Archive for the ‘Affordable Style’ Category

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this transformation!  So you know those oh-so-stylish brass etageres that create the perfect balance of height and display with a touch of metallic luxury?  You know, like these from House & Home’s story on Tommy Smythe and Lonny Magazine?

Design by Tommy Smythe; House & Home Magazine

Lonny Magazine

Gorgeous right?  Well can you believe what Ana Antunes (found via Little Green Notebook) did with this affordable Ikea version?  She painted this $90 Ikea VITTSJO shelving unit gold!  You could do gold leaf the shelf (been there done that) or use one of the new metallic spray paints (that’s what I’d do!) and get this luxe look for muuuuuuuuch less!  Check out the before and after!

Ikea’s VITTSJO $90


A little metallic spray paint and you’re golden (bah ha ha!)

Why not give it a try?  Hey wait, this would be perfect in my store!!!


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The Marilyn Show has updated the video for the makeover – now you can see the before and after and some project befores and afters too!  For the update, click here.

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Last week I saw these great looking patio chairs for $35 at Home Depot!  I thought they were great looking and reminded me of all of those Slim Aarons and Babe Paley moments you see out there in 1960’s Palm Beach scenes.  Could be great don’t you think??

Slim Aarons

Here they are at my local Home Depot…

I definitely think these chairs could exist comfortably in one of these scenes and would make  quite the stylish statement in a modern back yard today.

Babe Paley

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Great news!  I’ve been asked to be a regular design contributor to Chatelaine Magazine!  I’m part of a panel of decor personalities that you’ll no doubt recognize and love.

It’s a great idea and I can’t wait to take part over the year!  Joining me are Samantha Pynn (of Style At Home and HGTV fame), Kimberly Seldon (Style At Home and Cityline Queen), Amy Kent ( from influential Canadian firm Croma Design Inc) and my friend Sarah Richardson (no introduction needed right?!).  Be sure to pick up the May 2012 issue of Chatelaine Magazine for amazing decor content, gorgeous photography and tons of helpful tips!



In case you want to see that room shot better from the article above, I’m including it here.  It was shot by Kim Jeffery and features my sister-in-law’s first grown up apartment.  I’m still totally in love with that vintage wallpaper on the panel in the background!

Design by Michael Penney; Photography by Kim Jeffery

Sofa, coffee tables, drapery panels and picture frames, all Ikea; Rug, West Elm; Desk chair (painted by me); 60’s swivel chair, lamp, chrome side tables, ginger jar, all Craigslist and Value Village, bamboo curtain rod, Tap Phong Trading Co.

Design by Michael Penney; Photography by Kim Jeffery

Vintage wallpaper was from a store that’s now closed on College; chrome bistro chairs, craigslist, tablecloth (scarf) H&M; embroidered indigo napkins, Value Village.

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Store update:  I’m heading over there this morning to do a little prep.  I cannot contain my excitement!!!  More to come when I have two seconds to string together…

In other news…I stumbled upon this image I created a few years back and thought it was worth revisiting (especially for my newer followers).  It’s a picture taken by the lovely and talented Kim Jeffery in the front hall of my chic young sister in law’s first apartment.  Sara and I met her for coffee downtown yesterday where she’s an up-and-coming advertising star and well beyond needing my advice, but I digress..

Design by Michael Penney; Photography by Kim Jeffery

Anyway, I love how this little project illustrates classic decorating ideas applied to little-to-no money scenarios.  The mirror was found in a basement and kind of hideous and gaudy until we painted it black.  The rustic console is substantial yet airy and was found curb-side and carried home.  The lamp base is Ikea with a different shade.  The blue and white plates (applied in a geometric and symmetrical motif, very decorator) were dirt cheap from China Town.  It’s the perfect place to drop mail and keys and a nice way to dress an awkward area of the apartment.  The chair you see (craigslist) is from the adjoining living area so ignore that for front hall purposes.

Hope you can pick up a few ideas here!  I’m off to the store!  Yay!

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Love this classic Martha Stewart Living DIY console!

Perfect for your entrance way, this demi-lunce console is actually something you can create at home!

1.  Start with a round or oval dining table with leaves.  Check your garage, attic or thrift shops for the perfect candidate!

2.  Separate the table where the leaves are usually inserted.  Remove any additional hardware that protrudes beyond the straight edge of the table.

3.  Using a mounting cleat or heavy duty L-brackets, mount the table flat edge against the wall (connecting with a stud or using strong anchors).

4. Leave the table natural or paint depending on your look and you’re done!


Happy Weekend Everyone!

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Well guys, it’s been another crazy, busy week and it’s not over yet!  Looking forward to a loooong weekend for Family Day and appreciating all that I’ve got.  Here’s a little moment from our house this morning (roses from Valentine’s Day) on a little writing desk in our den.  Hope they brighten up your morning like they did mine.



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