Spring/Summer To-Do List

This worked so well for the winter that I thought I’d do it again! I love making lists, and the satisfaction I get from crossing stuff off of it motivates me just enough to keep going. Our summer is going to be mostly taken up by digging up and water proofing our foundation, which is pretty much the least exciting thing ever to blog about. So I might be kind of quiet here in the coming weeks, and will mostly be busy digging, moving plants, and making sandwiches for the horde of people helping us.

Here’s what I’m hoping to get done, in between resting my sore back. I reserve the right to add, subtract, or modify at will.

  1. Put the finishing touches on the kitchen. Do you recall from my One Room Challenge reveal post that our flooring didn’t come in on time? It actually came in the day after the ORC deadline. *shakes fist* Just imagine how good this will look with charcoal grey rectangular tiles!One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIYWe also need to install the last light fixture and order our new fridge, which we are super stoked about. A new fridge was not in our reno budget this year but my parents offered to foot the bill because they’re awesome (and would like somewhere to put a champagne bottle that dispenses ice when they come over).
  2. Finish our master bedroom. Now that our carpets are installed, our room just needs some pictures on the walls and the closet doors back up. Bonus points if we manage to find a new bed frame- I’m on the lookout for something with straight lines, but we haven’t decided yet if we will buy or DIY.
  3. Hem the curtains in the guest room and set it up for actual guests (not just my cat). No, you’re not experiencing déjà vu, this just never got done on my Winter list. It’s even worse now since we got the carpets installed, because everything had to come out of there and we had to take apart the bed to get it out the door, so that is currently in pieces in the middle of the floor with the mattress leaned up against the wall. Not an ideal sleeping position! I’d actually really like to have some sort of a desk station inside the closet where I can store all my sewing stuff. My mom always had her sewing desk inside a closet and it worked really well, for both organization and hiding the mess when you need to!
    closet sewing station

  4. Bring my style board to life in the living room and install window treatments- yup, this got bumped from the Winter list, too! One of my neighbors “casually” mentioned that she noticed we don’t have curtains up yet- welcome to small town Ontario! I love all the natural light that comes in since tearing down the old curtains but I’d like to put something up that will give us a bit of privacy without compromising the light too much. I really love the look of a natural woven fiber blind with white panels and will probably go that route.
  5. Restain the solid maple dresser I scored off Kijiji last year. My husband has been using a horrible small MDF dresser since I have known him (2007). His boxers and undershirts have to be folded in a specific way to fit inside it and it drives be bananas! I’m going to stain it with leftover Special Walnut stain from my dresser makeover.DSC_1622_
  6. This will probably get bumped off the priority list and might only get done next summer… but I’d love to do something with our sunroom. Right now it’s full of stuff that we moved out of the bedrooms during the carpet installation, but we’ve got our old sectional sofa in there along with a cute little table that I found at the ReStore and it has the potential to be awesome. It would be a great space to enjoy an afternoon nap or a cold drink- I can imagine euchre tournaments and board games happening here with friends.sunroom_bright

The one great thing about having a long list of stuff to do is that I can pick and choose what I want to work on, depending on my mood and productivity level! It really is amazing how much work there is to do around the house- any house, not just ours. I’m grateful that we only have 1100 square feet of space because we already spend so much time just cleaning and maintaining it, let along the time it takes to do all the projects we want to do!

Hope you come along for the ride,

-C

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Living Room MCM-Inspired Style Board

Mid-century modern (MCM) style is definitely having a moment right now, and Chairish is curating style boards from bloggers featuring items from their MCM collection. I stumbled on the Chairish site a while back and thought it looked really cool- kind of like a cross between my favourite second-hand shops, Home Sense, and Etsy all in one.

Since I’m thinking of tackling my living room next, I thought I’d put a style board together for what I’d like the room to look like. I built it around a few central pieces: our sofa, a cowhide rug that I’ve been wanting for ages, and a pair of truly awesome blue velvet chairs (that I definitely do not have the budget for, but a girl can dream, right?).

Ikea KIVIK loveseat and chaisecowhide blue velvet armchairs

After that, I looked out for fun accent pieces by pulling colours from the artwork we have in our living room: a photo print by Greg Taylor that my sister bought us, which was taken in the park we got engaged in, and a limited edition print of Tom Thomson’s Silver Birches.

Greg Taylor Photography Bell Park Photograph

Here is how I combined those items for my MCM-inspired living room style board:

layout

The great thing about MCM style is that it lends itself really well to mixing and matching different styles, finishes, textures, and colours, which is something I’ve always done. I remember once in university I was wearing brown shoes with a black belt and one of my friends tentatively asked, “Um, can you do that?” and I responded that clearly I could, because I was!

As you can tell by this layout, I think it’s perfectly OK to mix black, brown, and grey. Here, I mixed black pieces (the floor lamp, chevron pillow, accent rug, and bone box) and a warm medium brown (the cowhide, storage unit, and bar cart/side table) with our grey sofa thrown in the middle. To add in some colour and textural interest, I chose blue velvet arm chairs and colourful throw pillows in different patterns. The teal patchwork pillow is also cowhide; repeating textures is another trick to keep the overall design cohesive.

Here’s another look, this time with a numbered source guide included.

layout_numbered

  1. Chrome lamp / Chairish
  2. Bar cart / Chairish
  3. Sofa / IKEA
  4. Throw pillows / Pier 1 and Etsy
  5. Art work / IKEA
  6. Throw pillow / Pier 1
  7. Floor lamp / Canada Lighting Experts
  8. Entertainment console / Chairish
  9. Rug / IKEA
  10. Bone accent box / Chairish
  11. Brown cowhide rug / Pure Rugs
  12. Blue velvet armchairs / Chairish
  13. Accent pillow / Pier 1

Creating style boards is a great way to plan out your vision for a space, and it was a fun exercise to browse Chairish with an imaginary budget! Their services are not yet available in Canada, but if you’re lucky enough to live close to the border, there are ways around that. Now I have a great starting point and I know what to look out for to complete our living room- if only it was as easy to actually make it a reality!

Note: this post is not sponsored. I’m not affiliated with Chairish or any of the companies featured in this post. Links to sources are current as of the post date, but may no longer be available.

-C

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One Room Challenge: Kitchen Reveal (ish)

Well well well, time has flown! Thanks to Calling it Home for hosting this super fun linking event for bloggers, not to mention the serious design awesomeness coming from the designers. I’ve been so inspired! And jealous. But mostly inspired. I had a bit of a breakdown last night when I realized I wasn’t going to be completely finished, but such is life. I had to stay late at work a few times this week and I seem to have come down with a cold to boot. Excuses, excuses right?

To get caught up, make sure you check out my previous posts from Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 5 (I was in Mexico for Week 4 so I didn’t post). The Cole’s notes: I didn’t like my kitchen and I wanted to stop not liking it. It’s come a LONG way since we moved in, but there are still a few loose ends to tie up; most notably the flooring, which did not come in on time (Home Depot, I’m looking at you). We also have one more light fixture to install. Enough of my drivel though, here it is!

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIYOne Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

I love the new colour scheme in here! It’s hard to tell from the pictures but the walls are a light celery green, and it looks great with the bold black of the frames and valence, as well as the turquoise accents, like my new favourite linen tea towel. I discovered that Fabricland sells “tea toweling” by the yard/metre so that was pretty life-altering. I have also been looking for the perfect wooden serving tray for ages so I am super excited about that in particular! The patterned bowls, hand soap (on clearance!) and bread basket from Home Sense were also lucky finds, and who doesn’t love fresh basil?

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

One Room Challenge 2015 Kitchen

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

For the time being, I have made my peace with the faux bois counters. I would still really like a new range hood and a new fridge (you’ll notice I strategically took the photos to avoid it), but I am flat broke after my trip and paying taxes! I think once the floors are done, I can totally live with this kitchen until we renovate it in a few years time.

I’m really happy with how the prints that I made turned out, too. I wasn’t sure what I wanted on the walls here and I like the simple square frames.

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

I’m also SO happy to have the mini shelves gone off the island! It seems like such a small thing but it really makes a huge difference, in the overall aesthetic and making the passage to the dining room feel and look more open.

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

The valence was a massive pain but I’m happy with how it looks. I unpicked it 3 times and it still isn’t perfect but I’m filing it under “learning experiences”. It was definitely tough making it symmetrical, even, straight, and fit in the window with that bold pattern and the knife pleats. On the bright side, it felt really good to get my sewing machine back out, and I sewed this entire thing on one bobbin, about which I kept yelling to my husband “It’s still going! How has it not run out yet?! It’s the Little Bobbin That Could!” It symbolically gave out just as I finished the last hem.

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY

Thanks for reading, and to everyone else who has commented, liked, or otherwise supported me here and on Instagram @cathyatdeardiy. Definitely check out the other linking participants and the designers for some serious eye candy!

ORC-LP-Blue-250x183

[Side note- sorry for all the theme changes recently. I can’t seem to decide on one. I just installed the Genesis framework and I’m determined to learn more about CSS, coding, and other fun web design stuff. So please bear with me!]

-C

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One Room Challenge: Week 5

Eep! Only one week left for the One Room Challenge and I still have so much to do on my kitchen! Totally worth it to have a week off in Mexico, though.

mexico

I wish I could say that I’ve made lots of progress since I got back on Sunday, but that would be a lie. While I was gone we got new carpet installed in our bedrooms so we decided it would be worthwhile to install the quarter round in those rooms before doing anything more in the kitchen. I’m glad we did because it really looks fantastic! I never thought I’d be so excited about carpet, but I’ve been living with crappy vinyl tile and subfloor in places for the past 6 months, so it makes a HUGE difference.

carpet before after2

What we have accomplished since my last post is painting where the mini shelves on the island used to be and installing our new ceiling light: the Ampere Moonraker LED flush mount from Costco. My husband installed one at a job he was doing and said it was really good quality and value, plus I liked the look of it- score! It’s not often we tick all of those boxes!

light

[bonus points if you can spot our friendly kitchen spider. Easily identified by the white and green specks. Serves him right for hanging out in the corner where I was trying to paint!]

Painting the spot where the mini shelves used to be was a big job too, and it’s looking like it will take many coats to cover it- I’m at 4 and counting right now!

shelves before after2

I’m hoping that I’ll get a ton of work done this weekend. If not, oh well… the whole point of participating in the ORC was to give myself a kick in the pants to get started, so I’m not going to stress out too much if it’s not 100% done. We also just found out that the flooring we ordered won’t be in until May 16 so that for sure won’t be done in time, which is too bad since it will have the most impact.

ORC-LP-Blue-250x183

The major thing I want to get done next is the window valence, which I am shamelessly copying from Little & Lovely.

black and white valence

I hope I can find a pattern similar to this, it’s perfect! I think the black will tie in with the random black appliances we have, as well as these prints I made.

i'm sorry but first coffee

Hopefully I will have a lot more significant progress to share next time! Shout out to everyone who posted on my sad whiny Instagram post for motivation, it definitely helped kick me back into gear!

-C

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One Room Challenge: Week 3

Stuff is happening in the kitchen! I’m a little behind on the One Room Challenge schedule- week 1 was supposed to be the plan, week 2 was supposed to be progress, etc. But I had my certification exam for work right around the time I decided to be a linking participant so that kind of delayed me. I’m happy to report that I am now a Certified Cytometrist, so my weeknights and weekends are no longer taken up by studying!

Deciding to participate in the ORC has really made me take a hard look at our kitchen. We are planning a full renovation in a few years time, so when we moved into the house our goal for the kitchen was to make it bearable until then. Painting the cabinets white and updating the hardware made a huge difference, but there’s no getting around the non-standard height and overall aesthetic of the angled design. I’m still not sure if I will be able to do the Ardex overlay on the counters… I think it will look really great and make a huge difference, but not having a kitchen for the few days it will take to do it is a big deal. Looking at pictures like this from Little Green Notebook make me think it would be worth it though!

LGN Ardex counters

I’m hesitating because I don’t want to do something just for the sake of having a great “After” shot, and I need to decide if it’s really necessary as a stop-gap until we renovate it. Participating in the ORC has given me a great kick to get started on a project that I have been putting off for months, but it’s also made me a little self conscious about other people looking at my house, and I feel a bit of pressure to make it look as good as possible. We have a ton of stuff on our to-do list over the next few months, like installing carpet in the bedrooms, starting our bathroom reno, and working on the basement, so I have to think carefully about the cost:benefit of refinishing the counter tops before I dive in!

Apart from all this introspection, we have actually gotten some work done. The holes have been patched, including a rather tricky one in the bulkhead above the sink. I also got the ceiling, trim, and 3/4 of the walls painted since my last post, and it’s looking great! I had a last minute change of heart with the wall colour and took it back to HD to get adjusted, and I’m glad I did. Truth be told I wish it was darker still but this was as dark as I could get it without buying a new can. Here’s a sample kitchen from Behr painted with the colour I chose, Pale Celery.

kitchen pale celery

We also ordered in our floor tiles, and I think they are going to make a HUGE difference. Like I said, down the line we will plan a major kitchen reno, so for now we just want a more attractive alternative to the beige and rust linoleum. Peel and stick tiles fit this bill nicely and the ones we ordered are pictured below.

ceramica coastal grey vinyl tile

They are TrafficMaster Ceramica in Coastal Grey and can be used with or without grout. Now that the walls are mostly painted, I’m starting to visualize how it will look and I’m pretty excited to have it come together! If you missed out, check out my Week 1 post to see what our kitchen used to look like, and my Week 2 post for the general plan. You can also follow along in real-time(ish) for my Instagram updates @cathyatdeardiy. Be sure to check out the other week 3 posts too.

ORC-LP-Blue-250x183

I won’t be posting next week because I’ll be in Mexico with some of my favourite ladies. So I’ll catch up with you on Week 5!

-C

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