Work In Progress: Studio Tour

My office/studio/craft room was the very last room to get unpacked. And by that I mean we had done painting in rooms before I even unpacked a box in here.

Studio in the house listing photo

Studio in the house listing photo

When we moved in, it looked pretty much exactly like that except without all the files. The desk and chair were left with the house, as were those little tables, which will be good for outside. 😉 It didn’t look that neat for long though, because this was the room where most of the boxes went. Between crochet and candles, I had more stuff for this room than we all had for any other. Then of course there was all my other craft supplies which, admittedly, I haven’t even opened yet.

StudioBefore00

I lived out of boxes like this for three weeks

Then I finally got around to painting it, and it became less messy (because everything inside got moved to the living room!)

There was no way I was pulling that desk out.

There was no way I was pulling that desk out.

Then it got painted (there are six walls in this room. That wasn’t fun), and Mr. Frenchie replaced those horrible mini blinds with some sweet cordless shades. While it’s still a work in progress, I hope you’ll enjoy what I’ve set up so far.

Ready?

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Everybody Needs a Bar Cart

Everybody needs a bar cart, or at least that’s how current home blogs, pinterest pins, and instagrams tell us. BAR CART BAR CART BAR CART.

And of course, I’m sitting there nodding my head, completely hypnotized. Yes. A bar cart. So chic. So classy. So actually sort of unnecessary since we don’t drink all that much, but yes. Let’s do it.

Besides, now that we’re adults and stuff, alcohol tends to be the gift we receive. Even though we don’t drink much of it we do need somewhere to put it, so instead of stuffing it away in a closet to be forgotten, why not put it on display? Maybe even remember to actually crack open that bottle of wine or offer our guests a cocktail?

Barcartbefore

Not so cute.

I had acquired this vanity somewhere between 2008 and 2009 from someone who was about to toss it because she had “outgrown” it. Initially I had rescued it and actually used it for its purpose. For a good 3 years. Then I decided it was kind of a hassle and took up too much space in my bathroom so I took the mirror off, stuffed it in the studio and let it gather…. stuff. 🙂

And yes, by stuff I mean chocolate. I kept all my chocolate on it.

And yes, by stuff I mean chocolate. I kept all my chocolate on it.

When we moved I wasn’t able to part with it just yet. Who knows when you’ll need a mirrorless vanity! We initially put it in the dining room as a junk collector but when I finally unpacked that room, we set it up as pictured above and we liked it, except for the fact that it was hideous.

Now if there is anything I want people to take away from this blog, it’s how effective a simple paint job is. We saw what it did to my linen closet, I will be showing you what it does to various other rooms in my house, and it happened here as well.

SLEEK, CHIC, ALCOHOLIQUE!

SLEEK, CHIC, ALCOHOLIQUE!

Before I painted all this, I went out to Target to find a little tray for our shot glasses. Why does everyone give us shot glasses? I’ve never taken a shot in my life. But we have a million of them, and there was one set that was super cute so I figured even though they’ll likely never be used, they’re good to display

Coconut Rum, however, I do use. Mix with vodka and most juices :D

Coconut Rum, however, I do use. Mix with vodka and most juices 😀

Now I don’t know if you noticed an old brown end table in the initial picture, but yes, that got a makeover as well, with some leftover bathroom paint.

Adding a little colour to the monochromatic proceedings

Adding a little colour to the monochromatic proceedings

Because some wines just don’t fit in our wine bottle holder (which still needs to be mounted to the wall). My favourite to display, of course, is a very special wine that a friend gave me for my wedding.

Because when you can't write... drink?

Because when you can’t write… drink?

Also, in the background there is Ed Hardy Sangria in Red. Don’t turn up your nose at the novelty of it. It’s freaking delicious.

But my favourite part, is another gift that we received for our wedding (from that same friend!): a Swarovski wine bottle topper. I remember working in the Swarovski outlet and during the slow times, we would plan out our Swarovski home decor. Thanks for getting us started, Dani!

Because everything should sparkle except for vampires.

Because everything should sparkle except for vampires.

We’ve got a couple things left to do to make this little bar station exactly how we want it, but in two days, I think I’ve gotten a good amount of it done!

Do you have a bar cart in your home? I’d love to see it! Drop me a link so I can check it out and link back 😀

Thanks for reading & stay inspired!

Frenchie xo

Easy & Light: Creamy Garlic Pasta

I don’t usually document what I cook, as I have a hard time noting recipes. I’m the sort of person who just wings it every time I cook. I’m trying to do a better job of keeping track of how things are made, and I thought today would be a pretty good attempt.

I finally got around to meal planning and not only has it made grocery shopping easier, but also the actual cooking part. No more “what’s for dinner”, except for Fridays, which I have deemed leftover/eat down the pantry day. It makes me actually excited to create meals. Yay!

Last night was a pasta & veggie night, and because I like to just dance around the kitchen and toss stuff onto the stove, I thought perhaps I’d whip up a light and summery sauce to go with.

 

Nothing like a nice light dish on the first day of summer!

Nothing like a nice light dish on the first day of summer!

Veggies

Sautee up those veggies!

Garlic

I don’t mess around with Garlic.

Recipe:

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1/2 Red Bell Pepper

1/2 Zucchini

1/2 Summer Squash

Carrot Slices (I eyeballed it)

1/4 cu milk

1/2 stick butter

Lots and Lots of Garlic. I did 1.5 spoonfuls as pictured above, but really, however much you want.

Cornstarch (how much depends on how thick you want your sauce. I used maybe 1.5 tsp)

salt & pepper to taste

Pasta of your choosing

Directions:

1. Sautee up those veggies! I put the carrots in first while I cut up the pepper, then threw the pepper chunks in while I cut up the zuke and squash, since those take the least amount of time to cook up. When they’re starting to get a hint of brown, add a bit of water and simmer on low, alternating between covered and uncovered. By the time everything else is ready, the water will have cooked out. Salt & Pepper, stir occasionally

2. In medium saucepan, boil water for pasta. In small saucepan, melt butter and combine with milk, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook on medium/high heat until pasta water is boiled (that’s how I time things) Stir frequently

3. When you’ve added your pasta to the water, add cornstarch to garlic sauce and raise temperature to high to thicken it up! When it’s good and bubbly, lower the heat and stir frequently.

4. Once the pasta is done to your liking, drain and return to pan. Add veggies and garlic sauce. Mix until combined.

5. Serve with your favourite white wine 🙂

 

Foiled!: A Tiny Table Makeover

Growing up my parents had a little end table in the kitchen were the yellow and white pages sat on a shelf, and my mother’s address books hung out in a drawer. Fast forward to when I got my own place, and it sat in the hallway of our second apartment. Here it gathered mail, keys, junk, junk, and more junk.

When we moved to the Boulevard, I knew I wanted to take it, but definitely didn’t want it collecting crap anymore. We have a grand total of…… THREE actual closets in this house, and we actually like that. It gives us less place to hide things. As far as I’m concerned,  that goes for decorative tables as well.

The problem with this table is, well, it wasn’t very… decorative. At all.

It's wasn't hideous, but it didn't exactly stand out in a crowd either.

It’s wasn’t hideous, but it didn’t exactly stand out in a crowd either.

A couple years ago, I had seen a blog post where a woman had foiled her entire dining room table. I was in love with the idea, but Mr. Frenchie was not. Or rather, he was skeptical. ..really. Skeptical.

So one night I thought to myself. Why not foil the take out table then? (as I intend to use the drawer for our takeout menus) So I did.

The Goods.

The Goods.

I used fabric mod podge because I have no patience and it’s all I had on hand. For a table that gets more heavy traffic, you might want to use the appropriate kind, but once it’s all sealed, it really doesn’t even matter.

The best part about this project is how inexpensive it was! Only a few feet of tin foil :D

Don’t actually keep your phone nearby. It will get mod podgey.

The best part about this project is how inexpensive it was! I only ended up using a few feet of tin foil. 😀 I crinkled it up slightly before I applied it to get a nice crinkly texture.

Process

It’s very important to take a super filtered photo of your process for Instagram.

And then…

 

TADA!

TADA!

Now it’s all, quite literally, shiny and new! (I even touched up the black a little bit where it had worn down)

Eventually I want to get a simple bamboo planter to replace my frogs with, but they needed a home and they’re cute. 🙂 You’ll also notice I painted the walls of the dining room a totally gorgeous grey. That’s the main colour of our home as we fight the war on that horrendous peach.

BeforeandAfterFTable

And there you have it! My foiled table! We’ve decided against foiling the dining room table so our room doesn’t look like one giant turkey dinner, but I’m glad to have gotten it out of my system and I love my new takeout/cookbook table!

Thanks for reading & stay inspired!

Frenchie xo

I Saw it on Pinterest: Tiles Under the Kitchen Sink

If there’s one website that I, as a 24 year old woman, am completely and 100% shamelessly addicted to, it’s Pinterest. Pre-Pinterest I would bookmark websites and ideas like a beast. I had folders within folders of my bookmarks page. It looked so nice. It was near and orderly and it was totally chock full of websites, but how often did I really click on any of them?

Oh that’s right. Never.

Some people roll their eyes at the idea of pinterest while my fellow craftees, homemakers, and fashion addicts will foam at the mouth every time new pins come up in our feed.

Once I learned to crochet, and then bought a house, my pinning sprees became manic and I actually began to do more than just look at what I’d pinned. I started doing them!

So I’m starting this series within the blog. I Saw it on Pinterest. A catalogue of all the projects I’ve tried and the results of them. I’m willing to bet that a good 70% of them will be nothing like what the Pinterest gods have created, but I’ll try. 😉

The first project actually wasn’t my project, but Mr. Frenchie’s. We had seen that pin floating around, the one everybody is doing: putting tiles under the kitchen sink.

So Pretty!

So Pretty!

$30 and a quick run to Home Depot later, Mr. was happily toting home a box of vinyl peel and stick tiles. Whoever created them was definitely genius, and I have to thank whomever came up with this awesome idea. It was super easy, and Mr. prided himself in his very first home improvement job.

tiles00

I really hate the look of drying racks on the counter, so I repurposed mine as a cleaning supply organizer. Works like a charm!

But… after buying a box of 30 tiles and only using six of them, Mr. Frenchie got the itch to do more. And more he did. So much more in fact that one box tiled all 5 of our bottom cabinets plus their shelves!

tiles02

Edging the shelf with it added a lovely touch, don’t you think?

Even the tiny cabinet got some love!

Even the tiny cabinet got some love!

So all in all, this pinterest project was definitely a success! Easy and practical, there’s no wonder it’s been popping up everywhere!

Thanks for reading. Stay inspired!

Frenchie xo

$10 Linen Closet Makeover

The Frenchie household has just moved from Rhode Island to barely-over-the-border-of Massachusetts where we bought a nice old house from the 20’s. It had recently been renovated to a degree, but no matter how much renovating someone else can do, everyone wants to make a space their own.

So I started with paint. It’s the easiest and most cost effective way to change the feel of a room on a budget. After having painted our bedroom, I had a bit of paint left over from my accent wall and with a shrug I had put it aside figuring I’d “find a way to use it”.

And then, when I opened up my disgusting linen closet that probably hadn’t been touched since the 70’s, I found a way to use it.

You can't see it here, but there's some totally wrongtious orange carpet on the floor.

You can’t see it here, but there’s some totally wrongtious orange carpet on the floor.

Also, that fern contact paper had to go. So Mr. Frenchie and I added it to our Home Depot list, and wahoo! Found some “faux leather” (la de da!) contact paper on sale for $7/roll. I grabbed one roll and actually ended up able to cover all four shelves.  You can’t really tell there is a faux leather detail, not even really up close, but we didn’t care. We only bought it because it was black, and $7.

Also, I suck at contact paper.

Also, I suck at contact paper.

But just changing the shelves wasn’t enough for me. How could it be when I had some totally radical peacock blue paint left over? Seriously.

The best colour in the world.

The best colour in the world.

And I slapped it all over the walls. I didn’t paint all the way up to the ceiling because I didn’t have enough paint, and I only painted one coat, but I’ve got to say, Behr Ultra is some pretty fantastic paint and I only needed one coat. And also, it’s a linen closet so really, who cares.

All of those post thingies sticking out stabbed me like 78 times. I wish I could have gotten them out, but they weren't budging.

All of those brackets sticking out stabbed me like 78 times. I wish I could have gotten them out, but they weren’t budging.

And then because painting the walls wasn’t enough for me, I painted the door black. Well, actually I painted the door black because I’m painting all of my doors black.

 

It looks soooooooooooo cute with my crayola "flesh" walls, doesn't it? =P

It looks soooooooooooo cute with my crayola “flesh” walls, doesn’t it? =P

And then in went the shelves! …which was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be because the shelves were really long and heavy (the closet goes really far into the right) and the space was pretty shallow.

Yeah, one or two of them fell on my head.

Yeah, one or two of them fell on my head.

And then I put all my crap inside!

finished02

See that rug?! I’m afraid of what’s underneath, so I let it stay.

finished01

I wonder how long it will stay this neat?

 

 

finished00

It’ll look much better when my hall is grey too!

The only thing that bums me out a bit is that I couldn’t really get any good photos of the finished product. Whoever designed the house figured it was a fantastic idea to not put a light in that hallway. You know, where all the other lights in the house are blocked by walls? No light in the closet either, so I’ll have to find a solution for that one.

Now who wants some fluffy towels?

Now who wants some fluffy towels?

So there you have it, my roughly $10 (because I probably used a good $10 worth of paint on my room) linen closet makeover! Thanks for having a look & stay inspired!

Frenchie xo