Details, details

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I’m a firm believer that it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Enter this funky hare’s head hook from Anthropologie. This is not where I had planned to use it, but it turned out to be the perfect place to hang one of my treasured vintage handbags. It’s a bit unexpected to have it on the side of the hutch, which adds a little jeuje of personality to the makeover of the piece.

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This side of the hutch is visible from the upstairs landing, so it makes a little statement and provides some visual interest, while hinting at the personality of the room.
Adding the hook to the side of the hutch also adds to the storage capacity of the piece.
Hooks– they’re not just for walls anymore!

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Chalk it up…

…to the joys of experimentation.

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I loved the old, worn, peeling paint on this Very Useful Hutch I bought a few years ago. But it was time for a face-lift in order to make the piece work as part of Project Dressing Room. For a long time, I wasn’t sure what, exactly, I wanted to do in terms of giving the hutch a makeover. I knew, however, that my good friend Annie Sloan would not let me down and I was right!  I did prime, just because I did not want to waste my pricey paint on the very old, very dry wood– I figured it would just drink up all that paint and I’d need 6 coats to cover! I did no sanding at all, though (I was worried about lead-based paint, as the piece is over 80 years old)– I just painted Old White on the inside and Graphite on the outside, right over all the old, chipping paint. There is a bit of texture in the final effect, which I quite like.

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I wanted the hutch to have a slightly quirky, whimsical touch, in keeping with the somewhat irreverent, modern/vintage mix I am aiming for in the dressing room. Enter NEON pink craft paint! I ended up mixing it with some of Annie’s Old White for more opaque coverage, as the craft paint was very sheer and streaky.

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Finally, I added some chalk drawings and a soupçon of French (“but well, there you go!”) to the front. I can erase it and change it up any time I like. Also, it’s easy to remove if I get tired of the look and I can quickly paint out the neon legs if I decide I want a more sober, traditional look one day in the future. In case I ever When I grow up.

Not only does it provide very useful storage for all my handbags,
the finished product also serves as an outstanding cat perch.

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delovelydelightful

Peonies & Polka-Dots

I realize that it is not strikingly original of me, but peonies are my favourite flowers. I love white ones best and am lucky to have five (!) bushes of white peonies in my back yard.
They smell heavenly and one of my favourite things to do in spring is to sit on my patio and enjoy the sight and scent of my peonies.

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This year there are so very many blooms and there has been so very much rain that I had to intervene in order to lighten the load on the stalks of the plants. I made bouquets to share with our neighbours and put them in empty soup jars. I could not get the labels off the jars completely, so I decided to make the best of the stubborn labels by turning them into a “feature” of the makeshift vases.

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Of course I turned to my dear friend, washi tape, to help me out.
A black fine-tipped pen to write on the labels and a few strips of washi tape and ta-da!
Cute little vases that don’t need to be returned, all ready to be delivered to our neighbours.

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delovelydelightful

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It is dark, dreary and wet here. So here is a quick little project for a rainy day.

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A few weeks back, I was the lucky recipient of a lovely collection of vintage lingerie ads. They are utterly fabulous and I really want to frame them all up and make a feature of them somewhere in the house. The thing is, custom framing is so pricey and once you commit to it, you are locked in, as it is not economical/sensible to switch up the frames if you get tired of them. Which I always do.

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Thus, off to IKEA! But, as you may know, IKEA frames are designed for use with their own prints and images = the sizes are non-standard and, frankly, kinda wonky. So, how did I solve the perennial my-pictures-don’t-fit-the-frames problem so well-known to devoted IKEA shoppers? Washi tape, of course!

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I got basic Ribba frames in white and, rather than mounting the images inside the mats (the openings are too small, the next size up is too big. Hello, Goldilocks Complex!), I used pretty washi tape to attach the images to the front of each mat.

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I chose my current favourite washi tape– it looks like pins stuck through fabric, which I thought was appropriate for fashion ads.  I used one strip at the top and one at the bottom of each image. I tore the tape, leaving ragged edges, for a more unfinished look in order to echo the torn edges of some of the images and to provide contrast with the oh-so-well-turned-out models in the illustrations. You could mix and match, use a different number of strips of tape, cut your tape with scissors, use more traditional frames…whatever!

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delovelydelightful

Easy, fast and effective. My kinda project, perfect for brightening up a rainy day.

Picking and Choosing

This time of year is a very busy one in my job– think tax accountant right before tax deadline, Santa’s elves on December 23rd… You get the idea. Which means I have had no time to be creative at all, a fact which is making me mighty cranky! As a result, I also have no photos to show you of any projects around here.

Here, however, is a little something getting underway at my mum’s house. She has worked very hard to save up and is (finally!) giving her house a full-fledged makeover. That means the kitchen is saying goodbye to the ’70s, the living room is bidding farewell to the early ’90s and big, beautiful things are afoot! She is in the process of picking and choosing all the components– cabinets, floors, wallpaper, paint, etc. It’s a fun but nerve-wracking process.

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The paint swatch is called Thunder and it’s by Benjamin Moore.

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Above is a sneak peek at the wallpaper we’ve chosen for her living room. It’s called Swallows and is a reissue of a vintage Sanderson paper from the 1930s. It is sooooo gorgeous– I can’t wait to see it on the wall!  The rug is just an inspiration idea, as she is also getting new hardwood flooring throughout the house. It is going to look amazing!