How to: Remove stubborn price stickers
How to: Prepare your home for winter
Whitewashed living room features a charming mix of furniture styles.
A DIY-inclined couple turns an 800-square-foot two-bedroom bungalow into the perfect home for their young family.
Homeowner Amanda Robinson transformed the secondhand piano by covering it in grey paint, casually accessorizing it like the rest of the living room and softening its bench with a faux-sheepskin throw.
The whitewashed living room features a charming mix of furniture styles. “I brought softness into the space with the upholstered pieces, while keeping a farmhouse vibe with the antique rocking chairs,” says Amanda.
Homeowners Jason and Amanda Robinson hang out in the bright living room with their sons, Ethan (left) and Aidan.
While blue hues rock this farmhouse, Amanda also popped in some pink tones as contrast.
A fun DIY project or easily picked up at a gardening centre, terrariums are a great way to keep your home green in small ways.
Durable slate tiles define the entryway in this open-concept space. Practical items in natural tones like the bench, mirror and coat rack are artfully arranged so everything looks pulled together.
The kitchen epitomizes Amanda’s love of pale backdrops punctuated with colour and natural tones. “I made the shelves out of wooden boards from our barn and left them unpainted to contrast all the white and to complement the butcher block counters,” she says. Mismatched hardware picks up on the hits of blue throughout the home.
With their young sons and pets (Weimaraner Tessie and cat Nimble) in mind, Amanda chose tongue-and-groove pine planks for the floors, ceilings and walls. “I didn’t want new drywall with two little boys and pets running around,” she says. “It was the best design decision I ever made.”
Amanda knew she wanted a light and bright space and conceived the decor with colour in mind. “This is still a really small house, so I stuck to a neutral palette for the base: white and cream with natural wood tones throughout,” she says.
Amanda and Jason knocked down walls to create an eat-in area that features a free-standing stove surrounded by stone-veneered walls and a thrift-store dining table and chairs proudly bearing a mismatched paint job. “I painted everything grey and then decided to paint all the chairs blue but got sidetracked after one,” says Amanda. “It’s fun and quirky as is, and the boys take turns sitting in the blue chair at dinnertime.”
“The walls in Aidan’s bedroom were in good shape, so we painted them and added pine planks to the ceiling,” says Amanda. “I like the masculine look of the unpainted wood.” The new blue dressers share the space with a thrift-store wicker chair, a yellow-painted hand-me-down stool and rope-hung shelves Amanda crafted from barnboard.
“Ethan wanted everything in his room swimming pool turquoise.” They settled on a seafoam blue that’s more soothing for a bedroom and then incorporated coordinating accents in every room – even on the front door. “If you keep the big things neutral and then add accents in a single shade, it makes everything seem effortlessly connected,” says Amanda.
A bright screen door frame hints at the pops of blue to be found inside the house. Amanda refinished a hand-me-down pine table in grey paint and repurposed it as an easy-to-access storage unit for firewood. Antique Canadian Pacific Railway lanterns found in the barn and on Kijiji layer in more colour and reference the surrounding rustic landscape.
After a fresh coat of paint and some carefully placed furniture, the Robinsons are set to make this newly decorated farmhouse their home.
Homeowner Amanda Robinson used blue paint throughout her home to liven up the soothing neutral palette and provide a link from room to room. Here are her three favourite shades.
Crispy chicken tacos.
Try a new take on the traditional Mexican dish for less than $20.
Quick pickle slaw
1 To prepare the quick pickle slaw, place the red and green cabbage, carrot, green onions and cucumbers in a medium bowl. Toss together with the rice vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar and salt; set aside.
2 To prepare the spicy mayo, stir together the mayonnaise and sriracha in a small bowl; set aside.
3 To prepare the crispy chicken, cut each chicken thigh into four pieces of roughly the same size. Place the chicken in a bowl and add the garlic, lime juice, ginger and salt, stirring to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour to let the chicken marinate.
4 Place the flour, egg and panko in three separate shallow bowls. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dredge each piece first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the panko to cover completely.
5 In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1" of the vegetable oil to 350°F (it’s best to use a thermometer, but the oil is ready when a panko crumb sizzles and toasts in the hot oil). When the oil is at temperature, add the coated pieces of chicken, six at a time, and fry until golden, turning carefully with tongs until all sides are crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Ensure that the pieces are cooked through by cutting into one and checking that it is no longer pink inside. Remove the chicken from the oil and place on paper towels to drain while the remaining pieces are cooking.
6 To assemble each taco, pile some of the quick pickle slaw on a tortilla and top with two pieces of crispy chicken. Drizzle with some of the spicy mayo and garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro.
Prep and cook time: 2 hours