Sunday, 6 June 2021

Shower Room Makeover: Sad to Superb - Continued

Hey, remember that time I made over the shower room?

Well, I guess I wasn't satisfied, because here we are 3 years later, and I'm doing a thing.

Ugh, okay so here's what happened.

I was going to replace the drain in the sink. That's all I was going to do. Honestly! But, as I am pulling the drain out, it broke in half right in my hands. It was so much worse than I thought it was. Obviously, I then started to wonder what condition the bottom of the fiberglass sink was in. It was in perfect condition! Well, if you consider the fiberglass rotting where the overflow channel is, as perfect condition. I set off to the Restore (Habitat for Humanity) and it came through! There was a perfectly nice vanity of the correct size, WITH a new faucet on it. Cost me $75 bucks.

I set to changing the shut off valves, one which never really shuts off anything, so that is super helpful. But that sucker was hella on there. I had the hand torch on the solder and I was wiggling with the pliers, but no joy. Turns out that particular shut off valve has another nut to remove only the shut-off knob, so I was able to just replace that. Then I replaced the drain, p-trap and wall pipe. So basically, Almost everything under the sink is new. Yay! I guess.

Next, I She-Hulked the old vanity right out of there. There were some interesting wads of painter's tape stuck in the side then covered up with caulk. Cool.

I patched the wall, sanded, then repainted, then installed the vanity. 

Once it was in, its plain whiteness was clean, but boring.

To fix this and add texture, I bought some grass cloth.

I added it to each of the cabinet inserts.

The finished product works pretty well!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Coffee Table Clean Up

I got this coffee table thanks to my friend DDT, which I outlined in this post, here

It was already in need of a little love back then, and now after a move across the country, it was definitely time.

Obviously the first thing I did was employ slave labour.

Once we finished sanding, we cleaned it really well, ensuring all the sand was off of it. Much to my surprise, the center of the table and the sides were not the same wood species. Cool. Cool, cool, cool, cooooo, coooo....

As you know from other posts, my favourite product is tung oil. 
I always find the instructions weird, however. Leave on 5-10 minutes and then wipe off. However, if I leave it that long, it always gums up. So, instead I apply liberally, over entire surface, and by the time I get from one end to the other (2 minutes?), I start at the beginning and remove it. This always works best for me. If you use a different product and have different results, let me know.

Additional notes:
-Before I started, I sanded a small section on the bottom of the table to see what the actual wood colour was, and used tung oil on that spot. Once I saw the colour, I decided to go ahead with tung oil.
-I re-sanded after the first coat of tung oil with 320 grit sandpaper.
-I then added two more coats.
-There are 24 hours between each coat.

With only one coat, the natural beauty of the wood is obvious. The two-tone wood is a different look than before, but I like it.

After a second coat, the cat is in agreement that this is a good look.

I have more things to finish in the living room, but this is one item off the list!

The luster/sheen of tung oil is so naturally beautiful. This is why I love this product.

A quick styling of the table includes:
-a cork trivet with a plant on it
-a wood puzzle
-some books including: Vancouver Interiors (I'm originally from BC, though not Vancouver); Borough Market in London (where I worked for a couple of years); and a book on the Arts & Crafts movement in design.

Here's a final before and after.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Mini Project: Threshold Beautification

We needed to replace the rubber gasket on our threshold. This past winter it was obvious that a draft had developed from under the door. 

It is a super simple task: Purchase new aluminum threshold, cut it to length, and install it.

Once I got the old threshold off, however, I couldn't ignore how much it needed a new paint job.

Why, oh why do I make easy tasks into a whole thing?

So, I pulled out some leftover paint from my daughter's bedroom makeover. Okay, so it didn't take that much more effort, and only an extra hour of time to allow paint to dry. But I am still going to complain.

That looks way better, though!

Though, now I want to sand the door, paint the trim, change the entrance rug.... Okay, Okay, all that for another day.

Mini Project: Cat Scratch Fever, Leather Club Chair edition

The pandemic probably sparked a lot of cats to get their forever homes since we all suddenly found ourselves at home a lot more in 2020. We got the sweetest, cuddliest fur-ball, Loki.

With that, for us at least, also came the addition of some pieces of furniture becoming ad hoc scratching posts. For us, it was the dining room curtains, a red chesterfield, and our brown leather club chair. Yes, he is still alive, mostly due to the cuddles he provides.

Oh, he really did a number on our club chair, though.
However, not all hope is lost. The great thing about good quality leather furniture, is that it can patina with time, so nicks and scratches aren't the end of the world... and leather is somewhat repairable.

Luckily, I also remember my genius friend at the Interior DIYer had this very same issue with a chair that she had. 

I followed smart her instructions, mostly, with one small addition; my safety razor. I found it worked especially well with the furriness, but do be careful as it can take nicks out of the leather if you are not careful. (And do give a safety razor a try. I did so for environmental reasons, but I have saved so much money as well).
I also fully buffed my shoe polish afterwards, as I am sure the brand I used would come off on clothes if not done properly.

It is far from perfect, but is absolutely far better than it was. 

Here he is returning to the scene of the crime, as if nothing has happened. Nature's serial killer, also dabbles in stabby graffiti. 

The last thing to do was place his new scratching post nearby, pre-loaded with Feliscratch. It has worked, and he has not touched the chair since. YAY for small victories!

I hope it works for you, too!

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Gratitude Project: Teacher's Survival Kit

 I live in the province of Alberta and our kids are about to go into 3 weeks of online learning again.

This is totally necessary, and I support it whole-heartedly. That said, it is never easy, and moreover, the last time we did online learning, I realized how difficult it would be for the teacher.


Thanks to the Dollar Store I had a great box.

And what is the best way to survive online learning? Be drunk and eat stuff!

So I stocked my kit with the following:

Bottle of wine






& an "It's OK" sticker

Buy Box.

Add divider.

Add wine.

Fill with goodies.

On a serious note: Teacher's are undervalued. Especially during this past year. During a pandemic my kid's teacher has been a bright spot in my child's day. Always upbeat and sunny. She truly cares about these kids and their success. She teaches them empathy and kindness, something I feel you can only do if you already embody those traits. 

So to you, Ms, Cluette-Alstad, I am so grateful to you.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Mini Project: Spice Drawer

My spices have been a mess above my microwave. They are difficult to go through, they are up too high, they are just all wrong.

So, I decided to move them to the drawer. That is also a mess... HA!

Cue this mini project!

In order to stop the slide, I figured a tiered system would work. I've seen similar available for purchase in bamboo. I went to Home Depot's hobby section and picked up a 48"x 6" wood board, and a 48" x 1" wood board.

My drawer is 16" wide by 19" deep, so I cut the boards into 16" wide pieces. Then, then I sanded them down, and used wood glue and clamps to create 3 little steps.

I put a staple in each one just to ensure a stronger connection. I removed the clamps, then put each step or tier into the drawer,

Then I put my spices in alphabetical order and that is it! 

A quick and easy project that only took an hour.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Retro TV Room: Gallery Wall

As this house slowly evolves, I set my sights on our retro TV room and a way to lighten up the dark wood paneling. Check out this post about the last time I did anything to the room.

Plus, we've been so lucky to have some great photographs taken, in part to Burovision providing photo shoots for designers back when I lived in Ottawa. What a delightfully generous thing for them to have done. Then we were lucky enough to move to Edmonton, and our incredible realtor, Jerry Aulenbach does the same thing for his Clients! So what is one to do with all of those great photos? Put them up in a gallery wall!

Using adhesive picture hangers will avoid damaging the wall, but will also make it a quick and easy project.

I started with the cardboard moose head that was already on the wall for two reasons, A) it is interesting and B) it is already white, which is exactly what I am after. So first I put up a small grouping.

I used different textures, sizes and thicknesses of frames, some with mattes and some without. Again, the name of the game is "visual interest".
The trick to a cohesive grouping with disparate items, is to maintain a consistent space around/between each frame.

It is looking good even in this small amount, and certainly brightens up the space.

Then I gradually kept adding frames until I achieved this:

As I find more photos, I will keep adding to the wall, hopefully covering the whole width.

Whatever you decide to do, just have fun with it!