Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Some Call it "Charm"

I hear it all the time - that old houses have "charm". It is this charm that makes an old house special. The mouldings, the ceiling medallions, the plaster baseboards and the stained glass.  All "charm".

I love the charm of my home most of the time. I definitely play it up when people ask me about my house, and I do like looking at it myself.

But painting all that fancy moulding? NOT fun. Dealing with the super bumpy plaster walls? Also not fun.

The newest bit of 'charm' on the list are the two sets of extremely narrow stairs.

Yep - it isn't even the nasty carpet that is bothering me about these bad boys.

It is the fact that they are causing issues with our bathroom renovation!!

Case and point - we are hoping to get a really lovely freestanding tub like the one Sarah Richardson used this week on Sarah 101:

Thanks to the 'charm' of our house, we have a few issues. First, we have to fit this (or a similar) beast upstairs. As we have learned from the washer/dryer fiasco, we have at the very most, 27". Most tubs will fit just fine if we turn them on their sides, but all of the tubs that go up on the ends (like the one above) seem to be over 27".

Second, these tubs are BIG, yo! Their capacities tend to be 75-100 gallons (which is SO much water!), but our hot water tank is only 50 gallons.

That should be easy enough to fix, right? It isn't. 

Thanks to our extremely narrow stairs down to the basement, the 50 gallon tank is the biggest one we can get. Amazing. We had someone come over to look at whether a tankless unit would work for us, but it sounds like there are significant venting issues thanks to our charming house being a charming rowhouse. 

So now I don't really know what to do. I honestly can't live with a tub that I can't fill with hot water to soak in. I love taking baths and a lukewarm soak doesn't work for me. 

I don't want to say I'm back to the drawing board, but I think the 100 gallon tub that I finally found a good price for is probably out of the question. 

So there you have it - old houses definitely have lots of charm :-)


Scenes From the Toronto Home Show

Did anyone else head out to the Toronto Home Show this weekend? We went on Monday to celebrate Family Day (haha) with the free tickets I received from HomeSav

I must say - I always forget that there is a large contingency of theses types of shows that is aimed at selling me gadgets.  I am not usually taken by these things, but a very important person in my life (ahem, that's you, babe)*** is often sucked in by the great sales pitches. This year was no different, but I was successful in keeping everyone walking right by.

However, this was my first time meeting the Vitamix team. It wasn't my first time hearing about the blender - my friend K has one and I'm pretty certain she loves hers - but it was my first time seeing the sales pitch. These guys are GOOD. I was certain my husband was going to buy one until we heard the price.

Not saying that it isn't worth it (because the juice I had was ah-mazing), but MAN am I glad we are heading into a renovation so that Vitamix money wasn't balled up in J's hand ready to buy the whole kit and kaboodle!

The good part about the show is that we were able to see a bunch of tub and tile places all under one roof. A lot of them seemed to have good "show" prices but I'm pretty sure we should be able to get similar deals after the fact so it was good to see the discounted prices. 

Here are some Iphone pics I snapped as we walked around. Sweet tubs, non? We talked to a guy at Canorama who was actually really great so I think we will check out their showroom next week.

Enough blabbing - here are the pics!







That last picture was a great find - it is close to what we were thinking for the shower wall in our bathroom.

Did anyone else go to the show? See anything great?

***to be fair, I did get sucked in by the Urad leather cleaner/polish. How could I say no after that nice lady cleaned my boots?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Washer and Dryer!

...was not installed. Awesome.

Here is the story. We live in an old house. It was built when people lived with less and were content to be in smaller spaces.

They were probably skinnier too, considering our stairs are 28 inches wide.

Our new washer and dryer set are 27" wide. Seems like it would be a tight fit but our existing washer and dryer are 27" wide, so I thought everything would be fine.

I was wrong.

The delivery guys showed up on Sunday and went upstairs, muttering "this is going to be tight". They unhooked our existing washer and dryer and took the washer downstairs.


Good news right? If it can come down, for sure the new one can get up!

Wrong again.

Basically, the delivery guys started going upstairs with it, felt it get a bit tight (so that they'd have to raise it up a bit to get up) and they said no - that it was too dangerous.

Back down it came.

Of course now we are in a bit of a pickle.

Here is our dryer:


And here is our washer:


And here is our new washer and dryer:

That's right - the delivery/installation guys wouldn't take our washer back upstairs. So we are actually worse off than we were at the start of the day.

We talked to the delivery company and they are going to send out some more guys to get the unit upstairs. There is no doubt it is a tight fit, but if ours can come down the stairs, the new ones can definitely go up - just needed a bit more (strong) manpower.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend (or at least better than mine!)- if you see a frustrated looking girl at the laundromat this week, stop and say hi.


Monday, February 21, 2011

If You Had to Pick Just One...

Our bathtub hunt continued this weekend and I'd love to get your opinions on these! They are all made out of solid surface acrylic resin (or something like that!) so they are heavy and all one piece.

What do you think?

Screen shot 2011-02-20 at 11.50.19 PM

** No promises that the winner will be picked :-) Hubs and I are debating which one is the best for our bathroom reno.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Just a Quick Peek...

...into what we've been up to this weekend!!

Tubs and Tiles

Victoria + Albert "Ios"

Tubs and Tiles

Hope your weekend plans weren't ruined by the terrible weather!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Family Day Weekend!!

There is a bunch of special stuff going on this weekend!! 

Today is this little munchkin's birthday:

(She looks so old now that she had her hair cut**)

Kate (one of my awesome nieces) turned the big THREE today :-) We are having a special birthday breakfast party on Saturday and I can't wait!

Happy birthday Kate!! Everyone says that we looked a lot alike as babies. What do you think?

Obviously, I'm the one on the left on the crazy plaid couch :-)

Monday is Family Day here in Ontario, so hubs and I are heading to the Home Show (haha). Between now and then there will be lots of bathroom shopping and the installation of our new washer and dryer!!

Just in case you forgot what they look like:


I can't wait!! 

So everyone out there - have a great Family Day and enjoy the long weekend!!

**The haircut was as a result of an impromptu "salon" session conducted by her older (and very adorable) sister in the basement. I can tell you, I don't think anyone was too pleased when my sister found a big pile of cut Kate-hair on the basement floor. Her new cut is pretty cute though!**

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Final Fabric Update

So get this - I just phoned InVu to order the fabric (FINALLY!! the audience cried), and while I was on the phone, I convinced the woman to tell me who made it.

"Covington Fabrics" she said.

(Janice jumps on the internet to google it)

Oh yea, that says 24.00 per yard. TWENTY-FOUR.  That is almost half the price of InVu.

My inner cheap-skate died a little when I saw the "special order only - 15 yard minimum" note on there.

Anyways - I feel vindicated that I have finally found it and finally ordered it. One had nothing to do with the order, but at least I can finally say "THIS SEARCH IS O.V.E.R."

The End.

PS This better look GOOD on those damn Craigslist chairs.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

PS - Fabric Update

I'm still fabric-less in the family room for the Craigslist chairs, but lookie what I saw in Elle Decor as I did a quick flip:

Elle Decor

Now, it isn't the colour, but it is DEFINITELY the fabric.  Sure, I can't find it STILL online, but I felt pretty vindicated that a) I found it, and b) it is in Elle freakin' Decor this month - I MUST be on to something.

Reminder about what the holy grail of houndstooth fabric looked like:

(scurries off to phone InVu to order the full-priced fabric)

You're So Vain...

(anyone think of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days when the song "You're So Vain" pops into your head? Oh wait - it's just me? Great.)

All of this bathroom talk has me thinking about vanity - I mean, vanities. I think this is going to be one of the items that will be the hardest to choose, the most expensive and probably cause the most grief.


a) I'm picky;
b) I abhorr making decisions, especially when they are somewhat permanent; and
c) I have no clue what I'm doing.

We have limited space for the vanity to fit - approximately 60 inches (maybe a few more but nothing is certain at this point). 60 inches is actually on the small side for a double vanity IMO so this is tough.

After looking at picture after picture, the one I keep coming back to is this:


This is from one of Candace Olson's transformations - isn't she so friggin talented? She's done a similar vanity in another renovation:

Bathroom Inspiration

I'm not sure what it is I like about this. It is definitely more modern than what I always had loved from Restoration Hardware:

I'm not even sure where to get something like that (either as-is or custom made). Does anyone have any suggestions?

Here are some other photos I've gathered - let me know if something else jumps out at you!

Bathroom Inspiration

Bathroom Inspiration

Source for the 2 above

And these are from Costco (thanks Wil :-)

As you can see I am also a bit back-and-forth on the colour of the vanity. White? Dark? More natural wood tones?

Do you think I should be looking for a different style of vanity? There are so many options out there and I have no clue what will work best and appeal to the types of people who will be interested in an updated Victorian house (not that we are planning on moving anytime soon - but this is so permanent!).

I am totally open to suggestion - so comment away on whether you know where to get it made, or if you think of something better :-)


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Were You Showered With Love Yesterday?

Ohh how the puns get worse and worse as time goes on. I apologize :-)

So let's talk about showers. The major bathroom reno will give us a separate tub and shower which will be a huge upgrade for us! Unfortunately, our layout is pretty limited because of a few annoying window locations and the fact we are too cheap to move the toilet.

In an ideal world, I would have loved a full huge shower that spanned from wall to wall like this:

And all frameless glass...wouldn't that look lovely? Something like this:

Bathroom Inspiration

However we have an issue with that window to the left - if we work with it, the shower will be too skinny (IMO), and the thought of just using the right hand corner for the shower is just sad.

So here is where we are - I think this is the only option that will take advantage of the whole wall but not give us issues with the window.

Please note that unfortunately, I've been gathering these pics for a while and was negligent in taking note of the sources so if one of these pictures are yours, let me know and I will give you proper credit!



Bathroom Inspiration
Carol Reed Designs



So what do you think? My slight concern is that it is too modern or something but I do think it might be our only option. It could look nice though - especially if we pick a good tile for the walls - when you walk into the bathroom from the other end it can be a bit of a showpiece.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts!