Monday, October 5, 2015

Neutral Fall Dining Room Tour

Welcome to our suburban southern Ontario home. While my guys were up north on Sunday I took some photos of our dining room decorated for Fall. Okay, a lot of photos. 

I like using neutrals in our home and love the Benjamin Moore Simply White walls (the wall opposite the window is actually Revere Pewter as it is also kind of an open hallway/traffic path from the front door through to the family room.) Whites with wood plus lots of black and grey are my preferred colours.

We have a very tight budget for decor so there are mostly handmade, garage sale, kijiji and clearance items mixed in with a few purchases. We had the farmhouse table and Windsor chairs made after we got married 23 years ago and I'm pretty sure the light fixture was Home Depot full price.  

I pulled the table back a bit for this full shot of the pine Mennonite made buffet and hutch. I am thinking of painting it a solid black. The cabinet is filled with white dishes. I love collecting white pitchers and have a line of them on top of the hutch and some inside on the shelves.

The small boxwood adds some texture and a bit of colour. I am feeling the need for more greenery and plants in our home and need to work on this. 

The pumpkin covered soup bowls are from HomeSense a few years ago. The trio of candle holders have a stained glass look to them and my favourite scented candles are baking related (maple, brown sugar, cinnamon, pretty much anything that would make a good dessert lol.)

The pine farmhouse table is simply set with painted grey chargers, white dinner plates and thrifted 'The Friendly Village' bowls. 

I love the wavy glass of these lanterns. A few pinecones and painted pumpkins are scattered on the layered table runners with a wood berry garland.

Oops, I just realized I forgot the cutlery! So not a pro at tablescapes lol. 

But I have sorted through my collected plates and napkins and narrowed them down to my favourites. Now I know what filler pieces to keep an eye out for. 

The grey chargers were originally shiny green post-Christmas clearance chargers (90% off at Michaels.) I spray painted them with grey primer and then finished with grey chalky paint and wax. 

I would eventually like a rug under the table to break up the wood tones.

The opening in the wall lets light into our basement stairway. That is our small front entry and front door beyond.

On the weekend I moved this extra little bookcase in here until we make a long rustic console table for this wall. I shared more photos and details in this post.

I took these brown transferware plates down when I painted the main floor last Fall but brought them back out recently for either side of the window

I sewed the curtains several years ago from cotton sheeting fabric with a narrow tone on tone stripe. Our dining room tends to be a bit dark despite the white walls so this weekend I put clip rings back on the curtains to allow them to open more fully.

So that's our rustic farmhouse dining room with some simple Fall decor. Our Canadian Thanksgiving is next weekend but since we host 11-20 on average our dinner is often buffet style. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a chance to let me know you were here!

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fall Bookcase Vignette in Our Dining Room

Often when a new or re-purposed piece of furniture finds a place in our home there is a domino effect as I move things about, make do with a piece for now or sell other pieces.

Last week I finished converting our first farmhouse table into a desk for the family room. That meant the small drop leaf table we were using as a computer desk went back to my hobby room and this little bookcase was no longer needed. The bookcase was originally a faux wood that I primed and painted Mercury Glass White. After the shuffle, it was waiting patiently by the stairs for one of my guys to carry it up to the hobby room when I got an idea. I plan to make a long rustic console table for this spot in our dining room but for now this would be a nice filler. Plus it gives me a bit of storage and another place to create vignettes. 

I shopped our home and decor storage for the accessories. The only new purchase was the galvanized star (around $4 with a 50% off Michael's coupon.) The courting candle was a Christmas gift many years ago. Everything else was thrifted, garage sale or clearance. 

The hydrangeas are the last squished ones from our garden but I still think they are pretty.

I filled the shelves with a few collections that needed a home until the console is built.

I'm happy to have a temporary place for the stack of ironstone platters I have been collecting. Since I sold the kitchen china cabinets (yes more than one, at least three that I can recall) the platters haven't had a dedicated spot. I kept moving them to the floor when we needed the kitchen table. I painted the little heart on the wood scrap when I was making my kitchen chalkboard

The wire baskets were HomeSense clearance a few years ago and are waiting for the console table to be built. I added some mixed white plates to one and the plain glass vintage canning jars to the other. 

Most of the mason jars are stamped 'CROWN made in Canada' like the aqua collection on our kitchen shelves.

The mercury glass footed bowl was a $3 clearance at a little decor store up north several years ago. The glass milk bottle says "Brampton Jerseys" (neighbouring city and our son owns a Jersey calf and cow.) The square platter and crochet edged runner were garage sale finds. Neutral pieces like these get used over and over in many seasons. 

I used a vintage industrial wood spool as a riser for another plastic pumpkin that I painted. 

There wasn't a great plan to how everything gets styled but I do like to repeat items, colours and materials on the top, the shelves and across the room in the china cabinet (white dishes, metals, galvanized, mercury glass, clear glass, neutral linens etc.) Perfectly imperfect ha! From start to finish in about 20 minutes. 

And just like that, a little texture and interest for this empty wall in our dining room (after I sold both the wine cabinet and the pine pie cabinet that were there for several years each -the side effects of my little painting and furniture flipping side business.) My guys were happy because no one had to carry yet another piece of furniture upstairs. Yet.

 If you didn't get a chance to stop by Kris' Junk Chic Cottage, I was the Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind The Blogger.  Tomorrow I will be sharing the rest of our dining room with Fall decor. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

I'm the Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind The Blogger Feature at Junk Chic Cottage Today

Thanks to Kris from Junk Chic Cottage, today I am in the Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger.

I hope you get a chance to stop by and check it out. Kris has a lovely decorating style and is such a kind and supportive blogging friend! Thanks again Kris!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Our Fall Farmhouse Kitchen

Today I am sharing our kitchen with some simple Fall decor. Last week was hot and humid here in southern Ontario but after heavy rains on Saturday it cooled down quite a bit. Fall is definitely in the air. 

Our home is 17 years old and we are the original owners. The kitchen is the same age and I hesitated about taking full photos. While I would love all new cabinets, appliances and hardwood floors, that is not in our near future. Instead I am learning to be thankful for what we have and I am doing small projects as time and budget allows. 

Late last year we painted our main floor, including our kitchen, Revere Pewter and Simply White. We use the eat-in area of our kitchen regularly so I kept the decor simple. The chalkboard I made last month got a quick message and I added a simple arrangement to the farmhouse table. 

The ironstone platter and plates above the chalkboard add a bit of interest while still being neutral

I sold the aqua barstools last year and replaced them with this pair of black metal barstools. I like that they are light and tuck in out of the way. I hope to add some chunkier corbels to the breakfast bar.

I would like to make a narrow sideboard-like shelf for under the chalkboard and a tall narrow cabinet (similar to a chimney cabinet) in the corner for our broom and mop. It drives me a bit crazy that our builder didn't include a pantry or broom closet. 

On the table I used a linen runner from a few years ago (simple linen tea towel by the metre and I only had to sew the ends.) I love using neutrals in our home and pulled this little centerpiece together without buying anything new. I used a small wood cabinet door painted ASCP Old White as a base then added the last of my hydrangeas, a berry wreath, pinecones and the faux pumpkins. The pumpkins were the typical orange plastic variety that I painted. 

The open shelves have stayed the same for some time now. I used to change the shelves each season but lately I prefer the simplicity of the ironstone pudding bowls and my collection of aqua CROWN canning jars.

Our family room and eat in area of the kitchen are flooded with light from a pair of skylights, patio doors and a wall of windows in the family room. This seems to make the windowless work area of our kitchen darker, especially in late afternoon. We added the board and batten several years ago.

The framed photos are some I took on a relative's dairy farm. This is the farm where our 18 year old son keeps his Jersey cow and calf. 

I love to bake and have glass canisters with metal scoops to keep our flours, sugars, and oatmeal handy (I need to add whole wheat flour and white sugar to the grocery list.)

The work area of our kitchen is not fancy but it works well for us. I plan to change the brass knobs to black soon. I added the trim detail to the soffits above the cabinets and still need to finish caulking and painting it.

I'm hoping to add some kind of backsplash. Bringing some wood to this end of the kitchen would be nice but I may just use beadboard or shiplap since we aren't replacing the counters. New light fixtures are on my wish list as well.

There isn't a window above our sink so I added a mirror for a little interest. I originally painted this vintage garage sale mirror turquoise but recently changed it to grey.

I always enjoy bringing out this framed Autumn cross-stitched piece from several years ago.

There are only four drawers in our kitchen so this crock works well for storing wooden spoons and cooking utensils. The last of the rudbeckia in a vintage milk bottle adds a bit of colour.

I painted the bakery sign but got a little crazy with the distressing. It needs a touch up.

I used stamps to make this tag and added it to the basket on our fridge. The basket stores bags of chips.

Well that was quite a few photos and lots of projects I still want to do but probably the most I have ever shared of our kitchen. I am working on embracing the imperfect :)  Thanks for visiting! 

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Family Room Gallery Wall With Picture Ledges

Happy Monday! We had a cool and rainy weekend here in southern Ontario. Not the best light for photos but I wanted to share the picture ledge gallery wall I worked on early in September. This end wall in our family room has had quite a few versions of a photo gallery and although not completely finished, I am finally happy with how it is looking. You might be able to tell by the number of photos ;)

I have the wood to build a shallow but fairly wide shelf/table behind the leather recliner for storage and display. I may have to shift the couch and chair down a bit but if I keep it shallow it should fit.

After painting our family room Simply White (and Revere Pewter on other walls) this was the first version of a photo gallery that I tried on this wall including some empty frames.

This is the second version where I replaced the larger empty frames with two single grad photos.

Then the third version where I lowered the center photos and a fourth version (I can't find a picture of it) had a triple grad photo frame above this grouping. It was getting better but still not what I wanted. 

I wanted more of a collected and layered feel. We have been doing quite a few no-new-cost projects lately and like those I challenged myself to change up this wall with items and supplies already on hand. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I pulled it together.

I started by painting four clear pine IKEA picture ledges that used to hang on our stairs wall about 10 years ago. Then I carefully measured, used a level, anchors and studs to hang them. I had to work around an awkwardly placed light switch so I hung them high and will continue to add some wall mounted and propped pieces below the ledges. 

I decided on a mostly black and white theme using frames we already had (including taking down the gallery wall above the living room couch.) Then I shopped the house and made some new pieces to layer and fill the ledges. I love wood + white + black so I stained some wood scraps and painted 
quick little graphics.

Inspired by Shannon at AKA Designs, I made a version of her Arrow Art With Paint Markers. 

I had a clearance gold R for our last name in the basement and then remembered two small gold frames from a garage sale.

For one frame I printed out a free maple leaves graphic.

For the second gold frame I typed out a fake flashcard (4 for our family + 5 for my sister's family who we hang with all the time = 9.)  A little painted number 4 on a scrap of stained wood (four my family of four.) The pretty glass and metal frame was a birthday gift from a work friend. 

Then I repeated the glass in a science beaker with wheat. 

And since three's work best I added a vintage glass cream bottle. I stamped a maple leaf onto a cork circle and tied it on with twine.

I liked the bit of cork so I added a piece of cork to a black painted frame and glued on scrabble tiles -BE YOU. The little painted 'love' block added a third wood element.

I used both family photos and a few frame fillers. I may change the fillers out to photos eventually. The vintage photo in the top left corner is a favourite of my little sister/bff and I at our oldest sister's wedding when we were 4 and 5 1/2.

These new pillow covers that I made may not stay in our family room. Time will tell ;)  Now to find something simple for over our leather couch and knock a few more projects off my unfinished list (hang the rustic wood mantel I made two weeks ago, finish the board and batten on the fireplace wall, finish the farmhouse table I cut down for a desk...) so I can start the rustic narrow console table. A rug is not in the budget right now but that would be really nice eventually. 

This no new cost picture ledge gallery is one of my favourite wall arrangements to date. Thanks for visiting!

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