my apartment

Fireplace Facelift: A Rental Friendly 'Marble' Makeover

One of the things that I knew I wanted to change in my rental was the yellow tile surrounding my fireplace. I'll admit that once I moved in, the yellow tiles grew on me. They were more charming than I originally guessed, but I still felt that they weren't in keeping with my overall style and vision for the space. A couple of them were also cracked. (And yes, the ceiling fan is another thing I'd like to change!)

The tricky thing is that this is a rental unit, so I have to be realistic about what I can change and what I have to live with. I want to retile my kitchen backsplash eventually, so I'm saving the 'ask the landlord' question for that. Furthermore, I wanted marble and I know that it's not in the budget, and investing a lot of money into a rental doesn't make sense for me.

What I really needed was a rental friendly, non-permanent, easy, no-hassle, and inexpensive solution.
And that's when it donned on me, what about something I can peel and stick? So that's exactly what I did! I ordered up this amazing contact paper from my friends over at Design Your Wall, and went to work. A quick note about this contact paper. It is SO thick and durable, some of the tiles I had to unpeel and restick over ten times to get it just right, and the paper didn't rip, crinkle, or lose its stick. It really feels almost more like vinyl than paper. It is even wipeable! The pattern is also extremely realistic. 

The contact paper comes with a great grid on the back, so it makes it really easy to cut straight lines.

Next, just peel and stick! (and swear and get frustrated and almost give up). I'll be honest, I found this part difficult because part of my tiles are in behind the copper insert, so to peel and stick while getting it in behind there was very tricky. Thank goodness I could peel up and restick so many times!
I used the small triangle to help smooth out any air bubbles as I went. You should also make sure that your tiles are clean and dry before sticking.

I used the utility knife to reveal grout the small grout lines if the paper was covering it.

And voila! I can't believe how great this project turned out. I still need to add some caulking around the perimeter just to hide some of the pre-existing gaps, but I am loving the transformation! This really was the perfect solution! I don't think you can tell that it is paper at all unless you get really close. A big thank you to Design Your Wall for such an amazing product!

Now I'm thinking about what else I can marble-ize!

New Apartment Part 1: The BEFORE pics & tour

Hi loves! 
If you follow me on instagram, then you know that my apartment is no longer empty and that I'm settling in quite nicely, but I wanted to share some quick snaps of the place before I had all my things moved in, and before I painted every wall, ceiling, trim, door, etc. to give a full idea of what it looked like in the beginning. It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the walls were a light tan colour and the trim was a yellowy-cream.

^ This picture really captures all of the main things that made me fall in love with this place. The original hardwood floors (with that lovely inlay detail around the hearth), a gorgeous fireplace and mantle, picture frame mouldings, big baseboards and crown mouldings, and high ceilings. The space also has really great natural light.

 ^ Here is another view of the family room with a peek into the dining nook. Some of my furniture is sneaking its way in by this point. Here you can see the charm of the rads, and more moulding details. There is a big spot on the original wood floors, but luckily my area rug covers it now. This also gives you a better idea of the dingy wall and ceiling colour. The small kitchen is behind the wall to the right of the photo.

^You can see the front door and front closet in this picture. Off that hallway is my bedroom and the bathroom. I love the big opening that leads from the hall to the main living space! I need a solution for the ceiling fan...

^Another look at the hall with a sneak peek into the bedroom.

^The bedroom, which is surprisingly big! Sadly I had to sleep on the sofa for 5 nights until my new mattress got delivered. Well worth it to have a queen bed though!

^Good news! The closet is a great size! Not as big as the lovely walk-in at my old studio apartment, but still a huge amount of storage (there is a big shelf on the left side that you can't really see here) and nicely set up with a closet organizer.

^The remainder of the hall. 2 small storage closets on the right and a door to the washroom at the end.

^My sweet little washroom with amazing floor tile. I apologize that the toilet lid is up. I was also testing some wall colours by this point.

^The dining nook, which is a great size. It's open to the kitchen. M. was filming a cover video here that day, which explains all of the music gear. You can check it out on his youtube channel here.

^ Okay yes, my kitchen has terrible purple tile floors and backsplash..but other than that it is really great. I love the appliances, (and there is a dishwasher!!! Major bonus), there is tonnes of storage and a nice window. I'd love to replace at least the backsplash...I'd only need about 20 sq.ft. and I don't think it would be too hard. Ideally I would do the floor as well, but that seems like a big job and I'm not sure my landlord would go for it. Maybe a nice little kilim rug in here instead? Does anyone have any advice on rental kitchens?

^This is the last shot before getting to work painting (it took about 5 days to paint pretty much every paintable surface). 

Hopefully from these pics you can see what I saw when I first looked at the space: Serious Potential.
I can't wait to show you the progress I've made already! Stay Tuned.


My Walk In Closet Makeover Reveal

Well ladies (and gents, if you're out there), my $100 closet makeover is complete! I managed to add organization and some prettiness with some easy and affordable solutions. I scaled back my original plan considerably (like my idea about painting it blush...which I still think would have been beautiful), but the end result is glamorous and most importantly, functional. Mostly I used things I already had around my apartment for decor, like the sheepskin rug, art, chair and decorative touches. The money went to a new hamper, all matching hangers, some storage boxes and a can of gold spray paint.

Let's just take a look at the before...My laundry hamper had broken and the whole thing is generally a disaster. My mother would be ashamed....I'm ashamed!

And now the incomparably better afters:

It really is the closet of my dreams! Tomorrow I will be going over the changes I made in more detail, as well as sharing sources and looking at the other side of my closet which is less glamorous than this side (needs to house cleaning supplies, etc.) but is neat and organized!

I can't wait to hear what you all think!

New Leopard Pillow

Many of you probably already know that I've been eyeing this pillow forever. Every once in a while for the past year and a half, it will come up in one of my posts. The other day, in light of some exciting news (secret for now!) I decided it was time to treat myself! I ended up getting it from this etsy seller, whose price was the best that I could find! I am so happy with it, I think it gives my room the final pattern that it was missing. 

After I posted this photo on instagram, I knew the room needed it, the combination really spoke to me:

Here are some more shots of my living space now!:
Have you treated yourself to anything lately? You deserve it!

Leopard Print Prints

Who doesn't love a good leopard print? And what about a leopard print print. Are you following? I have two leopard print prints in my own space, and I must say that as far as I'm concerned they were made for each other. Together, they are making my desk area so lovely.
The 'As far as I'm concerned leopard is a neutral - Jenna Lyons' print is from SS Print Shop.
The YSL leopard loafer print is from The Aestate.
How do you incorporated leopard print into your own decor? Let me know in the comments below.

My Girly Gallery Wall

What bachelorette pad would be complete without a girly gallery wall? Over the past year or so, I've been collecting prints and art pieces without much thought to how they would all coordinate together or how exactly I was going to hang them. I'll admit, I totally wung (winged?) this gallery wall (as evidenced by the MANY nail holes hiding behind each piece as I inched everything up, down, over and back again until I was satisfied...don't tell my landlord!). But now that it's up I have to admit the colours in each piece look perfect together...almost like I planned it!
 I really like how the art is framed by the doors flanking each side of the bookshelf (one leads to my walk in closet and the other to my bathroom) and I kept the highest piece in line with the moulding around the door to emphasize this. I purposely positioned the pictures around the TV to take the eye away from this big, blank, black rectangle.

Like my prints? Shop them below:

YSL Leopard Loafers (I scored the original watercolor, but you can get the print!): The Aestate
Gold T: (Gift from my big bro!) Chapters/Indigo
OUI graphic print: The Aestate
Lips Print: The Aestate (now available on Made by Girl)
Audrey Hepburn: Gift from my mama purchased from a vendor in NYC
Landscape: Flea Market Find!
Small Lamp Watercolor: Painted by yours truly! See it up close here
Butterfly Taxidermy: HomeSense (read about it here!)
Audrey Hepburn Triptych: Gift from my boyfriend, oddly enough also purchased in NYC!

Do you have a gallery wall in your home?

You might also like: Gallery Wall Planning / DIY Large Abstract Canvas

Let us Give Thanks and Be Glad

God is good. I don't speak much on the blog about my faith because I don't want to seem like I am forcing my beliefs on anybody. I accept all different views, but lately my heart has been so full of gratitude towards the Lord and all the goodness that my life has been blessed with. With Thanksgiving on Monday, what better time than now to acknowledge a small sample of those joys?
Image via Stephanie Sterjovski / Print via SS Print Shop
 1. Firstly, I am thankful for my family. My crazy, loving, incredible family. I miss living in the same city as you. Thank you for all of your support. I am so blessed to have parents like you and two big brothers who always looked out for me. I love you.

2. Secondly, I am thankful to have a roof over my head. That I moved to a new city and was able to find a job related to my field of study that allows me to pay for this roof over my head. That I can fill my space with things that make me smile - little luxuries I know not everyone has and that I do not take for granted.

3. I am thankful for the lessons that God has instilled in me that have led me to where I am today - to a place where I feel like I am a good woman following the path that was intended for me. Thank you God for teaching me kindness (even when faced with negativity), for teaching me to follow my heart (even when it hurts), for teaching me to work hard at my craft (even when I want to give up).

4. I am thankful for friends, new and old. Thank you to my old friends, who I've known for years. Even though we don't see eachother as much now that I'm living in Toronto, I know that I can always count on you. Thank you to my new friends, who made moving to a new city less lonely and showed me I can make a life for myself here surrounded by people who I love. And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of my blogging friends. Without this amazing community I would be lost.

My heart could burst with all of the joy I feel for these incredible things - and there are so many more not listed here.
via my personal bible Psalms 106:1
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Have a great long weekend! xo

DIY Large Abstract Canvas

 Well guys, I said I would, and I did!
Last week I discussed how my beloved gold perfume prints felt out of scale above my couch. I either needed to add a third one, or do something large and abstract. I decided to go large and abstract, and I had so much fun painting this huge canvas (2'x4'). I didn't do any planning, just kind of put brush to canvas and let myself go.
If you're planning on trying this yourself my tips are: 1. Don't overthink it. 2. Stand back every once in awhile to see where you need more. 3. Choose a color scheme that will compliment your space.
I am so happy with the final result!
What do you think? Love or hate?

My Office Space {in progress}

 So you might have heard me mention that my bedroom/living room also serves as my office space (and dressing area...but the closet is nowhere near presentable atm). Today, I thought I'd share with you the desk area as it is SO FAR. I am planning an amazing inspiration board but I've hit a delay on materials. Luckily I found an awesome etsy vendor who solved all my dilemmas, I just have to wait for the mail now, but more on that later.
The chair was a DIY I did before I blogged. It's covered in a navy and cream traditional toile.
The Calendar is a Barbie Fashion Calendar. Dug wayyyy back in the archives to find you this gem (my third post ever) on how this calendar can be used to make great art when the year is up. You should really check it out!
I love my lucite tray (HomeSense) which corrals all of my odds and ends.

If you're wondering where my desk sits in relation to the rest of the room, here:
 And yes I need some curtains, I know..I know.

When I'm not in bed blogging, I'm at the desk. Where do you blog?