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Despite my intentions to furnish the house with as many unique finds and bargains as I can lay my hands on, I have to admit that filling the house won’t be possible unless I use big-box stores for some items. Their selection and pricing do serve a purpose, so I’ll be using them where I need to.

Having never been to any IKEA other than Ottawa’s teeny, tiny, ill stocked and overcrowded location (though it won’t be that way for much longer), I was psyched when my sister and I decided to take a last minute trip to one of la belle ville’s locations.

After making a quick pit stop in St. Albert from some super fresh and sqeaky cheese curds, we finally arrived at our destination.

Boucherville IKEA

It seems as though Montrealers love IKEA just as much as we Ottawans do, because the store was packed.

We headed in, on the lookout for items that were hard to come by, or unavailable in the Ottawa store.

Trollsta Sideboard

I’ve been eyeing the Trollsta sideboard for a while now, I think that the combination of modern and traditional lines is really interesting, and would be a perfect fit in the Den.  I was hoping that there would be a yellow model available to see in person, but the only ones there were black.  I’m thinking of doing the Den and Entryway in yellow, but I’m not sure if I’m up to the challenge of rocking “IKEA yellow”.

Nils Stool

Another great find was this Nils stool.  After seeing an article, in Style at Home a few months back, I was inspired to start looking for a stool or ottoman that I could put in the entryway.  I love the practicality of having somewhere to sit down to put on shoes and boots, and I appreciate the opportunity to add a shot of colour into the entryway.

Fabric at IKEA

At one time, the IKEA in Ottawa had a small fabric section, but it was removed several years ago. The one we found in Montreal was filled with loads of affordable fabric in tons of great colours and patterns.  After pouring over their selection, I think I’ve decided on one to use for the throw cushions for the chairs that will be living on the front porch.

A quick trip through the As-Is section rewarded me with an Ung Drill frame, discounted to $10 and with no apparent defects.  I plan on painting it and using it somehow in the guestroom.

All in all, no major purchases were made, but the trip was well worth it, and so much fun.  We’ll be returning for some serious shopping once I actually move, but until then, this was an excellent fact-finding excercise and awesome way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The Ottawa Antiques Sale

Creating a home with personality and character, on a limited budget can seem daunting. At least it has been for me. The speed and convenience (not to mention, price-point) of big box stores are tempting, but if I really want to make my house a home, it’s going to need a bit more than that.

I’ve taken up the challenge by making weekly trips to antique sales/stores and estate auctions. This weekend, my sister and I hit up the Ottawa Antiques Sale, at Carleton University looking for furniture and accessories.

Although there was a lot of furniture, most were traditional pieces – lots of buffets, side tables and hutches, and dining room sets (sorry no pictures due to camera issues – next time, promise).

Unfortunately, I’m looking for items with a modern design, but there were a ton of resources for artwork, accessories and other knick-knacks. I ended up scoring a vintage map of Edmonton from G. Dreeke Prints & Maps, for thirty bucks (the price was knocked down five dollars since I was paying with cash – awesome!). The modern lines and monochromatic scheme were exactly what I was looking for.

Vintage map of Edmonton

Joe L’Erario (of The Furniture Guys fame) was scheduled to make appearances on both Saturday and Sunday to offer advice on fixing and refinishing wood. I was tempted to stick around to see what he had to say about dealing with formica tabletops, but decided against it.

If you missed out this time, the next installment of the sale will be in October, and I definetely think that it’s worth checking out.