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    Posted May 1, 2013 by
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Design of the day

    A 70's Facelift on a Budget

    My husband and I bought our first house together three years ago. It is a 1970's townhouse in Vancouver, Canada. When we walked into the space after getting the keys for the first time our excitement quickly turned into paralyzing fear as our eyes darted from the old parquet flooring to the large yellow-brown rock fireplace (my husband said it looked like "dirty teeth"), over to the mirrors with diagonal wooden slats crawling up the walls. Everything was painted dark brown and the upstairs carpet was a 3" shag that looked like it was holding a lot more than just memories. It's funny how we turn a blind eye to all of these things when we are so excited to buy a place! After spending so much money on the purchase we had very little left to spend on renovating. We set a budget of $5000 and forced ourselves to stretch that money as far as possible. The first thing we did was paint out everything in a warm white (including the dirty teeth fireplace). Instantly our place felt brighter and cleaner. We replaced the shag with a dark grey loop carpet and had our parquet flooring refinished. As for furniture and accessories, we both have very strong (often differing) opinions on what we like...don't get us started on choosing art, we rarely see eye to eye...we call our art disagreements "artuments"!
    We worked really hard to create a harmonious balance that represented us both individually and as a couple. We wanted a space that was visually interesting and that you didn't take too seriously. In this picture you can see the antique chair that I found on Craigslist. I stripped off the old stain, repainted it a warm silver/gold and had a retired Uphlosterer recover it for us (this saved lots of dough). The modern fabric on the old frame sets the tone for the room. We love the fireplace now that it's been sprayed out, it gives the space a bit of the 70's feel but not enough that you want to pull out your old platforms.
    I bought some old books at the thrift store, ripped off the fronts, back and spine, stacked them all together and tied them up with twine...this is a great way to fill up an empty corner. To bring a feel of the outdoors in I purchased some birch tree branches from a local nursery and just rested them against the wall. I love how they are imperfect and give the space an organic feel.
    As for our coffee table, this was my domain. I covered it in my favorite design books and trinkets that I've collected along the way. I'm always changing around the coffee table decor to suit my mood.
    Overall we're really happy with our home and how things worked out. We can't imagine living anywhere else and we're so excited to keep working on it one day at a time!
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