Main Floor Updates

This post should really be called "BYE BYE BEIGE- see ya NEVER!" I am super excited about the updates my main floor has received. Over the past few weeks I have spent almost all of my time outside of work (and sleeping) updating my dining room, living room, entryway and downstairs hallway. My house was dominated by beige so I was very happy to see just about the last of it go, replaced with a neutral grey.

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I chose Behr Silver Drop for the walls and the trim and crown moulding are looking fresh and shiny with a coat of Behr Ultra White. My kitchen, bathroom and one spare room are Behr Dolphin Fin and Silver Drop is the next colour on the swatch so I knew it would coordinate well.  I have never painted this much in my life and although there were a few times I cursed it, I am so glad I finally did it! Paint is such an awesome way to update a space and the most inexpensive way to do so. 

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We also updated the lighting, replacing our dated wall sconces. I am in love with the outdoor barn inspired lights I chose from Lowe's.

Before

Before

After

After

Before- bad quality photo

Before- bad quality photo

I am thrilled with the orb chandelier from Home Depot that replaced this sad semi flush mount that was our dining room light.

Dining Room Light; Before

Dining Room Light; Before

Dining Room Light: After

Dining Room Light: After

TK hung the wall sconces so I figured I could hang the chandelier. I installed my bathroom light fixture so how hard could this be?  WRONG!! This was the most frustrating process EVER! I recruited his help when I realized I wasn't so sure what I was doing. After reading the instructions wrong, we started over. Again, and again. I couldn't believe how many times it took us to get this right. Sweat and tears definitely went into this and this light is NEVER coming down! I don't know if it was my impatience that exaggerated my frustration or what. We were so close to finishing the room without any major bumps in the road until this.  The electrical box isn't centered above the table so we used a swag hook to hang it. Thankfully, this was the easy part. Now the light is installed and looks awesome! I have been drooling over this fixture for awhile so I am so happy it is finally in my home :) It is extremely bright but thankfully we have a dimmer.

We also replaced all of the electrical outlets, light switches and face plates. The originals were cream and looked dirty in comparison to the bright white trim and the lighter walls. Now everything it bright white!

My makeover isn't quite complete, I still have a shiplap accent wall to add to the entryway but this requires a creative ladder setup/ DIY scaffolding. We got rid of our awesome 80's mirrors and TK hung the new light fixture for this space.

I guess the last owners didn't want to take down the mirrors to paint so we uncovered this beauty. Should we keep it?

I guess the last owners didn't want to take down the mirrors to paint so we uncovered this beauty. Should we keep it?

I was super excited to finally pull this light fixture out of my closet since I bought it months ago on sale at Canadian Tire! I hope to complete the shiplap soon and will post the rest of the entryway details once it is hung.

This was a huge project for me and I figured it would be so sick of painting but now all I can think about is painting the rest of my house. Three more rooms and I will have painted every single roomin the last 2 years. I really never feel "done" with a space even after a big transformation. One thing always leads to another and I am constantly day dreaming about what project to tackle next. I would love to update the flooring throughout the main floor and replace the living room furniture but these are much bigger investments than we are prepared to handle. For now, I will continue to DIY, paint and decorate my house to give it the update I am craving without breaking the bank. Stay tuned!!

P.S- Feeling a bit bummed that October is over but thankfully it is a beautiful & sunny fall day. Also, I am getting excited to decorate my freshly painted & updated main floor for Christmas! I will hold off a few weeks still as I am not quite sick of my pumpkins :)

Jess xx

Bathroom Update + How to Paint Laminate Cabinets

Well, it has been a few weeks since I completed my shiplap bathroom project and I have been loving the new look of my bathroom!  With one exception--the vanity.  I thought I could live with the laminate cabinets and countertop BUT I was wrong. The bathroom did not seem complete with the dated looking vanity and since we aren't ready to replace it, I decided to paint it. Shocker, right :)

Rather than use chalk paint like I usually do, I looked into how to paint laminate. Essentially all it requires is that the surface is primed first and then you can use any paint of your choice. Some tutorials will suggest oil-based paint but I went with Behr Marquee that is typically used for walls. This provides endless colour options and is much cheaper than chalk paint!

I started by removing all of the cabinet doors and priming. I had Zinsser Bullseye primer on hand which is the BEST primer. It adheres to anything and everything.

I applied two coats using a foam roller and a bristle brush on the wood handles.

I purchased a sample of Behr Marquee in Liquid Mercury from Home Depot for $5 which is enough to cover the entire vanity!! Can't beat that! 

I again used a combination of a foam roller and a bristle brush to apply the paint.

I finished the cabinets by applying clear polyurethane with a bristle brush which I did to seal my kitchen cabinets as well. 

I also added hardware to the cabinets. I went with a classic metal pull for the drawers similar to what I used in the kitchen and a simple brushed nickel knob, both from Home Depot.

New bath mats from Homesense.

New bath mats from Homesense.

I also added some pretty drawer liner to the inside of the cabinets to freshen up the insides

As you can see, my basket of toiletries is super organized :)

As you can see, my basket of toiletries is super organized :)

Since my original bathroom post, I also added a towel bar and toilet paper roll holder, painted the door and replaced the door knob.

 It may seem like a lot of updates therefore a lot of money spent, but I assure you that everything has been completed in the most cost efficient way. I love hunting for a good deal when I do decide to replace items and I love completing the work myself. That being said, what usually starts out as a simple project/update often snowballs into a bigger one. Now that the vanity has gotten a facelift, I decided to replace the sink and faucet. The bone coloured sink and old faucet had to go!!

(Below is an update since my original post)

 I purchased a new sink from Home Depot and the faucet was 50% off at Lowes. I am so in love with my new sink and faucet. It is slightly ridiculous how happy this has made me!

Huge shout out to my boyfriend for his time, energy and patience installing it. It became a much more complicated process than what we expected but it's finished and looks great! I had considered replacing the countertop as well but that will have to wait. The bright white sink makes a world of difference with the current countertop. Who knows, I might even try painting it since I paint EVERYTHING :)

Since I originally completed this bathroom makeover in 2016, I have also added a DIY industrial style shelf, stenciled the laminate floors and made some DIY wall art. I even painted the tub and tile surround. Check them out in the links provided or head to the project gallery for more of these updates :)

DIY Wash Sign

DIY Wash Sign

DIY "X O" print

DIY "X O" print

DIY stenciled laminate flooring

DIY stenciled laminate flooring

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Jess xx

Chalk Paint Kitchen Makeover + How to Paint Tile

My new year's resolution in 2015 was to update our kitchen. We had lived with dated oak cabinets and stained laminate counter tops for a few years and decided it was time for a facelift!

Our kitchen is small and lacking counter space and we were not prepared for a full blown renovation. The cabinets were in great shape and we liked the look of them, so we decided to paint and update the hardware. Given my love of chalk paint, it seemed like an easy choice. I spent a lot of time looking at tutorials on kitchen cabinets painted with chalk paint as it is a high traffic area that needs to be durable and easy to clean. I also looked up how to paint ceramic tile to update our backsplash –see ya later decorative tiles!!

Unfortunately, I don't have any 'BEFORE' shots before the doors and drawer fronts were removed. If you look past the lovely ladies in this photos you can get an idea what the cabinets looked like;

New Year's 2013!!

New Year's 2013!!

Here you can see the beautiful backsplash with burgundy flower tiles and the plain-jane laminate countertop.

Here you can see the beautiful backsplash with burgundy flower tiles and the plain-jane laminate countertop.

I wiped everything down well using a bit of TSP to remove any grease. Chalk paint essentially covers anything and everything therefore there is not much prep (hence why I love chalk paint!).  I chose Annie Sloan Plain White for the upper doors and French Linen for the drawers and lower doors. I painted the upper cabinets-without the doors first. I did not paint the interiors as they are already white-ish.

For the backsplash.  I used TSP to clean and degrease the tile. I let the tile and grout dry and applied Zinnser Bullseye Primer using a foam roller and paint brush for the grout.  Once the primer dried, I painted 2 coats of Behr Alkyd Semi Gloss Enamel Paint. Oil-base paint is recommended for tile and this paint has the durability of a traditional oil-base paint but the ease of a water-base + less odor. The decorative tiles are slightly raised in detail but once they were white, you barely noticed.

I am so happy with how bright and modern this looks. Almost like subway tile, right? :)

Next, I painted the cabinet doors and drawers. This was the most time consuming part of this project despite it being a small kitchen. I will admit, that after the first coat of French Linen, I was slightly horrified with how green it looked. I began to panic but felt better as it dried. 

It may not look green to you, but it did to me!!

It may not look green to you, but it did to me!!

 For the hardware I kept cost in mind, choosing a simple brushed nickel pull for all of the doors and a classic metal pull for the drawers.

Once all the doors and drawers were painted front and back, I started re-attaching the hinges and the new hardware. I was hosting my family that weekend and got a bit too excited to get everything re-hung. I decided to forgo sealing the cupboards right away, figuring I would get to it later.

Well, it took me a year to come back and complete it! A little advice-- DON'T SKIP THIS STEP!! I had to touch up most of the cabinets prior to sealing them because of my procrastination. I also sanded all of the surfaces lightly to remove any bumps and brush strokes before sealing.  I used a clear polyurethane meant for floors to seal the cabinets instead of clear wax as poly is much more durable and easier to wipe up any spills or scuffs.

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We waited a few weeks after painting before replacing the counter top (cost, time, laziness, etc). We measured the counter top and headed to Home Depot again. I love the look of Calcutta marble but knew I wasn’t going to pay for the higher end laminate because after all, it is laminate. After a few headaches with a sales associate, we ordered our custom counter top. We did not pay to have it installed as TK is very handy. When we picked it up, my heart sunk! The simple grey detail of the laminate appeared much more patterned than I was expecting and was screaming GREEN under the florescent light! What is it with the grey becoming green in this project?!? Once we got it home and next to the paint, I felt much better! Tk surprised me by recruiting some family and friends to help install it one weekend while I was working :) I think it complements the cupboards well and we couldn’t beat the price!

We kept our existing sink and replaced the faucet with one I found on sale at Lowe's. I was looking for something inexpensive and functional that went with the space. If you are are having trouble finding a faucet for your space and would appreciate helpful reviews and information prior to purchasing, check out https://www.reviews.com/kitchen-faucets/. Reviews.com provides useful, well written and trustworthy reviews on a variety of products. They do the research for you and provide honest feedback and suggestions. Their resource for kitchen faucets is incredibly helpful for anyone in the midst of a home reno that doesn’t have time to research another product. 

I made the roman blind for the window (will be posting a tutorial) and replaced the florescent light above the sink with a simple pendant.

I decided to get rid of the beige walls throughout the house and started with the kitchen. We used Behr Dolphin Fin which has a slight blue undertone to it in some lights, but overall I am happy with how it compliments the darker grey and bright white cabinets.

Before & After

Before & After

Pantry Before

Pantry Before

Pantry after

Pantry after

More recently, we were able to update some of our appliances (still waiting on a new fridge) and I also decided to paint our laminate flooring. 

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I love finding ways to make changes within our budget and I stay busy day dreaming about my next projects :)

Jess xx