Saturday Spotlight Life Behind the Blogger

Susan from Must Love Junk, and myself (Kris) Junk Chic Cottage wanted to do a regular feature on our blogs, something unique that hasn't been done before.   So we came up with an idea to 'spotlight the real life behind the blogger' in a more personal way.
There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a closer look at the person behind the blog.

Every week on Saturday we will spotlight a blogger and have them tell us a little bit about themselves and their blogs.  You will be able to see and read about each of the bloggers on both Susan's and my blog.

Saturday October 19
Anne: Design Dreams By Anne

Time for me to introduce you to another beautiful and talented blogger.  I would like you to meet Anne from Design Dreams by Anne Blog.  Anne's story is very inspirational to me.  I love that she found that she can carve out a wonderful life for herself and does not have to be married or have children to necessarily full fill this.  Anne your story is inspirational to those out there that are finding themselves single and with no children going in a new direction.  So get your coffee and sit back and learn more about Anne.

Hi everyone, I'm Anne from DesignDreams by Anne.  I live in a little cottage bungalow just outside the Canadian Rocky Mountains with my two crazy cats who hate each other.  It keeps life interesting!  I love the small town I live in, there are literally hundreds of miles of trails and wilderness all around us.  I'm such an outdoor kind of girl!  I love hiking and walking.  I really love photography too and I have loads of opportunity to indulge myself living out here. We have 4 distinct seasons and loads of gorgeous views all around us like this:

and this:

This is the downtown core but there are many little shops dotted all through town, too:

My life changed abruptly four years ago.   I was recently separated and a little discombobulated (say that one 10 times fast!!).  I began to change my life up.  I decided it was high time I began trying things that I had been afraid or intimidated to do because I wasn't an "expert" at it.  I don't know where I picked up that attitude to begin with, but I was ready to be rid of it!!   So I made a pact with myself to do at least one thing per month that I had never done before.  I began learning all sorts of things and little by little, I began to feel really alive again.  

Part of my new attitude led me to buy art kits and splash paint around on paper because I had always wanted to but ...  yep, you know what I mean.   I discovered that, contrary to what my elementary school art teacher had told me, I actually could paint pretty pictures.  Go figure!  I LOVED painting.  I painted lots of pictures, all different styles and that felt great, too.   Here is my latest painting:

As a single woman, I found it difficult to find friends to hang out with, everyone was either already in relationships or just too busy to make time.  I decided to go out by myself more - I go to lots of movies and enjoy new restaurants.  I'm even taking mini vacations by myself too.  It was a bit intimidating at first, but now I don't care what anyone else thinks, I just want to enjoy myself.

A year after my separation, our house finally sold and I bought a 1930s fixer-upper cottage. I wanted a project to focus on and I figured decorating and fixing up this house would be fun.  When I first moved in, I had thought I would be handling mostly cosmetic changes - I was wrong...

The longer I lived in the house, the more I realized there was much more to be dealt with than what appeared on the surface and it would be costly to deal with.  I took to scrounging materials, picking up roadside items, dumpster diving, yard sale'ing, horse-trading and swapping all sorts of things to get the look I wanted. Instead of hiring contractors, I invested in a starter set of power tools and took on the projects myself. It's been a lot of work and a lot of fun, too.  The satisfaction of having done it all myself and on a small budget is HUGE. The more I learn, the more hooked I become.  Power tools used to make me so nervous and now I can't wait to find things that I want to try and build!  And just so you know, the only tools I had ever used before I moved into this house were a drill, a hammer and a screwdriver.

Here's my house today, it's just had a bit of a facelift with fresh aqua paint on the door, white trim and some DIY shutters.  Come on in for a tour.

I took on the kitchen first.  It needed a big overhaul so I used the Home Depot "12 Months No Interest" plan, waited patiently for one of their kitchen cabinet sales and then I bought cabinets, counters, sink, faucet, plumbing materials and lights and got to work.  I also got a new stove because the one that came with the house was so tiny you couldn't even fit a turkey roaster in it!

I put my sideboard in the kitchen and put a shelf over it for some free additional storage space.   This is an Ikea sideboard that I painted with a home made paint to give it an antique look.

I found a pot rack at a yard sale for $3 and hung it on the wall beside the stove for easy access.  That bump out wall is the original chimney.  Some day I'll tear all the drywall off it and make it into a feature...  some day... 

The previous owners had an addition built onto the original footprint and now this kitchen has no windows - UGH!  So I carved two holes between the studs over the kitchen sink to give myself a view into the next space that DOES have windows.

I built a pantry cabinet.  I needed a custom size to fit the space I had, so building was my only option.  I'm still working on the bottom door...

I gave my bedroom a huge makeover. I painted EVERYTHING - walls, furniture, trim, closet doors, and more! I built a headboard from a 100 year old door I got at a yard sale for $5.
A new bedspread and shams complete the makeover.

 Then I tackled my spare bedroom, making curtains and shams from tea towels I got in a clearance bin.

I added a shelf desk and painted some grain sack stripes on it to dress it up.

I had an enclosed porch at the back of the house with nothing in it except washer/dryer connections, so I made it into a laundry/mudroom with lots of storage. I moved the existing dryer vent and bought a stackable washer & dryer to save space.  I put in a closet organizer for coats as well as a drying rack during the winter months.  And I installed some salvaged pantry doors on the bottom of the tower so I could hide the detergent and odds & ends from view.  A wrought iron rack makes a pretty hanging rack for the ironing board and brooms/mops.

I used an old potting bench for a counter and hung seed catalog covers on my dryer to doll it up a bit.  My curtains are another clearance bin find - a twin sheet that I folded in half and attached to a rod with clips.

I installed a gorgeous Ikea laundry tub, a base cabinet and shelves with a home made counter and then I put in a window over it to let in the light and built rustic shutters as a window treatment:

My biggest challenge so far was tearing apart the original 1930s bathroom and rebuilding the whole thing from scratch.  

Every room in the house has been painted in either tan or off-white.  I buckled down and painted all the ugly orange wood trim in the house.  It looks amazing now!  I've also painted most of the furniture so it all coordinates better.  Painting it was the best idea, the furniture went from looking old and tired to fresh and new again.

For a dining room hutch, I bought a 2nd hand Baker's Rack for $25 and gave it a makeover.  I added wood shelves and a new wood top and stained/painted the whole thing.

Then I refinished my dining room table to match the new industrial style that I'm falling in love with:

Hope you enjoyed the tour. I have lots more photos and how-to details on my blog - come over and visit some time!  For more photos on the room tours, click on the links:

Thank you Anne for sharing your personal side with all of us.  I loved getting to know you better.
Now that you have gotten to know Anne please jump over to Susan's Spotlight blogger Brenda from Cozy Little House and enjoying learning about another talented blogger.
Happy Saturday 

Some Romance For The Bedroom

Hi Everyone.  Hope your week end is going well.  I was happy to say good bye to last week.  Two funerals in one week of special people was very draining and sad.  I am hoping for a better week ahead.

I thought I would share a post today with some changes I made to our bedroom.  I love for this room to be soft and cozy and feel like a sanctuary at the end of the day.

First little change up was some new curtains for the bedroom.  I got these drop cloth curtains which were too long and so I got out my trusty old Sear Kenmore sewing machine and sewed a straight line to make a new rod pocket and have them be the right length for my large window.

Then I added some outside plant hangers to give some character to the window and to hold the new curtain pole for the burlap valances.

Next change up was to add two pretty chandeliers I got at Grayslake Flea Market yesterday.  It is so rare to find two of the same chandeliers and these were a steal.  They were an ugly gold but some light linen spray paint did the trick.  They now are the same color as the main chandelier over my bed.

I just think they add some romance to the boudoir!!!!! 

The hubby put a dimmer switch on so they are bright or not so bright.  I like that I can adjust the amount of light.

I got a new pillow that said heart to heart.  Loved that it could match up with my two french love letter heart pillows I already had.

I wish I could have captured better pictures but the chandeliers and new curtains and burlap ruffled valances have given some newness to this room.  I love this time of year I change out my lighter bedding for heavier duvets.  I have three duvets on my bed.  I love a soft and comfy duvet on the cooler nights of fall.

Hope your week end is going great.
Hoping for a better week ahead.

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