Black Spray Paint is my New BFF

 …but I’m a terrible blogger for not documenting my love affair with black spray paint this past weekend enough to do a DIY post. Oops. Bad blogger! I’ll do what I can.

I told you last about the furniture that I rented from Easy Home to stage the house. While they were able to provide me with most of what I needed, there were still some things lacking, i.e. a dining set. Since we don’t have a separate dining room in this house, I though it was super important to show that it is an eat-in kitchen, and to have a table that could seat at least 4. Easy Home only had one set that was wayyy to huge and bulky, and we have a set in storage that belonged to Jon’s mum, and while it is a very nice mahogany set, it is very large as well, and the style is more Victorian and fancy. Since we’ve gone more modern and clean in this house, it just wasn’t a good fit… in fact, it probably wouldn’t have fit at all.

So my mission was to find a small- scale dining set. I knew there was a perfect set at Ikea that I’d been eyeing for a while, but it was $149, and the 2nd part of this mission was cheap. So that meant to the trio I would go a-hunting. I measure the space in the kitchen I figured would be the most a dining set should take up, and off I went.

First stop was the Salvation Army. They had a small little wooden table, square and just very basic, with two upholstered chairs, similar to this, but blue: 

However, they wanted $49 for the table, and $49 for the two chairs for $100 total for the set. For that price, considering the table was a little roughed up and I would probably need to paint it, and that the upholstery on the chairs was kind of a dusty blue velour and they weren’t quite the style i was looking for, I felt it was too expensive and passed- after all, it was my first stop.

Next stop was Goodwill. I went straight to the back where the furniture was, and this was the scene I encountered:

IMG-20130411-00383At first the round table caught my eye, but I quickly realized the rectangular one fit the bill almost perfectly. It had black metal legs with a wooden top. It can with 3 black metal chairs with geometric fabric seats, with bits of white, mint, yellow, brown and blush. The table had the right depth, and although the length was longer than I had originally been envisioning, I actually had the space to accommodate the length.

And it was $8. SOLD!

I marched right up to the cash, before looking around at anything else, and paid for the table so no one else could get their grubby hands on it.The girl at the cash gave me a big “Sold” sticker to put on it.  I’ve learned the hard way that in these types of places, if you can’t stick it in your cart, pay for it right away so you don’t lose out. I continued to wander a bit and found a few things I’ll share in another post, but picked up a metal wall coat rack that was perfect for going by the front door. I’m terrible and didn’t take any ‘before’ pics so I apologize.

So I  wrestled my treasure into the car and stopped at Home Depot to grab a can of spray paint. I used the Rustoleum Painters Touch in Flat Black. Spray painting really is the easiest thing; all I did was  put down a drop cloth, give the table a once over with some medium sandpaper to even out any nicks and scratches, and had at ‘er with the spray paint:

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The best method I found was to work in smaller sections, and to go slowly in a back- and-forth motion to make sure the surface was evenly covered. I only needed to paint the wooden top, as the legs were already a black metal. I gave any scratches on the legs a quick spray too. The quick coat of black cleaned it up nicely, and it looks great in the kitchen:

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Since I had the spray paint going, I grabbed an old clock that I had never known what to do with, and gave it a coat as well:

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The clock face was removable, so I didn’t need to tape it off. Previously it had been a bronze-y greenish colour and I had never really liked it – the black is a vast improvement over the bronze-y green:

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Now the clock lives over the window in the kitchen- it fills the space perfectly, and is a great touch of decor int he kitchen:

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I also sprayed the coat rack I had grabbed at Goodwill- I think it was $3.99. It was originally a creamy colour that had been roughed up to look rustic, but the colour didn’t work with the interior of the house It had a ceramic disc in the middle as well as two in the corners, so I taped them off  with painters tape and sprayed away:

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I hung the coat rack in the front hallway, and it’s a perfect spot to put your coat and shoes when you come in, as we don’t have a hall closet:

IMG_1257And therein ends my affair with black spray paint. I always say, its amazing what a coat of paint can do to something!

Adventures in Ikealand, part 1

Jon and I decided to go to Ikea on Saturday to get a quote for our kitchen, as well as look at all the other fun stuff Ikea has.

First, this happened:

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Yes, three meals between two of us… we were starving, and couldn’t decide what we wanted, so we got a bit of everything. Jon stopped my reach into the dessert display though, with “you know those are put out there for people like you, right?” So I didn’t take any. LOL.

After we each consumed a ridiculous amount of calories, we headed over to the Kitchen section. Then spent a good couple  hours trying to configure a kitchen on their incredibly slow computers. With annoying employees whose attention you would finally grab after needing to ask a question for 15 minutes, only to have them pop away after 30 seconds! A very frustrating experience indeed. Especially when I realized that the program they use in store is the same one on their website, no better or different, so we really could have done the whole thing comfortably at home and then gone into the store when we were ready to order.  I finally said to one girl, “can you please come and help us for more than 30 seconds, we have some questions and need some help with this, and actually need to order a kitchen, we’re not just screwing around on the computers like everyone else!” ( I was probably kind OF bitchy to her, but we had been at it for almost two hours by then, and our feet and backs we’re killing b/c you have to do the whole computer thing standing up, and I was sick of trying to track employees down to help us ) to which she replied “have you  been put on the customer service list?”   “No!” I said, “No one told us anything about any list we needed to be on!” Essentially she gave me a beeper thing that would light  up when someone was available to give us their undivided attention. Luckily it only took about 5 mins for the thing to beep at us, and we had the undivided attention of a very nice and helpful employee. He helped us to make sure we had all the right pieces, sizes, clearances, etc.  And redeemed his place of employment for us, as we were about ready to leave and buy our kitchen elsewhere.

This is the final rendering of our kitchen, looking in from the side door entrance:

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View from the front door/ den/ family room:

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The empty grey wall above the lower cabinets will actually be open to the living room beyond it, hence why there’s no cabinets above the counter.  The Ikea kitchen planner has a harder time with detailed architectural elements.

The view from the living room ( here it shows how the wall will be open):

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and a floor plan of the layout:

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Not such a bad layout; there’s plenty of cupboard space and storage, and hopefully we’ll have room for a small dining table and chairs, as we don’t really have a dedicated dining room. And the laundry will actually be stackables hidden in a big cupboard in the kitchen, as we demo’ed what used to be the laundry area to add the powder room, and I really didn’t want to put the laundry in the low- ceilinged cellar of a basement ( we had that in our old house, and guess who got stuck doing all the laundry cuz she was shorter?). I’d much rather have it accessible on the main floor. We saw under- counter laundry in a kitchen of another older house we looked at, and it seemed to be a great idea. This way,  the laundry is right at the bottom the the stairs, so you can just throw the laundry over the banister and chuck it straight into the wash. boom. done.

Now the question is whether we will actually order it from Ikea; Jon has some mill-work buddies who he thinks can build the kitchen for less than the Ikea quote- so we’ll see if that comes through. Either way, the cupboards will be white, probably a flat plain door if we get the Ikea kitchen, but maybe a Shaker-style door if we get it done by a millwork company ( which would honestly probably look nicer). An then we’ll do probably darker countertops, black or dark grey, maybe in a solid surface or high-end laminate- but we have to wait to get a quote on that until we know who’s doing our cabinets.  I’ll keep you updated on our choices.

Th one good thing is that now Ikea sells appliances, in a range of price-points, and they are mostly made by Whirlpool. So even if we end up having the kitchen done by a mill-work company, we will still probably buy the appliances from Ikea because the are so reasonably priced! Ikea is good for so many things… more to come!