Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Hello again, and our Family Room is getting a make over!

Hello! It has been so, so long since we have posted here, for a multitude of reasons really, not the least of which was Ian's retirement and the lead up to it.  Which meant a bit of a hiatus from home renos here, partly because well hey he is retiring so we will have more time for all of our projects once he has more time at home, and partly because he was working on his "bachelor pad" and getting it ready to sell. We say bachelor pad sort of tongue in cheek, as when we were looking for a place for him to stay after we made the move to our new home for the months he had left of work before retiring, we ended up buying a smallish town-home because it was more economical than the rent on anywhere "decent".  And while it was costly, as in very, to own two homes at the time, it ended up worth our while when we were able to sell it at a profit thanks to all of the work Ian and our older sons did on the place and an amazing real estate agent!

Ian started his retirement mid-December, with six weeks vacation before his official retirement date, and wow was it ever nice to finally have him home with our youngest and I!  Ian and I quickly fell into a new routine of being super lazy!  We headed for the hot tub every morning after getting our son off to school, and then we puttered around the house before stopping for coffee once or twice during the day.  Once the Christmas break started, we got even lazier and enjoyed all of our down time, between our sons many hockey games that is.  The new year and return to school for our son brought on a new routine and we are trying to be more purposeful with our time.  But not so much that we do not take time for Ian to catch up on his reading and me to do things that I enjoy.  After all, balance is important, right?

However, in the days between the start of his retirement and Christmas, Ian did manage to replace the flooring in our family room!   I love that he is able to save us so much money by being so handy, and he loves being busy!

We opted for this product, partly because even though it is a laminate, it has great texture and feels very realistic, and partly because it is waterproof.  We found it at our local Benjamin Moore store, the owner there is so helpful and accommodating. He let us bring all of the samples home!

 It came in several colours, which was nice.

  Options are always a good thing!

Although, if you are indecisive like me, you turn to your online friend to help you make decisions.

But then you go with your gut and choose the warm grey brown. Something that is mid tone which helps hide the dirt and dog hair and something that will coordinate with the decor direction we have planned for this room.

You can check out this post for more information on the ideas we have for this room, although admittedly some of these ideas have changed already.

Of course once you choose the new flooring, you have to do the grunt work of pulling out the old flooring.

Although the carpet and underpad are not usually the hard part. That woudl be the glue! Which entitled much scraping!

Thankfully there wasn't a lot of glue.

Once he had the old carpet stripped, he began the install of the new flooring.

He was really pleased with how easy this product was to work with.

He managed to make good progress, as you can see we had our Christmas tree up already, so we just kept moving it around the room!  Thankfully, it moved easily in this old tin tub.

Before you know it, he was halfway done!

Although, there were some scary moments, like this shot of pre-Christmas chaos.  You know decorated and trashed all at the same time! But before our grown boys, our daughter in law and our grandson came home for the New Years weekend, he had all of the flooring done!

We will share more photos of the floor and the finished room at a later date as we pull it more together.  There is still so much to do!

In the meantime, we also needed to address the floor area around the woodstove.  It was carpeted before and we felt it should be tiled, in keeping with a more traditional look. So we headed back to our local Benjamin Moore store to look at tile.

We talked to the owner about our needs and the direction we were heading as far as looks were concerned.  And of course we talked kids league hockey for a while, too!

Anyway, he had some leftovers of this tile in his storage area which was perfect since we only needed a few pieces and he sold them to us for a great deal!  They are light muted grey and look like marble.

And even though Ian had never tried tiling before, he bought himself a tile cutter and set to work!  Of course he did a great job, the man never ceases to amaze me! Although, if truth be told I have way more faith in him than he does! And of course, you know I now have a new set of to do's for him and his new skills! Ha!

Since we cannot show you our after pictures just yet, we thought we would leave you with the before photo!

Next on this list for this room is paint, baseboard and trim around the ceiling (not crown moulding but maybe something like the trim we used in the kitchen).  Oh, and a feature wall, we have big plans for a feature wall, as well as dolling up the fireplace!  We can't wait to start that project and share it with you!

So glad you visited today!
Ian and Laura

Friday, 14 October 2016

Coffee and Tea Fabric Dying

Hello there!

A couple of weeks back, when I was planning new pillow covers for the living room, I was hoping to introduce a striped pattern.  You see, as much as I love our quatrefoil patterned draperies, I struggle with what other geometric patterns I can use in the room.  I settled on a stripe as it is a fairly nuetral pattern.  When I was searching for the right stripe I was feeling a little guilty as I have a striped fabric in my stash.

However, it is a white and grey stripe and a little harsh for this room, which really needed a cream and grey stripe.  In the hopes of saving some money I tested a  few scraps of fabric, with some coffee and tea dying.   The just coffee scrap was a little too dark, and the just tea scrap was a little too red.

But the scrap that I soaked in both coffee and tea, was just perfect!  The photos above shows a piece of dyed and un-dyed fabric.

After soaking, I washed, dried and ironed the fabric prior to using it for sewing.

I then whipped up this super quick and easy pillow cover using this process.

All in all, it turned out great and saved me a bit of money and saved Ian the agony of waiting for me to scour the fabric store, yet again!

Have a good one friends!
Ian and Laura

Monday, 10 October 2016

Fall Home Decor Accents

Hi there!

I spent a bit (a very little bit) of time adding a few hints of Fall decor to our living room and dining room and thought I would share.  I was not really ready to say good bye to summer this year, and delayed embracing Fall, in fact we haven't even done any of our usual Fall activities.  However, the changing of the leaves and cool nights are big hints that it is time to embrace the joys of Autumn.

I pulled the tray off of our coffee table in the living room and filled it with the Drop Cloth Pumpkins 
that I made last year, some greenery and a candle tucked under a cloche and resting on top of a wood slice.

I wrapped the candle with some burlap and a piece of scrapbooking paper. I love the added texture it gives.

Gathering a few things from around the house and making a compact vignette is completely meshing with my non fussy decor sentiment for this home.  And it is super easy to move out of the way when we sit for dinner.

I found these stems of cotton at Homesense and could not resist bringing them home.

They remind me of the year my family lived in Georgia.

I also swapped out the throw pillow covers in the living room.   I picked up the grey ones on Amazon.

The green Ikat covers were revamped from covers I made last January (12 Easy Peasy Steps to Sewing a Throw Pillow Cover) to house new square inserts.

Ian has wanted a wool Hudson's Bay blanket for many years.  They are pretty pricey.  And honestly I couldn't see the traditional Hudson's Bay red, blue, yellow and green stripes working into our decor - in any main room at least.

Then we discovered their new "millennium" colour scheme in cream and grey tones! 

And found it for a great deal - so of course, it needed to come home with us!  The Mr. is happy!

Since our coffee table / basket / trunk was naked (because I moved the tray to the dining room) I draped it with a green plaid fabric that feels like Fall picnics.

And topped it with my green ceramic pumpkin! 

Of course my ever present (and growing) stack of magazines is resting beside it. Can you believe the Christmas issues are already starting to come out!

The chair across the room, got a new striped pillow.

The gingham chairs also got new grey pillow covers to replace the cream and green covers (Easy Throw Pillow Covers) that usually adorn them.  They are actually a super soft corduroy and definitely feel like Fall.  Miss Ruby Tuesday approves of the new look!

I think that is going to be all we do to ease into Fall around here, with the exception of lots of Fall cooking!

Thanks so much for visiting today!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Deck Modification Phase 5 | Decor and Lighting

Hi there!  We are back with a bit more to share about our deck makeover.


When we left off sharing about our deck makeover, we mentioned that we still had to contend with skirting, lighting and decor.

Since it is nearing the end of the season, we kept things fairly simple as far as decor is concerned for this year.  Just a small seating area and a few potted plants.  We added some toss cushions in bright colours to brighten things up, since our furniture is neutral.

We also added a couple of chairs by the hot tub to catch towels and wet butts, that need to cool off.  We have discovered that we will need to add a gate of some sort in this area, to keep our puppy from jumping into the tub and standing on the control panel!

We are loving the open airy feeling of this area now, and with the addition of the little inexpensive table, we have used this space a whole lot more than we had previously.

It is a great space to sit and watch the woods behind us.

We pulled our barn star that hung in our entry way outside and gave it a coat of spray paint that looks like galvanized metal.  It is perfect for filling up the large space over the barbecue and is not at risk of getting damaged from any heat coming off of it.

We can now say we are almost done!  We have to still add the metal grid at the hand rails, but they are safe for now so this will likely wait until the spring.

We also need to finish skirting the entire deck.

You can see how we have begun this process along the right side of the deck.  We love the look and will be working our way around the deck and under the sun room, adding in an access door so we can store a few things under there and get to wires and pipes.

Again, this is another project that will likely wait until the spring, since Ian is now back at work.

We also added in some lighting along our stairs.  It is dark, dark, dark here at night and running in and out to the campfire was pretty scary for me since I have a visual impairment.  He have some lights hanging around the eaves but the stairs were still pretty dark.

We found these lights at Home Depot and Ian installed them one weekend a few weeks back.

You will have to excuse these photos as they were taken with my IPhone, but you get the idea!

They were really easy to install, requiring first a 1 inch hole to be drilled through the riser of the step.  The kit actually came with a drill bit but it was really cheap and Ian tossed it right away, opting for one he already owned.

After measuring and marking each step in the same spot, he drilled the holes and inserted the little lights.

It didn't take long at all to get all of the lights inserted and the wires hooked up and plugged in under the deck.  It is a simple job, no "electrical" work needed.

 We switched them on to check them out, so pretty!

Ian plugged them in to our outlet that is run by a switch inside the house so they are super easy and convenient to operate.

And boy do they ever give off lots of light!

So much easier to see where we are going at night!

At this point, we are calling the outside work "finished" for this year and will return our focus to the inside.  We have to replace the flooring in our family room, so that will be a project we work on for the next while. It is also desperate for a coat of paint and the trim replaced.  Plus we are busy fixing up our house where Ian stays during the week to get it ready to sell, once he retires at the end of the year.

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura