HGTV Home To Win Season 2 Stars and Adding Architectural Interest To Plain Rooms

Recently I was invited by HGTV Canada as a blogger to be part of a phone conference roundtable interview with host Sangita Patel and Canadian builder/design stars Scott McGillivray, Bryan Baeumler and Sarah Baeumler. This was an opportunity for another blogger and myself to pose questions to the panel of experts who are 3 of the 30 HGTV stars that will work in teams on rooms in the second season of Home To Win. 

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The topic was that while moving into a new home can bring a family closer together it can also bring on many challenges. Fixer-uppers and small spaces are becoming the only affordable option in today's restrictive housing market resulting in families working together to make renovations on a budget and maximize space. One of the questions I asked was "Often fixer uppers and small homes lack character. What are some ways to add architectural details and character to otherwise plain rooms?" Both Scott McGillivray and Bryan Baeumler answered my question. Some of their suggestions were barnboard, texture, wallpaper, ceiling details, colour, mouldings, feature walls, paint, panelling and trim work. I have included some examples below that I find particulary inspiring and that could be done by most DIY'ers fairly affordably. 


barnwood wainscoating | Barn Siding & Paneling | Arc Wood & Timbers- Isaiah would love this in his room!:

image:arcwoodandtimbers.com via Pinterest

Panelling (or Shiplap, Board and Batten etc.)

I didn't even know about shiplap until I began watching Fixer Upper. Joanna Gaines has shared her love with me. Look at this deliciousness in all its glory. So gorgeous!!:
Image: Pinterest

 Mouldings and Trim Work

Muskoka Living, clean and fresh. Reminds me a little of my uncle-in-law's guest bedroom.:
Image: muskokalivinginteriors.com

Recessed Panel Wainscoting with Chair Rail:

Image: sdstair via Pinterest


beautiful laundry room | Ryland Witt Interior Design:

Image: houseofturquoise.com via Pinterest

Paint Colours

Accent wall at end of hall, link to light at Lowes:

Image: littlehouseoffour.com via Pinterest

Feature Walls

Wood pallet wall in living room:

Image: lizmarieblog.com via Pinterest

Ceiling Details

Hall with Shiplap walls and reclaimed shiplap wood ceiling.:
Image: via Pinterest

Sarah Baumler mentioned the importance of a layout and design plan. By having a layout and design plan it would be easier to avoid costly mistakes, budget for your projects, and have a better design flow throughout the home. With 30 HGTV Canada stars participating in Home To Win Season 2, I'm looking forward to getting lots of ideas and inspiration. 

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Season 2 of Home To Win starts Sunday April 30th at 10:00 pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada. 

"Hosted by Entertainment Tonight Canada’s Sangita Patel, the series’ returning stars include Mike Holmes, Bryan Baeumler, Scott McGillivray, and Sarah Richardson among others. A few of the additional stars joining the series this season include household names: Jonathan and Drew Scott, Dave and Kortney Wilson, and Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot. In each episode of Home to Win, two celebrity builders pair with two fan-favourite designers to complete two rooms within the waterfront property. Week-to-week newly renovated rooms are revealed and the dramatic season finale sees three Canadians compete to win the completed home in a series of challenges leaving one lucky competitor with the keys to the spectacular waterfront home"

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French Provincial Buffet Makeover

This summer I worked on quite a few projects and I'm just getting around to posting some of my completed pieces. This French Provincial Buffet makeover had a bumpy start but ended up being a great piece.

The eat in area of our kitchen has seen many buffet and hutch combos, a metro wire shelving unit and most recently this lovely French Provincial piece. 

My hair stylist hooked me up with clients of hers, also locals. The couple had moved their father into a retirement home and were remodeling the home for resale. They offered me a bunch of free furniture. It pays to let your friends know if you are looking for furniture for yourself or your business.

I decided to keep just the base because I wanted a bigger display surface for our kitchen. My mistake was priming in the garage in the heat of summer. The primer dried too quickly and was so streaky and rough. I have never had this experience before and almost tossed the whole project. After a cooling off period (me, not the weather!) I gave it a light sanding and decided to see how it would look painted. 

Country Chic Paint sent me chalk paint, their natural wax and a paint brush. I chose Simplicity, a lovely white, and Cobblestone (for a different project.)

We moved the buffet indoors to avoid the heat. The Country Chic chalk paint went on beautifully and in my opinion saved this piece from being tossed. I'm not always patient ;) I used their natural wax for protection and to give the buffet a soft sheen. Seriously, no yucky smell. My iphone photos are not the best quality but at least I got photos lol. 

I decided to keep the original hardware but sprayed it black. 

As I mentioned, I didn't want another buffet/hutch combo like I have had in this spot several times. I decided I was looking for a buffet style piece so I could use the horizontal surface for serving and display. I like that a buffet is less bulky than a tall piece for this smaller space. But as lovely as the lines of this piece are, especially in this pretty Simplicity, I decided that French Provincial doesn't 'speak' to my design style. I prefer a rustic country or modern farmhouse look. Once the decision was made, I listed this piece for sale and it quickly went to a new home. 

I am in the middle of a DIY project to add that horizontal display surface but this time with more open storage. The reveal will be in the next week or so. The decision to sell pieces isn't always easy, but I am getting much better at understanding my preferred design style. And the added income from sales is always welcome. 

After a great two month summer vacation I had a rough time settling back into my work routine. I always appreciate my time off work but the change in routine and extra time available in the summer makes it hard for me to go back to full time employment.  A few weeks later I am now feeling more motivated and hope to share here on the blog more often. For frequent updates you can find me on Instagram


Front Porch Canada Day Decor

Happy July 1st and Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends. 

Today is my first day of summer vacation and I am looking forward to lots of relaxing, some travel in our beautiful province and more time to tackle some DIY and creative projects. 

I enjoy decorating seasonally and since this is Canada Day I'm taking a break from my more neutral decor with red and white on the front porch. Canada Day is our national day of Canada celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867 (British North America Act) which united three colonies into one single country. Basically it's our 149th Birthday!

I sewed new pillow covers with Canada Day fabric and backed with white cotton/linen. 

Using extra fabric and a piece of twine I quickly sewed a banner to hang. I ran out of time to make a wreath for the door but that is on my list for next year. While I love a bargain or thrifty find, I don't regret paying full price for this pair of wicker Harvest chairs a few years ago. I love the quality and the lakehouse style. 

Our porch is covered and allows for some lovely shade and a breeze. It's the perfect spot to sit with a cold beverage on hot days.

My sister gave me the trio of roses and baby's breath and I added them to one of my vintage CROWN - Made In Canada canning jars.

Our porch needs pressure washed and I need to get a new front door mat but that will be next week. I decided to go ahead with the decorating because I will have more time for scrubbing and cleaning next week. There are usually several pairs of work boots under the bench from my guys that work in landscaping and spend time in barns but I moved them for the photos ;) This is our main entry and unfortunately we don't have a mudroom or garage entry. I also need to finish painting the little bench (I am in the process of covering up some heart cutouts on the bench.)

I have two vintage croquet sets that are usually in our basement TV room but I brought them to the front porch for a touch of summer nostalgia. I painted and sewed the Canada flag pillow and stitched the buffalo check pillow cover.

This little wicker stool is great for holding a beverage, a book or propping one's feet. It was a garage sale find for a few dollars and gets a fresh coat of white spray paint every few years.

While this is not a grand Muskoka cottage country lakehouse, we love our home and I am happy that I was able to give our porch an Ontario summer at the lake look for Canada Day. I hope you enjoy this long weekend, whether you are celebrating Canada Day or the 4th of July. Thanks for visiting! 


Painted Buffet In Country Chic Paint's Cobblestone

Is there a place in your home where you keep trying out different 'temporary' pieces of furniture until you find the one that is just right for the spot?

I'm happy to say I finally found the additional buffet that I had been searching for. I gave it a makeover and now I think it is the perfect colour and style for our dining room.

My search criteria was that it had to be solid wood, dovetailed drawers, similar in style to our black painted buffet and hutch, cost under $100 ($75 score!), and be suitable for a paint makeover. I almost settled on the nine drawer dresser that was recently in its place that I was selling for my niece and her husband but the style wasn't quite 'me' and there were no doors. This solid oak piece almost didn't make it home because it was sooo heavy but I'm so happy that it did. 

I started by giving it a wipe down and sanding the top, then re-stained the top surface with Early American and three coats of non-yellowing water-based poly.

Then the fun part begins with choosing a colour for the base. I toyed with the idea of a layered and distressed look but decided that this piece would look good in a solid colour. I can always go back and distress it later if I want (the beauty of a clay paint/wax finish.)

I picked Cobblestone, a beautiful mid-deep grey by Country Chic Paint. The sun today is lightening the colour but at other times of the day it really is this beautiful rich grey. 

Happy mail from Country Chic Paint. The paint is eco-friendly and contains no harmful solvents. We have a chocolate Lab that sneezes and won't hang around when I use some other paint and refinishing products but not with this paint. She happily lay nearby while I tackled this right in the dining room. Did I tell you that it was heavy? There was no way I was moving this sucker again once I finally got my three guys to haul it in from the garage!

So easy to apply the paint and it has a really nice smooth consistency without drips. No priming, especially on this older oak piece. I used their oval paint brush and really enjoyed the application compared to my 'good' paint store brushes. This will be my go to brush for furniture from now on.

I did two coats of Cobblestone to fully cover it because it is a grainy oak. This is closer to the true colour. It has such a nice smooth matte chalky finish that I almost didn't want to add wax. But I did. I wanted a bit of depth and some protection.

The natural wax has beeswax and only the barely there smell of the beeswax and other natural oils. I used a white lint free rag to apply and lightly buff the wax but looking back I should have used my wax brush. Because those lint free rags didn't end up being as lint free as they were supposed to be.

The original hardware was an antique brass and with the cutouts in the drawers I decided to spray paint the existing hardware satin black. We have a lot of black hardware in our home so it works. 

This photo is a truer look at the Cobblestone colour with the natural wax.

I love the extra display and storage space. The drawers are felt lined and one drawer is already dedicated to tealights, votives and tapers.

This piece also really helps to balance out our small dining room. I will share a full tour with the new buffet soon.

I like the wood top but I always have the option of doing a dry brush technique or a solid grey on the top. Luckily the finish is not orangey like in these photos.

The surface will be great when entertaining and it gives me another horizontal spot to decorate!

Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great day! There are a lot of furniture and decor painters out there but if you would like more info on this or any of my projects, don't hesitate to email me. I'm always happy to help.

I was compensated with product to try, but as always any opinions expressed are truely my own.


Our Farmhouse-Lakehouse Dining Room and Plans

Happy June! Today I am sharing our dining room where I am working towards a farmhouse - lakehouse style. I love farmhouse style furnishings and the simplicity of lakehouse style.


Summer Lakehouse Mantel

I'm a bit behind sharing some decor changes for summer here on the blog but life gets busy sometimes. Today I want to share our family room fireplace mantel decorated for early summer with a lakehouse vibe. 

One of the beauties of a base of neutral colours is being able to easily add pops of colour. For our family room I am adding blues in lake house inspired shades. 


Guest Bedroom, A New Throw and A Giveaway

Our guest bedroom is coming along nicely, especially with the addition of a few accents like a soft woodgrain print throw and a sign I painted. Stay with me to the end of this post for the details on the giveaway.