Wednesday, March 4, 2015

3 years later...the family room

Of course the family room is the most used room besides the kitchen but this is one of my favourite rooms by far. It has gone through quite a transformation to say the least. I love that it is pretty but not precious...we really do live in this room. Besides a little bit of touching up I need to do on the coffered ceiling it is a completed room. I love the ceiling that I did just over a year ago..it won't be my last in this house...I think the floor turned out beautifully laid in an unusual way I love dark stained floors no matter how much "work" people say they are. 
The ceiling fan is really cool...especially when it is in motion. 

The sofa is from Ikea its ektorp and is 11 years old...they have discontinued this one so when the slipcover wears out I will have to buy a whole new sofa...I am kind of annoyed with Ikea because of that.
The chairs are new from Sklar Peppler and I am very happy with them, we were way over due to buy new arm chairs. 
I always struggle with wall decor, I typically hate mass produced art...its typically so cheesy or matchy...I found the image of this octopus and had it printed out by a professional printer then I cut it up and used some ready to hang frames and I love it... 

 I left the size of the TV up to my husband and this seemed huge to me, but I  think it works, it is our family room afterall, I would rather have a big TV then one that looks dinky...that's just as bad as hanging a under scaled art piece...it's a TV we watch TV embrace it. I don't live in a home for decor I decorate my home that we truly live in. I built these two bookcases to hold the components.
 My daughter and I put up the chair rail for a bring your kid to work day...I don't see a lot of DIY in her future, she just has no interest so far. When we had the marble for the kitchen done I also priced in the hearth and the tub deck surround to get the best price.

 Of course I had to add a little bead board to the back of the bookcases because I love bead board.


 I love how the marble tile turned out...that is such an easy project and it finishes off the fireplace...the hardest part is deciding on what tile to use.
 Let's talk about these drapes...they are Ikea...I get nothing from Ikea but take my advice when I say look at them for drapes...they are long, they are inexpensive and they are lovely. These are linen and a greige and I love them...there is one thing I hate and it is when drapes are chincy and when they are tied in the middle...remember this, drapes do not and should not have a waist...insert smile here :)

Do you see how the windows and doors are the same height...well they are not, the door is 12" lower than the windows, the builder didn't want to spend the extra dough and put in taller doors in this house...if I had caught this I would have changed that for sure but we bought the house after the framing stage...so I made the best of it, this is where decorating tricks come into play.
I hung the bamboo blinds at the same height as the windows in this room to fake the look of a taller door...it works and it makes a huge difference. We do not use the blinds, they are purely for visual appeal.

 My other drapery pet peeve is that drapes aren't full enough...as you can see here I have used two panels per side...it's so worth it to get the second set especially on a big wide window, don't put up with thin wimpy drapes. These are $60 for a set...I saw locally someone promoting linen drapes at $80 a panel that would be $320 compared to $120, that is a big difference and there is no need to waste that kind of money in my opinion.
 Lets revisit the before photos...it was so stark...this was a couple of days after we moved in...so much has changed...
Just before the big makeover...of the coffered ceiling and flooring install. You can see the DIY coffered ceiling post here 
I am glad I spend the extra money to have the builder upgrade the trim on the mantel I think the carpenter did a great job. You must see how basic and simple my built ins really are, just MDF shelf pieces a bit of bead board and trim...it's really that easy, I bet most people can tackle this DIY build project. 


As you can clearly see there was not too much to be excited about where this room started off, heck I didn't know what I wanted to do in this room 3 years ago.We had the builder carpet just so we wouldn't have subfloor everywhere, the windows are nice, the 9ft ceilings are nice and of course we love a fireplace but it sure lacked any character or style...as I always say a room should be beautiful when it's empty...that's my philosophy. It's that much easier to create a beautiful layered room when there is character...and it adds real value to your home, who doesn't want to increase their equity?
Obviously it is not for everyone, especailly if you like to keep things minimalistic.


sorry for the grainy photo...this is just after I had completed the room just over a year ago...I took down the big plastic wall and I was in awe of how it all looked it was like opening a huge present.

So there you have it the family room 3 years later...no wonder I'm tired... I tend to think of all the things I still need to do and I lose sight of all I've done, it's good to look back like this.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

3 years later...the laundry room

 The schoolhouse light was the first item I had for this room, I decided to add antique brass hooks but that is where the brass stopped...I am totally fine with mixing metals but knowing where to stop is a tough decision. I mean the sink is stainless and so is the faucet, I would have loved an antique brass faucet but that was not in my budget and I really like my current faucet. So recently I decided to switch over the knobs and hinges to brass. I also added brass plates to the basket area in the pantry closet. So everything is brass except the faucet sink and knobs on my washer and dryer. 
Are you loving antique brass?
 I also searched high and low for some rush baskets for the existing cubbies. I love the warmth of the wood tones of the rush baskets...I was able to find just what I needed at Target. I was really excited to have a main floor laundry room and it is as nice as I thought it would be. I have so much storage and organization which is a welcome addition to every house, We also use it for feeding the dogs and we let them outside from this room, they also stay in here at times when we go out for long periods of time. This room is also our main access to the backyard.
The wood counter I made has turned out very well , it was inexpensive and has provided a great surface for day to day use. You can see how I made this counter here or through the sidebar link , there are other links there for other projects.
 I took down a towel bar next to the sink and I have yet to sand and paint. I recently tried those laundry pods and I actually really like them , I keep them handy in the glass jar and dryer sheets in the little basket beside it, the containers that laundry detergents come in are so ugly...
 I had these little brass label holders for years and I mean like 5-6 years, I just needed to find the perfect spot for them...I got them at LeeValley.
 I somehow found these extra deep baskets that perfectly fit the cubby beside the dryer, they are toilet tank baskets..it was a very lucky find and took about 2 years of looking, this is why you usually buy baskets before building things. I added these simple antique brass handles I found at Lowes, I just cut a small piece of wood and screwed the handles into the baskets and they grip the wood on the inside.
 I was looking for a long runner for this room, one that would soak up some of the snow and wet from the dogs paws...I bought and tried a few other options but they were all so narrow...no such luck finding one long enough and wide enough instead I found these two at Homesense and they were perfect solution.
 This cabinet and door have held up beautifully over the last few years. I keep a garbage in there as well as my big mop bucket.
 Most days this wall is loaded up with clothes that I am air drying and a couple of backpacks...I struggle to keep this wall tidy, I am often moving things that should be in the coat closet back to their proper spot because this being a narrow room the last thing I need is to feel crowded in there, an extra 2 feet would have made all the difference in here. I can not wait to turn this door into a dutch door...the only issue and there is always an issue I find, is that the knob is on the upper half of the area where it would make sense to cut the door...lets just say its not ideal but I can work with it, I just need to get rid of the darn baby gate we currently use... we have to separate the dogs when we feed them now to avoid angry outbursts and when we do keep them in there separately they deal with it better when they can see out for some reason.
 This isn't quite the 100% before but it is as close as I have...all that was in this room was a bare bulb, a utility sink, laundry hook ups and those awful cheap slider closet doors...I chose a neutral ceramic tile to stand up to all the dog and human traffic, it's nothing special but it is very functional.
 I wish I had upgraded that and I wish I had roughed in lighting for under the cabinets...but that being said it really is wonderful to have this space and I am more than happy with it at this point, it's pretty and very functional.
This closet was intended to be a coat closet but since we have an ample walk in coat closet in the front wall there was no need for a second one a few steps away so I customized it into pantry closet to suit and fit all my needs.

This customization of this laundry room closet has been a great addition, there is no such thing as too much storage. This is a small project to tackle, a few MDF shelf sheets and some trim and paint...I say rethink your closets.
Let see if I can list all the improvements...
Painted the doors dark, switched out the door hardware to bronze, added wainscoting to the walls, added hooks to the wainscoting, installed school house light, removed closet sliders, customized the closet by adding a tower of cubbies for baskets and organization for utility items and an extra shelf above the standard shelf, removed the utility tub, installed a double cabinet relocated from the kitchen, added more shelving cubbies and bead board to the wall above washer and dryer, built sink cabinet and door and cubby, created wood counter and installed sink and faucet for base cabinet, tile back splash, learned how to install crown moulding, changed out hardware to mostly brass, new rugs, displayed decor above wainscoting, new baskets, brass label holders, of course I can't forget all the painting, almost forgot the bamboo blinds I think that is it.
*still to come is a dutch door conversion and two new proper doors for the pantry closet.
I have thought on many occasions about painting all that is grey white cabinetry and millwork white...but I do like the grey and I am not dumb enough to give myself another project when there are things still waiting to be done for the first time...gotta be reasonable. 



Monday, March 2, 2015

thank you

I wanted to say thank you for taking the time to complete the survey and for leaving me your comments and feedback.

I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised with the responses, I am grateful for so much feedback and so much positive feedback.

I think my gut feeling to keep things natural and not scheduled is how I will continue.

I look forward to some exciting upcoming projects I have still in the dreaming of stage right now...like a hall makeover. I plan on adding wainscoting and even a ceiling treatment outside of my daughters bedrooms...


Sophie's bathroom makeover...and since she doesn't seem care much how the room is decorated I think I am just going to do what makes me happy...I know she'll love it too when its done.
There will be tile, paint, new lighting & a total revamp of the vanity both functionally and visually.
I think it will be mostly black and white marble I hope and lots of trim and maybe a soft touch of blueish grey.
You won't recognize this room...

I am planning on building a rustic headboard with my cousin...because she needs a nice bedroom especially since she is pregnant with her 5th baby...

I am making a few updates in my laundry room currently like switching out the hardware to all brass...don't you love antique brass?...I also plan to turn our existing door into the laundry room into a dutch door...then I figure it's time to install some doors on my pantry closet in that room...but do I order some doors or build some doors...decisions...


I will try to work on taking better photos and I will try to work on my lighting, but spatially it is hard sometimes to get the shots I would really like. Our house is a good size but it's not huge, sometimes its hard to get those great room shots with these dang walls in the way...if only you could see me jammed up against the wall trying to get the best photo possible...sometimes in my excitement I do put out photos that could be better, I will try better but I am not a magazine nor am I a professional photographer, although a professional photographer did once tell me she liked my photos...lol...


I want to address the pop up ad issue that a couple of people mentioned...I am stumped on this one...I don't subscribe to pop up ads being placed on my blog I have to wonder if that is something that can be addressed on your computer if you are having trouble with that, pop up ads are annoying...I know I have my computer set to not allow pop ups ads... I hope that helps. I did check all of my settings just to see if its on my end and I can't find anything here.

I will be continuing from time to time to feature products or brands that I believe in or that relate to my blog...but I will make sure that is not the focus. Sometimes I will just want to share with you good deals and steals just for the heck of it. I promise to be honest and transparent with any opinions I share as I always have, I would never say something I didn't feel because I got something for free.
As for giveaways I am open to that on occasion if a company wants me to do that because like someone said everyone enjoys free stuff. And heck as soon as I can figure out how to turn this into a Travel blogs so I can get free trips I am giving up DIY...seriously I am so jealous of travel blogs..trips for everyone...I am so in need of a vacation, did you know we had the coldest February on record since 1875 I am not sure if I can live the rest of my life here in Canada I am really struggling with these -20c temps...like someone said the other day DIY/renovation is my happy place and being sidelined for several months is tough to handle.

I guess it comes down to the fact that I blog to blog, to share and to connect and to hopefully inspire women especially to try things they otherwise may not have thought to try.
I am amazed at all the kind feedback and comments and I will certainly take all the feedback into consideration as I move forward...I thank you once again for taking the time to share your thoughts with me and thank you so much for coming back and spending your time with me...

I will see you soon with a 3 year update with before and afters... what I/we have been able to complete and accomplish with our renovations projects...I can't believe it is 3 years already...
see you soon.