Hubs and I are supplement users so when our local pharmacy started a twice a year anniversary sale, we wanted to take advantage of the huge price savings. Unfortunately we didn’t have anywhere to store a 6-month supply of supplements until the next sale! Enter Ikea!
I initially thought we’d find a vintage wall cabinet that we could makeover, but one day while perusing Ikea’s ‘Now or Never’ sale online, I spotted the clearance of Godmorgon wall cabinets. Funnily enough, when hubs got to the warehouse to order and pick it up, the price was more expensive than advertised but he had printed out the ad so Ikea honoured it. The next day back on the website, I noticed that they hiked the price back up 🙂 Great storage score for us; it only cost us $49!
If you follow Birdz of a Feather, you’ll know that my husband and I are big on saving things from landfill and have a penchant for curbside finds. Last summer hubs was out on errands and drove by a series of garage sale signs scattered across a few blocks. As he passed them one-by-one, he noticed that the signs were all taped onto various drawers.
Today we’re bringing back an updated and improved version of our step-by-step tutorial on how to install a patterned tile backsplash. It’s so exciting once you get to the tiling stage; it brings the vision together to help complete the space!!
Before hubs worked his reno magic, our basement laundry room started with humble dungeon-like beginnings. It had a typical builder set-up of a double sink and connections for the washer and dryer.
Sometimes you get to a point in a renovation where you just can’t make decisions. That happened to us when we were finishing our basement laundry room and were ready to tile our laundry room backsplash. We knew we at least wanted to replace the counter top but we couldn’t decide whether or not to keep our old lower cabinets. Had we kept the lower cabinets and counter, we would have started our first row of tiling from the counter up to the underside of the cabinets and be well on our way to finishing our laundry room.
Since we couldn’t come to a decision and wanted to move ahead, we worked backwards. We purchased the tile and installed it before the rest of the finishes. Installing a ledger board offered a solution! Since we were starting with a clean slate (no lower cabinets) we knew that installing a ledger board would be a must-have step for supporting the weight of the tile as it dries. If you’re as indecisive as us and you want to move ahead with tiling a backsplash, keep this post handy: we’re going to explain how to install a ledger board. Our updated how-to guide for tiling a patterned backsplash will follow here tomorrow!
Here was our starting point in our laundry room renovation. We had both upper and lower cabinets installed.
We’ve never opened a post with one of our YouTube videos, but I thought it would be fun to see if you could guess just whose portrait is coming to life right before your very eyes (it’s easy if you recognize the music right away!). It’s only a minute and a half long, so take a look:
You may remember our staircase makeover from a few years ago, but we’ve revamped the tutorial so it’s now better than ever! A staircase is often one of the first things you see when you step into a house and can really set the tone for the rest of the decor. Today we’re sharing how we stripped and refinished it.
Here’s a before of the hallway as it looked when I bought the house. The 80’s called and they wanted their wallpaper and blond oak trim back! No problem; we couldn’t wait to bring it into the current decade.
Although there is no reveal at the end of this post, there’s an even bigger payoff – especially if you’re planning an upcoming flooring DIY – because it has some great tips to get you ready for a professional-looking floating hardwood floor installation. Pin it for future reference and share it if you know someone who might be interested!
This second in our series on installing an engineered floating floor is all about the prep work. It assumes you’ve already selected and calculated the amount of engineered hardwood you need. If you missed the first part where discussed those things and gave you 12 tips to shopping for engineered hardwood floating floors, check it out now before you read on.
Are you more eco-conscious than you used to be when it comes to paint? So are we! Many manufacturers are touting products that are made to be low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds), but did you know that there’s an ancient product still in use today that’s been low VOC all along? It’s milk paint!
We love milk paint because it’s all natural and eco-friendly – and because it comes from the earth, there are no chemicals in it. Milk paint is created today using traditional ingredients such as limestone, clay, casein (milk protein), chalk and natural pigments such as iron oxide. Because there are no VOCs, it’s the ideal product to use when painting indoors. And because it dries so fast, you can get a project done in just a few hours!
Milk paint is so versatile, we even incorporated it into our wedding day (we’ll show you an example of something we did for our wedding day at the end of this post)!
As eco conscious DIY’ers, we wanted to learn more about this outstanding product. We were also ready to discover new faux finish and crackle techniques, so a few years ago hubs and I spent a ‘crafternoon’ doing a milk paint workshop at Homestead House Paint Co. in Toronto.
With spring on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about the garden again.
When we first landscaped our garden, we placed a Blue Danube Juniper by our pond that was pre-shaped into pom poms.
It’s amazing to look back on these early pictures to see how small it once was!
Whenever I look at the recycle pile, I see untapped potential. Little did I know that when I had an epiphany about the tuna can one day while making lunch, creating tuna can swing outs would be so addictive! I had never seen it done anywhere before, so it was quite an interesting challenge to figure out the mechanics of it.
You may have seen the two I did previously to corral hot drink supplies and to store costume jewelry. I’ve since created two new ones: for office supplies, like push pins and paper clips, and even one for a little friend to house his collection of hot wheels!
My husband and I have always been compelled to create using garbage finds and unexpected materials, so it was a natural progression to expand our blog to include crafts. We called our new craft section ‘Craft Rehab’ because our goal is to encourage others to try sustainable crafting. It’s all about the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle.
All good intentions aside, as much as we love to do our small part to divert waste, we’re also mindful that a project has to be easy to do and that the materials have to be readily available – or who’s going to want to replicate it? But it also doesn’t hurt to work in some ‘wow factor’. I think we accomplished those goals with this unique upcycle.
Along with the tuna cans, we’ve used recycled scrap paper for the labels, smoothie straws we had in the pantry, a plastic straw from a broken insulated cup, the end of a dried-up pen and leftover black iron pipe from another project. The Tuna Can Swing Out is both sustainable and practical: each can opens fully to reveal its contents then closes right up again for dust-free storage! You can use it for anything small: you’re only limited by your imagination.
We hope you use this tutorial to inspire your own sustainable craft project because, as our motto points out, good planets are hard to find! Continue reading
Many years ago, we applied to be on one of those home reno shows and they chose to renovate our basement! – or so we thought. In the planning stages of the reno, the show’s contractor discovered that the slope of our basement floor was too steep to build on. The floor was inconsistent and out of level by over half a foot in some areas! There wouldn’t be enough time in the production schedule to fix it properly so they were going to have to take a pass on us..
At first, we were disappointed: who wouldn’t want a crew to come in and take care of a major renovation while we sit back and let them do all the work? But on the flip side, as avid DIY’ers, it was going to be hard to give up full control of the project. In the end, it worked out in our favour because there’s no sense in finishing a basement when there’s still things to renovate on other levels of the house (i.e. our kitchen still needed to be renovated). You really need open access to the plumbing and electrical in the basement before closing those things off forever once the basement is done!
Anyway, since we had cleared our stuff out of the basement for the show, it seemed like a prime opportunity to level the basement floor and get it over with. Once that was done, we could take our own sweet time to renovate the basement ourselves when we were ready. But with 700 square feet of space in our basement, it wasn’t going to be something that we could tackle ourselves. We needed an expert.