Makeover Monday – Upstairs Bathroom Gets a Little Bling

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I am excited to share our upstairs bath with you.  I don’t know what it is but I seem to have this need to live in our bathrooms I like them so much.  What’s that? That’s normal? Great, moving on!

Our upstairs bath wasn’t all that bad when we initially walked through the house, I mean the tribal face masks had to go but seeing as we were buying a house and not everything the crazy decorator previous owner had in it, I figured we were safe.  The bathroom was basically brand new with tiles halfway up the entire room, a ceramic floor and a pale blue on the walls, I figured a little paint and we would be up and running.  The only problem was we had registered for grey towels, charcoal and light grey towels, and since my green bathroom vision was already in full Pinterest swing {damn you Pinterest for furthering my OCD} the grey towels were going to have to go up here.  What is the problem with that you are wondering? The problem with that is that the floors and the tiny little mosaic accent tile in this bathroom are a lovely neutral shade of sandy brown, which basically has the bathroom looking like a muddy dirty mess once my grey towels are up against it.

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{the before – recognize that mirror and light fixture}

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{before – theres the little mosaic tile that put my grey towels to shame}

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{before}

Oh I wanted a grey bathroom so badly but since I turned my whole entire house a shade of greige, my master bedroom into a serious grey cave and was going for a grey couch for the living room, I figured parting with my grey bathroom would be ok, plus it would make things a little less well, grey up in here.  I decided I would keep the bathroom a shade of blue {“then don’t paint” says my loving and paint adverse husband} but just not the current shade of blue it was sporting.  After multiple one impulsive trip to Benjamin Moore {hey I work best under pressure} I had selected the colour.

Can I do a Benjamin Moore paint sidebar here?  Of course I can, it’s my blog and you can skip this if you like, but has anyone else painted with Benjamin Moore?  This company may be entirely to blame for heart attacks in women (this is quite obviously not the case, Benjamin Moore I love you, never change).  You are probably wondering what I am talking about, well I say this because, when you pick your colour at the store you have your little paint chip and then when you get home and open up your can, the colour staring you back looks nothing like the paint chip (and you cry a little for making such an expensive impulsive decision) but you roll it up on the wall anyways.  Now that it is on the wall not only does it not look anything like the colour of the paint chip but it also looks nothing like the colour of the paint in the can (and you cry for real because what have you done) and then you decide to just do one wall and walk away until it dries (because you are basically hysterical and you know that your husband is going to tell you that you shouldn’t have run out and bought paint about 20 minutes after you got the keys) BUT and this is a very big important BUT (think Kim Kardashian here… wait what?!) you walk back into the room, and the paint has dried and you are holding your little paint chip that you have been crying to for the last hour or so and by some miracle IT’S THE SAME!!!!!!!!!! The paint, now dry on your wall MATCHES the paint chip in your hand and you do your ever so sexy happy dance to the paint Gods at Benjamin Moore. 

I know you are probably thinking this is all too dramatic but I am not even kidding, 4 paint colours later I FINALLY realized that this exact scenario that I outlined above was going to go down every time I painted and that I just had to keep calm and carry on!

If you read my Benjamin Moore sidebar, that is exactly what went down when I began painting the bathroom Wedgewood Grey.  It looked like a grey muddy mess and I cried a little and panicked a lot because I was looking at my bathroom turning into the grey muddy mess I was trying to stay away from. But, as is ALWAYS the case, and I can make a definitive statement like that now being a Benjamin Moore paint expert and all (yea right!), it dried to perfectly match the paint chip I so impulsively diligently selected.

We actually did this bathroom before the downstairs bathroom but since I had a fairly good idea of what the downstairs bathroom was going to look like I knew I wanted this one to be different.  I fell in love with the Debbie Travis line of light fixtures from Canadian Tire and after several trips for other things I decided I was getting them.  The flush mount was going to go where the plain old dome light had previously resided and its sister the sconce was going to go above the mirror where the light that was transplanted to the downstairs bathroom hung out.  I don’t know if these have gone up in price, I didn’t think we even paid that much but either way it was/is a great deal for the style I wanted.  They give the look and feel I wanted for the bathroom without the price tag you may normally see associated with something similar.

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{the sconce up close and personal}

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{Sconce all lit up and looking sparkly}

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{flush mount}

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{flush mount looking lovely}

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{fancy little flush mount all lit up}

Once the lights were home and installed I was really starting to love the vibe of the bathroom, I picked up the “diamond” shower curtain bar while on a shopping trip to Buffalo, NY for $19 at Tuesday Morning and the rhinestone shower curtain rings at HomeSense for $12.99.  I was originally looking for a chevron shower curtain but ended up opting for a plain white one on clearance at HomeSense for less than $15!

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{the bling shower curtain tension rod}

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{bling shower curtain rings}

That amazing cousin I mentioned in the Grey Bedroom Makeover came up to surprise me with one of my great aunts and check out the house {when it was in a complete state of chaos and the green and yellow kitchen was still in full effect} and brought me the most amazing house warming gift.  She’s got a pretty good memory that Cousin Cathy and knew I was all about chevron.  She managed to find the most amazing chevron umbrella holder and ordered me a blue and white chevron bathmat!  Originally I thought the umbrella holder would go by the front door and of course the bath mat in the bathroom but when I saw the chevron bathmat in the blingy bathroom I realized the umbrella stand was not going to be an umbrella stand anymore and turned into the most beautiful toilet paper holder I have ever seen!  I was so thrilled with Cathy’s finds and I still walk into my bathroom and smile because I have yet to see a chevron bath mat in my travels and well lets be honest, she couldn’t have matched the colours to my bathroom any better if she had tried!

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{chevron bath mat and umbrella holder turned toilet paper holder}

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{up close and personal with this beauty}

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{they were made to be together don’t you think?}

I knew I wanted apothecary jars to hold my q-tips and cotton pads and ended up finding these perfect ones at, you guessed it, HomeSense, for something like $6 and $8 each.

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{apothecary jars}

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 {bathroom counter}

I also picked up my blinged out toothbrush holder there, (much to Patrick’s dismay) it was a little more of a splurge item at $12.99.

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{more sparkle from the toothbrush holder}

And I recently picked up this coordinating blinged out box to hod our contact cases and all the other little things that seem to always be left on the counter without a home.

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{blinged out box – $12.99 HomeSense}

I really wanted one of those mirrors with the mirrored frame, I have a weird love for all things mirrored (and shiny) and we had seen them at HomeSense for forever but Patrick and I agreed we would wait until we were in the house to buy anything like that, well of course when I go to get THE mirror of my dreams THEY’RE GONE! We even travelled to Toronto to visit my parents and Patrick totally accommodated my crazy by stopping at 6 HomeSense locations with zero luck.

We ended up finding one at Bouclair (for a pretty penny) out of town but when we brought it home it was obvious my measurements were a little off and it had to go back.  Of course our Bouclair store here didn’t have the size down but I took it as a sign it wasn’t meant to be and headed over to HomeSense to see what they had and ended up finding this silver number for only $29.99.  I could not pass it up for that price, it was less than a third of what we paid for the mirrored mirror and I actually am happy with our decision.  I think it grounds the vanity area better and ties the silver in, plus I loved saving $70!

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{silver mirror}

I changed out the plain silver knobs on the white vanity for these, you guessed it, blingy ones I picked up at Home Depot.  I think it is a subtle change but really helps tie everything together.

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{look at that sparkle}

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 {and they even look great with chevron}

Once the bathroom was painted we exchanged our grey towels for white bath towels and bluish hand towels that almost match the walls perfectly.  I think it is fair to say on this project everything was coming up Tori!

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{the towels in action – love a clean white towel}

The finished product is one I am quite pleased with.  The light fixtures at the perfect amount of bling and coupled with the vanity accessories it all just works.  The neutral towels and shower curtain make it feel clean and spa like and the chevron bathmat and vase turned TP holder add the perfect amount of whimsy.

What do you think of our bathroom makeover?

Fashion Friday

I have a new love.  It married my old love fashion, and together has created a mini monster of sorts.  My new love, consignment shopping, the mini monster, well me.

I can’t lie to you, I have never “thrifted” any of my clothes, I have read the blogs and seen the amazing finds of those that do but unless I have just been looking in the wrong places, I cannot seem to make it work for me.  Consignment shopping is an entirely different animal.  When you are dealing with a designer consignment shop you are dealing with high end consigners, people who barely use (or don’t at all in some cases) their clothes and when you have a good consignment owner, everything is in impeccable shape.

I discovered the concept of high end designer consignment back in February when I was experiencing a full blown fashion crisis (you know when you want to replace EVERYTHING you own).  My sister and I were both set to visit our parents in Burlington, Ontario and decided I would look into a few shops in the area we could check out.  I somehow stumbled upon the amazing Wish Boutique and knew we had to see what it was all about.

I was a little hesitant to pile my mom and sister in the car and head to a place I knew little about. You see, I have drug my family on many a wild goose chases before.  Patrick still wonders why I have to enter Value Village every time we are near one since I never rarely buy anything, but call me the undying optimist (or if you know me you probably wont) when it comes to fashion and home decor I am always looking for that one special find.

Anyways off to Wish we went, I had a fairly good idea of what to except as owner Leah has done a great job with their Facebook page but when we walked through the doors I thought I died and went to designer heaven.  It is not a huge space but it is a perfectly laid out and tastefully decorated.  You can tell Leah has spent a great deal of time organizing the store to ensure it is fun and easy to shop.

I really had no intentions of buying anything that day but my denim and jacket obsession got the better of me and I was able to snag a pair of Victoria Beckham jeans for $70 and a cute black spring jacket that still had the tags on it for only $30.  The customer service was amazing and the selection and prices were awesome.  I may be heading for a visit to Burlington this weekend and you know that Wish will be on my to do list!

After the fun we had at Wish Boutique, I knew I wanted to check out a few more.  Leah pointed us in the direction of Closet 112 and By Consignment Boutique in Oakville, Ontario.    I was able to snag a short black Zara coat with the most amazing bell sleeves for only $18 from By Consignment and at Closet 112 I picked up the lululemon wrap sweater that I have been dying for another of (but they no longer make) for $60.

Sadly, in Peterborough I have yet to find a designer consignment shop but this just means more adventures and searches for new places to check out on our visits to family and friends!

My mother-in-law recently told me about Rikochet Resale, a designer Consignment in Ottawa, Ontario and now I am itching to get to Ottawa for a visit so her and I can check it out in person.  Rikochet has an amazing website and a great Facebook page which I have liked and follow to see what is new and exciting as they had the handbag I have been dying for (its picture has been on our fridge since November and we don’t keep anything on our fridge).  Unfortunately my MK Hamilton had found a new home by the time I contacted Rikochet but, their customer service was great and they will ship to me which is even better!

I also stumbled upon Crimson Clover Boutique in Halifax, Nova Scotia (my former stomping grounds and the place I left my heart).  This is an amazing consignment shop that I now follow religiously on Facebook.  They are always posting new items and I can’t wait to check them out this summer when I get back out east!

These are just a few of my fav consignment boutiques that I have managed to stumble upon.  Do you have any tried and true favourites?  What about online consignment shopping?  I have been looking into it but haven’t ventured there too much just yet.  Who doesn’t love saving money on great designer  finds?

Throwback Thursday – Fabric Wall Coverings

I see this #tbt business all over the place and though I don’t hashtag, and unless I get a fairly in-depth how to lesson, probably never will, I figure what better title for this post than Throwback Thursday?  This is a project from about 3 years ago when we first moved into our rental.

This is an old project that I stumbled upon pictures of and thought it would be GREAT to share. For any renters out there or any indecisive/design obsessed home owners, this is a great “quick fix” or long term solution that is easily removable either when your lease ends or when your design ADD kicks in (that isn’t politically correct is it?).

I got the idea for this project from the Nate Berkus Show (may it rest in peace, sorry Nate).  At the time we had just moved into our apartment and it was a giant white box with sweet ’70s parquet floors, I was desperate to add some colour somewhere but we didn’t know how long we would be there and weren’t keen on painting just to have to paint it back when we left soooooooo when this little project came up I marched on over to Fabricland and perused the discounted fabric (as I always do).

Fabric shopping Side Note – I basically never buy anything for full price at Fabricland, I love the clearance and discounted tables and if you can’t find what you like there, chat with the ladies and they will generally give you the scoop on when the next sale is coming up.  I was able to find a HUGE piece of a neutral tonal sheer stripe for about $8-$10 total and then “splurged” a little on a green and natural leaf printed outdoor fabric.  I decided I didn’t want a whole wall of print (because lets be honest, I wasn’t breaking the bank on this venture) and so for the other half of the wall I got a green solid that matched the green in the print.  I am pretty sure the lady who cut my fabric looked at me like I had 5 heads that day when I told her I would be starching the fabric to my wall but don’t let them discourage you, you can do this, it is so easy!

After stalking the laundry aisles of every walmart and grocery store in the city I decided that this liquid starch that Nate spoke of is unheard of in Canada and after a little on the spot iPhone web browsing decided I could make my own.  So about 4 boxes of cornstarch later (hey, its green and environmentally friendly) I took my fabric and my recent investment in the cornstarch market home to tackle this project.

Liquid Starch Recipe: In a bowl bucket stir 1/4 cup corn starch into 1/2 a cup cold water, then add 4 cups of boiling water and stir (I used a whisk).

Now I recommend getting a large bucket to do this but for some reason I opted to use these giant hot pink dollar  store plastic bowls (which we still have) to mix up my starch.  The first batch mixed up like a dream but subsequent batches were not going as well, here is the trick.  Your water has to be boiling hot, completely, utterly, scald yourself and go immediately to emerg, boiling hot.  If you are impatient and think “oh I can pour the water in when the kettle is bubbling and not boiling,” you’ll be wrong! I speak from experience as an impatient decorator  highly skilled professional (ha!).  p.s making your own liquid starch is a HUGE money saver and did I mention it is environmentally friendly!

Once you have mixed up your liquid starch you will probably want to let it cool (at least slightly) before getting started. Once the mixture is useable, then you can get to starching up your fabric. I did a combo method that seemed to work best.  I would soak the fabric in the bowl of liquid starch as well as roll some onto the wall, this seemed to give the best tackiness.  I found some of the fabric would slide a bit when putting it on the wall (the heavier fabric for sure) so I used small finishing nails to help hold it up until it dried.  Once you have your fabric up you will want to smooth out the bubbles as well as any excess liquid to promote a faster drying time and once that is all said and done you will have new “coloured” walls that can be easily removed at any time.

Here was our final result.

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I added some ribbon to cover the seam between the two fabrics and to act as a “faux” chair rail.  If this was in our own house you could totally add the real deal to make this a completed look but the ribbon worked great for a short term rental solution.

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And when you are done and stare at the big blank wall next to your new pretty wall with hate, you can run out to the dollar store and purchase 8 canvases for $2 a piece and create a mimicked artwork of your patterned wall to fill that ugly blank wall.

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I am in no way an artist but I was pretty happy with how this turned out.

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Here’s the striped fabric I told you about, I ended up buying a flat sheet in a colour to coordinate with the stripe for the adjoining wall.

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Check out those stripes (Teeka’s first guest appearance)!

I am not kidding about how easy this project is, it can be a little messy so if you are working in a carpeted room I would suggest laying down some protective plastic (I just gave our floors a good mopping when all was said and done).  It is such a great way to add a pop of colour or a fun print you don’t want to wallpaper or stencil up on the walls.

So for the nearly 2 years we lived in this apartment, Patrick definitely doubted the “easy removal” aspect of this project.  I had faith in Mr. Nate Berkus but Patrick wasn’t so sure and seeing as I had mixed up my own cornstarch I really couldn’t place all the blame on my man Nate if things went off the rails completely, but you will be happy to know that when it came time to move we just grabbed a corner and peeled and it came down even easier than it went up.  I gave the walls a good wipe down with just some water as they had a dry roughness to them but we still aren’t sure if that was from the starch or the cheap white paint they used.

So that is how we added a pop of colour to our white walled apartment.  I am thinking it would be fun to do this project in the house but not sure where.  This is by no means a tutorial but if you want a more in depth explanation on how to liquid starch fabric to your walls, let me know and I will have a great excuse to do a tutorial!