DIY Doris – Little Boys’ Room

We here at The Ottoman Empire are taking a little bit of reveal reprieve to give you the second installment to a previous DIY Doris post.

Dear DIY Doris,

I have two rooms in my home that I need help with.  One is referred to as “the little boys’ room”, the other, “the little girls’ room”.  They are, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, bathrooms.  The little boys room is a small half bath with a baby blue toilet and baby blue sink.

I am working on a VERY small budget, everything must be DIY, and I am stuck.  I can’t replace the fixtures at this juncture, but I must do something!  Any suggestions for  paint colors that will play up the quirkiness of these two rooms?  There’s no way to disguise them, so I might as well embrace what I’ve got.  Right?

Thanks so much,

Bathroom Boondoggle


Dear Boondoggle,

Now…this bathroom has some redeeming qualities, like the great sink and the shutters. It is not, however, without its challenges. For example, the “wood”…with the gold stenciling. I think we both know where I am going with this. Paint.

Looking at the blue fixtures, I immediately think beach-y, water-y colours, like pale blues and greens, with sand colours like tan. Perhaps I am being influenced by the ship wallpaper border. That, of course, needs to come down.

I would paint the “wood” cabinets a crisp white, and change out the hardware. Since these cabinets have such a glossy finish, they will require a light sanding, which will also take care of the gold stenciling. Without sanding, the outline of those vines would be clearly seen through the paint, no matter how many coats are applied. Then a good primer, and paint. In this instance, I am a fan of a dedicated primer, as opposed to a primer/paint combination. It will ensure good coverage, and be insurance against paint bubbling and peeling in the moisture of the bathroom. I would also paint the shutters. They look to be in great shape, and a coat of white paint would give them a beach house/cottage look. They would look great from the outside, as well! A can or two of good quality white spray paint is the easiest way to deal with them.

I would replace the back-splash with something…anything! It could be painted, or you could investigate some of the many “stick on” products available to cover up unsightly surfaces.  These are acrylic sheets applied with double sided tape, and made in all sorts of pattern to replicate embossed tin ceilings, bathroom tiles, wood, bead board, etc.  They are also designed to stand up to the moisture in kitchens and bathrooms. These products are a little pricey, but you are paying for convenience, and ease of installation.   It can literally be done in minutes. If you are really feeling adventurous, you could attempt a small DIY tile project! It is a small space, and would require very few tiles. It would be an opportunity to add a little sparkle or personality with some glass mosaic tiles, or white subway tiles, or round penny tiles… O.K., I can get a little excited about tiles.

On the walls, I would love to see a fresh watery green. It would modernize the fixtures, but they would still maintain that retro/vintage appeal. It also won’t fight with the countertop. There are a number of water, sea, and ocean inspired accessories available for you to complete the look you want. Simple accessories are best to keep things looking fresh and updated, and they needn’t be expensive. Discount and dollar stores can often provide interesting items to finish a room, as well as second hand stores like Value Village.

Anytime one takes on a lot of painting projects, it can seem overwhelming, and more often than not, people get frustrated, and walk away with the project half-done, and never look back. When beginning a project like this, it is important to plan carefully, and set realistic deadlines. Some things to consider:

  • Are you going to remove the cupboard doors to prime and paint them?
  • Where are you going to store and paint them?
  • How long is the drying time between each coat?
  • Where are the things in the cupboards going to live for the next 7-10 days?
  • Where will the painting tools and equipment be stored between coats?

Taking some time to plan for these things will eliminate unnecessary interruptions and frustrations, as well protect belongings and other areas in your home. Take the time as well to make a detailed supply list, and save yourself emergency trips to the hardware store to get more painters tape, sand paper, or roller sleeves. Every time you have to leave your house, it takes an hour away from your project.

Good luck in your renos!

In design,

Doris ♥

Reveal – Living Room

The wall colour is Behr’s “Gray Timber Wolf” and it is the inspiration for this room. Well, not the exact colour rather, we knew we wanted a grey for the walls. Everything else just flowed from there.

We sold the contents when we sold our last hom

e and therefore had to start, more or less, from scratch with this house. With the exception of a few wall hangings and personal mementos, everything in this room is new to us. We picked up the majority of the items on Kijiji, at auctions, and at some local antique shops. Most of the items were purchased separately coming together to form one, cohesive living room.

The Berger chairs and the couch were discussed in previous posts and have been customized to our taste and needs using new fabrics. Both pieces of furniture are accented with throw pillows from Cottage Industry.

The rug is from Home Sense and helps showcase the floors. There is a lot of variation in the grain of the floor – and the rug helps bring out the grey and taupe tones. The mantel was picked up at a local antique shop and apparently comes from a home in Charlottetown. No, it will not be painted and yes, it has been cleaned. We like the patina of it and some of the chipped paint exposes a grey paint underneath. It works well in the room. The two vases are family pieces from C’s grandparents and the small Buddha we picked up in Indonesia this past spring.

The china cabinet was a killer of deal we got 50% off at Robin’s Nest Antiques. It is full of treasures picked up along our travels and photos of friends and family. The curtains are ready made panels from Fabricville – the shimmer is a nice addition to the room. The desk and chair in the corner are Mark Butcher and C’s pride and joy of his collection.

The coffee table and end table are a typical set seen in many, many homes. However, a quick covering with spray paint made them the exact colours, creme and gold, we wanted. Underneath the coffee table you will see a set of deer antlers from C’s collection (full collection to be showcased in “The Den”) and branding irons we picked up at an auction. Doesn’t everyone have branding irons in their living room?

Other accessories in the room include an old ship light (under the mantel) filled with white pillar candles, massive (and very heavy) chrome fish that once adorned a U.S. yacht of some sort, or so we are told, and gold-leaf nesting tables and a matching make-shift magazine rack.

The house was previously heated using cast iron radiators. Although we’ve decommissioned that furnace for a brand new one, we nevertheless left one radiator in the room for architectural detail. This room also did not have any hard wired lighting so we added pot lights, which are an excellent and practical update to any room. As you can also see from the ‘before’ photos, this room (along with every other room on the first floor) was wallpapered, and the subsequent removal and preparation of the walls was a huge job. It took many hours of scraping, seam filling, sanding, and more seam filling to have them smooth and paint-ready.

The room is now complete. It is a cozy, warm room that we are happy to have. Truth be told we are most happy to have a place to sit comfortably! However, the pretty things are nice too!


Pin It

Reveal – Master Bedroom

People often ask us how we decide what a room will look like in the end or how we know where to start. The answer is usually found with where we start and where that is can depend on many, many things. For our master bedroom we started with the lamps.

We saw the lamps at Winners and instantly loved the incredibly mix of raspberry red and indigo blue. With the purchase of those lamps we had the beginnings of our bedroom. The couch would come later and originally was not planned for the bedroom. To be honest, we had no idea where it would go except that we loved it and had to have it when we saw it at an auction. HAD to have it.

The turquoise throw cushions, as was a small turquoise table not in the shot, were originally purchased for the den. However, we would eventually go in a different direction with the den leaving the pillows temporarily homeless. I assume you can see where this is going? To recap, we had lamps but not much else. So from this was born our master bedroom design.

The wall colour is Behr’s Palm Breeze. It is a very light green – the same green found on the small leaves on the lamp shades. That is where we chose the colour from. The sheets are a similar colour as is one of the accent pillows on the bed. The comforter is a basic, versatile white with a bit of detail at the bottom.

Headboards can be expensive so we opted for a more versatile option. Our headboard is actually wallpaper framed with random trim we purchased at the local flea market and had cut to size. We used our very favourite white (Behr’s Pot-of-Cream) to paint the trim to ensure it provided necessary definition. The headboard cost about $100, including wallpaper, and took less than two hours to complete.

The curtains are the same raspberry red found in the lamp shades. They are ready-made panels from Fabricville and we got them on sale, 50% off. The end tables were $10 each and spray painted. The accessories on top are a mix of Today’s Treasures including something from a local pottery shop and a coveted piece by Scott Barnim. Also, on the right bedside table you will see our dear peacock! The light fixture is one that was already in the house but in a different room. The brushed nickel finish goes well with the base of the lamps.

So, voila! There you have it. That is exactly how that room came together and needless to say we love it. A relaxing, yet colourful and of course, restful room. Enjoy!

This first photo is of the room as the previous owner’s had it, and was taken during one of our viewings before we bought the property.  The wall colour is actually a light blue, but the reflection from the curtains make it look pink.

Pin It