Friday, December 28, 2012

London Calling

I've never really heard London calling my name...until now.

I was at HomeSense a few days ago and saw a white washed wood chest with a faded Union Jack on the lid. I spent about 5 seconds dreaming that I could afford it.

And then when I was hunting for arm chairs for a recent client, I came across Made and spent some time dreaming I was living in London purchasing furniture.

Here are some goodies I have fallen in love with:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mint Chocolate Brownies/Cupcakes

My dad's favourite ice cream is mint chocolate chip so in honour of him, I decided to make mint chocolate brownies for Christmas dessert!

I've made brownies before in my very distant past but never mint chocolate brownies! Sounds delicious right?
Life Designed

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Menu

I've turned into a domesticated woman this holiday!
That's right...I've been cooking/baking a storm.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Reuse Bath + Body Works Candle Holders

I love candles. 

So much in fact that in high school, my church youth kids joked that I was goth.  I suppose the mood lighting and incense didn't help... 

Soon "goth" was replaced with "witch" when the kids discovered a broom in my closet. It was a prop from a church play...I promise! =)
Source Unknown
Lately my love for candles has made a roaring comeback so a couple weeks ago I went to Bath and Body Works. I've actually never purchased candles from BBW but I was curious to see what they had. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nathan's Doljabi Raffle

The baby of our family is turning 1 this Friday! It's so bittersweet...I wish I had the power to freeze time.

His cousin Mia, who's 6 weeks older, had her dol (a baby's 1st birthday) at the end of September. The Korean doljabi raffle was a big hit at Mia's dol so I reused the pink jars to make Nathan's dojabi raffle.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mustache Mug Party Favours

What is more fun than a mustache mug?!
I love candy bars but I feel like we need to switch it up. I'm pretty sure we've had candy bar favours for the past 6-12 parties. Change is good, no? 

So for my nephew's upcoming 1 year little man mustache party, I came up with a different idea for favours. 

His party will be right after Halloween so kids (and parents) will be candied out- another reason why I love this idea!
Life Designed

Friday, October 05, 2012

Mia's 1!

So as I mentioned, my little niece turned 1 a couple weeks ago! 
Life Designed
Here are some decor pics that our friend's daughter shot. At 16 years old, she's a budding photographer! 

Monday, October 01, 2012

Today I turn 31... say what??

Since I've been in school for the past 4 years it feels like time has stopped. That might be because I'm surrounded by a bunch of young'uns. In my class of 19 guys and gals, I'm the 3rd oldest. Is there something wrong when my closest classmates are a decade younger than me? But to even it out I also have a close classmate that's a decade older than me.

When I first started this program I remember thinking, "Wow, I'm going to graduate this program when I'm 31!" That sounded so old back then... but alas, here I am and... I don't feel a day older. I think my nephews keep me young. I'm pretty sure they think I'm their age.

It's hard to explain. I don't "feel" older but I know that I definitely am. 
Dior Ad
This upcoming year will be an interesting year...some transitions will be happening and I have no idea how it's all going to play out. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mustache Photobooth Fun

I love photobooths! But renting a photobooth is about $1,000 so for my nephew's little man/mustache bash birthday, we're going to set up a makeshift photobooth with these  props I made:
Life Designed

Monday, September 24, 2012

Li'L Man Banner

Well my niece's 1st birthday has come and gone and now it's time to focus on my nephew's 1st birthday party coming up! With 4 little ones, there's never a dull party decorating moment!

A friend's daughter took a ton of pics of the cake/candy bar table on Saturday so I'll post those as soon as we get them. 

In the meantime...let's switch gears for a little man's 1st birthday!

The theme is "mustache bash" so I'm in the middle of make a little banner that will look something like this:
Life Designed
I was originally going to use onesies, but then I'd have to iron a mustache on or draw it which did not appeal to me. I'm not a fan of iron on transfers ever since my epic tie t-shirt fail

Friday, September 21, 2012

Baby's 1st Year Timeline Frame

Happy 1st Birthday Mia! 

My little niece is one today and for her party tomorrow, I've put together her monthly pictures in a large frame. 
Life Designed

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

DIY Mid Century Bench

My friend's boyfriend bought a condo over the summer and to go with his mid century modern decor, my friend and I built a dining bench inspired by this AWESOME mid century bench by Salvage Love:
Salvage Love
Isn't that gorgeous?!

Monday, September 17, 2012

1st Birthday Party Target Haul

In addition to my little niece turning 1 in just one week, my youngest nephew, Nathan, AKA Chubbs, AKA Butterball, is celebrating his 1st birthday in the beginning of November! 

So I'm simultaneously making decorations for both parties in addition to studying in my last year of design school... It's going to be a busy fall.

Back in August, I had gone down to the States to hit up Target and Joann's for some party supplies and I wanted to share them with you!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Korean Doljabi

A huge Korean tradition at a child's 1st birthday is the "doljabi".  This is where the child is presented with various objects that represent something ie. money = wealth, yarn/string = long life. It's said that whatever the child chooses will determine their future. 

Of course it's silly and superstitious. We don't believe in any of it but it's a fun little tradition that everyone in our family has participated in. It's a way to have all the guests gather and give their full attention to the birthday child. 
Life Designed
The is an opportunity to have a raffle where guests predict which object (and therefore which profession/future) Mia will choose. They take a tag, write their name on the back and drop it in the appropriate can. After Mia participates in her doljabi, a "winner" will be picked at random from the chosen can and awarded a prize. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY Large Art Quote Canvas

I made this large quote canvas as part of my friend's birthday present:
Life Designed
 This quote is practically my life's motto! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

DIY Korean Dol Towers

I can't believe my niece is already turning 1 in a couple weeks! 

This is a pretty big milestone in almost every culture and it's certainly a big deal in the Korean culture where we have certain traditions attached to this big day which we call "dol" or "doljanchi".

If you google Korean dol/doljanchi, you'll see people go all out with decorations for this day. A typical modern day decor piece is the dol go im (dol tower):
Life Designed

Friday, September 07, 2012

Best iPhone Case Ever!

I've wanted an iPhone for YEARS. And for years, I patiently waited for the right time to get one. A few months ago, it was finally time.

It's probably one of the best things that's ever happened to me. Haha!

After I got the phone, I struggled with what sort of case to get. Yes, it's a horribly difficult decision, isn't it?

For a while I thought maybe I would just make do without a case.
I love the look and feel of a naked iPhone.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Monday, September 03, 2012

DIY Rope Baskets

The other day I was browsing on Pinterest and came across this awesome rope basket from Design Sponge:
Design Sponge
That's pretty awesome isn't it?!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Dulux Metalclad Paint Review

When I started to modify my sister's old shelves into night tables, I knew I wanted to paint it with white lacquer paint (something I've never used before).

I stepped into Dulux Paint for the first time to see what they had and after discussing my plans with the saleswoman she recommended this paint:

I got a quart for $25. This isn't lacquer paint (their lacquer paint only came in a gallon and it was $68!) but she recommended it because of it's high gloss finish. 
And did it deliver?
However I did have a few problems with this paint.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Posting Images Of Your Kids- Yay or Nay?

This is an issue I've been thinking a lot about lately.

I had pictures of my nephew with the back to school frame that I made for him but at the last minute I deleted them from the post.

The first time I posted a picture of my nephews, I blocked their faces because my sister and BIL didn't want their faces on the internet.
Life Designed
A couple weeks ago I asked my other sister and BIL if I could post a picture of their daughter on the bench I had repainted. They were fine with it, so I did. However I just recently took the picture down.

DIY: Make The First Day Of School Memorable!

My eldest nephew is starting kindergarten and I can't help but feel bittersweet about it.
Life Designed
It's a huge milestone if you think about it. His life will never be the same. Gone are carefree days. From now on, school will be a major part of his life. Yes, I'm being a bit dramatic. It's just kindergarten afterall. I suppose I'm projecting my own icky feelings about school onto him. Haha. He's actually very excited!
I asked him if we should have a back to school (or in his case, first day of school) party and strangely he said no. Still, I wanted to do something for him so I made this first day of school frame to capture this time in his life.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pinterest...At Last

I know I'm wayyyyy behind but I've finally created a Life Designed Pinterest account!

Thanks to my Apartment Therapy feature, my DIY Industrial Bart Cart is all over Pinterest! However, I received a comment from a reader (Hi Amy!) that she had to follow a trail of bread crumbs to finally find my blog.

She suggested I add a "Pin It" button to my photos. I'm definitely going to look into that.

Since my computer died a few weeks ago, I don't have access to Photoshop. And I can't afford to buy a new computer right now so as soon as I get my school laptop, which comes with PS, I'll start watermarking my photos. This is a really good idea and I think all DIY bloggers should do this! Why didn't I do this earlier??!

My Pinterest account features my DIY projects but I also have several boards- all design/decor/DIY related.

When my hard drive died, I lost a lot of inspirational images that I had been collecting so Pinterest is a really great way to organize and keep images without fear of losing them- unless the internet crashes and dies one day. To be honest, I'm a little scared at how dependent we've become on technology!

Anyways, here's a sampling of my boards if you're interested!

DIY Inspiration:
Life Designed Pinterest
Click (beautiful photographs):
Life Designed Pinterest
Life Designed Pinterest
Design (similar to Spaces but not just interior design- industrial design, graphic design- anything and everything design related):
Life Designed Pinterest
Life Designed Pinterest
Places (gorgeous images of places I would love to visit- if only in my dreams):
Life Designed Pinterest
Life Designed Pinterest
Do you have a Pinterest account? If so, leave a link in the comments so I can follow you!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Give An Old Shelf New Life!

Now that my sister and brother in law are moving their bedroom upstairs, they need smaller bedside tables or wall shelves that act as bedside tables.

Something like this wall mounted shelf would be great! 
But not $179 great...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bar Cart: Up Close + Personal

I've been getting a lot of love in regards to the industrial bar cart I designed + made for my friend. (Thanks all!)

Life Designed DIY Industrial Bar Cart
When I brought it over to my friend's house, my cousin who happens to be married to her sister, took a series of detailed pictures of the cart using his SLR. Gotta love SLRs...

Monday, August 20, 2012

X Marks The Spot: DIY Patterned Bench

A little while ago I saw this sad little bench sitting on my sister's deck. 

Life Designed
Apparently my BIL inherited it from the previous home owner. He didn't want to throw it away but didn't know what to do with it so it just lived in a corner on the deck. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

DIY Industrial TV Console

When it came time to shop for a TV console for my friend's new home, there were so many beautiful options- from mid century credenzas to sleek and modern tv units. However the prices were not in our favour...
So of course we decided to make one!
Since we are not furniture makers, we went with a simple design that matched the bar cart I made for her.
Initially I wanted to used stacked plywood for the shelves but at 6 feet long and with the weight of their massive TV, we didn't want to risk sagging or bowing that would probably occur over time.
Stacked plywood? Probably doesn't sound appealing right? But it is!
I love the look of this. The layers provide a beautiful detail.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

$16 Burlap Sack Art

Life Designed
A couple weeks ago I introduced my friend to good old Lee Valley.  This store is my second favourite place to shop/peruse (Home Depot being #1 of course!).

HD is great for your typical materials but when I need something special, I can usually find it at Lee Valley- such as brass ring pulls for one of my Ikea Rast hacks and glass shelf supports for my thrift store trolley/bar cart restoration. It doesn't hurt that their prices are really affordable. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thrift Store Gold Trolley/Bar Cart

Look at this $10 gem I found at the thrift shop last week. I absolutely love it's retro vibe!
Life Designed
I was happy to find it in decent condition- it just needed a little bit of TLC.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My First (+ Only Time) Stripping

Last summer I helped my brother-in-law refinish his deck.

Man. I had no idea how physically demanding it would be! My body ached for days after.

Their deck is two levels and a fairly good size- maybe just under 300 square feet.

Life Designed
And it was in pretty bad shape.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

$5 Side Table Makeover

Last week I was in Coquitlam getting my favourite cream cheese icing cupcakes from a bakery when I noticed a thrift shop a couple stores down. You know me, I couldn't resist!

As I approached the store, I saw this pretty little table sitting out front:

Life Designed
The price tag said $15 so I went inside and asked if she would take $10 for it. No go. 

$15 is not a bad price but before I could think about it any further, my friend got an urgent phone call and we had to rush off. I made a split second decision to leave it. A few days later, I found myself still thinking about it. 

Isn't that a shopping rule? If you walk away and find yourself still thinking about it, that means you should go and get it? I know I read that somewhere!
But I think you're supposed to wait weeks or even months. In my case a few days was long enough!

So a week later, I was in the neighbourhood and decided to go back and see if it was still there.  If so, then surely it was meant to be! 

Sure enough there it was! And even better?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Quick Tin Cup Makeover

I was at a thrift store the other day picking up some more terrarium jars (big surprise!) when I came across this lil' guy:

Life Designed
No it's not sterling silver. Darn. But I've been looking for a cute flower vase like this for a while, so for now- silver or not, this is perfect.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Faking It: DIY Mid Century Dresser

A couple days ago, I posted this grey and white dresser makeover:

Life Designed
In that post, I promised I would have #1 hardware solution and #2 another dresser reveal. So here we go! 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Lightning McQueen Makeover

I shared earlier this week that my sister lives in an old home that's in "rough shape". If you didn't believe me, well take a look at this:

Life Designed
This is the basement AKA bedroom where all 5 of them slept in up until a few nights ago. 
And yes those are OSB walls and unpainted GWB. Like I had said, they thought their stay here would be temporary. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

A "Surreal" Bedroom + Dresser Makeover

One of my sisters lives in a 1950s bungalow duplex that is in pretty rough shape. They bought both duplexes with my parents with the intention of building a triplex (or bigger and better duplex) within a year or so.

It's been 3+ years. 

When they moved in they didn't bother making any major renovations or even painting the place. Why waste money when they planned to be out of there ASAP.

Well in the 3+ years since they've lived there, their family has grown from 3 to 5. And all 5 of them were sleeping in one bedroom in the basement. It was time to do something about this.

The main floor has one bedroom-turned-playroom, which was this horrible pink shade: 

Life Designed
The picture doesn't do it justice. It's terrible.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

DIY Terrariums With Thrift Store Vases + Apartment Therapy Feature!

So I know I'm kinda late on the scene with this but... I love terrariums!

They look so lovely and are SO much fun to make! 

And trust me, you do not need a green thumb to make 1 (or 12) of these.

When my friend and I went shopping for terrarium jars, we hit up thrift stores to see what we could find. 

At first, we didn't find anything and we were just about to leave when then I asked my friend, why not use a large brandy glass?

She loved the idea! I love that we're on the same wave length!

We picked up a few different items in addition to the brandy glass. When shopping for terrarium jars, don't be confined to the typical jars ie. mason jars. Use wine glasses, candle holders, candy dishes etc. (Don't get me wrong, I love mason jars! In fact we made about 5 mason jar terrariums!)

Life Designed
Here are a few we made using dirt cheap (pun intended haha) potting soil from Home Depot ($3 for a HUGE bag), irish moss, mini cactus and rocks- my friend found some jars of little rocks at Chapters for $2. We also gathered some larger rocks from her backyard.

We were on a roll and made about 8 terrariums with the intent to make a whole lot more! 

Have you made a terrarium?

If not, you've been warned- they are so addicting!

PS The other day, I found out from my friend that I've been featured on Apartment Therapy! Thanks to Colleen Quinn for finding my DIY Bar Cart post and featuring it! Check out her post here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY Console Table

Last week my sister mentioned that they needed a console table for their entry and asked me where they could buy one. 

Buy one?

I'll make one!

And just my luck, I happened to come across Diary of a Preppy Mom's blog where she had a tutorial on how she made her fabulous console table.

Diary of a Preppy Mom
It's perfect. Just what I was looking for!

So with that, I set out to make it. Fingers crossed....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Baby Shower Pop Quiz!

The other day an anonymous reader kindly asked me to share the pop quiz I made up for my sister's "She's About To Pop" baby shower

Life Designed: She's About To Pop Baby Shower
I did post a picture of the pop quiz in that post but not a very good one and it got cut off. 

So here it is:

Life Designed

Can you unscramble them? (Answers are below)

I labeled the two categories to help make it a bit easier and all the words have the word "pop" in them so that made it even easier! Some people got the answers right away- while others needed some coaching. =)

After they unscrambled them, they had to blow up a balloon and then pop it - I told them they could pop it using any means possible but that's too easy! I should have told them they had to pop it using only their bodies. It's hilarious to see grown women try to sit on a balloon to pop it! 

OK, here are the answers:

1. Mary Poppins
2. Pop Goes The Weasel
3. Popeye The Sailor Man
4. Lollipop
5. Popcorn
6. Pop Tarts
7. Pop Rocks
8. Ring Pop
9. Jalapeno Poppers
10. Corn Pops
11. Popsicle

How'd you do?

And thanks Anonymous for the inquiry! =)

Friday, July 20, 2012

DIY Pipe Bar Cart

Look what I made! My first piece of furniture that I designed and built all by my lonesome!
Life Designed
When my friend said she needed a bar cart for her new home, it didn't surprise me one bit!
I had meant to talk to her about it a while ago, but with everything else we had to focus on, the bar cart got sent to the back burner. 

I thought about converting an old change table into a cart but hadn't found anything that would be suitable for her style.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Turn A Coffee Table Into A Bench!

I've been keeping an eye out for a simple coffee table that I could turn into a bench. It's been a long hunt...but at last! I thought I found the perfect table at a second hand store. And at $19 it was too good to be true!

Well... it was. 

Life Designed
It's not the best piece of furniture (as in- it's not solid wood, it has a woven detail on the sides which I did not know about when I went in to buy it!).

But... it was only $19 and I drove across the city to get it came home with me! I can work around this. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mixing It Up- Dining Sets

For my friend's new home: think industrial, rustic yet clean, fresh and simple.

No clutter for this gal! Colour palette? Neutral: whites, greys, wood tones with pops of fresh colours. Love love love it. It's very on trend yet I think it'll be timeless!

I posted the thrift store dining chairs I found for her a couple days ago and it got me thinking about different things we can do.

I love mixing it up. Whether it be a bench and chairs, different chairs, different coloured chairs, etc. let's have some fun in the dining room!

Here are some inspiration pics I've had saved on my desktop. Sources unknown so if you recognize any of them, please let me know!

Aren't these chairs great? And if you ever questioned different coloured chairs, I think this will change your mind!

It works because of all the white going on around the colours. The colours add a nice pop without being overwhelming or tacky. It also helps that the chairs are all the same style. So even with different colours, there is still cohesion and it looks like a family.