Tips and Tricks to Get the Look You Want

I'm full of good ideas, tips and tricks. They don't always work out the way I thought they would, but I keep at it until I get what I want.

I've been messing around with a lot of paint this year, tweaking my decor to get everything to fit together better.  I've also picked up some things on clearance and made over other things that were sitting in the shed or that I found at yard sales.  Change is good!  Here are some tips and tricks I've used.

I bought a 10' patio umbrella at an end of season sale for $25.  I was so excited!!! until  I got home and discovered the umbrella wouldn't fit into my cast iron umbrella stand.  GAH!  The stands that fit the umbrella were sold out, so now what??!

I have these Ikea shelf brackets kicking around and coincidentally the center part of the bracket is the exact right size to fit the umbrella stand.  Hmmmm.

I could attach these to the deck railing, but then the umbrella wouldn't be shading enough of the deck.  Oh wait!  I do have the double decker kitty cat condo on the deck - let's see how that works.

The trick here is that I needed to shim out a bit to allow for the roof overhang, but it worked!

Now you really get to see my penchant for end-of-season clearance sales!  Nothing matches.  LOL

The chair cushion colours at least match each other, the umbrella matches nothing and I fixed up the mismatched footstools by spray painting them with a very pretty aqua.  They were hot pink and navy blue to start.  I was going to spray paint the lime green chair, too, but I kind of like the contrast.  That may change...  I'm also looking into how to paint patio umbrella fabric.

My focus then turned onto another lamp.  This one was a lacquered brass floor lamp from the 80s.  It had seen better days and the lacquer was chipped and the brass tarnished here and there.  Out comes that spray paint can again!  

I really like white lamps right now.  If you want details on how to spray paint a lamp, check out how I turned an old lamp into this beauty: (click on the image to go to the post.)

Next up is my cool idea to not only add more reflection (and therefore light and depth) to brighten my living room, but a great privacy screen to boot!

I love my turquoise interior door.

But ever since I installed my new exterior door that has windows in it, I've struggled with a window covering for the winter months to give me some privacy when it's dark outside and the lights are on inside.  Added to that is the fact that I only have one tiny window in the living room and it makes for a darker space than I'd like.  Oh and I also got around to painting the front door.

While cleaning out my shop for the umpteenth time this summer, I came across a beveled edge mirror that coincidentally was the exact size of the glass on the door.  Well, I slapped that mirror into place double quick.  It gives me total privacy when the door is closed (only ever at night in the winter) and the rest of the time it reflects the light from the door windows into the living room.  

I haven't come up with a solution for the back of the mirror yet, I may just paint it to match the colour of the door but I haven't decided.

Meanwhile, I've solved some of my decor dilemmas without breaking a sweat. I hope I've got your creative juices flowing!  If you have any ideas for what to do with the back  of the mirror, sing them out in the comments.

Have a great week!

With a small budget, big dreams and a love of a challenge, Anne blogs about renovating and decorating her tiny 1930s bungalow. A self-taught artist and professed power tool lover, she enjoys writing, gardening, photography, nature and diy'ing. And she's never met a dumpster she didn’t want to root through! Come along for the ride!!

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  1. Hi Anne, ohhh I luv what your creative little head thinks up all the time!!! Super cool stuff Anne, the aqua colore food stools are super pretty!!!

  2. Great work! You could use the back of the mirror for chalk drawings. :)

  3. That's such a cool idea to hold the umbrella in place. Do you have any tips in hiding pipes inside? Sarah x

  4. You are clever! I never would have thought to use the Ikea brackets as you have. The mirror is a good idea too. We have a similar front door. A few years ago hubby and I took a stained glass class and we made an insert that is rather like your mirror in that the square of decorative glass slips into place and is held by a few pins. We chose different frosted glasses and used a central star, so the whole insert is neutral, but pretty. It lets the light in and is so much nicer than curtains.

  5. I like the idea of a chalkboard too or maybe some pretty fabric or paper?


  6. Your chair cushions are very cute! Happy Saturday to you ♥

  7. Hey Anne, what luck that the old mirror fit that door window! I think I would paint the back of it white and maybe hang some little sheer curtains pulled back on either side to give the illusion of a window. Does the backing work like a chalkboard?
    Great solution to the umbrella stand. I have an umbrella that the pole got bent in half from a high wind. Haven't found the solution to that in my yard (yet), but can't bear to chuck it since it's in great shape.
    Nice seeing the details around your home :)

  8. The Ikea bracket idea is so clever and I love the newly mirrored door!! Now you can relax and enjoy all these new features and that's the funnest part :P Looking good, Anne xo

  9. So many creative ideas! I love the lamp in white... I have a thing for white as well ;)

  10. The mirror on your door is GENIUS!!! I never would have thought of that!!!


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