Quirky DIY Bungalow in Canada

Gemma Bonham-Carter is a avid DIYer who realized early in her house makeover that the home of her dreams would not materialize overnight. “The greatest challenge for us has been a mixture of budget and space. With a tight budget, we try to do a lot ourselves, frequently buying things “preloved.” I must be OK with slow and steady advancement,” states Bonham-Carter, the DIY design blogger behind The Sweetest Digs.

Bonham-Carter has handled her home makeover projects piecemeal. Her and her husband have shone present decor and furniture, and are seeing how things could be reincarnated to more functional, beautiful bits. “I am also all about intelligent storage, trying not to collect too much things and working with what we really need,” states Bonham-Carter.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Gemma Bonham-Carter and her husband, Dan
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Size: 1,600 square feet
That’s interesting: Every room benefits from Bonham-Carter’s DIY projects.

Bonham-Carter made the faux capiz chandelier at the guest room with wax paper, string and a hanging flower basket. She was itching to handle this job after she and her husband relocated to Canada after a year old in England. “You just require a flat surface to work on, some time and a hot glue gun,” she states. “The 3 nights I spent working on it had been completely worthwhile. It cost me a total of $2.50!”

This lime green and white trellis pattern on the wall has been made using a stencil. “I wished to use background in this area, but once I realized it was likely to be $150 just to complete one wall in the design I liked, I started considering other choices,” states Bonham-Carter. She chose a trellis pattern that channeled design components she and her husband had admired a trip to Morocco.

The wall complements the house general palette of blues, turquoises and grays, and although the stenciling made Bonham-Carter’s hands cramp, she states the final result and money saved were worthwhile.

Punch Up a Wall Using a Bright, Bold Stencil Pattern

The rows of magazine filers and organizers show just how serious Bonham-Carter is all about organizing; everything has a dedicated space and is set away after use. Once every season, Bonham-Carter does a complete spring cleaning to declutter even further.

Bonham-Carter made this black and white chevron artwork canvas using a cardboard template. “Then it was just a matter of taping the lines out with painter’s tape and painting the space between. The entire cost was less than $20 — not bad for a large, fun piece of original art for your pad. And even if you don’t believe you are an artsy person, this is a totally easy-peasy job,” she states.

Radio: Tivoli Radio

Bonham-Carter and her husband’s solution into a drab and dull kitchen: a cosmetic update of black and white vinyl tiles. “The vinyl tiles are clearly not the most glamorous of flooring alternatives, but since we are saving for a huge kitchen remodel, they’re a fantastic temporary solution and include a fun diner look to our kitchen,” she states.

Other cosmetic makeovers from the kitchen include repainting the cupboards and replacing the components into a brushed silver finish.

This well-composed vignette was a hidden spot in the Bonham-Carter’s kitchen. “I emptied the shelves and coloured the backs using a splashy lime green paint — left over from our office makeover. I took out some of our baking items from a different shelf, jars of things that look great in an exposed shelf. Now these items are easily available and also have freed up space everywhere in our little kitchen,” she states.

The Sweetest Digs

A ceramic white elephant perches onto a pile of favourite magazines.

The Moroccan trellis wall stencil pattern at the house office is repeated in the drapes framing the dining room windows; the drapes add vertical elevation and lend an air of sophistication to the area. “The paint on the cloth does not feel good against your skin, but it’s not like you are curling up from the drapes,” states Bonham-Carter.

A classic chandelier adds elegance into the master bedroom. The chandelier used to get what Bonham-Carter calls for a “sad brass” end, therefore she breathed new life to the metal using matte black spray paint.

The Sweetest Digs

Bonham-Carter describes her bungalow as with a fun and unique charm. “I’ve seen some houses which have weathered little rooms, but ours is pretty open and feels like a comfy place for family and friends to congregate,” she states.

One of Bonham-Carter’s treasured pieces from the living room is your coffee table, which she “fished out” of her father-in-law’s farm. She and her husband sanded and sanded the surface to restore the wood’s dark veneer; black paint has been also applied to the metal legs.

“I am always tweaking things. We are currently in the middle of a bathroom remodel, and eventually we’d like to devote a new kitchen,” she states. “In the meantime, we take each job one day at a time.”

See related