Ikea Hackers

Ian has owned this dresser forever. His isn't even this colour. They dont make his colour anymore (its more of a pine/honey colour).

I remember when he bought it, and I tried to convince him to buy the matching headboard and bed frame. Did not happen. Years later he wanted the headboard and bedframe and they didn't make it with wood anymore (one of those "I told you so" moments that you tell them with your eyes because you know if you say it outloud they'll get mad at you). He then had to buy pieces that were pretty close to matching the set, but are not made out of wood.

It looks fine and had worked well with our decorating for years, but we need a change.

Since we are currently in the process of re-decorating our master bedroom, we've decided that the current bedroom furniture will eventually go in our "spare" room for the time being.

I figured I could just paint the room a neutral colour and keep it boring basic, until I saw this amazing post from Centsational girl. I am totally doing this to our dresser:

You could easily paint it black with white stripes or any other colour! Totally love.

To see how she did it, click here.

Only catch is to try and find one of these dressers used. New they are $300.00. Thats a lot to spend on something you are going to re-paint anyways!

Funny enough we have this dresser too.

Its from my old bedroom set and I was planning on just getting rid of it....maybe not anymore...

To see more of this dresser transformation, click here.

We all have Ikea stuff sitting around that we grow tired of, have had since teens or that doesn't go with our "grown-up" decor anymore.

So I came across this site. Its the answer to all Ikea re-do's. Its the Hacker site. Ikea Hackers. Love it.

Just trying to think of what other Ikea pieces I own now, that I can totally flip! So fun!


Distressed Buffet- DIY

I am so excited! We FINALLY found a buffet! After months and months of searching in every possible store, Kijiji, second hand stores, driving to Toronto and countless other cities, we finally found one!!!

It came up on Kijiji one night, and we went to look at it the very next day. One of the most important things we discovered when looking for buffet, was that is had the right "configuration" for what we needed it for.

We found tons of gorgeous buffets that had drawers. Lots and lots of drawers. But we didn't think putting all our plates and lying down wine glasses in a drawer was a good idea...

We wanted something with DOORS. Shelves and space to put plates, bowls, etc. Our ideal configuration had to have doors on the bottom with a drawer or two up top (to put cutlery, placemats, etc in).

The other thing that was important to us, was what it was made out of. We wanted something that was solid wood...ideally. However, we were willing to get something that might have been a mixture of materials.

Lone behold, there it was!
Solid wood, 3 doors on the bottom...2 drawers up top. One of the drawers is even felt lined with purple fabric for the cutlery!
Has a bit of character with the woodwork, and definite potential :)

So we picked it up, and got an incredible deal on it. $60.00. SOLD!!

We are now debating on whether or not we are going to stain or paint it. Since our floors are so dark and our table matches the floors, we feel like we need to stain it darker to match, OR get another piece of furniture the same colour at this piece, so our living room doesn't end up looking like a garage sale :S

We wanted something we could stain, but its always a gamble on whether or not stain will end up looking the way you want it to (plus its a major pain to do).

I found this example of a re-stained dresser (from one of my favorite blogs "Centsational Girl" that looks fabulous).

This is her before and after:

To find out how she did this project, click here.

If we decide to paint it, we want to do a bit of an antiqued look, similar to the following:

If you like this type of finish as well, here's how to get the look:

1) Work with an inexpensive (preferably second hand) piece of furniture

2) Sand the entire piece- including all little cracks and crevices

3) Paint it- it might take a few coats, depending on what colour paint you are using and the previous finish to the piece. Having furniture professionally sprayed always gives a cleaner finish, but is more costly. Word to the wise, even if you spray it, there are still chances your paint may not work well with the piece. We discovered this when we painted the cabinet we have in our office. Based on its age, the painter said pieces around that time that had a coat of varnish on them, that often doesn't react well with paint. The varnish used then, was a combination of various products one of which included 'bug guts' (Im sure there is a much more technical term than 'bug guts' that I am just not aware of!). The 'bug guts' react with the paint, and often orange or pink spots may appear through the paint. This is what happened to our cabinet, and it look over 4 coats of paint being sprayed on, to cover those spots (and a few have still appeared since). SO, a few more tips:
-  Sand INCREDIBLY well
-  ALWAYS use a primer

4.) After the paint is dry, use materials to "destroy" the piece a bit, and make it look a bit more "distressed". Hammer, nails, etc, but make sure you dont go too crazy here ;)

5.) Sand the edges again so the wood shows through the paint a bit.

Here's a few articles for more information on how to do this. The first is from "My Romantic Home", and another from:  "Centsational Girl".

Wish us luck with this one!!


Sewing Machine...

So I had a few random pillows that I was not sure what to do with (basically ready for the garbage pile) until I decided to recover them with some of the leftover fabric I had from the chairs I recovered.

Here is the before pics of the pillows:

This would have been about a million times easier if I had my sewing machine set up....however I had to sew by hand. It only took about 30 mins to sew together this pillow, but it would have been MUCH easier if I had more thread that just what was in my emergency kit....

and its about time that my sewing machine gets a new home....other than the top shelf of my closet....

and here is my pillow after:

Would be nice to have a bigger pillow on that chair, but I only had so much thread to work with ;)

Quick and easy DIY project!

I plan to create a lot more pillows for around the house...now to choose a fabric...

New Project- Vanity Insanity

I am starting on a new project! Coming soon is the inspiration board for our bedroom (which I am excited to report that I have had a lot of luck sourcing a lot of what we are looking for!), but for now a smaller project.

I have had this vanity/writing desk, sitting in our basement for months weeks. Its solid wood, and I got it for $10.00 off Kijiji (of course, where else?!).

My wonderful husband has suggested I have a make-up/vanity table in our soon-to-be updated bathroom, and I love him for that :) (Although I think hes just really annoyed with all my make-up and beauty supplies being spread over the counter in the mornings....)

ANYHO, I have no idea if this vanity is going to fit into our bathroom. My gut is telling me no, but Im going to MAKE it fit. (If not, it can go in our bedroom).

Here are my inspiration pics for my vanity:

The first 3 are Sarah Richardson designs:

This final pic sparked my desire for a vanity. Its from a blog I follow called "Just Bella" and Christine who writes the blog, has some fabulous ideas!! See her post here from when she did her vanity.

Here is a pic of my vanity...not bad for $10.00, but we'll have to see how it turns out!

Wish me luck!

Have an amazing long weekend everyone, and in light of the fact that it is a long weekend, I am going to draw the winner for the necklace giveaway on TUESDAY MAY 24th (so you still have a few days to get those entries in and become a follower of the blog!)

Goodluck Everyone!!


High v.s Low

For those of you who frequently read Style at Home, you might be familiar with their "High v.s Low" segment. Its my personal fav, and I look forward to it in every issue.

On Monday's episode of City Line they actually showcased the "High v.s. Low" from the most recently issue of Style at Home and I absolutely loved it. There were a few pieces from the "Low" that I actually liked better than the "High".

If you want to view this part of the episode, you can check it out here.

To make it easier, Im going to post photos of the high and low and see if you can guess which is which :) If you look carefully, there might be one thing that gives it away....

Option #1:

Option #2:

Did you make a guess?
The answer is........

#1- Low
#2- High

(Sources for all items can be found here)

What gave it away for me, was the desk. If you've been following my blog,  you might be aware of my "desk transformation" that I blogged about a while back here.

I discovered my desk on Kijiji for $95.00. The desk featured in the "high" (option 1) was $1360.00. They look incredibly similar (but mine has extra drawers!):

Both are the "Queen Anne" French Writing Desk style. Again, by spending a little bit of time searching around, you can also achieve a similar look for less :)

I love finding transformations like this :)

Another one of my personal favorite "High v.s. Low"

Option #1:

Option #2:

Which one do you like better?

The low version is.....

Option #1!

I actually saw that exact mirrored chest at Home Sense a few months ago....kicking myself now that I didn't grab it ;)

If you want to see more "High v.s. Low" transformations, you can check them out on the Style at Home site here.

I personally find so much satisfaction in searching out great finds and making them my own :) It makes the whole process much more fun!


Great Minds Think Alike....

Someone else had the same idea I had!

Check out this Style at Home transformation that was just published today:

THEIR transformation: $550.00 per chair (plus the cost of fabric).

MY transformation: $90 per chair (cost of chair plus spraying white) + $12 each chair in fabric...so $102.00 per chair.

Mind you, their chairs have much more fabric than mine, but the look is still very similar. Yes for DIY!!

Oh and check out: Style At Home Best Designer Secrets for 2011. Some incredible ideas in there ;)

Treasure Hunting....Garage Sales

First of all, I wanted to mention that our bathroom reno's are coming along slowly but surely, and I will be posting about them very soon! We had a few set-backs, but we are almost complete! Yippee!!

On another note, some of you may know about my recent obsession with finding out about the latest garage sales going on in my city. Ian and I have been collecting junk treasures to sell, in a pile in our basement ever since we moved in. We have been patiently waiting, waiting, to hear about our neighbourhood garage sale, so we can make a bit of extra money. However, I am DYING to go to the sales as well.

The other day I got an email from a friend telling me her parents neighbourhood sale is happening THIS weekend. Awesome I thought! I still hadn't heard about my neighbourhood's sale, so that was great news! Now I could go to other neighbourhood sales and then have my own later on.


As I was leaving my subdivision last night, I noticed a sign "Neighbourhood Garage Sale, Saturday 9-12". Are you kidding me? What am I supposed to do now! I can't be in 2 places at once. I had to weigh my options.

1. Hold my own garage sale, and potentially make some money. Not a lot, but some.
2. Go to the sales and find millions of treasures!

Obviously #2 outweighed the former.

So we went. I made Ian get up at 7:00am ("hurry...we're going to miss everything!!" while he looked at me with those eyes that said, you are ridiculous and I need sleep lady).

We grabbed the dog (who seemed SUPER excited to go! or maybe it was just the fact that she was going for a walk...whatever.) As we drove around the city, I tried explaining to Ian (for the millionth time) why garage sales are so important. I told him the story of finding my "Stacey" doll from a childhood book series I used to read, about the Ouja board my brother and I scored (for free!) from a sale once, and about the old cassett tape holder I found at a sale that I turned into my "Kid Kit" for babysitting jobs. (p.s I totally stole that idea of a "Kid Kit" from the Babysitters Club book series for those of you who read them).

But most importantly, the story of the box of books.
I will never forget my dad bringing home that box of books for me. I was maybe about 7 or 8 years old. It was early morning and I remember my parents calling me downstairs for something. Sleepily in my nightgown, I slowly came downstairs rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, to see the most wonderful sight I had ever seen. A box of 30+ books...all Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley, Nancy Drew, The Sleepover kids, you name it.
I rubbed my eyes again. This can't be real. "Is it Christmas?" I asked.
My dad had accomplised his mission. He had found a treasure at one of those garage sales and had given his little girl her favorite thing (books) for $6.00. Yes, $6.00 for the whole box.

As I finished telling my story, Ian reminds me that I tell him that story EVERY time we talk about garage sales. Well SOOORRREE.

So as you have probably guessed, I have fond memories of garage sales, and I wasn't about to pass up this opporunity. We can hold our own sale later in the year.

After searching around for hours (our neighbourhood was INSANELY busy- it actually had 2 hotdog vendors that sold out-lol!), we came to the conclusion that having a sale, might have been a better idea. So disappointed we came home with nothing. However, the day was incredibly fun. Brought back fond memories, Clover got to meet tons of people, we met some super nice neighbours and got out in the sunshine :)

Even though we didn't find anything at these sales, I recently scored a neat/vintage dresser that I might try and sell myself. Not sure what Im going to do with it yet...

Stay Tuned!!


Designer Debate...the thrill of the hunt

Last night I was having a belated birthday dinner with my wonderful Maid of Honour, and of course we got into a conversation about fashion. Typical Melissa-Melissa convo topic.

I met her at the restaurant and even before we said hello, it was the usual "I LOVE your outfit, where did you get that?!". :) One of the many things I love about her!

As we started to exchange the locations of our fashion finds, I started to realise that 3 out of the 6 things I had been wearing were actually from Zellers (gasp!). Now, I know you might be thinking- seriously...this girl has been telling me about finding great deals for less, and in all actuality shes been buying everything from Zellers....figures. Well dont jump the gun yet, because Zellers has a great line of clothes- PURE by Alfred Sung. A true frugal fashionista does not discriminate against labels!

One of the fashion blogs I follow religiously, "O My Heart" is another awesome Canadian blogger, whose outfits are generally a combination of boutique finds, online shopping sources, the odd Joe Fresh piece and the occasional "surprise" find.  She has been recently wearing this chunky pearl necklace in a lot of her posts, that she found at Urban Planet.

Not being label-bias, I went to check it out (although the 90's "Stitches" commercial was playing in my head the entire time) and found the exact necklace there for $3.67. Yes, you read correctly- $3.67 (ok technically it was $6.00 on clearance for 50% off, but still came to $3.67).  I couldn't pass up that deal (pictures to come). Ive worn it twice now (since Monday!) and have already had a bunch of people compliment me on it.

SO, the point of this rant was to prove that great fashion finds come from all places :) Its all about the search! I feel this whole idea of women searching for great finds came from primitive times (stick with me here....) Men had to hunt for food, and women were the gatherer's. We'll maybe women didn't want to be gatherer's. Maybe they wanted to hunt too! As so, then there was Winners. Its all relative.

Ok back to Zellers.

In the past I have gotten some great finds there, including- a super cute black men's wear blazer:

A brown mens wear blazer:

A few pairs of flats, and a super cute pair of cork wedges. In describing these wedges to Melissa, I decribed them as cork with a very vinatge looking patern- grey with a small white and yellow floral print...super cute. NOT grandma-ish. Again, picture proof to follow.

I also recently found a black of cute black wedges from Payless:

Inspiration source for the wedges: O My Heart again.

So keep an open mind when hunting for great fashion finds.

I feel I am revealing a secret here to you- that my clothes are not designer (gasp! lol) 
I'm not a regular at Chanel, Prada or Jimmy Choo (sigh, but wouldn't we all LOVE to be? Thanks to Carrie Bradshaw's closet for making us all so familiar with them...)

p.s check out this super fun link to her closet ;)

I am a true believer that the top 3 most important things to look for, when shopping for clothes are:

1. Quality
2. Fit (for your body type)
3. Longevity

Regardless of where they came from! (Again, thanks for that lesson mom!). We all might have those few special pieces we spluge on though...(hey, every girl needs at least 1!), but you can look fabulous for less!

Its all in the fun of the hunt...


Can't forget to Accessorize....

Seeming as though I posted about "affordable fashion" yesterday, it would only seem appropriate that I post about accessories today...another un-decor related post-lol. However, these accessories are not just beautiful, but affordable too!

I am always on the hunt for fun, playful jewelry and Stella and Dot's line is just that. A good friend of mine has recently become a Stella & Dot Independent Stylist and is starting up her own business selling Stella and Dot jewelry.

You can check out her FB page here.

One of the great things about Stella and Dot, is that it always seems that they are holding contests, discounts and ways to make their pieces more affordable! They also offer a "Fab Finds under $50.00" section on their site, AND they ship to Canada!

Some of my favorite pieces (all which can be ordered through Brianne's site), are definitely statement pieces, and just gorgeous for spring:

A few other great places to check out for fun jewelry that doesn't break the bank are Joe Fresh (my all-time favorite, which I will definitely blog about soon!):

and surprisingly even American Eagle. Recently, I saw some adorable jewelry on the AE site- the silver necklace is only $7.00!:

More great fashion finds :)
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