Category Archives: reno

The Big Bedroom Makeover!

I’ve been itching for change lately, and now that I have all this spare time on my hands I’ve been working on some “projects” that I’ve wanted to do for a while.

My most recently completed one was the bedroom makeover!

My old room was awesome, but it was cluttered, busy and not very relaxing. I had my computer desk in there and basically did everything in that room. It wasn’t a very peaceful environment to fall asleep in, or just relax in general. I have issues with sleep as it is, so I decided that I’d make a big change and move the desk out and do the room over in an effort to make it more serene.

I moved the desk into my media room/spare room (Photos to come!) and set to work.

Working With What I Had

The biggest challenge was trying to get all my disparate elements to come together, with little money. I really didn’t have a budget at all.

Everything in my room is second-hand. I don’t think there is a single piece of furniture in there that is new! That certainly posed a unique challenge. I also fell in love with the purple bed set on vacation and had to work a new colour into my palette that wasn’t there before. Originally I was aiming for whites & pinks since I had a white bedspread and pink pillows & curtains to work with. Then I remembered I wanted to bring my big black chaise into the room for a reading nook. *sigh* there’s another colour to work with!

So now I had 4 main colour accents: Purple, pinks, white & black.


The goals for this room makeover were:

  • Create more space both physically and optically
  • Declutter & organize
  • Use the furniture and stuff I already had and find a way to unify it better
  • Make the room more functional with separate spaces for makeup, jewellery/accessories, sleeping and reading
  • Make a more relaxing and calm space

My main inspiration for this room is the pink & cream bird curtains. I made them when I moved in and I still love them! In the photos below, see if you can pick out all the little bird elements I used to tie everything together!

Since I was starting with the curtains, I decided to go with a lighter wall colour to brighten & enlarge the room. I picked a very light, creamy bone shade that closely matched the cream in the curtains. It’s a neutral enough shade to achieve all my goals and provide a nice backdrop for the splashes of colour in the art & accessories.

The final product

With the desk gone from my room there was tons of space for a new vanity and reading area. I got the black chaise off of Craigslist last year and the “vanity” that you see is actually a sewing table from my late aunt. I think she’d be happy with how I arranged it! I also had an old chair sitting around the apartment, so I painted it and upholstered the seat in a shiny black to match the chaise. My mom thought it came with the table! Score!

Vanity & Reading Corner


Close up on the vanity. I reupholstered & painted the chair to match!

I also took this as an opportunity to go through all my accessories and prune them down. After that I had to find a creative way to keep most of them in sight so I could remember what I had! (I couldn’t keep them all out, I have an insane amount of stuff, so just the faves are on display)

I found an old cork board hiding in a storage space and my problem was solved! (Everyone knows the cork board trick for jewellery now, right?) I painted it the same colour as the walls so it would blend in and provide a good backdrop for my pretties. Not bad! Again, just working with what I had on hand, folks!

Part 1 of the "jewellery bar"

I also finally found a way to display some of my floral hair fascinators creatively, while finding a home for my tiered tray (that thing is impossible to store!!!!)

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May I offer you a rose for your hair?

All said and done, I think I did a pretty swell job of pulling everything together, and I was able to achieve each of the goals I set out for this project.

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The "Other Side"

The funny thing about this room is that I really didn’t set out to have it bird-themed. It just sort of worked out that way. I went with the motif from the curtains and tried to have little details throughout to provide continuity. I may not have chosen this myself, but I think it worked out well! Sometimes you just have to let your project choose  YOU.


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Curtains - The Inspiration
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More bird details

If you also like the bird theme, I got the hooks and white wall-birds from Umbra. I buy from the concept store downtown, but there are lots of other retailers that carry them as well. As for the spunky wall decal, I got it at the dollar store for $2!!! Amazeballs. I bought it months ago because it was pretty and it sat around until I finally realized I could use it in this project. Win!

Royal-Tiger approves this room makeover!

Bathroom/Kitchen Reno: Part 5, the Finale!

Ahh, the long-awaited conclusion to my bathroom/kitchen renovation saga!

What began in early December is now 90% complete by mid-February. There are still a few things to be finished (hooking up the radiator, routing the fan to the outside, etc.) but for all intents and purposes, our renovation is finished.

Want a refresher on the hell I had to live through? There’s photos! You can click here for all my posts on the renovations.

Our bathroom and kitchen were very old, non-functional and oddly laid out. We found a newspaper in the wall dated to the sixties, so I presume that the bathroom & kitchen were at least 40 years old, with most original fixtures, nonetheless.

Here is what it looked like BEFORE:

And here it is DURING:

And finally, AFTER:

I think the photos really speak for themselves. It is a HUGE improvement over what we had before. It was dingy, dark, dirty and decrepit, and now it’s all bright and stainless steel.

It’s not exactly the colours or finishes, or storage etc. that I would have chosen for myself, but considering my landlord probably sunk about $15,000 into this, I am not complaining.
Do you like the flowers? We had originally bought the decals for our foyer downstairs (which is currently hot pink). We were going to paint and apply them down there… but it was too much work so they just sat around under my roommate’s bed until now!
We don’t like the stark white but are too cheap and lazy to repaint everything, so we recycled the flowers to give the space a punch! We’re considering getting a couple other elements to liven it up a bit more.
I’m really glad it’s done. It’s taken som adjusting to the new space and different storage options and there are still little bits and bobs to finish, but overall I’m happy with it. Did you see that counterspace, it’s awesome!
I can’t wait to have a party here to show it off! 😀

Mmm mmm Good!

I did a bit of a grocery shop this weekend and am set to do some cooking this week!

As part of my goals I laid out for myself this year, cooking at home falls under managing my finances better and living healthier. I will hopefully save some money this way and also regulate what I am eating at lunch and at dinner.

This weekend was bad for me in terms of health–I totally binged on all the crap that is at my parents’ house. I think I probably consumed enough calories for a normal week in just 2 days. Ugh.

Anyway, I’m trying to get back in line, so this week I actually *gasp!* planned some meals for myself ahead of time. Since space is at a premium in my apartment I can’t just keep a ton of food on hand. It also goes rotten pretty quick when only one person is eating it…

Anyroad, tonight my plan is to make my very own quiche for the first time, as well as some chocolate chip cookies (I’m trying Mama Bear’s recipe!) and a curried carrot soup (my roommate bought a giant bag of carrots and asked me to use them up for her…).

If things go well I might photo-document the final results and let you know how they turned out.

On another note, I haven’t forgotten about the bathroom/kitchen reno saga. It’s just that I wanted to post photos of the finished product… and unfortunately now that the bulk of the work is done the guys are slow as molasses in getting the final details finished.

My kitchen and bathroom are functional… but all the pretty little details are lacking! I promise that once most of the work is done I will be sure to post some before and after photos!

Bathroom/Kitchen Reno: Part 4

Finally some walls!

The drywall went up and a pocket door went in! I’m excited. A pocket door means that there won’t be a regular swing door taking up space in the rooms.

The worker dude (OMG he’s so cute! I love a handy man! He can’t be more than 30…. I wonder if I should ask him out???) shifted the water taps over to where the fridge used to be for the night, but at least we’ve got water! It’s still as dusty as ever, but it finally looks as if progress is being made.

It was nice to finally have a door for a little bit of privacy. Unfortunately over the next few days (I went home to visit the parents on the weekend) the water was completely shut off, meaning that we had no more taps or water source, and we couldn’t flush the toilet. Delightful!

I already had to shower in the basement once which was not fun on an icey, cold morn, but now we were expected to go down there to use the toilet, too. Not cool. Roomie and I just went #1 in the toilet and flushed with a bucket of water.

After that, it just got increasingly worse. I decided not to go home on the Friday night, and just went straight to my parents’. I came back into the city on Monday for work, but again I just left straightaway for my parents again since the conditions in the apartment were really becoming unlivable. Luckily the Cuba trip was due and I was able to escape for a week while they worked on it.

I don’t have any photos between these ones and when I came back from Cuba, sorry! But there will be more updates to come!

I wonder, how many of you out there have gone through something similar? Have you ever been living in an apartment when the landlord has decided to do this?

Bathroom/Kitchen Reno: Part 3

After much anticipation…

A few days into the major demolition of the space, this is what I had to contend with:

Peeing behind a curtain. Oh yes. My roomie and I had to develop a sophisitcated system to alert each other that we were using the facilities.

Roomie: Ging, you in there?
Ginger: OMG YES!!! Give me a few minutes!!!

I don’t think either of us pooped in there… it was just far too open. I waited til I got to the office. *blush*

The next day or so it got a little better, they put up the bones of the walls and finally removed the bathtub. Luckily we still had running water, but no sink or drain… we had to collect the wastewater from the tap in a rubbermaid bucket and pour it down the toilet.

By this point there’s about a centimeter of dust over everything. I came home while they were still working one day and could hardly breathe it was so dusty. They tried to clean up after themselves, but there’s really only so much they could do.

Little did we know, it would only get worse…

Bathroom/Kitchen Reno: Part 2

As promised, here is the next installment of my reno documentation.

The following photos are what the place looked like after the first day of real heavy-duty work. All the walls from the outside of the house through the bathroom, kitchen were torn down. At this point there was still a wall dividing the kitchen and dining room and a sink in place.
Here’s what’s left!

We were still allowed a modicum of privacy, as well as a sink and working (though dirty) shower in these photos. It was not long to last, however.

Stay tuned!

Bathroom/Kitchen Reno: Part 1

Oh the drama! My apartment is currently undergoing renovations on account of the fact that our bathroom leaks into the apartment below us.

This is my chronicle of the changes… photo documented, of course!

I think a good place to start is the beginning… so here are a couple of shots of the crazy (and tiny) kitchen & bath as they were when we first got the apartment. It’s because of this weird set-up that we were able to get such a good deal on rent in this neighbourhood!



Nothing fancy and a little on the small side due to weird layout, but overall functional. I would like to point out that the tub is actually placed underneath the eaves of the house, making the actual shower portion awkwardly placed inside a dormer window.

Next up, the first stages of the tear-down. Stay tuned!