The Closet Project Begins

Closets are very important to me. I have a lot of crap and I love organization, so nice big closets are a necessity.

My closet in the apartment was huge because it was in the space above the stairs and entry to the basement apartment. So when we were house shopping I wasn’t exactly willing to downsize.

To get a walk in closet in a master bedroom is rare where we live, as most homes are bungalows. So when I saw this closet I was psyched.

It is a bit awkwardly shaped and doesn’t have a lot of storage, just a bar and a shelf.

I lived with it for a while and added some shoe shelves and such from my previous closet to make it work.

But I always wanted a pretty, totally built in, dream closet.

When Max got a router from his grandparents for Christmas I took it as a sign and moved all my stuff out and we demoed it.

We picked up a bunch of MDF and I drew up some plans.

My goal is to make enough storage in here so that Max can move his stuff in too, it is currently in the office closet.

Unfortunately we don’t have the right size router bit so it is on order and as soon as it comes we will be off to the races and I will be sure to update.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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A Built-In Mudroom Bench

There is an awkward nook in our garage entrance mudroom that I never really knew how to style.

It is immediately to the right when you come in the door and so I stuck a little ottoman there and along with hooks that were there when we bought the place, called it done.

It never looked great.

Plus then I added more decor to the rest of the room, hanging my Moravian star light fixture, painting the ceiling navy blue, and adding a gallery wall and new rugs.

So it was time for the little awkward nook to catch up to the rest of the room.

I came up with a plan for some built-ins, a floating bench and of course some shiplap.

And I provided this lovely sketch to Max who got right to work.

He built a frame 18″ off the ground, with all the side pieces secured into studs and a centre brace to prevent sagging.

And then we covered the top and front with this beautiful pine.

Max then got started on the shiplap, which as is elsewhere in our house, is just strips of mahogany underlay. This is a super cheap way to get the look. We used five inch boards.

Next I stained the bench Special Walnut by Minwax and sealed it with poly, and once that was dry I taped it for caulk and paint.

I used this paintable caulk and got all the nail holes and seams.

And then I painted it Blank Page by Beauti-tone.

We finished it off with some hooks custom made by Sam’s Fabrication. It is so hard to find hooks that are simple, sturdy, and inexpensive. It cost the same as buying hooks off the shelf as having these made.

Then I added some pillows. After much debate I decided I love emerald green now and that it goes well with the navy ceiling.

We also added some baskets underneath for texture and a wedding photo above the hooks.

I love the way it turned out and this space looks so much more intentional now.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Future Plans for the Main Bath

Max and I recently decided that the next project we are going to tackle is the garage workshop.

Which is painfully boring. It is a garage after all.

It is absolutely necessary for us to finally finish our workshop, especially with winter fast-approaching. We really need a place where we can work on projects and plus if the garage doesn’t get organized soon I will likely develop a hernia. Unfortunately this is not going to be the prettiest project we’ve done. And it’s not really going to require a lot of design and decorating on my part.

So in the meantime, I can dream about future projects.

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I have talked about all the problems I have with this main bathroom in the past, HERE, and I painted the mirror black HERE. And while I had a lot of ideas as to changes I wanted to make, it was about damn time I made a real plan.

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I think one of the main problems in here is the wall colour. I had thought that the vanity needed to change, but it turns out it was the walls. I was trying to blend beige and grey too much, and I needed everything to get a little bit cooler toned in order to match better.

In this spirit of simplifying, I will paint the walls Blank Page by Beauti-tone, and leave the vanity as My Favourite Sweater by Beauti-tone. The vanity in my design plan is just a representation of my painted vanity, I will not be switching it out, just putting a new topper and faucet on.

For further cohesiveness, I want all of the hardware to be black. And right now I’m thinking hooks instead of a towel bar, which Max says he prefers because they are “easier”

I also am sticking to my black mirror, but changing the shape to a circular mirror that I already picked up from Homesense.

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Another one of the larger changes will be lighting. You can see the vanity light right now is off centered and just in the way. I would love a sconce on either side and am eying these from Wayfair right now.

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I already have the shower curtain, so the last thing I need is that beautiful cement tile. Unfortunately it is only available in the states so I may have to figure out a creative way to get it (or go for a shopping trip across the border).

I’m excited to turn this bathroom around and make it something I love. After I finish the boring garage project.

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Tile Reveals – Powder Bath and Master Ensuite

Oops I didn’t post for two months!

It wasn’t purposeful, it really wasn’t. At some point I just realized it was necessary to put the blog on the backburner while I got married and went on my honeymoon in order to not lose my mind. Because executing a wedding is hard. I need a nap just thinking about it.

The good news is soon I will have wedding pictures to share here.

Until then, I wanted to share a bit of an update and reveal as to all the tile work I had posted about starting back in the summer. Despite not posting about it, the physical work was completed in fairly short order. And I’m OBSESSED with the hex tile I chose.

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In the powder room we completed two rows of subway tile above the chunky white countertop we installed not long ago. I used grey grout (Delorean Grey) for some contrast and some caulking in the same shade finished off the edges. The wraparound of this tile is great for splashes, which is good because this bathroom is most used and often used by guests.

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In our master ensuite, we completed the floor tile in this beautiful black and white hex pattern.

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I love how white and clean it looks now compared to the old linoleum. A new white vanity top and white toilet also helped with the overall brightness of the room.

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In this bathroom we also installed a backsplash along the back wall only. It can go a little higher given the mirror placement in here and I finished it with the same grout and caulk.

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Now I can’t wait to change out my shower and get all the beige officially out of this room.

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The black tiles match the black vanity (Black Cat by Beauti-Tone) perfectly as well.

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I have some fresh new hammam towels in here as well.

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I am so excited to have one of my four bathrooms so close to being totally completed!

I still hope to find a new light for this space, it still has a dreaded boob light in the meantime.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Wedding Invitations Are Out!

If someone asks you to marry them you better think long and hard about how bad you want to because let me just tell you, wedding planning is the worst.

Luckily I really want to marry Max.

But the latest horrific wedding planning item was getting invites out. It took me three to four full nights of work to get these assembled, tied, sealed, addressed, stamped, and mailed. And it hurt my back.

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Our invites are all from Precious Invitations and match our Save the Dates, which I posted about here. I loved Precious Invitations and couldn’t recommend them more. When I had an envelope mishap, they expedited 50 new ones to me within two days. Great customer service.

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Our invites basically consist of three cards, the invite, reception card, and RSVP. I tucked the two smaller cards under the large one with a jute string because it would have cost a million dollars to get envelope backs (an extra flap of paper to tuck the smaller cards into).

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And I also tucked the RSVP into the RSVP envelopes to keep it looking classy.

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I used our stamp on the RSVP envelope as well as on the back of the large invite envelope as a return address.

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And then I ruined my poor little fingers writing addresses on each of them.

Needless to say I am glad it is done.

On to the next task (there are many).

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

The Master Ensuite Reno is Underway!

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Awhile ago we got a new vanity top, painted the vanity, installed a new faucet, a new mirror, and painted in the ensuite. More recently I added some art. And it looked really great from one angle. But there were still some glaringly ugly features remaining after that Phase 1 makeover.

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Like the floor. And the almond toilet. So when I found some hex tile on a recent trip to Thunder Bay I decided we should commence the Phase 2 reno.

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I started with a backsplash for this vanity because I had subway tile left so why the heck not.

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I ended up doing just the back wall here and went three rows high because the mirror was higher here.

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Then we removed the toilet. This was not difficult but it was HEAVY. Max just unscrewed it from the floor and unhooked the water, flushing it to empty it as much as possible.

Then you’re supposed to put in this powder to gel up the remaining water so you can carry it out without making a mess. We never got that memo. And we had no powder gel stuff.

So Max lifted it up and I pulled a garbage bag up around it and the water pouring into the bag and it was gross.

But it didn’t drip once on the floor.

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We cleaned up the wax ring and put a paper towel in the hole so no sewer gas can come up into the house. And then we started to remove the linoleum.

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And it was the worst. Almost all glued down and needed to be scraped. We would score the linoleum and then use a multi-tool with a blade on it to pry it up.

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And in just four plus! hours it was gone. AND THIS ROOM IS TINY SERIOUSLY.

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We then installed cement board (1/4 inch thick) on to the subfloor to prep for tile, using mortar and screws to secure it. We finished the whole room in cement board and are ready now to start tiling soon!

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Let me know if you have any questions.

 

How to Tile a Backsplash (It’s Super Easy!)

I apologize some of the photos in this post are dark. My flash died (the speedlite I rave about) and I need to get some new batteries!

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A little while ago, when we replaced the countertop and faucet in the powder room, which I talked about in this post, I decided a subway tile backsplash would be great in here. We ended up finding subway tiles on the shelf in Home Hardware (unheard of!) and then we just had to borrow a tile saw. Which turned out to take much longer than anticipated.

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But we did it.

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I started by papering off the vanity so that I didn’t get mortar all over it.

The only other things I really needed for this job were tile spaces (I used 1/8) and mortar.

I already had grout, a grout float, grout sponge, and tiling trowel from a previous floor job.

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So, not knowing what we were really doing, we checked to make sure the vanity top was level and used that as a guide to start placing tiles. I would mortar the wall and Max would back-butter the tiles.

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We would just stick the tile on and put a spacer between each one. As I went I peeled back the paper where I has finished and there was no more mess so that it didn’t get stuck under the tiles.

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We only had to cut a few tiles, and Max would just measure and then bring it to the tile saw.

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Most of our cuts were for the corner and were relatively easy.

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I decided to do a brick pattern and therefore did the top row staggered by 1/2 a tile. I also decided two rows was my maximum height given the space the mirror takes up.

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Above is the finished tile job before grouting.

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I put down painters tape to avoid making a mess and then did some grouting! I love grout because it makes everything look so clean and finished. I think it is the difference maker in a tile project.

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I just smush the grout in with my grout float and wipe it with a sponge.

And that is where I left off! I still have to caulk it (I bought caulking that matches the grout colour) and reinstall trim but that will have to wait until we do a couple other tiling jobs because I only have one tube of the caulk for three different areas!

Let me know if you have any questions.

Coffee Table Makeover and Yardwork 2017

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On the last Saturday of each month our town has a “Curbside Swap” in which people leave their old crap on the side of the road and I drive around and pick up ALL OF IT.

I have a problem.

But sometimes I get awesome stuff, like this wood coffee table that I thought would be perfect out at camp. It just needed a bit of work first.

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Max did a quick sanding of it for me to start, just so the paint had something to stick to.

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I used My Favourite Sweater by Beauti-tone, because I wanted a neutral and I had a lot of it. I also planned to paint the cabinets at camp this same colour so it would match.

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I did a first coat, let that dry for maybe an hour, and then added a second coat.

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To finish it up I did a quick couple coats of varathane just to protect it. This spray version is super easy, and leaves no streaks!

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It is now in the cabin and looks great. I may have to post some pictures of it and the painted cabinets in the future.

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On the yardwork front Max and I planted our gardens, added some flowers, did some weeding, and added new mulch. You can see our huge post on yardwork from last year with before and after pictures here, and this year was pretty similar. My flower boxes on the porch are my favourite because there are never any weeds thanks to their suspension in the air!

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I also did a bit of a cleanup of the porch, and vacuumed the whole thing, changed out my wreath and added a new mat.

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Let me know if you have any questions.

Another New Vanity Topper and a Free Faucet to Boot!

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Upon moving into the house, the main floor powder room was one of the first rooms we fixed up. This is the bathroom most visitors and guests use, so I wanted to make it presentable right away. We gave everything a fresh coat of paint and re-did the floor, but the vanity top was still left unbelievably yellow.

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YELLOW.

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Seriously it was not cute, especially with the new cool grey-white wall colour.

I waited a long time to get a new topper for this one because I want a very specific type of faucet (aka expensive) and it didn’t make much sense to me to buy a new topper and put the old gross faucet back on it?

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But when I came across this square trough-like topper (exactly what I wanted) at Lowes on sale $50 off, I had to go for it.

AND THEY WERE ALSO HAVING A FREE FAUCET PROMO.

So by buying the topper I got a free faucet. Not exactly my dream fixture but certainly better than putting the old one back on while I save my pennies for the dream faucet.

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Max’s first step in installing the new topper was removing the old one. Unfortunately the plumbing didn’t want to be disconnected.

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The parts were all pretty corroded. So he changed out the topper but did not hook it up until he went and got new connections the next day. I’m not going to lie I have no idea what any of these parts are but he fixed it so I’m happy.

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He just popped the old top off.

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And set the new one on.

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He had to make some cuts on the interior of the cabinet to make the pipes fit with the new sink but you will never be able to tell unless you stick your head under there.

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He also had to remove the trim to get it on so we still have to replace that.

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And once the trim is replaced I am going to have to do a bit of caulking.

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My original plan was to paint the wall where the lip had been, but the more I thought about it a small subway tile backsplash would look really neat there. Since there is already cement board up, this should be a fairly easy project (in theory) and a nice little foray into tiling, so stay tuned for that as soon as I manage to borrow a tile saw.

We ended up getting a whole box of subway tile off the shelf at Home Hardware, which is unheard of in our town, so I was happy. Stay tuned for that project.

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In the meantime Max installed my new FREE faucet and I am living with a stylish green strip behind the vanity.

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The new faucet is just a brushed nickel builder grade special, but certainly better than our previous faucet. Max also reinstalled all the drawers I promise, I guess I just missed that picture.

Let me know if you have any questions!

 

Birch Candles for the Wedding!

As part of our wedding decor DIYs I wanted to make some birch candles that I had seen all over Pinterest. 

I didn’t have Max make a ton, as I see us using these more infrequently – maybe just on the cake table and guest book table or something. 


He started by cutting the log into pieces. I had him make seven total and he just used his mitre saw for this. 



He did seven inch and ten inch logs. 


Then he used this drill bit that makes holes to cut into the top of the logs. 


The bit was just a bit larger than a tea light. 


Once they were cut he used an exacto knife to clean it up. 



He also had to make sure the hole was just deep enough that the tea light would sink in but not too low. 


I’m very happy with how these turned out and think they will look very cute at the wedding! 

Let me know if you have any questions.