Tuesday, 23 May 2017

New Dining Bench and Some Recipe Suggestions

Hey there!  We have made a couple of changes in our dining room.  Do you remember back last Fall when Ian refinished our dining table and I mentioned that I would love him to make us a bench for it?  Well, that sort of went onto the "to do" list.

Then earlier this Spring we hit IKEA when we were in the city visiting our kids / grandson.  Ironically they had a bench on clearance, we scored it for $60.!  It was regularly $160! And do you know what?  It matches our old barn board table to perfection, as far as the shape and leg style is concerned!!  Score!!

It was plain unfinished pine, so Ian refinished it, in an afternoon, to match our dining table.  We had some of all of the products that we used on the table left over so that part was basically free! (You can find those details here.)  We could not have built it for less!

Speaking of the dining table, the finish is holding up really nicely and it washes up well considering we went with a matte finish.

While we are on the topic of the dining room, I picked up this cute farmhouse style galvanized tray for $15 at Walmart, it was in the summer seasonal section.  Love it!

We also grabbed two new galvanized metal chairs from Home Depot (online) for about $200. / pair.  We love them!

We recently had friends over for some Middle Eastern food, the seven of us fit very comfortably around the table.  Speaking of Middle Eastern, you have to try this chicken shawarma recipe I have made it several times and it is awesome!  And this lebne recipe our son made is great, too! Ian made  a mushroom dish, but he winged it, as usual, so I can't share it. I will take notes the next time he makes it so we can share it.

We are still debating on what to do with the two end chairs, refinishing them is an option.  Though I sort of have my heart set on something wicker.  We shall see.

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura

Friday, 12 May 2017

Laundry Room Mini Makeover

Hey there!  Sometimes it seems as if we are working all over the place, jumping form one project to another and back again! Which we totally are, but there is often a method to our particular brand of craziness.  While we really are focusing on a specific room that we want to see finished, we will pause and do something else when we need to do a supply run for our main reno.  Currently our main reno is our family room, which we have posted about here and here and here and here and here and even here, all the way back to January of 2016 when we were just dreaming about it.

Since our closest Home Depot is almost an hour away each way and since we have to also get groceries and stop at a few home decor stores while we are in the city, it just seems to make sense to pause and switch gears until we need to make the drive for more that just drywall compound, or a few pieces of trim.

We are close, so close to being finished with the family room, but we need another supply run and know we will need to get groceries later soon, so we moved into the laundry room to try to make it a little more functional.

While there was nothing really wrong with this space, other than the hideous industrial grey with a hint of purple paint colour, it just didn't function for us. It also had two doors that were constantly in our way; one to the hall and one to the closet in the room. You can just see a bit of both of them in the foreground of the photo below.

This room, for us is much more than a laundry space.  It also serves as storage for cleaning supplies, hot tub supplies, a walk through to our screen porch (where we often eat in the warm weather) and deck (to access our hot tub), a dog feed station (because our girl cannot drink without soaking the floor to save her life and this floor is easy care) and dog food storage.  As well, as a place to hang-dry swim suits and beach towels that we use every day for the hot tub (and the beach in the summer).  Oh, and a change room for stripping out of wet suits.

Plus as you can see in the above horrible photo, taken shortly after we moved in, we hang a lot of laundry to dry opposed to using the dryer.

We thought we would start by addressing the problem of space to hang beach towels.  We had picked up a ten foot piece of barn board and some stainless steel hooks, that are slightly nautical and slightly industrial looking. We thought we could combine the both to make a full wall of towel hooks.  We don;t really need that many on a day to day basis bus when the family is all here we sure do!

We had a can of paint leftover from another house, it is called cappuccino by CIL, to us we can only assume the are referring to the foam on a cappuccino as it is not a brown shade at all.  It reads more, creamy grey beige with a hint of green if that is a thing! So Ian started painting out the room, well really just this one wall for now. The rest will come later.

Then he hung the barn board, which he secured into several studs.

Next came the hooks!  I love having so many!

There is room for towels and robes, too! We wear those to and from the hot tub in the winter!

From there we were able to remove the hall door to the laundry room, we never closed it and it actually took up a lot of space.  Once we had the new hooks we didn't need the door at all, it's only purpose was to hang towels on the back of it.  Boy does it ever give so much more visual space!

Next we turned our attentions to the closet.  It was full of cleaning supplies, hot tub chemicals, clothes waiting to be donated, dog food, and paper goods. It was one of those scenarios where the door wouldn't stay shut because there was so much junk stuffed into it.

This is another space where the door was just in the way. So we emptied the closet sorted and purged the stuff, assessed our storage needs and got busy.

There was a rod that we didn't need and one shelf, and we desperately needed to multiply.

Ian removed the rod, and shelf.  Then we painted out the walls and baseboard inside the closet. And then he added two more, full width but slightly shallower than the depth of the closet, shelves

Ian also added trim to the front of the shelves to make them look more substantial. Once the shelves were painted out I got busy filling the closet back up!

It now works perfectly for us! And actually makes the laundry room feel just that little bit larger! You may have noticed we painted out the exterior door, we actually did that last summer.  However it doesn't really match now so it will be repainted one day.

What you cannot see in this photo is we also changed out the light fixture to one that is brighter and more energy efficient. 

Next steps include painting the rest of the walls and baseboard, deciding what to do with the rod over the appliances, which we use all the time to hang-dry clothes, but it is less than attractive.  We are contemplating some shelves.  We shall see.  And maybe some decor. For now it is open and functional, so it is a win!

Thanks so much for visiting today!
Ian and Laura

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Family Room Fireplace Mantel

Hey there! Last week we shared the wood accent wall and fireplace surround that Ian created for the family room, so today seemed like a perfect time to share the mantel that he created as well.

We pondered our options for a while actually, we debated over building something or looking for a salvaged piece.   In an effort to call something finished (we have so many projects on the go) we opted to have Ian build something.

We figured we could always change it up at a later date if we found something we couldn't live without!

Turns out, we totally love it!  Now we just have to accessorize it! I added a couple of things just for this photo but I have my heart set on something larger above the opening.

Next steps still include painting out the brass trim on the fireplace and adding some art to the wood wall to the right of the fireplace.

Thanks so much for visiting today!
Ian and Laura

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Our Family Room Fireplace is getting a Makeover

Hey there!  If you recall, we shared back in February that we started a makeover on our family room.  We have a lot of plans for this space, and have already replaced the flooring which included adding some tile around our fireplace; as well as a fresh coat of paint and lots of new trim work.  It is so nice to see things starting to come together!

Here is a little peek at the fireplace as the tile is going in.

This fireplace is not the prettiest thing in the world, but it is an integral part of our heating.  We do not have central heating in this house, which is quite unusual for our area of the world. However, this fireplace is so efficient you would never know it.  Plus it offers really lovely ambiance and makes this room a super cozy place to hang out in on cold winter nights.

We had a vision for this space, to make it feels like the cozy space it is.

And while we have changed a few things along the way, one of this things we had our hearts set on was a wood feature wall!

Ian has been busy making that wish come to fruition lately, and today we would like to share the first stage with you.

Our hope was to make the fireplace look more like it was an integral decor element of the room and not an after thought.  Ironically, it was an integral part of the house wen it was built 30-ish years ago!

We knew that whatever else happened around the fireplace, it needed a dark backdrop so we began by painting the area behind it a dark grey.  We just used some leftover paint which helped to save a few dollars.

And then Ian began framing in the space.

We had already chosen the wood we were going to clad the wall in so, he framed with those specifications in mind.

Our thought was that we would run the wood boards horizontally on either side of the fireplace and along the ceiling and then run the boards vertically between those two areas.

We also framed out the wall beside the fireplace.  On the opposite side of this wall is our storage room. For some strange reason this wall was cheap panelling, needing to change that up is sort of what prompted us to created a feature wall in this area.

As you can see from the photo above, Ian is super pleased with how the wall is turning out.

We were on the fence as to whether or not we would be adding baseboard and ceiling trim to this area, to match the rest of the room.

We decided that we would leave it open to whether or not we thought it was needed, aesthetically speaking.

This process came together super quickly!

We love how warm it looks and the fabulous texture it offers!

We do need to decide on a mantel for this space and are currently tossing around ides.  As there is no rush, we may poke around at a few of our favourite antiquing haunts.  Or Ian may just decided to DIY one of his many ideas!

Next steps include painting out the brass trim on the fireplace and adding some art to the wood wall.

Thanks so much for visiting today!
Ian and Laura

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Sewing for the Family Room

Hi there!  We crossed something else off of the to do list for the family room! We now have new throw pillow covers, for the warm months and the cool months none the less!

As we mentioned previously, we are going with a red, grey and off white colour scheme for this space, so we sourced our fabrics that would worth within those confines and still be seasonally appropriate.

This is our winter look, warm plaids along with solid red pillows and grey corduroy, too.  (shown below)

We opted for a beautiful cream and red basket weave fabric for the warmer months, still pulling in the solid grey and red pillows, too.

The red covers are from IKEA and the grey ones are from Amazon.  The other pillow covers we created using our no failing process which you can see our tutorial on here.

We haven't started using them yet, as we are waiting to pull the room together first.

Thanks so much for visiting!
Ian and Laura

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Our Family Room Make Over Continues

Hello!  Even though our posting has been sporadic at best, we are continuing to plug along with our family room make over.

If you recall, this is the inspiration board we put together for the space.  We shared this over a year ago, long before we could start to work on the space, sometimes the dreaming part is all you can achieve!  While most of this inspiration is still on our wish list, a few things have evolved over time..

Recently, we have been working on changing the lighting, painting walls, replacing trim and refacing the columns.

Here is a little peek at a BEFORE photo.

Despite being in our basement, this room has a lot going for it.  For one, it is huge!  Like almost 25' x 25', and it has great light and fairly large windows for a lower level space!  Although, the room felt a little lack luster before we started our renos, partly due to the wood trim, paint colour (which is decidedly more fleshy in low light, as in all winter long), fluorescent lighting and window coverings. Which are all things we have been addressing lately.

As you know, we have swapped out the carpet for new flooring that is much more kid, dog, and snack friendly. If you missed that post, you can check it our here. We still love it!

We also painted out all of the walls, this Silver Satin colour by Benjamin Moore.  It is fresh and airy, but still cozy enough for a lower level.  It is the perfect soft warm greige and we are so happy we found ti!  It looks especially lovely with the new white trim.

Ian pulled all that old, dried out ugly wood trim down off the walls and replaced it with nice clean new white trim.

The baseboard is pretty standard trim, however the trim along the ceiling is something we created ourselves.

We also created custom window trim for this space,

This is a hard window to photograph as it gets great light so you'll have to take our word for it the trim looks waaaay better!

You can also get a glimpse of our new window treatment in this pic, with it's white blinds and grey and beige striped drapes.  They are a perfect combination for this space!  There is also a small window which we are working on creating a custom treatment for. Mostly because I totally forgot to order a blind for it when I ordered the other blinds! ;)

The fluorescent light fixtures were swapped out with these fixtures.

These fixtures were chosen largely due to the fact that the prices was right ($39 at Costco), they are clean looking and do not really attract a lot of visual attention.  They are not often on so we didn't want to make a huge investment.  Of course, when we took down the old fixtures we found so many holes in the ceiling. It seemed as if who ever installed the old lights drilled into the ceiling saying "no stud here, no stud here, no stud here" etc.  There were over fifteen holes for fixture in this spot alone!

So ceiling repair is another project on our list!

Since removing the columns wasn't an option, Ian dolled them up with bead board wainscotting and fresh trim.  The tops were painted the wall colour and the trim and bead board was painted the same fresh while as the rest of the trim in the room.

Of course, Ian is a details guy, so he switched out all of the electrical outlets and light switches in the room, too.

Fresh white, beats 30 ear old beige any day of the week!

Next on our list for this room, is removing the weird bit of paneled walls.  You can sort of see them on the walls behind the columns in the photo above. As well as some sewing, new sofa slip covers,  And on and on! You know how it goes!

We are also starting a new project in the living room this week.  And of course, as the weather is turning nicer we are wanting to be out of doors so we will likely be beginning a few projects out there, as well.

Thanks for visiting!
Ian and Laura

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