Finished Projects Makeovers

Project Mathieu : An Elegant Bachelor Pad in Paris

July 24, 2017

Hi everyone !

I’m so happy this day is finally here : it’s the reveal of Mathieu’s apartment, totally finished !
You can watch the slideshow above first – if you’re a rebel, or follow along this little recap from start to finish (if you’re new or maybe you just forgot) !

(You can also look up the tag « Mathieu » if you want to read all the posts entirely)

When we started, the space was separated by a half-wall and unused sliding door.
This was the living room side, painted red at the time (with some classic college-age Ikea seating!)

And this was the kitchen side, because of the not-so-great layout, we hadn’t changed anything in there since he moved in.
One of the main reasons we wanted to break the wall, was to unlock the kitchen’s potential.

The only wall that mattered before I came along : where the magic happens !

So we tore down the sliding door wall, and opened up the whole space.

Next, we got rid of these sad little kitchen appliances.

And with a mix of brand new Ikea cabinets, pretty appliances, and a lot of hand-made tricks to keep the cost down, we managed to create a functional and sleek new kitchen, and as a bonus, move the video projector a few feet back !

To separate the kitchen area from the living room, we added a very large bar, that also allowed for rows of drawers under it, adding more kitchen storage.
We used a place holder Ikea counter top at first.

And then added a gorgeous piece of wood – that used to be our grandfather’s work station – as the final countertop.
While we were doing the kitchen, we repainted the whole room, saying goodbye to red, and using a mix of sophisticated grey hues instead.

The last piece was the screen wall, where we decided to add some color instead of going for grey.

So when all of this work was finished, all that was left was replacing some of the living room furniture. Thankfully we didn’t have to replace everything, since Mathieu had made his own furniture. But once the space was repainted and elegant, the old brown couch and 10$ Ikea tables were looking very out of place.

Thankfully Mathieu wanted to change them as much as I did, and it lit a fire under his butt : before long he had bought a new couch, a reproduction Eames lounger, and had made his own coffee table to fit his needs ! (More clients like this please !!)
The Eames lounger has been his dream for a long time, and I never thought I’d see it in the space this fast, but I’m so glad because it rounds out the style perfectly (and he spends all his time in it!).

It’s a more grown-up, cohesive, and inviting space, closer to his 30-year old self, than his college-student red living room.
We’ve updated the space, but did so without changing the feel of the room : it’s made for watching movies, and reading a book in the lounger while music fills the apartment. Except now there’s a place to cook and eat properly, and a better layout to have people over.

Mathieu is very happy and at home in this new space, and I didn’t even have to put leopard anywhere in the room. Total win-win !

I did bully him into adding some accessories, like candles and throw pillows …

Which he pretended to hate it but wouldn’t let me take them back to the store. I still can’t convince him to buy a rug though…

Go check out the gallery slideshow at the top of the post, if you haven’t already, to see more pictures of the finished room !

Guys, I had so much fun doing this project, it’s a total departure from my usual over-the-top style, but with a client who knows what he wants, it was a breeze, and I’m so incredibly happy with the result !! I hope you like it too, let me know in the comments 🙂

Alright, that’s a wrap on Mathieu!


At Home Makeovers

The Last White Space – Built-in Shelves

April 18, 2017

Hey y’all !
So today I’m doing a post to bring you behind the curtain and share something I’m totally stuck on. Prepare for a terrifying journey inside my braaaaiiiin !
Revealing my finished Beetlejuice walls was a major high and the feedback has been amazing! Not to mention seeing it every day still makes me smile !

But of course, being who I am, the high wore off pretty quickly, and I started stressing about another unfinished project
my built-in shelves. This is basically the last surface in the apartment I have to dress up, and the endless options are driving me crazy !!
The wall above my desk is staying white since I have all-pink artwork to frame, a shiny green desk on the way, and disco balls up. So it might be time to stop.
The built-ins are the last really in-your-face white space and I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what to do with them color- and pattern-wise now that the apartment is really filling up. And let me tell ya it’s not easy making a color decision in a multi-color home !

I haven’t really showed this side of the apartment yet for this very reason, so this is a total exclusive…
I know, you’re thinking “how is there another side to this tiny apartment?”, why it’s the mysterious bed of course !

Don’t judge my poorly-made bed… it was piled with books and crap seconds before this picture.

Ok, so once I took out all the art, the books, the accessories, we are left with very white and very boring shelves. The inside of the Murphy bed actually used to be dark brown, so it could definitely be waaay worse, but I’m still not happy with this situation.

I want to cover the back of the shelves on the right, and I’ve yet to decide if I’ll match it above the bed, but I know I’ll leave the bottom for hanging fabric.
I do like the idea that both sides are matching, especially with the brick in between, so when you open the bed it’s like a fun, but very tiny surprise-party ! (It doesn’t take much to amuse me)

To add some fun obstacles to this venture, the built-in shelves on the right are very deep so it’s not very easy to style them. The shelf above the bed on the other hand is the opposite and can only house one row of small paperbacks or picture frames basically. This apartment is a puzzle…

I want to keep the momentum going and find a real show-stopper, something that’ll add another layer of both crazy and cool ! But mostly crazy.
Now before you freak out, as you know by now, I protect my walls, so all of these ideas would work with a removable foam cardboard backing. Easy to remove if I want to mix it up or clean the dust. The backs of the bookshelves are static so I wouldn’t even need to attach them to the wall, just prop them up, easy peasy !
So here are some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head. First off, here’s a few patterns I considered for this :

A cute black and white Dalmatian print

This gorgeous malachite pattern by Jonathan Adler (which I can’t afford but maybe I could fake !)

These fan-freaking-tastic peacock feather patterns from Spoonflower ! In a twist of fate, I actually have the green one on throw pillows in my kitchen.

I lurv, lurv, lurv this flamingo pattern but I see it everywhere now and done in very cool ways, so I don’t think I can one-up it !

Love this beautiful, intricate, blue Damask-looking wallpaper

And I’m still pretty into marbled paper

Ok, these are all pretty standard wallpaper options. Wildy different, and I haven’t even settled on a color as you can see, but they’re pretty straight-forward.

Now that’s all good and well but then I started thinking … what about texture !?

Like silver lame fabric

Or broken mirror-mosaic ??

Or a DIY glitter wall…

Maybe even a full sequin wall to match my actual disco balls !

Or perhaps a pink feather boa-style wall …

 So here’s my little round-up … I’ll be staring at this for a while, let me know if you see a clear winner or if you have a revolutionary idea !

Have a great week !










At Home Makeovers

Entryway – Walls are done !

April 10, 2017

Hey peeps !

Okay so, last you saw me I was getting ready for my « super easy washi tape Pinterest-inspired project, like oh my god so easy you guys ».
Muahahaha. How life laughed at me.
Meanwhile, in the real world, money and time intervened big time to ruin my dreams.

If I had the budget I’d have ordered 50 rolls of washi tape « just in case » and marveled at how much left there was and easy it all was, and probably rolled around in it like it was money. But alas, I ordered but two rolls, like a freakin’ idiot thinking it was plenty, and marveled at how it covered like half of one wall. With 4 walls to go. Hum.

Fine I thought, what a stupid setback, I’ll order two more. Cut to a hilarious game of hide and seek with my concierge who received the package but was never around when I was (set to Yakety Sax…).

As if I hadn’t wasted enough time just waiting around for my package, whaddaya know, I need more. But not a lot more, oh no, just for the last two stripes above the door. So a 20″ x 10″ space. I had to dance-punch my anger for a while after that.

Now this whole thing wasn’t helped by the fact that it’s really hard to find MT Casa Washi Tape in stores in Paris for some reason, so I had to order it online and it always took at least a week to deliver. Since it was always halfway done or almost done I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures so this reveal ended up taking forever ! I honestly could’ve finished in two days without the waiting around…

Now all of this crap aside, the big silver lining is that the actual taping is sooo easy.
The tape is da bomb, and if you’re thinking of using it to put up art for instance, I totally recommend it, it’s got amazing staying power.

It’s impossible to mess it up, which makes it a DIY-superstar in my book. Once you’ve found your rhythm, the tape basically stays straight by itself so I didn’t even have to be super careful about veering off course. Even with the corners, which have the potential to be a logistical nightmare, it was a total breeze to just “follow” the tape.

So there’s not much DIY secrets here, it’s super basic, just unroll it, make the shapes you want, reposition at will, it’s very simple.
Anyway, this is more of an eye candy post ! So let’s skip to the before and after !!

You remember this sad empty room ….

Now it’s a sassy stripy beauty !

As a bonus, from this view, everything else in the apartment was empty and white, so the after has quite the impact…

Wooooh, now that’s some serious change !  And you can’t even see the brick wallpaper. This place feels almost done !

I love the result so, so much. It’s bold and cool, and fun, and it makes me smile every time I walk through the door !

I had these cute self adhesive mirrors I’d bought on sale from Ikea hanging around the house, which I was planning on gluing to the inside of my closets but I thought it might be a good way to open up the space so I added them to the front door. They’re super light weight and held by with some very powerful glue so no fear of them shattering any time soon, even if I dramatically slam the front door after announcing some terrible news in my silkiest nightgown ! Also they were 6$ for the bunch so scoooore !

It’s made me rethink my mirror situation and I’ve got some ideas cooking for the living room … Mirrors are a decorator go-to for small spaces because it tricks the eye into thinking your space is bigger (we are not smart you guys), but for some reason I was reluctant until now. But change is a comin’ !

Unfortunately despite all that time I still didn’t manage to find the storage piece I’m looking for, but I still have hope it’ll happen soon so I can hide my ever-growing shoe collection …
I did add my super sexy articulated coat rack to the wall :

It’s the best.

Now that’s the walls are done, I’ve reworked my plans a tiny bit, I’ve started a bit of a « thrifted gold frames » collection so I’m going to make it a theme in there and only put up gold frames, it’ll look dope with the black and white theme. The frames will be going up once I’m 100% sure of what’s going in them. I bought them all completely hollow so they need a little work, and the wall is concrete which means I can’t make holes without consequence this time (yikes !). So this part will take a while but I’ll keep you guys posted.

Now during this project I did face a renter/small space problem : a big, ugly fuse box. You probably have the same problem. If you’re luck it’s hidden, if not, you’re not alone. So my wall was coming along perfectly, but the box is on the “gallery” wall and would completely ruin my pretty frame collection. Since I need access to that box once in a while, I decided to make a little magic and have it disappear in the stripes !

Here is my super-duper-easy DIY : the fuse box mask !

We created a super rudimentary box (made for free out of leftover wood) that can be placed over the fuse box

Painted it white

Covered it with some washi tape to match the wall stripes (now that I have tons leftover !!)


Paint the sides to match !

Ready for the magic trick ?

Ugly before view

Abracadabra …

Poof !

(I couldn’t resist…)

This is actually pretty awesome because it hides the box, AND it allows me to nail something fun on there if I want to, like a picture or a cool empty frame, or even put something on top, like a plant !

Next up in this space, the lamp is on it’s way up, I painted it pink and it looks adorable (though not finished), but now there needs to be some rewiring and electrical stuff done, and I can’t do that without dying so I’m waiting on some help !

Alright folks that’s it for today ! I’m still crazy sick so I’m going back to bed !
I’ve got a few other DIYs cooking so if you wanna see me getting glued to stuff, hammering my own fingers and painting my favorite shirt by accident, be sure to check back next Monday and follow along my wacky adventures !











At Home Makeovers

Desk Makeover

March 13, 2017

Hey guys !

So as promised last week, today I’m revealing some progress for my desk makeover !

A few weeks back I happened upon this gorgeous 60’s desk ! You may have spotted it on some other pictures in the meantime. I loved the shape, the feet (I die), and of course : the price. This baby was a mere 60$ and pretty close to home. It wasn’t in perfect condition but I had big plans for a makeover so I didn’t care.

So I dialed 555-Mathieu and we rescued it from boredom to give it a new, fabulous life. We did have a harder time than we thought, turns out it weighs a mega-ton (technical term) and I almost lost a finger putting it into the trunk. Almost is the important word here. A knight in shining armor did help us out of the blue in the middle of a Paris busy street and helped my much-stronger brother maneuver the desk while I stood back and contemplated my lack of muscles… Stereotypes busted : people in Paris are not always rude 🙂

It fit perfectly at home and all was well with the world, until I put my desk chair next to it. The opening between the drawers was too small for my chair. Damn. Now you could say that’s fine, change the chair and Bob’s your uncle. Well… I had big plans for that chair as well, so that’s not gonna work. And, being a small apartment dweller, well, a chair that goes all the way under a desk is a much needed space gain. So I waited and plotted for a while and finally decided the makeover was going to include some size changes as well !

We decided to remove the top and replace it with a larger slab of MDF, allowing us to push the drawers further apart. Sounds simple enough, right ? Unfortunately, the desk had other plans. After trying to pull apart the top we quickly realized its vintageness came with some fun obstacles : like very strong, 50 year old glue. Yup. So we spent quite a lot of time trying to pull apart a top glued to metal rails. I couldn’t quite capture that frustration with a picture so just imagine two very annoyed people with sore arms on the floor of a small, colorful, Parisian apartment. It’s quite poetic. But alas, we did vanquish the desk ! (It did lead to some minor damage but nothing I can’t fix)

  Here, the great warrior celebrates his victory by standing on his mighty opponent.

From here on out, piece of cake ! Mathieu just put some brackets at the top of the drawers and secured them to the top. The wood is very heavy so he assured me it would do most of the work in keeping it still.

Flipping it wasn’t that easy either, we removed one very heavy top to put in … well another.

And we’re off ! So as you can see, it looks pretty cool and my chair fits perfectly ! Now the chair is another issue, I’m trying to figure out how to best cover it but that is the fabric I’m going with. You should not be surprised by this.

So you ask, what’s next ? Well, I promised a fabulous makeover and fabulous it shall be. I’m just gonna give it to you straight : Green lacquer, Gold accents. Like this :

I’ve been saving this corner of the technicolor dream house for some green goodness and this is it ! I love, love, love green and I think the desk will make a big impact. It will also be very shiny, which as we all know makes things perfect. It will of course be mixed in with the rest of the room by adding some fun color combos. I made a small mock-up on Photoshop to show you what I mean :

I love the mix of pink and green in a room, as well as purple and green so I decided to mix them all and create a fantastic color threesome ! Throw some leopard and discoballs in there and we’re done !

Can’t wait to get started on the painting as well as hunting wild door handles to finish up this project ! I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Meanwhile I’m still working on my Beetlejuice wall in the entryway, it’s looking really, really good. I ran out of tape so I’m waiting for my second order and I’ll probably have a full update by Friday, fingers crossed!

Next week I’ll be going to the great Foire de Chatou ! It’s a gigantic flea market outside of Paris. If you’re interested (and in Paris), it’s still going and will be until March 19th. I highly recommend it, it’s got great stuff for all prices, and great food ! Enjoy it while it’s still sunny !

Have a great week everybody !