Tag Archives: Makeover

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Boho bathroom on a budget

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Boho bathroom on a budget

Photography By Larry Arnal

I’m always up for a design challenge. Fortunately, pushing the budget boundaries to prove that it is possible to achieve high style at a low cost just happens to be my forte. But occasionally, a project comes along that forces my creativity to a whole new DIY level, and that was certainly the case with this once-tired mauve and melamine bathroom that had a modest makeover budget of only $500.

Now, since I always preach that great style has little to do with how much money you have, but rather how creative you can be with your budget, I was determined to put that $500 where my mouth is and show that if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and put in a little good ‘ol fashion elbow grease, you can save BIG without sacrificing quality and style.

Here are the five ways that I achieved a champagne bathroom on a beer budget…

1. Give your existing cabinets a splash of personality

If your existing cabinets are in good condition, then why bother going to the expense of replacing them when you can affordably transform what you already have with a few DIY ingredients? I reused the existing flatpanel laminate doors with wood handrail, and simply added some shaker-style applied mouldings to the fronts to create instant architectural detail. Then, I painted the entire door, including the handrail, using Chalked paint from Rust-Oleum in a fresh hue called Tidal Pond to turn the vanity into a focal point full of eye-catching personality.

If you’re planning to tackle a DIY cabinet overhaul of your own, the key is to invest in the right products. Chalked paint is a great option because it doesn’t require a primer coat beforehand on most surfaces, it can be easily brushed or aerosol sprayed, and the two-coat application dries very quickly, leaving a smooth, velvety finish. But, the most important step is to apply a clear protective matte coat to the cabinets after painting to ensure their durability and longevity.

2. Update your hardware with a fresh metallic finish

I always think of hardware as the jewelry in a bathroom, but if new handles or knobs aren’t in the budget, then give your existing ones an instant, inexpensive makeover with a coat of trendy, metallic paint. In the case of this bathroom, I scored a pre-loved brass set at the ReStore, painted them with Universal metallic spray paint in brushed nickel, and then attached them to the door fronts. One of my favourite DIY tricks is to buy budget lighting and knobs in a less expensive brass finish, and then transform them myself to the finish of my choice. It’s an easy way to get a high-end look for little investment, and no one will ever know the difference.

3. Dated bathtub or tile? Yes, you can paint it!

Although mauve bathtubs and floral wall tiles were all the rage in decades past, it was time to give this throwback bathroom a fresh face. The only problem was that removing the old elements and replacing them with new simply wasn’t in the budget. So, after doing some DIY research, I discovered an affordable epoxy acrylic product appropriately called “Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit,” that would allow me to quite literally brush on a smooth, porcelain-like finish in just a few hours. I have to tell you, I was a bit skeptical, but the results far exceeded my expectations.

And as with all successful do-it-yourself projects, I took the necessary steps to prepare the surfaces before painting, which included using an etching solution to dull the original glossy finish, removing all caulking, and thoroughly cleaning the tiles and tub before the refinishing fun began. After the new finish dried, I re-caulked the surround and the tub was back in use within a few short days.

4. No quartz? No problem!

If you’re living with outdated, worn or damaged laminate, and new natural stone countertops simply aren’t in the budget, why not roll on a fresh, durable coating that will give you the look of quartz without the hefty price? RustOleum’s Countertop Transformations collection offers a paintable solution in a selection of neutral colours that has just about everything you need in a DIY-friendly kit, including a protective topcoat with mica flecks that made the once-bland bathroom counters glisten like quartz. It’s the perfect weekend project if you’re craving an affordable cosmetic countertop refresh.

5. Custom shelving without the custom price tag

Adding shelving in a bathroom is a great way to pepper in additional storage and make use of vertical space, but if you truly want to create a customized look, head straight to your local home improvement store for some stock lumber and stain. I wanted to add teak wood shelves in the Boho-inspired bathroom, but didn’t want to pay the teak wood price tag, so I had pine boards cut at the store to a custom length and then picked up a pint of “Early American” Varathane stain to create my own luxe-for-less finish. I affixed the boards to some inexpensive brackets, and voilá… custom without the custom price tag.

If you’re looking to tackle a budgetfriendly bathroom makeover, then just remember that all you truly need is the right products for the project, a little sweat equity, and a splash of creativity to turn your design dreams into an affordable reno reality.

A self-proclaimed DIY ninja, Leigh-Ann believes that great design has little to do with how much money you spend, but rather how creative you can be with your budget. As an expert on CityTV’s Cityline, Leigh-Ann embraces every opportunity to spark creativity and instill confidence in others who strive to “DO IT YOURSELF.” For more information, visit huelala.com @leighannallai

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Tips for kitchen bliss

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Tips for kitchen bliss

I recently completed a tough kitchen makeover — maybe the toughest yet as it was my own personal space. Follow my tips below on how to create a space you will truly love.

I chose my appliances first. I knew I wanted something completely different and when I saw the new Fingerprint Resistant Sunset Bronze collection from Whirlpool, I made this my jumping off point. It’s the crème-de-la-crème of this kitchen. With a brushed satin finish and rose gold undertones, this fingerprint resistant suite really sets off this space.

For the walls I decided to stay true to my one true paint love – Jojo whitewash PF17 from Para. I find staying with the same colour in an open concept gives the space a cohesive and continual look.

Next, I worked with DV Kitchen and Bath to find the right cabinets for a clean, streamlined look. I decided on a flat-panel front but in trendy gloss white; the gloss helps to bounce light and creates the illusion of a larger space. Plus these cabinets are super easy to wipe down, keeping that new look and feel.

To keep the cabinets streamlined, I selected Grass soft-close hardware from their Nova Pro Scala collection. Grass is the hidden gem in any cabinet system – my cabinets push closed silently and open with a gentle touch.

For the countertop I wanted a waterfall island. I chose Caesarstone’s Calacatta Nuvo for both the island, counters and backsplash. This countertop is stunning and durable and is the centre of attention in the kitchen. Choosing a primarily white countertop with white cabinets creates the illusion of a much larger space. Don’t be afraid to have your countertops the same colour as your cabinets. And make sure you have them installed properly. I too often find clients skimp on the most important part of the kitchen renovation, which is the installation. I turned to the folks at Renovare Marble and Granite, who installed my counters with complete professionalism and perfection and also create a complete custom backsplash for my space that is a serious showstopper.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times: the faucet is the gem in the kitchen. I went with the Delta Trinsic single-handle pulldown in Champagne Bronze. The design is simply smart and elegant, with an integrated pulldown wand. Plus, the colour is a modern take on gold that pairs well with my stainless steel sink and my appliances.

I went a bit trendy with the herringbone style floor, but I used a classic and timeless marble tile to balance the trendiness. The result is amazing and ties the cupboards, countertops, closet and paint all together. This tile came from Creek Side Tile, which has a vast selection.

In my house, the HVAC piping went up through one of the kitchen walls I wanted to remove, making a full open-concept impossible. Originally I was bummed about having to keep the piping there, requiring a closet to hide it in. I now love this closet. It is a fun architectural focal point, where I was able to add display shelves and texture. To create a perfect finish and get a properly sized door for this closet, I used Metrie’s Trude Craft Collection.

Onto the stunning finishing touches. The dishware and stools were found on Wayfair Canada. They have an extensive collection of affordable options and offer free shipping. These stools are elegant, simple and have brass accents that I could not do without.

The blinds are TriLight and offer a unique combination of sheer pleated shade on the top and a honeycomb shade on the bottom. It’s like having three looks in one – all sheer, all privacy or half and half. This design is exclusive to Budget Blinds. In my kitchen I choose to go with Artcraft for lights with brass stems, accents and posts. They fit perfectly with the appliances, faucet and the accent pieces I choose – once again, tying the entire space together.

Jo Alcorn is founder and design specialist at Alcorn Home. https://alcornhome.com/

Photography by Jason Hartog

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Cover Story: Bold Moves

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Cover Story: Bold Moves

By Lydia McNutt • Photography By Stacey Van Berkel

British-Canadian interior decorating guru, television host and entrepreneur, Debbie Travis takes RENO & DECOR to the historic streets of Wandsworth, London, inside her very own 19th-Century townhouse—and the site of a recent renovation intended to breathe new life into this old home.

CHARACTER BUILDING

The bathroom became a focus of Travis’ redesign, thanks to its obvious space constraints and perhaps more importantly, its lack of character.

It’s here, Travis reveals, that this self-taught pro came up against an all-too-common interior decorating hurdle—limited size. She thoughtfully describes the space as her “challenge.”

“It’s a luxury being able to start from scratch in the bathroom,” says Travis of the renovation.

TIP: One of the easiest ways to start a bathroom renovation is with a mood board. Collect your inspirations, whether it’s colour, texture, or the type of finish you want. You may work on this for months, Travis says, but the choices evolve. “Don’t rush the job,” says Travis. “Play with that space over and over again, until you get the image that you want.”

THE ART OF BATHING

Travis’ selections are methodical, functional and beautiful. An arresting freestanding bathtub not only became a beautiful focal point in Travis’ bathroom, but it also artfully creates the illusion of more space.

“It worked perfectly in here because it’s not too high, it’s not too long, and it has this wonderful organic shape,” Travis explains. “It’s incredibly comfortable.”

When shopping for a bathtub, it pays off to research different shapes, styles and sizes to ensure that it’s a good fit for you. Don’t be shy to get inside the tub and try it on for size, so to speak. It’s really the only way to determine whether the style complements your curves.

LUSCIOUS LAYERS

Travis likes to play with different materials to create textural interest. Surfaces such as rough natural stone or marble are great base textures, and pair well with woods and glass. In Travis’ own bathroom, tile and texture became important decor elements. She selected a chic, fabric-inspired tile for the shower, featuring an oversized stripe. “You don’t have to have a huge room to go large scale,” Travis says.

TRAVIS’ SELECTIONS ARE METHODICAL, FUNCTIONAL AND BEAUTIFUL. AN ARRESTING FREESTANDING BATHTUB NOT ONLY BECAME A BEAUTIFUL FOCAL POINT IN TRAVIS’ BATHROOM, BUT IT ALSO ARTFULLY CREATES THE ILLUSION OF MORE SPACE.

STAR TREATMENT

Speaking of large scale, let’s address the Sophia Loren in the room. Don’t get us wrong. Travis is a proponent of neutral, simple and classic style. “Then, look to add the drama and personality,” she says. Travis selected an image of a young Sophia Loren, which she had enlarged and printed onto a durable canvas. This dramatic background makes the bathtub stand out even more.

The resulting interior is cleverly filled with light, texture and personality—a welcoming, luxurious and relaxing retreat Travis is proud to call “home.”

“A successful bathroom makeover, when it comes down to it, is about how it makes you feel. I’m very pleased about how my bathroom turned out. It is a gorgeous place to start the day. But even better, it is an incredible place to end the day, soaking in this tub with a glass of champagne.”

Lydia McNutt is an award-winning writer, editor, journalist pro based in the Greater Toronto Area.

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