Makeover Monday: Guest Retreat

I am so excited to share this room with you.  From the beginning it has been one of my favourite spaces in our home as it was the one I had a “vision” for from the get go and the pieces sort of just came together.  If you have been a friend of Simply Style for any amount of time you know I could blab on and on but how about we skip that part and get to the good stuff…. pictures!


That breakfast tray is a thrifted find.  I picked it up at our local Vinnie’s for $2 and spray painted it white.  I love the guest feel it adds to this space, though I have yet to serve anyone breakfast in bed here!

The lamps are yet another thrifted find.  I also picked them up at our local Vinnie’s for $4 or $5 a piece and gave them coat of yellow spray paint.  The shades are from the crystal lamps that used to be in this room.
The bedding is a Target US find way back when before we even moved in.  I had my heart set on it and picked it up for $20 while on a cross boarder shopping trip!

You may recognize the dresser, it was the amazing hand-me-down from my in-laws.  Well the pretty lady has found its home in this space.


Does this chair look familiar?  It’s probably best if it doesn’t.  It was this somewhat awful pink lady I picked up while at a charity garage sale this spring.  Well I started reupholstering her in the summer but that project was a little more involved than I had hoped for so once the body of the chair was done I came to a complete and utter halt stalled at the cushion {despite that being the easiest part} and the half finished chair sat in our hallway, cushion less,  for nearly ever.  Well I won’t lie to you, that cushion is still not properly finished but it will do for now!


The ceramic owl side table I fell in love and picked up from Homesense and though I have different plans for it, it has found a temporary home in this space.


The pillows are made from napkins I picked up on clearance at the end of the summer {2012} for about $5 for four {1 navy, 1 lime green, 1 teal and 1 yellow} I bought four packages and DIYed the pillows for here and the navy in our family room.

We’ve had the end tables forever, they came from Walmart and cost next to nothing.  They’ve managed to survive three moves and 6 months in storage so I would say we’ve gotten our money’s worth from these!

I couldn’t resist this faceless big while at Bouclair Home one day.

The headboard is a DIY special and my first adventure in button tufting.  When we first moved into our house I attempted this project and though she could use a few improvements she does the trick in this guest space.

The tray is yet another DIY special that you may remember from here.  The apothecary jars I had on hand and filled them with seashells I had leftover from our wedding decor and feathers from my craft bins.

The art is this Ikea fabric, stretched over canvases and painted with acrylics to tie some of the colours together.  I have to give it to my Momma on that DIY as the idea was all hers!

The curtains are actually shower curtains I picked up at TJ Maxx for $11.99 a piece.  I hung an ikea sheer behind to add length and give them for a whimsy “skirted” look.


Well there you have it, our guest “retreat” or at least I like to think so!  This space is all ready booked for Christmas so we must be doing something right! Until next time….


Simply Style - Signature


You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks … or can you?!

It was bound to happen eventually.

 a finished post.



Now I know how all those vetran bloggers that I stalk follow have felt. You dedicate time and energy and obviously your clever whit {not so much} just to see the whole thing circle down the drain.  Wait, if I had known it was going maybe I could have stopped it… either way.  It’s gone.

Believe it or not I am sharing another project that does involve coral and gold {go me!} well sort of.  I may or may not have attacked part of this project with gold spray paint just to be swiftly put back in my place… but we’ll get to that!

Remember way back when I had an ever so successful garage sale and hand me down inheriting weekend and my amazing in-laws sent this pretty ol’ gal to us?

Simply Style Blog{in all her legless glory}

Well she moved into the shed next to the to-be-recovered-wing chair, the coffee table soon-to-be bench and the other miscellaneous projects I hide from my husband {just kidding}!

A few weekends later, while waiting to head to my girlfriends to have a furniture painting party {what you don’t rock those every Sunday} I decided I had enough time to get this pretty lady started with a coat of primer so I drug her out of the shed and gave her back her legs.

Simply Style Blog{before}

Obviously I used a my most favourite Stix primer that I pick up at my local Benjamin Moore Store.

Simply Style Blog{primed}

A coat or two later, and with still lots of time to spare, I was ready for paint.  Remember I lack patience so when I am ready, so is my project!

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Using my tried and true furniture paint, Benjamin Moore Advance but in a whole new colour…

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Now that’s colour!

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A coat or two later, I was {almost} done with this lovely lady and off to tackle dresser #2 for the day! Remember this one:

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Well Big Bertha up top here combined with 3 failed attempts to find replacement hardware forced my pretty little lady of a dresser to take a back seat for awhile. But I finally decided it was time to finish her up and it came when I first discovered GOLD!!!

See the problem here is this pretty little lady, she ain’t no spring chicken and as such her um… holes, were a little different than those sleek new dressers of today.  Well they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but you sure can give old dresser hardware a fresh new coat of spray paint.

I mentioned my mishap at the beginning of this post which came when I sprayed all of the existing hardware gold.  I loved the colour combo but unfortunately this just wasn’t going to work in the silver and grey room where this dresser was destined sooooo back outside {with silver spray paint in tow} I went and when all was said and done this is what I had created:

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What do you think?  Not too bad for an old girl is she?  Amazing what a little paint and some updating of old hardware can do.  Plus this girl’s still got legs!

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{before & after}

Fabric Wall Coverings Tutorial

No secrets here, the title pretty much gives it away, I am going to attempt my first tutorial and it is going to be about fabric wall coverings {obviously}. But before I get to the tutorial I  clearly have to drone on a little bit first {it just wouldn’t be a Simply Style blog post without it}.

Awhile back I shared this post about the fabric wall coverings Mr. Nate Berkus inspired me to attempt in our rental.  This was an easy and simple solution to make our temporary home well, more homey!  When we moved into our house I quickly painted every room {but one} and though I knew of other design options like wallpaper and the large scale stencils that are now available, I really stuck to the quick and easy solution by going with paint.  When I shared my fabric wall covering post from our rental it reminded me how simple this makeover solution was and I realized there is no reason this shouldn’t be something we do in our house, after all this simple DIY is not for renters and temporary living spaces alone.

I love the look and bright bold statements wallpaper and stencilling can make, but I don’t think my patience is all there when it comes to those tasks so, in the under one hour it took me to complete this project from start to finish, I will tackle fabric wall coverings any day!

The most difficult part of the fabric wall covering is finding a fabric that 1) you like and 2) isn’t going to break the bank.  As you know by now I love a good bargain and spending regular price on fabric to cover the wall is just not going to sit well with me.  That being said, if you have a little more money to spend remember wallpaper is not cheap, actually it is fairly comparable to the price of fabric and the bonus with your fabric wall covering, when you’re done you simply peel down, throw your fabric in the wash and you can use it elsewhere or for other projects!!

All right that seems like enough blabber for one post, on to the TUTORIAL.  I decided to tackle the wall at the end of our upstairs hallway.  This hallway got a serious dose of my tried and true griege of choice, Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore and was spruced up with some illusionary double deep baseboards inspired by this tutorial by House of Smiths. It was definitely looking better than the dark hallway of doom it resembled when we moved in but it just wasn’t “there” yet.

Simply Style - Fabric Wall Coverings Tutorial{before}

I have dreamed about this mirror framed mirror since before we moved into the house and the plan was to get it as soon as we moved in but more important projects got in the way and needless to say I still don’t own it, but the dream is still alive and it is a big part of the inspiration for this project.

Simply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Coverings Tutorial{available at Home Depot for $109.99}

Instead of my dream mirror, our 6 year old, beat up, wicker hamper has made its home in its place, making this space anything but exciting.


To start this project you will need the following items:

Corn Starch
Large Bowl
Kettle or PotSimply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Covering Tutorial
{what you’ll need}

I opted to make my own liquid starch because the liquid starch my man Nate Berkus told me about on his show {before it ceased to exist} seemed no existent, at least in my town.  I actually don’t know why you would pay money for liquid starch when a box of corn starch is under $2 and makes enough liquid starch to fabric your entire home.

To start this project you need to make your liquid starch.  Here is the “recipe”:

Mix 4 cups of HOT {i mean boiling} water with 1/2 cup of COLD water and 1/4 cup of corn starch and STIR STIR STIR.

Simply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Coverings Tutorial{mixing up the liquid starch}

It is absolutely critical you use HOT HOT HOT water, let the kettle boil completely or bring your pot to a real rolling boil to ensure you make the best liquid starch.  For this project I mixed 2 batches but I really only needed about half of one batch in all reality.  Be sure to stir the mixture and get all the little pockets of the starch, you don’t want clumps and bumps.  Your mixture will look a milky white colour to start.

Simply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Coverings Tutorial{the mixture}

Now if you have patience, you let this sit and cool and it will turn to a thicker clear liquid, but if you are like me {that’s someone of the lacking patience variety} you will take the 5 minutes it takes to get your step ladder, paint tray and foam roller and then you’ll get started.

Simply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Coverings Tutorial{the tools}

I used an old paint tray {as you can see} and a cheapo foam roller from the dollar store {seriously}.  Make sure your roller has a plastic core.  When I did this project at the apartment I used a large roller that had a cardboard core and it start to disintegrate and I was leaving little piece of cardboard all over my wall as I rolled {it was actually a mess}.  This little plastic roller was $2 well spent and I will be able to use it again!

You’ve seen the fabric I chose before, I shared it in my Fabric Finds and was able to pick it up at Fabricland for $10 a meter.  For just over $20 I had enough to cover this wall with extra to spare.  This is an indoor/outdoor fabric, I find they have better prints and patterns but they are also a lot heavier and some have a water repelling feature {be careful of those} which makes this project a little more difficult.

Simply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Coverings Tutorial{my fabric}

Once I was all set up I decided I would iron a “hem” or sorts so I would have a nice clean line along the top of my wall where it meets the ceiling.  when I bought my fabric I had left myself some wiggle room in the length so I knew I could afford to have this fold over.

Image{ironing a clean edge – please ignore the lack of reducer between our new laminate floors and awful concrete in our utility room, embarrassing}

Now I am finally ready to start applying my fabric.  There are a few ways you can tackle this project.  If you are using a thin cotton you will be able to roll your liquid starch on the wall and the fabric will stick to it because it is light.  If you are using a heavier fabric like me, I find that using a few little finishing nails to hold the fabric up along the top to start is really helpful, especially if attempting this on your own.  Whatever type of fabric you are using, I start by rollering a small section at the top of the wall to get started.  Once your fabric is on the wall {be it stuck to the starch or hanging from your finishing nails} then you can start rollering on top of the fabric.

Simply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Coverings tutorial{rolling the starch on}

I find once you get going this way you really don’t need to roller under the fabric anymore. Just load some liquid starch on your roller and give your fabric a good soak until it clings.    I like to start by rollering from the middle and working out, this helps roller out any pockets and bubbles that will inevitably occur.

Now you could cut your fabric to fit your wall ahead of time but in my experience, though you would like to think your walls are straight the reality is they’re not so I prefer to leave excess to avoid frustration.

Simply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Coverings Tutorial{in process}

To get rid of the excess I run a pen or pencil down the seam to give myself a line.  Then you can just cut away the excess.

Simply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Coverings Tutorial{marking the fabric for cutting}

For this project I used scissors to cut away the excess before anything was dry but you can also allow the fabric to dry to the wall and then use a sharp exacto knife to cut away the fabric you don’t need.Simply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Covering Tutorial{cutting away the excess}

Once you have cut away all the excess fabric you can give the whole wall another good coat of your liquid starch.  Your fabric wall will be wet.  Don’t keep touching it, just walk away.  Leave your fabric to dry thoroughly before you hang anything but once it is dry you can go ahead and do whatever you like!

Simply Style Blog - Fabric Wall Covering Tutorial{after}

I am totally in love.  Sure it is bold and bright but this long hallway now makes me smile whenever I pass or walk down it.  Remember I want a GIANT  mirror to hang here eventually which means the pattern will only show around the boarder which will assist in taming this bold statement in our home.

Fabric Wall Before and After
{before and after}

My fabric choice may not be for everyone but this EASY DIY can be done with any pattern, print or solid you can find! Do you have a a boring wall that you want to update?  Renters and homeowners rejoice, this temporary {or long term} decor solution is just what you need to add some personality and pizzaz to your home.