April 27, 2015

Happy 100th Post!

When I posted my last entry the other day, I realized that it was actually the 100th post on my blog since I started it in 2011! Exciting! I thought a look back at old posts would be fun but instead I decided to review my projects in 2014 to see if I accomplished all I wanted to over the last year.

In this post, I listed my wish list of projects for 2014:

1. Recovering dining room bench and chairs

Yes, I accomplished this. I purchased some inexpensive vinyl table cloths at Wal-mart and chose to upholster all chairs and the bench. What a difference it made! 

From this: 


To this:




The bright white of the material really added some much needed lightness in the dining room. I mean, I love a matching set but it was starting to feel too heavy and dark.

Now because I chose a more inexpensive material, it already shows a bit of wear and tear {no help to Luca who one day decided he was going to poke his fork over and over again in the bench!} but it has stood up quite well and will last a little while longer. Heck! for the 10$ I spent on the table cloths, I am happy it has lasted this long!

2. Update front exterior.

This is almost complete. In the fall, I painted the door a lovely and fresh apple green color. After two coats, the vote was that it was a little TOO bright and lime. I decided to tone it down a little bit and selected an earthier apple green and painted another two coats. However, I chose to leave the bright apple green on the inside of the door because I actually really loved it and found that it was not as off-putting indoors.


This is when we bought the house:


This is what it looked like in the fall:


We also had our breeze way doors {front door, interior door to the kitchen and back door} spray painted glossy white by my father-in-law, and I spray painted the house numbers, mail slot and door hardware in an oil rubbed bronze.

Another thing I wanted to work on was the landscaping. I ripped out everything that was in my little garden and was lucky enough to inherit some hostas from my mom. I chose to plant three hostas with three little bright green shrubs {don't know the name... I am not much of a gardener!} all evenly spaced out and varying my pattern from shrub, hosta, shrub, hosta, shrub, hosta. I am anxious to see how it will look this summer!

Finally, I picked up two little cedar trees that I flanked on either side of the stairs: one for each of my sons. I have started the tradition of taking their picture beside their own tree every year to see how much they and the trees have grown.


I still want to update the lighting at both doorways, paint the garage door, and remove the brown screen door which we never got around to doing after I painted the door in the fall.

3. Re-finish second hand dresser for TV unit

Check that! I just revealed this in my last post! Ha! This project was done in the fall as well. One night, my husband was at hockey... he he he... the dresser had been in place for a while and was just begging me to paint it. So, I pulled out some glossy white paint I had on hand and gave it a coat. I ordered crystal knobs from Lee Valley Tools and replaced the existing hardware. I love this piece and since I had been wanting to do this project for some time, I just adore my living room now!



4. Paint fireplace brick and DIY mantle

Oooohhhh... partially done, I revealed my painted fireplace a few posts ago, and what a difference that made! The mantle is still on my to-do list...

Before:


I have got my eye on a few large clocks to replace the tiny stars... soon... my favorite is in a bright robin's egg blue.

5. Finish basement updates

This project is sort of in limbo. We did take on more than we had originally planned as the long part of the L-shape is all drywalled and painted, and we installed two new windows. However, the space feels sort of bare without proper flooring and finishing touches. I did start hanging some artwork here and there. The idea is to keep navy blue as the primary accent color as the bar area will have a Toronto Maple Leafs theme {I have to give at least ONE space for Jon to decorate!}. But, funny me, I threw in a coral color as a secondary accent color! {It still needs a feminine touch!} 

With spring finally here, or almost, we will start-up work in the second area {the short part of the L-shape which used to be a closed in bedroom}. The whole kit and caboodle needs to be done: new insulation, new drywall, new wiring, new lighting, new paint, new windows and we are getting one window filled as it is on our TV wall.

At the time I made my wish list for 2014, I had shown you this inspiration board:


This is now my inspiration board:

It is a different than any color scheme I have had before and definitely a step away from my usual blues and apple greens. I am loving this palette so far! Stay tuned for updates to come soon!

It is not much to look at but here are the most recent pics:

The entrance way:


Before:


After:


The bar before:


After:

This is the area we are currently working in.

Before: 


After:

This will be the new entrance to the guest bedroom {Currently the junk room}.

These are my new closets for storage.


6. Create "home tour" for blog

I did not even think of doing this! You know this is the type of thing you do after a good house cleaning: take pictures of your perfectly pristine and placed home. I will try to do this after my big spring cleaning, hopefully this weekend.

7. Take more and BETTER pictures

My pictures have definitely gotten better since purchasing my new camera, but I do find that I am taking fewer than I was at first. Here are some of my faves of late:

My little dude:

My hockey star:

Brotherly love {yes, they are always in their underwear!}:

The athlete and the rockstar: Luca with his baseball cap, Nico with his mohawk:

Not bad at all for my 2014 wish list.

What is my 2015 wishlist?

1. Finish the L-shape of the basement, including doors, trim and casings, but not the floors.
2. Finish changing Luca's room into Decor By Mylène office.
3. Work on front exterior of the house: paint garage door white, possibly install shutters, work on a bit more landscaping and change lighting.
4. Install back splash around kitchen.
5. Once basement update mostly complete, install remaining bedroom carpet in stairs {finally get rid of the ugly red carpet}.
6. Find an area rug for the living room {seems simple enough but hard to find!}.

As always, stay tuned...







April 18, 2015

King Size Curtains

My living room window is over 13 feet long so it takes a lot of fabric to cover it properly. For my first home in Gatineau, Quebec, I had these curtains seen here which suited my decor perfectly.

When we moved into our first home in Kapuskasing, I actually purchased two more sets of those curtains in order to achieve the right amount of fullness and coverage. And for a while, I liked the window arrangement very much.
  

Then, I repainted the living room after removing the wallpaper, and I created a bright and happy gallery wall. Suddenly, my curtains felt drab and dark and like they no longer belonged...


I longed for something more bright and fresh so started shopping around for some plain white curtains or maybe wide stripe curtains. I was then inspired by Pinterest and a pin about using flat bed sheets to make curtains. I thought it was worth a shot.

I picked up two crisp white king size flat bed sheets at Wal-Mart and got to work. I started by washing them. I then began the long task of ironing them. I was planning on using them length wise so the top edge with the wider hem detail, which would go to the head of the bed, would be where I hung them from. At the other end, I simply folded the sheet to my desired length, and used fusible web to glue it in place. Voilà!

To hang, at first I was thinking of using curtain loops with clips but when I tried it, it didn't give the effect I was looking for. I decided to try just cutting a slit at both ends in the top hem and slipping my pole through for a rod pocket finish... and it was perfect!




The crisp and fresh white of the curtains really brightened the whole space and made it feel less stuffy and formal. I donated the old curtains to family members so they weren't a total waste. I am really trying to step away from the browns and blues in this space. If you recall floor plans from a while ago, I am hoping to recover the couches in a lighter white or grey fabric and want to add a few accent furniture pieces.
Oh and let me introduce you to my new television unit... I bought this for 15$ at a hay day sale and repainted the bottom portion in bright white. I also swapped out the hardware for crystal knobs. It went from this:



To this:



I just recently changed my space layout to accommodate the unit on the gallery wall to really make that wall the primary focal point. I had to rejig the frames a bit to make sure everything looked balanced. I just love the look of the space now!



Now if I can just get rid of the legos and toys that are constantly in this space... 






April 11, 2015

Office of my dreams

As I launch my new interior decorating and home staging business, my first task at hand is planning an appropriate area in my home where I can work in peace if need be. Currently I sit at the end of my dining room table in a very uncomfortable chair... not ideal at all.
 
My boys started sharing a room just before Christmas and they keep asking for a bunk bed which to me indicates they are together for a while to come. At least until Nico gets too old and wants to move to the basement. When they moved together, Luca's room when from looking like this:
 
 
 
To looking like this:
 
The crib moved out... and an old TV bench with baskets for storage moved in. My nursery became the toy room.
 
Unfortunately, it rarely looks like this which to me feels like a daily stress every time I walk passed that room. Jon and I both agree that all toys should be moved to the basement which is currently not somewhere we go daily.
 
I begged him to let me turn the space into an office and he sort of agreed. Next came my favorite part: inspiration boards!
 
I always start by choosing a fabric as my jumping off point. From the fabric will come the colors and tones for the entire space. It is much easier to match a paint to fabric than fabric to paint... believe me, I learned that lesson the hard way. So, here are two inspiration boards I came up with.
 
The first , the pink and gold room, is definitely warmer and has the on-trend look of gold furniture and accessories:
 
 
The second, the blue and green room, which is cooler and more calm, has my classic love of blues and greens which are pretty much all over my main floor:
 
 
The two fabric choices from Tonic Living are ones that I have admired for a long time and hoped to eventually use in my house. I am tempted to go with the pink and gold room simply for its warmth and step away from my usual blue and green choices Plus, and this is a bonus, the current creamy yellow paint would work, as would the curtains. I would just have to repaint the striped wall with the paint I have leftover, and move in. I also think the pink and gold room is oh-so girly and as this will primarily be my office space, it is sort of nice to personalise it to my liking.
 
The blue and green room on the other hand, is so relaxing and I love the drawing table and chair I found with their touches of warm wood. Plus you can't go wrong with polka dots and chevron accent pillows for the computer and guest chairs! The room would be painted a either a shade of white or pale grey to match the primary fabric.
 
In both cases the main fabric choice would be sewed to the bottom of the existing curtains seeing as a) they are brand new and b) they match for both inspiration boards. So I am ordering a swatch of each fabric and will go from there
 
What to do...