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My husband and I are often asked: "How do you learn the ways of DIY?", and for those of you who are well-versed in this past-time, you will know that it is purely trial and error. Christian is Mr. Handy, and was fortunate enough to learn many of the tricks of the trade from working with his dad growing up. Me on the other hand, well, my mother likes to shop at Ethan Allan and Restoration Hardware - HA! Yeah, not in the budget for us.
The problem: "I want pretty things in my home, but should really put my money towards renovations/ fixing broken pipes/ leaky roofs/ etc!"
The solution: Furniture DIY. I'm addicted. It's my new-found favourite past-time and it is sooooo satisfying.
Allow me to share with you some wonderful before-and-after shots of various items that we have spruced up for next-to-nothing. Who doesn't LOVE before-and-after shots!?
First up, the dresser. Well, it was a dresser, passed on to Christian waaay back in University. Then is was repurposed into a bar for him and his roommate for another 3 years (glass ring stains and all!) and found it's way into our Leslieville home. I hated it. But, we needed it and again the little-dresser-that-could found itself in the starring role of: entry-way table! Time for a face-lift. Here's our over-loved friend before:
I used some left over grey paint (from our Master Bedroom walls), white trim paint, and knobs from Lee Valley Tools (the best location in the city for knobs, pulls and handles, in my opinion). Total cost for the project? One long weekend and 40 bucks. Voila - my masterpiece:
Next up, we have our rescued-by-the-roadside night stands. Yep, we were driving somewhere near Gerrard-ish and Christian hit the breaks and started backing up. It was like the heavens had opened and revealed two night-stands, just waiting for some TLC and a new home! It was love at first sight...well, almost. We had a vision. I actually wrote a quick thank you note for the previous home-owners because I felt it was good karma to share my joy...
Here are the orphan night-stands before (well one of two - they looked the same!)
Remember: we had a vision. A vision of glossy pops of red in our bedroom....BAM! Here is the after:
Total cost for these babies? About $35 on paint + $10 on knobs (these ones are from Central Fairbank Lumber). We splurged and bought High-Gloss red paint and a can of Varathane. TIP: do not, I repeat, DO NOT use anything but foam rollers for this stuff. We used a sort of synthetic roller and got little bits of plasticy-fluff in the paint. So frustrating.
Now onto my vanity bench. Yes, I LOVE my vanity. Ladies, for those of you with the my-house-was-built-in-the-30's sized bathroom, the in-room vanity table is your best friend. We picked ours up at IKEA for about $200 and it looks pretty awesome (no one believes it's from IKEA). But, when it came to a seat for said vanity, I felt that it needed a bit of flair (on a budget, of course).
Here is a before(ish) - I didn't actually take a before...isn't that sad? But you get the idea...the legs are a different style, but this is pretty much what it looked like: Grandma's old sewing bench (which is what it was, so it was free):
And the after - yes, it's all about the pops of red in this room!
Cost? Can of spray paint @ $6.00 and a steal of a deal on this bold-striped Marimekko fabric from a bin at Crate&Barrel. For those of you who aren't family with Marimekko fabric, it's very bold, fun and pretty mod...and also pricey! Crate&Barrel collaborates with Marimekko on a bunch of stuff in the store and what's cool is that the fabric ends and extra yards are available for sale at a super low cost (I think I paid $10 for 2 yards of this stuff). I. LOVE. DEALS.
And finally, the most simple face-lift of all - recovering a chair seat. We picked up this adorable diner-inspired kitchen set off of Craigslist for $25:
It sat happily in our kitchen for about a year, but I was inspired while on a recent trip to Fabricland during their closing sale (*sniff* the only downtown location is CLOSING!) and found this killer black-and-white geometric, very durable, indoor/outdoor fabric for a steal. The best part? They had an end that was more than enough for this project, but not quite a yard, so I paid $4.00 - whoop! Here's a close-up of the new seat cushion:
I completed this project in under an hour, seated on the living room floor whilst watching Ashely cry her way through another *heartbreak* on the bachelor. All you need are scissors and a staple gun.
Here that? That's the sound of my heart singing. It's a sickness, people.
Next up on the furniture DIY hit-list? Upholstered headboard for our master bedroom - stay tuned!
What are you guys working on? Any quick and easy DIY projects that you've tackled recently?