Sunday, May 30, 2010

I've Got the Blues...

A few weeks ago I mentioned something I was lusting after, design-wise.  I had originally been thinking of a different colour, but once I received a comment from the lovely Rambling Renovators to think about a different colour, I couldn't get it out of my head!!  So this weekend, we decided to just go for it!!!

Here is the before - 

I had always thought we'd sand and re-stain the door, but it was actually in pretty terrible condition.  See below:


I guess years of bad weather and lack of proper care will take its toll on a wooden door.

So off to Home Depot we went (doesn't everyone do that on a Saturday night?).

This morning we filled holes and sanded. 

We taped:


I pulled out the paint - CIL exterior semi-gloss with some kind of triple weather protection (i.e. good marketing to make me choose it):

The paint was colour matched to Benjamin Moore's "Polo Blue":

And the painting began!!!



And here is the final product - still drying a bit and missing a few accessories, but I wanted to show you guys!!




So now the house is full of flies (can't close the door until it dries), and we want to add a few things (new kick-plate to protect the bottom of the door) and we are thinking about maybe cleaning the mail slot/door knocker etc. Plus we need to get a new urn with some nice flowers :-)

Anyways - I LOVE the colour! It is almost black looking from the inside (just like I wanted!) but it is definitely blue from the outside. I had thought the blue was a little bright for my liking on the outside, but I think it adds a nice pop of colour!

Hubs and I are now super keen on painting other interior doors. I can't get over the transformation from the inside:




That's all for now! Hope you had a great weekend!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

I don't know what this is...

But it is pretty funny!

Is it selling rugs? Lots of my fellow Toronto bloggers are on here. Am I the last to know?


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

So We Are Down to Two...

Hello friends, I'm back (yes, again!).

Hubby and I did a mad dash around the city to look at our patio furniture and we have narrowed it down to the following two:

1. Gluckstein #1 (from the first round)

And #2 - a mix of Ikea pieces including the Applaro drop leaf table and the Tobias chair:

We tried the Ikea Urban chair (as you can see in the background) but the white chair was already pretty grotty so we got worried.

Upside to the Ikea set is the expandability of the table (can seat 8-10) and it is wood.

Upside to the Gluckstein set is the stackable chairs and the simple, durable look.

Hmm...I have a favourite and my husband favours the other.

Can you guess what one we each like? What is your favourite?


The Backyard May be in Shambles...

But with a birthday just passed, we are planning on celebrating with a family bbq on the weekend. Of course, we don't have a dining set out there so we are on the hunt.

Here are some options - what do you think?

#1 - Gluckstein from the Bay

Pros: Simple, chairs are stackable, can hose it down if/when it gets dirty or dusty
Cons: Chairs aren't very comfortable.

#2 Also Gluckstein from the Bay

Pros: Comfy, made of steel so should last a while, I like the pattern on the back of the chairs, chairs stack
Cons: Have to deal with cushions (taking on/off, fading etc)

#3 - from Making it Lovely and Ikea- brought to my attention by a lovely Toronto blogger:

Pros: Wood table, can be extended to seat 10, simple, chairs stack, a little more interesting
Cons: Wood fades (although hubby says we can take care of that), chairs may not be as comfortable for guests like my parents.

Anyways I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts - we are definitely open to suggestion so if you have anything else to add to the mix, let me know!


Monday, May 24, 2010

How to Install a Stolmen Closet System

Before deciding on and purchasing the Stolmen closet system from Ikea, I did a lot of research. A lot of googling (is that a word?). I thought that I had it all figured out.

I was wrong.

Anyways, in an attempt to help others who are interested in this system, I thought I'd put together a little step-by-step on how to (or how not to) install the Stolmen system.

Step 1. Research - there are quite a few photos on the web of different configurations so search around to get ideas.

Step 2. Measure.  Figure out the size of the wall/area you have to work with. Take things like baseboards into consideration.

Step 3. Configure. Make a plan of how you want it set up - do you want drawers? Hanging rods? Shelving?

Step 4. Realize that the sizes that Ikea gives you are NOT accurate. Sure they have the right measurements hidden in a special pamphlet that only an Ikea stalker like myself might find, but most people won't find that. And most Ikea sales reps don't know either. So they will sell you an entire system based on the web measurements and nothing will fit. Like seriously.  What the web says is 110cm wide is actually 117 cm once you add in the vertical poles etc.  If you are going to get Stolmen, HERE is the special assembly guide that is not so easy to find.

Step 5. Go home and measure again.  Try not to say things like "we are only 2 cms off - it's Ikea, I'm sure they aren't accurate" or "maybe we can trim the particle board shelves".

Step 6. Go to Ikea midweek when it won't be so busy. Realize that since they aren't busy midweek, they cut down on staff and there is no one to help. Let the rage start building until finally your lovely husband tracks someone down. Someone who doesn't understand the measurements. Someone who puts you into a panic saying that it is being discontinued. Thanks, Ikea lady.  Gather up all the parts and struggle through the self-checkout. Why, oh why do I want to check myself out?

Step 7. Start by putting up the vertical poles - they run floor to ceiling and use a really AMAZING itty bitty Ikea wrench to make them extend and put pressure on the ceiling to hold in place. Thanks Ikea for that one. Really made it easy on us.

Step 8. Realize that yes, being 2 cms off WILL cause a problem and NO you can't just "trim the particle board shelving" to make everything fit.

Step 9. Take the poles down. Use the itty bitty wrench to loosen them and move them to their new positions. Realize that won't work either and sit back and think again.

Step 10. Figure out a new plan and realize that I don't have enough pieces. Go back to Ikea and this time go straight to aisle ten and just buy the pieces and go...check myself out. Ugh. It is like they don't even staff the regular check out lines!

Step 11. Start again. Put up one pole. Measure. Pole two. Level. Attach one of the clothing rods to ensure they are the right distance apart. Level again.  Start to hate the level.

Step 12. Realize there is a good reason that while Ikea didn't give you the right measurements, they were right in including the little symbol of two stick people, indicating this job will take two people to put together.

Steps 13-20. Continue spacing out the poles, using the itty bitty wrench and the annoying level.  Try not to get frustrated and snap when the level tells you things are straight but your eye tells you things aren't.

Step 21. Sit back and marvel at your and your husband's handiwork.  Be grateful that you didn't even fight during the process.

More dressing room fun to come!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's a Pretty Special Day!

On this day, many moons ago, an amazing little boy was born and that amazing boy turned into a pretty amazing man who a year and a half ago became a wonderful, loving and incredible husband.

So to the husband who not only let me turn a bedroom into a closet, but actually helped me put it all together, and who takes the garbage out every. single. week. because I don't want to do it, and who will sit in hours of traffic just to take me to Ikea...

Love you cutie!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Backyard Progress

My husband has been working on this garage project in his mind for months.  Planning it out, getting ideas, talking to people.  And it has finally started! As you recall, our backyard was ripped to shreds last week. We had someone come in and level the backyard in preparation for the concrete pad that will eventually go under the garage. Since they were coming anyways (and this was the last chance for such a project) they pulled up the existing pathway so that it could be installed properly with screening etc so that weeds won't grow through between the stones.

So once it was ripped up, hubby and his brother lugged some of the lovely stones to create a garden bed around two of the trees on the South side of the yard:

Eventually, we will build some more garden beds and attempt to grow grass along the sides. Yes, grass. In a super shady, super skinny backyard.

But husband wants grass. I guess it is a guy thing where he feels like grass really proves he is a home owner with some land. Doesn't the mortgage do that?! Anyways - who am I to deny a man his grass when he allows me to have an ENTIRE ROOM to get dressed in :-) Love you honey!

So yesterday a tree stump was removed:

And finally, the start of the garage has been installed!!

Over the next week, there will be a lot of progress (hopefully!) - electrical, gravel and then concrete!!

Anyhoo - this weekend will bring another update to the dressing room - I can't say that it will be complete, but enough to do some proper pictures for you guys!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dressing Room Adventures Part #3 - Ch-Ch - Change of Plans!

So where are we so far?

Oh right, after prepping the room and realizing that it is not paste the wall as I had hoped, I found out that the Graham and Brown paper that I had ordered had massive flaws on every roll and I had a minor meltdown.

So there I was, fighting the urge to throw things and cursing the fact that I am an emotional person who can't hide it (thanks a lot, tears) and I felt pretty hopeless.

The site where I ordered the paper ( was closed for the weekend as was Graham and Brown. Granted, there was nothing I could do since I knew they couldn't send me 5 new rolls in the next few hours.

My dad, in an attempt to avoid the meltdown, started calling around town to see if anyone local stocked wallpaper other than Home Depot and Lowes (since I'd already looked there). He found one place and we all piled into the car to check it out.

Yes, I was still pissed.

Of course, the route there took us up Avenue Road which for some reason had no less than THREE cranes blocking the road. I swear it took us 45 minutes to get there. It should have taken all of 15.

So the store did stock wallpaper, but you can't go from the paper I had chosen to some random 19.99 per roll paper and think it is an even trade.  We were clearly barking up the wrong tree.

What does a frustrated DIY'er do with a prepped room, a house in shambles, a tight timeline and a full car of people ready to work?


I couldn't take a 3 week wait to get started again - so we decided that we would paint the room and if in a few months I still dream of wallpaper, we could do it then.

Off to Benjamin Moore we went, and I came out with a can of the girliest colour I could find that didn't make me feel like it would be a nursery.

Introducing.....SANCTUARY by Benjamin Moore.

Here is a photo of it in the room with part of the closet system up - it is definitely purple, but has a strong grey undertone to it so that makes me happy!!

So the closet that is in the room (the closet in the closet :-) used to look like this:

It was put together for the previous owners' baby so my tops couldn't actually hang properly (or maybe it is from the 'baby tee' era?). So my handy husband took everything down, filled the holes and prepped it for its new use:

We (and by we I mean my husband) put up some pine quarter round to serve as brackets for the new shelving:

As I had already spent too much for the room, I tried to stay budget friendly on the shelving and picked up some laminated mdf from Home Depot - each piece was just over $8 and I needed 2 to make these four shelves:

I know they don't look evenly spaced but I assure you they are - measuring a million times says so!

I'm going to use these shelves for all of my folded gear - jeans and tshirts etc.  I thought I would take the door off but I think it will be nice to have one spot that doesn't have to be perfectly tidy all the time.

So anyways - that's all for now :-) It is a bit of a mish-mash of a post but I'd left you guys hanging for a while and I wanted to update you!

Next up - the stolmen system is up after some slight modifications and the drapes have been installed. Can't wait to show you the finished product!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

High and Low

Hubby and I saw that awesome mirror when driving home from Ikea this weekend (oh lord - was anyone else trying to get across the city this weekend with the Gardiner? Remind me to NEVER do that again!!) and since we were driving so slowly, we pulled over so I could check it out.

It was $240 and I loved it. Not sure for where, but I loved it!!

Then today while I was in the Winners at Yonge and College looking for boxes and baskets for the dressing room (which I didn't find) and I found these and they had to come home with me!!

$19.99 each!! They had another set in a bronze colour that I actually preferred but couldn't figure out where I could make that colour work.

Oh how I love Winners (same company as Home Goods in the States for the US readers!).

I'm thinking of stacking them in the master bedroom or in the front hallway - will figure it out eventually. This isn't the first time I've come home with mirrors with no clue on where they will end up!!

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend! We did lots of work on the dressing room so more info on that coming soon!!


Friday, May 14, 2010

It Gets Worse Before it Gets Better, Right?


And currently:


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dressing Room Adventures Part #2 - The Wallpapering Begins (or does it?!)

So here we are - Saturday morning of the wallpaper weekend.  My parents arrive carrying wallpapering tools, a sewing machine and other assorted home reno goodies.  I couldn't believe this was finally happening!!

Sure - the whole 'paste the paper' issue was still there, but I'd kind of just accepted it and realized the day would be long and hard but so worth it.

Now here is where the whole thing gets. so. darn. fun.

You know how there is always that part in a movie where there is a slow motion montage of the main character's face when he/she realized that his girlfriend has been cheating (and he's missed all the signs) or that his life will never be the same? Or that scene in the Simpsons where you can see the moment Ralph's heart broke?

Well the next step in the wallpapering process felt a bit like that.

I should tell you first that my dad is a very straight guy. Professional. Mature. Intelligent.  He would NEVER do what he did as I was running down the stairs to get the camera to document the process for the blog as the first piece was about to be cut.

Dad: SH*T.
Janice: (stops dead in her tracks). What. (Insert moment of panic - Dad NEVER swears).

Dad: There's a ????.
Janice: (Not able to hear because he is CLEARLY whispering). A WHAT?
Dad: (clears throat). A flaw.
Janice: A flaw in what?
Dad: The wallpaper.
Janice: (runs up the stairs two at a time).

Seriously people. I didn't even know what a flaw in the wallpaper was! I get into the room and see 3 long anxious faces waiting for the impending doom of my reaction.

3 anxious faces and this:

Ummm yeah. Can you see that? That lightened area on the right? Yeah. That is a flaw. That is a pretty big flippin flaw.

Maybe we can just trim that part off right? Sure I might be short in wallpaper, but I can live with that as long as I get most of it done this weekend.

Enter roll #2. 

Roll #2 is a close relative to roll #1, but he's like the unathletic dorky brother of the captain of the football team.  What a let down.

Since I don't want to censor myself on here and always intend to give full disclosure, let's just say I only opened one more roll (that's 3 of 5) before the tears started.  These are the dark days of DIY home decor.

I think I did well - I cried a little (so embarrassing to say) but as you know, I had been planning this for MONTHS and everything culminated in this weekend. However on the inside, I wanted to throw things. I wanted to call the supplier and have an absolute, uncalled for conniption on whatever poor soul happened to answer the phone. Luckily for that person (and for me), both the seller and the supplier don't work weekends. 

This is probably why.

I wondered whether this could be my fault in any way. I checked the batch numbers (they all matched). I kept them in their packaging so as not to damage the paper/bend it/rip it. I did everything I could so that my wallpaper weekend would go smoothly.

Guess I didn't realize I should open up each roll to check for flaws. 

This was the beginning of a bad day. And it was only 9:15 in the morning.

Next up - phone calls, mad dash through crazy traffic and a decision. Stay tuned!