Black Beauty {Vintage Vanity Makeover}

Today I wanted to share with you a vintage vanity makeover I recently completed that I’m naming “Black Beauty.”

20170310_134322wmFor this furniture makeover I used Country Chic Paint. They are a Canadian company and they offer both chalk and clay based paint. Their paints are eco-friendly, odourless, require minimal prep and are easy to distress for that country chic look.

For this project I chose the All-In-One Decor Paint in Liquorice, a rich black. I started work on the chair. These chairs are so easy to recover. There are usually just four screws underneath the seat, holding it in place. I removed the seat, gave the chair a rough sanding, cleaned it thoroughly and got to painting!

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I think if there was an award for prettiest paint can ever, Country Chic would have to win! How cute are those flowers?

I tried Country Chic’s painting sponge for this project. This sponge makes fast work of all those tiny curves on an intricate piece like this chair. After allowing the paint to cure for a few days, I followed with a coat of polycrylic.

Next, I recovered the chair seat. No sewing skills required! If you can use a staple gun and wrap corners like a present, you can recover a chair. Even if your staple gun is ancient and busted, so that you have to load each and every single staple individually. True story.

Here she is with the chair seat back in place.

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Check out those curves!

The vanity top was in pretty rough shape when I found this piece, so I gave it a good sanding with my electric sander. Next, I applied Minwax brand wood conditioner. I find this really helps the wood take the stain more evenly. The bottom left picture below is after wood conditioner. It was showing quite a bit of red undertones and I wanted to downplay those. So I then applied two coats of Minwax Jacobean. It looks like a brand new top!

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After a few minor repairs to veneer and the drawers on the vanity itself, I sanded the drawers and body of the piece, cleaned it and primed. Priming is not a necessary step in most cases, when using Country Chic Paint, or any chalk or clay paint for that matter. If you are worried about bleed through, which can happen with a mahogany piece, especially if you are painting with white, then priming is a good idea. It’s also helpful if your piece is very slick and you want to be sure of adhesion.

The paint went on very easily and the coverage was excellent. For this particular piece, I decided to go for a more clean look, so I kept the distressing to a minimum. After allowing the paint to cure for a few days, I applied two coats of Minwax brand polycrylic in semi-gloss. This is an extra step, All-In-One Decor paint does not require a top coat. I like the piece of mind a top coat gives you. I also personally like how polycrylic slightly deepens the colour and sheen on your piece.

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If you’ve ever applied poly to black chalk or clay paint, then you know that it can be especially difficult to avoid seeing streaks, or blotches in your finish. You can help avoid this by allowing your paint to fully cure, working in long even strokes and not over-working the paint. If you are still seeing some blotches, you can also add a tiny bit of your original paint colour to your poly, which will help even out any streaking that may occur.

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I lined the drawers with some beautiful black and white floral paper. If you’re new to my blog, then I will let you know that I have a deep love for anything black and white! If it’s black and white AND floral – stop, my beating heart! The only thing that might be better, is black and white stripes.

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See the dove-tailed drawers? You have to pay a small fortune to buy furniture made that way today.

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I gave the piece some new Cynthia Rawley knobs. I love the touch of glamour they add.

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Another thing I love about vintage vanities is that if you remove the mirror, they also make fantastic desks.

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Here are a few before and after shots.

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I just love how the rich and moody black, along with the crisp and clean stripes, play against the warmer wood top and the touches of brass on the knobs.

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Another makeover in the books! What do you think? Do you love black and white as much as I do? Leave me a comment below!

This piece is for sale locally, here in the Regina, Saskatchewan area. If you are interested please email me at prairiegirlhome@gmail.com, or message me via Instagram or Facebook.

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Disclosure: This post was created in collaboration with Country Chic Paint. I received product to use in this project, however all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Prairie Girl Home | Painted Furniture {the first year}

With the beginning of 2017, I’m looking back at 2016 and my first year in the painting furniture business.

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I haven’t posted very much on the blog yet about my painted pieces, usually I post them to Instagram and Facebook, so I thought I could take one post to share the highlights of my first year in the furniture flipping business. (I kind of hate that word, flipping, because it feels like a flipper is someone who merely slaps paint on a piece to sell it and make a buck, which is so far from the case. But it still feels like the best term to describe what I do in a nutshell. “Furniture Artist” feels more accurate. So let’s say, this was my first year in the “furniture artistry” business. Sure. Let’s go with that.)

The first piece I painted and sold for Prairie Girl Home.
The first piece I painted and sold for Prairie Girl Home, in January 2016. It’s still one of my favourites!

I started painting old wood furniture as a teen and my love just grew from there. I remember dragging my mom to thrift shops to pick up old antiques I wanted to redo for my bedroom. Once I had my license, I would go to garage sales on my own and find old treasures that I dragged home. Some I painted, some things I saved for my first apartment.

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Grey and Gold Vintage Waterfall Dresser, December 2016.
From there I continued to take old forgotten pieces from my parent’s basement, pieces friends were throwing away, pieces I hunted for around town and I lovingly painted these finds and made them my own. When my husband and I were poor, 21 and 24 year old newlyweds, our place was filled with thrift store, garage sale and hand-me-down pieces.  Our mattress and our two living room end tables, that I still remember picking out at Superstore, agonizing over spending that money and making the right decision, were the only “new” items in our home. I never let a budget stop me from creating a home. I painted, I reupholstered, I made something out of what was usually nothing. I remember searching around the different thrift stores in town for the perfect mismatched chairs for our dining room table, which I brought home to paint various shades of blue and lavender. (Yes, lavender. Oh boy, did I have an obsession with lavender. My poor husband!). I was trying to copy Monica from Friend’s dining room table and chairs. This was before Pinterest and Blogs. I drew inspiration from TV (we didn’t have cable and HGTV, so I would copy ideas from my favourite TV shows), movies, magazines (that I usually borrowed from the library) and from the real-life homes of my amazingly talented friends and family.

Charcoal Painted Antique Washstand, February 2016.
Charcoal Painted Antique Washstand, February 2016.

In all of the homes we have had over the years, painted furniture has always played a big role. Up until last year, I painted pieces just for our home. It never occurred to me that I could sell my work, until we had the house we live in currently. For the first time, I had enough storage space that I could start hauling home pieces that I found at “too good a deal to pass up”. I soon realized that our home wasn’t large enough to hold all of these painted pieces. I was going to have to start selling if I wanted to keep painting. So I did.

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Birch Tree Papered Side Tables, October 2016.

I love the thrill of the hunt. I love walking into a thrift shop, never knowing what you might find. I love browsing the used sites, looking for that diamond in the rough.

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French Provincial Style Dresser, February 2016.

Majority of the time, right from the start, I can see exactly what I want the finished piece to look like. If I don’t have a clear vision, I know enough now to wait until I do before I pull out a paintbrush. I love the entire process – finding the piece, taking it home, lovingly filling, sanding, gluing, fixing, priming, painting, distressing, waxing, sealing, lining drawers, finding the perfect knobs and pulls, and then putting it all back together and styling it for it’s “glamour shot”. I appreciate what it is – beautiful, but forgotten – and imagine it how it could be – beautiful and admired.

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Soft Mint Side Table, February 2016.

These pieces have a story. That’s the beauty of solid wood antiques and vintage pieces. They have lived a life. Or two. Or three! They have often been there throughout someone’s life – from birth to graduation, then repeated that cycle for yet another child, then another. They have served newlyweds to elderly. They have been sold, passed down, donated or sometimes even thrown away. They have been moved and hauled, painted, then repainted, then stripped, then painted again. Yet, these pieces are still here. Still standing. Sure, they have a few war wounds. They aren’t brand new or “perfect” anymore. But really, just like people, having a few bumps and bruises doesn’t make you damaged. It makes you better.

White Painted and Distressed Telephone Table, November 2016.

These pieces have a story. I love that I am just another part of that story. I found these pieces, dragged them home, saw a vision for them, loved them, restored them and then they are ready to became part of someone else’s story. The piece is ready to live another life. Serve another baby or another newlywed couple or someone who saw the piece and just had to take it home. Who knows how many stories, how many lives these pieces will play a part in.

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Mint Make-up Vanity and Vintage Chair, June 2016.

They just don’t make pieces like this anymore. Well, when they do, you pay a small fortune for them. This isn’t the laminate stuff you buy at IKEA one year, only to find that soon the factory paint finish has chipped, the particle board and MDF frame is warped and it’s ready for the garbage heap the next year. (I love IKEA as much as the next person, but I also have fallen victim to the short-term life span of many of their furniture pieces.) When you buy vintage and antique pieces, you know they have lasted this long and that they will continue to stand the test of time.

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French Provincial Coffee Table, November 2016.

For me, starting this small business was about more than just painting furniture. Through what was a very difficult year personally, it gave me something else to focus on. Something completely unrelated to the health crisis my family and I are facing right now. When I felt well enough, it gave me something to escape to. Even if it’s just for an hour or so at a time, it’s amazing the power doing something creative with your hands can have on a person’s well being and mindset.

Mint Painted and Distressed Plant Stand, March 2016.

I like to call painting furniture, decorating our home and creating in general my “happy distraction”.

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White Blanket Ladder, December 2016

I have learned so much this first year in business. I won’t go into all the ins and outs of furniture flipping, since that would make this post massive! I will say that I have learned one thing for sure – that I still have so much to learn! I love that there are endless options when it comes to remaking an old piece. There are so many products, so many techniques and so many styles, that you could spend decades doing this job and still learn new things. I love browsing Pinterest, Instagram, blogs and magazines for inspiration. I lay awake at night and dream up new plans and ideas. I am so excited to keep on creating!

Rustic and Glam Wood Planked White Chest of Drawers, December 2016.
Rustic and Glam Wood Planked White Chest of Drawers, December 2016.

It was a good year.

I just finished my first piece of 2017 and it might be my favourite one yet! I have quite a few new pieces that should be listed in the next couple of months. I will try to post some on here, but you can always follow along on Instagram and my Facebook page, I’m Prairie Girl Home on both, where I post all of my painted pieces for sale!

Thanks for following along and I hope you are all having a wonderful start to 2017!

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Our Glam Cottage Foyer Reveal! | One Room Challenge

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Hello friends! I am so excited to be sharing our Glam Cottage Foyer makeover reveal with you today!

I am running a thin line between extreme giddiness and exhaustion, so today I am going to try to keep the talkie down to a minimum and let the pretty pictures speak for themselves. That’s what you came here to see anyhow, am I right? So here it is – our completed Glam Cottage Foyer/Redneck Sunroom/World’s Smallest Mudroom/Back Entranceway/Whatevertheheckthisroomiscalled!

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I almost didn’t think we were going to be able to pull it off, since as of two weeks ago we had barely even began.  With a lot of help and a few late nights, we did it!

Just to refresh your memory, here is the side by side before and after. Bye-bye nasty old carpet, forest green stairs, floral wallpaper border, bare lightbulb and glossy cream walls!

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We have come a long way in just a couple of short weeks!

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The chandelier was a gift from a friend, and I just love it! I think it fits perfectly with the cottage glam theme and it’s definitely one of the focal points in the space. I love that you can even see it when you walk in our front door.

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Oh, and the light it let’s into the space is amazing! Getting the French door made such a difference! The room make only be 3’2″ x 3’8″, but you better believe I’m still calling it my sunroom! Any room that let’s that much light in is definitely a sunroom! I plan on having my afternoon coffee perched on that top step. Our long cold Saskatchewan winter is going to be a whole lot more tolerable now!

Almost everything used for this makeover were items we already owned and somehow reworked for this space, with a few exceptions I will point out along the way. By doing that we were able to stick to our very small budget.

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The clock you see hanging is one of the few items I purchased for the room. It’s from Homesense, but I added the rope detail which I think gives it that extra touch!

The chalkboard was an old mirror I had laying around. I just painted the frame white, painted over the mirror with the chalkboard paint and added the magazine basket that I had purchased from Target a few years ago (before they abandoned us poor Canadians).

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We always have odds and ends that need to be returned to our garage out back, so I thought instead of us just dumping them on the floor they could sit in a cute little bucket. Or, I could just keep this adorable little plant in there!

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Oh, this view has so many things I love! The sleek black French door, that awesome industrial pipe hand rail, the gorgeous shiplap, that showstopping chandelier, our new vinyl flooring and it’s all warmed up by the cute little DIY pendant banner (I am sort of obsessed with making these!), the DIY shelf and the warm sisal rug.

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This shelf turned out to be very simple to make using just a couple of spruce fence boards ($2.14 each!), some very simple shelf brackets I sprayed black and a few hooks. The stain is Aged Oak by Minwax.

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Why, hello there Mr. Antelope! You were very adorable above my piano for the last two years, but now that you have moved to a new space I have a whole new appreciation for you!

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I think the view going down to our basement just got a whole lot more beautiful!

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With the exception of the small white M, everything you see here was something I dug up from around the house or made.

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The industrial pipe hand rail was fairly easy to put together. It ended up costing a bit more than I expected it would, so to keep the cost down I chose the 3/4″ pipe instead of the 1 1/2″ I had planned. Now that I see it up, this size is perfect! In the end I think it really adds so much character to the space, so I’m glad we went for it!

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I love this black, white and brass hook from Anthropologie. We don’t have one here, but on my last trip to Edmonton I picked this up. I must have been having a temporary lapse of sanity, because normally I would never pay $22 for a single hook. That makes it the single most expensive piece of wall decor in the entire room, if you can believe it. Instead of using it as a hook, now it’s a beautiful piece of art.

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Hopefully this next shot doesn’t make you dizzy, but I wanted to show you how we planked the ceiling as well. When I say we, I mean my husband, who worked so hard to get this room finished! He did such a great job!

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Do you remember how disgusting these stairs were?

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Those are vinyl stair pads and after I realized how much glue was used to attach them, I decided to just paint right over them. 😉

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Here is a shot of the floor without the rug, just so you can see how completely gorgeous it is. This is the same flooring we ordered for our last one room challenge, our bathroom makeover. We had enough leftover to cover this area, so my brother came over on Monday evening after work to install it for me! Doesn’t it look like cement tile? Vinyl sure has come a long way!

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My little boy picked out the M at Michael’s and he was very excited to see it all lit up at night!

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The back entrance was so exposed to our entire main living area, that having it finished makes the whole space feel complete.

I love that we get to enjoy the new space while passing through to the basement and from just about every other area in our home.

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Isn’t the shiplap so beautiful? I wasn’t expecting for it to make such a difference, but it really does add so much character. I love it so much, I kind of want to add either shiplap or board and batten to our living room. Not anytime soon though. This One Room Challenge was really tough for us to pull off, so we are DONE with major projects for a quite a while!

This project was done on a VERY tight budget. By very tight, I mean next to nothing. The vast majority of items were things we already owned, including most of the paint. We were able to sell quite a few of the items from the space, which really helped offset the cost. (Read more about how to be a thrifty decorator in my week 2 post.) I really enjoy the challenge of trying to make over a space on a small budget. It forces you to be creative, to DIY and to reinvent what you already own. In the end, I believe you end up with a space that is not only beautiful, but one that feels more “you”.

Source List & Budget Breakdown

Materials:

French Door – Restore – $15 | Glass Insert – Used – $80 | “Shiplap” (Underlayment sheets) – Home Depot – $180 | Paint – stair treads – Dark Secret by CIL (colour matched to Behr Porch & Floor Paint) – $20 | Paint – door – Dark Secret by CIL (preowned) | Trim – Ultra White by Behr (preowned) | Walls – Mixed 1/3 Chantilly Lace by Ben Moore, 1/3 Ultra White by Behr (preowned), 1/3 Flat White Ceiling Paint by Glidden | Industrial Pipe Hand Rail – Home Depot & CMS Hardware – $75 | Chandelier – Canadian Tire – Gift | Vinyl Floor – Mannington (preowned)

Decor:

Clock – Homesense – $20 | White M Marquee – Michael’s – $8 | Coat Hooks – Home Depot – $15 | Rustic Hook Shelf DIY – Home Depot – $30 | Silver Bucket – Home Depot – $4

Everything else was something we already owned or something I created. If you have any questions just ask in the comments!

$447 less proceeds from items sold $290 = Total Cost $157

Not bad for $157. Although I didn’t quite meet my zero goal, I’m still extremely proud of what we did in the space. If you consider that the cost of a new French door would have been at least $350, we did well. I think the hand rail really was the shocker, I had no idea it would cost that much. Although, it is definitely stunning and not your average railing.

There was no way I could ever have pulled off this project alone, so I want to say a quick thank you to those that helped me! I didn’t work with any sponsors, so instead I am giving a huge shout out to all my family and friends that volunteered in some way to help out – Kyle, Mom, Dad, Chad, Whitney, Bridie and Lesley. I love you all and I couldn’t have done it without you!!!

If you would like to see more of the journey of how we got from the before to the after, check out these posts!

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

If you would like to see our previous One Room Challenge reveal, our Glam Cottage Bathroom, click here.

Spring 2016 One Room Challenge Reveal | Glam Cottage Bathroom
Spring 2016 One Room Challenge Reveal | Glam Cottage Bathroom

Don’t forget to check out all of the other amazing One Room Challenge reveals over at Calling It Home! Click here to see the featured designers and here to see the guest participants. There are so many beautiful transformations!

I know I said I would keep the talking down to a minimum, but I am just so excited about this room I had to talk about it! Thank you so much for reading and for following along on Instagram! I so appreciate it! Have a great day! I plan on catching up on some laundry, but at least the view up and down those basement stairs will be so much more enjoyable now!

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Game On! | Week 5 ORC – The Redneck Sunroom

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All right folks. This is it. Week five. The last week, the home stretch. It’s time to sink or swim. Win or lose. Give up or die trying. In exactly one week’s time I will either be hanging my head in shame or you will find me here and elsewhere on the interwebs, screaming out in victory, “I did it!!!!!!!!”

Okay, so I MAY be slightly exaggerating the importance of this one little room makeover. Also, I MAY, on occasion, have a tendency to be a tiny bit over-dramatic. But after deciding to take part in Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge this season, and then proceeding to make almost zero progress (other than installing our new-to-us French door) for the first four updates, you’re going to have to forgive my dramatics, because we may just end up finishing this room on time!

In case you’re new here, my husband and myself are renovating our teeny, tiny back entrance foyer/world’s smallest mudroom/redneck sunroom (whatever you want to call it!) over a period of six weeks. To catch up on our previous posts, complete with the grotesque before pictures and all of the pretty plans we made for the space click here for week 1, here for week 2, here for week 3 and here for week 4.

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If you read last week’s post, I’m sure you sensed that I really had my doubts that we would be able to finish in time for the November 10th deadline. Truth be told, I mentioned it in week two, but I started this challenge with a nasty cold and seven weeks and two rounds of antibiotics later, I’m still fighting it. I have named it Cold-Mageddon. On top of that, this week my son also had round three with some sort of flu that is going around. So, due to that as well as a bunch of other things I will just call “life”, I didn’t think we would be able to pull this room makeover off. However, with a little bit of help and a few small bursts of energy, a lot can change in a week. My handy hubby managed to squeeze in some time to get started on the planking. He managed to MacGyver up some scary scaffolding. I’ll show you pictures, as long as you promise that you will do your own research on how to build scaffolding if you are attempting this yourself. I’m fairly certain rigging up two ladders and some old boards that were probably way too small for this job is NOT “up to code”. If Mike Holmes were watching, he would probably be shaking his head right about now.

We ended up using underlayment, because at $18 a sheet, it was the most affordable option. We picked it up at Home Depot and paid a little bit extra to have them cut it down into six inch strips for us. It’s a lot easier to just have it done there in the store. There are a zillion tutorials out there on “how to shiplap your walls”, so I won’t be adding one more to the mix. Basically you just need your brad nailer, something to hold in between the boards as you nail to keep a bit of gap in there (hubby used a scrap piece of planking) and a couple of different saws for making whatever cuts you need to work around outlets, trim, etc. We used our table saw, as well as a utility knife for some of the tricky, small cuts. A jigsaw would also work. Our boards were 8 feet at the longest, so when working with a wall longer than 8 feet, we cut our planks into different lengths and then staggered the boards, so that all our cuts didn’t line up. It’s kind of like laying hardwood floors.

If you really want your planking to line up horizontally all around the room, then make sure you mark where your level line is BEFORE beginning. My husband was a little upset with himself because he didn’t do this, and since our old house has extremely crooked walls, it’s going to end up that our planks will not line up perfectly all around the room. I am actually completely fine with this. I told him from the start that I wanted an imperfect and rustic look. He was seriously considering taking down an entire wall of planks to fix it. (I bugged him about this a lot, because usually he calls me the crazy perfectionist!) I convinced him to leave the planks as is.

Another tip would be to plan ahead where your planks will end up falling on your wall, so that you don’t end up with a skinny one inch section at the very top, or in a very obvious spot like above a doorway or window. If that is going to be the case, then you can change up the plan so that you don’t end up with any obviously skinny cuts. Then again, if skinny little boards next to your six inch boards don’t bother you – don’t worry about it!

We still have a couple of walls and half the ceiling left to plank, which hopefully we finish up tomorrow . I didn’t want to waste today and since my amazing mom offered to help, we got quite a bit of painting done. Let me tell you this, painting ceilings is one of my least favourite DIY jobs, but painting ceilings in a staircase using a long pole is a whole new level of torture. It just confirmed what I already knew, that I am total weakling. I worked in short one minute increments, with five minute breaks in between so as to allow my arms to regain some strength and stop shaking like jello. Pathetic. Anyhow, I didn’t feel too bad once my mom arrived and she also found the job very difficult. We managed to prime the walls that have been planked so far. I’m hoping one good coat of paint on the weekend and our walls will be looking just like an episode of Fixer Upper!

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Yes, that’s a hole in the wall. If you didn’t catch my Instagram story earlier this week, basically my husband and I decided to play a game of detective/treasure hunter to figure out what was behind this wall. I was kind of hoping there would be something cool back there, like old newspapers or love letters.  I won’t keep you in suspense, we didn’t find anything. Just an empty space. At first I thought it must have been a closet that was originally built off of the dining room, and was covered over when the dining room built-ins were added at a later time, but it doesn’t look like that was the case. Oh, and if you’re wondering why we didn’t just knock down the entire empty box of drywall that is there for no reason, and make our staircase larger, it’s because we didn’t want to make more work for ourselves. True story.

Oh, and in keeping with my “imperfect and rustic” look, I won’t be going back with a paintbrush to paint the gaps in between the boards. I like the way they look unpainted.  Also, we have way too much left to do this week!

This is the door after two coats of CIL’s Dark Secret. One more and she is good to go! Oh, and there is paint all over the glass because I never bother taping off glass. It takes me less time to scrape it off afterward with a razor blade than it does to painstakingly tape it off.

It’s exciting to see some actual progress happening in the room! We still have quite a bit more work to do, but I really think we can pull this off.

Here is our To-Do List.

  1. Plank walls and ceiling (70% complete)
  2. Replace trim (90% complete)
  3. Prime and paint walls, ceiling, trim (primer is 70% complete)
  4. Prep stairs for paint (I tried ripping up the old vinyl “runner” on the stair treads and discovered a crapload of nasty glue underneath. So my plan is to just leave the vinyl in place and paint around it. Eventually we will buy a sisal runner for the stairs and I will deal with ripping up the vinyl then.)
  5. Prime and paint stairs (risers have one coat complete)
  6. Rip out old carpet, install new subfloor on the entrance landing (I lamely attempted ripping up the carpet myself, but decided I would leave that job to someone with more muscle!)
  7. Install new vinyl floor (I’m not sure if this will happen by the deadline, but if not, I will just give the subfloor a quick coat of paint.)
  8. Replace old door with “new” French door
  9. Paint door (Two coats complete)
  10. Install new light switches (We already own these, we just need to install them!)
  11. Install new light fixture (gift from friend!!!)
  12. Install new hand rail (DIY industrial pipe rail)
  13. Add finishing details (hooks, chalkboard, gallery wall, DIY word art, baskets, small shelf?, rug?)

So we still only have one item crossed off the list, but a lot of others are close to being crossed off.

I don’t think I shared a picture of the vinyl flooring that we plan to install. We’re going to use the same flooring that we bought for our bathroom makeover that we completed for the One Room Challenge last spring. The flooring didn’t end up arriving in time for the final reveal. Here is our bathroom floor today.

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Vinyl has come a long way! It could almost pass for cement tile, right? It’s made my Mannington, and the pattern and colour is Filagree Iron. (By the way, this isn’t a sponsored post. I’m just letting you know, because I love this flooring!)

I also drew up some of my ideas for the wall decor, because with only one week left I obviously have tons of time to spend doodling and planning. Right.

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(The odd rectangle that is scribbled out in the bottom sketch is the big old empty box of nothing we discovered this week.)

 

Yes, those are tabs on my notebook. How else would I stay organized? I love making lists and plans and jotting down ideas. I know this bullet journaling craze is super popular right now, but I have to say, I’m super fond of my dollar store sticky tab dividers. #geekforlife

Do you see our super awesome hand rail? Since I’m not sure you can tell from my drawing, that’s going to be made out of industrial pipe. I’m really excited about it. As much as any sane person could be excited about plumbing parts. I can’t wait!

Originally I was planning on doing a black and white gallery wall around the entire staircase. It was going to be epic. Massive. Striking. I was planning on using printed black and white photos from some of our past vacations. Then I remembered that I am on a tight budget and I don’t have enough frames to do that large of a gallery wall and frames can be fairly expensive. Especially large ones, which I wanted. Also, printing photos isn’t cheap either. Especially large ones! So, onto Plan B. I’m still going to do a gallery wall, but it won’t be quite as large as I originally planned. Honestly, the shiplap is so beautiful, I don’t want to cover it all up! To save money,  I’m going to use only frames I already own, along with my trusty can of black spray paint. Some frames will be empty and I will also mix in some mirrors and whatever else I can scrounge up from around my house. On the wall you face when going down the staircase, I plan on making up a DIY banner using things I already own – some wood pieces, twine, a dropcloth and a sharpie pen. I’m not entirely sure about the other walls, but lots of ideas are rolling around in my head, so you’ll have to come back next week to see how it all turns out!

Oh, and you also might see my note on there about perhaps adding numbers to the stair risers. Wouldn’t that be cute? It would just be temporary until we install our sisal runner, but in the meantime it would add a fun touch. I will have to see if I have enough time and energy once everything else on the list is crossed off!

My husband and I have been so preoccupied with everything going on lately, we basically forgot until a couple of days ago that it’s our anniversary this weekend. Eleven years with this dude! What better way to celebrate than spending some quality time together working on the One Room Challenge? Right? (Don’t worry, we will do something to celebrate a little bit later in the month.)

Thanks so much for popping by, I appreciate you following along on our little DIY journey! Feel free to leave a comment below or find me on Instagram or Pinterest! Also, don’t forget to hop over to Calling It Home to see all of the other amazing room makeovers that are in progress. I can hardly wait until next week, there are going to be so many beautiful room transformations!

I hope to see you all here next week for the big room reveal!

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The Redneck Sunroom – One Room Challenge Week 4

Hello, I’m so glad you popped by! If this is your first visit, welcome! Currently my hubby and I are taking part in Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge and making over our teeny, tiny back entrance over a period of six weeks. To catch up on all the before pictures and design plans, you can see week 1 here, week 2 here and week 3 here.

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The big question is have we made any ACTUAL progress on the room this week, other than just the hopes and dreams that I shared in previous weeks. Oh, and our $15 door. I shared that steal of a deal on week 2. Can’t forget that.

The good news is, yes! I have an actual progress shot to show you! Yay us! The bad news? We are not nearly as far along as we should be if we are going to make the November 10th deadline. I’m not saying we are giving up though! We are still planning on doing our very best to pull this off in time. I know two weeks may seems like a lot of time to some of you. (It’s really more like 11 or 12 days since I have to take after pictures, edit and write the post!) There are definitely hard-core DIYers I know who bang off entire room makeovers in a weekend, we however, are NOT those people. Our DIY journey looks something like this – wife spends ages on Pinterest and blogs, dreaming and scheming up plans, changes her mind a million times, finally decides on a direction, tells dreams to hubby, who brings her back to reality about what may be possible, wife convinces him to push the boundaries of what he thinks is possible, they then work furiously in small bursts of energy, get 70 or even 80% of the way to a completed project, then lose steam or interest and begin next project. Which is one of the reasons why I love the One Room Challenge so much. The posting schedule and deadline gives us some accountability, so that means we actually get stuff done! Like our bathroom makeover we completed for the One Room Challenge last spring. So I am not completely ruling out the possibility of us still having a completed room reveal to share on November 10th. Even if it’s not 100% of the way there, any progress will be an improvement over the before!

So the good news is we have a French door! You might have caught my Instagram story about this, if so, you know how incredibly excited I am to have this installed! There is only the one small kitchen window on the back side of the house to let light into our main living areas, so adding the French door at the back completely changes the space.

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(Don’t mind the mess. The boxes have some hardware I’m spray painting right now for a dresser makeover. You know, because I’m a crazy person who always works on multiple projects at once.)

I know it’s not a showstopper just yet, but it just needs a bit of paint, some new trim and that storm door that is currently blocking half the light needs to be removed. We just have to install some weatherstripping because there are significant gaps between the door and the frame right now. This is the part of DIY that I really don’t like. All the tiny little hang ups that slow down your progress. Those pesky, but necessary items that need to be done before you can move on to the pretty part. I mean – weatherstripping. Yawn. I’m bored just typing it.

I found the door insert on a local online sale site for $80. So in total the door cost us $95. We are reusing the old doorknobs. So $95 is a little more than I originally wanted to spend, but over the cost of a new door (the cheapest I found was Lowe’s for $350), we saved a bundle. Yesterday I sold the door that was here for $35 and as soon as that storm door is removed I will sell it as well. So that brings down the price of the “new” door a lot!

As soon as I saw the new door installed I said to my husband, “It looks like a sunroom in here!” It doesn’t take much to excite me! I realized we have been naming this room all wrong. Foyer always felt a bit too fancy for us. Entrance sounds extremely boring. I could call it the world’s smallest mudroom. Even that is a giant stretch. Then I realized what we really need to call it. The Redneck Sunroom! (Redneck because the room is 3 x 3 1/2 feet.) I told Kyle that once the space is finished, it’s going to be so pretty and full of light that I will carry a tiny chair into that tiny little space and sit there and just admire all of our hard work and drink my morning coffee there. He thinks I’m joking, but I’m totally serious.

Speaking of hard work, we are planning on installing shiplap tomorrow. I can’t wait to show you some progress shots of that next week!

I also stopped by Home Depot today, because I had to pick up some gold spray paint (a staple in my house, I get panicky when I run out of gold, white or black spray paint) and I also picked up some porch and floor paint for the stairs. The risers will be white, and for that I am using just a semi-gloss enamel that I already have in my paint stash. The treads will be black. I just bought the pint size can for $20, so let’s hope it doesn’t take too many coats!

This is the look I am going for.

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Image via Shine Your Light Blog

Beautiful, right? I love the crisp black and white, warmed up with the seagrass runner. For our staircase makeover, the budget is telling me that the runner is going to have to wait for now. Still, the black and white is going to be a huge improvement over what is there right now!

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We have only one direction this makeover can go in, and that’s up! It doesn’t get any grosser than this.

Our To-Do List:

  1. Plank walls and ceiling (after we have figured out the scary scaffolding situation)
  2. Replace trim
  3. Prime and paint walls, ceiling, trim
  4. Prep stairs for paint (rip out old vinyl “runner”, fill major holes, sand)
  5. Prime and paint stairs
  6. Rip out old carpet, install new subfloor on the entrance landing
  7. Install new vinyl floor (we have zero skills here, but fortunately I have the world’s-sweetest-brother who does)
  8. Replace old door with “new” French door
  9. Paint door
  10. Install new light switches (We already own these, we just need to install them!)
  11. Install new light fixture (gift from friend!!!)
  12. Install new hand rail (DIY industrial pipe rail)
  13. Add finishing details (hooks, art, baskets or bins, small shelf?, rug?)

So we crossed off one item this week. Hey, that’s better than nothing. I’m looking on the bright side here, instead of the 12 other items we have to finish over the next couple of weeks!

You can follow along with our progress on Instagram and see more inspiration for this project by following me on Pinterest. Don’t forget to check out all of the other amazing makeovers in progress over at Calling It Home!

See you back here next Thursday!

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Week 3 Already? – One Room Challenge Progress

Hi there, if you are visiting Prairie Girl Home for the first time – welcome! I’m glad you dropped by! To catch up, my name is Kari, I’m from Saskatchewan, Canada and currently my husband and I, along with our sweet little boy are renovating our little 960 square foot bungalow on the prairies, room by room. We are participating in Linda from Calling It Home’s One Room Challenge. We are focusing on transforming our back entrance over a period of six weeks. Well, actually there are only three left!

Click here to see all the super ugly before pics and here to read all about what I have planned for the space.

This is the mood board I created to give you a better idea of the direction we are headed in.

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Well, I won’t keep you in suspense my friends. The title of this post is perhaps a little misleading. It should probably read “Week 3 Already? – One Room Challenge Lack of Progress: An Update On My Complete and Utter Ongoing Failures” – but that seemed a little long, not to mention annoyingly self-deprecating.

Basically, due to me going into week 6 of what I have dramatically named “Cold-Mageddon”, and also due to my sweet five year old coming down with a raging case of the stomach flu we still have not actually started work on the back entrance. However, I’m not writing this to say that I think it’s impossible for us to finish. I mean, you saw the before pictures, this room is tiny – how long can it really take? (I need a sarcasm font. That was meant sarcastically. Just clarifying, in case you mistook me for being a super positive person who thinks this will be a piece of cake. It won’t. Be a piece of a cake. And I’m not. A super positive person. Well, okay, sometimes I am. But not today. Definitely not while suffering through Cold-Mageddon.)

Anyhow, as far as good news goes, my husband now seems completely on board with rigging up the scary scaffolding. So hooray for my sweet hubby, because I am still completely freaked out at even the thought of standing on top of some sort of temporary wood structure held up by only ladders.

Also, I may be eating my words from last week about how I was going to be oh-so-original by installing vertical planking and NOT copy Joanna Gaines, aka JoJo, aka “Queen of shiplap and all things Fixer-Upper and farmhouse style”. I know, I know. Here’s the thing, my husband seems to think with our crooked and wonky walls installing the planks horizontally instead of vertically will somehow be easier. Since I am not the one installing them, I’m not really in a position to argue too much. What? Did you think I was some kind of crazy renovation tyrant who only needs to utter my DIY heart’s desire and poof, my husband makes it a reality? Okay, sometimes that is definitely true. I have it pretty good, I know. But I am completely reasonable (some of the time) and definitely sympathetic (most of the time) to the fact that these things are never as easy as they seem. So, if the hubby says horizontal is easier for him to install and that makes it more likely for him to get this job done for me, I say YES! Thank you! Go for it, honey! I love shiplap! Joanna Gaines is my Decorating Diva! Okay, you get the picture. In all seriousness, I do think that a few years from now we are going to be saying, “Shiplap? That is so 2015.” However, I’m not above jumping on this shiplap bandwagon.

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image Joanna Gaines via Popsugar

And there is no denying that the woman has taste. How completely gorgeous is this? I also love how she never has the nail holes covered up. Everything is just the perfect amount of undone. Even the gaps between the boards are all a bit different, some are slightly wonky and crooked. I love that. Oh, and that gallery wall. I can’t get enough of black and white framed gallery walls. I have one in our main hallway, but can you ever have enough gallery walls? I think not.

In unrelated news, but sort of related, since this involves decorating on a zero budget, like I talked about last week, I finished up an adorable pair of painted side tables to list for sale. Since last week I talked about shopping for deals and selling your old junk in order to finance renovation projects, this week I will share my other method. Buy someone else’s unwanted junk, fix it up until it is pretty and no longer junk, sell for profit, use said profit to pay for renovation projects!

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I’m loving how they turned out! Do you recognize the wallpaper? Yes, I used some of the remnant pieces from our bathroom renovation that we finished up during last spring’s One Room Challenge. I think I love the birch trees even more set against that deep charcoal! So the week wasn’t a complete wash when it comes to projects being completed. If you are local to Regina and interested in purchasing these cuties, shoot me an email or contact me via facebook.

Oh, and in closing, if anyone has any miraculous DIY rug-cleaning tips for me, that would be greatly appreciated. Without getting too graphic on you, my five year old is and always has been absolutely terrified of his own vomit. Poor little dude. So his solution to this fear is to RUN through the house like a crazy person WHILE he throws up. Which means I, as his always patient and loving mother, have the tremendous joy of following him around the house armed with cleaning supplies, chucking everything I can into the washing machine and scrubbing down what remains. Rugs can’t go in the washing machine. I scrubbed it down as best I could, but I really have my doubts as to how clean it is now. Also, considering that I am currently suffering through my own Cold-Mageddon, I can only tolerate so much scrubbing. Obviously there is one very simple solution to my problem.

Buy a new rug.

Yes, I knew it. Thank you. I just needed that validation to pull the trigger on the IKEA sisal I’ve been coveting for several years now. Ignore the request for cleaning tips. Problem solved. #joking #notjoking #okayjoking

So I’m hoping that by this time next week we have some amazing progress pictures to share! We can totally do this, right? Right. Three weeks is plenty of time.

In the meantime, head over to Calling It Home to check out the other completely amazing featured designers to see how their One Room Challenge makeovers are coming along, as well as the 200+ guest participants. Don’t forget you can keep up to date with any makeover plans and progress by following me on Pinterest and Instagram! Hope to see you all here next week!

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How to Score Deals and Decorate on a Budget – One Room Challenge Week 2

Is it really time for the week 2 update on our One Room Challenge makeover? I feel like I blinked and a week flew by!

If you are just tuning in, last week I shared that we are making over our teeny, tiny back entrance. Feel free to use the word “foyer” if you are feeling especially fancy today.

Here is the design board I shared last week, revealing some of my ideas and plans for the space.

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I wish I could show you some progress shots, but the space looks exactly the same as it did last week. Just to remind you, here it is in all it’s forest green, nasty carpet, floral wallpaper, bare lightbulb and cracked drywall glory.

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We really have our work cut out for us in the next few weeks if we are going to finish this space in time for the November 10th reveal!

The good news is that even though I don’t have any actual progress pictures to share, I did make some progress in nailing down some design details.

The first piece of news is that we have a light fixture! Shortly after I posted our plans last week, a very sweet friend texted me that she had read my post and had a light fixture very similar to the one in my design board. She said that it didn’t fit her space and she wasn’t planning on using it. I tried to offer her something for it, but she made some excuse about not being able to return it anyhow and insisted that if I loved it, I should have it. What a complete sweetheart, right? The world definitely needs more people like her! I graciously said thank you and told her we would have her and her sweet hubby over for a meal soon. (I’m not sure why I thought that would be a proper way to say thank you, considering that cooking is not exactly where my talents lie. Let’s just say, you won’t be seeing any recipe posts on this blog. Unless it’s of the “how-to-throw-together-a-meal-in-ten-minutes-or-less-so-that-you-have-more-time-for-decorating” variety. Hey, one can’t be good at everything. It’s not like I’ve ever given anyone food poisoning or anything. Oh wait… there was that one time. Does it count if it was your husband though? I poisoned myself in the process as well. Nobody died, no harm done. Just a good memory to laugh about now. It’s been a good 11 years or so since I poisoned anyone. So that’s progress, right? I don’t let it stop me from entertaining. Although anyone who reads this may be a little hesitant to come over for dinner. Please come! I promise not to kill you with my cooking!) The main point is this – we have beautiful, kind-hearted friends and we have a light fixture! The one in the design board above is from Lowe’s. My original plan was to try to DIY something similar. This is the one that my friend is giving me.

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Canadian Tire

Gorgeous, right? Elegant, yet casual. Farmhouse, yet chic. I think it’ll be a showstopper!

Next up, the search for a French door. What I learned in my online shopping this week is that French doors are pricey. As in, I would far rather save that money for a plane ticket to France than dish out $420 for a fiberglass door with plastic grills set inside the glass. Considering my budget for this project started as zero dollars (more on that later), I needed to find a fantastic deal. I scoured our local used sites, but came up with nothing. Earlier in the week I checked our local Habitat for Humanity Restore and they did have an exterior door in the right size with a solid glass insert. The problem was it was still priced at $150 and I would have had to DIY some sort of moulding to make it look like a French door. It wasn’t the major score I was hoping for. I didn’t want to spend a small fortune, but I really was hoping for a French door. I know that it will be a huge game changer in this small, dark space. Then today my husband stopped by the Restore and texted me this photo.

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It was the right size, the handle is on the correct side and I don’t know if you can see that tiny price tag, but it says $15. Fifteen. Dollars. Yes. Ding, ding, ding! We found our fantastic deal! We still need to find the glass insert, but I’ve got a couple of leads so I’ll keep you posted.

Last week I talked about how I wanted some sort of “wood” paneling in the space. “Wood” in quotations because, well, tight budget. So it will probably be MDF or low grade plywood ripped into 6 inch planks. I’m not completely ruling out the super trendy shiplap, but I’m just afraid that I’m going to tire of it quickly. I’m leaning towards vertical paneling, I think it’s a more classic cottage look.

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via zillow

I love this inspiration image. The planked ceiling is perfectly imperfect. It looks like it’s been there for several decades, when really, this could have been done recently. It might be a little funny that I enjoy renovating our home with the goal to make it look beat up and old. I’m sure I confuse my husband to no end, but he’s used to it by now.

The only problem is that while our entrance is a very tiny space, the wall space in the stairwell is really tall. Which means that we have to rig up some sort of scaffolding. That part I’m not looking forward to. Stay tuned!

So I keep talking about doing this project on a tight budget, with the goal being zero dollars. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I’m either completely delusional or extremely bad at math or possibly both. Let me explain how I budget for renovation projects. My goal is always to not spend any money from our regular income. We need that money to pay for pesky things like our mortgage, utilities, food, gas… you get the picture. Necessary items, for which I’m very grateful we are in a position to pay for. Are they as much fun as buying used French doors and paint and plywood that we can rip into pieces and nail to our walls? No. No, they are not.  My philosophy is that if you are starting with at least something in the space you want to renovate, after deciding what you can keep in the space, sell anything else in the space that will help you finance the renovation. What is trash to you is someone else’s treasure. When I get tired of my decor, if I can’t change what I already own with paint (oh, the power of paint!!!) then I sell it. Sell your junk, so you can buy some new junk. Or buy some “new-to-you” junk. It works! In our case, this entrance is pretty bare, but I’m sure we can get some cash for both the door and the storm door that are in there right now. Since we are buying a used French door, bam, that part of the reno will be covered. Don’t ever think no one else will want your old stuff. Sell anything you have around the house that you’re not using anymore. Just today I sold an old purse for $5. It was almost ten years old and I hadn’t used it in at least a year. It was time to let it go to someone else. It took me all of three minutes to post it on a local used app and some lovely lady came right to my front door, took the purse off my hands and handed me five bucks. Win/win.

Obviously this method won’t always work when you have major renovations to do that will end up costing thousands. Still, there are lots of other ways to save money on a renovation, but I’ll leave you with just the one tip for today. Sell your old junk to help pay for new junk!

Oh and I already put that $5 towards this makeover. Check out this cute little bag I found at Homesense.

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This is in our front entrance. I have this thing for black and white. And wallpaper. And florals. And gold. And anything cottage/farmhouse/vintage. Okay, so this bag. Five dollars, adorable cotton, cute print, black and white – I couldn’t resist. It will look super cute styled in our finished space. Imagine it hanging on a hook, maybe beside a plaid flannel scarf and jean jacket. It will look like I just got home from a lovely stroll to the local farmer’s market on a gorgeous fall day, where I picked up a few veggies, some handmade organic soap, a fresh baguette and a few fresh sprigs of greenery. The reality will be that I’m makeup-less, in yoga pants, we don’t actually own any organic soap, our veggies are mostly from the grocery store, I never buy baguette’s because I’m gluten-free and this is fake dollar store greenery that I’ve had for ages. But you get the idea. Decorating tells a story, even if that story is sometimes imaginary. As long as it brings a smile to your face, that’s all that counts.

I do have some plans for some extremely practical additions to the space as well! Stay tuned for those.

Here is our To-Do List:

  1. Plank walls and ceiling (after we have figured out the scary scaffolding situation)
  2. Replace trim
  3. Prime and paint walls, ceiling, trim
  4. Prep stairs for paint (rip out old vinyl “runner”, fill major holes, sand)
  5. Prime and paint stairs
  6. Rip out old carpet, install new subfloor on the entrance landing
  7. Install new vinyl floor (we have zero skills here, but fortunately I have the world’s-sweetest-brother who does)
  8. Replace old door with “new” French door
  9. Paint door
  10. Install new light fixture
  11. Install new hand rail (DIY industrial pipe rail)
  12. Add finishing details (hooks, art, baskets or bins, small shelf?, rug?)

Not too bad, right? In the meantime, follow along with my makeover on Instagram and hop over to Pinterest to see more of my plans and ideas for this space!

Be sure to head over to Calling It Home to see all of the other fabulous room makeovers happening in blogland right now! There are also twenty featured designers that post their room makeovers every Wednesday, so be sure to check them out as well. There is so much inspiration and so many room reveals to look forward to in a few weeks time!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Our Glam Cottage Foyer – One Room Challenge Week 1

All right friends, it’s that time again. It’s One Room Challenge time! The time of year when a group of design bloggers declare ourselves certifiably psychotic because we VOLUNTARILY sign up to complete one room in our homes over a period of just six weeks, while documenting our success (or failure, gulp) online for you all to read about! The challenge is hosted by Linda from Calling It Home, so be sure to head over there afterward to check out all of the other room makeovers that are now underway.

If this is your first visit to Prairie Girl Home, welcome! My name is Kari, I’m from Saskatchewan, Canada and I live in a small fixer-upper along with my sweet husband, who gladly supports me in all my crazy DIY shenanigans, and our sweet little boy, who despite being only in Preschool likes to spend time helping his mama ”decowate”.

I joined this challenge last spring and we tackled our very tiny 1950’s time-warp bathroom. Click here to see how we transformed our dated pink bath into a black and white chic cottage retreat. (Yes, I just called a bathroom a “retreat”. Come on. Vacations are few and far between, so half an hour in a bubble bath with a good book is definitely a bit of a retreat for this mama!)

For this makeover we will be tackling our back foyer and staircase. Now, I may sometimes refer to this room as the “foyer”, but you must know that while I am typing it I am actually saying it sarcastically in my mock “uppity girl” accent (think Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey). The truth is, calling this room a foyer is a bit of stretch. Actually, calling it a “room” is a bit of stretch! I just measured and the floor space, not including the stairs is 3’6” x 3’2”. Yes. It’s tiny! If there were a prize for smallest space tackled during the One Room Challenge, I might win it. You’re probably wondering how hard this makeover can actually be when the space is so small. Well, just have a look at these before pictures. Are your eyes ready for some UGLY?

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Hang on. It’s about to get worse.

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Yes, that is carpet. In an entrance. What are those giant stains you ask? Oh, that would be paint. From the previous owner? No. From me. Guilty, as charged. I use this space for a lot of small projects, especially in winter when I want to spray paint. Then I can prop the door open for air and I don’t have to worry about overspray because you can’t destroy what is already ugly! Completely logical thinking, right? That large white stain is from the spring One Room Challenge, when I was painting my DIY tree stump side table. I spilled half a can of paint. At 3am. Good times. (I truly must be crazy to sign up for this again!!!)

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Yuck. I know. Can you believe that we use these stairs every single day? Even though the basement is unfinished, our laundry is downstairs, as well as an office and TV area. Oh yes, and my hoard of junk extremely organized collection of various DIY and decor items not currently in use. We generally use the front door for going in and out, but this is how we access our yard and garage. So the space is well used.

Here’s where it goes from gross to downright frightening. As if unfinished basements aren’t dark and dingy enough to begin with, the forest green makes it feel like you are walking down into a deep, dark abyss you may never find your way out of. No wonder I despise going downstairs to do laundry! (It obviously has nothing to do with the fact that I just don’t like laundry and everything to do with the decor.)

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The previous owner had a deep and abiding love for this particular colour. I haven’t shared our kitchen renovation with you yet, but our laminate counters were forest green. I painted them black. They are now one million percent better than they were before. That’s the amazing power of paint. The ability to improve things by one million percent. Why have I waited so long to paint this space? It is definitely time to say goodbye to the forest green for good! The floral wallpaper border will be going as well. You can see where I halfheartedly started peeling part of it off.

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What do you think of our fancy lighting? Impressive, I know. Really, there is nowhere to go but up with this makeover!

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Severely damaged, beat up, cracked, dirty, worn, ripped and just plain ugly do not even begin to describe this space. The only update we ever did to the space was paint the inside of the back door a sleek black. (Dark Secret by CIL) The worse the before pictures, the better the after, right?

Oh, and did I mention you can see this space from our front entrance and from our main living areas?

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This is the view when you first walk in our home. I shared this picture to Instagram, but I edited it in black and white because I was trying to hide the ugliness that is the back entrance. (Okay, I tried, I really did, but I can’t type “foyer” without laughing. We obviously aren’t “foyer” people. We are definitely simply plain old “entrance” people!)

I’m going to throw in a “before the before” pic. This is a slightly different angle than the pic above, but you get the general idea. This is with the previous owner’s furniture.

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We’ve come a long way, but we have a little more work to do yet!

Okay, enough of the ugly before pics. Are you ready to see the design plan?

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The items you see in my design board are not necessarily the exact items I will be using, since a lot of this makeover is going to depend on what I can find on sale or used and what I can DIY, but this gives you a general idea of the direction I am headed.

The one item I really don’t want to leave out is the french door. Here in Saskatchewan, we have very long, cold winters. What we do get though, is a decent amount of sun. The problem is we definitely don’t have enough windows on the back side of our house to allow the light in. I am really hoping we can find one in the size we need at the Habitat Restore or elsewhere used. I really think it will be a game changer in this space!

I am sticking with the same palette we have used in the rest of the house – a heavy dose of black and white, with touches of wood, natural texture (think woven baskets, sisal rugs), and maybe a touch of gold. My style is a mix of farmhouse, cottage, industrial and vintage, with a bit of traditional mixed in there. That wasn’t confusing at all, right? I like to call my style “Glam Cottage”, but really it’s always changing. That’s what keeps it fun!

Here are a few spaces that are inspiring me.

Image via Hammersmith Atlanta

I just love the crisp black and white! It never goes out of style.

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I couldn’t find the source for the image above, so if anyone knows where it’s from, please let me know and I will edit it. I’m just in love with the wide floor to ceiling board and battens, set closer together than you usually see. Together with those gorgeous black and white frames and the industrial farmhouse sconces, set against that warm wood – ah! So striking.

Image via Houzz

Isn’t that industrial pipe hand rail awesome? I also love the classic vertical planking. I think it has more longevity over the more trendy shiplap that we see everywhere right now. (I love you Joanna Gaines, but you’re just too dang good and now every woman in North America wants to be you!!!)

Next week I will be back with more details about how we will be finishing off this space on a very tiny budget. This is where creativity, elbow grease and being a hoarder of all things DIY come in handy! If you would like to see updates along the way, follow me on Instagram. I also created a Pinterest board just for this makeover, so if you are a lover of Pinterest like I am, you can check that out.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you here next Thursday!

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Our Simple Summer Dining Room

I am so excited to be sharing our summer dining room with you all today! Since summer is in full swing I have joined a group of talented bloggers to share how we refreshed our homes for the summer months. The links are shared at the bottom of this post, be sure to check out all of the beautiful summer rooms and projects!

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For this room refresh, I decorated our summer table with a lot of natural elements and my signature palette of black and white. Hey, black and white are definitely colours! The heavy doses of white feel light and airy and help our relatively small home feel much larger than it really is. The touches of black ground the space and add drama. The small hits of gold and the natural wood and bamboo elements keep things from feeling too cold or sterile. I added quite a bit of greenery, which really makes the space feel fresh for summer!

For this summer refresh, I only used items I already had on hand. The table runner is a simple canvas drop cloth. This is a really affordable way to add big impact! Having the runner fall to the floor adds elegance and a touch of drama.

The two main centerpieces are just candlesticks that I have had forever (okay, not forever, but they were a wedding gift, so over ten years), that I spray painted white. I balanced white teacup saucers on top and added dollar store greenery on top of those. I secured each piece with foam tape. That’s it! They add so much impact, for such a small amount of work and very little money!

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The rest of the table-setting is made up of mason and pasta jars, rocks and small white candles. When you are trying to decorate on a budget, always think about using multiples of items. Just one or two mason jars would have had very little impact. Add a dozen though, and you’ve made a statement.

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The place settings were so simple to create. These are our everyday dishes, from Ikea. (I love these plates, but if you are considering purchasing, just keep in mind they chip very easily!) The cloth napkins I have had for a few years. I just love that little “bon appetit” peeking out from beneath the salad plate. I clipped the rosemary from our backyard garden and tied it together with simple jute twine.

The “love lives here” word art was a very simple DIY. It took all of maybe 20 minutes. My love for sharpie pens knows no bounds!

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Our built-in cabinetry is probably the feature I love the most in our dining room. Styling the shelves is somewhat challenging, but with practice it’s becoming one of my favourite things!

I love the small and slightly sentimental details that come with old pieces. The center chair came with the house. The previous owners left it behind. She was just sitting there, in the basement, beside the washer, very old and slightly neglected. After a bit of love and attention, she is shining again! I love that it’s a small piece of the history of the house that gets to live on. It’s the little things. The small bentwood chair was handed down to me from my cousin, when I was a teen and I’ve carried it with me to every home since! The larger bentwood chair was one of my first thrift store finds just after my husband and I were married. I was 21, we were poor and I was hunting for two thrifted chairs to go with our hand-me-down table and the two other wood chairs we already owned. I remember thinking that $15 was a bit much for one chair, but I went for it, thinking it still had a long life ahead of it. I was right!

bench

The farmhouse bench was found on a local online used site . I saw it pop up for $40 and didn’t hesitate to buy it! Our table is from Ikea, but we purchased it from a local used site at a fraction of the resale price.

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The greenery you see in the white vase on our kitchen island were clipped from the small tree in our front yard. Some of the best decor is straight from the outdoors!

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Our main living areas are very open concept. When we bought our house, we made tearing down the walls that separated the kitchen from the dining and living room a priority. I really love open concept living, but it also means that our home can very quickly feel cluttered and messy! Keeping our colour palette very neutral keeps things feeling calm, even when a bit of mess builds up.

windowseat

I have always wanted a window seat and now we have one! Do you want to know a little decorating secret? That little pillow you see there is just wrapped with a tea towel. I didn’t even bother pinning it in place. Sometimes you just want a quick fix!

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Seeing all of that black and white, along with the pops of summer green just makes me so happy!

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Sources

Thank you so much for stopping by! Please feel free to leave a comment below! Don’t forget to visit the other talented ladies who will be sharing their summer home refreshes today, tomorrow and Sunday on their blogs. The links are provided below. I’m sure you will find so much inspiration for your own home!

Be sure to check us out on Instagram as well, with the hashtag #summerhomerefresh. You can find me there under @prairiegirlhome.

 

 

Summer Home Refresh

Friday

Honey N Hydrangea

Bees N Burlap

Simple Cozy Charm

Hip Hip Home

Belle Amour Designs

Hood Creek Log Cabin

Prairie Girl Home

Saturday

The Creative Nook

The Home I Create

A House With Books

1111 Light Lane

Joyfully Rooted

Bright Yellow Door

Sunday

Gratefully Vintage

Farmhouse For Five

Love Your Abode

My Sunset Avenue

One Horse Lane

Little Home Reloved

*Please note, some affiliate links are used. This means that when you purchase an item through one of these affiliate links, you receive the same great price and Prairie Girl Home receives a small commission. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. Thank you for your support!

 

 

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Our Cottage Glam Bathroom – Source List and Budget Breakdown

pinterest bathroom collage

Hello! Today I wanted to share a detailed source list and budget breakdown of our completed Cottage Glam bathroom. It has been just over two months since we finished up this makeover and we are still so in love with how it turned out! It was a lot of work, but so worth it. The One Room Challenge was just the push I needed to tackle this little room. If you missed the reveal, you probably want to check out that post right here.

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The goal with this makeover, was to update the space and give it a fresh look, without doing a full renovation. We hoped to improve the space dramatically, without spending a lot of money. I feel like we definitely met our goal!

Call me nosy, but when I read about someone’s renovation or makeover, I am always curious what their actual cost was. This is especially the case if they are doing the project on a tight budget! Hopefully you find this post helpful in planning your own bathroom makeover. Here is a breakdown for you of how much a small renovation like this might cost you. If no price is listed, this is because I already owned the item. I have included links to the actual items I purchased for this makeover, as well as some similar items. All prices are in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise noted.

Also, even though I named the sources and included links for most of the accessories, I did not include these in the final cost of the renovation. I only included fixed items that would remain with the house if we ever were to sell it. If I missed any sources you are curious about, just ask in the comments!

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  • Acrylic “Glass” and Chrome Knobs – already owned, found on local used site | same
  • “Rose Petal & Vanilla” Bar Soap – Marshall’s – $4.99 | cute option | gift set of 4, beautiful packaging
  • White 4×6 Frame – IKEA Ribba (already owned) – DIY scrapbook paper quote
  • Small White Frame – Michael’s – $1.50 – DIY Chalkboard M using black card stock and chalk
  • Ceramic Tray/Soap Dish – Michael’s – $1.50
  • Cream Bar Soap – Dollarama – $1
  • Mason Jars – (owned, spray painted lids in Rustoleum’s flat black)

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  • Birch Tree Wallpaper – Bouclair Home – $39.99 x 3 = $119.97 (I LOVE this wallpaper, but just FYI it was very thin and ripped easily, which made it difficult to apply. We ended up using way more wallpaper than we should have needed to, increasing our cost, simply because so many pieces ripped during installation and we had to throw away those pieces.) | similar
  • Towel Hooks – Home Depot – $ 5.98 x 4 = $23.92 – chrome (black not online) | similar
  • Black and White Turkish Linens – (I already owned these. I LOVE these towels, they dry so quick, are super absorbent, gorgeous and a great price considering they are the real deal, straight from Turkey! When ordering, just say you want the same towels as Kari from Prairie Girl Home) – Burlap, Linen & Lace | similar | similar
  • Black Frames – Dollarama – $3 x 3 = $9 | similar
  • Artwork – Secret Paris Color Your Way to Calm (I chose light pink and charcoal grey pencil crayons) – $11.02 (already owned)

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  • White MDF Shelf – Rubbermaid – $15.38 (We could have saved money here and used a piece of wood from our stash, but we ran out of time to get it cut and painted, so I took the easy route and bought a pre-cut, painted shelf)
  • Brackets – Rubbermaid – $9.88 x 2 = $19.76
  • Large White Bath Towels – gift, already owned | similar
  • White Basket – (from Home Outfitter’s, ten years ago) | similar
  • Terracotta Planter – Dollarama – already owned, painted white
  • Faux Plant – IKEA – already owned
  • White Antler Hook – Bouclair Home – $19.99 | another option | cute single hook

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  • Bathtub Tray  – Michael’s unfinished wood plank plaque – $13.19 (with coupon) – I found this in the aisle with the other unfinished wood projects, removed the twine attached for hanging, painted it with some leftover gloss white paint and added some rubber feet so it would sit snug on my bathtub. Easy peasy! This would be easy to DIY if you have some leftover wood and then just paint or stain and poly, whichever you prefer. Again, I was running short of time at the end of the One Room Challenge and it was easier to just buy the piece ready made, all I had to do was paint.
  • Teacup – Homesense – $4.99 | pretty option | modern option
  • Scrub-brush – Dollarama – $3 | similar
  • Ceramic Tray – Michael’s – $1.50

Chandelier Before and After

Remember the steal-of-a-deal $5 chandelier I found on a local used site? One of the best lessons you can ever learn when it comes to home DIY is never underestimate the power of paint! It is the cheapest, easiest and often the most dramatic way to update ANYTHING. Walls, floors, furniture, accessories, light fixtures – nothing is off limits when it comes to paint! For this little chandelier, we removed the wiring and sockets, since it was going in the shower, where there is no electrical box. Then I painted it with a can of Rustoleum and added some faux candles. Easy and affordable – two of my favourite things when it comes to DIY!

  • Chandelier – found on local used site, stripped the wiring and spray painted black – $5
  • Battery Operated Faux Candles – Michael’s – $14.99 (with coupon) | another option with a timer

  • Clock – IKEA – about 15 years old, painted the frame black | cute and affordable option
  • Black Curtain Rod – JYSK – $29.99
  • Black Curtain Rings – JYSK – $9.98
  • Sink Skirt – fabric reused from old shower curtain
  • Velcro Strips for attaching to sink – Dollarama – $1
  • Privacy Window Film – Home Depot – $10.97 (we have tons of leftovers)

Materials

  • Pine Wood Planks – (already owned)
  • MDF Trim – (already owned)
  • Baseboards – existing
  • Lattice Trim and Quarter Round for medicine cabinet makeover – (already owned)
  • Miscellaneous – TSP, caulk, painter’s tape, corner trim piece, No Nail’s adhesive – $45.00

Paint

  • Primer – Gripper –  FREE (buy one, get one sale) – $15 (quart) – used on linoleum floor and shower ceramic tile (so far, this is holding up great!!!)
  • Floor Paint – leftover interior paint – (I mixed Behr’s Ultra White and Glidden’s Whiter Shade, eggshell finish)
  • Primer – Zinsser Bull’s Eye 1, 2, 3 – $13.99 – used on wainscoting and medicine cabinet
  • Benjamin Moore Advance – Chantilly Lace, pearl finish (already owned from kitchen reno, but used about a 1/3 gallon) – used on wainscoting, medicine cabinet and shower tile
  • Ceiling Paint – CIL – Chantilly Lace, flat – $19.99 (quart)
  • Door Paint – Dulux Melamine Alkyd – CIL Dark Secret (already owned)
  • Door Knob – original to the house, spray painted in Rustoleum Metallic Gold (already owned)

Total

The total cost of materials and fixtures was $517.95. We were also able to sell some of the original fixtures and accessories on local used sites. This is a great way to bring down the cost of a project! Don’t forget that what is “old and used” to you, might be just what someone else is looking for. People are often looking for secondhand bathroom fixtures for their rental properties or summer cabins. It doesn’t hurt to try! Our total proceeds from sales was over $90! This would have been higher if I hadn’t of accidentally dropped and shattered the toilet tank lid, which made it impossible for me to then sell the toilet! This brought our total renovation cost down to $427.95.

The total cost of accessories was $176.38. Again, for the purposes of this post I only included the cost of the materials and fixtures that would stay with the house if we were to sell. This gives you an idea of how much you could save doing a simple update using a lot of DIY and creativity, verses doing a traditional full bathroom renovation.

pinterest bathroom collage

When I first added up the total cost of this makeover, I was a little disappointed. I had kind of hoped the cost would come in around $300. However, as so often happens in renovations, we went a bit over our original goal. The biggest costs were the new toilet, at $110 and the wallpaper at $120. I am so happy we replaced the toilet, the old off-white one would have stood out like a sore thumb. The wallpaper, even though it cost us a bit more than we had originally calculated because of the installation problems, was totally worth it. I think it makes the bathroom! A can of paint would have been a lot more affordable, but I’m so happy we splurged on the wallpaper. Although, if you read my week two progress, you know that wallpaper can really be a huge expense. Some of my inspiration wallpaper choices from that post would have cost a lot more than the cost of our entire renovation total!

Budget Renovation Tips

If you are hoping to do a similar update to your bathroom, here are some of my biggest money-saving tips.

  • DIY! DIY! DIY! Do as much of the work yourself as you possibly can. Almost anyone can paint. If you don’t know what you’re doing, look for a tutorial online! Be smart though and know when to hire out a job that’s beyond your skill set.
  • Shop around for sales, clearance items, use coupons, go to yard sales, check local used sites for deals, check for curb-side or back alley finds.
  • Shop your house! Use what you already have. You’d be surprised what you might have stashed away in your garage or basement that you can reuse. What you were once tired of, can feel completely new and fresh with a coat of paint!
  • Try to update instead of replace, wherever possible. In this renovation we kept the sink, bathtub, shower tile, medicine cabinet and even the old vinyl flooring. The drywall, baseboards, trim and window are all original. Everything feels fresh and new once we painted it, (even that old shower tile and vinyl flooring!), and the pink sink and tub are now beautiful character pieces, instead of ugly eyesores.
  • When you do need to replace, try to keep plumbing and fixtures in the same position. We saved money by keeping the light fixture in its original location, and simply replacing the dated fixture.  If you are doing a full renovation, a lot of money can be saved by keeping tubs, toilets, sinks and light fixtures where they originally were.
  • Spend your money where it will make the biggest impact. In our bathroom makeover we chose a statement making birch tree wallpaper, but one that was still budget-friendly and only installed it on the upper third of the walls. At $120, it came to nearly 30% of our small budget, but it packs a big punch! I don’t think the makeover would have been the same without it.

Overall, I’m really proud of the transformation we were able to achieve. When you consider that the average bathroom renovation in Canada costs $9,100 – well I am very pleased with our total of $427! We just saved ourselves $8,600! Of course, ours was really an update, rather than a full remodel. I am still confident that this update will last us for many years. The goal was to improve on what we had originally. We did that, and so much more! We are in love with our little bathroom remodel on a budget!

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Some affiliate links are used. This means that when you purchase an item through one of these affiliate links, you receive the same great price and Prairie Girl Home receives a small commission. Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

 

 

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