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.