Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eating on Your Lap

We are smack dab in the middle of this renovation and it seems like every time we feel like we've made a bit of progress, I look around at the sheer bedlam and feel discouraged again.

I'm not gonna lie.  I'm sick to death of eating on my lap.  I want to be able to use my table again.  And look my people in the face when we're eating dinner.  Currently, my kids are sitting at the office desk to eat and Jay and I are carrying our plates out to the living room and attempting to balance them on our knees whilst eating.  This is fine for a party but for every day living???

And do not get me started on what constitutes dinner around here lately.  We are tired, overworked, underfunded and simply exhausted.

You can see our pantry in the above shot.  You know, all the bins of food on top of the table?  You might also notice the cabinet doors ready to be installed once the boxes are complete.  If the boxes area ever completed...

It's cereal for dinner again!  Just kidding.  Sort of.

Check out the size of that crazy French door propped up against the wall.  It wasn't working, as it was so heavy it warped the doorframe it was installed in.  We had to remove it.  I'm taking suggestions if you have any ideas about how to repurpose it.  Headboard perhaps?  

Since my dining room is a sham, here's what I'm dreaming about.  I wouldn't want to leave you with those terrible pictures burned into your brain...

Look!  This one even has wine!!!!

You can find all these images on my Dining Pinterest board.

Happy Tuesday!  Anyone want to have us over for dinner tonight??

xo Meg

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trim Repairs & Help in the Bedroom

Thanks so much for all your great ideas about my bedside tables!  I really appreciate your input here, since hanging artwork is really not something I feel comfortable with. 

I loved Casey's idea to switch the large horizontal photographs with the smaller pieces and most of you did too.  Unfortunately, I use the plug behind my bedside table all the time for my laptop, phone, etc.  so I can't just lean the picture up against the wall.  But I will try switching the large and small pieces to see how that looks. 

In the meantime, I'm still working away at the projects we are currently doing around here.  Mainly, I'm prepping the old, beat up trim in our house for a fresh coat of paint.  We're using BM White Dove on all the trim and cabinetry in the house.

I don't want to brag or anything... but I'm kind of a trim jedi master. 

Seriously.   I am currently working on the trim in the living room:  baseboard, crown molding, window and door casing.  It is all original to our 120 year old house so it has seen better days. 

Really, really hard to get a decent photo of this window because so much
light filters in here.  This is an old one 

The trim around our leaded glass bay window is in very bad shape. 

nasty trim before

nasty trim filled in with latex caulking (sorry for the blurry iphone pics)

Right now, I have all the trim in this room caulked and filled.  I use a combination of latex caulking in a caulking gun and Durabond filler.  I'm waiting for everything to dry and cure and then it will all get a coat of White Dove.  I can't wait to show you how nice it looks once it's all freshly painted.

In the meantime, I'm going to head upstairs and put a couple more holes in the wall around our bedside tables!

xo Meg

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bedside Help

Like I mentioned, I'm working on our master bedroom (among a few other things).

I'm really struggling with something though, and I'm hoping you guys can help me out. I hung some photographs this weekend and I'm just not sure.

Backtrack.  Look at these bedside vignettes:

See how the artwork is somewhat obscured by the lamps?

I mentioned that I have a few pieces that I'd like to use in our master.  We bought two black and white photographs a few years ago in Ottawa at an art show and we both love them.  And I have the large painting that I gave Jay for our anniversary last year.

This weekend, I attempted to hang the photographs.  I am doing this now, before I repaint the room, so that any extra holes I make can be easily filled and fixed before my pretty white paint goes on.

Note:  large painting will go in the centre of the wall here once it's framed.

I am struggling with the placement of these photos.  I have seen so many beautiful images where a light is covering some of the artwork (as in above).  But somehow it just looks to me like I mis-hung these photographs!  

Is this how it's supposed to look???  Should I raise the photographs and add a couple other things below?  Should I lower the photographs so they sit under the lamp shade?

They look ok from some angles, but completely silly from other angles.

I'm desperate to know what you think.  Please chime in.  

xo Meg

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Master Bedroom: Shop the House

With all the expensive renovating going on around here (yes, I'm talking to you kitchen), I decided that I should shop the house to spruce up the master bedroom.

There are lots of elements I can pull from other places to make our master look more finished.  And right now, since everything else in the whole house is a disaster zone, I want to pull together the master so I can just hide out in there.

1.  New light blue sheets.  Cheap ones from President's Choice that actually feel nice.
2.  New greige window panels that I found at Homesense for $29.99 a while ago.
3.  Blue blanket given to me by a friend a few years back.
4.  Pillow that my Mom sewed for me.  I have two pillows and a bit more fabric to use.
5.  My painting.
6.  The Resto linen bedding that I thought would be the perfect neutral.  I can never seem to find anything to go with it.

 I'm just going to throw it all together and see what I get.

Wall colour is being chosen.  I'm leaning heavily towards BM White Dove.  I'm looking for the perfect white for the walls.  And we all know how easy that is.  I have some sample pots and the paint swatches go up today.

I'd better get to work!

xo Meg

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Powder Room

...finally has a vanity!  

No more washing our hands in the kitchen sink. 

xo Meg

Friday, July 13, 2012

Master Bedroom

   We are in full scale renovation mode around here, in case you haven't been keeping up.  This means that everything in our house is covered by a layer of filth and there's seemingly no end in sight.

I've decided to make peace with living in squalor.

   So much so, that I will now be showing you yet another unfinished, nasty room in our house.  This room is also on the list for a spruce up.  And like every other fix up around here, there's a very limited budget but lots of willingness to work it hard.  Elbow grease is my best friend.

I took these pictures on my iphone and I'm gonna post them really small so I don't scare anyone away.

This is our master bedroom.  

Yeah, I know.  

It's actually a decent sized room.  Not as big as Audrey's room or anything, but decent.  She has a huge walk-in closet too.  We have a dinky little closet.  That we share. We were clearly drunk when we decided who would get which room (that drinking reference is for you, Elizabeth).

Once upon a time, I posted about our master bedroom and my dreams for it.  Here's the mood board I made then:

Things Our Master Bedroom Has Going For It:

  • size
  • nice light hardwood floors
  • 2 beautiful, large black and white photographs 
  • cool antique light fixture

  • Restoration Hardware Vintage Wash Linens for the bed (uh, not pictured in the room)

(these linens, in this colour)

Things To Address:

  • Window Coverings:  I am thinking of doing a DIY stencil on a pair of Home Depot Drop Cloths.  In my dreams, it would turn out something like these from Nicole Yee that I pinned last week.  Maybe not a black stencil.  Maybe something paisley-ish?

  • Headboard (for sure a DIY)
  • Come up with some plan for the room's layout .  That 'dresser wall' isn't cutting it.  I'd like to add a couple of chairs and a desk or side table over there. And remove the smaller dresser.
  • Paint the walls and ceiling
  • Sew a lumbar pillow for the bed
I want the palate to be pretty neutral/white with just a bit of the blues and greens that I love so much.  Here's some inspiration rooms:

style at home

kerrisdale design - probably my all time fave casual bedroom

So, add another project to our ever-growing list.  I won't be able to start in on this project until I complete a couple others going on around here.  But it's on the horizon.  I can almost see it!

Happy Friday!

xo Meg

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Summer vacation officially began for my kids last week.  They are the type of kids who thrive on doing stuff - sports, hanging out with friends, going places and seeing things.  They like to be busy.

I, however, prefer to chill. But that's a whole other story.

You know the debate about over-scheduling your kids?  About how they need down time?  My kids are both very active in their sports and social lives and they don't ever seem to want down time. I worry that they are over-scheduled all the time.  However, I don't want them sitting around staring at a screen (computer, ipod, tv, etc) in their down time either.

It's week one of summer vacation and I'm already hearing the dreaded, "I'm bored, Mom!"

So when I found this fun pin on Pinterest, I thought we'd give it a try.

I basically used the same list, with a few additions.  You could do this in your own backyard but I sent my kids to the green just across the street from my house.  

Here's Audrey, showing me the stuff she found.

The prize for completing the scavenger hunt was a popsicle!

Overall, I'd say the Nature Scavenger Hunt was quite a success.  My kids really enjoyed it.  Maybe I'd put some trickier items on the list for them next time and have them pick up 5 pieces of garbage.  They did complete it much faster than I thought they would!

What are you doing to keep your kids busy and off the screens this summer?

xo Meg

Monday, July 9, 2012

Slow Progress Update!

We're at the point in the renovation process where I'm certain we'll never complete it.  
It feels a little like we're going to live in squalor for the rest of our lives.  

This week:

Drywall was installed in the kitchen.  Cabinets and doors should be in this coming week.

First coat done on the stairs.
From this angle, it looks pretty good.

This angle is a whole other story.

   The risers on the stairs are in really bad shape.  Our plan was for Jay to install a new board and trim piece onto the riser of each stair. I would then paint this part white.

But here's the problem with that.

   When you look down on the stairs, from the upstairs hallway, they look waaaay too dark.  The hardwood in this house is a very light colour, really just a clear coat on the oak.  So the dark grey stairs look really out of place.

See? This just looks silly!

Here's what we've decided to do to correct this problem.  We will still be painting the stair risers, spindles and trim in BM's White Dove.  But we will be adding this:

A Sisal Runner!  (via)

Doesn't it look pretty with the grey treads?  I think the warm colour of the sisal will really pull the hardwood and grey together.  And it will make the overall look less dark.

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lake House

We spent the weekend at the Lake.  My favourite place on Earth.  We were...

looking for lucky stones

driving the seadoo like a boss

getting even more freckles on our perfect little noses

kayaking through the lily pads

hitting the sandbar

Needless to say, no work was done on any of our renovations this weekend.  But we were so happy to spend the holiday weekend together in the sun and sand.  (It was the Canada Day weekend here)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend too.

xo Meg