Lamp Revamp

There is a serious bug going around, a few friends have caught it, I’ve caught it, actually thanks to Pinterest the better part of the globe has caught it.  Don’t worry it’s nothing too serious, it’s just the DIY bug.  Though some may blame it on Pinterest, for me, Pinterest has only been feeding the seed that was long ago planted by my ridiculously talented, artistic and crafty mom!  From a very young age we were always making, creating and doing and as such I guess it is no surprise that I have carried these habits into our home.

I know when all of this started Patrick thought I was a little crazy.  I never really had the opportunity to do everything I wanted before since we were always in apartments.  Sure I decorated, recovered and even made my first upholstered headboard back then {thanks mom} but only since we’ve been in the house have I really been able to dive into my DIY obsession.

Today’s project was 100% Pinterest inspired.  I stumbled upon this picture while losing several hours  on Pinterest one day.  

Simply Style Blog - Lamp Revamp

{photo credit}

I loved the concept of wrapping rope to create a great decor piece, but I didn’t plan to use a vase, I knew exactly how I wanted to adapt this DIY project as my own, I was going to wrap a lamp!  When my parents were moving they had a bunch of still in the package spools of rope that I couldn’t just let them throw out.  The rope made its way into one of my “craft” bins where it lived for about 2 years, that is until this project came up.

Inspired and actually having some free time one day, I headed out to my local Vinnies {St. Vincent de Paul} where I found the exact shaped lamp that I was looking for for only $5 {less a 10% discount for being a student at the time}.  Unfortunately I got a little excited to get started as soon as I got home and forgot to take a proper “before” picture but here is the lamp rope wrapping underway.

Simply Style Blog - Lamp Revamp{sort of before}

With a lot of hot glue and only one roll of my rope, I got to wrapping my lamp.  This job was not difficult but it was time consuming and a little hard on the fingers after awhile.

Simply Style Blog - Lamp Revamp{in progress}

This project could not get any simpler.  Just would glue a little, wrap a little, glue a little more.  I went through a LOT of hot glue {crafter tip: hot glue sticks for the mini gun come in packs of 15 at Dollarama for only $1.25} but when your only investment in the project is a $4.50 lamp, a package of $1.25 hot glue sticks really isn’t so bad.

When I finally got to the bottom of the lamp {just a few classic 90210 episodes later} I simply untwined the rope slightly and tucked the tail under the base.  

Simply Style Blog - Lamp Revamp{the finished product}

I picked up this lampshade for only $10 at a local home design store here but it is WAAAAAAAAY too big for this lamp. Looks like I will be looking for another lamp project so I can use this great shade!  

Simply Style Blog - Lamp Revamp{rope lamp drowning in shade}

With the navy walls in the family room I have really wanted to keep everything else light and natural.  I know rope and navy can lend a little to the nautical side but I still kind of love it!  This was such a fun easy project and I still have some rope spools left.  Remember that rope mirror I shared in a retail therapy post awhile back?  Well it looks like this:

Simply Style Blog - Lamp Revamp{rope mirror – HomeSense}

Why pay the retail price tag when this would make such a simple DIY? I think I will tackle it in the near future!

Total cost of this Lamp Revamp:  Lamp  $4.50, Rope FREE, Hot Glue $1.25, Shade $10 for a TOTAL of $15.75!!!!! That’s a pretty cheap lamp if you ask me!








Flooring Adventure

**this post contains very poor quality pictures, please forgive me**

When we moved into our house the basement was carpeted except for the kitchenette area. It was cheap, low pile almost industrial stuff.  When we bought the house we figured we’d live with it for awhile and then eventually lay laminate.  Heres the only before picture I have, it was snapped quickly while we were doing a walk through of the house, posts on that lovely baby poop bead board you may remember from the foyer to come.

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{before}

That plan was quickly kiboshed when I came home to all the carpet ripped out one night {I guess husband got bored}.

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{taking out the carpet}

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{lovely stained underpad}

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{the mess}

We lived with the concrete jungle in its state of complete disarray for months and months.  I bleach washed the floors {yes the concrete} but for some reason that pesky cat smell was still around.  As Christmas quickly approached, and with it the imminent arrival of both our families we knew something had to be done so out we went one night, on the hunt for flooring.

We had been looking at different places for laminate basically since we moved in and realized that my design obsessed self would have a LOT of trouble living in the forrest green grungey carpet.  We really didn’t want to spend a lot of money, nor could we afford to and were looking to keep it around $1.50 a square foot.  We walked into our last stop, Home Hardware, and headed back to the flooring section where we saw nothing.  As we were leaving {somewhat disappointed and prepared to go over budget to get a deccent floor} Patrick noticed skids of laminate flooring, I looked at the first, no too grey, the second no eww it was orange, there wasn’t enough of the third and then there was the fourth, when I looked at the fourth I heard those angels I occasionally shop with sing their sweet little song.  It was a wide board laminate in the perfect colour with just the right amount of {faux} naturalness going on.  I liked it and then I looked up and saw the price sign reading $0.81 a square foot.  Well my like for this particular floor quickly turned to love and I may have thrown myself across the pile so no one else could get near it.  No, no that didn’t happen, but I did instruct my lovely husband to stand guard while I went to get an associate and some help.  Next thing you knew we were loading some 40 odd boxes of the stuff into the back of the vehicle {thank goodness for it}.

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{still loading}

When we got home we were a two man ugh two person floor unloading team as we piled it all into one of the downstairs bedrooms where it would anxiously sit until the weekend when we could finally tackle our long awaited project.

Patrick had laid flooring before so we figured to save money this was a project we would tackle ourselves.  After an hour or so,{a few words, a contemplation of turning the house into two units so we could live happily apart} we finally got the hang of it and started getting it down in no time!

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{progress}

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{our helper sleeping on the job}

 Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{almost there}

We were able to finish this space in a day and then went on to tackle the two bedrooms and the hallway over the next few weekday evenings.  We didn’t think the bedrooms were quite as bad as the living space….

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{we don’t get much done without our helper}

 Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{the lovely shade of teal/mint}

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{it was all pretty nasty}

After hours and hours, a few blood blisters for Patrick and bruised knees for me, we were finally finished!  It was a great feeling when we got it all done, and just in time for christmas!

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{just need to do the quarter round}

Obviously I painted before the floors went in but details on the family room are for another post! As far as flooring goes, we just have one little project left to finish up our flooring adventure…..

Simply Style Blog - Flooring Adventure{the nastiness continues on the stairs}

Table Transformation

I am so sorry about my recent unexpected hiatus, we have been so busy every weekend and this whole two jobs thing with its leaving the house at 8am and not returning until 10pm has really gotten the best of me.  Then throw in the beautiful weather we’ve been having and this sun worshiper has trouble staying inside.  But that’s enough for the excuses, I am enjoying my first real night off in I don’t know how long and have my MacBook outside with me while I bask in the last few hours of sunshine today.

I can’t believe I didn’t think of this plan sooner, or perhaps the whole 10pm getting home after the sun is LONG down and it is way past my bed time got in my way.  Either way, aside from the big grey beast lifting his leg on the back of my chair {yes that happened, i guess it’s his chair now} and having to make a quick switch, things are looking up!  Alright enough about my problems {dog pee included}, on to the post.

I think everyone knows about the in-law woes, we’ve all heard them,but luckily for me I won the in-law lottery.  Honestly, I don’t know how this happened {I didn’t buy a ticket} but I lucked out big time.  My mother-in-law is kind of a goddess, you see she actually enjoys going to HomeSense with me {or at least is a great actress}, tolerates my major slight shopping addiction whenever we’re together and get this, she even supports my crazy DIY makeovers!  Supports and encourages I should say.

Remember that sexy looking turquoise buffet in our living room?  That was a teak piece she gave us and let me have free rein with.  Well along with that beautiful buffet came these two end tables.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{before}

Now these things are some big teak tables, they are not some delicate end table you can just plop anywhere that is for sure AND they have these fancy “secret” drawers that you don’t even know exist.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{before}

When they first arrived I have to be honest, I was a little intimated by their stature and physique.  They stand 21.5 inches tall and are 20.5 by 29.5 across the top. I had no clue what I was going to do with them, but much like the other “donations” to our furniture cause, I embraced them with open arms {and a slightly uncertain mind}.

They found their home in our disaster of a family room {that is another post in itself} but were functioning more as “stuff” holders than tables.  When we finally got the family room in some semblance of order, I pushed the two together to make a coffee table and quickly fell in love with the concept.

Remember those snazzy secret drawers, well they are pretty awesome to hide remotes, coasters and other junk useful stuff that accumulates on top of coffee tables and the height of these beauties far surpasses that of any regular old coffee table which is a pretty phenomenal thing when you have a great big Weimaraner to contend with.  I also kind of love how they are two tables that can be pulled apart when we have company to give more drink resting space.  Needless to say, the once homeless unloved gigantic teak end tables had found their permanent home.

I should probably mention that these tables arrived in May of last year before we even moved into our house.  They then sat in that same shape for a year until I finally determined what I was going to do with them.  They were in a bit of rough shape after already living a long well loved life with my in-laws and had several rings and water marks as well a few paint spills {since they may or may not have been used as paint can rests during the painting of the entire house}.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation


I decided that I was going to attempt the two-tone look.  I have a bit of a “natural wood” theme running through the family room and wanted to keep some of the natural character of the tables.  I also didn’t want go all “I have every piece of furniture in my house painted a bright colour” kind of crazy on these as is entirely possible with my furniture painting obsession.  Anyways, I decided I would stain the tops and the shelves and paint the legs.  I began by sanding the table tops to remove some of the marks and give the stain a more even surface to adhere to.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{before}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{thank you dad for lending your sander to the cause}

Once the tables her sanded I got to staining.  I hate staining.  There I said it.  What was I thinking?  Gloves are good, remember that, I didn’t.  Also, a little stain goes a LONG way, you don’t need a litre to do two tables… lesson learned.  All of that being said, the staining wasn’t THAT bad.  I used Minwax  Polyshades in Mission Oak, it’s a two in one stain that has the polyeurethene right in there so there was no sealing step {love that}.  I applied it with a brush and since I wanted a rough somewhat “rustic” feel I wasn’t too worried about the most perfect application.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{staining}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{before & after staining}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{after staining}

Once the tables were stained I called on this very obscure elusive skill I discovered I possess a little of, it’s called patience.  Sure, you may have patience coming out the wazzoo but me on the other hand, I am seriously lacking in the patience department, so to call on this little known skill in my world was pretty impressive when I set my tables aside for 2 whole days to dry {properly} for once.

Then came time to move forward with the next step of the process and it was then I had a bit of a mini crisis as to whether I should proceed with my two-tone plans.  I loved the way the tops of the tables had turned out and didn’t want to ruin my favourite impromptu coffee table with my evil white paint.  The deciding factor was that the colour of the stained tables is really close to the colour of our floors in the family room and without a rug {because I own a chihuahua that has a vendetta against all carpet like structures} I was afraid it would make the space too dark without any real break between floor and table.  So I charged ahead with my white legs.  I taped off all the exposed stained areas that could come in contact with paint and got to priming.

 Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{tables stained and beginning taping}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{taping for priming}

You obviously love my high tech levitation system {and Shaq’s childs sandbox turned doggie pool in the background}.  I used the same technique to do my kitchen cabinet doors but enlisted apple juice and soup cans as well!  After struggling through the priming and painting of the teak buffet, I knew I was going to have to tackle this with extra care since I wanted the legs to be white.  I used my favourite Stix primer from Benjamin Moore and did three coats.  Just like the buffet, the existing stain soaked through the primer so the extra coats were necessary to ensure I would end up with white table legs instead of tan ones.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{primed table legs}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{primed}

You can see here the table legs aren’t just legs but wrap up around the side of the table too, this was a big part of my struggle with going two-tone, but I think the whole look is working.  Though the table legs look good primed you can see below the amount of colour the primer soaks up.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{primed vs. painted}

Transforming the legs a crisp clean white was important so I used what was left of the Benjamin Moore Advance that we used on the hexagon tables, since it dries like enamel it is great for furniture!

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{Benjamin Moore Advance – Chantilly Lace}

After two coats of paint, they were good to go.  I summoned some more of that patience stuff before pealing off the tape.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{painted – hi shaq}

Now I want to share the oops moments, the what went wrongs and the imperfections.  All too often when I am reading about DIYs it seems to go so smoothly for these secret experts DIYers.  They tackle a project and it turns out PERFECT.  Whether or not that is the reality, it is yet to be seen at my house. With every DIY something goes a little astray.  Not every seam on my DIY pillows is perfect, not every inch of my painted furniture is flawless, this is the reality for me and I am totally okay with that.  So now to share the oopses, the oh s!*t moments and the imperfections that make this project all DIY and perfectly imperfect.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{working outside there were a few casualties, this guy and the better part of his family succumbed to dark stain in the sun}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{I am not a good taper, I just shouldn’t tape}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{a more major taping oops}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{the most major taping oops}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{and even days of patience couldn’t save this spot}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{i’m sorry frog tape, I let you down!}

As you can see, I am not perfect {shocking} and lots goes wrong, but that is part of the fun of it.  These were easy fixes.  When painting just about anything, I swear by having on hand some cheapo dollar store paint brushes on hand.  I buy a set of 5 or 6 every so often and even when painting rooms, I love using these to touch up little details that may not be perfect.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{keep dollar store paint brushes on hand to fix the oopses}

After a few minor touch ups, the new to us teak tables were like new once again!  I called on a little more of that patience {after this project I am fresh out for like a year or so} and set the tables in the shed to dry for about a week.  The Advance paint needs to cure and I wanted it to have the most time possible before bringing them into our heavily used family room.

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{after}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{after}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{after}

Simply Style Blog - Table Transformation{before and after}

I am so happy with how they turned out and love that I am able to keep my gigantor tables as my coffee table.  What do you think of the two toned tables?  I am so looking forward to showing you how they look in our {work in progress} family room!