Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Day Has Come

Today is the day!!!! The day we get our house! We should be closing in a few hours! So naturally I'll have to take the dorky "I got the keys" picture, as well as a number of standing with and pointing at the Sold sign. Jason isn't quite as keen as I to pose for these pictures, but I will beat him into submission for prosterity sake. He'll thank me later. I'm also almost done compliling the 100 things we're getting rid of...we've already taken 3 bags to Talize, and there'll definitely be more to follow.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Mood Board: The Dining Room

So since we found an outstanding deal on flooring, and went ahead and bought some amazing flooring, I'm allowed to do the whole room now! Not that Jason forbade it or anything, but I didn't really feel like going all out with the decorating the dining room, if we were just going to rip out the carpet, and ruin everything. So, hooray, when we're finished the kitchen, (or when we have some lul's and are looking for things to do - or when I'm feeling extra crazy and just want to work on two rooms) I can start on the dining room...luckily there's not much to do in there, aside from ripping out the carpet and installing the new floor. We do need to close off the old front door, and replace the window, but that most likely won't be in the budget for a little while. SO here's the rundown of the simple updates we're thinking for the dining room.

1. So, as I mentioned before, the flooring we picked up for a super duper good price is Armstrong engineered hardwood, in "antique natural"...I'm super excited about this flooring, it looks so much better in real life than it does on the computer. The dark knots and "holes" definitely give it an antique look, which is right up my alley. As for paint, I decided on "White Marigold" for the three main walls, and "Night Horizon" for the darker accent wall.

2. We have to move the overhead lighting over from the old front "entryway" to the middle of the room, which we'll do when we move and add more lighting in the kitchen. Once we have lighting in the middle of the room, I want to add a modern, soft "chandelier"...probably something I will this one I pinned a while back. I already have the birch veneer ready to go hehe.

3. I have plans to DIY a large piece of textural artwork, using leftover paint from the kitchen, and dining room and some mud and such. Should be fun!

4. Two floating shelves (similar to these from Ikea) that can double as storage for some of the smaller fancier items in a darker brown will also go up. One under the new artwork, and the other under the mirror.

5. I'll need to bring in some new linens for the chairs (because they're pink, and I reaaaaalllllly don't do pink!) Something in a deep, dark, yellow or green...I like the pattern of yellow above. And you've always got to have some fun table runners around for all those dinner parties!

6. We already have a table that we're going to have to sand and re-stain (the top & legs aren't the same colour, and the leaf is a different colour too) to make it a richer, darker brown. (The one from the board is black...but look how nice it goes with the dark spots in the floor. I'm thinking something probably inbetween the black table and the dark brown from the "bar" shelf) The chairs we have are a lighter blondish wood, that we'll most likely keep light. We also already have a hutch that is a dark, rich brown, and a buffet that is lighter. Good thing I don't mind matching woods, and good thing the floor we chose has a great range of light and dark. We are also going to build a simple bench for more seating when we have family dinners and larger parties.

7. Another DIY project for us will be a simple wall mounted wine area. Neither of us enjoy wine, but we recognize that most of our guests do, so we'll be able to stock up on some wine, and display our nice glasses, that way we won't have to listen to our guests whine when they come over and we have no wine. 

8. There is one large window in the dining room which faces out the front of the house, so we will want to add some curtains for privacy. We're either going to do something simple and more traditional like the ones above, or something a bit more "bold" with a pattern or print.

9. Like I mentioned before, we'll be adding a mirror above one of the floating shelves. We'll most likely add it across from the window to allow the most light to bounce around the room. And so you can gaze at yourself chewing the amazing food I'll make you when you come visit!

So the budget for the dining room isn't going to be very large...because we already have the flooring, and all the furniture. All we have to do is buy some paint and a few accessories and DIY our hearts out and we will have a dining room I will be proud to host meals in.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Yard Crashers: Lucan Style

Everyone's seen the show Yard Crashers right? If not you should watch right now. If you have seen it, (as well as BathRoomHouse, and the new, Kitchen Crashers) then you know that its crazy awesome! If you haven't...because well, perhaps you're living under a rock...the hosts (who are all contractors/designers/etc.) find people at a home improvement store who are in need of an upgrade. Then, they take them home and pimp their spaces beyond belief, all for FREE! While I would gladly take anyone of them home with me if they bombarded me in a store, I feel pretty confident we could pimp out the rooms in our home fairly decently ourselves. But we both lack, skill and desire to do a whole lot with the yard aspect. I am probably the laziest gardener there is...if I can remember to water a potted plant it's a good day. A cactus is my type of "flower". 
  Since neither of us have any bright ideas swirling around our head for the backyard - and since it's winter - and since we're clearly never going to have our yard crashed my Ahmed -
I figured now is a good as time as any to start looking for some backyard inspiration.         
  Naturally, I turned to Pinterest to hook me up with some awesome eye candy. 

So these are the high end looks I'd be asking Ahmed for. We both agree that we'd like a fire pit, and seating area and that we'd love a hot tub. Just look at that hot tub in the last picture...if I had a hot tub that looked like that, I don't know if I'd want to leave it. We don't have any immediate plans for the back yard (aside from putting up a fence), we plan to slowly work on it over time, but we do plan on incorporating all the elements we'd be asking Yard Crashers for...just maybe not quite so high end. Or, if we do decide on a few high end additions, they'll be spaced out nicely so the neighbours won't think we're too rich.

Our outdoor goals for the spring involve trimming a few trees (and removing one), ripping out a bunch of shrubbery at the front, right up against the house, and making sure nothing is sloping in towards the house. Power washing all the patio stones, so they at least look a bit more presentable until we can figure out what to do with them. If we get really ambitious we'll rip off the small front porch - or at least take down the awful awning. There's also a raised garden in the back, that I haven't decided what to do with yet. It needs a LOT of work to make it even usable again, so I may just scrap it. Although growing some fruit & veggies does appeal to me, (it'd bring back memories of running out to steal raspberries or peas from my Nana and Papa's garden when I was a kid) I have about ZERO gardening skills, so I'd probably have to call in my mom for reinforcements haha. I wish I had half as many ideas swimming around my head for the outside of our place as I do for the inside. Who knows, maybe come spring time I'll have some sort of idea in place.   

Monday, 12 December 2011

Kitchen Files: Backsplash Change-up

So, if you remember my post, with the kitchen mood board, I talked about wanting to do a backsplash just behind the stove, going up to the vent hood. We I initially was thinking of a highgloss, beveled, white subway tile. 

Jason didn't like that idea...he thought it was "too much white", he "wants something with pop". He didn't really understand that the white tile would "pop" a bit against the stainless stove & hood, and the grey walls...but I went with it. The guy's got to have some sort of say doesn't he.  I really like the look of penny round tiles, and I have seen them cropping up all over the web. The Petersilks, from one of my favourite blogs Young House Love decided to use a grey penny round for their kitchen backsplash,  there's penny round inspiration all over Pinterest. I like it. It's understated,  and simple, and i think I enjoy their smaller stature better than the subway tile.

I ran into a problem however. I can't seem to find it in Canada. Oh, home and native land, I love you, I really do...but some times, you can kinda suck. I googled every combo of "penny round tile + Canada" I could think of, went through the home improvement stores, sourced wholesale products, and just couldn't seem to find anything like what I'd been seeing. Canada, why hath thou forsaken me? Can this really be a solely American product? I refuse to accept that! THEN, out of the no penny tile abyss came the light! I found this!

Bold enough for you Jason!? Penny tiles in all their round goodness, and GASP, in red! Say what! At Home Depot! Heck to the yes! Then, as if the tile gods were laughing in my face, I realized it was the American Home Depot website. Oh, mother trucker! I tried searching the brand on the Canadian site, nothing. I tried Lowes, and Rona, and nothing. BOOO! we're left with this awesome option that to me would be worth a trip to the States (I needed to go anyway). I had intentions to go into the Depot down the street to see if they'd be able to order a sample, but haven't got around to doing it, and to be honest, I probably won't. When we make the trip in the new year, we'll pop in to one in Michigan to take a look. 

Another great thing about this tile is that it's $70 a box, and comes with 10.2sq.ft. in a box. I calculated that we'd probably need about 7.5sq.ft. so we'd only need to get one box, and there'd be enough left over for some trivits and coasters. WOOT! It's also a fair bit cheaper than any of the subway tile that I looked at, which is good, and we have about $70 in Home Depot gift cards, so it could be free...which as everyone knows is the shiznat! I plan on going for a recon mission sometime before the New Year to pick up a sample and see how well it'll mix in with our other red accents.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Kitchen Files: A Helluva Good Deal

I LOVE saving money. Lets be honest...who doesn't. When you find something on super sale, or even better when you don't realize that something is on sale until it rings in. Holla! Those are the best nonbirthday, birthday presents! The last giant savings (other than the appliances) was when I bought our new pot set. A 17pc Lagostina set, regulary $699...on for $199. What made these pots an even sweeter deal was that $85 of it was bought with gift cards...seeing "You saved $500" on the bottom of my receipt made me a happy, happy person!

SO...all that rambling had to lead to something right? What is this amazing, Helluva good deal that we got? Well, you remember me saying that I REALLY wanted an apron front sink for the kitchen, and that it was something I wasn't really to compromise on? I also said that Jason won the husband of the year award by being able to get it through a rep at the wholesalers for around $700, which was hundreds off of what we would've spent retail. BUUUUUUUUUUT...after talking to the rep again it turns out we're able to get an even better  deal! Because apparently not enough people know about apron front sinks and they want to make money on them, they're giving us this super, awesome, unbelievable, almost can't speak over how great this deal is. We are saving SO much money, that I am actually not allowed to say what we're getting the sink for...but I can tell you that we're saving over $1000 form the sink I initially liked at Home Depot.

So, here's our new sink! The 31in double apron front sink in white, by Franke

Again, ignore the hideodorous faucet, because...dun dun dun duuuuuuunnnnn!

THIS is the faucet we're getting! It's the Trinsic, by Delta. We decided to go with the Delta over the Moen, because it ended up being about $150 cheaper, but mainly because it has a more timeless look. It's not something we'll look at 5/10 years down the line and wonder what we were thinking, why we picked something so "trendy". Overall, we are VERY happy with our choices, but mostly with the crazy awesome savings we were able to get! Both faucet and sink have been ordered, since there is about a month lead time on the sink, we should be getting sometime in the middle of January. I can't flippin' wait!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Kitchen Files: Faucets...Are You For Serious?!

When pulling together a kitchen, there are so many big things that need your focus. Like cabinets, and flooring, and appliances, and paint, and blah blah blah. Things like faucets aren't really on most people's radar until the last minute...but then again I'm not most people am I? Faucets have been on my mind ever since my lovely husband brought me all those pamphlets. I picked two that I liked from the pamphlets I had at the time.

This Price Pfister "Mystique". I like this one because we wanted a goose neck, and I like the pull down spray feature better than the sprayer on the side...and this pull down feature isn't as bulbous as many of the others. (I got enough bulbous action going on around my midsection...don't really need it on my faucet also) This one comes with a soap dispenser (that we wouldn't use) so it was a bit of a waste.

I liked the Delta "trinsic" better than the mystique, but in the pamphlet it said it had the new touch2O technology, which is cool, but Jase and I really don't care about having it, and I figured it'd be a lot more I kind of pushed it aside figuring we couldn't afford it.

Then Jason decided to bring me more pamphlets home...this time Kohler. So I found another one I liked...completely different from the first two. Much more modern. Meet the Kohler "purist".

More sleek, more modern, no goose neck...but freakin' cool looking eh? So then, because I liked it he says, "Moen has one like that, that'd probably cheaper." So he pulled up this baby:

The Moen "90degree". To which I told him he needed to get off my computer and stop showing me more cool ones, because Lord knows I didn't need more options haha. In this picture it doesn't really look like the reach is very far, but it's actually less than an inch smaller reach than the Delta.

I am happy with our options though, because now we have two completely different looks, with two options for each look. All of our options come in a variety of finishes, and we'll mostly likely go with the "brushed chrome", I thought I would prefer the stainless, just because it would "match" a little bit better with the rest of the kitchen, but then I found out that the stainless finishes generally cost more. What?! Why?! BOO! So Jason took my list to his wholesalers to price them out. Lets take a few guesses as to which was the most expensive? First lets talk about retail price...the Kohler was $475 for the chrome, or $640 for the stainless. Ummm, come again? $500 for a kitchen faucet...did anyone else think they were this bloody expensive, or am I alone in my stunned silence? Again I was reminded how lucky I am that I married a plumber who can get fancy faucets for cheaper. His wholesaler price was $370 for the chrome one - still significantly more than I thought we'd pay for a faucet, but more than $100 cheaper than buying retail. That was the most expensive one - but it's Kohler, so we figured it'd be. 
  The one I was most surprised with was the was actually cheaper than I thought. You can in fact get it without the Touch2O, so that's great, and his wholesaler said it would be $275. Wanna know how much it is with the Touch2O? Keep in mind this is still wholesale price...drumroll please...NINE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FIVE DOLLARS!!! Gaa, I did a spit take when he told me, and got water al over the car window! A thousand bucks for a faucet, what the eff...who would buy that!? Yikes. The Moen was around $250 and the Price Pfister was around $200. The second wholesaler told Jase that he would most likely be able to get another 20% off on top of those prices so that'd be even better.

So to recap:
 Goose neck options
Price Pfister = $200
Delta = $250   Modern options
Kohler = $370
Moen = $250

We are going to scratch the Kohler one off the list right away, because a) it's far too expensive (even with the great discount) and b) the second wholesaler (who's offered to give us an extra 20%) doesn't carry Kohler.  We've also decided to cross the Price Pfister off the list...why? well because we like the Delta better, and for 50 bucks it's not worth settling. Also, Jason says the Price Pfister used to be a really crappy brand, and while they've come a long way he still doesn't really feel comfortable putting one in his house. (In case something happens he knows for sure the Delta won't be hard to repair) So now are contenders are

The Delta Trinsic. OR...

The Moen 90degree. And I really don't know which I like better!? GAAA! So I'm in no better shape than before. Well I suppose a bit better, because I know the price...but they're essentially the same price, so that doesn't really change anything. Which do you guys prefer? The sleeker more traditional goose neck, or the more modern one?

Thursday, 1 December 2011

A Countdown, a Plan, and Some Reassurance

In case you couldn't tell I have a few things to go over today...first up a countdown! Well actually a few countdowns...

  27 days until we leave for the cruise
  26 days until we have to have everything packed and moved out of the apartment
  24 days until CHRISTMAS!
  21 days until we get our house!!!
  AANNNDDD mere hours until my mom gets her new condo! (looking forward to Christmas dinner at the new place)
Both Jason and I are looking forward to watching those numbers shrink. With the exception of the having everything packed and moved day...I hate packing, with. a. passion. I am terrible at it...I either meticulously pack boxes, carefully piling & stacking everything neatly - or, I toss crap in them,  and get frustrated when the lid won't close, then my OCD kicks in and I have to repack everything I tossed in. I am a good labeler...I can label the shit out of a bin - I know exactly where a bin is to go, and what is in it. Jason, is naturally no help, and no one likes packing alone. Jason goes beyond the realm of not helping, and actually tells me to stop. Here is what happened the other night while we were watching TV:

  Me: Packing all the "bigger" stuff from the kitchen we won't use in a month (like serving platters, and fancy glasses etc.) Ripping paper off the newsprint roll to wrap breakables in.
  Jase: Watching TV, turns up the volume...twice
  Me: "Babe, can you please go reach down the stuff on top of the cupboards in the kitchen?"
  Jase: shoots a dirty look, "seriously?"
  Me: "Yes, seriously."
  Jase: "Can I at least wait until the commercials?"
  Me: "Sure." Commercials roll around. I wait for about 3 before I ask again.
  Jase: "Fine."
  Me: Continue to rip and wrap the new pile of things from the kitchen
  Jase: Shoots me a dirty look, "you're killin' me smalls. Could you be any louder!? I'm trying to
             watch TV"
  Me:  Begin to rip paper slower, and louder...use way more paper than I probably needed trying
           to be louder.
  Jase: "apparently you can."
  Me: "Muahahahahaha" 

Then I had to stop packing. Even though he wasn't in an overly serious mood, he ruined my momentum, and the half packed box is still sitting behind the couch - and I haven't really packed anything since.

Ok, Next up is "A Plan". Part fun, part practical, and part keep me busy for the 3.5 days a week I no longer have to work. So, the plan is to do a 25 days of DIY Christmas. Make something different each day starting Dec 1. I have lots of decorations running around in my head that I've been wanting to make, and I made the excuse, "there's no point of decorating since we're moving." I call bull on myself...I love the decorations of the Christmas season, and I want some pretties up in my house - and if I can't display them all, then at least I'll have some lovely decorations on the ready for next year. I also need to make our stockings, since we're not doing any big gifts (we thought the house is big enough) we're just doing smaller gifts shoved into an oversized sock. So, starting this afternoon I'll be posting a "craft" a day. Here's some of my pinspiration:

Plus, a bunch more ideas! This should be a fun challenge for me...maybe I'll make a number of gifts this year too?

Last up is the reassurance I was talking about. I had originally picked the Stormy Monday colour for the walls, and then (for whatever reason) began second guessing myself. Again, this is something Jason is no help with haha. Especially since they're all gray - he can't really understand the difference past "light gray" and "dark gray" haha. So, I'd like to thank everyone for the 100% unanimous decision that Stormy Monday is the best choice, becuase it just reassures me that I made the right choice to begin with. They always say "just go with your gut" right? So, in the spirit of going with my gut, (and the number of you who agreed) the kitchen wall colour will be: