Move over, milk paint—there's a new player on the upcycling scene, and it's changing the way tastemakers like Michael Penney revamp their treasures. Designed specifically for use on furniture, Fusion mineral paint is ideally suited for creating distressed looks and makes quick work of updates by providing full coverage—often with a single coat. "It has a flat chalky finish that gives furniture a cottagey feeling," says Penney. "It's an easy, inexpensive way to transform anything into an instant heirloom." Before you grab your paintbrush, though, check out what the Marilyn Denis Show pro had to say about furniture flipping and secondhand chic.
Brett Walther: How can you be sure you're not ruining an antique by painting it? Michael Penney: Most people overestimate the value of their antique pieces, especially those that are handed down through the family. If it's the difference between you actually enjoying a piece of furniture or pitching it because it looks so outdated, go ahead and paint it. Don't worry about whether you're affecting the value, because the true value is in the usefulness of the piece. Plus, it's reversible: If your tastes change, you can strip it or give it another coat of paint.
BW: What's the secret to the perfect distressed finish? MP: I like painted furniture to look like I didn't paint it—as though that's how I found it at a flea market or a thrift store. Those kinds of pieces are distressed in a very natural way, showing scuffs and imperfections in the places where they would get wear from being used, like the edges or the knobs. That's what I'm going for.
On those cold, wintry days when you need somethingwarm around your face, grab your knitting needles, hibernate for a weekend and knit up The Stone and Arrow Winter Set. Designed in bulky yarn, The Arrow Headband and The Stone Scarf come together in a snap. And with simple repeating patterns, they're perfect for confident beginners looking to expand their knitting skills.
The Stone Scarf got its name from its 3D texture, created by alternating knits and purls, that resembles a stonewall. The quirky stone-like bumps are tempered by a garter-stitch border and a slipped selvedge for a tidy edge.
• 2 balls (each 150 g/225 m) Schachenmayr SMC Tweed Montage* in Dusty Ranch (actual amount used for scarf: approx. 322 m)
• A 7-mm knitting needle
*If you are having difficulty finding the Schachenmayr SMC Tweed yarn, try Noro Obi or Noro Kama. Both are available online and can be shipped to Canada. Both give very similar stitch gauge and have a nice gradual colour change.
Lana Gross Medio is also very close in colour. This yarn can also be purchased online, but be advised that the shipping costs may be hefty. Lana Gross Medio is thinner than what the pattern calls for, so if you decide to use this yarn you should cast on 34 sts instead of 24, and follow the pattern exactly as it’s written. The width will be roughly the same.
14 sts/25 rows = 10 cm/4 inches in Basket Welt Stitch
Basket Welt Stitch:
Rows 1 and 2: Sl1, k1 *p5, k5* repeat to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 3: Sl1, knit all stitches to end of row.
Rows 4 and 5: Sl1, k1 *k5, p5* repeat to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 6: Sl1, k1, purl to last 2 sts, k2.
Repeat Rows 1 to 6 for pattern stitch.
Wayfair, the largest U.S. online retailer of furniture and home decor, launched their
Canadian website this week, not only making shopping easier and less expensive, but offering free shipping on all orders over $75. With a selection of over 7 million items at a variety of price points, there is literally something for everyone. Here's the 6 items we are most excited about.
This stylish notebook might just be hottest organizing accessory of the year.
Everyone is supposed to have 24 hours in a day but for some us, it feels like there must be a rip in the space-time continuum. How else can you explain being constantly busy but having nothing to show for it? If this sounds familiar, learn how you can make the most of your time with our five fave productivity tips.
1. Write it down
Billed as "the analog solution for a digital age," the Bullet Journal is a diary, to-do list and catch-all for all your random thoughts. Developed by Brooklyn-based designer Ryder Carroll, this trendy organizing method involves writing down quick, memory jogging statements rather than complex entries. Use it to organize your tasks by day and month pages, keep tabs of books you want to read and things you want to buy or create new lists whenever inspiration strikes. An indexing system allows you to quickly find what you're looking for.
2. Plan your time
Sort of like HIIT for your to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique involves working on your tasks for a short, timed cycle of 25 minutes. With no distractions allowed, it’s great way for those with short attention spans to focus. Take a 5-minute break before starting your next 25 minutes of work and, after four of these cycles, you're rewarded with a longer, half-hour break. Sound a bit too structured? Maybe that's why it works—it was voted the most popular productivity technique by the readers of lifehacker.com.
3. Try a tech-savvy solution
The If This Then That app might be the closest you'll ever come to a personal assistant. Got any apps on your phone? Automate their functions by using If This Then That statements, or as IFTTT calls them, “recipes.” For example: get an early morning text when the forecast calls for rain, use it to get coffee going without getting out of bed (using a programmable outlet) or tell the family you're on your way home (with an email triggered by your location app once you've left work).
4. Go KonMari on your clutter
While organizing trendsetter Marie Kondo’s method of minimal living has been criticized for being a bit too twee, an organized, uncluttered home can be key to increased efficiency. "In most cases, things that function well are inherently neat and clean," says Clare Kumar, a professional organizer based in Toronto. It's not hard to see why. Simply owning less makes it easier for you to find what you need and streamlines your decision making (no need to choose between your 6 pairs of jeans, for example), saving you time that can be better spent elsewhere.
5. Let it go
There'll be days you can't get to everything. Your work presentation sits unfinished, the house is a mess and dinner was takeout (again!). Instead of stressing out, try to cut yourself some slack. "Our bodies burn out when stuck in fast-forward," says Carl Honoré, an expert on the topic of slow living. Sometimes the best way to be productive is to take some time out to recharge. So curl up with a good book, take a long bath, or enjoy a glass of wine...guilt free! After all, there's always tomorrow.
One of the most frustrating tasks in the kitchen is the cleanup after a big meal. It may not happen often but burnt rice, oatmeal and pan drippings can create major kitchen anxiety. Don’t throw in the towel on those pots and pans you think may be ruined—here’s what you need to do to save them all:
3) Reduce the heat to medium, add a bit of baking soda and continue to scrape the pot with a wooden spoon until all the burnt bits have loosened. (Note: The amount you need may vary, but start with a heaping teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of liquid, adding more if necessary.)
4) Rinse well.
If you still have little spots with burnt food, just sprinkle in a bit of baking soda and scrub it away with a sponge—any leftover pieces should come off quite easily.
Now that cleanup is less of a fuss, you can go ahead and dirty those pans with these one-pot recipes.