Reuse, refurbish, redecorate
A tight budget, a love of antique and vintage pieces, and a growing sense that there's already enough stuff on the planet defines my approach to home decor. Chez moi, it's often about transforming what we already have, or freshening up pieces we find in thrift stores, garage sales -- or even on the sidewalk the night before garbage pick-up. While the look may not be for everybody, I'm at the stage in life where I'm comfortable liking what I like -- even if it doesn't rate a stamp of approval from local design hounds.
That's the message I'll be sharing at the Fall Home Show, which kicks off on Thursday. Friday is Toronto Star Day, and I'll be on hand for that, along with celeb contractor Bryan Baeumler, Dee Brun (aka The Cocktail Deeva), garden expert Mark Cullen, and designer Glen Peloso.You can read more about it on yourhome.ca.
In case you can't get down, or if you can't wait, here's a sneak peak of what I'll be showing. First up below are before and after shots of a tired old settee. It was updated with metallic foil and croc-skin fabric, with the help of the boy geniuses at Masterpieces Studio. The sweet little wrought iron table was bought for a song at Foc!, a local store that sells furniture on consignment (get it, Foc!??), while the silver and Baccarat champagne glass are precious hand-me-downs.
Further below are before and after shots of two chairs I rescued from the trash. Again, the folks at Masterpieces Studios helped transform them into jewels. (The unusual glass lamp is one of a pair I found on Kijiji.)
That raises the question - when to choose DIY reupholstery and when to go with a pro. My rule is that I'll do little jobs, such as the telephone table just below the settee, which was covered in a floral fabric. To make a matching bulletin board, I laminated a piece of steel to particleboard and placed it in an inexpensive frame from Rona that I sprayed out in the same colour as the table. But for bigger jobs, it makes sense to hand it over to someone who's up to the challenge. Think of it as an investment that will pay you back over time.
Lastly, an old-fashioned school desk with a wrap-around chair became a telephone table. All it took was a quart of soft gray paint (Fortune from Rona’s private label brand) to give the desk a fresh new surface. You can't see it in the pic, but I added a panel of chalkboard paint along one edge of the desktop, and placed a shot glass filled with chalk into the hole intended for the inkstand.The drapery behind the ornate frame, which also got the steel/chalkboard paint treatment, is from Rona too.
I'll also be showing my wares around at various media outlets over the next few weeks. You can catch me on Rogers Daytime Mississauga on Sept. 23rd, Rogers Daytime in Richmond Hill on Sept. 27, Breakfast Television on Sept. 26, and the CTV noon-hour news in Kitchener on Sept. 29th.
BTW, all the beautiful "after" pictures are by the talented Nick Kozak.