Friday, 30 November 2012

The Kitchen Files: Rise up, Rise up

Oh rise and show your power! Remember that song? By Parachute Club they're Canadian eh, and they won a Juno for that amazing song, true story...I looked it up!
  We took a cue from the good ol' club of parachute fans and made our cabinets rise up! Quite literally. We built bases for them (and by we, I totally mean Jason did all the work, and I just laughed at him when he flubbed some cuts) I did throw in my two cents a few times and save him so extra work, so YAY ME! I actually came home from work to find him just finishing up the big corner one. Let me tell you, there's nothing sexier than coming home to see your man on his knees with hard wood. (Oh man, did I just go there?!) Whoops, almost forgot my mother reads this...sorry, mom but I had too...was just set up to perfectly not to.
   ANYWHOOOO...we built simple frames for the base cabinets to be screwed into out of 2x6's because we want to make them 38" high, instead of the standard 36".

Then after we had them in place, we shimmed, shimmed, shimmed. Because the floor was SO out. More warped than Jase's sense of humour. After the third one we were asking ourselves why we didn't just put self-leveler down when we thought about it. Then we remembered it's expensive and we're cheap frugal.

The magic, floating shelf. Why yes, that is double shimmed, and no, there seemed like there wasn't any base actually touching the floor. But Jason secured that bad boy real good - we performed the jump and shimmy test, and it passed.

Then we got to screwing in the cabinets. (Not even going to go there) Again we performed the hang test, and she was good and secure. 

While Jason started on the pantry I had SO much fun cutting away the copious amount of shims we used. Good times. Then in the heat of the moment, I got all excited and did this...

Just for fun, to get a bit of an idea of what it'd look like. That's the cork tile flooring. Once they're actually glued down, and butted up all snug like, and all sealed up the lines between them should be less noticeable. But they look good, they're a bit darker in person, can't wait till they're in either.

Kai was being general contractor, and did what any good boss would do, and cut out early.

Lights out, dead dog pose. Apparently so tired she couldn't even make it to her canteen hehe.

So now the kitchen is marginally more functional. At least I can now store a few things in there, and can actually good. There have been some mighty tasty meals comin' out of there since the stove got hooked up. Maybe that's why Jason's been putting in a bit more work, now that I am actually feeding him.

And just for fun, another gratuitous picture of a sleeping Kai. Mainly just because her sleeping positions both astound us and invoke a strong urge to laugh out loud, so they are worth sharing.

Friday, 23 November 2012


I had a dream last night I was sinking, in a giant puddle of hot caramel sauce, and instead of trying to save me, Jason kept dipping his giant pretzel stick in the sauce and laughing at me. (eat your heart out with that one Freud)  What I think it means, is that I've had to suffer far too long without a kitchen sink, while my plumber husband does nothing about it. We have had the most gorgeous farm house sink, just sitting around taking up space, waiting for its moment to shine since February! Now that we have that row of cabinets in, there's no excuse for it to not be there. We didn't buy a cabinet for the sink from Ikea for a few reasons. The sink we have is much heavier than any of the styles Ikea sells, and doesn't have any addition "lip" support like the Ikea ones do - we have a true farmhouse style sink. Also, and probably the biggest reason, they didn't have the right size, since they were mostly made for their sinks. So, good thing for us, Jason knows and works with a cabinet maker who could hook us up with a custom, super sturdy cabinet for my beautiful baby. So, I had been harassing Jason for what seemed like eternity (to both of us) to contact this guy, and get it done. So finally he did, and that's another part of the reason we finally got around to doing the rest of the base cabinets, because he wanted/needed to take a look at everything all set up so he knew what he was working with, and what he needed to match. 
   So now the great debate comes in, since we're having a cabinet custom made, what kind of style do we want. 

 Something like this, which has the cabinet kind of hugging the sink, and two cabinet doors...

Where the sink looks like it's just resting on the cabinet, and is snug up to the cabinets flanking it. (which I like better than the first, and would go better with the style of cabinets we have.)

The drawer style. This is my favourite, and although this sink isn't an apron front sink, we could still get a drawer with ours, it'd just be one large drawer. I like this idea the best, because a lot of the time drawers are just more functional, especially under the sink - you don't have to go rootin' around on your knees smashing your face to get whatever's at the very back. And this way, we could just make a faux drawer with the support piece. So we'll have to talk it over with Mr. Cabinet whenever he gets here to take a look at what needs to be done. Hopefully, it'll be sooner rather than later so I can actually wash dishes in a kitchen sink, as opposed to lugging them all downstairs to wash them in the crappy sink that smells like poop.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Kitchen Files: Movin' on up...

...well kind of. There have been some new developments in the kitchen that are worth sharing. First...

we got the stove hooked up!!! FINALLY! Throughout the day last Thursday I would periodically break out into a happy dance, and there was also a whole lot more fist-pumping going on than in an average day. The thought of being able to cook even spaghetti in a fraction of the time it has taken me for the past year got me all giddy. Our first meal cooked was a delicious roasted chicken and vegetables. It's already got quite the workout, and I look forward to continuing to put it through its paces. 

We also moved the fridge into its rightful home when we did the stove. And it got a well deserved scrub down to commemorate it's new place, and a subsequent grocery shop has filled her up and let her bask in glory.

This past weekend we also FINALLY cleaned out the dining room of all the crap that was being housed in there (and by we, I actually mean Jason!). Mind you he mostly just moved the majority of it to another room, but it was clear & clean enough for us to get at the cabinets to put the rest of them together.

Plus it's quite amazing to see it all cleaned out like that. Now if I can just motivate him to get the mud scraped and off the floor, so I can prime and paint and lay floor, it'd be like a fairy tale.

After he cleaned out the dining room, he got to fixing the one burner on the stove that wasn't working. He managed to get the power burner working, but this is was the simmer burner looked like after he "fixed" it.
Umm...hello singed nose hair! You notice the nice blue flames on the outside - that's what it's supposed to look like haha. I was tempted to run across to the store and grab a big ol' bag of marshmallows and start singing campfire songs, but I was too busy laughing and trying to get a picture. After tweaking some more, he managed to legitimately fix it, and now we have four working burners and a working oven, so I am like a pig in mud I'm so happy. 

We also started building the bases for the base cabinets to get mounted on, so by this time next week we should have them all installed, and then I can actually store my kitchen things. In. the. kitchen. It is definitely a step in the right direction, and yes, a step that shouldn't have taken 11 months to reach. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Thoughts on the Water Closet

Here's our upstairs "master bath" when we moved in...

Not too bad in the grand scheme of terrible bathrooms. A creamy coloured square tile, and a basket weave pattern wallpaper that was pretty much the same fleshy colour as the bedroom. Since we're planning a huge overhaul for the bathroom and bedroom, to make a better master "suite", I wanted to do simple updates to tide us over for a couple years until we're ready to do the big stuff. I ripped off the wallpaper pretty the same time I took off the stuff in the kitchen - this stuff came off WAY easier. I was just going to paint the part where the wallpaper was, (and maybe probably the tiles), and we were going to replace the sink and faucet, because Jase would be able to get them for practically free (if not free). 
 Then (back at the beginning of the year) Jason says, "it's not that hard to take these tiles off, watch, they probably just like, fall off". Umm, yeah, that wasn't the case. He broke about three tiles, and the wall behind look terrible haha. We weren't able to chip out the rest of the tiles, they all seemed to cascade out in groups haha. So, down the tiles came - all thanks to my awesome little sister Mer! 
   And so we've been living with this God-aweful looking room for a while now...

 I know eh, looking at these pictures kind of makes me wonder what we were thinking by taking down the tile - then I remember I didn't want to take it down to begin with and I feel slightly better. Since the wall behind the tile is covered with glue, and is peeling, we're clearly not going to be able to paint, so we're just going to stick up some bead board to cover up that orange nasty, (that Mer says reminds her of a jungle? we tend not to question her anymore). I'm going to paint the top part of the walls, most likely this colour...

Which is Sherwin Williams "Moody Blue". I'll just paint the vanity black, with the sample tins I got for the bedroom, and we'll replace the sink and faucet with something that hopefully looks something like these...

We want a "vessel" type sink, the top one would be good, because it would fill the large hole that removing the old sink would fill and still sit flush with the counter. Where as if we went with something similar to the second picture it'd have to have quite a large base to fit over the whole, or it would have to be partly recessed, so all depends on what Jason can snag us, what kind of sink we'll be putting in.
   As for the faucets, we want something a lot sleeker than the clunker we have now.

Something like these would hit the spot quite nicely. Something tall and elegant, you know, like we both are hehe. 
   The kitchen is still our top priority, and since I'm back to work full time now, we'll have less time to do random side projects like the bathroom, but we'll slowly keep chipping away at it, so that by the time we FINALLY get around to having our open house/house warming (which we're planning now for December as like a one year anniversary to us moving in hehe :S) the master suite, along with the kitchen will be finite! 

In things are pretty much finished news, here's the upstairs hall in all it's newly painted glory.

I still have to cut in, and try and figure out how to cut in over the stairs (if anyone has any pointers, they'd be appreciated) All we have left to do here is get rid of that ugly blue brain globe light thing (that hangs about three centimetres away from the fan) and install the fire alarm that for reasons unbeknownst to us, has a holder, but has been MIA since we moved in. The gross carpet is exceptionally gross in the hallway (especially since I seemed to have spilled many drops of the dark gray paint on it haha) and I can't wait to get rid of it! But since grody-no-one-sees-but-us-carpet isn't that high on the priority list it'll stay like that for the next while.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Some New Moves in the Bedroom

Jason and I have been working on a few things in the bedroom...prompted by the fact we came into a new bed. I promise I won't regale you with our bedroom life, but rather with the life of our bedroom.  Up until the past week, this is what we had been living with...

A fabulous amount of skin colour. Seriously I wish I had've made Jase stand up against it, because it was almost the same colour as him...peachy with a slightly pink undertone haha. We thought it was the little old ladies room, but apparently it was the son's, which makes us question the colour that much more...either that, or question the son. You can't really tell from these pictures (it was night when I look them, and I was trying to hurry before stuff was to get dumped in it) but there is in fact baseboard and trim around the doors and windows, they were just painted the exact same flesh colour as the wall.
   If you're wondering why we didn't do anything to the room if we hated the colour so much, it's because the kitchen was sucking all our attention - like that annoying new baby when you've been the only child for so long. Plus we honestly just didn't care, because we didn't have a proper bed, or dressers, or anything really for the room, so what was the point of making it look nice, to just dump a bunch of crap in it? At least that's what my thinking was.
   Then, I got bored one day while I was sitting 'round doing nothing, and this happened...

 I painted the trim! Well, just on this window, to see how it would look, and we both loved it. It's amazing how much it brightened up the window and surrounding wall. Then Jase took of the doors to the two closets (from the 2nd picture) which we never closed, and it opened up the space even more. Then something amazing happened. Like I mentioned before, we got. a new. bed! A giant, amazing, practically new, double pillow top, king bed! FOR.FREE! Which, given the small changes I had already implemented, got we wanting more than the dismal flesh walls we were currently staring at. So I painted some ideas of paint I already had on hand to see what we liked...

I was originally thinking something dark and moody, since the room gets a ton of natural light from all angles, but then had some misgivings once they got up on the wall. The first two were almost identical, and pretty much black - which neither of us liked. Then we had a muddy gray and a greige. We eventually both decided we liked the sample taped up the best. Which is Martha Stewart's "Seal". But then a funny thing happened on the way to the paint store. I sort of changed my mind...

A light, light gray. It's a great colour, because in some lights (mainly evening) it reads as like an ice blue, so you never know what you're going to get with it. You can see how gross the trim and covers still look in all their fleshy/almond glory, so I finished painting the trim bright white, and we changed out all the outlets and covers, for square and white.

The room looks totally different now, and all we've done is paint. It's amazing what a coat of paint, and some new outlets will do for a room. I'll show a wider room view once we get the new bed in, and things go back to normal a bit...because right now everything's still sort of shoved to the middle of the room, and it's a hot mess!

Monday, 18 June 2012

A Visit to The North Pole

I am SO VERY HAPPY to report that the kitchen is DONE!

HA, had you goin' there for a minute didn't I? What I mean by done, is all the crappy, messy parts - the mudding and sanding (and even the priming). Which means, paint will be going on the wall this week! We picked up our paint Saturday morning! So, there's no turning back now! No second guessing the colours I chose, it's time to get slap happy, and toss it on the walls. Can't wait to get that done...but I'm here to talk a bit more about the dining room. Another thing we did Saturday morning was go to the North Pole (trim & supplies building that is) hehe. We had to scout out (and price out) our baseboard and the moulding for the dining room (and kitchen). It was a good thing we did, because they had WAY more selection than the Home Depot, and their prices were much more agreeable. We found some great, thick baseboard for the dining room (and some equally great, but less thick for the kitchen), and we figured out what decorative moulds we like the best. The best part was, we got to take home free samples, woot! So I can actually compare and remember what they look like once we're out of the store. 
  The final thing I did (house related) this weekend, was pick up some supplies for the dining room table & chairs. See if you can notice the common theme between the next few pictures...

(from here)

(from here)

(from here)

Did you notice what they all have in common? They all have a dark table, with white chairs. I love the look, and didn't even notice that the most of my pics from the post about the moulding also have the same look goin' on. Clearly my subconscious was trying to tell me something. It took a while for me to build up the guts to decide to do this. I was worried about what my Nana would say, when she finds out I painted her old chairs white. Something had to be done though. The chairs are a light, blonde-ish wood, and the table is a few different shades of dark, so we had to bring them all together somehow. I showed Jason some of my inspiration pictures, and he liked the look too, so I decided to take the plunge!
For the table, we decided to go with Minwax's Ebony stain.

It's a lovely rich dark brown (as close to black as we could get, still being able to see the wood grain), the test piece looks great! So we picked up a bunch of stain, and some new pads for the sander and will be getting down to business on the table shortly. We'll also be staining the buffet (I got from Nana as well) the same colour, to unify everything. 
  As for the chairs, they'll just be getting a few coats of high gloss white, before I reupholster them with that Ikea cushion cover. Since I'm off this week, I plan to get as much done as possible. Monday I'll order all the trim & moulding, I can start painting the kitchen Tuesday, and in between coats, head outside and do some chairs. Hopefully Wednesday I can at least get the priming in the dining room done (Jase still has to sand in there). Then Thursday, Friday can be for hanging the decorative mould & painting in the dining room, and possibly staining the table. It'll be a busy week, but I'm happy it'll be bringing us a few steps closer to completed eating spaces.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Big Backyard Dreams

Since the weather has been nicer and we’ve been spending more and more time outside, BBQing and puttering, and what not, we’ve been thinking more and more about what we’d like to do with the back yard. Remember back from this post, where I showed a bunch of eye candy, and some rough ideas of what we wanted...well now that it’s hotter, the weeds are attacking us with a vengeance, my love for all things backyard pretty has been renewed. Our driveway (which turns into our “patio”) is bricked; now, not only are the bricks ugly, but they’re being overrun with weeds, and we just can’t keep up with them. I have a few plans kickin’ around inside my head that I wish we could do out back, but we both decided that we’d wait until our second spring/summer here before we do anything too major. That way we have time to figure out exactly everything we want and need, and what a good size will be.
   Then something happened that sort of jump started our plans. We won this!

After winning this bad boy from Mike & Steph's stag & doe (donated by Patio Palace) we legitimately had to start thinking about the back patio. We won a natural gas "Patio Flame" which is basically a fire pit that no one can yell at us for having because it's a controlled flame. Since it's natural gas, we have to run a dedicated line for it, so we need to know exactly where we want it so we can have the line run. Here's what the yard looks like now...

A back yard shot from the side of the house 

Again from the side of the house, this is about where the patio would span.

Overgrown myrtle and can almost see a basement window trying to peek out in the middle of the jungle.

From the other side of the house. You may notice the pile of bricks leaning up against the garage that we still need to stack back out along the front garden boarder...someday.

We need to remove that giant bush...which is pretty much where the fire pit will go. It's a monster, it probably has an almost 5ft diameter. So we're going to have to do some digging, and some pulling with the truck to get it out. Our lawn is already filled with holes, so what's one more gigantic one eh?
I know you're all jealous of our amazing "patio eating" set up, it's pretty pimpin' I'm not gonna lie! You may also be jealous of all the weeds, and this picture doesn't even show how many there really are. 
   So now we've got our thinking caps on, for all the amazing things we could/can do with the back patio. There are a few things that are must have's for us, and the rest is just fun "make it look pretty" 
The things we have to have are pretty simple:
   1. No more brick - we'll keep the bricks on the driveway portion for now, until we figure out what we want to do to the drive.  
   2. An eating area (enough to sit at least 8) - which will probably go roughly where our pathetic one is now
   3. A "conversation" area, or just more of a loungy area - that's where we'll be putting the patio flame
   4. A designated "cooking" area, most likely close to the eating area - because in the future we plan to upgrade to a natural gas BBQ, and it's                   just easier to plan for it now, than try to figure out where to put it in the future.

Those are pretty much our only stipulations at this point, I'm sure as we get the ball rollin' there will be more that crop up. But for now, our goal to spruce things up is to rip out that bohemouth bush & put the patio flame in, and power wash the bricks to clean them up (which will hopefully also help get rid of the weeds). I heard that baking soda is supposed to work well for killing weeds because of it's pH we'll have to give that a try, see how it pans out. 
  Here's my "had-way-too-much-fun-screwing-around" computer rendition of what it'll look like when all is planned, said and done.

Isn't it just so pretty! Hooray, I know it's going to be a while before it actually looks like this, but it's exciting to just look at this, plus it helps me get a good idea of what a good size is. (this is 9ft by 29ft) It looks like maybe 11ft would be a bit better, no?

Some Dining Room Changes

You may remember when I talked about my ideas for the dining room, from back in December, well we can totally erase that from our memory haha. Not a lot of it is actually going to stick around. I like the look, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it just isn't really us. (Well me, since Jason could care less about anything to do with decorating). From the beginning I wanted something bold, and fun, yet with some formality & traditionality (yeah, that's a word) to it. I wanted a deep, saturated colour on the walls, so I decided I would just do it. Go with my gut, and go for the fun colour. So without further ado, may I present to you the colour choice for the dining room....

It's called purple parakeet (in case you didn't see), it's another by Benjamin Moore. It's deeper in person, and not so's pretty great, and I can't wait to get it up on the walls. Another aspect we're wanting to add is moulding on the walls, which will make it feel a bit more formal. Here's some pretty's from around town.

 (from bhg)

 holy amazing ceiling batman! (from here)

(from here)

(from houzz)

(from here)

As for what our intentions are, the third picture  is probably to closest to what we're thinking in terms of moulding, some wider ones mixed in with some thinner ones. The last picture is a similar set up to what we're thinking, going about 3/4 up the wall with the moulding, (which will be purple) then capping them with a little shelfy-thing, then the upper blank walls - as well as all the trim & the baseboards - will be a crisp white.

On the ledge/shelf we plan on putting a bunch of pictures and some painting, and probably still a mirror in fun arrangements, similar to some of these...

(from houzz)

(from here)

(from here)

 So there's a happy little update on what we're planning for the dining room. I can't wait to get started. All Jason has to do is one more sand job and I can finally start priming. We still have to pick out/up the moulding so we can affix it to the wall before we paint. I plan on reupholstering the chairs (as well as the other things that need to be done to it) this week (if I can't get in the room to prime) Hopefully the guy who was supposed to finish the kitchen for us will get back and finish it so we can get a move on there too! Our new goal is to have both rooms to a done enough point by August 31st so we can have our open house (finally) in the beginning of September.