Tuesday, September 28, 2010

reno chronicles #8

Wonderful contractor and I have come up with a final plan for my renovation! I saw the architect drawings last week and approved them.

Right now, wonderful contractor is connecting with his sub trades to get a real cost on it all while the architect does up the final plans (to scale) for the permitting process.

Yikes. It's real...and it's about to get a whole lot more real when I see the actual cost.

Am not going to lie...I'm nervous. But also excited. Very excited.

Holding my breath...and a little part of me is still hoping to win "Set for Life"...better get a ticket...

Monday, September 20, 2010

upcycle by rouge

Hello just a little rouge readers! Here is some exciting news and another make-over project I wanted to share with you.

I picked up this awesome, solid wood dresser from a client a little while ago. I was drawn to the shape, size and the cool little retro details. I’ve been mulling over what to do with it since I got it home…so many options!

Just before the Labour Day long weekend, I was inspired by an article I read in a magazine about metallic finishes – zinc and hammered finishes are the next big trend. So, out I went to discover how to transform this piece into what I now pictured in my mind.

This is where I would usually get into the gory details of how I got from the “before” to the “after” pictures. But you may have guessed that this one is a bit different.

The broad strokes of this project were: find a wonderful, solid piece that has great potential, give it a good cleaning, lightly sand it, give it another good cleaning, measure, mark and drill holes for fancy vintage-inspired drawer pulls, paint first coat of awesome hammered finish paint, wait for it to dry, paint second coat, wait for it to dry, install fancy drawer pulls…and step back to admire!

As mentioned, this make-over project is different. Different because my home is full of wonderful gems already. And as much as I already love this piece, I’m more than willing to part with it.

That’s right…this is the first official piece of furniture to launch a new line from rouge!

”upcycle by rouge” is all about taking something old and giving it a new life. Not just re-using it, or recycling it, but making it better than it ever was before. Mixing old vintage and vintage-inspired pieces with modern elements to create truly one-of-a-kind originals that you simply will not ever see anywhere else.

upcycle by rouge items will only be available, well…when they are available. All based on our ability to find excellent pieces and work our magic to upcycle them while ensuring the highest possible standards.

That means you’ll have to keep checking out the blog for new items!

This great, solid wood dresser – that can be used in a bedroom, in a closet, in an entry way, in a bathroom, and even in your kitchen – provides excellent storage. It’s got a hammered aluminum metal finish and vintage glam drawer pulls. It measures 44 inches (height) x 29 inches (wide) x 18 inches (deep). Price = $295

All upcycle by rouge items also come with a “before” picture, so you can see & feel the history of the piece.

Contact us by phone, email or blog comment if you are interested in purchasing!

As always, thanks to our loyal and faithful readers for your continued support…you guys are also simply one-of-a-kind gems.

xx suzanne

Saturday, September 11, 2010

50 miles of possibilities

Imagine a magical place where no there are miles of little mysteries, fun surprises, curiosities and endless possibilities. I’ve heard talk about just such a utopia. But until today, I had never been.

No...this is not some crazy myth or urban legend. It’s the annual 50 mile Musquodoboit Valley yard sale. That’s right. FIFTY miles.

This weekend’s yard sale actually marked the 20 anniversary of this crazy event.

Each year the Musquodoboit Valley Tourism Association (www.mvta.net) organizes the 50 Mile Route of Yard Sales throughout the Musquodoboit Valley. There are three official starting points -- Dean, Meaghers Grant and Dutch Settlement. You can download a map and description of each official location from the website. Each registered yard sale location is marked with official yard sale balloons, but it would hard to miss them anyway…

My advice? Plan to wander around to them all, or decide on a condensed “yard sale strategy”, but whatever you choose, plan to spend lots of time driving/ walking /looking around. Have some cash on hand and be prepared to do some of your very best haggling!

I’m not a yard sale junkie by any means (we all know they do exist!), but I do enjoy the idea of potentially finding that one hidden gem that screams out to me. You literally never know what you may find that delights you! (And it makes for interesting/crazy people watching.)

I find it helpful to have a focus…perhaps keeping an eye out for an addition to your favorite collection. Or you may be looking for a piece of furniture to test your “make-over” skills. Or maybe you are just on the lookout that special something that’s quirky and fun to add a touch of whimsy to your existing décor.

A note of caution: without a focus, you may get overwhelmed. You may end up aimlessly wandering around. You may end up giving up on the day and going home. Do remember that this is a yard sale…and that means you should expect some…well, let me just say it…some junk.

But if you can handle this environment, are willing to dedicate a good part of your day to it, and are ready to embrace the spirit of a gargantuan yard sale, you will really enjoy this treasure hunt.

I gave myself a budget before I left the house and stuck to it. I also decided that I was only interested in milk glass to add to my collection, a lamp for the spare bedroom and maybe some fun and/or old costume jewelry.
I drove the entire 50 mile route but I must admit that I did not stop at all of the sales…it was just too much! I stuck to the ones that had multiple tables/vendors. I had an enjoyable day wandering around and timed my stops around the weather...best to be in the car when the rain was falling!

Pictured here are but a few of the interesting things I saw throughout the day (a silver set, vintage tins, rusty saws and a very old chandelier)

I scored some great stuff, too…an oversized white ceramic lamp (needs a new shade), two lovely small milk glass vases, a bunch of cool wooden bracelets, a costume cocktail ring and a white handmade quilt/blanket that’s more than 50 years old. The best buy of the day though, may have been the vintage gold metallic clutch with silk lining for $2.
And I only spent $20.25! (Oh...that includes a bbq’d sausage and a diet coke for lunch!)

It’s a great place to get your yard sale fix for the year….and based on my experience today, I think I’ll be back next year.

Friday, September 3, 2010

dorm room decor

I know all you Haligonians are feeling it. It’s obvious in the grocery stores. It’s obvious in places like Walmart. Heck, it’s even obvious in the streets.

Parents buying an obscene amount of cleaning supplies and all the basic staples as their kids – who are on the cusp of flying from the nest -- are trailing behind with a mix of fear and excitement splayed across their faces. Not to mention the literally tons of moving trucks of all shapes and sizes unloading their goods as university students flood back into this city of many universities.

In honor of this, here are some styling secrets I’ve “borrowed” from the fine folks at Style at Home (www.styleathome.com) on creating cool and colorful dorm room décor.

Ten back-to-school dorm decor essentials that will help make life away from home a little more comfortable:

1. Colourful mini fridge - Keep everything you need for study breaks or hanging out with friends in a convenient and colourful mini fridge.

2. Semi-sheer curtain - add warmth and soften the space and/or create a soft separation of areas in a room.
3. Rolling desk chair – sleek, modern and lightweight, these provide proper ergonomic support and often come in lots of fun colors.

4. Graphic throw pillow – cozy and cool and so many options to suite your style and taste

5. Floor mirror – Make sure that everything is in place while rushing off to class with a classic floor length mirror.
6. Lacquer digital frame – Display a slideshow of fond memories with a contemporary digital picture frame. Not only is this a wonderful way to create a home away from home, but some also plays music and feature a calendar and clock.

7. Organic sheet set – a nice way for the environmentally-friendly students to rest their weary heads!

8. Canvas storage tote -- A great way to keep things organized in a dorm room is a convenient canvas bag. Totes come in many different styles and sizes and also make great laundry hampers.

9. Cast iron wall hook -- A cast iron hook is a great dorm room organizing idea. Hang your coat, towel or jewelry on a lovely light blue teapot-shaped hook like this one to keep clutter at bay.

10. Wall tattoos -- Instead of posters, photos and magazine clippings, decorate your dorm room walls using a sophisticated vinyl wall tattoo. The matte finish gives a gorgeous painted-on look plus this peel and stick decorating idea is easy to put up and remove.

For the rest of us, hang tight. After about a month or so, we’ll adjust to the huge influx of students and embrace the energy they bring to the city we love to live in!

Oh…and remember to batten down the hatches asap in advance of Hurricane Earl that's about to hit us. You wouldn’t want your fabulous outdoor items damaged. Or damaging your home. Or your neighbour’s home.

Until next week, stay safe, justalittlerouge readers!