Monday, June 9, 2014

Nantucket Chic Zoey Cabinet

Time has flown by in a wink since I last posted. Both my honey and I have had our share of challenges with our health these past months, and it has meant that home renovations and projects of any sort have not happened. Things are finally returning to normal and this weekend I was quite excited to take this absolutely adorable cabinet I've had for some time from seriously shabby to fresh and lovely.

Here she is with one coat on the inside of the dreamiest ocean blue that I custom mixed (seems to be the way with me) from a number of different blues I had on hand and on the outside with a soft white that is just natural white base.

It is solid wood and I love the carving detail.

She really is a perfect slim size for a front entry or a little princess's bedroom or even a flat screen tv console. 

and after two coats of paint.

Please ignore the big black inversion monstrosity that is taking up space in our dining room. My sister graciously loaned it to us to help with my honey's sciatica and it is helping along with regular chiropractor appointments. I am just so thankful that he is getting better.

I've chosen this gorgeous shade of a tropical ocean so that it would make a statement if it is being used as an open shelf cabinet or with the doors on for some closed storage.
It's always good to have choices!


The detail on the end is lovely too.
I have to give it a third coat of paint and a matte poly and finish the doors that have been modified a little. 
I will share more soon.
 I promise.
I hope you are having a fantastic summer so far!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Value at the Village, Sarah and Tommy, Mom's Art

I realize it has been quite some time since I posted and that is mostly since I have spent more time focusing on the every day tasks of life, eating (well), sleeping, walking, relaxing and doing more of all of that (except eating). Projects in the house are still there waiting on our attention but I am no longer in a rush, doing what I can when I can and trying to create other moments in life.

So Mom and I recently enjoyed a day out together and one of our stops was to Value Village. Mom who is a crazy book lover (must be the librarian in her) spotted this large coffee table book by the infamous sea explorer, Jaques Cousteau and graciously let me have it to buy. We all grew up watching Jaques Cousteau and loved all he brought to us through his research and adventures with the undersea world. 
It was a mere $5.00, truly an unbelievable deal.

I removed the glossy coloured jacket to reveal this stunning white and grey scheme with a simple beautiful font and I knew it would be a perfect addition to our living room.

I have yet to read this incredible book that is full of such amazing information that Jacques dedicated his entire life to but the pictures alone are stunning.

And as we were waiting in line at the cash I spotted a back wall of frames and pictures that we hadn't seen and decided to check them out while mom saved my spot in line. I spotted this heavy beautiful banana weave laundry basket with a hinged lid sitting right beside the frames and when I saw the price tag ($7.99) I wanted to yell 
so I quickly picked it up and headed for the cash. 
We walked out and I couldn't believe that I just spent a measly $13.00 on a stunning book and a basket that would normally cost $80.00.
So I get home and after showing Todd (so he'd believe I only spent that much) I cut the tag off and it was then that I noticed a piece of paper stapled to the price tag and when I turned it over it had that days date written on it with someone's name and "not paid for ". 
Neither I nor the cashier saw it because the writing was facing the wrong way and it was then that my heart sank.
Someone had found it before me and asked a staff person to set it there and hold it for them perhaps while they shopped. It was late and the store we went to was a 45 minute drive away so there was no way I was taking it back.  I still feel guilty when I toss my laundry into it.
This actually happened to me once before and also to my friend so if you ever find a good deal or something one of a kind and put it on hold at the front of the store, don't trust that it is safe if it's sitting somewhere that someone else can come by and pick it up either on purpose or by accident. Better yet, pay for it and put it in your vehicle and then go back in for the rest of your shopping.

I thought I would share another wonderful eye candy book that was a delightful Christmas gift from my nephew Rob and his sweet girlfriend Laura. It is written by the founders of the Brighton England store, i gigi, Zoe Ellison and Alex Legendre.
They have mastered the art of taking antique and found objects and incorporate them into design in a visual blend of texture and tone in it's simplest perfection.

This last picture of Alex's home is my favourite. I love the rawness of the table and chairs contrasted with that incredible drippy chandelier above.

Joanne and I went to this years IDS show in Toronto and had a great time and a photo op with my favourite designer Sarah Richardson. Not sure why she had to scrunch down though! I was a little nervous and when she scrunched down, silly me, looks like I did a little too. Dang, wish I'd worn my high heels. Ha!
We also listened to Sarah talk at the main stage and she is on fire, the lady has so much charisma and energy and such a passion for design, she is truly a superstar. 

and we also had a pic with her design partner the funny and oh so incredibly talented Tommy who was wonderful manning the booth all weekend that displayed Sarah's new fabric line which is available through her website. I have to say that Tommy is the real deal, so friendly and funny.You have to check out Sarah's fabrics, they are all gorgeous and so true to her style.
                                                              Sarah Richardson Design

We also listened to Suzanne Dimma, editor of the wonderful Canadian House and Home magazine speak with Mark Challen on the main stage and after Suzanne was gracious enough to speak with a couple of us who had questions. I told her I was stumped about our coffee table, whether to paint it or stain it and she said paint it which I wasn't expecting to hear. She was so nice and easy to speak with and it was great to hear her advice yet I'm still unsure what I will do. 

And so the living room is still a work in progress and the latest addition is a stunning beach scene my very own Mom painted.
I am tickled pink about it and just LOVE it!

She is so so talented.

And to pick up the intense colour of the painting I added a few globes as well as a gorgeous cotton knit throw that was a lovely gift from a sweet customer. 

I painted the coffee tables white as well and wish I'd done it ages ago as it truly evokes the beach house aesthetic I love.

Here is another amazing little water colour that mom did.
 I think I recall her saying, oh, I was just messing around that day.
What?!!! Pleeeeeease! 
She never thought it would get framed and is an odd size so I took it to staples to see if it would copy onto a size for a frame I already had. It isn't the ultimate thing to do as I want her original art framed but is such an inexpensive option. I realize as well that the white frame doesn't do it justice as well.

It worked but it did not copy the colour perfectly so I am going to find a darker frame and then a get a custom matte for it afterall.

House of Turquoise 
I have always, always coveted a large wall clock which usually cost hundreds of dollars but when I saw this one on Erin's House of Turquoise website, I'd new I'd found my answer. It will be so easy to make and in it's perfection, reads "Island time" with no working clock arms, means, when life is as care free as that, who cares what time it is.
So fun! 

The sun shone today with a chilly - 9 degree high going to - 19 tonight and even thought winter has dragged on I have enjoyed the fact that we have had our share of unusually sunny days, which makes me happy. Hope you are having a great weekend.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hello! I hope everyone is doing well and has enjoyed a healthy and happy Christmas season.
I know it has been quite some time as I have taken quite a break to recharge, dental issues were so great this year and took a lot out of me.  As well I suspect that I am very sensitive to WIFI connection, makes me feel very sick afterwards and since we do not currently have a hardwired connection for our internet I have been staying off the computer unless absolutely necessary. I am going to order a special energy pendant that apparently protects you from EMF's and helps with energy levels as well and am hoping it works so I can keep posting!
I will let you know if it does.

We have survived the ice storm that caused widespread hydro failure in and around the GTA. 
Today is already a mild 2 degrees and is such a relief for so many. We managed to keep our power the entire time and my heart went out to those who were without it for so long and over the holidays. 

Our poor trees toppled over and sadly many were completely lost under the strain of the thick ice.

I was up early Christmas morning and the sunrise although eery was quite beautiful, casting a warm glow over the frozen branches. 

Mom and Dad once again hosted Christmas dinner and Mom's decorating of the dining room in reds and green was gorgeous! I made and brought with us pecan roasted brussel sprouts, sweet potato custard (that tastes just like pumpkin pie) and gluten, grain, dairy free chocolate chip cookies that everyone tried and loved!

I remember this lovely little nativity scene since I was just a little girl and was so happy to see it displayed once again.

She even decorated the kitchen window with her collection of homes all nestled in a layer of snow and lights. 


I kept things on the simple side for our home in shades of white, blues and red. 

I found this heavy little pine cone wreath at Goodwill for $4.99 and I removed the garish gold bow and the plastic snowflake garland that was wrapped around it but kept the pretty pale blue ribbon and I painted a free cabinet door with chalkboard paint and gave it a Merry little message.

On the same day I also found this little red spray berries wreath also at Good Will and it was just $3.99. 

And just before the holidays in bad timing we experimented with a new hall colour, one on the upper level called Divine White by Sherwin Williams and one on the lower level called Pewter Revere by Benjamin Moore as well as started priming the stairs back to white from a teal blue. I really grew tired of it and the white is just so beachy and easy on the eyes. Divine White is the winner and I can't wait to add it to the lower level. 

 I sold my chalkboard that was previously hung here in our stairwell off the kitchen and so I had to come up with something else for the holidays. I used a lovely antique frame, wreath, hurricanes and a pot of fauxliage I already had for a simple and festive little vignette.

I look forward to a New Year full of new possibilities and answers as I plan to find a new doctor to help me get to the next level of health, so I can feel better all the time and finally realize my goals and dreams.

I wish you and yours a Happy New Year and best wishes for the coming year!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Master Bedroom Renovation, Free Hall Tile, Dining Room Details, New Coffee Table Legs

I have to apologize as this is a longer than normal post for me and I hope I don't bore you too much with construction pictures but I couldn't help but share what is an exciting renovation for us and since I got a few other things done, wanted to share them as well.

There has been much completed already in our master bedroom that needed to have a full gut of the entire room with the exception of the floor.

My honey removed the window and found the framing was rotted so he reframed it properly with new wood.

This room has sat unused for most of the time we've lived here as it was not a nice room to be in with it's 1940's stained and peeling wallpaper and leaky walls. It did house our Ikea clothing wardrobes along with this beast which remained in the room while he worked around it which was a serious pain in the you know what for him.

This wall was very poorly built and you can see the old closet door. We are fortunate to have a closet in two of the three bedrooms which can be rare for a century home.

And to the left of the closet door there is the old stair case and the built-in hall closet, pretty rough stuff eh? So our home was built in 1878 and then renovated in 1915 and they blocked in the old stair case with a cupboard  and made a new larger stair case on the opposite side of the house. 

You can see the old stair tread and riser here along with some of the old wallpaper. I have some of this paper already saved for our home's history records.

The closet is a decent size but nothing compared to todays standards and has an awkward slop to it because of the old staircase. 

So with it's slanted side wall and hard to access space we decided to make changes.
At first we were going to put our Ikea Pax wardrobes on the wall opposite the bed and build them in to look custom and keep the hallway built-ins along with this cupboard but felt that at 2' x just over 6' the wardrobes would take up to much space and it would be much nicer to have a large dresser and a TV instead.

So my honey came up with the idea that we remove the hall closet built-ins and use that space for the master closet. It bothered me to give up what is our main linen cupboard so I designed a plan that would incorporate storage in what will be our office niche instead so it will not be lost necessary storage afterall.  

He then gutted the space and due to the poor construction of it  removed the entire wall with the closet door as well and rebuilt it properly. 

Isn't that a thing of beauty?! Well it is to me. I am always amazed at how he does such great framing work. And not only does he make it look good, everything is plumb and true. When you embark on a project like this, you never know what you will get and even though it is a great expense to do it properly we would not have it any other way. It may mean that there is not much at all for decoration when we are done but it is important to get the bones of a home right, especially when it comes to structure.

 On the left is the new master bedroom closet space and on the right, the area that you see insulation stacked on the floor is the cupboard  for the adjacent bedroom that is on the other side of this wall. Since we had access to do it, it was a good time to gut that closet as well and properly insulate it.

And the exciting part of this renovation and what will be the showpiece is the sliding barn door that he is going to make for this closet. We have yet to decide on the style but I just know it is going to be incredible!

The ceiling was a nightmare structurally to say the least but it was not a surprise to us as it is par for the course of what we have found in our home as we go along. Sure is funny to think that the owner who did the work was a carpenter. 

Ok, so look at this, two pieces of wood joined how? in the middle, doing what exactly? The new wood you see is ours of course but seriously?! What were these guys thinking back then?

Rebuilding a ceiling is scarey stuff not for the average DIY'er.

He added new ceiling joists and then cut out all the old joists, basically rebuilding the entire room, walls, and ceiling. We entertained a cathedral ceiling but in the end it would be just too much work and more money so he has chosen another coffered ceiling like our living room. It's going to be

 The neat thing about this room is the doorway is on an angle  and the old plaster was formed a certain way that drywall could not, so he had to rebuild the doorway as well so it will work for it.

 Finally after so much headache working around it and after removing the door and opening up the doorway, my honey attempted to move the exercise beast into the hall and miraculously it came through and fit into our future office niche. I know he wishes he did it sooner that's for sure.

The walls  are all framed up and insulated and now he is working on getting the ceiling sealed up before it gets too cold.

So even though it is not pretty stuff and it will take a while for this project to be finished, I am thrilled that it is happening. 

Todd and his tile guy just finished a tile job where the previous contractor did a poor job and was fired and the customer asked Todd to come in and remove all the old tile and retile with new tile, properly. The customer didn't want any of the old tile and generously offered it to Todd so he brought it all home. It is a good quality porcelain 12x12 tile and a matching subway tile and all it needs is a quick scrape of the small amounts of mortar that was on the backs. We dry laid this pattern on the floor and it seemed ok but lacked pizzaz for me.
You see I had my heart set on something else, something unique, something that was pretty yet low maintenance and well priced. Previously we had found an amazing cream, grey and tan marble in a stunning finish unlike anything I've seen before called river washed and chiselled on sale for $3.00 a square foot that I drooled over for days but Todd thought it was too light. Also I had vowed to pick something more practical for our main entrance than a stone that would require regular sealing and could possibly get scratched by Emma's nails. If I could just make this FREE porcelain tile work then we could possibly have radiant heat which would be perfect for keeping boots warm and dry in the winter time with no worries of them wrecking it.

Then I remembered that we had a couple of 12x12 crema marfil marble tiles downstairs leftover from our kitchen backsplash!

I cut them into smaller strips and laid them down to create a pattern like a carpet and whala!

The polished stone sparkles and creates the pretty factor I was looking for against the more subdued porcelain tiles but will not be so much that it will be a chore to maintain. 

Decision made. A light epoxy grout will add the freshness I want and we will only need about 5 more tiles of the crema marfil marble which I can get it for a great price through my work.

It sure is nice to have that decision made.

With a little help from my honey this weekend, we put the hardware on the dining room sideboard that I recently made over.

The handles are antique brass, three we already had from I don't remember where and three came off the built-ins we removed from the hallway upstairs. The knobs which are new, are a close match in finish to the handles and were just $2.00 each from work. The only imperfect thing is the handle on the last drawer is perfectly polished brass so I will have to figure out how to give it a patina treatment.

I finally hung the new beach print as well and added a piece of driftwood that Todd and I found on the beach in Beaverton this summer along with a pair of bleached boxes from Home Sense.

The last thing I want to do is darken the base of the lamps so that they look more like wood. I have to say that this is probably my favourite piece in the house now next to our empire antique dining room table and I love how each one shines on it's own. Oh, yes,  that thing in the far corner is a junior paddle that I acquired from my neighbour when I had our garage sale. I traded him an antique salt box (which I later realized duh, he got the better of the deal) and I have yet to find the perfect spot for it so for now it sits there.

 On the other side of the room things are slowly, I means slllooooowly shaping up. You see, the weekend that I painted the doors for the built-ins, well, I ended up painting all the trim and woodwork all over. I got it all done except for the window above the fireplace and you can see how the new white is much crisper and fresher than the old white that was in there before so I think that was a good change and I like it much better.

New, old (misplaced and couldn't find for forever until recently) chandelier shades were added to the chandelier makes for a cozier light. New push button dimmer for it coming soon!

The newly painted built-ins have turned out perfect, Todd has done a fabulous job. I just haven't decided on the finish for the knobs for the doors.

 Last but not least, a while back, Todd gave the coffee table beefier legs and we both like it better and no more wobbles! He still has to add dowels to the openings where the screws go and then I will give it it's final finish but in light of all he is currently doing I don't think I should expect it to be any time soon. Hey, no problemo! I can wait. 
Isn't it funny how that little Emma always gets in the shot?!

On the health side, things seem to have slowly declined for me, a root canal is finally finished that started last march and that is an eye opener that my immune system is not doing so great. I also am realizing that my hormones are in dire straights and so I am taking the time to educate myself further, to find my own answers and seek out professionals who will work with me to get things in order. It also means that I need to take time to recharge, exercise, and most important of all be in bed and asleep by 10.
So that said I bid you a good night!