Condos Can Be Cool, and On-Budget

We took this generic 706 sq ft condo and created a classic contemporary space perfect for this single mom and her young son to relax and entertain.

A mix of vintage finds [ coffee table $120, teak credenza $800 ] and budget accessories [ west elm rug $169, CB2 candle sticks, Home Sense cushions and vases ]  offset the splurge here with the Montauk Sofa.  This was all about comfort, carefully concealed with otherwise more formal materials like carrara marble table and crystal candle sticks.
In these smaller spaces people tend to buy tiny furniture, but more of it which quickly looks cluttered.  The key here was to maximize the areas we would use the most, one being a large table for entertaining.  We used Ikea Stuva cabinets designed for children’s spaces, but here used to created a 12′ long dining bench with ample storage below, with wall mounted storage above for wine glass, and serving dishes.
To the left of the benches we used 2 low wardrobes from the same system, adding more storage for coats at the entry, as well as adjustable shelves for books and toys.  The table was made by Space Furniture with a black powder coated base and walnut veneered top in a generous 8′ x 3′ size.  All the chairs were also from Ikea.  The bench is the perfect solution to hide away extra kitchen supplies, children’s crafts and paper work, that can often become unmanageable in small spaces.
Before Photos and Floor Plan

Trailer Trash to Treasure

We headed up north with our friend Poppy to give her stinky, dated and (we’re not being rude if we say) butt-ugly, trailer a facelift.  Poppy is a single girl, living in the city, but longing to live the cottage life.  She, like many of us couldn’t afford a cottage and instead decided to get creative with her vision for a weekend getaway.

The Back Story:  Poppy purchased a used trailer in a small, vacation season only park. That means it has an area for snow birds (seniors that winter down south) but was mostly made up of people like her that come on weekends and for holidays to chilax in nature and share beers around a camp fire.

Purchase Price: $3000, including full deck and rear shed.  The yearly lot fees are an additional $2500 including hydro and water.

Reno Budget: $1500


What We Did:  Painted, painted and painted some more until everything mud brown was linen white, The end…….well, not quite.  After painting the wood paneled walls and general storage cabinets white, we painted the kitchen cabinets a french grey and the existing fridge front black chalk board paint.  We installed peel and stick vinyl backsplash in a subway pattern, in the kitchen and washroom.  We spray painted the cabinet hardware throughout a matte black and added a black storage rail in the kitchen from Ikea.

New Teak laminate floors were installed throughout.  We removed the old curtains (which were stinky, trust) and installed new simple black rods for curtains Poppy sewed to save cash.  The living/dining/kitchen fabric was a large roll of tea towel fabric in white with a yellow band detail.  The bedroom and bathroom were a white weave sheer, all were from Designer Fabric Outlet.

We (Poppy) recovered the existing futon with a new blue denim fabric and the dining benches in a combination of the denim and, a blue and white stripe fabric.  We decided to keep the existing wood-look table top and counters for budget, and frankly they didn’t look so ugly with everything else painted.  A simple clothe shade with plug-in cord kit from Ikea was hung over the dining table.

In the bedroom we torn out the bunk beds and built a new double bed using 1 sheet of plywood and some 2×4’s.  We used another sheet of plywood cut-to-size by a helpful young man at The Home Depot. (they will cut to your specs that for a small fee) which was covered with 3″ foam and a blue botanical print fabric using a staple gun.  This became the headboard.

Halina and Melissa went to the local Home Hardware and a funny little consignment shop to purchase all of the accessories and finishing touches.  The consignment shop was closed but the manager of the Mac’s Milk next door had a key (what?) and let us take what we want and offer her cash.  We filled the car for $50, literally. It may have been illegal but she claimed the shop owner worked part time at the Mac’s Milk, so it was all good.  #WhySmallTownsAreCool

We were exhausted at the end of a whirlwind 2 day reno, and Poppy may have put in more work than she bargained for, but heck, that wee trailer puts Martha Stuarts Jail Cell to shame.

We were rewarded with a cake, made by a neighbouring trailer-dweller, that was an exact replica of Poppy’s trailer. We were also given beer, and many many local men on foot and golf cart were more than willing to stop by offering their 2 cents while watching our team of 4 pretty girls work.  So friendly, them country folk.