Thursday, 29 October 2015

Practicing our Planking

Hi there!

Remember when we shared our new kitchen cabinet pulls, here?   Well you also got a peek at our stained and damaged kitchen ceiling, in this picture where we were showing off the new above the range microwave. Beautiful, right? lol!

Well, when we were figuring out what to do with it I mentioned to Ian that I have been really loving the look of planked ceilings.  Then I proceeded to show him the several examples that I have in my Pinterest board of home inspiration .

Lucky for me, he was on board!  We started figuring out a budget and a time frame of when we should tackle this project.  Ideally we would have liked to finish this project before Ian returned to work, after his holidays.

However, (yup that is a big word for but!) something came up!  That is pretty typical in home renos and DIY life, isn't it?  You just gotta roll with it though.

Shortly, after we moved in we noticed a wet spot on the carpet of the soon to be guest room.  This room was quite easily the ugliest room in the house, but we were hoping to just give it a little paint and maybe some new lighting and get it usable super quickly so that our older children could use it whenever they wanted to come for a visit.  Notice the 1980's vertical blinds, ugly paneled walls and 1' x 1' tiles on the ceiling. And wow is it dark! Although, on a positive note, the carpet was decent and in good shape!

ugly guest room
A random wet spot on  the carpet is odd, am I right?  Well, we knew there was no water coming from the adjoining bathroom, a quick check there turned up nothing.  And then we looked up, yup you guessed it the ceiling was wet too.  Bear in mind, the ceiling was already in rough shape, and  did warrant investing some time and money into - we just didn't plan on it being at this exact time.

As Ian pulled out a few tiles to get a look into the space between the upper floor and the lower level ceiling, we noticed a smell, too.  Great!  Turns out the previous home owners had a mouse problem, a significant one by the looks of it.  Thankfully nothing was currently living there, likely due to the nice weather.  But it would have been nice to know this before moving in, or even buying.

Discovering the mouse problem, was the exact moment that Ian started ripping down the old ceiling.  With that cleaned up, he went outside and worked on closing off any gaps in the mortar, window frames, etc. where he thought mice may get back in.

Then it was back to the water problem.  The was also a water stain on the sub-floor of the master bedroom.   Given that there is no plumbing in this area and that it was a small puddle of water, plus there was a rust stain on the carpet above the water mark, we believe that the previous owners had very recently cleaned the carpets and knocked over some water.

Both the floor in the upstairs bedroom and the floor in the lower level guest room dried nicely on their own and there have been no more random wet spots - good news!  There were rust marks on both carpets though, in the master where the bed frame sat next to the wet carpet and in the guest room below where the previous owners had a metal file cabinet.  I scrubbed both areas with CLR and the marks came out, with no damage to the carpets.  Though if you are gong tot try this, I would recommend doing a test patch somewhere that can be hidden.  I just went for it though, knowing that we would be ripping out the carpets if it didn't come out :)

So basically, what I am getting at, is the guest room mini makeover just got a little bigger.  We decided to plank this ceiling as well as the kitchen, and that we would do this one first as our test planking area.  Which was a good thing as we learned a couple of things since the kitchen is open to the entire main living area and entrance.

First, we need to choose what product we would be buying and Home Depot was our first stop, however they did not have enough in stock and getting it all home (HD is about an hour from us) would be an issue.

Then we went to Jermyn Lumber (our local lumber yard, only about 10 minuets from home).  They showed us a couple of different products and we settled on this tongue and groove pine.

We ordered 830 linear feet of the 1x6 tongue and groove pine planks, it was 69 cents a foot and they delivered it all for only $20.00 the very next day.  This is enough planking for both ceilings.

$20.00 bucks people, that is CHEAP delivery!

And then the work began!

We began by priming the paneling on the walls. They are slated to be removed and new dry wall added but that project is being put off for a long while now. 

Then Ian began planking the ceiling, we decided that we wanted each plank to run the full length of the ceiling so we wouldn't have any joining to do and thus less caulking etc. to do at the end.  We ordered our planks with that in mind and requested them all to be slightly longer than the length of the ceiling.

Ian used a nail gun and popped in a few nails along the tongue of each piece to secure the planks.

It was great to see it come together, if you stood just under the section that was planked you could get a feel for what it was going to be like once it was done!

Notice how he butted the planks up to the wall, leaving a small gap.  This will allow us to remove the paneling and slide in drywall down the road. 

Here is another view for you.  Do you notice how the primed walls and cleaner ceiling already brighten up this once dreary room?

As Ian worked across the room, he removed each of the two ugly fluorescent light fixtures. Then he installed a junction box for a new fixture (the house has had no junction boxes for any fixtures we have changed thus far) so that it would be centered over the bed.

Once the planking was done Ian added a 3/8" x 3" MDF trim around all four sides of the room.

After that everything got 2 coats of primer, we used Kilz.

And two coats of ceiling paint.

Here you can get a sneak peak of the paint colour, "Revere Pewter" by Benjamin Moor - although it is a Home Depot colour match.

Why yes we are still missing some door trim!  We sort of decided to replace it after we had painted and reinstalled most of it.  So that is where that project stopped!

We will have more to share on this room soon.  Like the new lighting and new bed!  Oh and hopefully door trim ;) !  But boy does this room look, and smell, so much better already!

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Kitchen Valance Cheater Style | Tutorial

Hey there!

Last week we shared a DIY for throw pillow covers created from a drapery panel, today we are going to share how we used a little more of that panel for a window valance in the kitchen!

If you recall, this is the original panel, which we cut about 19 inches off the bottom of, for the pillow covers.

For today's project, we are cutting a 16 inch length off across the entire top of the panel.  This will give us a finished valance of about 15 inches which is perfect for our window.  We have no need for privacy on this window as it faces the forest, but a little colour and softness is always nice!

We are calling this Cheater Style as we are able to utilize the existing top edge of the panel.  Yes we are just adding a hem, wink!

In preparation for sewing a hem, I pressed a half inch edge along the bottom of the fabric.

Then I folded over another half inch and pressed it again.  This will give us a nice finished edge.

Next, I pinned the hem into place.

Some quick stitching and it is done!

Again I am no seamstress, so it isn't perfect, but it will definitely do the trick!

We repurposed an old white tension rod by giving it a quick coat of satin nickel metallic spray paint (Rustoleum from the Home Depot).  The rod could be a little thcker, but it will do for now.  We had both the rod and the spray paint and when you are an hour away from a store you just make do!

To put the valance on the rod, you want to ensure that the beginning and end of the valance are closest to the window, so you do not have a gap or winged effect.

All in all we are doing great with our $50. drapery panel; so far we have two throw pillow covers and a window valance!  We still have an L shaped piece of fabric left; measuring 52 x 40 inches and 31 x 41 inches - wonder what it wants to be? ;)

Stay tuned for more kitchen posts, it needs new lighting and a new ceiling for starters.  Plus counters and something done wit the cabinets - new, revamped, painted - who knows!

I am linking up with:

That DIY Party #64

Thank you for visiting us today!
Ian and Laura

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Easy Throw Pillow Covers | Tutorial

Hi there!

I am no seamstress, other than grade 9 Home Ec (a kabilliion years ago), I have no training in sewing.  So as you can imagine my sewing skills are very minimal - read straight lines only people!  That said, I always like to sew something for my homes, I like the personal touch it gives, and I like to be able to say hey, I made that!

Our main floor colour palette is going to be grey, oatmeal, and green. We knew we would be keeping all of our furnishings neutral (grey and oatmeal) and the walls are currently a very soft oatmeal colour.  The green comes from the dining room china cabinet and kitchen walls (an inherited colour we enjoy).  Since these are open concept areas, we wanted to carry the green into the living room as well, both for continuity and a splash of colour.  We thought throw pillows might be the way to go.

So we headed off to the fabric store, Ian decided to wait in the car while I perused the store (for 2 hours - whoops).  Bear in mind, this trip was about the 5th time I looked for fabric while out shopping, however it was only the second time that fabric was my sole purpose for shopping.  I scoured the store, and nothing was jumping out at me.  I choose a few fabrics but ended up putting them back - they didn't speak to me for one reason or another.  Either the colour was off, or there was an extra colour in the fabric that I didn't want to introduce (blue is so often on fabric with green).

As I was about to give up, I walked past a row of draperies, and found this one lonely single panel.

It had the green and oatmeal that we wanted, unfortunately no grey or black, but most important was the green.  So despite the $50. price point it came home with us.  I am hoping to buy / make more throw pillows to help add more colour to the room down the road.

A couple of days later I got down to the business of creating the throw pillow covers.  I always make them the same no fuss / no fail way and today I would like to share my process with you.  This time, however, I am using a different fabric for the back of the pillows, mainly because I thought the price of the fabric (panel) was a little more expensive than what I was hoping to spend on two pillows, so I wanted my fabric to go a little farther and maybe get another project or two out of it.

Remember the Home Depot painters drop cloth I told you about in my Drop Cloth Pumpkins post?  Well, we are using some more of that again, for the backs of the pillow covers!  The drop cloth is a perfect oatmeal colour, all cotton and super soft.  It has been prewashed, so I didn't bother to rewash it, but you can if you like.

My throw pillow inserts are down filled and measure 18 inches square.  Te general rule of thumb for down pillows is to make the covers the same size or even an inch smaller if you want them a little firmer. depending on how tidy or slouchy you want them to be.  (For polyester inserts, you'll want to make your covers a little larger as the inserts do not squish into the covers as easily.)  I opted to make mine the same size as my pillows.

Before beginning, you will want to ensure all your fabrics are ironed.  Knowing that I needed a half inch seam allowance, I added one inch to both the length and width, and proceeded to cut my pillow top fabric into a 19 inch square.  I cut these two panels, one for each pillow, from the bottom of my fabric panel.

We are making an envelope style cover with two different fabrics so you will need two pieces of fabric for the back, they should measure the same width as the front.  However the length should be half the width of the front plus about 4 inches for your overlap and seam.  This way your opening with sit horizontally across the back of the pillow.

You will need to add a hem to the envelop opening edge of both pieces of the back fabric.  Use your iron to pres a 1/2 inch seam edge, then roll that edge and press again.  The will stop any raw edges from being visible on your pillow opening.  Now use your sewing machine to stitch your hem.

I was able to use the pre-hemmed edge of the drop cloth fabric, so I could skip that step.

Lay the drop cloths on your work table so that both right sides are facing up, and so the two pieces overlap 3-4 inches in the middle.

Now lay your front panel, wrong side facing up (or right side down) and centre it onto your two other panels. Pin your pieces together.

Because I was able to skip the hemming step of the back panels, my panels were cut a little too large, as you can see in the image above.  

So I trimmed off the excess back panel fabric at this point.  Now you will go ahead do a simple straight stitch along all four sides.

Before turning your pillow cover right side out, snip the corners as shown above (be mindful not to snip your stitching .  This will ensure that you get a nice crisp corner.  Now turn your cover right side out.

You may want to iron your cover again at this point for a nice clean look.

Repeat for second cover!

Once filled with down inserts, these pillows are pretty and comfy!  We will share some more of our living room soon!

I am linking up to:
 Home Stories A to Z link party 230
 DIY Show Link Up Party
Work it Wednesday Link Party

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura

Monday, 19 October 2015

New Jewellery for the Kitchen & Reclaiming Counter Space

Good Morning!

Excuse the punny photo but they do say drawer pulls and knobs are the jewellery of the kitchen and they can definitely go a long way to sprucing up the place and making a room look more finished and updated.  When we first looked at our home, we knew that one day we would re-doing the kitchen in some way - whether it be a full gut job or simply re-doing the cabinet doors.  We are not tackling this job for a while yet, maybe not until after Ian's retirement in early 2017.  But in the mean time we wanted this room - that is the heart of a home and basically central in our open floor plan - to be something that we could enjoy.

When we put an offer in on the house we included a clause to ask the previous owner to paint out the kitchen cabinets.  Yes, this may sound a little presumptuous but he had mentioned that he was thinking about doing it when we looked at the house.  Here is a before photo, note the ugly 80's drawer pulls, and yes more orange-y wood tones. But look at all that natural light, too!  We love natural light!

(our apologies for the grainy iphone photos)

At a later viewing, the cabinets had been painted, though there were no drawer / door pulls on yet.  The paint job looked good, but we didn't find out until we moved in that there would be a problem with it. (That is a story for another day.)  The owners had mentioned that they were going to purchase the pulls the next week.  We told them that it wasn't necessary, since jewellery and kitchen jewellery is a personal thing and subject to personal taste, we wanted to choose our own hardware and it didn't seem fair to let them purchase the pulls knowing that we would likely replace them.  So they put the little end bits of the existing pulls back on so that it would be easier to open the cabinets.

 sorry for another crappy iphone photo - we did not decide to start blogging our new home journey until after a few projects were started or completed

Of course, in DIY there is usually a glitch that you have to overcome, we think the universe puts them into the plans to make you appreciate the end result even more!!  If you notice in the above photo, the island is new (a DIY Ikea cabinet creation by the previous owner), and the rest of the cabinets are original to the house.  During the twenty odd years since the home was built we Canadians switched everything over to the metric system, so the measurement for the drawer pulls were not the same for the island and the cabinets, not a huge deal, but the cabinets were not even the same as anything that you can purchase locally now. Why yes, pondering this dilemma did call for wine!

Knowing we did not want to get into any large renos in the kitchen at this point, we scoured the internet and local big box stores for a simple solution.  Thankfully, we found these at Home Depot.  They fit the bill on a lot of levels, we were looking for brushed nickel, clean lined, and a traditional style that would not date itself quickly - but most importantly we were able to finagle them into the existing holes on the cabinets!  These pulls have two sets of holes giving you more options, but using the first and third hole - essentially offsetting them  - and slightly angling the lower screw we were able to secure them into place! Yeah!  It really is the little things that make a big impact, in life and design!

The next project we tackled was the reclaiming of some counter space and simultaneously getting rid of the ugly and mismatched range hood (you can see it in the above before photo).

 This time you also have to ignore the "we are moving in and trying to find a home for everything and still live day to day clutter, plus we are sort of on vacation"!

The easiest way to instantly create more counter space is getting the microwave off of it, so we started shopping around.  We had narrowed down a couple of models but one day while at a BIG Ikea shopping trip, we found this model.

It was a decent price point at about $350, the curved handles meshed well with the style of the handles on our oven and the colour of the stainless steel worked great too!  Have you ever noticed that there are a couple of colours of stainless?  One sort of has a blue-ish undertone and one has a yellow-ish undertone. We never really noticed this before, but then this is our first time having stainless appliances.

Thankfully, this is another DIY Ian can do himself and has done many times before!  I stick around to hold and pass stuff, but am otherwise basically useless! ha!

The instructions with the microwave are actually pretty good, and Ian can do electrical no problem.  Many, many years ago, he did commercial renos as a side gig.
 yes that is my reflection snapping an iPad pic!

Here is another reminder of the "before".

And the new "after".

We love how clean and tidy it makes this corner of the kitchen! Oh, and the damaged and holey ceiling - yes that was another project on this list!  We will share that soon!

Thanks for visiting us today! 
Ian and Laura