#PicadoMexican – pay and display

Earlier this week #PicadoMexican had its official opening and all I’ll say is Lily and Alan sure know how to throw one hell of a party. It took husband and I a couple of days to recover, and while we’re still buzzing from the party, I thought there was no better time to share my final Picado feature! Today’s final installment is all about one of my favourite parts of Picado – the pay and display area.  

Before I start, below is a little reminder of the space beforehand as well as my design proposal for the space that I presented to Lily and Alan … 

NOTE: 1-8 are part of the kitchen and retail areas. 
9. The main floor space was reserved for when Lily will be teaching her classes. A table will be set up and the chairs will be taken off the wall for people to sit at, takes notes, and get their NOM on. During the day it’s used as additional display space. 
10. We were going to paint a red line [in keeping with the external signage] along the wall and floor to create a barrier-withouth-a-barrier if you know what I mean, between the public and private space, but fortunately no customers have wandered into kitchen. Success! No line needed.
11. It made the most sense for me to place the till area here. Both as a visual barrier for customers as they walk into the shop and hopefully [successfully!] divert their path and dissuade customers from walking straight into the kitchen. I also wanted to use a sturdy till area and not just a table, for security  / till reasons.  
12. Oh, the chair wall. It’s gotten the most attention out of the whole shop. In the very beginning I had secret ideas about hanging chairs up on the wall for Lily’s cooking classes to save on the limited floor space. Then Lily emailed me about the FRODE folding chairs in IKEA, which were the perfect Picado colours. I nearly kissed Lily right on the mouth. They were perfect, and with some help from BJARNUM folding wall hooks and Alan’s handyman dad, the chairs were up. 

At the official opening of #PicadoMexican on Monday night, I talked to a few people I didn’t know [just a few, I’m quite bad at socialising], and each person commented on the chair wall; ” … that’s such a great idea and you know, so unusual!“, without realizing I was the designer. I really enjoyed their unfiltered and honest feedback on the shop. It really made me so proud of the shop and the work that went into it, and more importantly, so excited for Lily and Alan and what lies ahead. 

It was a really amazing party on Monday night [did I mention the incredibly dangerous / delicious bespoke Mexican cocktails by Oisin?] and in the most celebratory way possible, the opening party was a form of closure for me on the project. My Mexican love-child with Lily and Alan is real. It’s full of love, people adore it, and if you haven’t visited it, I will find you and I will make you. For the Mexican food alone, go. Forget the design. 
And at running the risk of sounding like a broken record, thank you Lily and Alan. For the opportunity. For letting me get carried away with you. For believing in me. For all the pizza. For shooting the breeze. And for listening to my crappy jokes.Thank you.

Step stool saga

Last week I wrote about my new step stool combo and how I wanted to coordinate my BEKVAM stool with my salvaged skip stool in a way that would fit in with our living room a little better. To give you some history, long ago I found this broken bar stool in a skip, cleaned it up and repainted the top black. When I bought our new BEKVAM stool a couple of weeks ago, I saw their potential and was prompted to give them both a little makeover. 

I did a lot of head scratching and googleing of IKEA hacks and I eventually decided to paint them light grey with black dip-dye legs. I like the dip-dye trend that all the cool people are trying out these days so I thought I’d try it for myself. And it looked meh. 

There are a couple of factors to consider here –

  • You can’t really tell from the above picture, but our / our landlords 10-year-old IKEA shelving is what I like to call IKEA ‘white‘. Which in fact is not white. Hence the italics and quotation marks. The shelves are a light shade of cream. So anything that isn’t progressively more yellow than them looks blue. Meaning, the light grey paint on the stools looks blue in front of the yellow, I mean white, shelves. 
  • The grey just wasn’t dark enough so while clashing with the shelves, the stools also blended into the background as well. Do you remember those eye puzzle posters that were huge in the 90’s? You’d stare at them and then all of a sudden a 3D image would pop out? That’s what happened to my stools when they were this colour. You didn’t really see them but once you do, you feel like reality has been altered ever so slightly. Not what I was going for. 
So back to the drawing board. I knew I wanted to go darker, but I didn’t want to go black. I went to my local hardware store, saw the Dulux Exterior SatinWood paint in ‘iron clad’ [sorry, no direct linkage available], and I couldn’t resist trying it out. Yes, it’s paint meant for front doors and the likes but I’ve got to say, this paint is kind of amazing. 

A couple of you had asked what I was hoping to use our new BEKVAM stool for. It’s really just to replace something else. I used to have a miniature chest in that spot [which you can see here] which as a secondary function housed all my extra yarn. I was getting tired of it and wanted something fresher, so I upgraded to the BEKVAM stool. “What an odd place to have a stool / miniature chest“, I hear you say. Well I haven’t let you in on its primary function as it’s there for one reason. Well, for two furry reasons. See that pinkish-lilac cushion up in our shelves? That’s one of Juniper and Toshi’s favourite cubbies and in order for them to climb into it, they need some assistance …  

Yep. I have a stool for our cats. I of course actually use the step stool, but while it’s not being used by humans, our cats get full use of it. p.s. I can’t handle how cute and curious Juniper looks in this picture. It’s like she’s inspecting my painting skills.

I’m so glad I used this paint as it dries so fast. I was able to paint two coats on both stools in an hour and that’s including drying time. They have a lovely satin finish and aren’t tacky to the touch like some paint can be. In fact, I was so enthusiastic that I repainted our entire bedroom dresser in it this morning. From start to finish with two coats of paint and dry within an hour. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

I know this makeover isn’t a monumental change to our living room, but it’s a little step. xx A

Blog hop

I was asked by the deeply lovely Maria of Dinki Dots to partake in a blog hop, as the young people like to call it these days. I’ve never taken part in one before, so I figured why not. It sounds like a good opportunity for a chillaxed blog post and something a little less ordinary to write about. You can check out Maria’s post here [I’m afraid mine will be nowhere as colourful or interesting]. So here goes … 


At the moment things aren’t as hectic as they were before our holidays, so I’m finding it weird to actually be able to work on stuff around our apartment again. It seems like forever since I had a project to work on at home. For the moment I’m hoping to work on … 
  • A number of DIYs that I have in mind for around our home, but the majority of them are in the beginning limbo stages where aspects of my ideas are still a bit shit. But I’m getting there.
  • Our bedroom is in a serious need of shzushzing. Which is probably why you don’t see many pictures of it. The lighting will play a key part and I have a pretty schnazzy DIY in store, so keep your eyes peeled.
  • A couple of weeks ago I picked up a BEKVAM step stool in IKEA [below]. As it happens, it pairs quite well with our salvaged bar stool so I’m thinking they might make quite the kick-ass statement duo. I just have to think of how to co-ordinate and fancy them up … Any ideas? UPDATE: you can check out their mini makeover here
  • There are a couple of small things still to do for #PicadoMexican, but I’m not complaining [totally not yet ready to cut the cord]. 


I actually resorted to asking my husband this question because I don’t think my work differs from others at all. So I asked him the above, and he replied with – 

Your website is sassy“, he said. “It’s got balls.” 


For the most part, I create things out of necessity. I know, groundbreaking stuff. A huge amount of my projects stem from me needing something, so I decide to create my own version of it or just upcycle something to fit what I need. An example would be my fancy footstool; I have quite short legs and I’ve noticed in recent years that because my legs don’t touch the ground when I sit on regular chairs, I get quite bad pains in my legs. I needed a stool for when I work at home so I kept my eyes [and my options] open, and I found an old, unloved stool in a charity shop and made it my own.


My creative process can be unpredictable which is something I really enjoy. I’ve been inspired by the most random of things – cheeseboards, leaves on a sidewalk, my husband snoring, putting away laundry, an episode of Murder She Wrote – you name it, it will trigger an idea. After that I’ll make note of my idea, usually just on a post-it in my agenda, I’ll think about it for a couple of days and after that if I’m still smitten with it, I’ll start a project. 

So that’s enough about me. Onto my nominated blogettes! …

Pat of In My Wheele House

I actually can’t remember how Pat and I crossed digital paths, but it was about 3 years ago. She’s Canadian, creative, not afraid to call it as it is and has a penchant for upcycling therefore we got along like a house on fire. Pat has a keen eye for design and is currently on her way to motherhood for the first time and I personally cannot wait to [vicariously live through her and] see what baby designs she has up her sleeve …

Janine of Steeped in Beautea 

I remember the first time Janine commented on my blog. She was the first person to have heard of me before from an IKEA hack I had blogged about years before, and for me that was a surreal experience considering she was on the other side of the world. Janine and I had a lot in common [dainty stuff + crazy cat ladies]. She was such a thoughtful person from the start. Even sending me messages full of tips and tricks on getting through the pain when I got my wisdom teeth out …  
Pat posted her blog hop blog post here! And Janine will be sharing her blog hop soon so be sure to check back laters  xx