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It has been 4 weeks since we moved out of our home and we are starting to go a little stir crazy! Today we get the keys to our forever home and to say we are excited is a major understatement. Our new home needs a few minor updates which I have been shopping for the past 4 weeks (I might as well put the missing mortgage payment towards something, right?!). There are many projects we want to tackle so, I've been careful not to go broke with the updates we are going to do to the house. Let's face it, daycare is expensive and who wants to spend $400 on a light?! SO, if you're ready I want to share with you my plan and where I purchased the new budget friendly items from.
Starting with the kitchen/dining room...
Now, this kitchen really isn't that bad which is a mega bonus! We are going to be changing the cabinet hardware, the lights, the faucets, adding a built in dishwasher and painting the countertop matte black. Most of the shopping for the kitchen was done on Amazon (DISCLAIMER: I LOVE shopping local, but I am also a completely guilty Amazon shopper).
The hardware I purchased for the cabinets are from Amazon, see below!
I am going for a sleek modern farmhouse look for the kitchen/dining room. So, these cabinet pulls fit the vibe perfectly!
The next update in the kitchen will be the faucets, also purchased on Amazon. We shopped around at Home Depot to try to find the perfect one, but I just couldn't justify spending $300 on one faucet! Check out what I bought below, I purchased both for under $200!
To go with the matte black faucets I am going to be painting the countertops black in Endless from Aspire Mineral Paint (which I carry on my website)! A tutorial for that will be coming after I finish the project!
Surprise! The lights for the kitchen were also purchased on Amazon! I looked everywhere for lights that didn't break the bank and that fit with my modern farmhouse style. Everything I found was $200+, and I just didn't have the budget for that with everything I want to do. So, Amazon came in clutch once again with these lights for under $100 each!
I've lucked out in the husband department once again because mine is an electrician and he is going to be BUSY changing every.single.light in the house! (Believe me, he's ecstatic about it...). I ordered two of these lights, one will go above my new island and one will go above our dining room table.
The house came with a roll up to the sink and attach to the faucet dishwasher which I was just not loving the idea of. So, we splurged a little bit and bought ourselves a brand new dishwasher. We bought it at Gray's Auction and Liquidation in Harriston and paid a whopping $355.95 for it after taxes! I'd say we hit the jackpot!!
One thing I was pretty adamant about when house shopping was needing enough space for an island. Well, this kitchen isn't huge but there is enough room for a 4' island. The island we purchased is from Lucan Architectural and it is BEAUTIFUL! We went with the cream base and red stained top to match the trim in the kitchen. I can't wait to move it into the house and unwrap it.
Now, because I was being a princess and NEEDED to have an island, it meant that the full door fridge that came with the house wouldn't open properly because of the island. So, I went bargain hunting and found a used black split door fridge on Facebook marketplace. We paid $200 for it and picked it up that day.
This is a poor quality picture from marketplace, but you get the point! It was another good deal for sure.
I love having backsplash that creates a pop in the room but I didn't plan on using real tile because 1... it is expensive and 2... I have no idea how to put it up myself! I contemplated doing a stencil backsplash and painting it on myself but figured it would take awhile and I would procrastinate doing it. So, I purchased this black and white peel and stick tile wallpaper from Amazon. The reviews on it are very positive and a lot of people love the product! It was less than $50 and comes with 18 square feet so it should cover the whole backsplash area! I will share a tutorial/review when I get this put up to let you know how it went!
The last update to the kitchen is our new dining table and benches which were also purchased from Lucan Architectural! We went with the cream base and red stained top again to match the island.
UP NEXT: Tucker's Toyroom Update
First things first, this room is getting a FRESH coat of paint! I am going to be using Rona's ECO Recycled Paint in theAtmosphere colour for this room.
I used the ECO paint at our old house and loved the coverage and low VOC. This paint retails for $20 and often goes on sale "Buy One, Get One FREE" (so, $10/can). I didn't get it on sale, but $20 is still a great deal!
We will be switching the 70's fan out for a matte black sputnik light from, you guessed it, Amazon. See below!
This light is super fun and only cost me $60! It will make a great addition to my modern farmhouse style while still being youthful enough for Tucker's Toyroom!
UP NEXT: The Living Room
This room has so much charm that I am hoping to keep with our update! The french doors are a must-stay for me! I think they have so much character and just make the room. The bay window is going to become home to my desk where I can keep it tucked away from my touchy toddler.
The trim is going to be painted white and the walls are going to be painted in Rona's ECO paint colour Pebble Beach.
Our TV is going to go into the same corner on top of our new corner console table from Lucan Architectural! It will have a cream base and red stained top just like the dining set and island. (Image below is just an example from their website, it is not our actual table).
The sliding barn doors are my favourite part of this piece and it fits in perfect with the style I'm going for! It is so perfect!!
Now, that beautiful chandelier that you remember from the dining room images is going to be moved into the living room to complete the room! (My hubby is also excited about relocating this huge light!!).
That is all I'm going to share for today! We have A LOT of work ahead of us and I'm excited to bring you guys along for the ride!
If you have any questions or suggestions throw them in the comments section below!
As many of you know I have been working VERY hard on this new business venture and I am SO excited to share what I have been working on with everyone! My website lecreativestudio.ca will be the hub of the business - everything you need to know is here!
I decided to change the name of my business from Make + Take Workshop to L|E Creative Studio because I think it better describes the goals of my business. Make + Take Workshop will now become a smaller (still very important) part of the business.
So let me walk you through all of the new features on the website!
The HOME page acts as the welcome page of the website to explain what L|E Creative Studio is and encourage you to keep exploring the site!
The SOCIAL page dives deeper into my new found love of Social Media Marketing. I recently took a leap of faith, and quit my full time job as a construction estimator to take a 13 week contract job with the Municipality of South Bruce. My job was to help Main Street businesses within South Bruce create a digital platform, teach them about the Facebook and Instagram Algorithms and encourage them to use social media to gain foot traffic into their store front businesses. My education is in Graphic Design, Photography and Social Media for Business Performance so this job was right up my alley. I LOVED it! I have since taken on the same position with the Walkerton BIA which will be a 15 week position. My hope is to continue helping small business owners create a sustainable and profitable social media presence at an affordable price.
The GRAPHIC page outlines all of the Graphic Design and Photography services I offer for individuals and businesses. These services span from product photography all the way to wedding invitations. I offer my services at an affordable price and guarantee you will be satisfied with the end results (no matter how many revisions need to be made)!
The DIY page is the new home of what was, Make + Take Workshop. This section includes all of the information you need to register for an upcoming workshop, book a private party, or book a kids birthday party! The calendar of public workshops will be posted here each month as well as the direct links to Eventbrite to register for classes. You can also find all of the workshop prices on this page and purchase workshop gift cards at the bottom of the page!
The RENTALS page is another new section that I am so excited to finally launch! In August my husband and I (along with the help of our families) threw the wedding of our dreams, and with that came lots of DIY projects and decor. Instead of selling everything after the wedding I've decided to keep it and rent it to other local couples who are also throwing the wedding of their dreams! On this page you will find a photo gallery of some of the items being used at my wedding, a catalogue of all of the items (coming soon), some facts you should know (like, we buy used items that others have used for their wedding AND if there is something specific you are looking for we might purchase it to add it to our collection!), and an inquiry form for anyone interested to fill out for a quote and availability options. I am now booking 2020 weddings!
The BLOG page is a whole new concept for me that I am trying out! I've always wanted to start a blog but was never too sure what to write about. With it I am hoping to share some social media marketing tips, DIY projects (the good and bad attempts), and some home update projects as our family embarks on our next big project- a new house in the country! I am excited to share these experiences with you and I hope you will enjoy all that I have to share!
The SHOP page features all of the projects I have always offered all in one place! Here you will be able to order custom pieces, have them made within 1-2 weeks, and be ready for pick up at my studio. Items on this page include 12x24 signs, serving trays, centrepiece boxes, welcome signs, scrabble tiles, seasonal projects, welcome mats and soon a line of Chalk/Mineral Paint! I will be adding more items as I go so be sure to check back often!
I hope you enjoy the new features and convenience of this website! If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to comment below!
10. Create a content calendar
I am constantly pushing to my clients the importance of doing all of your strategizing at once. Don’t be afraid to print out a calendar for the whole month and fill it all. It is best to get in the zone and figure out your marketing strategy at once. Then, all you need to do is check your calendar each day to know exactly what you’re going to be posting about. There is nothing worse than midday realizing you haven’t posted anything and throwing something random on Facebook and Instagram just to be seen!
9. Be sure that your in-store brand is represented online
Every store, office, studio, etc. has an ambiance that they want their customers to feel when they walk in the door. This is what sets our business apart from others. Whether your colours are identifiable, you always welcome everyone with a smiling face or you have a beautiful wood feature wall that strikes everyone's attention; make sure when they visit your social media pages they remember why they love your business.
8. Know your audience!
When I start working with a new business the first thing we do is an ideal customer profile. We walk through their customers interests, their income, their marital status, their gender, their age and so much more! We paint a very clear picture of who this person is. Once we’ve made a profile the next thing we ask is- why should they buy your product/service/etc.? And how will my product/service/etc. help them solve their problems? Once you know exactly what it is your doing to help this person you can put yourself in their shoes and share content specifically directed toward them.
7. Be where your audience is
After identifying exactly who your customer is you can map out where they will be. So, let’s say your ideal is a working mother? We need to figure out when to post if we want her to see your content. For example, during the hours of 7-10am mothers are getting their children out of bed, fed breakfast, clothes on, out the door to daycare/school and then getting themselves to work- so this is not an ideal time to post because they are not active on social media during the craziness of the morning. The hours of 8-10pm are the best times to post if your ideal customer is a working mother because they have tucked their kids into bed and FINALLY have some “me” time to veg on the couch and scroll through social media.
6. Be consistent
The worst thing a business owner can do is be active daily on social media for 2-3 weeks, start getting their customers engaged and then fall off the face of the earth for 3 months. Your audience is depending on you to be consistent with your information and posts! You don’t have time to be on social media every single day? Then post every other day. Whatever you decide you can handle - stick to it!
5. Don’t OVER post
What? You can be too active online? YES! And you will lose engagement and customers. Being to pushy toward your customers online will only make them feel overwhelmed and annoyed with your posts. People spend time on social media to catch up on everything they’ve missed in the last 6 hours, they do not want to see 18 posts about how you got new scarves in stock! Stick to posting 1-2 times per day and anything extra that you want to share put in your Facebook or Instagram stories.
4. Post high quality, original images
People engage best with content that is authentic, matches your brand, and is relatable. Don’t take your crappy, low resolution ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ post from Google images and pop it on your Facebook page. Instead take a picture of your awesome spread of Thanksgiving food, your family spending time together or a graphic you’ve created specific to your brand and share that with your customers! Trust me, they will appreciate the high quality content!
3. Utilize your call-to-action button
Use your call-to-action button on Facebook and Instagram to direct your customers where you’d like them to go next. They’ve visited your social media page and now they want to invest in your business! Where are you going to send them? Can they purchase your product on your online store? Then, send them to ‘Shop Now’. Should they call you to book and appointment? Then, have them ‘Call Now’. Wherever you want them to go next make it your call-to-action button.
2. Use automatic replies
Do you check your Facebook messages once a month and notice that 100 people have messaged you with questions about your business? That is 100 customers you could have had spending money! Don’t be afraid to set up your automatic replies to let your customers know that you don’t check your Facebook messages often but they can reach you by phone, email, etc.! You don’t want them to feel like they are not important enough for a reply.
1. Change up how you share your content
Keep your audience engaged by switching up how you are sharing your content. Ask a question that sparks their interest, posts pro tips that you’ve learned from experience, share a video unpacking new products or sharing an update about your business! The key is not to be over promotional and be sure to share content that your audience relates to. Be original and stand out in the saturated world of social media marketing!
Leave any extra tips or questions in the comments below!
I believe that all creative people have more than one passion, more than one creative talent.