DIY Colorful Vase

While snapping pictures of Lee’s AMAZING ABSTRACT FLOWER PAINTING which we hung over our bedroom dresser the other day, I noticed an albeit small problem area…

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A fews days after moving in, we stumbled upon these fake flowers at the dollar store and figured they would add the perfect punch of color along with a subtle dose of texture to our room. With a price tag of 1$ each (for a total of 3$), it was a no-brainer. We immediately arranged them by simply bending the stems at the wanted height and shoving them in a milk bottle resembling ENSIDIG vase from Ikea which we had on hand. It was a quick little decoration to brighten our dresser.

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But… As much as we liked our “flowers”, the bent stems and clear glass combo didn’t quite fall in the good pages of our book. With having finally hung Lee’s abstract flower painting, it was time to address it. I grabbed a bottle of acrylic paint in bright yellow (one of the colors from Lee’s painting) and my clean + empty vase and got to work making a DIY colorful vase.

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First, I squirted a blob of paint into the vase, then I slowly rotated the vase around covering the inside as I went, adding more paint and repeating when necessary. I found it helpful to work over an old peanut butter jar lid to catch the excess paint especially near the top of the vase (a disposable plastic plate or bowl would also work). Once the entire inside was covered, I laid two chopsticks across the lid to act as a support for my vase so that I could rest it upside down and get as much excess paint out as possible to speed up the drying process.

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About an hour later, flipped the vase right side up and simply let it sit like that for a few days (I left it for an entire week to be certain it was fully dry). Drying time can vary depending on the size and shape of your vase as well as your type of paint so I would definitely recommend letting it sit for a while. I would also add that having acrylic inside the vase wasn’t an issue in this case given that it will only hold fake flowers, this would definitely not be something we would recommend for a vase which would be filled with water.

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Having the vase upside down on the chopsticks caused the rim to get a little messy with paint but I was able to quickly clean things up with an exacto.

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This entire DIY project took less than 5 minutes to complete (not including drying time of course) and was absolutely free since I already had the paint on hand. We really love the extra punch of color the vase brings and how it balances the look of the yellow candle on the other side of the dresser.

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Of course before putting the flowers back in the vase, I took the time to cut the stems at the proper length this time. Now the whole arrangement looks much better, don’t you think?

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Have you ever considered painted the inside of a clear glass vase rather than its outside before?

Adding Curtains To Make A Window Look Bigger

When we moved into our house, after all the renovations were complete, we knew right away we had to add some sort of sun-blocking window covering. Our front windows face East which means they get all of the morning sun shinning directly through them whereas the back of our house faces West and gets all of the afternoon sun. Since every room has a window facing either East or West (as we don’t have any windows on the sides of our house), there is always natural light shinning in. This is great for us especially in the dead of winter when we want to get every bit of sunshine we can get. But it quickly turns to being not such a great thing in the summer as it highly affect the temperature of those rooms.

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So, we decided as mentioned here to get these Tupplur block out roller binds from Ikea for every single one of our windows. They might not be the cutest option out there but we think they actually fit in quite nicely with the modern simple look of our house. Plus, they do a fantastic job at keeping the warm sun rays out in the summer and they solved our immediate needs for privacy. That being said, we knew adding curtains to the living room window was a must but we were so undecided on which curtain rod and which curtains to select that it took us months to decide.

We debated which color the curtain rod should be (black, chrome, brushed nickel, white, etc.) and what style of finial to go for (something small, something big, something subdued, something bold, etc.). That’s not even mentioning all the curtain options: textures, bold in color or neutral, bold print, small print or no print, etc.

We looked at many options but nothing felt “right” so we waited, figuring that once we would find the right one we’d simply know. And we did! On an recent Ikea trip, we came across the VILBORG curtains and we both intermediately knew they were the ones. The pictures on the Ikea website don’t really do them justice, they are striped with tiny lines of light gray and white giving them a very subtle textured feeling and they are the perfect color to not blend with the wall while also not standing out too much from it. Here’s a close-up shot to show you the texture of the front of the panel and the much needed white (read: reflective a.k.a. sun blocking) backing:

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The next step was finding a curtain rod, which we did, two days later at Home Depot. We decided on this one.

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Even thought they classified it as a classic style, we think it works quite nicely in our modern decor.  We were also quite happy to see that the rod didn’t only come with the installation brackets but also included the mounting hardware (screws and drywall plastic anchors).

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When came time to installing everything, we decided to hang our curtains halfway between the top of the window and the ceiling and 12″ past the window on either side in order to make our window appear even bigger than it really is.

This is a very popular curtain hanging trick (high and wide) and it worked like a charm. The new curtains add so much softness and coziness to our living room all the while making it feel like the window is huge. We love it!

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Now we just need to wash, dry and iron them. Oh and hem the bottom of them too… Baby steps, guys, baby steps!

What tricks have you used to make a window feel bigger and brighter? Do you prefer more understated curtains or something bold that catches everyone’s attention?

An Abstract Flower Painting

The other day, while Lee was at work, I went shopping with mom and we came across this canvas from Bouclair. I loved the almost abstract look of this flower and it just turned out to be the perfect colors for our bedroom (white, yellow, gray and black). With an 80$ price tag and a 24″ x 36″ size, it wasn’t exactly a small home decor decision and I wanted Lee’s opinion before I made the jump so I did the next best thing and snapped a picture of it. I figured Lee would be more inclined to like it if I didn’t have to drag her into a store halfway across town to see it. Here’s the picture I snapped in store to show her:

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To my surprise, when I showed Lee the picture later that evening, she immediately declared loving it and even better yet, declared that she could paint something similar for us if I preferred. Uh, yes please!

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We measured the area above our dresser to see what size of painting would work and came to the conclusion that 24″ x 36″ was actually a perfect size. Luckily for us, the next week Micheal’s had their amazing buy 3 for the price of 1 sale on canvases and we were able to snag some. That’s 66% off the original price which made our bedroom canvas only 13.60$. We grabbed 5 colors of acrylic paint (white, light antique white, daffodil yellow, bright yellow and black) from the dollar store at a cost of a dollar each making this entire project a whopping 18.60$ (compared to the 80$ version sold in stores!).

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With all the supplies on hand, Lee got to work and less than 15 minutes later, this masterpiece was created:

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She waited for the painting to dry and then added her signature (at my request) on the bottom right corner.

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I absolutely love her version (in fact I actually like it even more than the original). The paint drips/scribbles in the middle are my favorite part!

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Isn’t it amazing what my girl can do with a paintbrush, acrylic paints and a canvas in fifteen minutes? I wish I had her ability and talent for abstract paintings.

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I think it fills up the space above our dresser perfectly. It is such a unique piece and I love that it is one of the first things we see waking up every morning. It makes it even more special knowing that Lee’s the one who made it.

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Have you ever created some sort of art from inspiration found online or in stores? Would you ever consider doing so or do you find it easier to simply buy the piece you like?

Freezing Rain

On Wednesday morning we woke up to the sound of freezing rain hitting our bedroom window, we could barely see outside through the ice on the glass.

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We’ve had such a wide array of weather conditions lately; everything from a 17°C Christmas Eve to an 18″ snow accumulation in a single day on December 29th, a +10°C and sunny feels-like-spring day on Tuesday and then this freezing rain the very next day.

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Back in November, we shared pictures of the first snowfall of the season, so we thought it would be fun to follow those with the even more interesting pictures of this freezing rain! Do you see the butterfly shape formed by the ice in the picture below?

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I love that all the picture feel like they were taken using a filter to achieve the same type of coloring even though, truly, they were simply taken on a grey overcast day. It’s kind of breathtaking to look around and see everything covered in a layer of ice don’t you think? These pictures remind me of snow days as kids, when school was cancelled and we got to stay home all day.

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I’m so glad Lee had time to capture these around our little abode. The first few pictures are from the ice through our bedroom window, the next batch is from the ice on top of our mailbox which slid off it a little bit after I checked the mail and this last one is from the top or our fence.

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How has the weather been where you live? Any abnormal temperatures? Are we the only ones who actually kind of like freezing rain?

DIY | Easy Trick to Keep Your Frames Level

Remember when we shared our mini gallery wall with you guys? It looked like this when we left off:

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We have since added pictures in the frames and truly think this arrangement is perfect for that little space. Here’s how it looked until this morning (ignore the bonus in progress shot of the thermostat replacement):

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(Note: The bigger middle frame was bought with the intention of being transformed into a chalkboard or dry erase calendar but we are still undecided about it so we temporarily filled it with a collage of pictures we love until we decide what we’d like to have there for the long haul.)

As much as we love our little grouping of framed favorite pictures, one thing was driving us me nuts… Given that this wall sits between our bedroom door and the second bedroom door which are frequently opened and shut (especially ours), the frames constantly shifted and never stayed level, no matter how many times I stopped and fixed them. Within a few hours they went from looking like the picture above to looking more like this:

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(Funny fact: When I showed Lee these pictures she told me I went a little overboard with the frame tilting and that it didn’t look all that realistic, but I actually hadn’t even touched them, this is actually how un-leveled they got from us opening and shutting the doors).

Our solution? Hot glue and thumbtacks!

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I remembered seeing this post on the Remodelaholic blog and thought it would be the perfect solution for us. We aren’t planning on moving those frames around for a while so the extra holes in the wall didn’t really bother us at all. Down (in the basement) into our “office” I went, in search of thumbtacks, hot glue and a hot glue gun. Minutes later, the bottom of our frames looked like this:

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I rehung them one by one, using a level to ensure they were perfectly straight before gently pushing the thumbtacks into the wall securing them in a level position for once and for all.

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Now not only do our frame stay perfectly level, they also feel so much more secure on the wall.

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Am I the only one who obsessively re-levels my frames every time I notice they have shifted? Have you found any other magical solution to keep your frames level?

It’s February!

Happy February everyone! Though February is mainly considered as the month of love with Valentine’s day and all, it holds a special place in our hearts for a whole different other reason. In fact, 1 year ago, we officially became home owners.

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We fell in love with our little 864 square feet bungalow and already had big plans for everything we wanted to change. The day after we got the keys, we compiled this post as basically a big to-do list of everything we hoped to accomplish and update to make this house feel like home. It’s crazy now looking back at those picture and at all the progress we’ve made. We can hardly believe our kitchen had green cabinets and blue tiles while our bathroom and horrible beige and red tiles complete with very wavy and uneven grout lines.

We had no idea we’d dive as deeply in renovations as we did all at once, but we are so glad we did. It is such an amazing feeling to wake up in this house every morning and look around to all our hard work and truly be able to say that we love it. We’ve learned a great deal along the way, both in the construction/DIY skills department and in the personal department as well. It was a challenging but so very rewarding experience and we can’t wait to do it all over again with our basement! Though that will wait a little bit, we want to finish of all the little details of the upstairs before launching ourselves into another crazy renovation.

P.S. it seems I somehow completely forgot to do a January sketch… And because it didn’t feel right to completely skip over January, I completed the sketch last night and decided to share it now:

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Do you have any special plans for this February? Any love celebration on the agenda? Or does this month hold another special significance for you (anniversary, birthday, etc.)?

Our Main Floor Plan

We have so many projects to share with you in the coming weeks and because they are strewn throughout the house and we haven’t done a proper house tour since the renovations, I though posting our main floor plan might help you understand where everything is and exactly what we are working with.

So let me introduce you to our house, a 864 square feet bungalow built in 1961 on a 6000 square feet lot.

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Of course the plan above demonstrates the current layout of our house. It didn’t change all that much since we bought it aside from the stair railing that we removed and replaced with a half-wall in order to add an entire section of cabinets to the kitchen (read more about that here).

We love our house so much, it is perfect for our needs and it feels so much more “us” with every bit of renovation/project/DIY/hard work that we put into it. But it also has its challenges in terms of how small our space really is and how we organize and use every square inch available, luckily we have many plans to counter those “problems” so stay turned for that.

We will eventually show you our basement plan too along with all the details of the renovations we plan to do there but for now we are focusing on completing the main floor.

Do you have any favorite house plan? Would you ever live in a small bungalow like we do or do you prefer a big two story house?