DIY Gold Stripe Tray

When I was considering adding the tulip table to my foyer I wanted to have a little spot to corral the mail, my keys and other things when I come in the door. I knew a small tray would be ideal for that purpose, so I set out to find one that met my criteria – it needed to be rectangular, not too expensive, and it needed to have some colour given the table and the walls in my foyer are white.

To be honest I had absolutely no plans on DIYing anything, and I actually did find a lovely contender for the spot at HomeSense that was just $13. Then of course I went to the thrift store and found a tray for $1.99 and my plans changed.  Given its thrift store provenance the tray was predictably ugly, but it was the right size and shape and I knew that making it prettier would be easy.Thrift store tray before

I’ve been in LOVE with this tray forever, and if it had been the right size I may have been tempted to buy it for my foyer (but only if it also went on sale). Since the original wasn’t to be I decided to make my own version using my thrift store tray and spray paint I already had on hand.

(Appologies for the bad cell phone picture)

(Appologies for the bad cell phone picture)

After spraying the tray white I set out to mark off the pattern on the top of the tray using masking tape. I eyeballed the pattern and used a small piece of tape to help with the spacing between the lines.  I did have painters tape on hand, but it was too wide for the scale of my tray so I ended up using the regular masking tape (I use it in class to tape my drawings to the drafting table).  Thrift store tray painted gold

Once the pattern was complete I sprayed the tray top and bottom with gold spray paint, and when it was dry I peeled off the tape and voilà – a gold stripe tray.DIY Gold stripe tray

There was some bleeding under the tape that more than likely wouldn’t have occurred if I’d used painters tape, but I’m honestly not too concerned.DIY Gold Stripe tray.

Not bad for $2 right?

New Foyer Tulip Table

A few weeks ago Staples Canada emailed me and asked if I would like to give one of their accent furniture pieces a try. Honestly my first thought after reading the email was ‘Staples has furniture?? – I thought they just had paper and pens’. Out of curiosity I clicked over to the Staples Canada site to see what they had and was rather  surprised by the selection.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but there are a number of items that I could have happily welcomed to my home. If I didn’t already have dining chairs I love I would have been tempted by these Panton chair knock offs and these round nesting tables caught my eye as well.

I’ve been in LOVE with Saarinen tulip tables for what seems like ever (if I won the lottery one of the first things I’d buy would be a marble tulip dining table), so I might have let out a little squeal when I spotted a tulip table among the accent tables on the Staples website. I had no idea where it would go, but knew I’d be able to find a spot for it.

When the table arrived I was pleasantly surprised by how weighty it is. I don’t know why, but I had thought it might feel a bit flimsy – the base is made of fiberglass and the top is wood so I don’t have any worries about it moving or tipping over. Once I got it put together (a super easy 2-minute job) I decided it would be perfect in my foyer as a place to put the mail and my keys when I walk in the door (but only after first considering it as a bedside table, or even a a little bar area in my living room).

I have the rather bad habit of just putting stuff on the floor when I get home, and then not doing anything with it until the next day when I drop a bit more stuff to the growing pile. My hope is that as a table has a much smaller surface area than the floor I’ll be forced to be a bit more organized (Please keep all your fingers crossed for me that this works).

White Tulip table in foyerI love that the table is white, but one small problem I noticed once I put the table in the foyer was that it blended a little too well with my white walls – it needed a little colour. I think one of the easiest ways to add colour to a space is with flowers. I love Orchids as they’re not too expensive and they last forever, however as my foyer doesn’t really get any natural light I opted for some colourful fake ranunculus from HomeSense instead. I also placed a little tray to hold my mail and keys, and then I decided the table needed a little whimsy so I added my Matryoshka-like dolls that I brought back from Australia a few years ago.

Tulip table styledWhat do you think? Do you have a place in your entry to put the mail and your keys when you come home? Or do you do what I used to, and drop it  in the hopes a magical elf would come by in the middle of the night to tidy it away?

Disclosure: Staples Canada provided me with the table and asked me to share how I would use it as an accent piece in my home. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thrifty Thursday – Memories

Anyone who likes thrifting knows that you really can’t go looking for anything specific as you’ll never find it – you need to be ready to spot the possibilities in anything – from how you can completely makeover an item, or simply what it means to you and the memories it invokes.

My dad is from Winnipeg, and growing up in Toronto I didn’t get to see that side of my family very frequently – maybe once or twice a year (Don’t get me wrong – I know I was super lucky to get to see them as often as I did – I know there are plenty of families who live apart who don’t have the same opportunity). When we visited Winnipeg when I was quite young we always used to stay at my Gran’s house which was also my dad’s childhood home. My dad’s room was the way it was when he left from university so I remember it being a bit like being in ‘Back to the Future’ (I could be wrong, but I seem to remember there being cowboy wallpaper in my dad’s room).  My Gran’s been gone for a number of years now, but every so often I’ll see something that reminds me of her – certain upholstery fabrics make me think of her white sofa, and Royal Crown Derby china in the Imari pattern makes me think of her corner hutch and the china she kept on display there.

One thing I spot quite frequently while thrifting is Blue Mountain pottery. I remember my Gran having a number of pieces, and while I always think of her when I spot the distinctive blue-green pottery, I’ve never bought a piece since I’ve only ever seen it in figurines of cats and ducks which are not my thing. A couple of months ago I spotted this little pot for $2 and while it’s not Blue Mountain Pottery it’s colour made me think of Gran so I brought it home.Green flower pot with handles

It sat on my windowsill for a few weeks until I eventually decided I should put something in it. The next time I was at Home Depot I explored their plants and tried to figure out what would look best. The problem was that most of the small plants they had in stock were simple with leaves in various shades of green and I wanted something with a bit more colour since the pot itself was green. Happily I found the perfect plant one row over – an African Violet.African Violet in a green flower potOne of the other things I remember about my Gran is she always had several African violet plants. I can still picture several on her drum table in front of a big picture window. Whether she had them because they were a favourite, or they were given to her as gifts I’m not quite sure, but they will always make me think of her.

A green flower pot and an African Violet may not mean much to most people, but to me they are a perfect pair just for the small things they make me remember.