Before & After

Before & After: Jazzed Up Oil Bottles

A few weeks ago, I received my Silhouette Cameo in the mail and I was excited to work on a few projects using my new toy!

My first project was jazzing up some oil bottles in my kitchen. One contains olive oil and the other has canola oil. I thought it would be fun to use a snazzy cursive font and some vinyl to jazz up these rather boring looking bottles.

Here’s what the bottles looked like before the vinyl. I found mine at Home Sense.

And, here’s the after!

And, a close up!

I simply used a cursive font from my computer and made a Canola Oil and an Olive Oil vinyl decal using my Silhouette Cameo. Once printed out, I used some transfer paper and affixed them to the bottles. Easy-peasy!

I love the finished product, plus it makes it easier to know which oil is what.

One of many vinyl projects I’m sure! I’m loving my Silhouette machine!

Linking up with…
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating 

Before & After: A Restoration Hardware Inspired Glass Cloche

For quite some time, I have been eyeing these 1920′s French Glass Cloches from Restoration Hardware. For $69-$99 a pop, these beautiful cloches were not in my budget.

During my weekly visit to my local thrift store (okay, fine….tri-weekly visit!), I spotted this beauty. For $2.99 for the base and glass cloche, I quickly snatched him up. Here’s what it looked like before:

The glossy wood base just wasn’t calling to me, plus it blended into the furniture. I wanted this little glass cloche to pop — time to break out my trusty can of Rustoleum black spray paint!

And, here’s the final product — all dressed up for fall:

I absolutely love it! It may not be as substantial or tall as the Restoration Hardware glass cloche, but it’s the perfect size for our foyer console table. The beauty of the cloche is that it can be changed to suit the season — pine cones in the winter, a nest with faux robin eggs in the spring and sand dollars and shells for the summer.

It’s amazing what a visit to the thrift store can turn up!

Linking up with…
I Heart Organizing 

Drab to Fab: Ribbon Board

Yesterday I showed you my fancy, new-to-me mail slot. It was a $2.99 find at my local VV Boutique. Sure, it needed some TLC to bring it into this century, but it was nothing that a can of chalk board spray paint couldn’t handle.

I also gave you a sneak peek of my DIY ribbon board. Pretty, huh? I think so. It didn’t start out that way though.

One day while leaving work, I passed by the Give & Take Table in our underground parking garage. Normally I don’t bat an eyelash at the table because it’s usually full of junky items that people really should have thrown out. On the table was a wooden frame with broken glass. Garbage, right? It definitely could have passed for it, but I ended up grabbing the frame anyway because it was really deep, almost like a shadow box. I knew I could turn it into an upholstered pin board.

I immediately brought the frame home, threw out the busted up glass and gave it a coat of white spray paint. As you can see, I was so intent on starting this project that I didn’t get a “before” shot. Bad blogger, I know. :)

Next, I headed off to my local Fabricland and went straight to their remnant box. For a few bucks, I got a yard of stripped grey and white outdoor fabric and some white ribbon.

The process of putting it together was simple. I layered some batting over a piece of cardboard to fit the frame, then layered on the fabric. To secure the fabric and batting, I used some duct tape. Easy, right? Then, I arranged the ribbon in a diagonal grid and secured that to the back of the fabric covered cardboard using, of course, more duct tape.

Here’s the final product…

The ribbon board is perfect next to the mail slot, as we can stick invitations, important notices and other reminders on the board so they don’t get lost or thrown out by accident. It also gives the foyer a pop of colour.

How do you handle clutter in your foyer? I’d love to hear about it!

Linking up with…
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
I Heart Organizing

Drab to Fab: Mail Slot Makeover

Clutter is a MAJOR problem in our foyer. Shoes, bags, papers and mail. Oy, the mail!

For months, I was looking for an effective mail solution – something that would neatly organize our mail while it sat for us to read. After re-doing our foyer, I needed a solution STAT – the mail pile was starting to turn into an accessory and it wasn’t my idea of beautiful decor.

If you follow me on Pinterest, you would have noticed a number of pins for mail organization. Lots of ideas, but nothing that I could easily and quickly execute. Then, one day while strolling through my local VV Boutique, I came across this beauty.

Gotta love that honey-coloured wood. Best of all, the price at a whopping $2.99. Yup, sold. This baby was coming home with me.

I had a few ideas of what to do with this mail slot, but opted to keep it simple. Black is the accent colour of our foyer, so I grabbed my can of Rust-Oleum Specialty Chalk Board Spray and went to town.

And, here’s the final product…

Plenty of space for our mail and it’s located right by the front door near the coat rack for easy access.

What’s the ribbon board next to it? More on that tomorrow!

Linking up with…
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
I Heart Organizing 

It’s the Little Things

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a difference. Take our basement pantry, for instance.

Our basement pantry is where we keep the bulk of our dry foods, paper products and cleaning supplies since our kitchen is seriously lacking cabinet pantry space. It’s located in our unfinished laundry/utility room, just across from the all-important beer fridge and upright freezer.

For months, the pantry was no longer a pantry… was a dumping zone. It was high time to organize, purge and re-establish some much needed order.

So, what did I do on my vacation?


Ahhh….all is well in the world again. All it took was a 3-Drawer Storage Cart to store extra Tupperware containers, some Skubb Storage Boxes and a Hutten 9-Bottle Wine Rack from IKEA. Now everything is contained with like items and easy to get to.

It may not be the prettiest of pantries, but it sure is handy and does the trick!

Linking up with…
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating 

Before & After: The Foyer

If you follow me on Twitter, you have likely been “tw-eased” by me a few times with some photos of our house. Having a full-time job, plus updating the house and trying to swing a social life has been difficult to find time to blog. But, I’m making time now to show you some before and afters of our recent (ahem…four years in the making) foyer overhaul.

When we bought the house from Ted’s parents, the foyer looked like this:

Just to give you some perspective, our foyer has an entryway that runs perpendicular to our stairs. To the left is our front door and to the right is our back door. There are stairs leading up to the main floor of our house and stairs to the basement. This is a super high traffic area of our house!

The foyer floor was peel and stick blue vinyl tiles, the stairs (and the entire main floor) were covered in a blue/grey carpet that had seen better days and the honey oak railing was one screw close to falling down. It was due time to give it a fresh overhaul.

First, Ted removed the carpet from the stairs and the entire main level of the house. We are fortunate that the original hardwood floors were in decent condition (except for the living room and dining room where there was only plywood under the carpet), so we knew that we would one day have them refinished.

Skip ahead to this past Christmas and we finally were able to have the hardwoods sanded, stained and sealed. We opted to go with a professional and we couldn’t be more pleased with the final result. He did a great job sanding out any imperfections and he was able to match the stain to the colour of our living room/dining room/kitchen floors (which happened to be a vinyl plank…more on that in another post!) :)

Before we had the floors refinished, Ted ripped out the original banister, which was also known as “The Death Trap.” To make sure that no one, including our 6-year-old chocolate lab named Mason, went over the rail, we beautifully fashioned a “safety guard” out of TV trays and yellow caution tape (don’t try this at home, folks!)

At this point, we were ready for our hardwood floor guy to come in and refinish the floors for us. Let me mention that this was all being done two weeks before Christmas. We also had to move out of our house for a week while the floors were being done. Thank goodness for parents who take in their grown children (Thanks Dad!)

Here’s a few snapshots from the process. I was able to pop in to the house during the week the floors were being done to capture the progress.

The stairs being sanded:

The stairs being stained:

The final product:

Our next task was to tackle the foyer flooring and our railing. We also hired a professional for this….Steve, our trusty family friend/contractor for The 236. He did a great job installing a new tile floor in the foyer. We had some tiles left over from our basement bathroom remodel that we used.

For the railing, we saw a photo in one of Home Depot’s magazines and fell in love with it. We gave Steve the magazine and told him to go for it. Here’s some snapshots of the progress.

Steve hard at work installing the new custom railing:

The railing pre-stain (I was the lucky one to have to stain and urethane the railing):

Ted very excited that the railing was stained and sealed (yes, we decided to remove each ballister to make the entire process easier). I used left over stain from the hardwood floor refinishing to an exact match:

The final product — complete with all new baseboards, door casings and paint for the foyer and stairs. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Kangaroo” and the trim is done in Benjamin Moore’s “Chantilly Lace”:

I dressed up the foyer with some furniture and accessories that I already had on hand, like the console nesting table, decorative bowl and tree-inspired coat rack. I did add the circular mirror above the table for those out-the-door hair and make-up touch-ups, and the cute little candle shelf that I found at a local thrift store for $4.99:

I love the final product and even though it took four years to get the foyer to this point, we’re thrilled with how functional and welcoming the space is for us and our guests.

The last project that I have to do in this area of our home is to find a functional and eye-pleasing way to sort incoming mail. Right now, our poor decorative bowl gets buried under mail and newspapers. If you have a suggestion, leave me a comment or catch me on Twitter!

Thanks for stopping by The 236!

Linking up with…


Addicted 2 Decorating’s 2011 Year in Review: Room Makeovers