Baby H’s Neutral Nursery Reveal

I’m super excited to share our finished nursery! I took advantage of the 30 cm of falling snow outside to stay in and do a little photo shoot with our new camera, which I’m still learning how to use. If you want a little refresher, check out this post for my style board and plan and this post for a progress report. I’ve been working on this room on and off for about 3 months and I’m really happy with how it looks. It kept me occupied between losing my job and waiting for baby to come, which I am grateful for! But enough of my nattering, here are some visuals.DSC_4809_DSC_4781_ DSC_4807_DSC_4778_DSC_4786_ DSC_4826_DSC_4793_DSC_4794_DSC_4797_This room featured a lot of DIY and craft projects, like the papier maché zebra head I previously posted about and the 2D cloud mobile I made, loosely based on a wooden one I saw online.DSC_4828__01
The wall art is pretty much all DIY, from the zebra head to the art prints I made with some free web graphics that I found online – I love how these turned out!DSC_4838_DSC_4843_We really tried to save money anywhere we could, like using coupons, shopping sales, and repurposing things we already had in the house (like the curtains). I really wanted some cute maternity photos to frame and to have as a keepsake but hiring a photographer was not in the budget- so we bought a new-to-us DSLR camera that was an upgrade from our 10 year old one and did our own photoshoot at a nearby park with a tripod and a timer.

DSC_4799_ DSC_4805_I may have gone a bit overboard with storage containers. It’s hard to know what we’ll need before the baby actually gets here, but I tried to give us lots of options for toys, blankets, clothes, diapers etc- all the various baskets and containers will help keep things as organized as possible!

DSC_4804_I really liked the idea of a shelf/organizer combo with hooks above the change table but couldn’t find anything I liked at a price I wanted to pay. So I made my own with an inexpensive shelf, wall hooks, and baskets. I think this will end up being really valuable storage and functional space for diaper changes!

DSC_4802_My favourite corner of the nursery is the rocker, bookshelf, and ottoman, and I’ve already been testing it out! Hard to believe that soon I will be sitting here nursing our baby, and later reading to them.  I love the little zebra stool which will function as a drink station for those midnight feeding sessions.

DSC_4819_If you’re interested in where we got everything and our budget, here is a handy little source guide with a price breakdown too! I’m pretty happy with what we ended up spending on this room.

  1. Crib – Delta “Waves”, Sears, $130 on sale
  2. Mattress – Simmons Peaceful Slumber, Sears, $75 on sale
  3. Linens – ÄLSKAD 4-piece set, IKEA, gifted
  4. Mobile –  DIY with supplies purchased from Michael’s and Fabricland, ~$10
  5. Rocking chair – POANG rocker with black leather cushion, IKEA, $219
  6. Macramé ottoman – HomeSense, $39.99
  7. Antelope accent pillow – Village International, gifted
  8. Zebra stool – Village International, gifted
  9. Book shelves – MOSSLANDA picture ledge, IKEA, $16.99/ea
  10. Floor lamp – HEKTAR floor lamp, IKEA, $79.99
  11. Wall art – DIY prints from free vector images found online in RIBBA frames from IKEA, $9.99/ea
  12. Accent stripe – Behr paint in Perfect Taupe, $18.97/quart
  13. Curtains – recycled beige and black panels previously purchased with added blackout liner, $30
  14. Curtain rod – RÄCKA rod with 3 brackets and BLÅST finials, IKEA, $19.49
  15. Toy storage unit – TROFAST storage combination, IKEA, $105
  16. Bone/enamel picture frame, Dollarama, $3
  17. Laundry hamper, HomeSense, gifted
  18. Papier maché zebra head – DIY, free!
  19. Wall lamp – RANARP lamp, IKEA, $29.99
  20. Change table/dresser – Kijiji, $80, with change pad, gifted
  21. Bamboo basket for wipes, HomeSense, $12.99
  22. Change table storage – EKBY shelf, $18.99, with SVARTSJÖN hook rack, $6.99, and NORDRANA baskets, $9.99; all IKEA
  23. Painted mason jars, Little Miss Mason, gifted

As always I’d love to hear what you think in the comments! Now we just need sweet Baby H to arrive to really pull it all together. 😉

-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?

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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

Front Entrance Shelf Styling

First things first, hope you like my new theme- I was getting tired of the cutesy pink bunting banner. Time for a more modern and streamlined layout! I’m still tweaking things so let me know if anything strange happens. Ok now for the actual topic of today’s post:

Hooray! I have a shame shelf no more. Do you remember what our front entrance shelf used to look like?

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Womp womp. Pretty sad, right? It’s been on my list of things to improve around the house for a while and I’m really happy with how it looks now, after unpacking our (many) books and adding in a few decor pieces- most of them functional! A while back, I shared my Winter To-Do List, and it’s helped motivate me through more than a few slumps where all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch with my cat and Season 5 of Gilmore Girls. I’ve managed to tick a lot of things off, like finishing the paint in our third bedroom. So I rewarded myself with a little retail therapy courtesy of Home Sense, and now it looks like this!

book shelf syling

My inspiration for styling the shelf came from good ol’ Pinterest, where I found this from Up to Date Interiors:

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You can check out Kathy’s post for her great tips, which I loosely followed. Basically, start off with groupings of books and then add in whatever objects (or “tchotchkes” for the Lorelai Gilmores of the world) you want! What makes this look for me is grouping the books by similar colour, and also using a variety of finishes/colours on the items on display- gold, silver, black, white. I opted to stick with black and various finishes of silver and brass since I haven’t quite hopped on the gold bandwagon yet.

book shelf styling

I love the little wooden men with the hearts- they came from my mom’s last visit to South Africa. The lantern and the silver picture frames all came from HS, along with the wood/brass boxes. The black collage frame was one my husband made for me a few years ago. I just noticed all the photos feature either a canoe, a lake, or my cottage- can you tell I’m missing summer?!

book shelf styling

As great as it looks, it’s still super-functional. The cubby on the bottom shelf holds our gift cards, receipts, Canadian Tire money, spare change… anything that usually collects here! Al and I each have a spot to put our phones and keys, as well as stuff like receipts and other paper that hasn’t made it to the filing cabinet. I’m still on the lookout for a couple more things to finish it up, like a big metal “H” and maybe a terrarium??

But for now, I’m calling this one a mission accomplished!

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Living Room Progress Pics

Hi there! I’m back after a much-needed break. It was great to relax over Christmas and New Year’s, and then get back into the swing of work for a few weeks. And then I swear I tried to get some posts up, but turns out my domain name expired because someone hacked my credit card and the auto-renew didn’t kick in! Oops. I know it cost one friend a lost argument with her husband, and for that I am very sorry.

Today I thought I’d share some pics of how our living room looks these days. It’s easy to forget how much we’ve actually done when it changes a little bit at a time, so it’s nice to see the comparison with the “before” photos from the real estate listing!

Dining Room Before:

dining room 1

Dining Room Today:

Dining room and papasan chair

Dining room with lantern light fixture

I really love that light fixture. I splurged on it and I’m so glad; the initial anger about how much it cost has been replaced by a warm fuzzy feeling about how awesome it looks. You can read about where I got it here! The chairs were a hand-me-down from my sister and I’ve reupholstered them twice now; the fabric is from fabric.com.

Living Room Before:

living room 1

living room 2

Living Room today:

Living room fireplace and KIVIK sofa

A very realistic portrayal of a typical Saturday in our house (without me in my usual spot on the chaise). I’m surprised the cat didn’t waltz through the shot actually.

Living room entrance shelf

My shame shelf is less shameful these days- putting up the mail organizer really helps cut down on the crap. I still haven’t quite figured out the books/picture frames/knick knacks to display here, but I’m on the look out for some cool looking bookends and maybe another basket or two. Al actually found a neat looking old wire basket in the basement so I might scrub it down and give it a facelift with some spray paint if it fits!

Front entrance organization

We put the mail organizer on the wall inside the front entrance closet so it’s right at hand when we walk in the door.

Closet organization

Not mentioning any names, but one of us has a shoe problem, so we bought a couple of chrome shelves from Canadian Tire to keep the closet organized and get the shoes off the floor.

Salvaged wood frame gallery wall

And here’s what I’m most excited about: we finally put up our salvaged wood picture frame gallery wall! We got these frames as a wedding gift, but there was never room in our apartment for them, so I’ve been waiting for 1.5 years to put them up.

Salvaged wood frame gallery wall

I love them! I’m going to be posting about how to hang a gallery wall soon, so stay tuned.

I’m really happy with everything we’ve done so far in this room. We still have a few things left to do, like mounting the TV above the fireplace and figuring out window treatments. We also need to put the quarter round/shoe molding back on the sideboards now that we’ve officially decided not to sand and refinish the floors (maybe one day, but not now). They are actually in great condition, they’re just a bit on the orange side for my tastes. But you gotta pick your battles, right?

Next up: we’ve finally made some decisions on our bathroom reno and will be placing orders for our vanity, tub, and faucets in the next week or so. Yay!

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My Winter To-Do List

Christmas is in 5 sleeps and I have 2 more work days until 1.5 weeks vacation! I am really looking forward to some time off, and time spent with family. I’ve had some health problems lately that have caused a lot of emotional and physical stress so I am totally due for a break! Looking around the house, there is a ton of stuff that hasn’t been getting done, mostly due to the aforementioned health problems. When I feel crappy, all I want to do is camp on our new sofa and watch Gilmore Girls (thanks Netflix!).

jess rory

Stop being so dreamy, Jess.

I’ve been baking like crazy too… it’s like therapy for me. Cookies, brownies, gingerbread, shortbread, chocolate bark, cakes, cupcakes… it’s been out of control. My husband was actually complaining that I’m baking too much. The other night I was in the kitchen and he actually said “Are you done baking yet?!” and it wasn’t because he wanted to eat the cookies.

baking
Recipes: Espresso brownies | Candy cane chocolate bark | Rum cake

But it’s time to pull myself out of the funk I’ve been in and get back to work. As much as I still love our house, I am starting to realize why people buy brand new houses that need zero work; it kind of sucks living in a house full of half-started renovations! I was chatting to my mother-in-law and she said something that I’ve been thinking about. I had mentioned how we hadn’t put any pictures up in the house because it’s just another thing to dust, and we are generating a lot of dust while we work on various things. She laughed and said but then you’ll start the kitchen… and then the basement… and then something else. She’s right- I’m tired of living in limbo. Our basement is full of half-unpacked boxes that get opened when we need something (and can remember which box it went in…). We have pretty much only unpacked the essentials, like our furniture, kitchen stuff, and clothes. Realistically, it’s going to be 3-5 years before the big stuff like the bathroom, kitchen, and basement are tackled. I don’t want to wait that long to hang up the reclaimed wood picture frames we got as a wedding present from my family in South Africa!

gallery wall vignette with reclaimed wood picture frames

Reclaimed wood frame gallery wall

You know we are currently working on our plans for the bathroom– we’ve been to showrooms and have pretty much decided on the type of vanity and tub we want, we just need to commit to one and get it home so we can start knocking walls down. A lot of this will get done by my husband and maybe a friend or two if he does some arm-twisting. I’ll probably be helping more with the tiling, painting, and finishing touches than sledgehammer wielding and pipe installing, so here’s what I’m going to aim to get done this winter:

  1. Third bedroom: finish sanding and patching the holes left from the wallpaper removal, paint the walls and trim, and rip up the carpet.
  2. Kitchen: patch the walls, paint trim and walls.
  3. Guest bedroom: hem the curtains, put some pictures up and get it “guest ready” so we stop using it exclusively as a laundry storage room.
  4. Living room: touch up some of the paint, figure out window treatments, organize the front closet with a shoe rack, install the wall-mount for the TV above the fireplace, work on my shame shelf (I need to hang up the mail organizer that is still leaning against the wall… my shame has multiplied), and figure out what to do with this piece of furniture that came with the house.media playerWe can’t seem to find the right spot for it. It’s an audio cabinet that has a record player and radio player with built-in speakers. I wanted to turn the front wood panels into doors somehow with shelving for extra crockery and maybe a liquor cabinet?? But maybe we should just sell it on Kijiji.
  5. Master bedroom: finish hanging curtains, find a chair for the corner for the cat to sleep on as an accent piece.

Aaaand if I get all of that done, I’m definitely going to deserve the trip to Florida that I am still working on convincing my husband we should take! Are you suffering from winter hibernation yet? Want to motivate me to get started at all? Leave a comment below!

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