Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Final Instalment of the Craigslist Chairs Makeover Series

Sorry for the holdout, kids. I promised yesterday that I'd have some special photos today, and while it is still the 31st, it is pretty late. I know. I have some awesome excuses, the best of which is that I just spent 4 hours at the hair salon.

Yes, you heard that right. FOUR FRIGGIN HOURS. I know I have long hair and that it isn't the easiest in the world to deal with, but come on people. The first two hours is fun, me time. Magazine, water, the odd Iphone check. Pretty sweet, right? Hour three starts to get tedious and when I start nearing hour four, I get angry. Seriously.

In other news, I have an "after" to show everyone!!!  After many many months, the Craigslist Chairs are done! Before I get to the updated pics, I'm going to repost my blog post from September 13, 2010 for all the new readers out there.


I've been holding out on this post for a while, but I think it will be quite a bit longer before they are totally 'done' so I will show you were I am so far :-)

Okay - let's start at the beginning for those of you who haven't been reading so long (or who don't have my craigslist purchased memorized - tsk tsk).

1. Buy some AWESOME chairs on Craigslist thanks to Shannon's sleuthing skills.

2. Think about keeping them as is - they are pretty nice right? Unfortunately, the wood tone is very similar to our floors, and it just didn't work for us.

3. Think about alternatives and land on a photo that inspires both me and my husband (and that NEVER happens!)

4. Wait months because summer (and laziness) gets in the way.

5. I use white spray primer first on the caning and then a double coat of the ever-popular "Heirloom White" by Rustoleum.

6. Leave chairs to fester for a few weeks. I told you, I get lazy!

7. Spend what feels like hours taping magazine pages to the caning of the chair. This isn't as easy as it looks!

8. Next up, spray the visible parts with grey primer.

9. I then gave it a good coating of glossy black spray paint (Rustoleum again).

10. Get very excited when  you see how nice it looks - the shape of the chairs was screaming for this kind of makeover!

11. Take off the paper and voila!

 (yes, this chair needs the bottom/webbing part to be re-done - it's on the list).

In all honesty, there were a few spots where the black found its way through layers and layers of "How-To"'s and Special K ads. I just took a sponge and sprayed it with extra Heirloom White and just dabbed it on the spot. No problem!

12. Bring them inside and revel in the glory of something that actually turned out how I had hoped!

I love the back view - it is like this chair really came to life with the makeover!

So there it is - a makeover that flies in the face of natural-wood lovers, but that makes me very happy!

So next up we are going to put a high gloss lacquer on the black wood and we have to get new cushions - am thinking of making slipcovers so that over time we can easily change the colour etc.

Hope you like the transformation!!!


13. Spend eons deciding on fabric. See here.

14. Pick a fabric. Go to order it. Find out it is out of stock.

15. Kick something for being perpetually indecisive.

16. Search all over the web to find the fabric (and hopefully a deal).

17. Give up and buy the damn fabric here.

18. Send the chairs off with our upholstery guy.

19. Go on holiday to Jamaica!

20. Get the chairs back and do a little happy dance!!





So there you have it! It took a while, but our Craigslist finds are complete!!

What do I think of them now? I like them :-) I think they will look better with our usual rug (we put our good rug in another room until all of the renos are done) and once they are more worn in. The cushions are a little...FULL for my liking but they will soften up over time for sure.

The family room still doesn't totally work yet, but we are getting there. I love Brooklyn Limestone's gallery wall that she did recently - maybe that would help our tv wall:

Any other ideas? Do you have any DIY makeovers to share? Link up in the comments!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nothing to See Here...

I know, where are the finished pictures already?!  Well, finishing the 'small' things tends to take a lot longer than one might think!! 

Here are a few more sneak peeks at what's going didn't think I'd TOTALLY leave you hanging, did ya?

Last weekend I spent time priming the doors:

and patching up our brick wall. This took more work than expected, because once you start patching, it is hard to stop. We didn't want it too perfect, since it is a brick wall and all, and actually contemplated sandblasting the paint right off so we had an original wall, but the mortar would have just crumbled to bits and redoing that wasn't an option for us.

The wall still needs a coat of primer and then we'll paint it. However, now that I look at the photo, I'm not sure what colour to paint it. I guess I always pictured it white, but the colour we chose for the rest of the space is a white/grey colour. Think that would work on the wall or should I leave it white?

We've had some minor renovation set backs this week (more on that later) but we are still forging ahead. The last of the electrical work is going to be finished this weekend (a GFI outlet in the bathroom and one more switch) and the painting will be finished. Except the stairs maybe - that might not make the cut (I'm just being honest!).
In other news - I should have something pretty exciting to show you tomorrow!!  Something that has been in progress for EONS (I mean it - it has been ages since this was put into motion) that is going to be completed tonight. Cross your fingers that everything goes according to plan (for once :-).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

There's a Light

Just a quick peek into what happened this weekend in the basement.

I thought we'd get more done but you know how renos go :-)

Extra points to anyone who started singing a Rocky Horror Picture Show tune when they read the title. :-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm such a tease

Please don't judge my dusty slippers or my pj pants.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Signs of Spring

My first sign of spring (or my favourite sign of spring!) is being featured over at the HomeSlice today! Thanks to Emilija for including me (even though my 'sign' isn't house/decor related at all!).

Check it out!


Friday, March 25, 2011

So we have reached the point where...

...I start withholding pictures and info from you kids :-)  Yes, that means we are close to the finish line!!

We got a little busy last night with a paint brush and a roller and some of this:


because we were told the toilet and sink were being installed today!!  I didn't want to fuss around with a paint brush behind the toilet when we had the opportunity to get'er done ahead of time, so off to the paint store I went! (Yes, that is a photo of my paint on the bench at the streetcar stop - hubs had the car and we were in a PAINT PINCH!)

This weekend will be filled with more painting, some shelving, cleaning, electrical and other odds and ends, and hopefully after that there will be some awesome pictures to show all of you patient people!

In the meantime, here is a teaser of what I've been up to:


Happy Friday!!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Basement Reno - Day 17

While I still feel we are making huge progress in the basement, day 16 was mostly invisible progress in the form of sanding. Joe sanded most of the walls and ceilings - which is great - but this type of work does not make for great blog photos.

Doesn't Joe get it?!

So instead of more pictures of the same, I decided to give all of you a glimpse into what the REST of my home looks like while all of this is going on. It isn't pretty.

Please don't judge. You've been forewarned.

Paper on the floors:
What happens during a reno

What happens during a reno

What happens during a reno

And more dust:
What happens during a reno

And where did all of this junk go?

What happens during a reno

What happens during a reno

Anyone want to come over for dinner? You can come if you can find the dining room table!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And now, some non-basement related news...

I know I haven't told you guys much about myself, except for the fact that I'm 31 (see my profile :-), married to an amazing guy who is pretty handy around the house (and doesn't mind being in more blog pictures than I'm in), and live in an old Victorian in Toronto.

When I graduated from undergrad with my degree, I started working right away. I had my dream job and loved every second of it.  However, after doing that job for two years, I realized that landing your dream job right out of university maaaybe meant that my dreams weren't lofty enough. I knew there was more for me out there, so I decided to go back to school. 

The upside of going back to school after seeing the real world is that you have learned to appreciate things like sleeping in, partying on Thursdays (or Tuesdays, or after class on Mondays) and the odd (or frequent) afternoon nap.

The downside? Student debt. I was lucky enough to have my parents pay for my undergraduate education, but this one was going to be all me. I had worked and lived on my own, so the financial burden of my decision was definitely going to be all mine, and I landed myself in a boatload of debt. Of course, it is 'good debt' (mostly! There was that trip to Vegas with the girls, and when I went to St. Louis to celebrate my best friend's engagement. But the rest was good. I swear!), but it was a staggering amount IMO and didn't make me feel so great. Plus, it put a kink in my spending ability once I started working.

So here is the news for today (aside from the basement update from earlier this morning of course) - after approximately 3 years of working (and an agressive repayment plan, thanks to my financially minded husband), I have FINALLY paid off my debt.

Oh that's right, folks. It is done!!  I phoned up telephone banking yesterday, and this is how the conversation went:

Banker: Hi there, how can I help you?
Me: Hello. See that student line of credit on my account with a $92 dollar balance?
Banker: Yes, I see that.
Me: I'd like to pay that ** off.
Banker: O.M.G. Congratulations!
Me: (insert squeeeeeeel here) Thanks!

** Yes, I swore. I was so excited, I swore on the phone to my telephone banker.  However, she did then say O.M.G. Not oh my gosh...but O.M.G. So I think the swear wasn't so bad :-)

So there you have it - a little insight into my life that I wanted to share because I am SO. DARN. EXCITED to finally have this weight off my shoulders!!


Basement Reno - Day 16

Since most of the big projects are done, we are now getting into the detail work. By we, I mean Joe the Contractor.  :-)

Today was the beginning of the trim installation. There are some funny/weird/awkward spots in our basement because it is 100 years old, so Joe is trying to be creative with trim to get everything working together.

The view down the stairs - this is the worst area for the 'funny/weird/awkward' spots. You can see all of the bumps and ledges on both sides, and to be perfectly honest, they were way worse when we started!
Basement Reno - Day 16

Here is the moulding along the top of the brick wall. Prior to it being installed, it was a big hole. Like the kind of hole that if you looked hard enough, you could probably see the neighbour.  We aren't planning on doing crown moulding throughout, but this was a nice solution for a wall that isn't going to be drywalled.
Basement Reno - Day 16

Sitting area:
Basement Reno - Day 16

Storage/stair wall:
Basement Reno - Day 16

Basement Reno - Day 16

Basement Reno - Day 16

Here is the bathroom. To be honest, there was a HUGE debate about what to trim the bathroom with. Originally, we were planning on marble floors so doing marble trim made sense and was easy enough to find. Since we ended up going with a porcelain floor, the marble trim obviously wouldn't work, and the thought of using subway tiles as trim just didn't work for me. I'm sure if I searched high and low, I could have found an option, but I finally threw up my hands and said "just use wood!". 

Since it is in the basement, it won't see a lot of water, and if it does, trim can be replaced. And that's that.
Basement Reno - Day 16

Basement Reno - Day 16

So there you have it! That is what 16 days into a basement renovation looks like!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Basement Reno - Days 6-15

So after a fan-tabulous trip to Jamaica with some good friends, J and I came home, dropped our bags and made our way into the basement!!

Before you go further, if you haven't seen the progress, I'd check these out first so you can see how truly amazing these pictures are!

You will see, there is still a lot of junk around and it clearly isn't done, but check out this progress!!

First, let's walk down the stairs - notice the new drywall on the ceiling? Yay!

Hallway at the bottom of the stairs. The first door on the right is to the furnace room, bathroom second:

Standing by the bathroom door, looking back at the stairs:

This is what will be the tv area:


Storage under the stairs:

Furnace room:

And the best. friggin. part. Here is our (almost done) SECOND BATHROOM!!! Here is the view from the door of the shower:

Sink will go where that bucket is:

View from the shower to the door:

So there you have it!! Nice change to come home to, don't you say? 

Here is what is left on the to-do list:

1. Finish grouting the floor tile in the bathroom (ran out, bought another bag today).
2. Trim throughout (bathroom and the rest).
3. More sanding.
4. More dust (thanks to #3 above).
5. Clean up after said dust.
6. Install pot lights, light switches, electrical outlets, etc.
7. Prime and paint walls, ceiling, trim and doors. Probably need to pick paint colours soon too. Fun.
8. Clean the house again (seriously - where does all the dust come from?!).
9. Install hardware on the doors.
10. Figure out what to do with the stairs (paint? stain? suggestions?).
11. Install toilet, sink and hardware in the bathroom (can't wait for this part!!).
12. Order glass for the shower (this might wait).
13. Order and have carpet installed.

Anything else you can think of? Paint suggestions? Stairs?