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.

I Bit the Bullet and Painted the Bathroom Mirror Black 

I have been unhappy with my main bathroom upstairs for a long time and I even lamented about my struggles with this room in an entire post not long ago. 

So I decided to finally do something about it. I needed to just start making changes even if I don’t have the whole plan right now. Sometimes you can’t wait for a complete gut job. And I knew I hated the colour of the mirror. So out came the paint. 



I decided to go with my favourite black because I knew I wanted it to be neutral still but not so light and shiny. 


This is the darkest and best true black Home Hardware carries, Black Cat by Beauti-tone. 


I just put the mirror on the ground and started painting. The good thing about my ugly laminate floor is that paint wipes right off of it. 



Win thought the mirror on the floor was exciting. 


It was great because it didn’t require much prep. Any paint on the mirror is easily scraped off. 


I still have to do a few touch ups on it and obviously decide on a SINGLE COLOUR for my vanity but this change really satisfies me for now. 


I really want the mirror to stay vertical and add a sconce on each side so I am on the hunt for those now. We need to work on the fireplace next but I’m excited about my future plans for this room now as well. 

Let me know if you have any questions. 

Radio Silence and March Shopping

Let’s go ahead and start this off by addressing that fact that it has been two weeks since I last posted. Yes, that is a long time. Yes, I have plenty of excuses:

  1. We got a dog. My last post was all about how we brought little Winchester home and how he was adjusting, as well as how Remy was adjusting to not being the only dog in the house anymore. The good news is both dogs are doing great, Win is sleeping through the night and plays so well with his big sister. The bad news is I haven’t thought much about completing any projects because I’m so obsessed with my two little rats #sorrynotsorry.
  2. Max and I are travelling a lot. March is a bad work month for both of us, he has work up North with Winter Road season, and I have three Thunder Bay trips in a months time as I prepare for my fiscal year end. On top of  being away so much, we have to make sure the pups are looked after while each of us are gone and that our trips don’t overlap too badly.
  3. For the first time since we moved in, we don’t have a bigger project on the go. I always complete little things, like rearranging décor, making pillowcases, or buying a bunch of stuff from HomeSense and adding it to our home, but usually we have a big project going on at the same time – the bar, flooring, or a room makeover. Something we’re working on together to permanently change our house. We don’t have that right now, and while part of me is enjoying the break, the other bit is anxious to DO SOMETHING. Good news is we have ordered the fireplace insert so hopefully we can get moving on that soon. And I’ve done some little things (like painting the bathroom mirror that didn’t match, after much deliberation!).

So, hopefully this can be the end of my break and we can hop right back into things, at a similar pace to what we had before. Because being overwhelmed with renos is what makes me happy.

Until then, I have some various shopping from my last Thunder Bay trip-as I said I have to travel a lot this month so prepare yourself for more of these;

 First up is HomeSense, of course. One of the first things I found was this seven piece frame set – such a smart idea for a gallery wall with everything you need in one box! I love frames with simple black lines so this was right up my alley.

 Also right at the front of the store was this desk. The finish on it and the matching chair was beautiful and I loved the raised hutch with cubbies. This would be so cute for a kids room.

Easter was out in full swing and a lot of the dishware was so cute. I liked these egg plates, so fun to display your decorated eggs.

I took a look at the blankets (because its me) and I really loved these striped ones (which they had in blue and gray). I carried the gray one around for a bit before deciding the tone just wasn’t right (and I DO NOT NEED MORE BLANKETS). I loved the fringe edge and it was so soft. I knew it would have draped beautifully over my smaller blanket ladder.

I also found these quilts near the blankets and I LOVED them. The bohemian pattern with the navy blue and neutrals was so pretty, but they were $100! I know quilts are pricy but damn this is HomeSense. Where’s the discount?

I also liked these stools. They actually have backs if you look closely at the metal bit, they just fold down which is so interesting. These would be great for an area like a bar where you want seat backs for comfort but don’t want to obstruct the view in and out when they’re not in use.

This door shaped mirror was so pretty, really reminded me of Fixer Upper style. It was also very expensive.

HomeSense has been killing it with hanging lights lately. These capiz ones weren’t quite as pretty as my Moravian star light but had similar vibes.

This sunburst was so cool, with the feathers, and pretty inexpensive, too bad it’s gold.

Next I went to Canadian Tire to check out some potential sconces for the bathroom that I had seen online. Unfortunately in person they weren’t what I had in mind. I was very impressed with some of the concrete lamps Canadian Tire came out with though, even though I think they were overpriced. This one (above) looks so cool with an Edison bulb.

This one was really pretty (albeit simpler) as well. Canadian Tire has really stepped up their lighting game.

Last stop is Home Depot, where I found this deal on a range hood (THAT CAN RECIRCULATE). The bottom price is for this one, and it is cheaper that even IKEA.

I also spent a lot of time dreaming in the tile aisles, this concrete tile is so pretty, I love the hexagon shape. This might look good in the main bathroom upstairs, but we’re nowhere near tile selection in there yet, and I’m hesitant to go with something so trendy.

Opposite of trendy, I found classic 3 x 6 subway tile for 35 cents a piece! This is the cheapest I have seen it. I envision subway tile for the backsplash in the kitchen, as well as the shower and backsplash in the ensuite.

And that concludes this round! I didn’t buy much this trip, because I knew I had more trips this month and so there was no pressure to buy now. I did get some clothing deals at American Eagle, but let’s keep this more décor related.

Let me know if you have any questions.

February HomeSense Shopping 

This past week I went to Thunder Bay for work, where obviously I hit up HomeSense. I actually don’t like this time of year in stores because all the spring stuff is coming out and it’s my least favourite season and aesthetic. 

I like dark and cozy. Not happy and bright and pastels. 

Nevertheless I still found some stuff. 


As soon as I walked in I saw this gorgeous table with turned legs. It was $900 and also wouldn’t fit in my dining room but it was so pretty. 


They had a lot of cloches for spring that were really cute, for food or just decor. 


They also had a blue Le Creuset crock. It was still $170 but that’s really cheap compared to the full retail. 


And they had the matching butter dish. 


I picked up two of these trash cans to store dog food in. They have a foot pedal open and are slow closing which I knew Max would like, and were only $25. 


In the kids section I loved this elephant pouf. 


And they had a lot of cute bins. These would be adorable in a kids room. 


I especially love the dinosaur ones. 


They also had A TON of ghost chairs. I like these a lot but they don’t really fit in with my style. 



This chair was amazing, though probably not too comfortable. I liked the metal, the canvas material, the castors and the legs. 


This gigantic wood mirror was pretty, but I was looking for a smaller black one for the bathroom and was unsuccessful. 


I saw this bell wall hanging and thought it would be a nightmare if you had kids. 


Framed feathers! I did a DIY of this so this was a nice little validation for me. 


This looked very Joanna Gaines to me. 


And last but not least I also liked this wall hanging, though I thought Max could probably build it if I wanted. 

I only got a few things but it was a good trip. I didn’t take any pictures of the spring stuff because I don’t like it, sorry! 

Let me know if you have any questions. 

My Hunt for Fireplace Inspiration

I feel like we’re at a bit of a stand still with the house projects because I’m still waiting for flooring for the Master Bedroom, and living with the subfloor in the meantime. I don’t want to start another project until I get that one wrapped up, so I’m a little stuck right now.

Max has worked a bit on building a work bench for the garage, and hung some things up around the house for me (which I will post about soon). In other exciting news, we are working on having a gate built for the indoor doghouse we built under the stairs, as our new pup should be here around February 20.

In the midst of all this, there’s not a lot I can do besides explore Pinterest and dream.

So that’s what I’m doing.

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When we bought the house, Max and I agreed that the only thing it was missing was a fireplace. We always planned to add one eventually, but when we lost the buffet in the dining room and had to shuffle some furniture around, which left our living room TV on a nightstand, it became more urgent.

My original plan was to purchase a readymade electric fireplace (electric because it is easiest to install and manage, and you don’t have to cut a hole in the ceiling) and build it into the wall. The fireplace above was my number one pick, from Costco, and I figured I would paint it in a dark gray and add some trim around it.

But the more I thought about it, I just wasn’t in love with it. I couldn’t find one I thought was tall enough or was the exact style I wanted.

So my new plan is to build it from scratch.

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Stay with me here I really do think we can do this.

For about half the cost, we can buy an insert and build our own fireplace around it. This is when I scoured Pinterest to really find out what I wanted.

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I know I want shiplap, I love the texture of it, and I think it’s so modern rustic and will fit in well in my home. I also love rustic mantles, and reclaimed wood.

I also know I am going to want to mount my TV above the mantle on the shiplap.

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I love this fireplace (above) but the TV is too close to the mantle for me, and the fireplace surround is a bit too busy with the trim and the marble.

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This look is similar to what I want, but I think the shiplap is too narrow. I do like the mantle height here, but wish it was a lighter wood tone.

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And then I saw this.

This is so close to perfection (above), with a few exceptions.

I love the shiplap, I love the black firebox. I love how the shiplap above the mantle is set back a bit (which would help keep my TV more flush to the wall).

I think the mantle is beautiful, but a bit high (or maybe it’s that the firebox is too low? I’d like mine to be a bit above the ground). I also want a bit thicker shiplap. Overall this will likely be the photo I model mine after.

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And then I started to think about paint colours. I originally planned to go gray here, but I’m not sure it will work with my more beige walls. The white is beautiful, but maybe not enough for me?

I’ve started considering black. Black shiplap is awesome (see above) and I think black fireplaces are awesome. It’s hard to find a picture of a black shiplap fireplace, but if you squint at these images, you can imagine it:

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How rustic and awesome is this one!

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I also love how it makes a TV blend in.

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So that’s where I’m at. Let me know if you have any thoughts or advice on it. If I move the firebox up closer to the mantle, do I need a hearth below it? Can it float without a hearth or will that look like a cheap electric fireplace?

Let me know if you have any questions.

New Light Fixtures and I Painted the Ceiling 

When we were in Winnipeg, I picked up a beautiful Moravian star light fixture at HomeSense. Obviously, I wanted to put it up immediately when we got home.

The previous fixture was a boob light (above) and certainly nothing special, so we took that down and started to work on installing the new one.

I cannot get over how pretty this light is.

I have to stay this “compare at” is bang on, and I’m very happy with my deal, even if it is something I wasn’t planning to buy right away.

Unfortunately, since the new light would take much less ceiling space than the old boob light, I had to do a paint touch up. I added some white to match the ceiling, but it didn’t match at all.

I realized the rest of the ceiling in here was very dingy, and either way it had to be painted. So I asked Max if he thought it would be fun to paint the ceiling a colour.

He said no.

So I did it anyway.

He brought up that I had repainted a lot of ceilings in the house white that had previously been colours, and that I had said a ceiling painted a colour can feel heavy and like it is closing in.

Why does he have to remember everything?

Yes, I did say that. But for a space this small, and where the walls are already so light (Blank Page by Beauti-Tone), I thought the ceiling could really work well as a fifth wall of sorts, and a cute pop of colour.

Especially if that colour is navy blue.

 

I did the patch around the light first (in my favourite navy, Rooftop at Midnight by Beauti-Tone) so Max could hang it and I would have light for the rest of my work. He struggled with this one as he did with the last hanging fixture, but it got done eventually so I’m happy.

And then I cut in and rolled the rest of the ceiling. It didn’t take long, since this is such a small room, but my shoulders and neck didn’t particularly like it either.

I love the way the light looks against it. Max calls it the “Starry Night” ceiling.

And here it is with the light off so you can see what that looks like.

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I also picked up these sconces that I have been wanted forever from Canadian Tire. I realized we had $85 in gift cards, which made the $100 price tag (for both) easier to swallow, so I had Max hang them, and now we can officially call all main floor lighting done. I was very glad to see the old sconces go.

Unfortunately this also left a big touch up needed. You can see the previous yellow colour of the living room above.

I got more of the same paint from Home Hardware (Let’s Get Cozy by Beauti-Tone) and tried to touch it up, but it did not match whatsoever. I brought it back to the paint guy, who told me sometimes quarts can be off because he is working with fractions, and recommended I get a gallon.

He returned the mistint, and charged me the difference for the gallon. Then he gave me a card for a free gallon in the future, so I was happy.

Unfortunately the new colour is still a little bit off. I’m not about to go exchange the paint a second time, so if I can’t get over it and it doesn’t blend over time, I will use the “corner to corner” method of essentially just painting this wall with the new colour. Since the light hits all walls differently anyway, you can’t tell if one whole wall is slightly different the way you can if just a patch on a wall is.

Of course you can’t tell in the pictures but just trust me, it bugs me.

Let me know if you have any questions on my new lights! We really need to get to work on the fireplace in the living room so that the pathetic nightstand can go back upstairs.

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Quick Homesense Trip

This past week Max and I went to Winnipeg for a hockey game, and the one place I wanted to go was HomeSense, of course.

It was a really quick trip but I did see a few things I liked.

It was nice to be able to drag Max around because usually HomeSense trips are solo missions for me. On the other hand, he does things like this (below).

We both thought these sequin pillows were really cool, and bonus, you can write your name on them!

We agreed that they would probably get ruined with a lot of playing, and were not the most practical or comfortable pillow.

I really liked this vanity mirror (above) and thought it would be really pretty on top of a non-traditional vanity like a desk. Also tis is what I look like when I’m taking creeper pictures in stores.

I really liked this wooden deer. This is the kind of thing I always spot in the Christmas section, but personally would keep up year round.

I also really liked these wood candles on the bottom shelf. I’m hoping Max and I can DIY these for our wedding.

These two things ended up in our cart, a frame for Max’s new office, so I can put a picture of Remy in it for him. And a dog toy for Christmas.

And then I saw this. I think I let out an actual gasp.

I have wanted a Moravian star light forever, for the mudroom entryway, as I mentioned in this post. The best one I had found was at Pottery Barn for $179 USD, and I would likely have to pay customs on that as well. Since it was something I really wanted, I figured eventually I would order it.

This one, which has mercury glass and is therefore, in my opinion, superior to the Pottery Barn version was $129 CAD. I put it in the cart and told Max I would think about it as I continued to shop, since it was still pretty expensive as well as an unexpected expense, but I think we both knew I was already in love and it was coming home with us.

It is already installed and awesome. I will share what it looks like soon.

I thought these little dining chairs were cute, if not just quirky. If I had money to constantly switch out dining chairs, these may make an appearance.

I also loved the painting behind the chairs. I love anything with antlers really.

I also thought this was a cute buffet, since we recently lost ours. Max mentioned something about building a new one, so we will have to see what happens.

And baskets. One of my missions was to pick up a basket for my new hibiscus in the spare room that I got from my aunt. I found one at a great deal for $16.99.

I also loved this antler candelabra. And that is the last picture I took! We looked around at some faux fur pillows and also picked up some new curtains for the spare room, but you will see those soon!

Let me know if you have any questions.

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We Finished the Pallet Wall! 

Max wanted me to preface this post with a warning, because he really didn’t want anyone reading this to think that it was a simple weekend project, could be done over a couple of hours, or that stripping pallets wasn’t back-breaking, horrible work.

So here it is: THIS IS NOT EASY.

It is totally worth it though.

When we left off in this post, we had about this much completed (above), with another row ready to go and the premise of stripping more pallets so we could continue looming over Max’s head.

Over the course of the week, we managed to do several rows each night until we reached the weekend and had something that looked like this (above and below).

Over the weekend, Max stripped more pallets and together we started on the rows nearing the floor and ceiling. We decided to approach the ceiling first since if we went down we would have to deal with the electrical outlets and we weren’t ready for that obstacle yet.

You can see here (above) that we went as far down as we could without reaching the outlets and then started working on the boards close to the ceiling.

Unfortunately the last rows were not a perfect fit (it would have been a miracle) so Max had to leave the final row for measuring, and rip boards to fit based on the irregular size and the weird shape thanks to the non-level ceiling.

He put the centre board in first because it just needed ripping and was not angled or anything, so it was the easiest cut.

And then he cut and nailed the others, and moved on to the outlet area.

Here we made a notch to fit around the outlet. We initially brainstormed a bit about how to handle the outlets, and in my mind I had the outlet covers on the outside (on top of the pallet wood). This wouldn’t work unless we brought the outlets out a bit, so I decided inset would be better and easier.

Max nailed the board in place and promptly broke the outlet cover. We realized the hole was just too tight for it, and Max said something about using a cut-out tool to make it a bit bigger without having to take the board down, but I had different idea.

I took out my Dremel and used this thing (above) to gouge it out a bit bigger. Then I used the sanding bit (below) to get a smooth finish on the edges.

Don’t look at my nails. The important thing is that I made it fit.

I was very pleased with myself.

We moved along that row and notched out the second outlet as well.

And then we did the same for the lower board so that it fit together and framed the outlet perfectly. I figure I will do some sort of gray wash on the inside of the boards there so that the outlets don’t stand out so much.

I was getting pretty excited at this point.

Max finished off the bottom, using the same technique as he did at the ceiling, trimming and ripping to fit the angle and size. Honestly I missed this finishing moment because I was making homemade chicken soup from our dinner leftovers on Sunday.

I was very excited to see it for the first time – COMPLETED FINALLY!

Here you can see where the pallet boards meet the subfloor. I made Max pick all very straight boards for that bottom row so that I can put trim over it once the floor is up. Max was very anti-trim for this wall most of the way through, but after seeing how it meets the floor and knowing that the floor boards will sit up against it, he caved. I love being right so I am pretty happy.

Some better shots of the pallets meeting the floor.

I am obsessed with the different colours and the texture of it all.

I absolutely love it! It is so cool to have an idea in your head brought to life and this turned out better than I could have imagined. I am so excited to get flooring down now. We ordered it Saturday so hopefully it arrives soon, and in the meantime we already got the underlay so we can lay that down! Once the floor is done and I can move the furniture in here I can get started on the master bedroom (my Christmas break project)!

Let me know if you have any questions!

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A New Light in the Dining Room

When we first moved into the house and I started on my ever-expanding list of things to do, the light fixtures were close to the top. 

In the dining room, I actually really liked the light, so I did a good taping job and gave it a couple coats of spray paint. Max hung it back up and everything was great for awhile. 


The longer we lived here, though, the darker it got. 

As we moved into winter and the days got shorter and shorter we ended up eating in a very dim dining room and I knew as much as I liked the fixture it would have to be replaced. 

When I saw this chandelier a few months ago I knew it was the one. 


When we got a gift card for Home Depot I decided it was time to buy and I picked it up the last time I was in Thunder Bay. 


I got the chandelier for $169, and with the gift card I was at about $120 which I thought was great. Unfortunately these bulbs were $18 a pack (and I needed four bulbs). So I was back up almost forty bucks. 

They say they last 22 years. They better for that price. 


I brought it home and had Max remove the old fixture to hang the new one. 


And he got so frustrated with the chain he almost perished. 

It took him almost three hours to hang this light. He said it was the worst light imaginable but later admitted it looked pretty good. 

See for yourself. 




It is an oil rubbed bronze but comes off very dark, almost black which I love. 


I think it works really well with the fixtures in the adjacent kitchen. 


And now, dare I say it, I think my dining room is complete. 


I think I am going to move the old fixture to my closet. I really do love it. 

Let me know if you have any questions.