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February 05, 2012

Repurposed with Purpose

I grew up in a strange and wonderful middle-world where we spent part of our year in an urban environment and the other in a rural community.  I am appreciative of both experiences, and it definitely helped me to cultivate a sense of humour... in the country I was known as 'the city girl' and in the city I was known as 'the country girl'... which meant I had to a) find a way to fit in, and b) learn both Donny's and Marie's lyrics.  Thankfully the rest of my family are easy-going, fun-loving folk so I had good role models and we enjoyed every moment.

This is part of the family homestead known as Garen Carlea Stables.  It is located in the snow belt on a breathtakingly beautiful island in Lake Ontario named Prince Edward County:

Photo courtesy of Tim Vanhecke
Eventually we found ourselves packing up to live here all year, where I was happily surrounded by shabby chic, cottage chic and casual elegance full time.  'Shiny new' may have been hot in the city, but I discovered that re-using items in the country was prevalent and sometimes a necessity.  There just wasn't a trendy furniture and decor store around every corner.

I learned a lot about being creative and even a little fearless from that time in my life, and still today one of the things I relish is when a great find can be bravely repurposed in an unexpected way.  The following has to be one of my favourite examples to date.

Take an old barn door, paint it the perfect colour, add a set of a pocket door rails, and voila!  Instant eye-catching, heart-stopping style that works in a myriad of home designs and decor.

This one I love for its unassuming, country feel:


And this one for its bright, sunny transition into the focal point in a modern space:


I've been wandering my abode looking for just the right place to incorporate a big, bold barn door.  Looks like I need more rooms to outfit.

Honey...  Call the realty agent!

Signed, the country side of

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