Anyone who knows me knows I'm into gold. Just look at all the gold spray painting I do. Gold coffee table, gold birds... GOLD! I love it.

I've never been a silver girl. For one thing, it makes me look sickly. My skin tone just works a lot better with warmer shades.

So woe was me during my formative years, when silver was all the rage and gold was considered tacky and disgusting. Some people still think it's tacky and disgusting. (Check out the comments on this post, for example. Gold-hater in attendance.)

But I don't care!

Not only do I love gold, but so does the design world. Gold is BACK, yo. And I am vindicated.

Sooooo with that in mind, here's some gold stuff that I love.
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If this gold shell light fixture from Galerie De France wasn't $3,900, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Available here.
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This $15 gold objet will be available at Chapters/Indigo in the fall. As seen on Seema Persaud's House and Home blog
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This forest park table (gold tone, but actually iron) is in magazines all the time. I want one so much.
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The "sheaf of wheat" table is a classic, in my opinion. My grandparents had some stuff like it. But alas, other relatives got there first. (Curse you, Dad!)
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Finally, I've  long-admired this gold standing lamp by Masiero. So curvy!

Anyway. In case you haven't noticed, this post is about gold.

Gold! I'm into it.
 
 
A couple of years ago, I inherited a lovely antique coffee table from my grandparents. Though not exactly my style, not exactly the right size, and not particularly suited to my decor, I've been using it faithfully ever since. After all, it's pretty. It was free. And it's one of the few things I got from the family collection.
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But I've long harboured a desire for something different. Glass-top tables often annoy me (fingerprints!) but nonetheless, I thought a glass-top table would suit my space. I wanted that lightness. And the wood table, while not very large, was heavy as heck.

To be fair, I contributed to the heaviness by layering the table up with all sorts of dodads, as is my wont, but that's not really part of this story.

Let's just say I'm not what you'd call a minimalist.
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Anyway, what I really wanted was a glass-top table, with a gold metal base. Something square. Something substantial, but delicate. (Actually, what I really wanted was my grandparent's OTHER coffee table, which they still have, which is glass, square, and on a gold metal base, and which I've coveted forever... sigh.)

And then finally, last week, I spotted this table at Goodwill:
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It's a bit hideous, I know, but it was the right size and shape. And only $30! I was sure I could make it work. Alas... right from the beginning, things went wrong.

First off, between buying the table and picking it up, the glass top was smashed, and I lost my receipt and wasn't able to return it. I didn't really want to return it, but I was extremely frustrated. I had to order a piece of replacement glass, which added an extra $70 to the price, turning a $30 table into an $100 table.

Annoying.

But I persevered and set about my makeover. All it really took was a bit of spray paint and a steady hand. I felt if I could cover up the table's horrible green splatter paint job, I'd be all set.
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The spray painting was actually very easy. I used my old standby: Krylon gold (for metal, wood, etc.) It's a nice colour, gives good coverage and dries FAST.

Here's the end result:
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What do you think? Good makeover?
 
 
I'm heading to IKEA this weekend to help a friend with his new place. And I was just perusing the website to see what's new. I know I've already posted about new stuff realatively recently, but that was more than a month ago and there's even MORE new stuff available now. For example:
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These sweet and summery GRÖNSKA cotton bags are only $2.50 each.
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The industrial-looking FOTO pendant lamp, in off-white, is only $24.99. (Also comes in black and silver.) 
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This orange MALM occasional table is $89.00. (It also comes in white.) I always thought the MALM lines would work well in a console format like this one. And think of the endless hacking options!

Oh IKEA. I love  you.

I'm noticing some new themes at everyone's favourite Swedish retailer these days. The new stuff is a little bit country. Lots of stripes and old-fashioned florals. And lots of blue. What do you think of it? Are you looking forward to the catalogue?
 
 
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I know it's slightly annoying of me to keep posting and boasting about my awesome thrift store finds.

But I just can't help it! I find some of the neatest stuff at Goodwill and the like. (I'm no Rashon Carraway - a.k.a. Mr. Goodwill Hunting, but I'm no slouch.) So it's impossible to "keep shut" about it (as my moms used to say). Anyway.


My latest find came from my local Sally Anne. I popped in for a quick tool around in order to see if the store had any refurbishable pieces in the furniture department for the Pete Project. They didn't. What they DID have was a set of bedding. Natural linen (sort of a light sand shade), embroidered with seemingly African-inspired animals. The set was in perfect condition, free of stains and clearly never used. I paid $14.99 for the duvet cover and $2 for the pillow cases. So all in all, it cost less than $20.

initially, I thought the bedding might suit Pete, since it's relatively tribal and manly. However, once I got it home, I started to do a bit of research and now that I know what I've got, I selfishly want to keep it for myself.
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It's House of Anin (Casa Anin) bedding, hand-embroidered in Namibia. The company calls itself a "bespoke" operation. I wonder if that means they're fair trade? Regardless, it looks like you can only buy it directly, so I'm gusssing someone who went on holiday to Africa must have brought this bedding home in their suitcase, which is pretty neat.

While initially, I just liked it, as the days pass, I fall more and more in love. Instead of giving it to Pete, I might box it up and save it for my someday cottage. What do you think? You like?
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* Images of different Casa Anin embroidery motifs from the company website.
 
 
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A few weeks ago, I came across a great find at my local Salvation Army - a set of 12(+) bistro glasses in perfect condition. I snapped them up immediately. I even bought a few extras, just in case I break some along the way. (Though, it should be noted that one of the perks of these glasses is that they're practically indestructible.)

Though I'm a long time user (and admirer) of classic French bistro tumblers (inspired by Duralex, which you can read more about here, in a super-long story from the Independent, if you're so inclined), I had never considered the smaller, "rocks" glasses (high-ball-size) for my collection.

But now I have 'em and I have never been happier about a glassware purchase, ever. EVER! (Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but I'm really into these glasses.)

They are seriously cool cat. They are the cat's meow. They are the cat's pajamas. They are various other idioms and phrases that mean "cool" but have little-to-nothing to do with our friends of the feline variety.

They're just really solid glasses.

Here's a short lesson in shape:

Duralex bistro glasses are the most sought-after sort in the world of vintage collecting for this kind of glassware, and as such, there's no shortage of information about them online (see that Independent article, above). They have an elegant, almost fluted shape that appeals to many, but Duralex glasses, despite their authentic French pedigree, aren't my favourite. I actually prefer the chunky lines of those made by companies that deal in restaurant supply (such as Arcaroc and Libbey).

Here are a few glasses side-by-side, to show you how the shapes compare:

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(L to R) Duralex Picardie, Arcaroc Rocks, Libbey Rocks.
My new "rocks" glasses are by Arcaroc. They're heavy-duty and they feel good in the hand. I also have a few pint-sized Lilly's around, but I find they have a slightly brown tint to them, and I prefer the Arcaroc, which look vaguely blue.

No matter what you call these glasses (faceted, paneled, bistro, etc.), and no matter who they're by, you'll find a variety available at several price points. I highly recommend them. They're family-friendly, practical, and yes, chic. They look great in modern kitchens, eclectic kitchens, cottagey kitchens, urban kitchens, etc. In fact, they go well in every kitchen I've ever seen. And they're well-suited to open-shelving. And you can stack 'em. And they're amazing. (Have I mentioned I like these glasses?)

Here are some bistro glasses featured in a kitchen in Style At Home magazine:
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Kitchen story by Amanda Etty.  Photography by Donna Griffith.
Anyway. I love these bistro glasses, so I thought I'd write about 'em. There you go. Consider it an object lesson. I did.
 
 
After all my talk about book storage for people who actually read... after all my ranting...

You are not going to believe what I've done.

I've turned my books backwards.  That's right.  I've become a "spines in" sort of woman.

And I am so ashamed.
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In my defense, I only turned some of my books backwards. My main collection remains alphabetized, spines-out. I only turned my children's books around. And I only did that because the brightly-coloured kid's spines were contributing to the visual clutter in my already-too-busy living room.

And because I have the collection memorized and am fairly certain I'll still be able to find what I need with little trouble.

But still...
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I am ashamed.

Do you think it looks okay? Because if it doesn't, then this sudden abandonment of my reading/book display principles is really going to feel stupid.
 
 
So remember when I posted about my super-awesome idea to make faux Billy Button flowers out of wire and craft balls?

Yeah. It seemed like a great idea. But along the way, things went a little sideways.
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The beginning of the project was easy-peasy. I affixed my foam balls to some stalks of heavy-duty wire and snapped a quick photo (shown).
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Cute, right? Round. Ready. Brilliant, really. All that was left to do was to paint. And that (I assured myself) was a five-minute job. Tops.

I promptly went on holiday and forgot about it.

And then, just a few nights ago, go-getter that I am, I decided it was time to spare those five precious minutes. I had a can of yellow spray paint at the ready. Purchased two+ years ago at a Canadian Tire sale, I'd been itching to use it for ages.

Finally! The time for yellow had come.

I suppose that what happened next was entirely my own fault. I'm a DIYer from way back, but a fairly new inductee into the world of spray paint. And spray paint can get addictive. If you've ever refurbished something with a few simple sprays , you know what I mean. Spray paint had taken on mystical qualities in my mind. It was the answer to all my problems, all my prayers. There was nothing, I felt, spray paint couldn't do, couldn't fix. Nothing! I was a spray paint convert and I felt my conversion with the fervor of a born-again bible bunny.

Sigh.

Here's the thing: I paid no attention to the can. I didn't read the name, let alone the instructions. I flew by the seat of my pants, caring only about the colour and nothing else. I was a prideful spray-painter. And I paid the price.

I grabbed my nearly-finished faux billy balls, and headed down to the basement where I proceeded to hit them with a yellow spray. And in turn, they proceeded to... melt.

That's right, melt. At the first hint of paint, the foam...well, foamed. And hissed. And disintegrated like the Wicked Witch of the West. Oh, what a world, what a world!

And the smell. Oh lord, the smell. I was in a well-ventilated area, but nonetheless, I immediately developed a headache that lasted several hours. Not to mention a suspicious and concerning burning in my lungs.

Sigh. As previously demonstrated during the whole "I'm gonna make a down pillow!" debacle, I've got problems.

It's not the paint's fault. I used HomeStyles brand high-gloss enamel spray, by the way, which clearly states that it's for "use on wood, metal, fiberglass and plastics." NOT on little foam balls.

But you know what? The end results really weren't that bad. After the initial hissing subsided and the chemical melt slowed down a little, the balls began to dry. And while shrivelled (and still rather pungent), they don't look so bad.
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That said, next time, I'll read the label. I promise.

Oh, and FYI, this post has inspired me to add a whole new "tag" category to the Chic blog. It's called "Oops!" And I hope (or rather, fear) it will be filled with posts in no time.
 
 
I know you guys don't really like these colour posts (you never comment!) but I'm doing a new one anyway.

I'm a busy lady, okay? I can't be writing a whole bunch of new stuff every day, can I?

(Oh wait... that's blogging.)

Nevermind. Here are some pretty pictures.
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Pomegranate fruit by konikaori from Stock Xchng.
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Pomegranate bowl by Etsy potter Alina Hayes.
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Pomegranate suede moc by Tory Birch.
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Pomegranate textile from Fabric.com.
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Bedroom shot from House to Home UK.
 
 
Last night, in the shower, it occurred to me that it would be nice of me to share one of my thrifty secrets. And you know me... I am suckered in by anything that will make me seem nice. So here's the scoop: Bee & Flower brand soap from Shanghai, China.

It's old-fashioned, in some ways. Hard-milled. But it smells great. The packaging is pretty as heck. And it's cheap cheap cheap (often less than $0.50 per bar).
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I love this stuff. Seriously. It's available at dollar stores (both the biggies like Dollarama and the little mom and pop types) in major cities (and maybe some small towns as well). And you can also buy it online from places like Old Shanghai Online ("everyday luxuries from Asia").

The different colour packaging denotes the four common scents: rose, jasmine, ginseng and sandalwood. People rave about the sandalwood, but rose is my personal favourite and I've got a whole bunch of bars sitting in my bathroom at the moment, looking pretty in pink (until I feel like lathering up).

I know it's odd, but I just love this soap. Usually, I'm an Ivory girl, but when I feel like a treat, I bust out this stuff and am never disappointed. Sometimes, after washing, my skin feels squeaky clean (literally... it squeaks). Probably a bad sign and the result of some sort of residue, but it's satisfying nonetheless.

Bee & Flower brand scents might be a bit strong for your day-to-day tastes, but even if you're not interesting in using the stuff for washing up, I suggest grabbing a couple of bars for your drawers or linen closet. Oh, and they're not moisturizing, so keep that in mind as well. Squeaky clean, remember?

Seriously, though. Bee & Flower is one of my absolute favourite chic and cheap things. I love love love it. Hope you try it out.

Maybe I should have posted this under "reviews" eh? Oh well.
 
 
Remember when I posted about how one of my favourite Value Village staples is teak salad bowls? (It was a long time back, so if you don't remember, I forgive you.)
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Anyway, via a moving sale/giveaway last year, I got my hands on an old set of six teak bowls, completely for free, and I really want to refurbish them with a little DIY lovin'.

If the wood were in better shape, I'd just give them a light sanding and some mineral oil, but they are pretty beat up. And I feel like a project.

The question is, what to do?

I've found a few inspiring images online.

Ginger & Gold took a couple of old bowls and made cool two-tone objects out of them, which is sort of neat:
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With a bit of elbow grease, I think I could replicate these mango wood bowls, as seen on re-nest. They are The Bimbi bowls, I think, and are available to purchase from Nkuku:
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Or maybe I should do something more decorative...
These hand-painted bowls by Lynne Fischer are pretty, but I doubt I could paint anything so nice.
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And then there's decoupage! Look at this cute little number by juliesadorabowls on Etsy:
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And  this one, by citygirldesigns, also on Etsy:
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Ack! There are so many options! I just can't decide...

The truth is, I tend toward lazy, so I'm most likely going to use paint. But should I paint just the insides of the bowls? Just the outsides? Both? If I just paint the outsides, they will remain food safe, but do I even want to use these for food? Help!