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Archive for August, 2009

Objet d’art

Nothing quite finishes a room like a beautiful piece of artwork.  But what do you do when you have a limited budget, but a soft spot for original art? I’ve decided to rely on some unique and original art purchases from Etsy.

A few weeks ago I ordered this print from photographer Sharon Montrose.

porcupine

When I came across the porcupine portrait, I immediately had to have it. It’s so cute!  Just like a little fur-person.  I’ve even joked that it looks like he’s doing the robot.  I plan on ordering a two more prints of woodland animals to add a focal point to the bland beige wall on the landing between my first and second floors.

Ostrich

Sharon lives in LA, and has an amazing eye when it comes to animal photography.  Her portfolio is bursting with modern animal portraits, with tons of character.  For those with deeper pockets, larger prints can also be purchased through Sharon’s website The Animal Print Shop.

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After falling for the new Edland nightstands from IKEA, but not being in the position to afford their $129 price tag, I decided to try my hand at an Edland inspired makeover.

Nightstand01

I bought the pair for $30 off Kijiji a few months ago from a pair of Carleton U students, I likely shouldn’t have paid more than $20 for them, but I was dealing with a tough seller.  I decided to go for it even though they were dusty, reeked of smoke and one had scorch marks on the top. Ew.  But, recognizing a good foundation and overlooking a nasty faux-wood finish straight from the 70s led me to a set of nightstands that I couldn’t be prouder of.

After living in my parents’ basement for a few more months, and then enduring the move to my new place, I was finally ready to give them the makeover they so desperately needed.

Nightstand02

First step was to wash both nightstands, as well as the drawers with TSP in order to remove anything that might prevent the paint from sticking.  Following the directions on the package, I mixed a solution of 20 parts water to 1 part TSP and then wiped down all the surfaces that I would be painting.

Once all the surfaces were dry, I used fine sandpaper to sand down the cigarette burns on the tabletop, as well as a few other trouble spots as best as I could.  Since the tops are made from MDF, I could only do so much, but I wanted to reduce the visibility of the raised areas as much as possible.  Once the sanding was complete, I wiped everything down with a tack cloth to remove any remaining dust.

Since I was painting over an unknown finish, I opted to use Benjamin Moore’s Fresh Start as a primer.  It worked really well, despite the fact that I didn’t do anything else other than wash the drawers prior to painting.  Using an angled 2″ brush, I “cut in” all the nooks and crannies and then used a foam roller to apply the rest.  After some agonizing, I decided on a smoky charcoal colour for my paint, which I applied using the same process as I did for the primer.

Nightstand04

To mimic the Edland’s beautiful Louis XIV legs, I found some smaller but more appropriately proportioned Queen Anne legs from RONA.  At $10 each, they were pricey, but they also happened to be the exact same height as the old boxy ones.  Compromise: I used the expensive legs for the front of the table, and kept the rear legs the same.  They aren’t visible, and it saves me money.

Nightstand05

Also while at RONA, I found a pair of porcelain drawer pulls, that reminded me of the Edland’s teardrop ones.  At $4 each, they were also pricey but worth it.

The final result?  A set of fancy-pants nightstands, with a not-so-fancy price.

Nightstand03

So, how was your long weekend?  Do any DIYs?

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