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Homeowner Zendia Chow felt like she was living in limbo in her Oakville home, paralyzed by indecision on furniture placement and accessories choices for her living room, dining room and tea room. So she enlisted me to help make her house feel more liveable. Armed with a budget of $1500 (not including window treatments) and the keys to her house, I went in with my helper Sarah for a whirlwind day of rearranging furniture, hanging mirrors and artwork and styling the accessories.
Because of the miniscule budget, I had to be very creative with the items Zendia already had in the house including a surprising amount of nice things in a basement storage room. The fireplace mantle was moved over from the dining room to act as a focal point. The mirror, sconces and side tables were brought up from the basement. Window treatments, installed by Sarah, cozy up the room and the sofa and armchairs are placed to form a conversational grouping. What an improvement!

Sarah and I hung the mirror horizontally along the large wall. Zendia, who is a practitioner of Feng Shui, told me that the mirror must reflect the entire table and be hung no lower than the height of the tallest person living in the house. Out of the buget I made a proper table cloth and added a centrepiece to the table. The lovely display cabinet is placed to act as a bridge between the dining and living areas. I raided the kitchen cupboards for Zendia’s formal dishes to help fill it up.

I helped take this room even further into romantic style territory with the addition of a candle chandelier centered low over the tea table, a ruched toile table cloth and some tea time accessories. The window frame mirror was another basement find. The rug unfortunately did not stay as I could not persuade Zendia to expand her budget to include it. Sarah and I had cleared out by the time Zendia got home from work but she called the next day to thank me and to say she was thrilled. Yeah!
April 6, 2011 | by |No Comments »

I’ve said it on the website and I’ll say it again here: I am a flea market junkie. I love the rush of finding beautiful things amongst all the inevitable flea market junk. And I love nothing better than a down and dirty flea market where the prices are inversely proportionate to the amount of mud, dust and junk one has to slog through. This equation makes Mizener’s Flea Market http://mizenersmarket.vpweb.ca/ in Flamborough Ontario one of my all time favorites.

I guarantee you will see the most tacky and pathetic objects you will ever see in your life here, but when you do find something nice I can also guarantee that it will be cheap, cheap, cheap.

The next best thing to the prices at Mizener’s is the Boyz Place Restaurant www.theboyzplacerestaurant.com located in the Big Barn. They serve greasy spoon type breakfasts and lunches and the prices are, you guessed it, cheap. The “Boyz” are always smiling and ready with a joke. They take great pride in their little operation and it shows.

There are roughly 100 vendors spread throughout 7 buildings on the site, each with it’s own character. I always find something in the Big Barn and the Squirrel’s Nest. Here is a photo of one of my finds, a good solid wood secretary crying out to be painted.

I can’t resist posting this picture taken by my 7 year old daughter. It kind of expresses the tone of the place. “I’m dirty, I’m cheap, I’m tacky and I’m lovin’ life!!”


Mizener’s Antique and Flea Market

367 Highway 5 West, Flamboro, ON

Open Sundays 8:00am-4:00pm year round
$2.00 admission per car


March 30, 2011 | by |No Comments »

This sad little dresser is in need of some serious love. The drawer handles are missing and the finish is uneven and flakey looking. There is hope for this piece though because it is solid oak, it has a nice bow front top drawer and has some lovely curvy details in the skirt and legs.

Besides the Chatelet signature coat of paint, we are going to use diamond shaped drawer pulls and a resin applique to tart this dresser up a bit.

With it’s depressing old finish covered up with it’s new paint job, drawer pulls and decorative details, this dresser has a new lease on life. Hard to believe it is the same piece even. So cute!

March 20, 2011 | by |No Comments »