Doing good - a new concept in shopping

Posted on October 7, 2011 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

My friends Neva, Sean, and I recently visited HighJinx, a shop on Somerset Street here in Ottawa that gives shopping a whole new meaning in social assistance. Imagine a store that sells used furniture and decorative accessories and plows that back into helping those with little or no means to furnish a home of their own. Upstairs the shop sells an amazing array of eclectic goods and furnishings below most market prices while downstairs it stockpiles furniture and other necessities that are free to those in need. To find out more about this amazing store, read the Ottawa Citizen article here.

I was so taken with the concept and Karen and Leigh (the shop owners) that I offered to do their Halloween window display (also roping in Sean to help out). I'm looking forward to running some workshops at the store as well. 

Run, don't walk, to check out the goodies they're selling. They won't last long as the prices as just amazing! Oh, if you have anything you no longer need, why not donate it to HighJinx!


621Somerset Street West

613 864 4289

IKEA pushing the real thing!

Posted on September 7, 2011 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

And it's about time, too. The latest IKEA post featured the Formex trade fair - the largest one in Scandinavia, specializing in furnishings, design and gift articles. This year the trade fair featured many exhibitors and designers who are going back to using materials such as wood, leather, glass, and metals instead of plastic and fake wood. Of course, the post was to push IKEA products but it's heartening to see that even this gigantic Swedish store is realizing that people are looking for alternatives to harmful materials in furniture and decorative accessories. Now, if only we can convince the clothing industry to start using wool, silk, cotton, and linen again!

Go vist the post here.

More Wood Pallet Recycling

Posted on April 15, 2011 at 9:06 AM Comments comments (2)

Image Tjitske van Leeuwen

Every time I spot a bunch of pallets in an lane way or alley, I keep thinking of what I could do with these. Unfortunately, I live in a small flat and have no more room, but that doesn't stop me from lusting after these hunks of wood. When I spot any, I will often twitter locations for other pallet-lovers. I've also blogged about reusing these before here and here

But I'm always on the lookout for more inspiration. Here are some great ones (including how-tos) for repurposing pallets  from some wonderfully creative bloggers. You're gonna love these ideas!

Image Life on a Baclony

Fern Richardson over at Life on a Balcony transformed a pallet into a garden. What a super idea - vertical gardening! No excuse not to have fresh veggies or flowers!

A pallet makes an appearance as a plate holder. I can't remember where i got the image but it would be easy to copy this.

Image via Stylizimo

What about a headboard. Nina over at Stylizimo shows you how. She also has some other DIY pallet ideas. Check it out.

Image via Ikea

Even Ikea uses the idea of transforming a pallet: as a coffee table.

And if you are really pallet crazy, check out this.

Refreshing Old Furniture

Posted on March 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (3)

Don't be too eager to toss out an ugly or ho-hum piece of furniture. You can transform it without paint - decoupage it instead. It's fun, although maybe a little messy, and doesn't take a lot of time. Also, it can be real cheap, if like me you don't bother with fancy varnishes and glues but just use a good, organic craft glue like Ecoglue. Or like me, make your own

I found the above spiffy decoupaged dresser at Ikea's Livet Hemma site. Of course, this is  a new dresser but decoupage is a great way to change the look of any piece of wood, metal, or plastic furniture.

With decoupage, you can use paper or fabric that matches your interior. The Ikea dresser is covered in either magazine or book text. I did something similar to an an old washstand years ago. I used copies of old love letters. Click here for decoupaging furniture. 

How about this chair from Better Homes and Gardens? Nice way to disguise an old chair. 

More wooden pallet recycling

Posted on October 2, 2010 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I've blogged before about recycling wood pallets that you can find tucked away abandoned behind buildings and in laneways. . Ana White is another talented gal that takes these humdrum pieces of wood and turns them into all sorts of usable pieces of furniture. Most recently she's designed and built her own storage crates.

Ana's crates use wood from salvaged pallets, some hardware, and a few 1x12's. The look is classic and inexpensive, coming in just under $8 (less if you happen to have any of the supplies on hand).

Check out Ana's Crate Making Tutorial.

Top image Florida Pallets

Bottom image  Ana White

Reusing a Linoleum Remnant to Cover a Tabletop

Posted on September 28, 2010 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (2)

Lay it On Me!

Yesterday I blogged about where to get free linoleum tile samples and some ways to reuse these. If you happen to have a few larger pieces of linoleum flooring remnants, rather than tiles, leftover from a home renovation project, you can keep these out of the landfill by repurposing any unused bits of linoleum flooring to cover and brighten up an unattractive tabletop.

As in yesterday’s blog, secure the linoleum remnant to the tabletop with double-sided carpet tape--after you've done your measuring and fitted out the pieces you'll need, of course. Or, you can create a larger area rug to brighten up a corner or workspace by simply joining pieces together along the sides with some press-on carpet edging tape.

If you yourself have done no floor renovation, ask neighbours or check out garage sales. You can probably find some old pieces with interesting designs that you can reuse.

Image from files.