Tag Archives: diy

Main Bathroom Update

Our Main Bathroom Update was done probably about 18 months ago (I know… WAY overdue post!!). We are SO busy updating our house (and doing life), that sometimes I just don’t get around to blogging about it… and then, when I do get time, I’m so overwhelmed by the HUGE amount of things that I want to share, that I end up not doing it!!

Not today!!! Although this post is 18 months overdue, I am going to show you how much we have changed in this little part of our house!! So without further ado, I give you our main bathroom update!!

Just for funzees… here is the ever popular before photo! Pictured here is the previous owner’s setup!! But this is basically what it looked like until we started changing it!!Main bathroom updateYes, I am cringing as I am looking at this!! It is crazy to think how much this room has changed! Just have a look at the highlights!! We started with the floor… remember how I have mentioned that everything was white? We had this white linoleum (vinyl?) flooring throughout our main floor! (As of now, the only part left of this floor is on the stairs!! – I know, it is a slow process!) We also painted the cabinet white!! (This was around the time that I was painting our kitchen cabinets, which I haven’t showed you yet, because yes, I am that behind, and I have THAT much to share!)Main bathroom update Main bathroom update Main bathroom update Main bathroom update Main bathroom update Main bathroom update Main bathroom updateAlready a great improvement!! 😀 The next part was that horrible tile, wood cabinet above the toilet, wood accessories and wood/mirror vanity!! It all had to go!!

Lucky for me, my husband has a hard time not bashing holes into our walls – which I won’t lie, sometimes speed up our renovating process somewhat!! On this particular day I came home to a hole where there once was tile!!

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Once I completed the drywall and removed all the other uglies from the walls, the next part of this project was paint. Colour scheme was simple – grey and white! My biggest decision was whether I was going to paint the ceiling… As I was going to paint the top half dark grey, I was worried that it might be too dark with a dark ceiling. But I buried the fear (because it is just paint after all…), and I went for it!!

When we moved in, the whole house was white – but all the rooms were shades of white… and all different shades of white… some had a green tinge, others a pink tinge, some – you get the idea… I prefer untinted white! White white!! You can see the difference in the photo below!

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The next step was the border and trim. I used a simple thin border for separating the white from the grey, and “filled in” the trim with peel-and-stick mosaic. I bought a couple of sheets which I cut into strips and just paste into place. We also bought a beautiful grey-on-white rose shower curtain from Ikea (oh how I love that place!) and mounted it onto a new shower curtain rod – the kind that bends outward and make the shower feel huge (similar to this one – although I can’t remember where we bought ours)!!

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As you can see from the photo above – the next step was to update the counter top! Although we would love to upgrade this to a pretty stone-type top, the money just is not there for this type of an upgrade! Our ‘Plan B’ is to finish this with Ardex feather finish product, to give it a concrete look – this however takes a couple of days worth of dedication, which we did not have time for a the time (and have not found the time for this in the meantime…)

Instead, for our main bathroom update, we opted for ‘Plan C’ – spray paint! Yes, it seems unconventional, but for a fraction of the cost, we could temporarily update our countertop!! So we did it!! We used Rustoleum Forged Hammered  in Antique Pewter in silver. Afterwards I sealed it with a Minwax Polycrylic water-based sealer (which is pretty much my go-to sealer for just about anything, because: water based, and no discoloration).

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Although it is not perfect, and not what we prefer, it turned out great. And as it has been 18 months since this upgrade, I can give you some feedback on how it is holding up! It doesn’t look quite as good as above. But we have been using this bathroom a LOT…. leaving soaps, razors toiletry bags etc. on it for long periods of time!! It definitely shows signs of wear… but really, I never expected it to last as long!! It is due for either a “re-spray” or a brand-spanking new countertop!! I vote for the latter…. however, for now, we’ll just leave it as it is!! (Too many other projects on the go!)

We (semi) finished the look of the main bathroom update with some new hardware and a few pretty touches to the wall!! Overall, I am still SUPER happy with my pretty bathroom!! We do have a couple of updates in mind for it though (read countertop, low flush toilet, tub with tile surround etc). For now though, it is a huge improvement (and I’m going to try to get a pretty mirror up there before too long to!)!! And we’re still pretty chuffed with this project!! Just for good measure, I’ll post the before shot again before I share the final look!! 🙂

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You likey?? Because I do!! 😀

DIY World Map Stain Art

I want to show you guys what I am working on at the moment – a world map stain art piece!! I did this on a 4’x 8′ sheet of plywood with Minwax English Chestnut stain. Since the study is mostly my hubby’s domain, this is what he had in mind for one of our walls! The plan with this guy is to mount it in our recently organised and updated study.

We are (constantly) in the process of working on parts (multiple parts usually) of updating/upgrading or doing some reno’s… I will be so happy once we are at a stage where it becomes fun and games, but as of yet, there are still a few crucial/necessary projects to complete!! For this project I followed a similar procedure as the one I used to create our Kudu Stain piece!

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The first part of the project was to get a world map projected onto the plywood in order to trace it. As you can see above I followed an extremely simple setup – I printed a world map onto a letter size paper and traced the outlines with a sharpie marker onto a transparency sheet. Once this was complete I used my cellphone flashlight to project the image onto plywood. Easy-peasy…. and start tracing! (Take note that this is way easier in a very dark area!)

The next day, (I took advantage of hubby being away on a hunting trip), I started the painful task of staining the outlines! This took around 5-6 hours (thankfully I had a whole season of Grey’s Anatomy to keep me company!)… Beware, you might want to look at alternative positions – I lay mine on the floor and shifted around in multiple sitting positions… My knees, hips and elbows were NOT happy!!

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In progress…. One of my current diy projects on the go…. Watch this space!!! 🌎🌍🌏

A post shared by Xandré Verkes (@xan3ver) on

The next morning I started the next couple of hours ‘colouring in’ the map with the stain. I used a brush and sponge!! Again, if you have cranky  joints, you might want to explore alternate setups!! Once again, a couple hours later and almost through a season of Grey’s I was done with the stain part of the project!

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The only thing left now is to seal this piece and mount it in our study!! Super excited to see it in its final position!! Hoping to do all of that this weekend!!

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I’ll try and share the end result with you as soon as possible!!

Happiness is…

Happiness is…

The mountains – and these three!!! (Cant wait to get into the mountains this summer)

Happiness is

Happiness is…

Receiving flowers from your husband!!

Happiness is…

Basement renovations!! Turning our basement into a deluxe master suite!!

Happiness is…

Spring/Summer barbeques – or just spring/summer in general!

Happiness is…

Gardening (even though you are no good at it!!)! (more to follow soon!)

Happiness is…

Spending time with my favourites!!

Follow me on instagram for my latest endeavours!! Or titbits!!

DIY Key Holder

Way back in 2013 one of my first little projects was making a key holder for our keys. I was inspired by the yarn art projects on pinterest and missing home something viciously… and so our key holder was born!!

When we moved into our current home a couple months later, naturally this guy moved with us. I was not completely satisfied with it in the sense that what was holding the keys in place was short little nails. Many times we found our keys on the floors, or requiring extra focus to hang them up – which resulted in keys being misplaced a couple of times…

Here is a before shot of the key holder – you can see how short those nails are that the keys are hanging on!! We were also over-crowding the five available spots… A few changes to be made! In the following shot you can also see where this little guy was hanging in relation to the doors  and walls etc.

DIY key holder

DIY key holderIf it was not for the updated entry wall, we would probably still be using (and struggling) with these few issues… But thankfully, the updated wall forced me into updating this key holder!!

DIY key holder

Without further ado, you can have a look at the steps I followed to fix the issues, and make this key holder fit into our brand new fancy wall!!!

Steps of updating our key holder:

  1. Removed the yarn and key holder nails
  2. Filled key holder nail spots with wood filler and sanded down entire surface
  3. Spray painted everything with a high gloss white spray paint
  4. Attached Everbuilt cup hooks for the new key holders (I couldn’t find silver anywhere, but decided it was no biggy since there would be keys attached to it most of the time!)
  5. Re-yarned the South Africa heart
  6. Placed onto wall

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What have you got lying around that needs an upgrade?

Foyer Progress #3

For now, the final part of the foyer update involves that big white wall that has been staring at me for the last 2.5 years!! If you missed part #1 & #2 of this update, follow the links below (opens in new window):

Read ‘Foyer Progress #1’ here.

Read ‘Foyer Progress #2’ here.

So this wall… In my mind this wall has changed so many times. For the longest time I wanted to make this a gallery wall. A wall for our travel photos – the first thing you will see when walking into our house (because who doesn’t like photos?). Then I started looking at some pretty stencils (and oh my word are there pretty stencils available!). But what put me off stencilling this wall was mostly the labour and time… Here is what we started with:

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These walls have been bugging me for the longest time. I was just about to order a pretty (and pricey) stencil, when a Facebook add from Lowes caught my eye. The prettiest of wallpaper that I ever did see… So I head on over there to check it out. Yes, yes it was pretty. It was perfect. All the supplies cost me just under $90 CAD – this includes the wallpaper, wallpaper glue, scraper thingy, and the utility knife. Yes, this was what I wanted!!

I was nervous, but had read on SO MANY BLOGS that wallpaper these days are SO easy to work with. And they were right!! It turned out beautifully!! I am in heaven right now!! Here are the details – I chose this wallpaper:

Superfresco Easy Nottingham Wallpaper in White/Grey

I decided that this would become a statement wall. The wallpaper would do the talking!! So I painted that big wall above the stairs the same grey as the rest of the entry/dining/kitchen. This happened last night at 20h00 (that is 1 April 2016)(also, it seems I have a thing for painting at night!) ;). Hubby helped me with the really hard to reach places!! (Please do not comment or preach about safety!)

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And this morning started the wallpaper upgrade to this foyer! I was nervous!! Very nervous!! With my first plumb line drawn on the wall for guidance, I started painting the glue to the wall (this is/was “paste the wall” type wallpaper! So easy to use! See here my setup:

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The very first sheet too a while longer than the rest. But once I got the hang of it and came into a rhythm it went pretty fast! Here is the first installed sheet:

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I am not going to show you the in between steps. It is so basic, glue the wall, line the paper up, scrape out the bubbles, trim, repeat. And finally – Here is our finished statement foyer wall…

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Small updates remain – like now we have to replace that hideous light fixture to something pretty and modern; we still have to paint the door leading in to the garage; some mirrors on the wall above the steps; and other small things!! Likely I will only post one more update on this space, and by the pace we are doing these upgrades, it will be next year this time!! Hahaha!