mrsben


Type:
Home owner 
Location
Ontario
Canada 
About me:
As a hobby I enjoy sewing so have always had a passion for Fashion and Interior Design. I am 64+ and counting and counting in age and if there is a project I can do myself I will try it but will never hesitate to seek the expert advice and/or service of a professional when needed. I do try to keep up with the times but as I am more apt to think-outside-of-the-box and have an INTJ Personality, I do not necessarily follow trends. 
My favorite style:
Transitional 
My next house project:
I am currently upgrading my home which is actually a compromise between my husband and myself as I would prefer to downsize whereas .... he does not. (That's what you do folks when you've been married as long we have been.) There are a total of sixteen spaces to do which will entail new flooring, countertops, replacement of three bathrooms etc. etc. The list goes on, so if there is anyone who wishes to donate some products to the cause, please feel free to do so. I am a very appreciative soul. ºÜº 
mrsben commented on an ideabook

11 Reasons to Paint Your Interior Doors Black

Brush on some ebony paint and turn a dull doorway into a model of drop-dead sophistication Full Story
     Comment   July 23, 2014
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mrsben
Agree, that black interior doors can be stunning! Though not black, my favourite interior doors in my home are an entry and a set of French doors in my Vestibule area plus ... an entry and a set of six double bi-fold doors in my den which are all painted in a very deep (almost black) 'navy blue'.

Footnote: For those considering black or dark coloured doors; do ensure you choose the proper finish ( Flat, Satin, Semi-gloss or High Gloss) as it definitely has a bearing on their aesthetics.
July 23, 2014 at 5:06am     
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texasmama22
love it, on my way to store for gallons of black paint!
18 hours ago   
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bdlek
problem solved in our new condo with cheap hollow core doors! Thanks, I am inspired.
2 hours ago   
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Key Measurements to Help You Design Your Dream Bedroom

Learn the dimensions that will help your bed and more fit neatly and comfortably, so you can get a good night’s sleep Full Story
     Comment   July 21, 2014
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lyvia
Bedrooms are tricky, and this is a great practical article. Some people can sleep anywhere, but I prefer a sense of enclosure; that translates to no outside doors, a reasonably scaled room, with circulation somewhat away from the bed itself, and medium to small windows. Natural light shows well, but darkness is better for sleeping. A good master bedroom should allow one person to wake and dress while the other sleeps, which is a circulation issue. The dressers and closet should be close to the bath, else the wake person will have to cross the room repeatedly.

Another thought is that the bathroom door will bring humidity, and that should not be too close to the bed. It encourages dust mites, as well as unwelcome sounds and traffic.

I don't use a chair in my bedroom, because they just get covered with stuff. I would rather use the space to isolate the bed.
July 2, 2014 at 6:00am     
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Turn a Beat-Up Bar Cart Into a Thing of Beauty

Found a cast-off cart or table? See how to transform it into a stunning accent for your home Full Story
     Comment   July 20, 2014
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jjjoyful
Cute, cute, cute! And, the spraying of the lattice on the sides was genius. But, I don't think this was originally a "bar cart." I have seen and owned many of these over the years. I think it is a TV cart. Maybe you don't remember when TV's were HUGE and needed this entire surface to hold the TV. The bottom part was "whatever" when I was a kid growing up in the '50s-'60's. Then, when the VCR came along, and then cable boxes, they went on that lower shelf. My mom still has one nearly exactly like this that was purchased at a local TV appliance store along with a new, larger TV. TV's were so huge and heavy, that they needed to be on wheels if you wanted to move them for any reason, which people often did when they owned one TV! Sometimes, when adjusting the "rabbit ears" still didn't yield a clear picture, my dad would roll the TV to a slightly different place in the room and we'd have better reception for that channel!
July 17, 2014 at 8:14am     
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mrsben commented on an ideabook

Guest Picks: Set Up a Comfy Guest Room

Soft and warm, these neutral-toned furnishings and accessories will make guests feel welcomed with open arms Full Story
     Comment   July 20, 2014
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mrsben
Some wonderful ideas and the bench is awesome! ( Love the idea of providing a power bar as well. )

Hope you don't mind me adding; instead of using a dresser in one our guest bed rooms, I gave a face lift to an old 'student' size desk that I found at a 2nd hand store that was equipped with two shallow and three deep drawers so it now has more than one purpose. (A desk, a dresser for smaller items of clothing and a vanity.) Three uses for the price of one so to speak .... and dirt cheap BUT .... well made.) I also customized it by adding a piece on its end to rest a suitcase and included shallow storage underneath (namely for an extra blanket or pillow). As for a seat; one of two small identical bench seatS that are at the end of the (Queen size) bed can be readily moved for the purpose and/or can be tucked nicely underneath it. The latter again which were a 2nd-hand store find and were refurbished/upholstered by myself to co-ordinate with the rest of the room. (As you can see, I believe in triple or double duty .... and rise to the occasion of recycling when it meets my needs. ☺!)

Footnote: If space is tight a 'student' (or junior size desk) works well as they are often slightly narrower in depth whereas the rest of the dimensions (opening/height and length) ) usually are equivalent to a standard adult one and as stated above, they can serve more than one purpose when decorating a guest room.
July 20, 2014 at 12:00pm     
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mrsben
Re my comment above. In my footnote, it should have read ...(or youth size desk).
Sorry about that.
July 20, 2014 at 3:11pm   
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Anthony Smith
Like it
on Sunday at 12:00am   
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Somnium
Thanks for the compliment, Anthony. Please let us know if you have any questions about them we can answer.
on Tuesday at 6:37pm   
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mrsben commented on an ideabook

My Houzz: Clothing Designers Bring Their Fashion Sense Home

Casual but pulled together, this San Francisco family’s home embodies effortless chic Full Story
     Comment   July 20, 2014
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mrsben
Though minimalistic, IMHO still very inviting and warm. Also love the splash of colour throughout and the convertible couch. Thoroughly enjoyed a glimpse of your lovely home, so thank you.

Footnote: As my son also has his own (all) Made In Canada clothing line, I can definitely relate how your home can echo your fashion creation savvy; as like yourself his does as well. ☺
July 20, 2014 at 7:12am     
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tyneham
Other people keep high chairs too
July 20, 2014 at 10:07am   
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Jes Simon
I really enjoyed checking out the pics of your home. The colorful artwork on the walls pair well with the furniture and accessories. It's a beautiful balance of function and style. Thanks for sharing!
July 20, 2014 at 11:11am     
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mrsben commented on an ideabook

What Goes With Dark Wood Floors?

Avoid a too-heavy look or losing your furniture in a sea of darkness with these pairing ideas for flooring in deep tones Full Story
     Comment   July 16, 2014
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mrsben
Very informative article but I do have a question. Does the gloss/sheen/luster of the flooring not also have a bearing on what furnishings would look good with it?

@Melanie Price: From the research that I have done; not to be confused with performance or durability; a zero or low lustre level finish particularly on a dark colour floor will help 'mask' dust, footprints etc. far better than a satin, semi or high gloss will. ( In other words imperfections like your friend describes ☺.)
July 16, 2014 at 5:06am     
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vickimayes
I love my dark floors. I've mixed cherry wood with the dark floor. Lots of coral and white makes it pop!
July 23, 2014 at 1:24pm     
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barbaranathalie
I've had my laminate floors for 10 years and they are as beautiful as when they were new, No pets, though.
July 23, 2014 at 7:14pm   
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mrsben commented on an ideabook

The Lowdown on Bed Skirts

Sure, they hide the dust bunnies. But when you know all the options, bed skirts can rack up major style points too Full Story
     Comment   July 13, 2014
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mrsben
Very informative article re styles. As for construction of bed skirts since I have a tendency to make my own I just add a 12" to 16" border to their top which is sandwiched between the box spring ''n mattress (a tuck-in so to speak) and secure them in place with 'Upholstery T-pins" which makes for easy removal. Also if flooring happens to change in density (ie: plush carpet to hardwood); this design also accommodates and quick fix for adjustment in length.

Footnote: FTR, I have never had a problem with the bed skirt(s) shifting nor with changing the bed sheets.
July 13, 2014 at 3:36am     
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Nyasha Goredema
I love this article..it has given me so many ideas..I particularly love the idea of a matching headboard and bed skirt...and the pleat ones are lovely too..
July 16, 2014 at 2:35pm     
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jntpagan
Bed skirt
July 16, 2014 at 6:03pm   
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What Goes With Granite Counters?

Coordinate your kitchen finishes beautifully by choosing colors that complement granite’s natural tones Full Story
     Comment   July 13, 2014
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Jean Stryker
There's a whole lot of white going on in those kitchens...
July 10, 2014 at 9:13pm     
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housecat
I was under the impression that granite is on its way out. You have shown some gorgeous kitchens, but I would love to see an idea book that shows how one can work with some of the more common gold and earth-tone counters that many of us are stuck with.
July 12, 2014 at 12:04pm     
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mrsben commented on an ideabook

The Secret to Pocket Doors' Success

Pocket doors can be genius solutions for all kinds of rooms — but it’s the hardware that makes all the difference. See why Full Story
     Comment   July 10, 2014
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mrsben
Very informative article! I only have one pocket door in my home and actually I love it as it not only is functional but it gives an illusion of space when open and doesn't eat up valuable wall space. IF I were building a new house I definitely would consider adding some into the floor plan. With that said, many Handicap dwellings also have them for easy access for those who may be confined to a wheelchair. For those who might argue 'they don't work well' I could say exactly the same about Steel exterior doors if they are not properly installed or are of inferior quality. When winter sets in and the temperature falls well below zero one may not be able to even lock them or they may not close properly and blow open. (With the cost of heating .... ouch! ☺)
P.S: In Canada for new residential building; it is now mandatory that all interior doors be equipped with handles (not knobs) so that is something one might want to investigate prior to installation of a pocket door.
July 10, 2014 at 5:19am     
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PRO
Donco Designs
Pocket doors are a great design feature that can help open up a room with limited space. Pocket doors can add style to a room while also providing privacy to an area.
July 21, 2014 at 3:52am   
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Kamm Architecture
We use either pocket doors or surface mounted doors on exposed tracks, depending on the application. I love the look of the exposed track hardware, but you need clear wall space to the side of the door opening in order to make it work. The door then becomes a design feature. A pocket door essentially disappears when open, so you can create a greater flow of space.
July 21, 2014 at 1:42pm   
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mrsben likes 5 comments on an ideabook

How to Recycle Your Kitchen

Instead of adding to the junk pile — and paying landfill fees — get rid of old appliances, cabinets and countertops the ecofriendly way Full Story
     Comment   July 10, 2014
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mitzypoo22
Interesting article, so glad to see you mention Habitat. Other than items they can use in the homes they build, they often have a "ReStore" that will take all sorts of items (I think just about anything but clothes). We're remodeling a 75 year old Bungalow, so they are invaluable for matching old trim, doors, random hardware, etc. All sorts of building supplies that are still quite usable, that are probably the product of a remodeling job in the area. And, it's way closer to our house than the "home improvement" store in our town, so there's the gas and time savings too!

That has to be my one biggest complaint about all of these remodeling/crashing/design shows that are all on right now, they never talk about the option of recycling...none of them, that I have ever seen...even the ones talking about "green remodeling"! I just don't get it, perhaps the starry eyed home owner with a sledge hammer in their hand makes for "better TV", but its such a shame and a lost opportunity to do some educating.

So, thank you for the great idea book...it's as if you were in my living room yesterday and heard me yelling at the TV. :-)
July 6, 2014 at 6:47am     
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cricktmaster
Mitzypoo22, I agree about the "design" shows. They bust up everything, inside and out, instead of being responsible and charitable. I see no point in pitching a perfectly good toilet and sink out the second story window into a dumpster below "just for show". I would like to see HGTV/DIY create a show where the demolition crew recycles their cabinets, appliances etc Nicole Curtis is the only one who comes close. We are in the process of a kitchen remodel. My appliances are going to a friend's mother who is refurbishing a rental house. The appliances still have a lot of life left in them.
July 6, 2014 at 8:10am     
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carolbrandywine
1. Habitat.

Habitat for Humanity Restore took much of our kitchen. They had friendly drivers who did an extremely careful and professional job of taking the items out of my house and onto their truck. You can find one near you using this link: http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx

2. Craigslist free section.

There are many items that a thrift store won't take such as a broken, rusty 12 year old dishwasher. There are many low-income people for whom a broken 12 year old dishwasher is a great score. I posted mine on the free section of craigslist and had 25 replies in a day. If you don't wish to deal with fielding replies or meeting with random people, simply list it on the free section and put "curb alert" in the heading. Then give your block, no need for a specific address, and put it on the curb. Once the item is gone, repost that the item was taken. One person's trash is another person's treasure!
July 6, 2014 at 8:24am     
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halbraswell
Reusing and recycling is good to a point, but I'm not going to spend $10 K to be PC. Lots of perfectly good cabinets, other than they don't match someone's taste, are needlessly demolished on TV and in real life.

In many older homes, the kitchen cabinets were built in. There are no individual cabinet boxes to uninstall and donate. Many countertops with sink holes only work with certain cabinet combinations but depending on the material can still be recycled.

Our water heater went kaput during our kitchen reno. A friend in need with a truck asked for it so he could sell it for scrap, thereby helping him and us.
July 6, 2014 at 9:43am     
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cjmacke
We completely recycled the kitchen from my husbands house and reconfigured it into a great kitchen on his parents home which he inherited.
It only cost $1000 to have it disessembled and transported 150 miles to the new location. We did purchase a scratch and dent new fridge and dishwasher to complete the new kitchen. It came out fabulous.
July 9, 2014 at 5:12am     
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mrsben bookmarked an ideabook

Color Guide: How to Use Teal

This blue-green color is a versatile classic for walls, furniture and accessories, conjuring everything from the tropics to the Tropicana Full Story
     Comment   July 9, 2014
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Rita Hahn
I'm just in the process of a living room redo. I have to work around a much loved Teal sofa. thinking of doing shabby chic old white tables. Everything else is a blank canvas. Any suggestions to wall and chair colors?
June 18, 2014 at 3:20pm   
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Eva Orlop
Loved my teenage daughter's room makeover in teal and gray!
July 14, 2014 at 9:24pm   
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mrsben bookmarked an ideabook

Bathroom Trends: Open Vanity Storage

Give Your Bath Functional Storage and Extra Style Points, Too Full Story
     Comment   July 9, 2014
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paulapt
This is a little bit perfect
March 23, 2014 at 6:48pm   
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muguette1
Tout !
March 29, 2014 at 8:06pm   
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Is a Kitchen Corner Sink Right for You?

We cover all the angles of the kitchen corner, from savvy storage to traffic issues, so you can make a smart decision about your sink Full Story
     Comment   July 7, 2014
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artemishouse
I've really enjoyed reading all this posts and since I love my corner sink am surprised at the number of people who hate theirs. The key issue seems to be if the sink is backed by windows, which creates a deep triangle and windows which are hard to reach, or by a breakfast/bar area. I have the latter and the space behind my sink extends my counter area and provides a nice spot to showcase my wines. It's easy to clean from the counter side. I added another upper cabinet over this area and have it openning from the bar side to provide extra storage for the attached den area.

I also notice that lots of the designs have the dishwasher right next to the corner sink, which my designer warned me about. Even though my kitchen is fairly small, I was able to flip the DW with a row of drawers. Granted, you can't have two people at the sink simultaneously, but I can rinse and load the DW easily.

Great discussion!
August 22, 2012 at 2:23pm     
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mrsben likes 3 comments on an ideabook

Simple Pleasures: 25 Ways to Make the Most of Your Staycation

Give the daily grind the day off by hiding your work stuff, treating yourself and enjoying the outdoors Full Story
     Comment   July 6, 2014
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Lauren Elyse Fine Art, LLC.
So funny this idea book should be posted as I just ended my first ever stay cation! (It was wonderful) What helped make it a real stay cation was my husbands sisters coming to visit - we were able to see the island with fresh eyes and did all the things we love to do but can't during out normal working weeks. So having family come visit will make it merrier and more vacation like as well! Great suggestions here, I'll keep them in mind for my next stay cation when his parents come :)
July 3, 2014 at 11:56am     
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Michelle W
Great ideas, but I would be exhausted with all the planning and arranging, much prefer to sleep in, read a book and maybe wear my pajama's all day and eat chocolate, or is that just me ?
July 3, 2014 at 1:25pm     
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Nancy Breen
For my staycation, I am going to take day trips during the week when the shore is not so crowded. I'm lucky to live in New England where there is lots to do. Many people come to Boston for their summer vac., but I'm so lucky to live here! Thanks Laura for a wonderful article.
July 4, 2014 at 4:11am     
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Victoria Harrison
Coastal style will always be one of my favourite looks. It goes hand in hand with my dream home - a cottage by the sea, so it's on the wish list for now...
June 27, 2014 at 1:52am     
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beverlynn
I have decorated in a transitional style and wouldn't change a thing!!
July 1, 2014 at 10:53am     
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mrsben bookmarked an ideabook

Find the Right Glass Door for Your Patio

It’s more than just a patio door — it’s an architectural design element. Here’s help for finding the right one for your home and lifestyle Full Story
     Comment   July 2, 2014
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Wallace Remodeling, Inc.
Have not seen these often but it can be done.
July 17, 2014 at 12:12pm   
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Pella Windows and Doors
Hi @chremily, We're very sorry to hear about your recent experiences with us. If you would, please private message us (head to our profile and click "contact me") and provide us with your name and contact information so we can have a Pella representative reach out to you as soon as possible to discuss this further. Thank you.
July 22, 2014 at 2:25pm   
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Summer Living: How to Welcome Weekend Guests

Thoughtful touches and smart planning make summer visitors feel right at home Full Story
     Comment   July 1, 2014
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aleanor
Interesting ideas with lots of pointers about national expectations. I am renovating a home in France for holidays and reunions and am having fun trying to design a place that will provide a gentle landing for friends.

I asked a friend, who suggested space for guests to get away in the quiet, a bookshelf with a mix of books in appropriate languages and a place to write. The bathroom will be stocked but the kettle et al, for tea will be up in the kitchen. The guest rooms are on the ground floor so they can come and go and the washing machine on the same floor so that they can manage their things when they arrive from travels...

Because I won't always be there, I am teaching a gps my favorite local destinations and collecting books and maps for people to browse.

At the moment, the plan is to say that the cave is stocked with wine and preserved food and that they should feel welcome to provision from there...and to contribute to the well-being of others through a parting contribution. People who come when I am not there will be given the name of a local cleaner so that the people who come in next can find the place in good shape.

A friend suggested that I note how much the house costs to run per week so that if people feel like they want to pay (this is for when I am not there) then they can contribute that, no more. She says that when people use her beach house they want to contribute and are jumpy if they can't...thoughts on that?
June 25, 2014 at 2:12pm     
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