chairLIFT chair revealed!

The 2014 Calgary Home + Design Show invited us to participate in a charity initiative called ChairLIFT. We chose a chair from Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta’s ReStore and upcycled it using remnants of left over fabrics and a fresh coat of paint.

chairLIFTbefore Our chair selection was carefully considered and we got to work on selecting fabrics and finish options. We played with several Rustoleum paint colours and mixed fabrics to create a stylish chair with well appointed details. We are thrilled with the outcome! Take a look at how it all evolved.  chairLIFT chair, calgary home and design show, habitat for humanity, restore

chairLIFT chair, calgary home and design show, habitat for humanity, restore Our chair is pretty, with an unexpected twist of colour and pattern, embracing our love of both. It is a “use anywhere” statement piece. chairLIFT chair, calgary home and design show, habitat for humanity, restore All entries will be exhibited and auctioned off at the Calgary Home + Design Show (September 18-21, 2014 at BMO Centre) with 100% of proceeds directly benefitting Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta and ReStore. Please come out and show your support and bid on your favourite chair.

Thank you to Rustoleum for donating the fabulous and easy to use product, our wonderful upholsterer Red Eight for donating their time in re-upholstering our chair, and to our lovely client for allowing us to use remnant bits of their left over fabric.  And of course, thank you to the Calgary Home + Design Show for inviting us to be part of this exciting charity fundraiser!

Have a design dilemma? I’ll be available for Ask a Designer, Friday 1-2 and Sunday 1-2 and 3-4. Would love to see you!



diy: chalkboard mini fridge

I used to be far more into “DIY’s” (insert *before kids* here), and now it is far more limited as the perceived time and energy crushes my motivation. While the thought of it is great and always inspiring, the getting it done part is where I struggle for success. I do love making things and the feeling of accomplishment is truly so great.

When I moved into my new office space I quickly realized I would need a little fridge. I had left a space open for such a purchase however I was not keen on having a typical stainless front appliance in my school house style office.

I decided to take on the DIY of painting the front of it with chalkboard paint. After procrastinating for weeks, I received a call about photographing my office which of course lit a fire under my butt to get it done.

The longest part was waiting for the paint to dry so to speak, and all in all it was so simple, I’m kicking myself for waiting so long. Isn’t that always how it goes?

Here’s the before: chalkboard fridge before diy

Sandpaper, painters tape, metal primer, paint brushes, rollers and trays. I purchased all of mine at Canadian Tire. chalkboard fridge supplies diy chalkboard fridge in progress diy Step 1: Ensure the surface is clean
Step 2: Prepare the surface for the primer by sanding all areas with a medium grit sandpaper.
Step 3: Mask off any areas you do not wish to cover with chalkboard paint.
Step 4: Apply 2 coats of primer with a brush, allowing to dry for approximately 12 hours between each coat. Apply as even as possible and ensure all areas have been covered. Note: the primer is much runnier than expected and goes on quite thin. chalkboard fridge primed diy Step 5: Apply chalkboard paint with a small roller brush for even application. After the first coat it may look messy and uneven. Not to worry, each coat you apply will offer more coverage and eventually be a solid chalkboard surface.
Step 6: Allow 24hrs between coats. Apply as many coats as necessary to achieve a smooth finish.
Step 7: Once completely dry, prime the surface with a thin layer of chalk by rubbing a lightly chalk dusted brush all over the surface. This will make erasing and re-creating on your board easier.
Step 8: Let your creative juices flow with drawings, text or both! chalkboard fridge after diy Ta-da! It turned out great. So pleased with the results.

‘After’ photo taken by Lori Andrews.

Nyla Free Designs Inc. is a full service Calgary Interior Design studio. Our goal is to bring your home to life by revealing your style and infusing unexpected elements of design and detail. If we can help with your project please let us know! See the contact page to get in touch.

Nyla Free Designs Inc. also offers an online design service to Canadian clients through Design in a Box.



diy: framed keepsakes

I found this while browsing through Flickr and fell in love with this little DIY frame from Cottonblue. You can customize it however you would like from the size and colour of the frame to style and type of ribbon. So easy! I just love capturing special treasures in a way that is as charming as this one. Thank you to Cottonblue for a great suggestion! Hope you give it a try!

Things you’ll need:

• antique frame or mirror with glass removed

• ribbon

• stapler

• paint (optional)

• treasures and keepsakes


diy: rescue tacky tile

Mibo 6 inch x 3 inch Subway Tile Tattoos – Ventor – Black on Clear pictureMibo 6 inch Tile Tattoos – Ventor – Black on White pictureMibo 4 inch Tile Tattoos – Shanklin – Blue picture

Mibo 6 inch Tile Tattoos – Ventor – Blue pictureMibo 6 inch Tile Tattoos – Loverstone – White on Clear pictureMibo 6 inch Tile Tattoos – Ventor – Red picture

Do you have one of those bathrooms that is circa 1980’s with the tacky, builder grade tile that acted as an “accent”. Well help is here with this great product I stumbled upon in Real Simple magazine. 2Jane offers tile tatoos, an affordable, waterproof solution to kitchen and bathroom makeovers along with many more products for DIY installations such as window film (love this idea too!), wall art, and decals. I hear from clients often that they eventually want to change their kitchen/ bathroom but for now they are living with it the way it is. These rooms are after all the most expensive rooms in your home to renovate. Well take heart, because there are a few things you can do to give your dated space a quick fix before you embark on a full on renovation. These tile decals are a great way to mask the 80’s and bring your room into the new millenium, while being mindful of your budget! Watch the ‘how-to’ video and see how easy it is. Peel. Spray. Stick. Voila!

Need a few more ideas to update your space? Design in a Box may be the perfect solution for you!