Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

I'm honoured to be awarded as a versatile blogger by Roncy Vic over at Roncesvalles Victorian Reno Diary, one of the blogs I follow.  I feel undeserving since I am horrible at keeping the blog up to date. Thank you nonetheless to Roncy Vic for the nomination.  Since I started this blog to keep friends and family up to date with our house renos but ended up with a few additional readers, it is too difficult to come up with 7 things that both groups wouldn't know about me so I will try to mix it up a little.

1- I love google reader and follow several blogs daily.  I admire those bloggers that post daily. At this point, I don't aspire to do so myself but perhaps if I could make it my job, I would feel differently.

2- I am 39 weeks pregnant and I have an identical twin who is also pregnant (33 weeks).

3- I am not very good at interior decorating/design as I never really have a vision for the rooms.  I love seeing other bloggers progress and the thought and planning that goes into each space. I'm not sure that I have the patience to plan my own space. Only time will tell!

4- I am excited to become a mom, although I still can't picture what my life is going to be like.  I don't plan on turning my reno blog into a space where I update about my new life as a mom, however I can see myself potentially starting a new bog for that reason.

5- I love getting a deal on big purchases.  I am not the best negotiator so I usually walk away while my husband negotiates and am usually thrilled with the results.

6- I like a good challenge and have challenged myself physically with a couple of half marathons and a triathlon. I am trying to think of labour as the same type of challenge.

7- Socializing is my livelihood and I blame that on being a twin. I have an older sister as well so we grew up in a house full of girls (my poor dad).  I think this is why I was a little taken aback to find out I was having a boy.

Many of the bloggers I follow have already posted their 7 "things" which I really enjoyed learning... keep them coming! I'll be back soon, if we have time for any last minute renos before the little one arrives.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Nursery

We've completed the nursery! Well...almost.  The basics are in but we still need a few items.  We need to pick out some window treatment, likely a roll up blind that will keep hopefully both keep the bright sun out, as well as the colder air. I'd also like to find some cute art work but don't really have anything in mind.  The room we went with in the end, was the former office as it is the smallest bedroom.  The office has moved up to the 3rd floor and we've kept a bed up there since we still expect to have multiple guests at one time.

Other projects that have been completed over the past couple of weeks won't mean much to my readers but to me make a world of difference.  My husband installed the rest of the quarter rounds on the second floor, as well as in the living room and dining room.  Prior to this, you could see all the gaps in the hard wood next to the walls so everything looked really sloppy.  We still need to caulk and paint the baseboards but for now it looks great! Upcoming projects include: sand and paint the 2nd floor hallway and add light fixtures, add second coat of paint to certain walls in living room, paint dining room, carpet stairs (+ office).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Master Bedroom Complete

I wish I was a better photographer because as usual these pictures do not do the room justice.  Anyway, our master bedroom is complete and I am pretty sure it is my favourite room in the house.  We have waited a long time to have a master bedroom complete with furniture and paint!  The room itself is pretty spacious so we were able to upgrade our bed to a king and buy a bedroom suite (two night tables, a dresser with mirror and a chest of drawers). *I'd really like to get some new bedding but it really isn't a priority.

We also upgraded our living room tv, leaving the bedroom as the obvious place for our old former living room tv.  42 inches is a little unnecessary for the space but we mounted it on the wall and it seems like the perfect fit.  We used a tilting wall mount with an extendable arm so we can move it around conveniently. Because we mounted it on a concrete wall, C used his electric drill with a masonary drill bit and plastic anchors.  The process was much smoother that the living room tv mount (also on a concrete wall) -a perfect example of practice makes perfect.

Finally, we also installed some faux wood blinds (the first windows to receive actual window treatment in the house), as well as a ceiling fan light fixture, complete with a remote control dimmer.  All in all, I am happy with the choices we have made and really enjoy spending time in the master bedroom -a definite bonus since I will be on mat leave soon and likely spending LOTS more time at home.

We have completed the guest bedroom as well and are currently working on the nursery.  So far, every time we have gone out to get things for the baby, we come home with new stuff for ourselves. I am told that this is considered "nesting" so rather than feel guilty, I am feeling fortunate to have additional things completed before the baby comes.  The nursery pictures to follow soon.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

DIY Head Board

When thinking about the master bedroom, it was next to impossible not to think about getting a new mattress set.  The one we have been using is a memory foam queen mattress which was wonderful for years but has recently been leaving my husband waking up with a soar back.  I think this has something to so with the memory foam pillow top on top of the memory foam mattress.  Anyway, we decided to invest in a king bed mattress set.  It is amazing!  Especially now that I am pregnant and sleeping with pillows all around me, the extra space is much appreciated by both of us (and once and a while by Winston as well). Because we spent money on the new mattress it was hard to justify spending alot of money on a bed frame.  We were really drawn to the upholstered bedframes or headboards but they are so over priced for what they are. One day we popped into a sketchy furniture and fabric warehouse in our neighborhood, where we were told to let them know what we liked and they would make it for us for a hefty fee.  The light bulb went on, we were in a store that sold all the material!  We picked out some fabric, a large piece of foam, cotton batting, some buttons and were on our way.  We had a giant piece of ply wood sitting in our basement so we just needed to drop by Home Depot to pick up a few other material.  The list included: 4 pieces of 2 x 4; a staple gun and some staples, and wire for the buttons). We had some extra screws and nails hanging around the basement.

Step 1: Measure your mattress and cut the ply wood to the width of you mattress. Determine the height you would like, factoring in that the 2x4s will be the legs. Screw the 2x4s into the plywood around the perimeters of the board, leaving extra length for the legs.

Step 2: Cut the piece of foam (using scissors or an exacto knife) to the same size as your ply wood.  Using a spray adhesive, glue the foam onto the flat edge of your ply wood.  Once the glue is dry, place a large piece of cotton batting over the foam and staple it along the 2x4s at the back of the board. This just adds an extra layer around the edges.

Step 3: Once the foam and the cotton batting is securely in place, you are ready to add the material.  We picked out a cream coloured cotton/canvas material and purchased enough material so that we could cut a panel to staple onto the back, as the last step once we had completed the tufting.

Step 4: This was actually the hardest step -the tufting!  Figure out where you want to place the buttons and mark the back of the board.  Once you have it all marked, drill small holes through the ply wood only.  Using a long piece of wire,  poke it through the hole and have someone on the other end place the button on the wire (we used wooden buttons).  Twist the wire together neatly so that you can send it back through the original hole.  Have one person push hard on the button (I used the back of a screwdriver to push) while the other person twists the remainder of the wire around a nail until the button is well secured.
DIY Upholstered headboard

Voila! We have created a headboard much like the ones we saw in the stores or online.  We did end up buying a metal frame (often thrown in by the mattress store when purchasing a new mattress -we negotiated pillows instead -oops). We attached the headboard to the frame and added a bed skirt that matches the colour of the head board. I will post the final picture in my upcoming post about the work we've done on the master bedroom. 

Update on what we've been up to in 2011

I haven't posted in a while, maily because I haven't had alot to report.  Our renos were at a standstill for sometime mostly because of our busy schedules, lack of funds, and reno burnout! There was an incident with a leaky pipe back in January.  We had water dripping into our kitchen and had to turn the water on and off before and after our showers. This also left us using the toilet in the basement (which is just that -no sink, no walls, just a toilet). We ended up with a couple of holes in our kitchen ceiling (which still need to be patched) but the pictures were way too boring to share. Once we had the problem isolated, we realized that there was a tiny leak in one of the elbow joints so we called in a plumber to have it repaired.

Me, at 16 weeks
Also in 2011, we've received some good news which has provided us with a solid timeline to get additional work done around the house. I am due at the end of November.  We've decided to work on the master bedroom first, then tackle the guest room (which will be converted to the nursery), then the office (which will become the new guest room) and then the dining room (including finishing the hutch!). We still plan to carpet the two sets of stairs, as well as the 3rd floor bedroom (which until now, we have been using as our master bedroom). The room will be converted into the new office and we will leave the bed up there for guests. We are in the process of looking for quotes to convert the other room on the 3rd floor to a beautiful master bathroom, which once complete we can move forward on the carpeting mentioned above. Stay tuned for updates on the Master bedroom!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

I haven't posted in a while for a couple, Chris and I took a well-needed week vacation to Mexico and two, we haven't really been doing much work around the house.  This weekend however, we visited Home Depot and brought along the running list of items needed for the house.  I forgot how much I liked going there.  Not so much the act of being at Home Depot but everything you can accomplish once you've returned.  Here is a list of tasks we completed over the weekend:

1) Fixed the kitchen sink that had been leaking for months.  We can safely remove the bucket and stop telling people to use the right sink only!
2) Replace the halogen light bulb above the sink.
3) Painted the white lines left behind from the painters tape in the living room.
4) Rearranged the living room furniture
5) Mounted the tv... which led to a visit to ikea, to find the perfect tv stand.
6) Put together the "tv stand" which is actually a beautiful book case... which led to another trip back to Ikea.
7) Sought out a piece to match the book shelf that would even out the other wall (beside the tv).
8) Purchased drapery hardware (still no curtains though)

And here is the end result:


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beware of smell and alert the neighbors

A couple of weeks ago, I left town for a girls weekend.  While I was away, Chris slaved away over the hutch that we (ok he with a little help from me) started this summer.  I was really surprised when I got home because not only did he build the doors and the shelves but he finished the sanding and added detail and trim.  The idea behind the hutch is to have it match the diy dining room table. Chris started staining the hutch this past week (pictures to follow).  Each piece requires two coats of stain and at least one coat of polyeurethane for the finish.  The stain and finish smell REALLY strong and even cause some light headedness so Chris opened a couple of windows in the basement and we went out to walk the dog.
Diy Hutch in progress

When we returned from our walk, we noticed a fire truck on our street.  I looked at Chris and said, "that's never a good sign..."  and before I could finish my sentence I noticed some neighbors gathered on our lawn and a group of fire fighters walking out our front door.  As it turns out, our neighbors who are attached to us smelled a strong smell in their house and thought it was a gas leak.  She had noticed me come home but had not seen us leave with the dog.  When she knocked on our door, she could see my purse and phone and with no answer, feared that I was in the house passed out from the "gas".  She called 9-1-1 and the fire fighters came, broke in through the opened basement window, and toured our house.  They knew the smell immediately and even complimented Chris on the hutch.  Luckily, no one was hurt, our house is still standing, and no charges were laid.  We have taken a break on the staining though so you'll have to wait to see the finished product.