A niche in the black market


Hey all.

Time for a real life blog post again. Well kind of real life.

And there are not actually black market goods in this post however I did whip out some black paint and make a niche black so that title still makes sense.

So let's get to how all this started.

I have a condition.

It's called February-itis.

{this happened in February technically so let's roll with it}

Hits every year like clockwork.

I start getting gnarly about being in the house (even though I leave it daily but not for prolonged periods of porch hanging, garden digging time)

Therefore, I start ripping closets apart, working on projects, amidst the chaos of running 2 businesses, and chasing a 2 year old. I spend a lot more time with music in the background and consciously making myself walk away from the tv that is like a friggin drug this time of year.

Trevor and I were "attempting" to watch a movie 2 weeks ago and I couldn't even focus on the screen because my inner nutter was mentally ripping apart our basement and changing things, throwing things out and changing pillows etc.

Let me also preface this blog post by saying that there was nothing wrong with our space. We love it. It is our cozy room. We are often down here hiding from the world watching Emma run in circles, listening to records and discussing life the way people do. Or don't they anymore? I don't know, it's what works for us.


Also, if you have followed the blog part of this business for the length of time it has run you know our basement has flooded not once but twice so we have had to put this baby back together a couple times [to never be done again as we have back ups for our back ups down here now]. Putting a space back together and not breaking the bank while knowing exactly what you'll use the space for is a challenge many face.

Anyways, long winded way to say I threw all the textiles in the middle of the floor on a Monday night, ripped the shelves out of the niche, sorted our stuff that was in the niche [this niche held dvds from the previous owner and it's a wierd space but we decided to keep it. During the movie I wasn't paying attention to, one option going through my head was drywalling over it and making it a normal wall again. That option obviously didn't end up winning.

I also removed 7 pieces of furniture from the space. Chairs, trunks, occasional tables etc. I had a lineup going down the hall. Trev just came downstairs and shook his head. I was grooving to a Willie Nelson record [yup I can sometimes be that person] and had the room torn apart.

The above is where I landed after a couple nights of picking away at things. I changed out the textiles to make them more neutral and cohesive. Put all the main furniture in one space and got rid of many small items. I run a retail store, smalls are a thing but I think because I deal with it on a daily basis in the shop I needed some areas of our home space to just be clean and non-stuff-y. Whether you're a stuff person or not a stuff person is entirely based on personality I think, and agreeing on what you want to see in your space.


 For those that are newer here, the giant media unit was Trevor's grandfathers that I stripped down through so many layers of varathane it was ridiculous and that beast looks perfectly old to us now. It holds our records and some of Trevor's favourite old trophies on top. We have had the wine press since we moved in here 10 years ago and hauled that beast out of a tiny war time house to give it a new home here. It's heavier than hell and likely never moving again.

 The notable change that started this process was me wanting to clean up the niche as I mentioned. I tore everything out, patched the holes and got to rolling. Couple of nights of painting and it went to black. Without a lot of things in it, the black doesn't feel like a dark hole but more like a giant frame of art.


 And Murphy came to live with us. I know taxidermy isn't for everyone as I've mentioned here before but this handsome gentleman had a plaque on him just like the one in the shop. He is over 80 years old and the time to be upset over him has passed. He was destined for the dump and that was not going to happen if I had my say. This majestic creature now looks over our basement. I added a gold frame around him almost like a fancy collar crown.

I also added a row of antique books to the bottom of the niche to make it feel more like an art piece.



 Just a little reminder of where we were "kind of" before. This photo is from a couple of years ago but I haven't really done many non-Christmas tours down here lately. It was more to show how the niche was previously with shelves of collectables.


 And now since we are down here, how about a little wandering tour of the rest of the space as well?

This is the view you see when you come through the door from our hallway. The doors are a closet and a storage room. There is NO natural light in our basement. No windows of any kind. Our own personal hollow if you will. It does make taking photos a little interesting as I have to work with the glare of recessed lighting.

Yes that phone works.


Trevor always wanted a vintage map so this one went up a couple years ago in front of a very old green couch. The perfect old couch green that allows us extra seating when people are over.

The champagne bucket is actually our scented candle in the basment. I put it in there to keep it away from little fingers [although she never touches stuff like that. Hot, no touchy.] but it is a simple thing to make the candle look a little special.




 The black naga and x mudcloth. X mudcloth is part of our newest collection releasing next week but the black can be found HERE.


 Can't have a room in our home without at least one of my creepy old people prints. This lady has been put away for awhile because I couldn't find anywhere to put her but she looks right at home here. 

The old portraits are one of my collections. There are so many upstairs and I love them. I'm on the hunt for antique oil painting ones now for myself and a couple customers that have them on request.



 This table is on the back half of the basement. We often eat meals down here and can watch movies at the same time with the view to the tv. I painted the table years ago with Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Artissimo.

You can also see a theme down here I suppose. If you personally know us then there isn't much doubt of who lives in this space.

Antiques, nature, motorcycles, jeeps, music, and travel. Just a few of our loves.

The huge stack of suitcases hold all our basement Christmas decorations.



 This mini bike was Trevor's moms first bike then Trevor's. He used to ride it through the orchards when I met him scaring the birds away from the fruit as part of his chores.


The view into the bathroom with our massive birch tree mural.



Oh, I also love gnomes. There are a couple cuties hiding in this bathroom. I nailed that old trespassing sign on a tree in the mural to make it look like a real forest.







Well thanks for visiting today everyone and I hope you enjoy your day.

Welcome to the Oliver and Rust blog. This blog is written by Meg and includes tales of the renovations of her home and the shop she owns in Fonthill, Ontario. This blog goes back eight years before the shop was born if you are in the mood for reading, photos and some funny stories. The home you see and the decor inside belongs to Meg, her husband Trevor. If you are new here, welcome. We are glad you stopped by.



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