Updates Around the House

I took a little break from the blog, not on purpose but mostly because our next big project is the garage workshop and we need to get an electrician in there before we can do anything major.

And it’s super cold out.

So I’ve decided to move forward with some other projects, and in the meantime, share some smaller updates around the house.

I updated my chalkboard for Christmas and really went for colour this time. Max said it was his favourite design yet. It is already changed for the rest of winter after Christmas.

The rest of the changes were in the powder room. Max thought this room was done and when I told him it wasn’t he insisted we actually finish it.

So I had to get a new faucet (as previously reported), a new light fixture, and paint the ceiling.

There was a boob light in here before, so we added this schoolhouse fixture with seeded glass.

I also took this opportunity to paint the ceiling which had previously been a light green, the white on the rest of the walls.

And finally, I added this little shelf above the mudroom bench, which Max stained. Toilet paper styling included.

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.

A Waterfall for the Powder Bath 

When Max and I last went around the house to talk about upcoming and future projects, he was very surprised to learn that our powder room was not completed. 

I have spoken before about how I wanted a waterfall faucet for that room. When I bought the vanity top at Lowes I got a free faucet for it, which was much better than our old one and worked in the meantime while I saved for the new one. 

But when Max learned that the bathroom was not done he told me to just finish it. So I found a deal and ordered it. 


And it is super cool. It has a brushed nickel finish so it matches the rest of the bathroom hardware. 



The opening in the top and the square shape make it feel modern. 


And I made some updates to the other side of the room as well, replacing the crappy outdoor bench we had in here with this wood one that max sanded down and stained to make the wood grain really shine. 



I may have some pictures of the refinishing process that I can include in another post but I will have to dig them up. 


And above that bench I hung this shelf from Homesense. I love the metal work on it. 


Toilet paper is a great decor tool. 


Meanwhile, as I took all these pictures (plus some of the dogs), Max installed the free Lowes faucet upstairs in the main bathroom. The old faucet there was pretty sad so it was a nice upgrade. 



I’m excited about these faucet changes. Now all the powder room needs is a new light fixture and I will be painting the ceiling when that is installed. I hope to pick up the fixture on my next Thunder Bay trip. 

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.

 

Bye Bye Green Couch

The couch is gone the couch is gone!

Three years after first obtaining our green couches from a friend upon moving into our first apartment, we finally got rid of the last one.

And it is awesome.

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Forgive me for this photo, it is pre-DSLR, but it shows both our green couches in their full glory. I bought these guys third-hand off a friend a few years ago, when I was desperate for furniture. By the time we got them, they had been well-loved. Not the greatest quality in the first place, the support was shot in both of them, and they were too cheap to even think about replacing the foam.

Oh yeah, and they were green.

I like to think I made it work pretty well, and things blended so much that you barely noticed the sage colour. And last Christmas when I got my nest chair, I got rid of the loveseat.

And it was glorious.

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But I still had one green couch, and I knew just the thing to replace it.

A $3000 Urban Barn leather couch.

So I waited. And I dreamed about it in this post.

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When we got married and were given wonderful monetary gifts from our family and friends, I told Max I already knew what I wanted to buy before we put the rest in savings (see beautiful couch, above).

But I still wanted a deal.

So, when we walked in to Urban Barn in Winnipeg after our honeymoon and saw this guy on sale, I had to have it.

The salesperson gave us an additional hundred dollars off, and so we ended up getting it for 66% off. DEALS.

This was a floor model and no longer produced (hence the deal) but there are a lot of similar Urban Barn couches HERE.

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I just love the warmth the leather brings to the room. I’m looking forward to the patina over time, and this kind of couch just gets more beautiful with age. The leather is not bonded either, but real leather, so we really did get a steal for the quality.

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The lady also asked if I had pillows for the couch or if I would like to pick some out. Please.

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Now between this couch and my nest chair, Urban Barn is taking over my living room.

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There are a few more changes I want to make in here (including curtains, a rug, new bookshelf, move the piano in, you know, just SEVERAL things), but this is a great step towards my dream living room.

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The low profile of this couch also makes a huge difference. This also makes me want a new basement couch as well #createdamonster.

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.

More Shopping and Upcoming Projects

In one of my last posts, I mentioned I spent a whole week in Thunder Bay and may have another post given all my shopping excursions.

And I do.

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The first thing I took note of was this rug in Homesense, which was on clearance. At only $150 it was a steal, so much so that I made Max measure our couch and chair to see if I could make it work. It was 5 x 7 and I think I definitely need an 8 x 10 for the space so I had to walk away from this one.

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I took a picture also of this interesting mirror in Home Depot. I liked the ornateness of the oval shape and am still on the hunt for a mirror for the main bathroom.

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And then I spent much too long browsing storage systems. I think these closet systems are so interesting and such a great idea for easy customized storage.

This Martha Stewart line was pretty.

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But this Closetmaid line was the clear winner. The walnut option was the best looking and I love the custom look of the drawers.

After all this dreaming though, I realized that a custom built closet would likely work best for Max and I, given the irregular shape of our closet. It will also be much more cost effective to build it ourselves. Now I just need to get my hands on a router and convince Max that MDF is not the enemy.

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But before I came to that conclusion I did play around with the design service.

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Also in storage, they had a lot of garage options. I love the Husky stuff and thought this option with the storage under the workbench was cool.

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And then I bought a toilet. Because it was only $108.00. And because it was WHITE.

When I bought the tile I knew that if I installed it I couldn’t very well put my almond toilet back on top. So I went for this deal.

Therefore, in upcoming projects we have a lot of tiling, toilet removal, cement board installation, and overall bathroom beautification.

Stay tuned!

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

May Was Crazy & Some Shopping 

I post on average seven times a month, just about twice a week. 

But in May I posted once.

Oops. 

I have a lot of excuses, but basically May was insane. I went to Vegas at the beginning of the month for my bachelorette, we had our wedding social, and May Long Weekend was spent out at camp. So the blog was on the back burner. And nothing was really accomplished Project wise anyway to blog about. 


But I’m getting back into it now that it is June and I have a lot of projects and posts planned! We hope to learn to tile and get some backsplashes and a floor done. And on top of that, I want to move forward with a plan for the main bathroom. 

Until then, I’m in Thunder Bay for work currently. I have some recent house updates to share as well as some things I saw and some things I bought: 

Also I’m here all week so there may be a part 2 of this. 


To prepare for summer I hung my new boxwood wreath on a burlap strip. I hung my monogram in the centre as per usual. 


I also picked up a new doormat that I thought was funny when I was in Winnipeg. 


I saw this vanity top at Home Depot and made note of it since this is a great price for  a 49″. I only have one more yellow vanity top and I am determined to replace it! 


This moose sketch was at Homesense and I thought he was cute.


This mirror was also at Homesense and I have been wanting a wood frame mirror for the main bathroom. Not sure if this one is too big and Max is measuring back home for me. 


This vanity was at Lowes and I love the lines of it and the black metal. Would look great in a small space and very affordable. 


And this. The most exciting thing. 

This picture above is from October when I saw this tile in Home Depot and walked away from it because I wasn’t ready. 

I’m still not ready now but when I talked to a lady that worked there and realized they only had 87 square feet left, I had to do it. 

So I have tile ready to go as soon as we decide to learn to tile. And it is so pretty and I LOVE IT. 

It is glazed porcelain so even though it looks so nice and vintage it will be tough enough for a floor. 

I grabbed it (after they forklifted it down for me) and hopped right out of there! 

I have a few more nights in Thunder Bay but I am excited to get it home. 

Let me know if you have any questions. 

THE CUT at Sears and More April Shopping

Last week I went to Thunder Bay for meetings, and I had barely any time to shop. It was just an overnight trip, and I had an evening meeting as well, which left just a few hours for home décor shopping.

In the little time we had, my mom wanted to take me to the upstairs of Sears, where a new section opened called “The Cut.”

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It’s essentially Sear’s version of Homesense, with all kinds of discounted items. Right now it’s just a small section of the upper level of Sears, and very haphazardly organized, but it was still very interesting to see them branch out this way and I hope this section expands in the future.

They had lots of cool décor pieces and dishes (above).

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They had some cool rustic signs like this as well.

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I was a fan of this dishware pattern with the blue marble-like swirls. I liked the teapot especially.

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And they had some industrial giant clocks I loved as well.

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There were also a lot of art prints on canvas, but none of them seemed too special to me.

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And they had this thing. I think it’s some kind of wall hanging artwork and it was HUGE. Like taller than me easy and made of some kind of ceramic? Super cool and I’ve never seen anything like this at Homesense.

I also checked out their pillow selection but unfortunately none of them were down-filled and I won’t buy pillows unless they’re down filled at this point.

I was impressed with this new venture but nothing can take the place of my beloved Homesense, so I of course still had to run there before leaving town.

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Above are some super cute pitchers for summer. The gold writing says “lemonade.”

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I thought this zebra blanket was interesting but certainly not my colour.

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This shibori print one is much more my style.

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Homesense also had these fake grass rugs which I thought would be so awesome on a balcony or something if you lived in an apartment and didn’t have a yard!

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I thought this ladder shelf with a mirror would look really cool in the big space in the basement bathroom but I’m not about to spend $80 on it.

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They also had a ton of furniture on clearance but I’m not really looking for anything right now.

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I always check out the puppy section and I thought these jerseys were a cute idea for Jays fans.

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And I was also so impressed with the lighting this trip! They had so many pendant lights and a lot were on sale too! The bottom right are cement lights and so nice a heavy. Not sure how much light would be getting through that shade!

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Seriously. So many pendants.

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They had a lot of big clocks as well, which I always love but have nowhere to put one.

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And I thought the artwork this trip was on point. I love this watercolour nature scene.

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And this hipster deer, how cute is he?

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And last but not least this canoe painting which was huge and very pretty. I ended up picking out a completely different art piece but you will have to wait and see that! Stay tuned for the next fireplace installment! This was a bit late getting posted because of all the work on the fireplace but it is coming together so beautifully and I can’t wait for it to be officially finished.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thunder Bay Shopping: I Found a New (Re)Store!

Lately it seems I have been travelling to Thunder Bay every two weeks. It is a busy time of year with our fiscal year end coming up, and this means lots of meetings. Luckily for me, this also means lots of shopping opportunities.

Unfortunately for me, this increase in trips has led to a general boredom with HomeSense. The frequency of my shopping isn’t allowing for an influx of new items to the store, so it is generally the same stuff, and on top of that, it’s all Spring stuff, which is my least favourite season to decorate for.

So I went looking for a new store to occupy my downtime. And I found a ReStore!

ReStores are thrift stores operated by Habitat for Humanity, that specialized in used or sometimes new building supplies. When people rip out their kitchen cabinets, for instance, as long as they’re still in usable condition, they can donate them to the ReStore in their area.

Right up my alley, right?

The first thing I saw were all these old doorknobs and locks. The faceplates are so pretty and I love the patina on them.

They also had a ton of knobs and pulls, nicely bagged. I think knobs and pulls are usually ridiculously overpriced so this would be great if you were redoing a piece of furniture or a bathroom cabinet and just needed a couple.

Nothing like seeing a whole row of almond sinks at the ReStore to convince you that your own almond sinks need to go!

Their trim selection was great and would be awesome if you were trying to match some older woodwork or working on a small project.

This is something I have dreamed about. A whole row of vintage doors to browse through. Some were cheapy hollow cores, but there were a couple beautiful ones I will show below.

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And a bunch of vintage wood windows as well! So pretty for home décor.

Vintage handmade tiles. Would be so cool for a bathroom backsplash where you would only need about 10 or so.

And they also have a couple pieces of furniture too! I thought these dining chairs were pretty and just needed a little TLC.

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They also had a great assortment of light fixtures (and plugs to make sure they worked!) as well as these pretty glass shades. There were a lot of the school house fixtures I like here.

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And these are the gorgeous solid wood doors. If you look close you can see the “SOLD” sticker but if they hadn’t been, I would have found a way to fit them into my car. I am now convinced I need a vintage door to my closet. Sorry not sorry.

Another place I went to visit while in Thunder Bay was Fabricland. I get most my fabric here or at Wal-Mart, and needed to pick some up for a project for the dogs (which is now complete and I will post about soon).

I loved all the stripes they had just put out, very Joanna Gaines to me. I thought maybe the straight lines of stripes like these were a bit ambitious for my project (sewing is hard enough for me without trying to keep a pattern straight) so I let it go but when it goes on sale I may need some for some throw pillows.

I loved this one too. I have a obsession.

This is the one I ended up going with. It is a warm gray upholstery fabric so it is nice and thick and perfect for my project. It was also on sale for $5 a meter. I got 4 for $20 and was able to make the dog project, some pillows, and still have a ton left over.

Let me know if you have any questions. I highly recommend finding your own ReStore to go to! I think Max was pretty jealous, it’s like the garage sale of his dreams.