Monday, February 8, 2016

Narrowing Down Cabinet Colour

This weekend we got samples of two BM paint choices for our kitchen cabinets.  We're going with a light gray colour. The grey of the perimeter cabinets in the kitchen below is what I'm looking for.

Gray Owl OC-52 Benjamin Moore.:
just barely gray

Benjamin Moore Whale Gray 2134-40. Benjamin Moore Whale Gray 2134-40. Benjamin Moore Whale Gray 2134-40. Benjamin Moore Whale Gray 2134-40 #BenjaminMooreWhaleGray #BenjaminMoore2134-40 #BenjaminMoorePaintColors

I picked up two colours that I thought might work from Benjamin Moore, and painted them on a canvas so that I could move the samples around my kitchen. The perimeter cabinets in the kitchen above are BM's Gray Owl, which was the front runner for my space too. I also selected BM Moonshine to try out.  They're very similar colours.

Yeah, like practically the same colour in some lights.

Left: Moonshine, Right: Gray Owl

 I moved the canvas around and we decided that we liked the Gray Owl the best for our cabinets.  It's very neutral and light, with just enough colour to make it different than white. I might also get a sample of Coventry Gray to try, even though I think it might be darker that what I want.

I'm going to leave you with this question:  who creates a dishwasher panel out of two drawer fronts stuck to a white dishwasher with construction adhesive??? Who does that???

Can't wait to get this project started.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Kitchen Reno

Documenting the process of our upcoming renovation has already been inspiring to me. And it's also helping me to rein in my decorating ideas.  Since we live in a small footprint, and are not making large structural changes like an addition, we know we want this great room to serve several functions.  Really, it needs to function as a family space, casual entertaining space, kitchen, coffee spot, home office/work space, and entry-way.  That's a whole lot of functioning in a really tiny footprint, which is why we've spent so much time going over the plans for the space. I'll share our blueprints soon, and the changes I see happening to the current space.

The other important thing for us to think about, other than how the renovated space will function, is how it will look. We definitely want a comfortable, casual space that our friends and family can feel good in.  We want it to be organized and welcoming.  We want to hang art that means something to us and we generally want the vibe to be pretty relaxed.  Jay and I both love a neutral shell with hits of personality and a little colour.  We love re-purposed farmhouse style... just a little more refined.  I'm not sure if that makes sense.  Maybe the closest description would be 'modern farmhouse style'.

Here's a sample of some of the finishes we're looking at for the kitchen in our home.

1.  I love the soft grey of this cabinetry and simple hood vent over the range. This space contains a lot of the elements we love for our kitchen.  Especially the general feel - casual and family-friendly, but still a little refined. Via

2. We chose this light to go over the sink in our kitchen... I think. I feel really stuck on this decision. One part of me likes this oil-rubbed bronze with brass finish, and the other part of me wants polished nickel.  The light comes in two finishes and will be hard-wired.  If we go with the nickel, the hardware and bracket choices will also change. Via

There's also this version which dreams are made of.

3.  We already have this light in our dining space now.  We'll be keeping it and hanging it over our new banquette.  Spoiler alert: there is a banquette in our new space. This light is one of the main reasons I've been looking at oil-rubbed bronze for our hardware finishes as well. It was ordered from a few years ago.

4.  Decisions, decisions.  I've been reading up on counter-top options including carerra, quartz, caesarstone, etc.  I want the counters to read more as white with veining, not gray, since the cabinets are gray and I'd like to see some contrast.

5.  I will be testing out some paint colours this weekend to try and begin to narrow down the colour selection.  BM Gray Owl is currently the front-runner, but I'll wait to see the colour painted in the room before I make a final decision.

6.  Brackets to hold up our barn wood shelves.  Jay will be making the shelves out of some salvaged lumber we have.  I love the warmth this will add to the space.  Still feeling torn about the oil-rubbed bronze finishes. Via

7.  A great example of salvaged wood shelves that I think are done really well. (I think these are from the 'Our Vintage Home Love' blog.

8.  The hardware I love from Schoolhouse Electric.  Doesn't come in polished nickel.  Really wish it did.  I love this hardware and want the hex pulls hard.

9.  These chairs are perfect to blend our farmhouse modern look with the mid-century style of our little ranch. Now that Wayfair is accessible to us Canadians (YAY!), I will most likely order their version since the Cassandra chair is only $249.99 CAD/pair.

The shiny metal version for reference.

So there you have it.  Any thoughts on the polished nickel versus oil-rubbed bronze debate??  Is it worth it to keep the light fixture we already have for the dining room if it changes the overall look of the whole reno?  Am I being too dramatic about this?


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

On Missing Blogs, Blogging, and New Adventures

Obviously, I don't really blog anymore. I often miss writing and keeping a journal of the process of our home projects. Sometimes, when I'm feeling like I don't get enough accomplished, I page through my older posts. I love seeing the progress we made renovating our homes. I love the way I documented our family's journey.

But even more than I miss writing this blog, I truly miss reading good DIY, home decor and decorating blogs. So many home blogs that I used to love have disappeared! Bloggers aren't really only blogging anymore, more often posting on other forms of social media. Somehow along the way, blogs became competitive - followers, likes, advertising, and unique views. As a result of feeling too much competition, blogging became something I didn't really want to do anymore.

Although it makes me sound sort of stalker-ish, I miss reading about the lives of bloggers I used to follow. You know, when a blogger acquaintance had a baby... or it was somebody's birthday and they posted about the party.  I miss these voyeuristic glimpses into their lives when they got a little more personal along with their creative projects and the encouragement I felt for my own.

I have friends in real life, a family, and a career that involves interactions with thousands of university students.  I'm busy and active and doing stuff.  But I still miss the sense of community I felt with home bloggers sometimes.

Our home has gone through so many changes since I last posted about our little ranch.  It is looking really beautiful in some areas, and still needs work in others - probably like most people's homes.  We've completed our son's bedroom and bathroom, the basement, our master walk-in closet.  We've added a deck, landscaping and a hot tub (so good!) in the back yard.  We've created some pretty cool headboards and shelving units out of barn board.

Moving Forward...

One of the best things that writing this blog did for me was keep me honest and accountable to the projects I was working on.  Instead of finishing a project 80% of the way, and leaving the details and accessories undone, I actually felt driven to complete it. That way, I could photograph them for the blog and post them. I also created design boards, which helped to direct the outcome of each project we worked on. I think these steps are the missing pieces to the successful completion of our current renovation projects.

We are about to embark on a main floor renovation that includes a new kitchen, dining room and living space.  As usual, Jay and I are doing the contracting and building, including the demo, and finishing. Some things are being contracted out to keep us to our timeline (ha!) and some parts of the project will be DIY.

These are the lights we are considering for the kitchen and hallway areas. Please feel free to weigh in if you strongly prefer A or B options in the comments.  I will say that Jay strongly prefers option A. Our cabinetry is a very light grey finish - BM Grey Owl.  

We are several stages into the planning process for this renovation.  We have had architectural plans drawn up, revised them and have settled on a final plan for the layout of the kitchen and dining room.  The reno has created a sort of domino effect causing some extra work in the living space as well.  

I'm looking forward to sharing the details of this reno here.  I'd also like to catch you up on all the work that has been completed over the last while. You know, if you're still reading. This will help to keep me organized and on track with the project in a way that will be really helpful to me.  It will also document the project along with the others I have completed here. 


Monday, November 17, 2014

RugPad USA and my Living Room Rug

A while ago, we bought this rug from Rugs USA.  I love the graphic punch the rug gives in the room. The grey colour is a perfect neutral for us.  The purchase of this rug has actually sparked a little Living Room makeover action too, but I'll get into that another time.  There's just one problem with the rug.  

It's constantly messed up. It wrinkles and bunches and rolls on our hardwood floors.  I don't really think this is the fault of the rug.  I didn't buy a non-slip rug pad to go under the rug, so it's really my own fault.  Plus I have a dog, cat and two kids who move at break-neck speeds sometimes.  Honestly, it drives me nuts because it looks messy and I'm constantly straightening it.  Even more important that my obsessive rug straightening is the fact that somebody was going to get hurt slipping on it. 

As you can imagine, with hazards like these around my house, I was really excited when Rug Pad USA contacted me to offer a rug pad for me to review.  I had a look at the different kinds of rug pads that were offerred on their site.  The cool thing is that you can select your rug pad based on what kind of floor the pad will be going down on (hardwood), and what kind of rug you will be putting over-top of it (flat-woven wool).

I selected the Superior-Lock rug pad to go under my rug.  I was hoping for some softness and cushion, as well as the non-slip factor.  But I didn't want the edge of the rug to become a tripping hazard because the pad was too lofty.  The Superior-Lock pad seemed like the right choice for our hardwood floor and flat-weave rug. 

Here is the rug pad I ordered:


It has a rubber backing that grips on the floor and a felt top that is really soft under foot.  I can't get over the difference in coziness with the extra 3/4 inch of padding. It's so much softer!

Here's the rug with the pad underneath:

They even cut the pad to size, an inch smaller than the actual rug size so that the edges would lay flat... which they do. Please avert your eyes from the world's ugliest fireplace.   It also recently got a makeover that makes my rug pad look even better :)

You guys, it is crazy how flat the rug stays now that the pad is under it!  I had no idea that a rug pad would make this much difference in here!  Even my tornado of a golden retreiver doesn't wrinkle it up when he's rolling around on there.  Also, he approves of the soft, cushiony part too. 

Just so you know, RugPadUSA did send me this rug to review, but this is really what I think about the pad they gave me.  I love it.  I plan on ordering a couple more rug pads from them for some other rugs in our house that have the same problem. 

I'll be posting a couple before and afters of this room over the next week or so.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Before & After :Curb Appeal Part 2

Here are a few additional pictures of the work we have completed on our home's curb appeal.  

Originally, we planned to paint the exterior in BM's Chelsey Grey.  This has long been a favorite grey of mine, and I thought the home would look good with a darker exterior.  Once I got the samples up, the grey didn't seem to be right.  In the end, we decided to reverse the plan and use the grey as accent.  You can see the original scheme below.

Before and After

Changing the main colour of the house meant that I wanted to add some personality to the front door. When we first painted it the soft blue-green (BM Wyeth Blue), I thought it didn't have enough presence.  It has grown on me though, and I'll likely leave it this colour for a while.  I like how the grey coping makes the front door stand out more.

We have also had plans drawn up to add a porch structure to the front of the house.  The porch will be a little larger than the existing one, and it will also have a roof so I don't have to stand in the rain with groceries while I get out my keys.  The porch project is on hold while we finalize plans for the rear addition to our home.  We don't have an unlimited budget so we're working on these projects in phases.  Currently, I feel like the addition on the back of our home will have more impact on how we use it than the front porch addition. We will eventually get to doing the front porch, but the curb appeal has improved so dramatically that I don't feel the need to do it right away anymore.  

Here is a close up shot of our shutters, window boxes and soffits in their new handsome grey.

And here's a shot of the exterior from closer to the road.  Note the white garage door, which is also being replaced with a grey one.

And here's my photographer's assistant.  Love that dog.

Happy Monday!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Before & After: Curb Appeal

Things have been very busy around these parts.  My not-so new-anymore working Mom schedule is finally beginning to settle down.  And we've been working like dogs on projects around this little ranch every chance we get!

  One project that was on the top of the list for us was the ranch's exterior.  When we bought the house, we were under a great deal of pressure to just find something.  We had sold our beautiful old home and were living with my parents during the search for something smaller.  I'm not going to lie... we settled on this house.  And it was... not so pretty.

First, we had the house painted BM's Grey Mist. Then we updated the front door, added a new light and numbers, added shutters and window boxes. 
Other, less sexy changes include re-shingling the roof and re-capping fascia and soffit. 
  I love the changes and how much they've improved the house. Our neighbors have all commented and I can drive up to the house without feeling embarassed now. That's a definite bonus. 

Remember these curb appeal plans? I think we did a good job of sticking to the plan and I'm really happy with how things have turned out. 

  We still have more work to do. We've had architectural plans drawn up for a front porch makeover. The railing is rickety and the flagstone is crumbling, which is becoming a little dangerous at this point. This will also aesthetically improve the flat look of the home. And lastly, we will paint the garage grey to match the shutters. 
  In other news, we're also meeting with the architect tonight to go over our initial plans for a rear addition. I'm really excited about this process and I'm looking forward to getting started. 
  Now that things have settled down at my work, I'm looking forward to having more time to work on projects and post here. I have a few additional exterior pictures to share with you this week. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Chair Options

My hubby would say that I'm obsessed with fabric choices.  I would probably agree. I'm working on the fabric scheme for our living room.  I'm trying to figure out a plan for my vintage cane chairs.  So there's been a whole lot of:

"Do you like this one?"
"Yep.  That's nice."
"How about THIS one?"
"Yep.  That's nice too."

I figured you guys would be more interested in my fabric decisions.  So here they are.  I'm deciding between the two accent fabrics, and assorted upholstery fabrics.  The chairs will be sprayed white, I think BM's White Dove most likely.  Also, the rug is new, so it's staying.  There will most likely be a white slipcovered couch.

Jason would be so grateful if you guys could weigh in so that I can stop bugging him about this.

I need to know!  Do you like the Chaing Mai or the Ornate Pool as the accent pillow fabric?  Which upholstery fabric do you like? Yes, #1 and #4 are the same fabric.  Is that a sign?

Hope you're having a good Monday!

xo Meg