Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fireplace Overhaul Reader Styles!

After posting pictures of our painted fireplace, one of my newer readers commented giving me some suggestions on what else would look great (i.e. COLOUR!). Unfortunately, this was a quick fix for us using leftover trim paint, so repainting wasn’t an option. However, the reader (Jackie from McKinney, Texas) sent me some great pictures of her fireplace makeover! She has graciously agreed to let me post them because I think it looks fabulous (and makes me wish I’d seen them before painting ours!)!

Here is Jackie's before shot:

And here are her incredible afters!:

Doesn't that look great?! I never even contemplated using a dark colour (like the dark grey she used) but I think it would have been a perfect option in our room. I think the grey really makes Jackie's accessories pop, don't you agree?

Thanks Jackie for the great idea!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Weekend Project Pictures

This weekend we had very big, exciting plans!  Projects around the house!! :)

Project #1: Fireplace

We have a non-working fireplace in our formal living room. While it is definitely nice to have, it was tiled with leftover bathroom tile that was not our taste. Case and point:

Pretty rough, non? Anyways - down the road we would like to actually redo the fireplace all together but in the meantime, we figured a little DIY would keep us happy. So we decided to slap on a little primer:

And then some paint:

It isn't perfect but we didn't have the time, knowledge or patience to fix all the cracks in the bricks etc but I like it!! Not as much pink tile and this will keep me happy until it is time to properly redo it.

How we did it:

1. Clean: we cleaned the tile with a solution of water and TSP. We tried to clean the interior brick as well, but some of it crumbled.

2. Prime: We primed the tile using Zinniser Bullseye 1-2-3 which went on really easily. We used a shellac based spray primer on the inside to try to seal it up for painting.

3. Get high from fumes: Spray painting inside your house is not as easy as it sounds when you are getting light headed.

4. Let Dry: Nuff said.

5. Paint: We used our leftover BM Cloud White on the tile which was perfect. We actually bought spray paint for the inside but it didn't work so well so we just used a brush and the Cloud White and it worked fine. Wasn't great on the crumbling mortar so I took it easy on those spots.

And that's that! A quick fix for a bit of an eyesore. Once we get what we are looking for as accents on the mantle, we'll take a nice, sunny picture. For now the dark "we never finish projects early in the day" photo will have to do.

Annnnd a teaser for what is coming! Remember this Craigslist buy?

:) Until next time!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lookie What We Have Here :-)

I will let the photos do the talking:

Yay!! It is our dining room furniture (almost all of it anyways). One of the chairs was slightly damaged by customs so the vendor took it to be fixed and gave us a comfy Martine style chair to try out in case we want to get them as end chairs. You can see that one here at the end.

We are so pleased with the furniture. The quality is wonderful and we are happy with the customizations that we requested. We had our table made slightly thinner than the norm so it fit a bit better into our room and we are glad we did. On top of it the customer service has been incredible.  Between the loaner table at Christmas to ensuring that everything was absolutely perfect, Christine's Custom Furniture really went above and beyond.

You'll see that the layout of the room makes it challenging to centre everything.  Yes, the set is probably a bit large for the room (if you include the sideboard) but we wanted to buy for the future as well - not just what fits in this room. So unfortunately the table can't be centred under the chandelier.  If it weren't for the medallion we could consider moving the light but I think we'll just have to live with it.

The chairs have removable cushions so we can recover them down the road if we want.

Next up, mirror over the sideboard and some art :-) Can't wait! Any suggestions?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Craigslist Purchase - Pics!

So we did it - after about a 45 minute drive, we picked this lovely item up:

Isn't she purdy? This is what we are going to use for our tv/media stand. We aren't exactly sure how we are going to rig it up, but the centre drawers are big enough to fit our stuff, however I'd have to get something like this to be able to use the remote control: Remote Control Extender.

Here is a picture that shows that this girl has curves!

We are starting the overhaul this weekend, so stay tuned!!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Dressing Room Plans - Again!

Yes, that's right. I haven't done anything with my dressing room yet. It is currently still filled with boxes (gasp!) and a disaster of clothes and makeup. Sigh.

So after giving myself a shake, I've made some (sort of) final decisions.

One of the things I'm used to doing is living temporary. You know how it is - you rent with a view to owning one day and never want to buy anything that is expensive because it might not fit your mythical first house. Or you don't want to do any renovations/work because you can't take it with you.

Then you buy this mythical first house. Yes! Time to start doing all of the things you never could do while renting.

Of course once you have this house, you start thinking about the future. What about resale? Babies? Will someone else like what we've done?

Then you end up living temporarily again. Living in a way that you can easily pick up and leave, right?

Well - I've decided to stop! I looked at my dressing room and decided that I actually wanted a proper-ish one. I'm going to make one whole wall like a true closet to hold all of my clothes!!!! I can just imagine walking in - it will be like a big walk in closet!!

However, in true non-committal fashion, I've decided to go with Ikea's "Stolmen" line of closet stuff. It is neat because it is based off of extendable poles that use tension (and very few screws) to go from floor to ceiling and then you put in the cross bars/shelving etc.

Here is an idea of what I'm going to do:

I'm so pumped about it! Sure - it isn't cheap with all of those types of options and add ons, but it will let me have a dream room AND I can take it with me if we ever move!!! Although I bet the next buyers might want to keep it ;-)

Here is my paint version of the layout (don't laugh!):

Any input on the layout?

As far as colour goes - I still think I'd like to have wallpaper on a wall eventually, but I think I'm going to hold out for now because I can't find one that I like that isn't 150 a roll!!

Any colour suggestions? What about (gasp) all white? Like white white?  Or am I still good with lavender (haven't found a good version yet).

The one wrench in this plan is the chair. My parents were really nice and bought me a chair for Christmas from Bombay that is a beige neutral fabric. Is that a problem?

I know I'm all over the place - just looking for suggestions!!!


Monday, January 11, 2010

TV Stand Option

What do you guys think of doing something like this:

We'd paint it of course - but what do you think of using something like this to bring in a more traditional look? Our couch is pretty modern but we'd like to have a good mix of modern and Victorian. What do you think?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The New Year Just Began and I'm in a House Funk Already!!

I think that I am paralyzed by options. I know that I am not a true designer at heart and because of that, I can't commit to anything house related these days and end up just staring at the wall wondering what to do.

Case and point - the family room. We have a couch, a rug and a tv. So everything that you NEED to actually use the space, but not everything we need to make it have the feel that I want!

I can't figure out what kind of piece of furniture the TV should sit on, or should we mount it? What about paint? Side chairs? Tables? GAH!

Because I don't know what to do, I end up doing nothing. I imagine that is better than rushing the job and feeling unhappy with it, but I sort of wish it would just magically be taken care of!

You'll see in this post what our room looks like (sans rug). Not much has changed since then.

Anyways - I'll throw a bone out there and see what you guys think - what do you think we should do with our tv? It is a flat screen and is currently sitting on a black/brown Debbie Travis stand that holds our stereo/PS3 etc.  I am pretty over that black/brown modern stuff right now, especially since our house is so traditional, so I'd love to get rid of it.

The room is open concept with the kitchen:


So I'm not sure if that changes what you think I should do with the tv placement.

And yes, the tv must stay :-)


Sunday, January 3, 2010

So here is the Plan for 2010

I can't believe it is 2010!! Amazing how the years keep flying by and I never get older ;-)  I've been doing some thinking about what 2010 will hold for me and our little family, and came up with a few ideas for both me and our home!

1. Run a 5K race: Hubs and I took the "Learn to Run" clinic at the Running Room and I successfully got to the point where I could run 2 sets of 10 minutes with only 1 minute recovery in between. However that is where it stopped. The weather turned and I have no interest in running outside in this weather!  So in 2010, I will get my sh&% together and run a 5K race. Anyone interested in joining me?

2. Build a Garage: This is really my husband's goal, but I figured I would put it here since this is primarily a blog about our home.  We live in a row house with laneway access to our backyard parking, and are planning on building a 1.5 car garage back there. I can't wait to just press a button and drive into our nice, warm-ish garage. This is a plan for the spring but we'll see :-) I'm hoping for one that looks like this:

3. Start saving for our eventual bathroom renovation: We are planning on doing a full renovation on our bathroom to turn it into one with a separate tub and shower with a tub that is deep enough to cover me when I'm in it!  The one that is in there now is super shallow and not a good soaking tub.  We may even take down the wall to the next door laundry room and combine them somehow. I saw that once in Style at Home and it was pretty sweet.

4. Paint the family room and purchase arm chairs and tv stand.

5. Refinish the front door and the french doors for the vestibule: Our front door is pretty beat up looking, so in the summer we are planning on stripping it and refinishing it. The house also came with narrow french doors that go right in the front hall - we think that putting them up will get rid of some of the draft that we get from the front door. They are pretty gunked up with paint, so we are going to strip them and repaint.

6. Become more efficient at work: Sometimes it takes me longer than it should to complete tasks, so I'd like to work on that. As I become more knowledgeable, I'm sure the work will be completed quicker, but I need to focus on that for sure.

7. Appreciate my family and friends more: I have pretty awesome friends and family and I feel like I should step back more often and realize how lucky I am and how amazing they all are.

8. Drink more water: I am a perpetual camel. I don't drink. I barely even feel thirst. I must start drinking more water this year FOR REAL. Maybe if I bought one of those cute carafe/glass thingies that you can buy at Crate and Barrel or Anthro I'd be motivated to drink ;-)

Anyways - that's about it for now. Hopefully I am successful this year!!  


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Holiday Follow-Up

I hope that everyone had a great holiday! As it is coming to a close (I head back to work on Monday), I figured I would give everyone a run-through of how the holidays went in our home.

On the Wednesday before Christmas, the lovely husband of our dining room furniture seller arrived at the house bearing gifts. And when I say gifts, I mean it!!  He made TWO trips from Markham to bring everything, and we finally had the table and 10 chairs for Christmas. Phew!!  I sent him home with some homemade peppermint bark as a thank you, knowing that it wasn't enough considering he all but saved Christmas for us!!

On Thursday (Christmas eve), hubs and I spent the day grocery shopping, picking up the MASSIVE 24 pound turkey from Fresh From the Farm on Donlands and hitting up the LCBO. We unpacked boxes and boxes of china and silverware that was packed in the basement for the past year and gave everything a good clean.

Friday - Christmas Day!!! We woke up late and each opened up a gift (we both bought ourselves sweaters/sweatshirts so we opened those to wear around the house as we prepped), and then got to work!!  I made the stuffing, stuffed the turkey, realized that stuffing a turkey is GROSS, put the turkey in the oven, prepped the veggies, and set the table.

Here is a picture my sister took while we were getting dinner ready:

You can see our old non-matching chair here at the end - we had 12 adults sitting at the table and luckily the table was wide enough to fit 2 at each end so we could all sit together without adding an extension.

The table cloth is from Home Sense - I know that the pattern might be overdone from a design standpoint, but I still like it and I liked the idea of having a festive looking table cloth that was specifically "Christmas" and this one fit the bill.  I had originally gone looking for a white cloth, but had a hard time finding one that wasn't ridiculously expensive.

And FYI - we bought our cloth napkins at the Loblaws superstore - I think the ended up being $2 a piece which is CHEAP and they are really nice. Plus you can just bleach them when they get dirty!

I ran out of time to get table cards, so I improvised and pulled ornaments off the tree and wrote everyone's names on them. Since the ornaments were round and wouldn't stay still, I put them on everyone's soup spoons :-)

Centrepieces were put together by my mom - she loves doing them and only got marginally frustrated when I changed our colour scheme at the last second (ahem - 3 days before Christmas).


Hours later, we had 14 people in our house including 2 cute kids and I can say that it went off pretty well. Yes, I have now realized that Christmas doesn't "just happen" like it seemed to when I was a kid. But I also learned that turkey isn't so tough to cook and that 14 people can fit in a house that is only 15 feet wide!

Anyways - I hope everyone else had a great Christmas and New Years!