Tag Archives: RustOleum

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That’s Entertainment! Comedy club-themed bedroom makeover

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That’s Entertainment! Comedy club-themed bedroom makeover

Photography By Larry Arnal

I’ve never considered the mandatory criteria for a well-designed home to include the trendiest sofa, perfectly tailored drapery treatments, or the most seasonally stylish accent pillows. It’s also never meant over-indulging the budget on ultra-luxe items to the point where the homeowners are afraid to peel the plastic wrap off the new lampshades, or actually put their feet up on the new footstool for fear of ruining the perfectly curated space. For me, if a home doesn’t feel good, function well, and act as an extension of the dweller’s personality, it doesn’t matter how great it looks!

Tried-and-True Design Formula

My formula for creating a well-designed home has always been quite simple:

Equal parts functionality, personalized creativity, and affordable quality.

Over the years I’ve worked with countless clients to achieve this balance, and create unique spaces that can truly be lived in and loved. BUT, nothing could have prepared me for the challenges I faced with my most recent client. He was demanding… he had little care or consideration for function… and he had a completely unrealistic budget and timeline. “He” was my eight-year-old son, Everett!

Growing Up Is Fun

Everett had requested a room redo for quite some time, and wanted to transform his “hand-me- down” nursery into a “cool-dude” space that reflected what he wants to be when he grows up… a stand-up comedian!

He specifically asked for a “Comedy Club” room, complete with a brick wall, stand mic and stool, and a desk to “sit and write his jokes.” Esthetics were much more important to him than function, and of all the items on his demanding wish list, he noted that an actual bed was a low priority!

Not Just For Laughs

Although I typically loathe designing overly “themed” rooms, I agreed to take on the challenge of creating a space that blended his humorous personality with functional design solutions (including a bed), all on a limited DIY budget.

I started by sourcing a faux-brick vinyl wallpaper that I installed myself using a DIY-friendly DIF wallpaper application kit, and for under $150, I was able to create an affordable feature wall that set the tone for the comedy club design.

When Inspiration Strikes

I then removed the original panelled closet doors and replaced them with a set of flat bi-folds that I scored at the Habitat Restore for $25, and with a quick coat of RustOleum’s spray Chalkboard paint, they were transformed into a giant creative canvas for doodles and one-liners. A perfect pairing of fun and function!

HE SPECIFICALLY ASKED FOR A “COMEDY CLUB” ROOM COMPLETE WITH A BRICK WALL, STAND MIC AND STOOL, AND A DESK TO “SIT AND WRITE HIS JOKES.”

Space & Budget Friendly

Everett specifically asked for a “big kid” desk, but I didn’t want to overcrowd the room with another freestanding piece of furniture, so I created a simple DIY waterfall desk using stock lumber, with a coat of Varathane stain that fit right over his new dresser. It was a stylish and affordable way to unify two pieces of furniture in one and saved on space.

Over his desk, I crafted a “Think Bubble” message board by using a jigsaw to cut the shape out of a $4 wood handy panel. I then basecoated the board with Chalked Paint in “linen white,” outlined the shape with a black Testors paint pen, and then topcoated the surface with RustOleum’s Clear Dry Erase paint to create a cute and quirky spot for Everett to jot down his creative little quips.

Function First

The final DIY dash of function that I added to the space was a set of super affordable shelves using galvanized pipes and fittings, and pine boards cut to size at my local hardware store. After washing the pipes with a degreasing cleaner, I primed all metal surfaces with RustOleum’s “Cold Galvanized Compound” meant for galvanized metal, and then top-coated them with Universal Metallic spray paint in “flat soft iron.” The pine was stained with a rich “Kona” colour to match the desk, and the shelves became the perfect place to display fun, comedy themed accessories, including a collection of inexpensive frames from Ikea, painted with colourful Painter’s Touch spray paint. This project ended up being so simple and cost-effective that I whipped up a petite bench for under the window to match.

As challenging as my client and criteria may have been for this project, it was so rewarding to be able to create a space that not only put the FUN into functional, but also perfectly exemplified my formula for a well-designed room that my son can enjoy and be proud of.

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 @leighannallaire

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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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