Let's take a road trip to Swift Current! Swift Current is about a seven hour drive away from Edmonton, and it is where Nicole and Logan live. When Nicole was interested in working with me, we realized that, if we did a lot of prep ahead of time, we could transform her space over one weekend. So after months of prepping and planning I headed out to Swift Current with a packed truck, and a good friend by my side. 14 hours of driving, 16 hours of work, and several bottles of wine later, Nicole's living room/entryway and master bedroom were completely different spaces.
Nicole is a teacher and Logan is a carpenter. They recently decided to stay in their current house after debating about moving to a new build. Since they are planning on staying here for a longer period of time than they had originally thought, Nicole wanted it to feel more like home. She was pretty open to any style, but based on her Pinterest boards it was clear that Nicole likes warm, cozy, inviting spaces, and she generally prefers traditional with a little bit of shabby chic thrown in. However, her husband Logan is one of the most traditionally masculine guys I have ever met. A carpenter, who grew up on a farm in small town Saskatchewan, who hunts and loves motorcycles. I knew that it would be a challenge to create a space they both felt comfortable in. It is also clear that their families are really important to them. Both of them grew up on farms in tight knit farming communities. So I wanted to make sure they felt their families' presence in the house. They had treasures from their families, but weren't sure how to fit them in. The last concern they had was making a more functional entryway, which flows into the living room.
Let's start in the living room. Logan had a favourite moose picture that he wanted incorporated into the space, as well as a piece of art that his mom had painted. The living room is also where they spend most of their time at home. This is where they watch TV, entertain, and just hang out. Nicole wanted to beautify it. Here are some before and after pics.
Since I had not seen the space in person, I had to base my plan off of pictures and measurements Nicole had sent. The space in the living room is actually bigger than I had anticipated, and Nicole's treasures were even more beautiful than her pictures conveyed. One of my favourite pieces is her grandma's trunk, that really became the inspiration to the room.
The chest was given to Nicole by her Grandma and is the perfect size for a coffee table in the living room. Nicole had it in her entry way but it was too big for that space. The beautiful colour of the chest became our accent colour in the living room and entryway. Nicole loves neutral spaces but wanted a little colour. We added it through the chest, a lamp, pillows, and plant pots.
The art used in the living room was already in the house. I rearranged them into a gallery wall surrounding the TV. I found the TV cabinets on Kijiji for $30.00 each. I stripped the cabinets, painted the bottom, and stained the top in a nicer warm stain. Here is what they looked like before:
A closer shot at the cabinets in the room:
I found the lamps on the new cabinets on clearance for $20.00 each. They match the new chairs perfectly. The chairs were bought on Kijiji for a steal at $25.00 a chair. A small change we made that had a huge impact was the window area. The windows had heavy blinds that didn't always work properly. We took them off the windows and added white curtains for privacy. This change makes the room so bright!
Lastly, we were able to incorporate some neat things from Nicole's family farm. Two antique fire extinguishers frame a piece of art, and an antique oxen yoke harness bases the art pieces opposite Logan's moose picture.
Let's move on to the entryway. Here are the before and after pictures.
Nicole originally had her grandma's trunk in the entryway but it just became a catchall for everything. It is also too wide and they would trip on it when going through the hallway. We made small changes that had a big impact. We bought a rug with Nicole's Canadian Tire money that ran the entire length of the hallway. Now they can walk all the way into the hall without worrying about messing up the floor. We also added a large mirror that I got for free and painted the colour of the trunk. It makes the entry way so much brighter and gives Nicole and Logan the chance to check their appearance before they leave the house. The mirror makes the entry way so much brighter and more spacious.
Underneath the mirror is a narrow cabinet that I made screwing four Ikea bins close together and adding a wood top. It is narrow, only 7 inches wide, but it gives them a place to put their keys and sunglasses, and the cabinet is perfect for storing touques and gloves. The other wall in the entryway was large and empty. We hung up an old window that Nicole also found on her family's farm. It is the perfect colour and Nicole and Logan are going to use it as a whiteboard to leave notes for each other. The entryway felt cramped and was impractical, but now it feels open and is much more functional.
Last but not least is the master bedroom. Nicole and Logan's bedroom isn't a very big space and they have a king size bed. We wanted the room to feel bigger and cozy. Nicole had pinned quite a few reclaimed wood headboards. I was concerned that having a large wood headboard would cut up the wall and make the space feel even smaller, so I suggested that we do a wood wall instead. Here are the before and after pictures.
Logan liked the idea of the wood wall and he put it up for us. He also wanted to add different stains and create a pattern with them. By adding an entire wall of wood instead of just a headboard it makes the whole wall become the focal point, but minimizes the size of the bed by drawing the eye up the height of the wall. It feels so cozy and warm. The nightstands are actually small dressers and they add a lot of storage. They originally looked like this:
I added fabric to the fronts and tops and painted the frames white. Before was too much red, by adding the neutral fabric it gives a bit of colour without overloading the space. The same fabric was used for the curtains and as a background to some of the art. It also matches the deer art over the main dresser. I found the main dresser on Kijiji for $60.00. It was solid wood but didn't go with the room. Nicole chalk painted the dresser and now it fits perfectly.
Nicole and Logan's duvet cover was already beautiful. We added three Euro sized pillows for comfort and easy reading in bed. It also fits the size of the King perfectly. The art above the bed has a saying that Nicole and Logan picked out together. I had an old canvas that I wasn't using. I painted it white and wrote the saying on it. Free art!
Originally their bed was on the floor. Logan made their new bed frame. I love that he made the frame smaller than the boxspring. It looks good, won't stub their toes, and it makes the tight space feel larger.
The deer art above the main dresser is a nod to Logan's love of hunting. On either side of the deer are frames that I bought at a yard sale for 25 cents each. I painted the frames the same white as the canvas and the bedside tables. One of the frames has a Harry Potter quote (one of Nicole's favourite books), the other we made into a jewellery holder by adding an assortment of hardware to the frame.
We left the blinds on the bedroom windows because they need them to make the room dark, but added curtains to soften the window wall.
Okay let's do a quick breakdown of the budget.
Curtain rod- $15.00
Throw blanket- $20.00
End table- Free off Kijiji
Lamps- $20.00 each
Cabinets- $30.00 each
Chairs- $25.00 each
Ikea Cabinets-$6.00 (they were on a midnight sale)
Wood top- free (I got the wood from Nicole's brother)
Rug- $70.00 (though we used Canadian Tire money to pay for the rug)
Rod- free (it was left over from another project)
Bedside tables- $100.00
Main dresser- $60.00
Chalk paint for dresser- $65.00
Wood wall- $224.00 (We were originally going to make the wall from free pallets but Logan wanted to buy the wood)
Deer art- $30.00
Art above bed- free
Art above dresser- $0.50
Paint for both living room and bedroom- $148.00
This was such a fun project to do, and I really enjoyed getting to know Nicole and Logan and spending a weekend with them! As always, feel free to comment or ask questions, and if you are interested in working with me on a future project please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.