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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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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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 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!

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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.

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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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One Room Challenge Week 6 – A Glam Cottage Bathroom Reveal

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We made it. I almost can’t believe it, but we survived. Making over one room in six weeks was chaotic at times, to say the least, but so worth it. I am so excited to share with you today our newly completed cottage glam bathroom makeover!

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Just to refresh your memory, or if this is your first visit to Prairie Girl Home, here is what we started with.

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My challenge was to update this space, without doing a full demo and renovation. That meant we were keeping the original 1955 pink bathtub and sink! I’ll be completely honest, I wasn’t even sure until a couple of days ago that I was going to be happy with the results. You see, at first I thought this tub and sink were a cute shade of blush pink. Nope. They are dusty rose. Blush pink is like an adorable, trendy and fun twenty-something girl, while dusty rose is the shy and slightly uncool sister. I kept going though, hoping that with all of the black, white and grey shades going into this bathroom, the dusty rose would somehow grow into the mature, subtle and elegant lady that she is. I was right. The ugly duckling grew up into a beautiful swan.

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I’m in love, you guys. Love. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this little space. That sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, but hey, I’ve think I’ve earned a little tooting rights. Wait… that didn’t sound right. Let’s blame it on the fatigue. Over the last week, we poured our blood, sweat and tears into this little bathroom makeover. More work happened in the last week, than the other five combined! I told you, I’m a horrible procrastinator, but that also means I’ve learned to work well under pressure.

Today, I will try to talk less so we can focus on all the pretty pictures! I will come back next week with a complete source list and budget breakdown. I love when people share their budgets, so I’m opening up and sharing! There were also a lot of DIY projects in this little room, so I will be back to share a few tutorials for those as well.

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I’m still amazed at how our medicine cabinet transformation turned out. The power of trim and paint, so simple, yet so powerful!

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I had planned on sewing an adorable sink skirt, with either neat and tidy pleats or ruffles or gathers, but time got the best of me. Instead, I used our old shower curtain and some dollar store velcro adhesive to hobble together this sink skirt. For 15 minutes of work and maybe 2 dollars in materials, it’s a huge improvement over the before!

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I just love our new little faucet. The only items in the bathroom that were actually updated were the faucet, the light fixture and the toilet. I’m so glad we made those choices, because I think all three things go a long way to updating the space.

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The new white toilet is awesome! Who knew I could be so excited about a toilet? We looked for a used white toilet in decent condition, but our search came up short. So we bought the least expensive one we could find and I’m so glad we decided to take the plunge. (Oh my. I didn’t even plan that one. Help me. I need sleep!) Okay, moving on. The white is so clean and fresh, the old beige one would have been such an eye sore next to all our new pretty white trim. I also love that it’s just a regular height, round bowl toilet. Life is about the little things and a white, regular toilet makes this girl happy!

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The light fixture I had planned for the space ended up not fitting in the space.  I had a backup option in mind at Lowe’s, but they were out of stock. The lovely gentleman in charge of the lighting department though, was kind enough to sell me the display model! It was brown, so I gave it quick coat of black spray paint. (Don’t look too closely at my spray job, drips are what happen when you rush spray painting!) We actually had to hang it upside down, or we would not have been able to access the bulb. The look has really grown on me! I love the wire cage. The matte black looks so good against our new grey and white birch tree wallpaper.

Oh, the wallpaper. I have this thing for wallpaper. I love it. However, my poor mom, who so lovingly offered to install it for me and who is an extremely talented DIY woman herself and has applied wallpaper probably dozens of times, had a horrible time with this paper. Unfortunately, it was paper thin and ripped very easily. She persevered though and got the job done. It looks amazing! I think it’s the real showstopper in this little bathroom.

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This might be one of my favourite views. I have a lot of favourites, but those turkish linen towels (which are amazing, by the way), against the bright white wainscoting, with the thick trim and our new sleek black hooks, set against that gorgeous wallpaper with those sharp black frames and DIY art – love, I tell you. Love.

Speaking of DIY art. I had a few ideas for this spot, but I never know what will work until I see it all come together at the end. So one of my last minute DIY projects were putting together this cute little trio. The frames are from the dollar store. The pages are from my “Secret Paris” adult colouring book. I just realized how that may have sounded. Adult, as in, us old people can colour too and not adult, as in, hide from your children’s eyes. (Although, come to think of it, I do hide my book from my kiddo, as well as my good pencil crayons, because a mama has to have some things just for herself!) I just used pink and grey pencil crayons to give the prints just a touch of colour. I love how they turned out!

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Another last minute DIY art project, was this cute little chalkboard frame I whipped up.

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I decided it might be a good idea for me to label the doors in our house. I plan on making matching ones for our bedrooms and our office. You know, just in case we get lost in our 960 square foot mansion.

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Oh, and that cute little toilet paper stand? Eight dollars. I found it used online. It was oil rubbed bronze, but that’s nothing a little spray paint couldn’t fix.

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This little tray was another last minute addition. I had planned on making one, but I ran out of time. Then I was in the unfinished wood aisle at Michael’s, and saw this little wood sign. A little white paint and it made the perfect little bathtub tray. I have always wanted one of those! Honestly, one of favourite ways to unwind is with a hot bubble bath, a good book and a cup of tea. So in addition to looking pretty, this will actually get a lot of use!

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I searched for a few accessories in dusty rose, to tie in the tub and sink. Do you know how many accessories there are in dusty rose? Not many. I’ll tell you that. Blush pink, like I said, is the trendier, cool sister. But check out that adorable little dusty rose teacup! Gorgeous. So there you go, dusty rose for the win.

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We have to talk about the stump side table. I’m so happy I made time for this little DIY project. My plans for it changed a few times. After a complete disaster with some grey stain, that they should really just call, “extremely ugly shade of grey paint”, I just decided to go back to plan A and paint it white. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. That little split in wood at the side? Perfection.

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I’m also a little obsessed with that adorable little milk jug vase. Again, the vase is a Michael’s find that I transformed with a little chalk paint. That adorable little apple blossom I cut from the tiny apple tree we planted last fall in our backyard. Yes, I love it so much, I kept on moving that cute little vase into almost every shot. Can you blame me?

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The little shelf above the door was another project we finished up at the eleventh hour. I’m so glad we did. In a small bathroom, this is a great way to squeeze in a little extra storage. Storage, OR more display space for cute accessories! Either way, it’s great.

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Okay, now that I look at this, I want to move that little antler hook down about an inch and a half. Although, it is very sharp. It wouldn’t be a good thing if it ended up poking my tall hubby in the eye. All right, it can stay where it is.

All of the black and white just makes my heart go pitter patter. I have this thing for black and white. It gets me. Every, single, time.

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Remember the $5 used chandelier I shared with you on week two? Not bad for five bucks, eh? Spray paint can work miracles, my friends, miracles. Those are battery operated candles, by the way. So no need to worry about electrical and water mixing, or flames falling on our head whilst we bathe. That would be sad. Safety first.

A few more details.

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My husband says one of his favourite things about the makeover is that we hung the curtain rod at the ceiling. I agree, it does make the room feel taller. I also think that using a pair of curtains, instead of just one, frames the tub so nicely.

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I don’t think I can pick a favourite thing. Seriously, I’m in love with all of it!

I think what I learned with this renovation, is that if you have something you consider to be an eyesore, like a pink bathtub, but have very little money to change it, that doesn’t mean the room still can’t be beautiful. I knew we could make it better, but really, I had no idea that I would love the transformation this much!

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Let’s remind ourselves how far we came with a few before and after shots, because who doesn’t love a good before and after?

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I am so happy we painted that old tile! It was a big job, but wow. That bright white tile looks almost new.

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Floor Before and After

Yes, I painted the old linoleum floor! I’ll be back to share a few details on that DIY. If you recall, I did end up ordering some new vinyl, but sadly, it did not arrive in time. I have to say though, if I had not have already ordered it, I may have ended up just keeping this painted floor. Huge improvement, right?

It’s hard to believe we lived with the ugly before for nearly two years! Although, considering the amount of work that went into this makeover, I can believe it. Hours and hours went into this tiny little room. Was it worth it? Most definitely!!!

Now after all of that hard work, I think I’ve earned myself a nice hot bubble bath!

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If you would like to get fully caught up on this transformation, here are the previous One Room Challenge posts.

Week One – Our Cottage Bathroom Makeover

Week Two – Our Cottage Bathroom Design

Week Three – Cottage Bathroom Progress

Week Four – Trim, Paint And Other Progress

Week Five – The Home Stretch

I will update this post with links to any future posts related to this makeover. Stay tuned for the full source list and budget breakdown coming next week!

I want to say a huge thank you to my sweet husband and my loving mom who helped out with this little makeover. I couldn’t have done it without them!

Another huge thanks to Linda, of Calling It Home, for creating and hosting the One Room Challenge! I’m so glad I took the leap and jumped into blogging, starting with this challenge. So far, blogging has been a huge creative outlet for me and I am loving it! If you haven’t had a chance to check out the makeover reveals that the featured designers shared yesterday, you can do so here. All of the other guest participants, like myself, shared their makeover reveals today! Check them out here. You should be able to find loads upon loads of eye candy and inspiration!

Thank you so much for following along! I appreciate it! Feel free to leave a comment below, or catch up with me on Instagram.

UPDATE: Click here to see the source list and the budget breakdown for this makeover!

UPDATE: Here is how the bathroom looks now, with our new vinyl flooring installed!

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Can you believe it’s vinyl? It really added the final finishing touch!

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Thrifty Decor Chick – Before & After Party

 

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One Room Challenge Week 5 – The Home Stretch

If this is your first visit to Prairie Girl Home – welcome! I am glad you stopped by!

static1.squarespace.comCurrently we are participating in Calling It Home’s 6 week, One Room Challenge and we are giving our outdated 1955  bathroom a cottage glam makeover. If you missed the updates from the previous weeks, you can find them here:

Week 1 – Our Cottage Bathroom Makeover

Week 2 – Our Cottage Bathroom Design

Week 3 – Cottage Bathroom Progress

Week 4 – Trim, Paint and Other Progress

So that brings us to today. Week 5. I’m pretty sure we could also label week 5 as the week mama goes crazy, cries in a corner and says, “I just want this to be over so I can have my house back!” Yup. We are at that point in the renovation. The point where the rest of the house is completely suffering, just because of one little tiny room makeover! At first, it was just one other room that became a mess – my office. After five weeks, the mess has now spilled over into every room. So if anything, I can’t wait to be done this little makeover because it means all of the paint cans and supplies can be put away and our house can go back to normal! Did I mention that we took this bathroom reno on just as we finished up our kitchen reno? So it’s basically been 3 months of chaos. It’s time to end the madness!

So what did we accomplish this week? Quite a bit of patching, caulking, sanding, priming and painting. When I left you last week the wainscoting had received one coat of primer. After that one coat a lot of the imperfections in the wood were showing up. I find that after the first coat of primer, you can really see clearly what needs to be patched. So I ended up spending a lot of time caulking gaps, filling holes, sanding and then repeating those steps when things still weren’t looking right. After all of that, the wood got a second coat of primer.

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The wood really soaks up the primer! Tomorrow, all of the wainscoting will get it’s first coat of paint. I’m sure it will need at least two coats.

The medicine cabinet has been trimmed out and has been fully primed. I’m loving the transformation so far!

Here is what we started with:

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Here it is today, after we trimmed out the mirrors and added some very basic trim to the top and bottom.

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I am always amazed at the power of simple trim and paint. Seriously, the change gets me every time. If you can’t afford to make any other changes in your space, just tidy up and paint! You won’t regret it.

The cabinet still needs a couple of coats of paint. This is just primer. We will also be adding some pretty little knobs. It’s all about the details! Oh, and the mirror is a mess because I never bother taping off mirror or windows when I paint. It takes far less time to just scrape off the paint with a razor once you are finished than it does to tape everything off. There’s my painting tip for the day. Don’t waste your time taping off glass or mirrors – just paint them!

My sweet husband was kind enough to give the ceiling a couple of quick coats of paint. For that we used Dulux brand kitchen and bathroom paint, eggshell finish, colour matched to Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace. The cabinet, wainscoting, trim and shower tile will also all be painted in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, but for those we are using their Advance paint. We had quite a bit leftover from when we painted our kitchen cabinets. Since this is a budget makeover, I am all about using what we have on hand! Benjamin Moore Advance is a water based alkyd paint and is designed for use on furniture or cabinets. The guy at my local paint store thought that it would also hold up pretty well in a bathroom. Let’s hope he is right!

If you are looking for a not too warm, but not too cold, clean, white paint colour, try Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace. Our entire living room, dining and kitchen is done in that colour and we’ve been quite happy with it. It also just so happens to almost perfectly match the white in the wallpaper we chose, so that was a happy accident. Don’t you love those?

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Prepping the tile was a tedious, time-consuming job. Isn’t it always the prep that just about makes you want to quit? I despise paint prep. The actual painting is never nearly as bad as the prep. I’ll even go so far as to say that I love applying the first coat of paint. Seeing that initial transformation is always the most exciting. Now the second, third or even fourth coats of paint – those I am not nearly as fond of!

I plan on coming back soon to share a more in-depth how to on the painting of this tile, but here it is after a lot of scraping off of old silicone and chipping grout, repairing the spots that were missing grout, scrubbing, caulking around the window trim, more scrubbing and finally – primer.

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I used Dulux brand “Gripper” primer. It is designed to adhere to tile. I am thinking I should probably do one more coat of primer and then I can move on to paint. Let’s hope the Advance paint holds up!

I also got around to sanding the tree stump that will be made into a little stool/side table. I thought the sanding would take forever, but it really shaped up nicely after about 45 minutes or so.

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Originally I had planned on painting it white, but I’m having second thoughts and I might just end up sealing it as is, or staining it just a touch darker before sealing it. I think it will be gorgeous either way. I’m so happy I made for this little project! I think it is going to add so much to the room.

So we obviously still have quite a ways to go if we are going to finish up this week. First up, a lot of painting! My mom has lovingly offered to come and help me wallpaper on Saturday afternoon. This room is tiny, but there are a lot of corners, a window, a door, a light fixture, a cabinet and a shower surround to work around. That is a lot of tiny cuts! Here is the wallpaper, from Bouclair Home.

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I ordered the new vinyl flooring, but unfortunately it won’t be here in time for the reveal next week. This is the pattern I decided on, Filagree Iron by Mannington.

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I’m in love with it. Love, I tell you. I’m a little sad it won’t be here in time for the final reveal, but it will be worth the wait. I am hoping to at least get a couple of coats of primer down on our old lino in time for the reveal next week. If I don’t, I’m afraid all of our hard work might be for nothing because the yellowy/beige floor will stick out like a sore thumb next to all of the beautiful bright white!

Here is how our to-do list is shaping up:

  1. Remove old tile surrounding toilet, sink and medicine cabinet. DONE
  2. Prime walls and ceiling. DONE
  3. Add wainscoting to lower half of walls. DONE
  4. Add trim, prime and paint and add hardware to medicine cabinet. STARTED
  5. Paint ceiling. DONE
  6. Prime and paint trim. STARTED
  7. Fill the really big knots in the wood, prime and paint wainscoting. STARTED
  8. Repair chipping grout, prime and paint shower tiles. Silicone around tub. STARTED
  9. Install window privacy film.
  10. Install wallpaper on top half of wall.
  11. Install new light fixture above medicine cabinet.
  12. Add shelf above door for extra storage? (We definitely will be adding this at some point in the future, but I’m not sure if we will have time for it this week. Stay tuned!)
  13. Install new sink faucet.
  14. Change out toilet. (I don’t think this will happen in time for the reveal next week. The new vinyl floor will not be arriving in time for the reveal and it makes no sense to replace the toilet now, only to have to disconnect it when the floor is installed in a couple of weeks.)
  15. Prime, paint and stencil old lino floor OR buy new vinyl floor and install. (New floor ordered, but will not be arriving until May 25th. Will do a quick paint job on old lino.)
  16. Choose fabric, sew and install sink skirt.
  17. Spray paint chandelier, buy battery operated candles, install.
  18. Sand and paint or stain tree stump side table. (I am ridiculously excited to finish this little project! It is going to add such a natural touch to the bathroom.)
  19. Decorate! (Shower curtain, artwork, hooks for towels, toilet paper holder and other small decor items.)

There are still a lot of details that need to be decided on. I’m excited to get the “dirty” part of this makeover done with and move on to the “pretty” part. Decorating! I still have a lot of details to decide on – but that’s the part I enjoy the most. Seeing how everything is coming together, and then adding those finishing touches.

Many thanks again to Linda from Calling It Home, for creating and hosting the One Room Challenge. Don’t forget to check out the featured designers progress, as well as the progress of the other guest participants.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Feel free to leave a comment below (if the comment box isn’t showing up below, just click the “comments” link right beside the date at the top of this post) or you can find me over on Instagram. I hope you’ll come back next week for the final reveal of our cottage glam bathroom makeover!

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One Room Challenge Week 4 – Trim, Paint And Other Progress

How did that happen? Suddenly it’s week 4 of this makeover challenge. Yikes. That means we have a little less than 2 weeks left to finish up this bathroom, since I need to take photos and write the final post all before the reveal date – May 12. Game on!

Last week I shared with you all that we had  removed the old tile around the sink and toilet, patched and primed the walls and ceiling and my husband had put up the pine wainscoting and mdf trim. This week I caulked around the trim and primed the wainscoting. If you’re curious, I used Zinsser 123 Primer, the one that says it’s designed for mildew protection. Painting wainscoting is a real pain because you have to use a brush to get in each and every last groove and knot, then go back with your roller over the entire thing. I worked in small sections of 4 or 5 planks at a time. Good thing we have a small bathroom! The hardest part was getting in and around the toilet. I did my best, but if we end up switching out the toilet, I will touch up any spots I couldn’t reach then. It still needs another coat of primer, followed by paint, but it already looks so fresh and clean! I love it!

primertrim

I got one coat of primer on the medicine cabinet. We also started trimming out the cabinet to give it a little pizzazz. We aren’t finished yet, we still need to add some trim just beneath the bottom shelf, but you get the idea of where we’re headed. Once it is all white it’s going to look so fresh!

cabinet trim

My husband used a brad nailer to attach the top trim pieces and No Nails adhesive glue to attach the trim to the mirror. The only problem we ran into was figuring out how we can add knobs to the fronts of the cabinets. I really had my heart set on these cute little white and silver “flower” knobs from Michaels. We thought it would be easy to drill through mirror, but as it turns out, it’s definitely not. You need to use a “diamond” bit on our drill, which is fine, but apparently unless you are very experienced it seems you are more likely than not to break the mirror. Not cool. I called around town and it was going to cost around $20 to get a professional to drill the three holes for us, but they said they couldn’t guarantee the mirror wouldn’t break. The whole point of remaking our existing medicine cabinet is to save money. So I don’t want to pay to have someone drill the holes for us, only to end up breaking the mirrors and needing to then replace them entirely. We brainstormed a few options for making it work, but in the end we are going with the easiest route – I have some very lightweight acrylic knobs that look like glass, but will be light enough to adhere to the trim with just glue. Or so I hope! They won’t be functional, we will still have to open the cabinet with the little hand notches on the bottoms of the doors as we have always done, but that’s no big deal. They will look pretty!

Last week I mentioned that I was contemplating ordering some vinyl because I didn’t want to spend a ton of time painting our old lino and I was worried about the painted floors holding up to the abuse our one and only bathroom endures! I think I knew which one was my favourite of all the options I shared last week, but I was looking for some confirmation, so I posted a picture to instagram. In the end my original choice, Filagree Iron by Mannington, came out the clear winner and I felt really good about my choice.

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Then I went to the store to order it. Originally I was told it should only take a couple of days to come in. Then I was told that since this is a new pattern it is currently still in production and the expected arrival date is… May 13. Womp-womp. So I can order it, but it won’t be here in time for the final one room challenge reveal date on May 12. I was really disappointed because I so wanted to finish in time! I even started contemplating other options. I did find one that could definitely work in the room.

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The grey and white plank “wood” would look cute with the grey and white birch wallpaper and painted wainscoting. I like it. Do I love it? No. Not when I compare it to my first choice. So as much as I would like to have a fully completed room by the final reveal date, I’ve decided not to settle and I will order my first choice. I think I will just do a quick coat of white or light grey paint on the lino in time for the final reveal. That way the yellowy beige lino won’t be screaming “look at how ugly I am” and taking away all the attention from everything else in the room that will be complete!

I found a sink faucet this week.

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It’s by Danze, and it was on sale for $38 at Canadian Tire. I think the white handles add a cute little cottage touch, but the shiny chrome keeps it a bit glam. Cottage glam, that’s my jam! (Apparently geeky rhymes are also my thing;)

So, we obviously still have a lot of work left to do! This week I really hope we finish up all the painting, a well as the wallpaper. Overall though, I’m feeling confident that we will finish in time, other than the floors which won’t be here in time. (Unless a miracle happens!)

  1. Remove old tile surrounding toilet, sink and medicine cabinet. DONE
  2. Prime walls and ceiling. DONE
  3. Add wainscoting to lower half of walls. DONE
  4. Add trim, prime and paint and add hardware to medicine cabinet. STARTED
  5. Paint ceiling.
  6. Paint trim. STARTED
  7. Fill the really big knots in the wood, prime and paint wainscoting. STARTED
  8. Repair chipping grout, prime and paint shower tiles. Silicone around tub. GROUT REPAIRED
  9. Install window privacy film.
  10. Install wallpaper on top half of wall.
  11. Install new light fixture above medicine cabinet.
  12. Add shelf above door for extra storage???
  13. Install new sink faucet.
  14. Change out toilet. (I’m too cheap for even the cheapest one at Home Depot – $110 – but I think I can find a decent on at the ReStore for $50. I’m not too picky as long as it is just a basic white, round toilet in decent condition.)
  15. Prime, paint and stencil old lino floor OR buy new vinyl floor and install. (WILL DO QUICK PAINT JOB AS VINYL WON’T ARRIVE IN TIME)
  16. Choose fabric, sew and install sink skirt.
  17. Spray paint chandelier, buy battery operated candles, install.
  18. Sand and paint tree stump side table??? (I have serious doubts that I will get around to this in time!)
  19. Decorate! (Shower curtain, artwork, hooks for towels, toilet paper holder and other small decor items.)

Time to get busy!

Thanks again to Linda from Calling It Home, for hosting this fun challenge! Please check out the One Room Challenge featured designers progress here, and the guest participants here.

Kari

One Room Challenge Week 2 – Our Cottage Bathroom Design

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Has it really been a week since this challenge started? That means there are only four weeks left to get this little bathroom reno of ours complete!

If this is your first visit to Prairie Girl Home you might want to start by reading last week’s post, where I explained what the One Room Challenge, created by Linda of Calling It Home, is all about. Basically it’s a blogging challenge where we all have six weeks to complete one room in our homes. Technically, it’s only five weeks of actual work, but there are six weeks of posts.

I really hoped to make a dent in at least some of our to-do list that I shared last week. However, this little thing called ”real life” got in the way of all my renovating and decorating plans! Don’t you hate when that happens? So the bathroom looks exactly the same as the pictures I shared last week. Oh, wait, we did take the towel bars down. That’s progress, right? What did happen is I made quite a bit of progress in nailing down the design plan.

Last week I shared a mood board of where I was heading with the design for our pink bathtub, pink sink, time-warp 1955 bathroom. The pink tub and sink are staying – so my challenge is to make that look somewhat intentional and not “we don’t have enough money right now to do a full renovation.”

design board our bathroomThe plan ended up changing a wee bit. I did warn you that might happen! I change my mind constantly when it comes to design decisions!

So some things are on track with how I originally planned them. First off – the chandelier! This was just a “maybe” on my want list, but when I found a steal of a deal on a local used site I had to jump on it! Check it out.

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Five bucks!!! How great is that? Maybe you’re thinking, ‘Uh, Kari, I wouldn’t have paid a single penny for that.’ Don’t worry. Once I get rid of the glass and spray it all black, I think it will be perfect when centered above the tub. We don’t have electrical in this spot, so it will just be decorative. I think I can somehow remove all the wiring and then I will rig up a way for it to hold some of those battery operated flameless candles. Which, by the way, are super expensive! At least the ones I found on Amazon are. I will keep searching, because there has to be some out there for less than $60!

Here is my kind hubby holding the chandy in place so I could have an idea if it would be a good fit.

iphone april 13 314Wasn’t that nice of him? He puts up with all of my crazy design ideas. As you can see, he’s a tall fella so we will hang it a bit higher. I’ve decided to move the shower rod up to ceiling height, so it won’t block the view of the pretty chandelier. I think the chandelier will make a great focal point, since it’ll be one of the first things you see when you walk in the door. Here was my very amateur sketch from last week, but you still get the general idea of where I’m headed.

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In other developments, I realized that my tendency towards hoarding has reached new heights (or maybe depths, you decide). Between my office/craft room, basement and garage, I officially cannot remember what I have stashed and where. This should probably be considered a bad thing, but I’m going to count it as a win where the One Room Challenge is concerned, because after digging around I found quite a few things that will save us quite a bit of moolah! Yippee! I told you last week this reno is all about trying to do a lot, with very little.

I remembered that we still have some 4 inch pine boards leftover from when we planked the ceiling of our main living areas.

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That is awesome, because beadboard panels can actually be quite expensive.

I’m also kind of hoping we can do the ceiling in the bathroom while we’re at it as well. I mean, we already have the boards! I haven’t asked my hubby how he feels about that idea yet… he may not share my enthusiasm.

The thing I spent a lot of time on this week, as far as design planning, was wallpaper. Oh, wallpaper, how I do love thee. Seriously. I loooove looking at wallpaper samples! Here is where I struggled – I love ALL the samples and choosing just ONE was so hard! The thing about wallpaper is that it can be a bit pricey and it’s also a bit of a job to install, so you really want to LOVE the one you pick. I mean truly adore it. So I was on the hunt for a wallpaper in my price range (AKA as low as possible), but one that I loved and felt confident I would love for years to come. No pressure, right? Here are some of the ones I was admiring.

 

anewall.com floralvia anewall.com

This is the one from my inspiration board, but it was a bit out of my price range – especially once I factored in the US/CAN exchange rate, taxes, shipping and duty. Oh boy. Sometimes online shopping is just not as much fun for us northerners!

wallfloravia wallflorashop.com

This one from wallflorashop is positively gorgeous, but again – way out of my price range.

anthropologie floralvia anthropologie.com

Oh, Anthropologie. You are boho and vintage and classy and chic and modern all at the same time. Beautiful – but not going to happen this time.

farmhouseforfour bathvia farmhouseforfour on Instagram

This bathroom by farmhouseforfour on Instagram (amazing farmhouse – go check them out!) is so inspiring! I love the black and white floral wallpaper. It’s by JF Fabrics, but is ”open to the trade” only. Meaning a designer can order it for you, but little ole’ me cannot.

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I posted this pic to Instagram earlier this week. For a brief moment I was considering a pink toile wallaper, thinking that it would help tie in the pink tub and sink. Even though I’m only wallpapering the upper portion of the wall, I decided this would be a little too much pink. At least for me! I also liked the black and grey toile you see here on the left.

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This grey and cream floral is really gorgeous, but has a little too much cream for my taste.

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I considered both of these. The grey floral was just too much grey. I wanted something with a little more contrast between the white and the grey/charcoal or black. The black and white toile is beautiful, as well as a good price. I did seriously consider it.

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Now this pretty white, off-white and grey floral was a real contender. I can’t find the link online, but it’s from the book English Florals, Traditional Wallcoverings. Here it is against my pink tub, along with my charcoal and white striped turkish towels and a grey curtain panel that I totally forgot I had! It makes for a nice combo though. When I saw all of this together it really helped me see that I wanted a much softer grey palette than I had originally thought. I think the grey and the blush pink combo will be very pretty and sophisticated.

My dilemma was that while I liked this wallpaper a lot, I didn’t really love it. I definitely didn’t totally adore it!  Also, because it is only sold in double rolls (majority of wallapers are), I would have to order 4 rolls to do my tiny bathroom, even though I think I only need slightly more than 2. Which was going to be…. $200 plus tax. Yikes! I was kind of hoping the entire bathroom reno could be done for $2-300. So this was out. I was also a little worried about ordering time. The store I was ordering it through said it would take 3 weeks. I was cutting it too close! So I decided to take another look at what I could find in stock. No ordering involved.

Home Depot and Lowes didn’t turn up anything I loved that went with my design plan. So I tried Bouclair Home. I found this.

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Cute, right? It had all the colours I was searching for – a clean white, grey and charcoal. I know the birch tree theme is quite popular, but you know how I feel about popular trends? If you love a trend, go for it! If you don’t, then don’t! Just do what you love. That’s all that matters in the end. It’s your house! I think the birch trees will go nicely with the cottage theme I have going, but the sophisticated colours still leave a lot of room for me to “glam it up”! Oh, and did I forget to mention the price? Only $35 per double roll. Remember, the wallpapers above I linked to were priced mostly in single rolls. Which means a double roll is double the price! So this one is really only $17.50 per single roll. I may have to go back for another roll, but if my calculatons are right, it’s going to be close. So the total wallpaper budget may be just this one roll at $35.

I have also been looking at lights to go above the vanity. I found a cute one at Lowe’s.

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They were out of stock, but that’s okay because I think I can do better than $65. There is a similar one on amazon for $40, but again, I’m worried about it shipping in time.

I also shopped the outdoor lights at Lowe’s. No, not for our home exterior, for the bathroom. When the kind little teen boy there asked if he could help me and I said I was just looking for a light for our bathroom, he kind of giggled and kindly told me the vanity lights were in another aisle. I’m sure he thought this poor lady has no clue what she is doing! But seriously, outdoor lights can go anywhere! Sarah Richardson says so, and she is my decorating diva, so it must be so!

Look what I came home with.

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The exterior lantern light you see here on the right is so cute! It looks way better up close than it did in the box. I think it was $45. The simple one light candle sconce is also very adorable, and was $26. I like them both, but I think I’ll keep an eye out for anything used that might pop up. Spray painting light fixtures is so simple and a great way to update an old gem that someone else might just pass over as being too outdated.

The charcoal “silk” curtains you see on the far left are another hoarding item I forgot I had. They are long enough to hang from floor to ceiling, so I think they will make a great shower curtain, to frame the tub and the pretty chandelier.

The small white and grey towel is actually a tea towel from Walmart. I think they could work as a cute hand towel!

That adorable little hanging wire magazine basket is yet another hoarding find. I bought it at Target a couple of years ago. Back when we still had a Target. (Insert sad face emoji here). May you RIP Target Canada. I miss you and I loved you, even if your shelves were often empty.

The other decor items are things I just grabbed from around the house. Overall, I really love the direction this is heading! Now we really have to get cracking on the actual work! Wallpaper shopping was a blast, but we’re going to have to start getting our hands a little dirty. Hopefully we will have a decent amount of progress to show you next week! Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check out the featured designers of the One Room Challenge here, as well as all the guest participants here. You can also follow me on Instagram – @prairiegirlhome if you would like to see more updates on how this little reno is going! I’ll be back next Thursday with more room progress!

Kari