2014 In Review - The Furniture Files

I really pushed the envelope in 2014.  I did more renovations, spent more than I intended to and actually hired a contractor to do one of the major projects because I was so swamped with everything I had taken on!

2014 was an excellent year for me. I found some great deals, actually found some time for myself to do absolutely nothing, got a lot done on the house and yard and began a yoga practice (something I've been planning to do for years...)

I made over so much furniture this year that I'm calling this post the Furniture Files!

The year began with a bang when I found a hutch for $100.  My makeover made me so happy, I made over the entire dining room!  

Open House Sundays #12 - So Much Better With Age

Welcome to Open House Sundays where we get a personal invitation to tour through a different blogger's house every week!

Oh boy do I have a gorgeous before & after tour for you this week!!  This tour is courtesy of  Jamie from So Much Better With Age.  Jamie is a Canadian blogger who loves anything French and/or vintage.  She has made over her plain jane home into a thing of beauty.  I can't wait for you to see this stunning home!  


Open House Sundays #11 - White Lace Cottage Christmas Tour

Welcome to Open House Sundays where we get a personal invitation to tour through a different blogger's house every week!

This week's tour is courtesy of  Anne from White Lace Cottage.  Anne has a beautiful home that she has decorated in Shabby Chic style.   Her Christmas decor is very simple, feminine and beautiful.  I really like this light touch approach to Christmas decor.  I hope you like it, too!

Enjoy the tour!


Open House Sundays #10 - Cloches & Lavender

Welcome to Open House Sundays where we get a personal invitation to tour through a different blogger's house every week!

This week's tour is courtesy of Cindy from Cloches and Lavender.  Cindy is one of the first bloggers I met when I began blogging, her home is brand new (she just moved in earlier this year) and it is GORGEOUS.  Cindy has the best faux painting skills in blogland.  Her pieces are beautifully done using appliqu├ęs in a lot of cases - they truly look antique!  

Enjoy this Christmas tour of her new home!


Open House Sundays #9 - Little Brags

Welcome to Open House Sundays where we get a personal invitation to tour through a different blogger's house every week!

This week's tour is courtesy of Christine from Little Brags blog.  She has touches of rustic charm throughout her beautiful home.  I really think rustic decor helps to give a newer built home that old world feeling that you get in vintage homes.  You're going to love this tour!  (and the bunny is so freaking cute...)   Enjoy!

House Tour - Before & After

Sometimes you just need to sit back and take score of how far you've come.

As I was scrolling through my hundreds of photos this morning, I thought it would be fun to do a post with photos to show the huge progress I've made on my house renovation project.  I've used the photos from the 2010 Realtor's ad as the before shots and recent photos to show how it looks now.

I hope you enjoy this tour as much as I did!  It was so nice to document my renovation journey all in one post!

Open House Sundays #8 - Town & Country Living Blog Christmas Tour

Welcome to Open House Sundays where we get a personal invitation to tour through a different blogger's house every week!  

This week's tour is courtesy of  my friend Jennifer from Town & Country Living.  Jennifer has a stunningly beautiful home decorated in farmhouse style (my personal fave!).  Her home has been a  source of inspiration for quite a few of my room makeovers.  Today she is sharing a Christmas tour of her home. 


Open House Sundays #7 - Housepitality Designs

Welcome to Open House Sundays where we get a personal invitation to tour through a different blogger's house every week!

This week's tour is courtesy of Shirley at Housepitality Designs. Shirley is one of my dearest blog buddies and you'll never meet a kinder, sweeter person.  Her beautiful home is a perfect reflection of her beautiful spirit.  I know you'll love this tour!


Rustic Christmas Sign

When a fence board fell off my very ancient fence this past summer, I was thrilled!  The board was extremely weather-beaten, very rustic AND the neighbour's side of it was all chippy and red!

I knew right then it was going to be my Christmas DIY project this year.

Open House Sundays #6 - Creatively Living

Welcome to Open House Sundays where we get a personal invitation to tour through some pretty awesome bloggers houses!

This week's tour is a before & after tour full of fabulous DIY ideas courtesy of my dear friend Katie from Creatively Living.  She lives in a darling Craftsman style home built in the early 1900s and she has created wonders with it.  Just wait til you see the before shots!  I'm positive you'll find loads of ideas that you will want to use in your own home.

Enjoy the tour!


How to Make a Wall Shelf out of a Hutch

I love shelves!  In my small kitchen, I don't have enough cupboards so I use whatever I can find to add extra storage.  I've built a tiny pantry cabinet, added a sideboard for extra counterspace and storage and now I've found a free hutch top that I hung on the wall.  I LOVE it!!!

Check out my latest project and the tutorial!

Open House Sundays #5 - Country Design Style

Welcome to Open House Sundays where we get a personal invitation to tour through a different blogger's house every week!

This week we're visiting with Jeanette from Country Design Style - are you ever in for a treat!!  Jeanette does amazing DIY projects, she is a girl after my own heart.  I can't wait for you to see her amazing home.


Precious Gift

I recently received a lovely gift from a blog friend. Carol from Art and Sand who has become a dear friend made me a beautiful  banner with the word C-R-E-A-T-E on it.  I'm in love with it...

Isn't it gorgeous?  and perfect, too!  It has already inspired several new ideas for me.  Thank you so much Carol! I adore this banner!!

15 DIYs $20 and Under

I love a good deal and how much better does it get when you can use your own hands to create or recreate something in a style that's all your own? Here are 15 DIY projects that can be done for $20 or under. Nothing beats unleashing that creativity!!

Window treatments don't have to cost a lot to be beautiful!

Open House Sundays #4 - Designthusiasm

Welcome to Open House Sundays where we get to tour through a different blogger's house every week!

This week we're visiting with Lory from Designthusiam and her home is a delight!



Eco Friendly Rug Pads - Rug Pad Corner

A few weeks ago, Rug Pad Corner offered to send me a sample of their eco-friendy rug pads. Since I have several rugs with wimpy little cheapo rug pads, I was happy to try out something more substantial and eco-friendly to boot!

Rug Pad Corner makes rug pads in old world traditions and contain only 100% natural and recycled materials made without the use of any chemicals, glues or adhesives.  They have an awesome website that makes it easy to find and choose the rug pad that suits your needs best.

$1 DIY Chunky Wood Picture Frames

Here's a super easy, inexpensive DIY picture frame. Ever since I began painting pictures several years ago, I've had a lot of artwork floating around my house.  I painted a number of pieces on canvas that was pre-wrapped on wood frames.  While I do like the unframed look of those pieces, I was ready for a change.  Plus I really do think a picture frame adds some depth to artwork, don't you?

I decided to make some super simple frames from pieces of trim I had and from some 1x2 strapping that is dirt cheap.  I started with some leftover door stop trim.  To get the size right, I took the painting I wanted to frame out to the shop with me and held the trim up against each side of the painting to make my cut marks.  I mitered the edges with a 45 degree angle, then dry fit the pieces before painting them.

Open House Sundays #3 - Ciburbanity

Welcome to Open House Sundays #3!

This week we're touring the lovely home of Charlotte from Ciburbanity.  Enjoy!


Town & Country Living

My friend, Jennifer, at Town & Country Living is featuring my house today on the blog. Pop in and say hello!  Click HERE

And while you're there, be sure to take a tour of Jennifer's gorgeous house too!  So inspiring!!

Have a great day today!


I found an old and large wire freezer basket in a dumpster a few weeks ago and, of course, dragged it home to sit in my shed along with all the other miscellaneous bits and pieces I keep bringing home with me.

I'm Hibernating til Spring...

Do you feel like that too?  I just want to hole up until Spring arrives again!!  So since I haven't been able to pull myself together to write up all the projects I've done, please enjoy this photo post of my Sunday afternoon.

My Mountain Ash has been full of robins this fall.  It's a small tree but there are at least 10 - 20 birds sitting in it whenever I go outside!

Open House Sundays #2 - My Creative Days

It's time for another Open House Sunday!  This week we're visiting with Lindsay at My Creative Days.  Welcome Lindsay!

Open House Sundays Premiere - Tour a Different House Each Week!

Welcome to a new feature on my blog! Each week from October through February I will be sharing a different home tour, I don't know about you but I love open houses!!

This week's tour is a fall tour from Jeanie at Create & Babble - enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

TGIF - well close enough! It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and I'm looking forward to my turkey dinner with all the fixin's.

We've been having the most glorious fall weather ever here, warm days and warm nights (well warmish nights... ).  The fall colours have been more intense than usual and I spent some time taking photos of all the glorious colour.

How I Found My Style

I'm featured on How I found My Style Sundays at From My Front Porch to Yours. Pop over and find out how I found my style!

Happy Sunday!

Eco-Friendly Rug Pad Options

I love my rugs, they cozy up a room and give it some extra depth and colour.  They keep my feet warm in winter, too.  I like that I can pick them up and clean underneath.  Sand and dirt always fall through carpet fibers and collect underneath.  I had such a rude awakening when I pulled up the wall-to-wall carpeting in one of the houses I lived in - there was so much sand underneath it was almost like a beach!!

With area rugs, you really need a carpet pad to keep the rug looking nice, to prevent the rug from slipping around and to avoid having the rug scratching and rubbing against the floor underneath it.  Rug pads also help to keep thin rugs from bunching up and getting wrinkled.

What I don't love is cheap rug pads that stick to my hardwood floors and leave an icky film on them.

Farmhouse Cottage Tour 2014

Welcome to Ashcroft Cottage!  My house has changed so much in 2014.  I've finally found my style and embraced country cottage/farmhouse in a big way.   I even named my house (I have an enormous 100 year old green ash in my front yard).  Come on in and have a look.

Turn a Cube Storage Piece into an Amazing Console Table!

Hello, it's me again. You know, the obsessive compulsive can't leave well enough alone blogger?

I upcycled this cube shelving unit some time ago.  It went from basic cube to a console table with legs and drawers.  It worked well but since I'm in the middle of making over all the furniture in my home office, I decided to change this piece up a bit.

Here's the before & after of the last makeover:

Sunflower & Chalkboard Wreath

It's fall... how did that happen?! Time seems to fly by faster with every passing year... oh well, time for a new fall wreath!

Anthro Inspired Welcome Sign

I am on a welcome sign kick this week - chalk it up to my new front porch!! While scrolling through Pinterest I found a photo of old doorknob plates used as a street number sign.  I was going to replicate that look but the numbers would have been a bit too small to see from the street.  Instead I went with yet another welcome sign...

Plus I scored an scrabble set at the Thrift shop a few weeks ago & I was delighted to use some of the tiles for this project.

A New Front Porch

Ever since I moved into my house I've wanted to tear down the front porch and rebuild it.  First because it was tiny, second because it was uncomfortable to use and third because it was not scaled appropriately for the house.

I was thrilled to bits when everything came together this year to deliver the very porch I'd been dreaming of!!  I didn't have time to build it myself but the contractor, the price I could afford and the timing all worked out beautifully, it was one of those "meant to be" scenarios.

Tah daaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Scrap Wood Welcome Home Sign

I saw a cute sign on Pinterest and HAD to have one!  I thought I could recreate it and I did come close...  Who knew dandelion seeds were so difficult to paint?!   Here's how I put my own version together.

Revamped Sofa Table

I had a black sofa table. I loved it when I bought it, I liked the black and the style of the table. Nowadays I'm not as fond of black as I once was and I really wanted to give my table a fresh new look.  Out came the paint cans!

I used good 'ol latex paint in Behr Almond Cream and a tiny bit of paint from my tube of acrylic Raw Umber for this project.  I'm thrilled with the new look!

Kitchen Overhaul Part IV - THE REVEAL

No, I'm not finished... is anybody ever finished?? lol I still have two walls & the ceiling to paint and the floor to refinish BUT pretty much everything else is done!

Welcome to my quest to create a light, bright farmhouse kitchen from a room with no windows, 4 doorways, un-salvageable original cabinets and a miserable 3' of counter space.  The only thing going for the space was the oak floors.

DIY Shutter from Bi-Fold Door

I scored a louvered bi-fold closet door at the dump a few weeks back.  I pulled up to the re-use buildings (where people can leave stuff that's still good for others to pick up) and almost crowed when I saw the wood bi-fold door in there.  I leapt out of my car only to find someone already had their hands on it... Crap!  The girl who was holding it laughed when she saw me jump out of my car and said "take it if you want it, I've got enough projects on the go.  I know that look in your eye". LOL - a fellow DIY'er!   Yay for me!!!

I knew I was going to make shutters from these panels but the panels were too narrow for the pass through window I had in mind, so I dreamed up a way to make them wider.  Luckily, there was a wood joint in between a top and bottom louvered panel so it was super easy to cut it down length-wise.

11 Must-Dos for the Front Yard

Guest post by Jennifer Riner of Zillow

Source: Brookstone Builders

Home exteriors are the first thing buyers see when examining potential properties. Brown grass, broken planters and cracked driveways can deter house hunters. Buyers might even think unkempt lawns are signs of improperly-cared-for homes, and therefore show hesitation with subsequent offers.

Coastal Mason Jar Soap Pump

I found some blue Ball jars!!!!!!!!!!! Woot!! I decided to make a new soap pump for my kitchen. Here's my beauty of a soap pump - I'm thrilled with it!

Ikea Hack Custom Kitchen Cabinet

A blind corner in my kitchen is now filled with a functional custom kitchen cabinet thanks to Ikea products!

Here's what I picked up from Ikea:

and here's how I put it all together

Kitchen Overhaul Part III - Still Plugging Away...

My kitchen remodel project took on a new life when I installed the butcher block countertops. Love is too weak a word for how I feel about them!

When I left you in Part 2, I had just ripped a hole in the wall to create a passthrough that would allow more daylight into the room from the adjoining laundry.  It's been so nice to use the kitchen without turning the lights on all the time.  The project got bumped up a month when a friend offered to pick up the butcher block from Ikea for me (a 10 hour round trip).  I left the counters in the spare room for a few weeks to acclimate to the house and then got to work cutting them down to size for the new layout.  In the meantime, I continued to work on removing the old countertops.  Max decided to get into the act by chewing through the exposed dishwasher hoses.  GAAHHH!  Bloody cat!

How to Dress Up a Stock Kitchen Cabinet

Back to my ongoing kitchen remodel project! I needed a couple of extra kitchen cabinets and the stock cabinets in my kitchen are now discontinued, so I picked out a white stock cabinet from Home Depot to complete the run of cabinets on the pass-through wall.

Since I can't match the doors, I decided to keep this cabinet open, but after all the uppers were installed on that wall, I wasn't happy with the crappy looking white cabinet - LOL.  Bear in mind that I haven't yet finished painting all my cabinets, so the wood ones will be white when this odyssey is over...

Kitchen Overhaul Part II - Part-way done!

I've been working off & on for the last 4 weeks on my kitchen remodel project.  It's been an eye-opening experience...

I don't know if anyone really likes these progress posts, but here goes!

Here's the kitchen "before" shot:

and this is the inspiration shot:

Move or Stay and Remodel?

Are you contemplating a move? Or wondering if it's worth it to stay where you are and remodel? Sometimes these decisions can be so difficult to make.

Moving can be such a pain in the butt.  On the other hand, the excitement of moving into a new home can more than make up for the short-term pain.  Remodeling can be costly whether or not you're handy enough to do-it-yourself.  Be aware of what you're facing before you take those steps!!

Here are some tips to help you decide:

How My Garden Grows & a New Fence!

How can it be possible for a fence to make me so deliriously happy??  I have a private spot in my back yard now.

There was a fence here.  It was a lattice fence that kept the deer out but the sizeable side yard was in plain view of the street.  A 6 foot fence runs between my yard and the neighbour next door and this lattice fence is 24 feet from property line to house.  It wasn't terribly expensive to buy fence boards to create a stockade fence by simply attaching the boards to the outside of the existing structure.

How to Add Castors to Furniture

Here's a project I've wanted done FOREVER! When I moved this vintage writing table into my bedroom, I realized that the drawer trim made it impossible for me to sit at the table with my legs underneath. The drawer was too close to the seat of the chair. I searched around for some ideas on how to lengthen the legs and settled on castors.  I  wanted the same old fashioned castors that were on my antique dresser - but where to find them at a price that was affordable? D Lawless Hardware of course!

I got these gorgeous vintage look wood castors that were the perfect addition to this table.  Here's the step-by-step guide to how to add castors to a piece of furniture.