worn and too tired to continue.  But the next day, they would get up, feed us all breakfast, send us outside to play and begin again.

Unlike my friends who would go on family vacations to Florida and spend their summers at the beach or hanging out with friends, we came to the farm.  It was during my teenage years that the farm lost a bit of its beauty.  I no longer wanted to spend summer after summer in the country.  Just like any typical teenager, I wanted to be back home with my friends. I remember begging my parents to leave me home in Halifax. Thankfully for all of us, my parents ignored my pleas.

Then somewhere along the way, my heart and eyes fell in love.  My parents' hard work became evident.  The once decrepit woodshed is now newly re-shingled and filled with beautiful woven baskets used to collect veggies from the garden. Our old playroom is now a beautiful bathroom with a massive claw foot tub that can comfortably hold four very happy, very dirty, grandchildren. The kitchen is now completely redone leaving the original wainscotting and the wood stove was restored to heat the kitchen on cold bitter mornings.  The old wallpaper has been scraped off the walls that once hid cracks in the plaster and new wallpaper is hung in the antique decorated bedrooms. The original 6" baseboards have all been repainted and the massive pocket doors between the dining room and living room once again close.

Today as I look around and admire the farm I know that this is where my love for decorating began.  My parents have taught me many things over the years but perhaps one very important lesson, one I truly admire today;  is that perseverance and hard work pay off.  They also taught me if you look closely, you will find beauty in everything including the old.

Welcome to our family farm!

An old door reused

A ride-on children's truck


Collection of antique medicine containers


Four crock pots


A hooked rug


Hand crated baskets


Collection of books


Seafarers' trunk


Handwoven baskets


Refurbished cast iron tub


Weather vane


150 year old Maple tree


1968 John Deere Tractor


100 year old cultivator


Snowflake the cow


Farm fresh carrots


Farm gate


Nancy




Dresser Makeover

Monday, May 13, 2013

Remember this beauty that I found at my local Value Village for only 25$. I simply couldn't pass it up.




Well here she is now looking all pretty:



The whole process took a little longer than I had anticipated so I'll just give you the quick play by play. The dresser was in great condition so I got started right away by priming the dresser with an awesome primer that covers everything. If your piece is in pretty good condition then you can skip the sanding and go straight to priming like I have done.
via Home Depot

If you look closely in the before picture you can see some water stains in the bottom left-hand drawer.  However, two coats of this primer got rid of those. I would highly recommend this product.

Next I purchased my paint from Vivid Paint & Decor.  I wanted a high gloss paint so the lovely ladies who work there recommended this paint which I loved using.  I chose a Benjamin Moore colour called Gray.

To apply the paint I used this paint sprayer:

via Home Depot
This is where things fell apart.  What I initially loved about it was the fact that I actually felt like a professional using this sprayer.  It was fast.  Loud.  And easy.  At first the paint went on quickly and covered the dresser in no time.  However, as I continued to spray, the paint sprayer began to clog and would shoot out massive amounts of paint at a time leaving long steaks of paint.  This continued to happen and I eventually stopped using the sprayer.  At this point most of the dresser was painted however, I was left with long steaks of paint all over the dresser that now needed to be sanded down, primed again then repainted.

Here is a close-up of some of the paint drips.  These happened on the side dresser that was going to be tucked in next to a wall so I wasn't too picky about fixing them as fixing the others was very time consuming.


Before purchasing the sprayer I had done some research on paint sprayers and this was the one that most people recommended however after doing some more research after the fact most people agreed that this was a one-time only use sprayer.  So I went back to Home Depot, explained what had happened and they happily took it back.

At the end I gave the dresser a coat of a Polycrylic to protect the finish and to increase it's longevity. Now I have a gorgeous new dresser that looks so polished and pretty.

I really do love the colour that I chose.  Do you have perfect go to grey colour that you always use? I would love to hear about some of your favourites.


Nancy





A little house tour

Sunday, April 28, 2013


I have had lots of requests from readers for a house tour so here is a little sneak peak of my house:



Kitchen



Kitchen



Kitchen lounge + built-in bench



Dining Room



Entry way




Mudroom + Antique mantel/coat rack 


Some of my favourite things in the house are quite old.  My taste has changed over the years and I have come to love more modern pieces however I love to mix my old vintage pieces with some of my new:


Antique dresser + Winners lamp and vases



Tractor Painting




Modern couch + 200 year old trunk





Value village table repainted with original legs $10




A mix of Winners + thrift shop finds




Turquoise chair + silver table



Michelle St-Onge "Four Sister" painting + birch tree stencil




As you can see I have a kept pretty neutral palette but have chosen to inject a pop of colour throughout the house using my accent pieces.  These are the things that you can change on the cheap whenever you get tiered of your current colour scheme.  

So, that's the tour for now.  I'm excited to show you more and will be posting some before pics as well.



Nancy


Two-toned or dipped chair

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The very traditional looking chair:


The fresh modern updated chair:


Some of you may remember the dresser that I bought at my local VV last week. Well let me tell you, it's been a way bigger project then I had anticipated and it is still in need of a little more TLC before I can show off all my handwork. So in the meantime, my girlfriend and I decided to paint a chair and a desk for her son's bedroom. His only request was for the chair to have some red on it so it would match his favourite hockey team colour's. I wonder who his favourite team is? Even though I am not a huge fan of red I think we were able to turn this very traditional looking chair into a fresh modern one and make one of my favourite ten-year olds very happy.

And the best thing about this project, besides the fact that we now have this super cute chair, is that it was very quick and easy to do. 

-We started off by priming the chair.

-Then once the primer was dry we painted the chair with my new sprayer. (more about it on my next post). All I will say for now is that it started off as a love-love relationship but has quickly progressed into a love-not-so-much relationship.

-Once the paint was dry we measured down 7" from the top and wrapped painters tape around each spindle.

-Then using a foam brush, so we wouldn't leave any brush marks, we painted on the red. In order to get the rich deep red colour, we had to paint at least four coats of the red.

-Then once paint was fully dry we simply pealed off the tape.



Here are a few images that I found of either dipped or two-toned pieces of furniture:

Dipped 1



Dipped 2



Dipped 3



Side note: I have had a few readers tell me that they are having a hard time reading my posts because of the font I have chosen so, I am looking into finding a new one and in the meantime I will be using this one.


Nancy




What we were loving last week

Sunday, April 14, 2013




Monday April 15, 2013
Last week’s links

1.      I’m itching to try these swag wall coverings. Anyone in the need of mini wall makeover?  I’m your girl.


2.     Would love my Iphone to look as pretty as this but I’m too chicken to try, as it looks way too complicated, even for me.


3.     Talk about bright, bold and creative. These floors were created using vinyl gym floor tape.


4.    I have always been a fan of silver accents as styling pieces but times are a changing.  I’m going to order this table.


5.     If you haven’t already tried any of these recipes, time to start cooking. You won’t be disappointed.


6.     Getting tiered of your surroundings? If your Ellen and Portia you need not to worry.  These lovely ladies can chose to sleep in any of the eight gorgeous cottages located on their Southern California ranch.


7.     Came across this online print store when I was browsing stylist extraordinaire Emily Henderson’s blog.  What I love most about these prints is that they are affordable and unique.  Simply pop one into a cheap IKEA white frame and presto. Gorgeous art!




Stencilling 101- Do not be afraid well, maybe a little!

Friday, April 5, 2013


Have I mentioned that patience is not my strong suit?


I originally bought this stencil to use in a clients house however, seeing that she was not quite ready for me to start I felt this overwhelming urge to try it out at my house.  So, one afternoon while all three of my girls played at my feet, I went to work.

Pre warning: Give yourself some time and lots of it! I started this project in the middle of the day when I was due to pick up my eldest from school in an hour.  In fact, just as the bell was about to ring I had to call a girlfriend and ask her to pick up my daughter for me, as my first attempt was a total flop.  The colour I had chosen looked awful and to be honest I panicked.  Thankfully I had some wall paint leftover in the garage and quickly painted over it and was ready to start again. Crisis diverted!

The stencil comes with step-by-step instructions as well as how-to-videos on the companies website. I suggest you watch these.  But for whatever reason I was quite confident in my stenciling ability. I have mastered the art of wallpapering and thought that the transition from wallpaper to stencil would be a synch.  However, I was wrong!

In my opinion this is not a one-person job.  I did have a girlfriend help me get started but she too had to leave to pick up her children from school so I was left to finish on my own.  And I did get it done BUT not without some very deep breathing and a little grumbling under my breath.

If you are going to stencil I will suggest this:  Do not put too much paint on your roller. The directions suggest no more than 2-3 tbs in your rolling pan at a time and I agree.  Less really is more in this case.  And lastly, invest in some expensive painters tape.  The tape is what holds up the stencil while you are rolling over it and you NEED it to stay in place.  Mine came unstuck a couple of times causing the stencil to fall, hence the grumblings.

What I can say though is that it was all worth it in the end.  I am SO happy with the finished project.  It is now the first thing you see when you come into my house and I love it! I often enter the house through my garage but have found myself using the front door now just so I can admire the wall.  Too be honest I always felt like the room was missing something.  It didn't match the feel of the rest of the house and I wasn't sure how to solve that problem.  Et voila, problem solved.



Funny how the greys look different in all three pictures but they are the same. TIme to start using my good camera for the before and afters!






































Please ignore the messy mudroom but wanted to give you an idea of how it looked on a bigger scale.
















 

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