We finally have blinds up!

Yeah! Our living room/dining room windows had been completely bare since we took possession last August. I was ok with that, since I need a ridiculous amount of natural light (I blame our long Canadian winters) but then our neighbor commented on our lack of privacy and it made me go “Hmmm. We should probably do something about that.” And so we did. 3 months later.

I knew I wanted to do woven wood blinds with white drapes, and my inspiration came from here:

As usual, my expensive taste did not jive with my conservative budget. The image above from houzz lists the blinds as Hunter Douglas, and I found similar ones from Blinds To Go. But when I priced that option out, it would have been around $600 for all 4 windows in the living room/dining room. And that was after a BOGO 50% sale! BouClair had similar ones but they couldn’t cut the blinds to the size we needed (and the quality was not great). I finally found what I wanted for a decent price at Lowe’s- and we didn’t even need to cut them since they were exactly the right size! Hooray! They definitely add a coziness that was missing, and help the room look a lot more finished.

DSC_1948_ DSC_1953_
I love how our new accent chairs look in here, and I’m pretty chuffed with how the throw pillows turned out- I bought that fabric ages ago when I did my milk paint chairs but never ended up using it, so I’m glad I found a spot for it!

Now for the drapes…

Friends of mine have drapes that hang from the vaulted ceiling all the way to the floor in their living room and I am majorly envious of them. I’m fairly sure they were custom made and are out of my price range but luckily I have found a few DIY tutorials on how to fake the custom look using an Ikea hack (naturally). The secret is to iron a few pleats and use drapery weights to give the fabric that heavy, expensive look. Here are a couple of great posts that take you through the process.

ikea hack drapes curtains

WCC DIY pinch pleat
Whaling City Cottage: DIY Pinch Pleat Curtains

I’m hoping the end result looks something like this from Design Indulgence, but I’m on the fence about whether to go with black or grey trim.

design indulgence
We do have a few black accents here and there but the sofa, dining room chair cushions, and throw blankets are all grey. As you probably know, grey and I are BFFs for life but maybe it’s time I stopped relying so heavily on it, black might bring a nice contrast in. Thoughts??

It will probably take a little while longer until I actually get this finished but I’m just so happy that we got something done that didn’t involve using a shovel! The basement is about halfway finished now, we’re just waiting for the backhoe to come back so we can get the rest dug up. Needless to say, we needed the break.

-C

Our First Year

Whoa! I can’t believe it’s been one year since we got the keys to our house. What’s that saying, the days are long but the years are short? Yeah, that’s becoming so true the older I get. We have been working our little butts off on the foundation and while we have spent the past two months literally and metaphorically digging ourselves into and back out of a pit, it’s so easy to see all the work there is left to do instead of patting ourselves on the back for all the work we’ve done, you know?

DSC_1522_

Aww, remember when we used to have flower beds instead of piles of clay?

So I thought I’d do another little sum up post of what we’ve accomplished, so that I don’t just spend my life thinking I’m a horrible slacker for not quite being finished everything I thought we would. Really, the only thing we thought we’d do in the first year that we didn’t get done is the bathroom reno, but we also never planned on doing the foundation in our first year either, so I think we can call that a wash!

Here’s my last progress post that I chronicled our first few months of home ownership in- wouldn’t want to get all redundant on you! (Psst… if you really want to see how far we’ve come, check out the photos from the realtor’s listing.)

Since then, here’s what we’ve got done:

Third bedroom: removed that hideous forest wallpaper, painted all the things, ripped up old green carpet

carpet before after2Kitchen: installed new light fixture, changed all the outlets, painted all the things, sewed and installed a badass valence that you can’t even tell I did a hack job on

One Room Challenge Kitchen Dear DIY – Bedrooms: ripped up the old vinyl floor that was under the carpet, pulled up SO. MANY. STAPLES. and had new carpet installed
– Guest room: moved our old double bed in, hung curtains, hemmed said curtains, put in a desk
Master bedroom: bought a new queen sized mattress, found an accent chair for the corner/clothes dump/sleeping cat and have somewhat of a colour scheme going on

accent chair

I am so glad I don’t have to look at that horrible vinyl tile any more

– Basement: cleaned and organized many times over by my husband. I hardly ever go down there and he’s pretty much always neatening things up, condensing the boxes that I half-unpack, mopping the floor, etc. Probably because he wants to establish it as his domain now when it’s crappy and unfinished so that later when it’s awesome he can have an 1100 square foot man cave.
Living room: bought a new sofa, found accent chairs, hung gallery wall with wedding photos, sorted out the entry shelf, organized entry closet, and hung blinds.

accent chairs

Yeah, the chair legs still have the wrapping on. Real classy, Cathy. They also spent their first few days in our house covered in plastic before I Scotchgarded them. #clumsyproblems

– Sunroom: cleaned out all the old carpet and crap that we’ve been dumping there as we worked over the winter, moved our old sofa in and found a cute coffee table.

sunroom_bright – Foundation: dug a 6 foot trench all around the house and garage, pressure washed the entire surface, patched parging, applied foundation paint, attached platon membrane, covered ground with gravel, laid O-pipe, covered with more gravel, and backfilled the whole mess. Not to mention cooking and feeding all our friends/family who donated their time to help out. Oh yeah and waged battle with a foot of mud every time we tried to go down there because it would not stop raining!! Sorry for detailing every little things but it has been a huge undertaking and I want credit for all the incremental things that meant we did not spend our summer bbq-ing, drinking beer, and relaxing at a cottage.

Ok now I don’t feel so bad that our yard needs to be re-landscaped. Looking back over this list also really gives me an appreciation for how hard my marriage has worked, too. I can see lots of things that I did on my own, my husband did on his own, or that we both worked on together- despite all the inevitable arguments about how many throw pillows are too many or what’s a reasonable price for an accent chair, we make a great team and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings us! I think there are a lot more projects in our future! :)

-C