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,


Master bedroom progress

So things are starting to take shape in the master bedroom, now that we finally have a queen sized bed! I don’t know how we lasted 3 years sharing a double bed- ok, it’s because we’re not huge people and we’re also quite snuggly… but the extra space is still nice.

When we had our offer accepted on the house, I went on a celebratory shopping spree for what I thought was going to be my sewing room. I picked up some throw pillows from Chapters- including one with a beautiful watercolour design- along with a table lamp from Target and a gorgeous lilac ceramic vase.

watercolour throw pillows, lamp, lilac vase

My plan was to put my papasan chair, a small desk, and our single bed in that bedroom, and I would decorate it with the stuff I bought. Then our double bed could go in the third bedroom, which was going to be our guest room. But once I thought about it more, I realized that it didn’t leave any space for my husband to have his computer and desk.

Right now we’re both too busy watching The Mindy Project finishing up painting the last few rooms and putting up curtains to worry about office space, since we both have laptops. But eventually Al is going to want to set up his fancy computer somewhere, and it will have to be in one of the 2 spare bedrooms. Since we have different ideas of what a clean desk looks like and where tools belong, it’s probably best if the room he uses as his office is not the room that doubles as a guest room, so the room with the double bed will be my sewing room when we don’t have company over. This doesn’t leave enough room for my papasan chair, and the stuff I bought to decorate doesn’t match the quilt that goes on the double bed. BUT! I tried the vase and the lamp on the dresser I repainted, and the throw pillows on our bed, and they actually look really great in there with the new paint colour (Behr’s French Silver). I had actually been thinking it was a little blah looking with our grey quilt, and had wanted to get some more colour in there anyway. When I found a cool drawer storage box from HomeSense to corral jewelry, hand cream, and other crap that lives on my dresser, and I was sold.


Now our master bedroom is grey with a little hit of purple and blue, and I really love how it looks! We still have to put up the geometric print white curtains I found from BouClair, but it’s really coming together. Hopefully the white keeps it nice and bright in there, since I am basically like a house plant that needs as much natural light as possible.

If you haven’t checked out Design Seeds® for colour palette inspiration, it’s definitely worth a visit- I perused it a lot when I was wedding planning. I found some great palettes there for our master bedroom- how gorgeous is the agate one?

design seeds mineral palette

design seeds agate blues palette design seeds crafted hues palette design seeds floral palette

Have you had any decor or design dreams that didn’t quite turn out the way you wanted, but worked in a different way? Sometimes I’ll even buy something that I have no idea what to do with, just because I can’t live without it… and then I only figure out where to put it much later. But it all works out in the end!

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No More “Forest” Room

What’s the Forest Room, you ask? Do you remember this picture from our “Before” album?

bedroom 1

Who could forget that wallpaper? If you can’t tell from the picture, it was a greenish brown impressionist take on a forest. There is only one window and the room is smallish, so the room is super dark. It’s kind of funny that the wallpaper was installed so long ago that this look is kind of coming back into style, but I assure you this was no birch print that is popping up everywhere.


Yeah. Not what we’re dealing with here. At first I thought I might try to paint over it, like my parents did in the house I grew up in. But although I inherited many good DIY skills from them, I think painting over wallpaper is generally not the best idea. I distinctly remember scraping my skin on the painted-over velvet embossed wallpaper in my childhood bedroom- the velvet turned all pointy and scratchy when it got painted over, so the surface of my walls was like sandpaper. And I was a clumsy kid. I did try a test patch to see if I could get away with it, but the paper absorbed too much moisture from the paint. Curse you, Ottawa humidity! You could also totally see the seams from the wallpaper.

forest wallpaper in the guest room- before
So I picked up some wallpaper adhesive remover (I’ve heard fabric softener works great too), a “Wallpaper Tiger” that you run all over the surface to perforate the paper and allow the adhesive remover to soak in, and set to work. First I scored the wallpaper with the Tiger all over, making sure that the perforations were about every inch or so to let the remover really soak in. Then I sprayed the remover on- I bought this gel version that stayed on nicely and didn’t run all over the place. Note that I’m wearing gloves because I’m a sissy and I don’t like getting my hands dirty, not because the stuff was particularly dangerous.
I worked in sections of 2 strips of paper so that the remover never dried out and had about 15-20 min soak-in time. I found that it would take me about this time to peel off 2 strips, so as soon as one section was ready to peel I sprayed down the next section. This was my first time removing wallpaper and I think it went pretty well; from start to finish (including prep time laying down drop sheets and assembling supplies) I took about 1.5 hours. The paper mostly came off pretty easy by lifting the edges with a putty knife and pulling down gently, but it did take off some bits off the wall below.
  Once I had all the paper removed, I scrubbed down the walls really well with the scouring side of a work sponge to get the excess adhesive off. We left it for a day or two to dry off before patching the holes with drywall compound.
Now the walls are ready for paint, and it’s going to be SO much brighter than before! I can’t wait.
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