Friday, August 2, 2013

Audrey's Room Reveal

I feel like we worked on this project for a hundred years.  And the truth is, it isn't quite finished yet.  But really, what in this house ever is?  Things are always evolving and changing as we get used to living in tighter spaces and with less stuff.  

Audrey was so surprised by her room transformation and we are very pleased with how it turned out. 

Especially since we started with this:



The most notable thing that we are still missing is the bedskirt.  My mom seamstress is still working on completing the box pleated skirt in the striped fabric.  I figure I can wait for the free labor. 

The fabric was super duper cheap.  It's from Ikea and comes in at a whopping $6.99 per metre.  When we found it, I was so surprised at the heavy weight of the fabric and the perfect colour palate it gave me to work with.  If you remember, Audrey wanted a riot of colour and I wanted calm, simple and more neutral.  I feel like we really struck a perfect balance here.

We both really love the desk wall.  Jay made the desk out of two brackets we bought and some wood he cut to fit the exact space.  I painted the brackets in the same aqua as the bed to unify the space.  I especially love how all the bright colours pop against the dark chalkboard wall here.  The desk is the perfect size for Audrey, although it doesn't offer any storage.  She isn't really one to put things away anyway ; )

This way, her pencils and markers are right out on display so she can keep things tidy (hopefully).

I also think this little hook system will help keep her things up off the floor.  It's funny, when I was spraying out all the frames I absolutely detested this lime green colour we used, but now it's one of my favourite parts of the room.  Audrey, of course, loves it.

So there you go.  One room looking good.  I'll talk about sources and paint colours in another post.

What do you think of Audrey's new room?

xo Meg

Monday, July 29, 2013

Project Surprise Room - Part 2

Last week, while our kids were away at the cottage with my parents, we did a major overhaul on Audrey's room. If you remember, it looked like this:

Poor kid.

  I have a few posts lined up about this project (there were lots of small DIYs in here) but for now, check out my girl's reaction to her new and improved bedroom:

She had no idea we were working on this while she was away. And the good news is that she loved it.

   Slowly, but surely, we are working away at this house.  Things are really starting to look like 'us' in a lot of rooms.  

    The basement is nearing completion - Elliott is now in his new room downstairs and loves having his own space. We even watched our first official family movie in the basement family room last night. I can't tell you how much happier I feel now that things are shaping up.  I'm a homebody and it's really important to me that our house feels like home. We've spent a lot of months with somebody else's decorating choices. And we will spend many more while we budget and work on the things that are important to us.   

Have a wonderful Monday!

xo Meg

Friday, July 12, 2013

Project Surprise Room

In about a week, my kids are heading to the cottage to spend a week with their Nanny, Grandpa and Auntie.  They are so looking forward going and love everything to do with cottage life - swinging in the hammock with a good book, playing on the beach, swimming and boating.  I've written about Cedar Beach before and what it means to me and my family.  It's my true north.

While they're gone, I have some big surprise plans for Audrey.  When we moved into our house, her room was one of the first ones we painted.  It's pale lilac, although I know she wishes it was a much brighter colour.  But that's all we've done.  I wrote about that here, you can check out the little bit of progress we've made.

The list of projects for this room was long. And sadly, we've yet to accomplish anything on the list. Not. A. Thing.  In all fairness, we have been working hard on other reno projects around here.  However, it's my goal to complete a few projects to make her room something special while she's gone.  And then surprise her when she gets back!

This is the fabric for her long pillow.  

 ANNBETH Fabric IKEA Yarn-dyed fabric. The pattern is visible on both sides.
It's been purchased and is just sitting there waiting to be sewn.

This is the bed:

She wants a brightly coloured room so we're going with turquoise.

We found her chandy in someone else's trash.  My favorite kind of treasure. We're planning to dress it up with a paint job. I have yet to choose a colour.  I will likely choose something pulled from the striped fabric we're using. Pink?  Any colour suggestions would be appreciated.

Additionally, a chalkboard wall is happening on the desk wall, a la:

Good example of minimal chalkboard paint in the office

I have a zillion ideas swirling around in my head.  I'm always good at making inspiration boards for a space - but it's somehow hard for me to commit the ideas to the actual room and actually get it done.  There are a few craft type projects I'd like to create for the space but we'll see what kind of time crunch I run up against.

Some things that also need to be addressed:

  • hooks for hanging sweatshirts and pjs
  • hooks/jewelry organization/display
  • hang string lights?
  • make a pompom garland/flower/paper/other creative garland 

Isn't planning a surprise FUN??

xo Meg 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Doggie Helper

Gilmore helping me with filling nail holes, caulking and priming out the trim in our basement.  Love that guy.  He's actually afraid to walk on the new flooring down there.  It makes him nervous!

xo Meg

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Great Laminate Debate!

Last week, I share the progress we have been making in Elliott's new bedroom. I had just completed painting the cement floors in both his room, and the family room. I was digging the rich, charcoal-brown colour that we chose but there was a hitch.

Dude. Concrete is hard. And cold.

So we decided to go ahead and buy the laminate flooring we planned on using down the line in the basement. Simply put, I want to enjoy this space. My family needs this space. We are so cramped in our little ranch. And we knew that if our family room and Elliott's room felt cold and uncomfortable come the middle of winter, there would be no way we would ever enjoy being down there.

Here is what we chose:

And we are so, so happy with the decision. It does mean that we will have to save up a bit longer to finish the laundry room and bath down there, but in my eyes, it was the right decision. I only wish I hadn't spent so stinkin' much time cleaning those hard floors up and painting them!

Additionally, we've narrowed the lighting fixture for Elliott's room down to these two, both from Barn Light Electric.

I'm taking votes!

Xo Meg

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Elliott's Room Progress

I hope all my Canadian readers enjoyed their long Canada Day Weekend!  I did what we always do on long weekends - mixed family fun with crazy amounts of hard DIY work.  We made loads of progress though, and I'm so excited to show you the latest shots from Elliott's room.  

I took all the pictures for this post with my iphone.  I'm sorry they're not better quality but I promise to have excellent photos for the reveal post.  First, Jay installed the doors and trim in the room.  Baseboards, casings, window trim and jams are all in.  Here we are:

The window has an apron sill and backband around the trim.

  Then I got to work scrubbing the floors.  I don't think we'll ever learn the lesson to cover floors up if you don't want a ridiculous clean up in the end.  The concrete floors were covered with dust and debris, but also globs of mud from the drywall process.  I scrubbed and scraped, swept and vacuumed, scrubbed again... you get the point.  I'm so sore today, but this was the outcome of all that clean up.

   Originally, we planned to install laminate as the flooring in here.  However, we decided against it for the time being.  This is for two reasons.  First, the laminate flooring at my work has cupped and pulled up badly in the areas where there is moisture and this is the basement level of our home.  I'm worried about that happening here too.  Second, we are out of budget for the flooring we want to put down.  We're eventually going to go with hardwood with a Delta subfloor.  But that will take us some time to save up for and we need to be able to use this space, like, yesterday.  

Enter plan B:

 I painted the floors with concrete paint - which went on suprisingly easily.  I had it tinted to Benjamin Moore's Willow, a grey brown colour.  I also painted the family room floor and will show you that room's progress later in the week.  

BM Willow CC-542

Next Steps for this space include:

  1. Choosing a flush mount light fixture that a) is affordable; and b) doesn't look like a boob. 
  2. Installing outlet covers.
  3. Caulking, filling, and painting the trim and doors.  

We're in the home stretch, baby.

xo Meg

Saturday, June 29, 2013


I know I'm a little late to the party, since Google Reader is officially done in two days.  I've decided to use Bloglovin for the time being and see how I like the way it works.

I would love it if you would follow me there...

Happy Weekend!

xo Meg

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Basement Update

I sure do miss my little blog.

We've been working hard around here with all the things that come along with homeownership.  Not really blog-worthy stuff, just maintenance and regular work. Like weeding the garden, mowing our giant lawn and doing the laundry.  All stuff that really doesn't warrant a post but takes up so much of our time.

Any time we can find, we are spending in the basement working on Elliott's Room, the Hallway and Family Room.  Here are a couple progress shots from my iPhone of the family room.

So far, we've completed:
  • Electrical layout
  • Electrical Installation
  • Framing
  • Drywall, Mud and Tape
  • Painting

I just finished priming the room and will be painting everything out in my fave Benjamin Moore paint colour, White Down (CC-50).

The trim and built-in cabinetry will be painted BM White Dove (OC-17).

And Elliott's Room is already painted with BM Grey Owl (OC -52).

Our goals for the weekend include:

  • Complete the painting in the family room
  • Select Flooring 
  • Sand Mud in Hallway
  • Prime Hallway
  • Door Installation

I'm really hoping to get back into posting regularly - it just seems that activities and life are constantly keeping me busier than I would like to be.   I've moved from working part time to a full time schedule at my regular job so I'm finding it hard to make time to do everything.  Hopefully I will be able to find some balance soon.  

xo Meg

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Our life is so busy.  With pressures of its own, happiness and heartbreaks and disappointments. We are dealing with one of these heartbreaks around here right now and it has really thrown me for a loop.

I am a sensitive person.  And I put all my eggs in one basket when it comes to my children.  I love them fiercely, hold high expectations for them and think they are the most amazing creatures in the universe.  I'm sure that those of you who are parents can relate.  So what happens if you have a dream for your child that isn't coming true?

Audrey's gym has pulled her from their provincial stream and held her back in a group that is less designed for high level gymnastics.  They don't think she's ready. They don't think she wants it badly enough.  And maybe they are right.  But the problem is this:  I want it for her.

I know.

I swear I'm not like one of those women on Dance Moms.
I understand the logic that she is the one doing the sport.  She is the one putting in all that hard work and effort and sacrifice.  And, it's not like she's not really, really good at the sport.  Seriously people, won the overall gold medal in her last competition (along with three golds and a silver on her events). But it was time for her to step up her game this year, and she didn't.  In fact, she thought about quitting before she felt all that podium success.

Gymnastics is a tough sport.

Of course, once our gym gave us this news, I lost my shit.  They gave us the news via email, which I received while I was standing in the lobby waiting for Audrey to finish training.  An email, instead of having a personal conversation with us (after 5 years of training with them) and I didn't handle it very well.  I am quite certain that this had an additional detrimental effect on the situation.  Then we proceeded to shop her to another gym in our area.  A gym that ranks below our current gym in standings.

And this gym wants her.  Badly enough to reduce their monthly fees for us.  They want to put her in their provincial stream and they say that all she lacks is confidence.  She doesn't believe in herself.  They feel like they can give her the positive encouragement and care she needs to move forward.
At this point, I began to cry.  Like the over-invested, completely Dance Mom type parent that I have become. Mostly because it hurts my heart to hear that my beautiful, talented, smart, funny girl thinks she's less than. Confidence is crucial for girls. Not only for gymnastics but for life.

Audrey mostly wants to stay with her friends at her current gym.  But this new gym really might help her with the confidence she needs to move forward and I think she sees that side too.  I am so torn up about it that I feel like I can't make a decision and even worse, we are on a tight deadline to make said decision.

 I haven't slept and have been unable to focus on anything else for several days. Stuff like this just hits me so hard.  
Anyway, I just thought I'd level with you guys and tell you where I've been this last little bit.  I'm not feeling interested in blogging about design and DIY lately. I'm all wrapped up in my kid and this drama.  
Any excellent mothers out there who have advice for me?  How do you put disappointments like this into perspective?  I only wish I knew what to do.

xo Meg

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Farrow & Ball Bumblebee

I wonder if it's normal to be as obsessed with wallpaper as I am.  Not just any wallpaper, although I do really like so many.  I'm obsessed with Farrow & Ball's Bumblebee wallpaper. This is not a new thing, either.  I've loved it for such a long time. 

 I've never wallpapered anything or used wallpaper in our home.  I have, however, spent a ridiculous amount of time removing wallpaper from Elliott's Room and our Hallway.  That may explain why I've never wallpapered anything.  But I really, really want to use the Bumblebee on the ceiling of my master bedroom.  Like, really.  

Here are some of the colour combos I'm considering:

 I'm leaning towards the first one.

What do you think about this wallpaper?  Do you think it's weird that I'd want bees overhead?  Is this obsession unhealthy?  Any advice for a novice wallpaper-er contemplating the use of super-expensive wallpaper DIY style?

xo Meg

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Garden in Progress

It's been the most beautiful long weekend in my neck of the woods.  We've been busting our butts working on the house.  Cause what else would you do on a long holiday weekend?

Let me introduce you to our front gardens, before all the work.

There are definitely some nice plants in there, a decent base for us to begin with.  I'm personally all about perennial flowering shrubs.  Low maintenance and pretty with just one investment up front.  Also, you can divide them down the line to increase the gardening goodness!

I'm not usually into using much colour in my garden (I know, shocking!).  I prefer a mix of greens and white flowers - lots of them.  But these red Sandcherry plants were already in the garden so we decided to roll with it.  They are very pretty and have lovely pinkish white tiny flower blooms.

So in the spirit of working with what you've got, here's a view of our front gardens now:

right side

left side

front garden bed
First, we weeded the beds.  Then we put down landscape cloth and mulch to help reduce weeding and make the gardens low maintenance.  Then we added some new plants to the existing arrangement.  We're so happy with how it turned out.  It looks tidy and I'm not ashamed to pull up to our house anymore.  I'm looking forward to seeing all these plants fill in!  

xo Meg