Sunday, March 17, 2013

$6 Walmart Lamp Shades = big impact

I had been looking to change the sconces on our fireplace for years but never really found something I loved. Actually, I've found tons of options I loved but they were all out of my price range. So I put on my decor thinking cap and decided to try simply changing the lamp shades. Here is an image of the sconces before:

These are maybe original to the house and have a type of Spanish flare but the orange-type color or the glass lamp shades really bothered me and I just found them so dated. The sconces were originally brown but I sprayed them black years ago and I actually liked their shape and size. So I decided to try replacing the glass shades with classic and simple fabric shades. My first love was with the following lame shades from Home Depot:
And at $10.99 these were a steal! But the size wasn't right- a little too large, and the color died against the stone.

Then I found these simple but classic beauties at Walmart! What?

 Can you believe it? Walmart! And they were $6 each! Talk about not braking the bank. The best part is that they look so great with the lights turned on.

The black pattern on the bottom  is actually the part of the sconce that held the glass shade. It's not visible when the lights are turned off but BAM! What a beauty with the lights on!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

More Appartment Updating: Doors and Kitchen

My previous post showed off the bathroom renovation of our duplex apartment. This was not the only updating completed. We also replaced the plain hollow-core wood doors with more modern white detailed doors and added a french door at the entrance. Being the bad blogger that I am, I didn't take before pictures! What was I thinking! I only have a picture of the doors once they were in my garage. So you'll have to use your imagination to visualize what it looked like before with these doors:

And this is what it now looks like:

 The apartment looks so much more modern and bright! I'm so happy with the result and, needless to say, so is the tenant:)

Since I began this blog I've had the intention of writing about the kitchen renovation in the apartment that took place over four years ago. This was not a planned renovation but the pictures below reveals why it was undertaken:


Horrible isn't it! But luckily the damage was limited and no one was injured. I remember coming home from teaching a night class and seeing my tenants in my living room with my husband. I said " Oh, it's a party!" My tenant responded "Oh, it's definitely not a party. We had a fire!" Let me tell you that that wiped the smile off my face pretty quickly.
We were told about a place called Armoire à Super Prix that builds custom kitchen at an affordable price and fast. So in a little over a week the fire was behind us. Here are some pictures of the kitchen but please keep in mind that these were taken during the bathroom renovation period so it's a little messy. We all know what it's like to live through a renovation.

And so that's it for the renovating of the apartment! 


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Another Bathroom Reno! Oh Boy!!

So I did it again! I took a hiatus from blogging for a little bit- actually months! Oh, how time flies! But this doesn't mean I haven't been dreaming, building and styling:) Many projects have been completed and many are, as always, pending. The largest and most significant project was a complete gut and rebuilding of my tenants bathroom. This was the 3rd bathroom renovation in five years- and the last for a long, long while! When my tenant kindly asked me in early December if we could renovated the bathroom my immediate response was a diplomatically delivered "No". We had no intention of renovating the tenants bathroom, even though we knew it was extremely dated and overdue. But then I thought about it, went to see the bathroom and I gave in to her request. The bathroom was so nasty- I wouldn't want to live with it and I don't want to be a slumlord. So hear are the pics of the before:

 Notice that the blue tile on the floor, presumably from the 90s, clashes soooo horribly with the color of the wall tile. Also, the vanity was in such bad shape from fifty years of wear and tear. The bath area had been covered with a bath-fitter, probably also from the 90s, but it to had done its time. And so out went everything and this is what it looked like:

And by the end of all the work here was the result:

A few tips for Montrealers looking to renovate: 1. We got the porcelain tile at a Tilmar for an amazing price, less than 1/3 of the original price. They have a small room off of the showroom where you'll find leftover tile stock at great prices. But you have to ask a salesman to take you to it because it's not visible from the showroom. 2. We hired a FANTASTIC company to undertake the bathroom renovation. I've never mentioned any company on this blog but I feel that these guys deserve a great deal of praise. The company is called Renovation Final Finish.
Here is the review I wrote about them on the Handycanadian website: "These guys are GREAT! My husband and I hired Benjamin and his team to renovate our tenant's bathroom and we were both extremely satisfied- this is no small feat!!! The woman's perspective: What I most appreciated was that we were consulted on tons of little details such as tile patters, tile baseboard height, placement of towel rack, etc. that resulted in the work being completed exactly to our taste. The man's perspective: What my husband appreciated most was that they went the extra mile by re-framing flimsy walls, insulating the exterior wall, leveling the floor, insulating the duct for the fan, etc. The renovation required completely gutting the bathroom so as to take it from the 1960s to the 21st century. The work was meticulously completed in just over two weeks. After having worked with many "questionable" contractors in the past, Final Finish was like a breath of fresh air! From the very start the team was timely, organized, considerate and extremely knowledgeable. We can therefore recommend Renovation Final Finish without hesitation and look forward to hiring them for our future projects."


Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween decorating

Have you started your Halloween decorating? I've done a little bit but have yet to buy a pumpkin. Hopefully it will all be done this week...I hope!

In any case, I thought I'd share some of the great Halloween decorating ideas I've been pinning. Hope these make you smirk and inspire you to get creative with your Halloween decor.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bring the outdoor in: sun-filled kitchens

If I had a beautiful view from my kitchen maybe I'd take the extra time to clean up after supper- or maybe not! But one thing is for sure, I'd enjoy sipping my coffee while staring out the window:)
Last weekend we went to a friend's new country place and the water access in the backyard made me drool. However while sitting at the kitchen table I realized that the house doesn't capitalize on the beautiful water view. There is a window above the sink that looks onto the water but the view is minimally visible from the rest of the kitchen. This got me thinking about what could be done to capitalize on the view- fellow renovation addicts will know the feeling of walking into someone's home and planning entire renovation projects for them- without them even asking!

Here are some inspirational kitchens that bring the outdoor in:

Now wipe the drool off your chin!


Monday, September 10, 2012

A passion for blue and white decor


One of my very favorite color schemes is blue and white. My office, dressing room and bathroom are predominantly decorated in blue and white- I had to stop myself from using this color scheme throughout the entire house! But I haven't been able to bring myself to paint a dark blue wall as in the third picture- isn't it stunning!
I think what attracts me is that the colors are timeless and classy and work with almost any style: modern, country, traditional, etc. Even the first image above with the modern patterned wallpaper won't go out of style because of the color combination. I'm not the only one loving this color combo, check out Carolyne Roehm's  dreamy book, A Passion for Blue & White.

My very favorite from the above images is the blue and white bathroom- stunning! Which is your favorite? 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Which would you pick??? Area rug choices for our living room

There are so many area rugs I love! I just can't pick the style, pattern, or color for our living room rug. There are so many things to consider- the rug has to be able to mask baby spit up, dirty dog paws, and my husbands size 12 shoe prints!

Here are the finalists I'm considering. Which would you choose???
Radiante Hearts Beige Rug- USA rigs

Treasures Light Blue/Ivory Rog-

Tuscan Senele Tiles Seafoam Rug- USA rugs

Tuscon Trellis Grey Rug- USA Rugs
This rug is available at Home Sense- picture taken on my Ipod, which explains the poor quality.

Of course you'd need to know what my living room looks like before you make your choice, so here are some pictures of the space:

So all you decor lovers out there, which rug to you think would work best in my living room? any suggestions are greatly appreciated. 


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