DIY

IKEA Hack: DIY Wood Inlay Side Table

IKEA hack: NORDLI side table | Hello Victoria

When we first moved in to the flat, we were short a few items of furniture. The previous owner had left a bed frame behind, but nothing else for the bedroom. To be fair, it was a small room, with plenty of storage in the closet. The only things it was really lacking, were side tables.

We lived with some little stools that Richard brought back from Nepal for a while, but I wanted storage. I wanted a place to keep little things tucked out of sight, like charging cables! However, our space on either side was limited, so we needed to find something small.

IKEA hack: NORDLI side table | Hello Victoria

That’s when I turned to IKEA. They have plenty of options for side tables, but none of them really fit my design aesthetic. So what’s a cash strapped girl to do? IKEA Hack, that’s what! We ended up going with the NORDLI side table, as it had some pretty cool design features. It has hollow back legs that you can run cables down, as well as a little shelf inside purpose built for chargers and the like. The only thing not perfect about it was the bland white exterior.

NORDLI bedside table | Hello Victoria

That’s when I began searching for inspiration. I have always loved West Elm for style, and had fallen hard for their bone inlay bedside tables. However, I just couldn’t see how this design would be applied to the tables we bought. And the more I thought about it, the more I felt like our room needed more “warmth”. That meant wood, right? And if I can’t do bone inlay, why not wood inlay? So I searched around for a few styles of wood patterns, and found these. That got me thinking of ways to implement them.

Wood inlay furniture inspiration from Swoon Editions | Hello Victoria

Ida cabinet from Swoon Editions

Wood inlay furniture inspiration from West Elm | Hello Victoria

Rosanna media cabinet from West Elm

Wood inlay furniture inspiration from Swoon Editions | Hello Victoria

Karlsson sideboard from Swoon Editions

I keep seeing people posting projects using Stickwood, and thought, why not that? It’s super thin, so maybe it would be easy to cut into strips! Not only that, but it’s often made using reclaimed wood, which I like. However, they really intend it to be used for larger projects, and don’t sell it in small amounts. As I wasn’t keen on having so much extra wood with no other projects in mind, I had to start looking for something else. (more…)

Kitchen Progress: Subway Tiles with Contrast Grout

Subway tiles with contrast grout | Hello Victoria

And so, we continue the kitchen saga! After we got the cabinets up, and the paint on the walls, work stalled. Richard went away to Kenya for a few weeks, and then I joined him for a little 10 day trip (photos coming soon, I promise!). After that, we sort of just got used to the walls the way that they were – all bare plaster and drywall. But, we had plans for them! Richard and I are both big fans of subway tiles, and thought that they would suit our 1920s flat. Modern and historic at the same time, no?

However, I didn’t want just white on white, since our cabinets are already going to be white. I wanted to do a contrast grout for a bit of drama in our little space. I looked around at inspiration and settled on a medium grey tone for the grout. I didn’t want to go too dark as I didn’t want it looking busy, but dark enough that you could actually see the grout.

White subway tiles with grey grout inspiration | Hello Victoria

white subway tiles with contrast grout from Patchwork Harmony

Once we had our plan in place, we started shopping around for tiles. We decided to go with Tons of Tiles as they had the best selection of smaller sized subway tiles and fair prices – plus they did sample tiles! We ordered their beveled mini metro white gloss, mini metro white flat, and rustico white gloss. Richard was really into the beveled tiles, as they most closely resemble the authentic metro tiles here in the underground. My only concern was that the uneven edges when they’re cut would make the corners and edges of our walls look wonky. I like the idea of using beveled tiles, but only on a single wall.

Subway tiles with contrast grout | Hello Victoria (more…)

Cleaning Tarnished Silverware with Baking Soda

Cleaning silverware with baking soda | Hello Victoria

As I mentioned before, Richard and I collect antique or vintage silverware, instead of getting a proper set. We love the idea of using these pieces that often get relegated to a “fancy cutlery” drawer, in our day to day use. But there’s a reason that people avoid silver cutlery in favor of stainless steel – tarnish. So how do we go about keeping our mismatched set looking nice?

Cleaning silverware with baking soda | Hello Victoria

A few years back I was told this magic trick by an antique store owner on Fort Street in Victoria. Simply combine baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and boiling water in a container, with aluminum foil covering the bottom. What happens is some sort of chemical reaction where the tarnish is attracted from the silver to the foil, removing tarnish almost instantly! I don’t know how, but it does! Trust me. (more…)

Kitchen Progress: Cabinet Frames + Paint

Okay, it’s been a quite a while since I updated you guys on the progress here in the kitchen. So long that I have actually been asked if it’s done yet (nope!). And as for where we”re at? Well, after Richard left for a month away due to work, kitchen progress sort of stalled. I ordered a bunch of stuff, but haven’t really made any progress.

As for what we have done since I last blogged about it? Well, we finally have a functioning kitchen again!

Increasing storage with IKEA cabinets | Hello Victoria

After we patched all the holes in the walls, and cleaned up from demolition, it was time to paint! We had chosen Barest Hush by Valspar to be the colour for our walls. We tested a couple of swatches, but Richard was worried they would be too dark, so we settled on this option. My goal was to have a grey tinted green that didn’t read too strong either way. As our living room is grey, I didn’t want the whole place to feel the same. But of course, I also didn’t want too bright of a colour, as I tend to prefer more muted walls. Let the colour come from the furnishings, in my humble opinion.

Valspar Barest Hush | Hello Victoria

Valspar’s Barest Hush

For the cabinets and trim, we are sticking with our tried and true All White by Farrow & Ball, colour matched to Valspar paint. This time around we went with their premium paint, as it was the most scrubbable option. It also comes with a built in primer, so win-win! However, due to time we didn’t get around to painting the cabinets, just yet. That’s a job for another day. Or month… year… sigh. Procrastination is real folks.

(more…)

Refinishing Furniture with Danish Oil

Refinishing furniture with Danish oil | Hello Victoria

Okay, so it’s been quite a while since posting – our trip to Kenya and the subsequent business of life when we got back has kept me away. It’s just a quick post today as I still have to go through our photos from the trip, and have yet to make much worth posting.

A while back, we obtained a table and chairs for our living/dining area. We loved that they were old and worn, but the colours didn’t quite match up, and the scratches on the chairs were quite severe. I didn’t want them to match exactly, but wanted the colours to be more similar.

Antique farmhouse table | Hello Victoria

It’s hard to tell in this photo, but the chairs were more yellow, and the table more red/orange

Staining seemed to be the obvious choice, but I didn’t exactly want to go through the hassle of all the sanding and refinishing. I did that before with a set of thonet style chairs that had been painted white (a travesty) and could still remember how long it took me to strip them all down to the point that I could stain them again. And then, of course, I forgot to use a wood conditioner and the stain ended up being all blotchy. 🙁 It was quite upsetting after all that time and effort. (more…)

Kitchen Progress: Demolition + Repairs

Demolishing our tiny kitchen | Hello Victoria

welcome to demolition!

Okay, so I’ve given you an overview of our plans for this kitchen, and what we’re hoping to accomplish. We thought it would be a relatively straightforward couple of days, but boy… were we wrong! Once we started demolition, we realized we had created quite the mess for ourselves.

Let me try and break down where we went awry.

Demolishing our tiny kitchen | Hello Victoria

oh look! It’s Richard’s hand!

So on our first day of demolition, we removed all of the upper cabinets, which also meant moving everything in those cupboards to our living room. Let me tell you, living in a kitchen/living room for about a week isn’t fun. Bleh. We also had to remove the range hood, IKEA GRUNDTAL pot racks off the wall, as well as anything living on the counter tops. We kept stuff in the lower cabinets, and didn’t bother removing the fridge etc., as none of that was changing besides paint.

Demolishing our tiny kitchen | Hello Victoria

range hood and stainless panels removed

Demolishing our tiny kitchen | Hello Victoria

Once everything was out of the room, we contemplated the tiling. Before we could paint or start putting up our new METOD cabinets, we would have to remove all the existing tiles. This was precisely the moment that things went wrong… (more…)

Hague Blue Bedroom

Bye bye bright and airy bedroom…

Painting the bedroom | Hello Victoria

Helloooooo drama!!

Hague Blue bedroom | Hello Victoria

While Richard was away for work, I decided to tackle painting the bedroom. As discussed in earlier posts about dark bedrooms, and my plans for this room, we had chosen to paint it Farrow + Ball’s Hague Blue (using Valspar paint) a few months before, and I am so glad about that decision. The paint has such a lovely teal-y green undertone to it, that makes it feel warmer (in my humble opinion) despite how dark it is.

Now painting without Richard meant lots of time spent on a ladder, with no one to see if I fell… but the worst part of doing it alone, was not having a vehicle! Unfortunately Richard took it with him when he left… not that it really mattered as I still haven’t learned to drive on the left side of the road! (more…)

DIY Striped Doormat

DY striped doormat | Hello Victoria

Please excuse the photos, there is no natural light in our hallway, and I can’t really pick the carpet…

Now, as much as I can (and will!) change the inside of our flat to my liking, I’m not allowed to do anything to the common areas of our building. I wish. I would love to give the hallways and stairs a fresh coat of paint that isn’t cream, update the carpet on the stairs, create some sort of funky mail box system, and dress up the entryway… etc. etc.   sigh   daydreaming…

The only thing I can do, is add a cute doormat outside our front door (and a funky wreath)! I searched around for a while, trying to find something I could buy that I liked, but to no avail. The one doormat that I found and loved, was unavailable in the UK and too expensive to buy online. However, it was a simple striped design that I thought I could recreate.

Modern striped doormat inspiration | Hello Victoria Blog

Striped doormat inspiration via Houzz

I searched online for tutorials about painting your own doormat, and from what I could tell, it just meant taping off your design, and either spray painting or dabbing on paint with a brush. I ended up going with the latter to save myself having to prep an area for spray painting. (more…)

Installing a Plaster Ceiling Medallion

One night while discussing the flat, I mentioned to Richard that I thought it would look reeeaaally cool to have a ceiling medallion in the living room. Something that looks like it’s always been there, and then contrast it with a really modern chandelier. Surprisingly to me, he actually agreed! We both thought that it would tie in very well with our 1920’s building, and seeing as how they took out the original fireplaces etc. to convert this all to flats, it would be nice to add back some character.

We found our medallion at B&Q, and thought it would be absolutely perfect. It’s technically a few years older in style than our building, but it’s pretty close to being historically accurate. We really liked that it was actually plaster, rather than the plastic/foam ones you find most of the time.

Installing a plaster ceiling medallion | Hello Victoria

The plaster, however, created some problems with installation that wouldn’t be there if we had picked a simple foam one. This thing is heavy!! Unlike the other kind, we had to actually screw this into studs while the adhesive cured.

Studs eh? In a converted building from the 1920’s? Good luck finding those, while missing all the random electricals… (more…)

Updating the Flat with Colour

One of the first things that I wanted to tackle with the flat, was the paint colours. Almost every room had some sort of a blah colour – beige, cream, and purple everywhere. The colours weren’t doing anything for the lack of lighting in some spaces. The hallway was the worst culprit, with the mauve above and dark purple below making the whole space feel small and dark.

Updating a dark hallway with paint | Hello Victoria

the hallway before

So, when Richard and I were both off for a couple weeks, we decided to tackle painting the hallway and living room. To be fair, we had aspirations to paint the bedroom as well, but just ran out of steam. While all the moldings and trim in the apartment add such wonderful character, they also add an insane amount of time to paint. The trim and door colour in the apartment was a gross yellowish cream colour (hard to capture in photos, just trust me), so we decided to paint everything, doors included, back to a nice white.

Updating a dark hallway with paint | Hello Victoria

look at all the trim we had to paint… yikes!

After researching colours for a few days, and even getting some swatches mailed to me, I was having a hard time picking. From my limited experience, painting in the UK and North America is very different. Back home, the hardware stores carry a huge assortment of swatches and tend to have other colour brands on file to match. But in the UK, colour matching is a bit more new, and the brands they carry offer a limited selection. (more…)