Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Reveal: Elliott's Room

   This room has been such a labour of love... and a long time coming.  Jay and I worked so hard pulling it together and we are so happy with how it turned out.  More importantly, Elliott is thrilled.  It's the quirky, mature space he wanted.  The room is tiny and that couldn't be helped.   At least now he has a special room designed just for him.

 Welcome to Elliott's Room!  The rug is from Turkey.  My Mom brought it home for us when I was pregnant with Elliott.  

Jay made the captain's bed, which has two huge drawers that house Elliott's clothes.  The barnboard I scrubbed was installed on the headboard wall.

Jay also made the desk out of the rough pine salvaged barnboards.  The artwork includes framed prints from an Anthropology Calendar from 2008, a real snakeskin in a shadowbox, and initial letter from PB and a bulletin board I covered with a map of Ontario and painted red.

I made the curtains from some Ikea panels on my Grandma's old sewing machine.  You can also see the teeny closet, which we had dubbed the 'hobbit hole'.  It actually runs the length of the bedroom, perfect for hiding out and reading.

I made this Union Jack Pillow yesterday using some leftover fabric I had from the curtains and an old Pottery Barn shower curtain.  The light is from Barn Light Electric.

There are a few details I still want to complete.  Things around here are always a work in progress.  It's funny, the room turned out completely different from the inspiration board I originally made for the room.  But we couldn't be happier with the results.  I'd love to hear your feedback!

xo Meg

Just a note:  I'm going to do a little work on the photos in this post.  I'd really like for them to look a little more professional.  I struggle with photography - I don't have an expensive camera or know much about it!  If you have a suggestion for a photography resource, I'd really appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Audrey's Room

   My little girl is feeling a little left out.  We've been working so hard on Elliott's room, she's wondering when we're going to start on hers.

    When we first moved into the house, my Mom removed the old wallpaper from her walls.  This left yucky walls that are kind of peeling.  Also, our sectional couch is currently in her room.  It won't fit into our basement family room.  We can't get it down the stairs and I'm currently looking at options for taking it apart to make it fit.  Her room is looking pretty crummy right now.  And her stuff is really disorganized.  She hates that.

   I've posted about her room before.  It's going to be really fun to decorate.  She's really excited about the process and has lots of ideas.  But I've been having a lot of trouble finding fabrics to use.  Originally, this room was my inspiration:

I have been looking for a delicate fabric, like the linen on the romans here. 

 Audrey's requests for the room include:

1.  A canopy-type bed
2.  Aqua, Turquoise and fresh green
3.  A double bed (she currently has a twin)

We have an old iron bed that was given to us by a sweet little old lady who lives around the corner.  I've been saving it for Audrey for almost 10 years.  That's right, ten years.  I've had it since before she was born (she's seven).  The bed will go in front of a tall, pretty window and I will use the curtains and a valance to make a sort of canopy for her, like this one:

I'm excited to tackle this kind of a sewing project, with the help of my Mom.  I've found a couple of fabrics that I think will work, pending Audrey's approval.  

 Briana Fern in 'Seaglass'

Waverly Lovely Lattice 

I'm getting the design ball rolling and might just take Audrey to the fabric store with me today.  I have to pick up one last thing for Elliott's room and maybe we'll have a look for her too.

xo Meg

Monday, August 29, 2011

Working on the Weekend

Oh we got lots of work done around the house this weekend!

     Jay and I spend Saturday finishing up the construction in Elliott's room.  You'd think we'd be done by now, huh?  Not quite.  We installed the board, repaired the curtain rod that was falling down, built a desk and painted all the new furniture for the room.  It's looking good.  Just a few finishing touches and I'll do the photos and the big reveal.

   Then on Sunday, our kids were feeling a little neglected so we decided to take them for one last trip to the beach.

Hope you had a good weekend too.

xo Meg

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Old Fashioned Pfaff 130

   Yesterday, I sewed curtains for Elliott's room.  Well, really I did an Ikea Hack on a pair of Aina Curtain Panels.  I spruced 'em up with a little charcoal fabric and twill tape.  And they look good!  I sewed them on this baby:

   I'm not the greatest seamstress ever known to the blog world.  In fact, I'm really no good at sewing.  This is because my Mom is really, really good at sewing.  Whenever something needs to be done, she 'helps' me out.  What that usually means is that I brainstorm the idea, choose the fabric, start sewing, get frustrated within twenty minutes and let her finish it for me.  She's a perfectionist when it comes to sewing, which is a good thing, I guess.

Although my curtains are not perfect, I did manage to do a pretty good job.  Nice straight seams, everything pressed.  I surprised myself a little bit.

I can't wait to show you my sewing success.

xo Meg

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Before and After: Flip Kitchen

We flipped a house last year.  It was a long and tedious process which involved a ridiculous amount of work but I was really proud of the final product.  I thought you might like to see the kitchen:

before (obvoiusly)

design plan


     Turned out pretty nice, huh?  I love the beadboard panelling on the backsplash and the butcher block counter top on the island.  It's actually from Ikea, but I think it has a more 'high end' look than that.  The kitchen is really functional, with open shelving for display and closed shelving for storage.  

     I'm working on the curtains for Elliott's room today.  Lots of sewing and putting together all the details that seem to take sooooooo long.  

xo Meg

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cottage Life

   We spent the weekend with some good friends at the cottage.  We swam and fished, went on canoe trips and relaxed.  It was a perfect weekend.  I could almost see the stress leaving Jay's shoulders, which is good because he has been at his limit lately.

     My kids love the cottage life.  Both of them would be perfectly happy living close to water and woods.  

   The cottage we were at belongs to our good friends Krista and Ryan.  It is simple and rustic.  Ryan's Dad built it when he was a kid, using recycled wood he got from an old church.  It is rustic and comfortable, just the right size for a family.  It's not glamorous or 'done' but it is perfect for family getaways.

These are some of my favourite cottage images from Canadian House and Home.

I love the floral fabric - that isn't too feminine - and the amazing photography.

The natural stone fireplace and the beachy sailboat on display.

This kitchen is amazing, rustic and simple with a huge island.  I love the stone surrounding the range and the exposed old beams.

I love the slipped bench and the mix of black and white fabrics.  It's a sophisticated take on country style.  And that twig chandelier is amazing.

    I have to say, these cottages look more like regular homes to me.  Most of the cottages I've been to aren't beautifully decorated or styled.  They're usually a mix of cast off furnishings and decorations that are meaningful to the family that owns the space.  The decor is made up of photographs and souvenirs from the natural surroundings at the cottage. etc. 

   I think the above type of casual, cottage decorating would suit us for our regular home.  We live casually, so I want our decorating to reflect that.  Still stylish and well thought out - just laid back and casual too.

Hope you have a fantastic Monday.  I'll be kicking back doing laundry and finishing some details on Elliott's room today.  Hope you all had a relaxing weekend!

xo Meg

Friday, August 19, 2011

We're heading out to my friend Krista's cottage for some much needed R-n-R.  

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

xo Meg

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's all coming together!

     I woke up today frustrated.  I was feeling like I would never pull Elliott's room together.  It's been so much work and I have had a lot of trouble finding products for the room on our tight budget.

     I mean sure, I could  blow the budget on the Hudson's Bay Blanket in the Twin size for his bed ($270):

      And I also found some amazing curtains that I love but they were expensive.  And, to have them shipped and pay the Canadian Duty on them would have made them outrageously priced.  Budget decorating can be so frustrating sometimes!

     I  have been scouring my local stores for linens for both the bed and the curtains with no success.  Imagine my surprise this morning when I headed into The Bay (incidentally to return the blanket that broke the budget for the room) and found a perfect duvet cover for the bed.

(It's the grey houndstooth one on the right)

Not only is it the graphic hit that I was really looking for in the room, it is only $49.99

The budget gods were smiling down on me today, that's for sure! We're getting closer and closer... slowly.

xo Meg

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Barn Board Scrub-Down

It's a beautiful sunny day here in the village, and I'm spending it scrubbing down the barn boards for Elliott's room.

   A couple friends of ours took down a barn and graciously allowed us to take some of the worn boards.  When we first got them, they were a warm grey that I loved.  But it turns out they are much more brown now that I've done the scrubbing.  I guess the grey patina was really mud.  Yes, I scrubbed them by hand.  I thought our power washer would take off too much of the patina, er... mud.

I began this job on my front steps, but I was concerned that my neighbours would think I was crazy.
So I moved the project to the backyard.

Gilmore was extremely helpful, especially with the hose.

  We are putting up this really cool treatment on his headboard wall.  I got the inspiration from this image from Jute Interior Design via houzz:

  Hopefully Jay gets some time to install the boards this week.  I can't wait for this room to come together.  I love the way things are turning out and I'm having so much fun working on it, now that the wallpaper stripping is done.

xo Meg

Monday, August 15, 2011

Taming the Weed Jungle

Good Morning Everyone!  Happy Monday!

    I actually mean that.  My kids are in camp this week so I'm hoping to get a bunch of things accomplished around here while I have the time off.

    Speaking of accomplishing things, you should see the work I did in my jungle backyard this weekend!  I tamed the nasty weeds spreading across the entire expanse of the back fence.  Felt really good to accomplish something.  However, we weren't really planning to tackle the landscaping in the backyard this summer.  There are too many other places to throw money on the inside of the house right now.

     All that weeding made it so we could enjoy a campfire with the kiddos on Saturday night without me crying over how messy everything was back there.  I sat in my chair and looked out over my tidy yard and felt good about it.  These are my backyard dreams - to be accomplished next summer...

I love boxwoods with white hydrangeas.  This pathway is so pretty and cottage-y.  It would be perfect with our shingle style house.

Uh... White wysteria?  Amazing!

 More magnificent hydrangeas.  I don't know if I could ever stray from the white ones 
but these are really pretty.

  Right now, we have several dead or dying old trees that give lots of shade and privacy.  But when we take them down, I'll need to come up with a solution like this one to give us a little more privacy.

I dream about window boxes like these.  

images via my Pinterest

 Here's the thing,  I swore to myself that I would work on rooms one at a time, actually finishing them.  You see, Jay and I have this terrible habit of getting getting a room finished 90 percent of the way and then stalling out and leaving the last few details unfinished, meaning that the room feels, well... unfinished.

     So, I'm still plugging away on Elliott's room.  We are now installing the barn board onto the wall and the desk is being built.  I'm working on curtains today.  Hopefully I'll have some photos up to show you soon.  

Have a great Monday!

xo Meg

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Favourite

This week's favourite is something I pinned on Pinterest:

Aren't these globes amazing?  They are hand made by a company called ImagineNations, by an artist named Wendy Gold.  I love them for Elliott's room. 

I'm thinking of a DIY for this project though, since my budget is so very tight for this room.  We have an old globe that isn't really anything spectacular... maybe with a little nature decoupage or an interesting quote it would be!

Have a great weekend!

xo Meg

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Designer: Lloyd Ralphs Design

    The design duo behind these amazing projects is Christine Ralphs and Michelle Lloyd of Lloyd Ralphs Design.  I love the clean, spare spaces with organic touches for warmth.  They are simple and beautiful.

xo Meg

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

   So, I thought I had made a decision about the window coverings going in Elliott's room.  I had decided not to use the sailboat fabric there but to instead make a pillow out of it so it wasn't such a large focal point in the room.
   My idea was to look for a graphic fabric that I though would last longer in his room and give it the funky vibe I was looking for. Then I would make a roman shade out of the fabric.  Here are the fabrics I found online that I like.

    These fabrics are from Tonic Living.  I have ordered pillows from them before and they turned out perfectly.  They are a Canadian company that has great fabrics at reasonable prices, and I don't have to pay duty and extra shipping to get them across the border.

   However, none of these fabrics relate to the sailboat fabric.  Which means I probably won't be using it in the room.  I'm going to put it away and hope I can use it on some other project, some other time. Let's just say that my husband isn't so thrilled about spending money on this part of the project twice.

  Here's a reminder about the paint colours I have chosen for the room.

 I don't know why I always go about this so backwards!  I know you should choose fabrics and then pull your paint colours from them but somehow, I always make that mistake and then I'm stuck like this with walls already painted in a colour I love and no fabric.  Maybe it's because I have such a hard time finding fabrics I like here in Canada.

   Seems like I'm moving away from the original design plan for this room.  Some of that is because Elliott has chosen differently than I thought he would.  It's also because I'm having so much trouble making decisions about it.

Today I'm leaning towards the grey chevron fabric.  Any thoughts?


Monday, August 8, 2011

Three Season Muskoka Room

I thought you might like to see some pictures of the three season Muskoka Room that Jay is working on right now.  It's nearing completion and I think it looks amazing.  It's built with cedar and flagstone and the cedar will weather to that beautiful grey colour over time.  

The BBQ area is still waiting for the install of the stainless steel cabinetry and fridge.

   It's called a Muskoka Room because it uses the natural stone and cedar elements that you often find in that area of cottage country.  I guess it's bringing a little of the cottage lifestyle to your own backyard!

   We have been working with these clients for many years and they are wonderful to work for.  We have slowly worked through the phases of their whole home renovation, starting in their master bedroom and ensuite and working our way through the kitchen and main floors.

   On another note, lots of progress on Elliott's room this weekend.  The walls have been skimmed, primed and painted.  The bed has been assembled and brought into the room.  I have made some decisions regarding the curtain fabric I was having trouble with.  Also, I bought this light from Barn Light Electric:

Happy Monday!

xo Meg