Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Let the Demo Begin!

It's an exciting day here, the demo has begun on our lower level.  If you remember, there will be a family room, laundry room, bathroom and bedroom for Elliott down there.  

hallway at the bottom of the stairs

view into the family room

current laundry will be moved and bathroom will go in there

Elliott's room

I'm so excited that work has already started.  Before we can do any of the fun stuff, some leaks and foundation issues need to be addressed.  So that's the first priority.  That and a new dryer.  

Happy Tuesday!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Gallery Wall

Audrey is already tired of the sad yellow walls and burgundy window shades (circa 1982) in her room. But she sure is happy to have a room of her own to decorate again!  I peeked in at bedtime to discover she had created a little gallery wall over her bed with washi tape.

The composition includes: assorted snapshots of her gymnastics team, her dreamcatcher, a photo booth strip of her and Jay and her calendar. I think she did a pretty good job!

She also said, "Don't worry, Mom.  I put them up symmetrically so you wouldn't go crazy."

Happy Monday!

xo Meg

Friday, January 25, 2013

Organizing the Entry

 One of the things I'm working on this weekend at the new house is organization.

Right now, we are still shuffling boxes, emptying boxes, breaking down boxes and sobbing because there are still so many boxes.  I'm finding that many of these boxes are full of things that simply don't fit into this ranch house.

The first organizational project that I'm working on is the entrance to the home.  The current layout of the house doesn't really have a designated foyer.  The front door opens right into the living room and the entry closet was actually removed by the previous owner.  This leaves us with a 24 inch hall closet to house enough outerwear to get a family of 4 through a Canadian winter. 

We need a 'for now' solution to this problem.  I have stolen the closet space from the small office you can see through the french doors in the entry.  It is also a small closet but it does fit all our extra jackets and outerwear.  And I'm planning to work with the teeny 24 inch closet this weekend.

Over the door hooks
I will be outfitting the inside with a rod (not sure why there's not one there already?) and some hooks, etc. to help corral our everyday coats and bags.  I also plan on using an extra expedit bookshelf we have to create an entry organization system or 'landing zone' to corral all our stuff.  

Here's a little inspiration:


Stay tuned!

xo Meg

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Settling In

We are settling in at the new house.

We are currently knee deep in boxes and tired yellow paint. 
But it sure is nice to see our stuff again!

I will be back to regular posting soon, once our Internet connection is up and we are a little better organized.

Xo Meg

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fab Fabric Fail

So, when we last spoke about Audrey's room, I had the Kiki fabric by Robert Allen on order.  I really liked the way this fabric looked in the room Danielle Oakey designed for her daughter, Emory.

See the aqua colour in the headboard fabric?  See how the pink flowers are... well... pink?  The fabric appears to have all the colours I was planning to use for Audrey's room too.  I was really excited.

Then it arrived:

iphone picture, colours vary

The iphone picture doesn't really show the true life colour. It's really more cinnamon/brown/rust than I thought.  And the blue is more blue than aqua.  I still like the fabric.  But Audrey does not.  She tried to pretend that she did, so I wouldn't feel bad, but she doesn't.

Lesson learned:  order the swatch.  

I will say, mixing patterns and colours is really tough for me.  I think that's actually why I'm so very colour shy.  How can this fabric look so perfect in the space that Danielle designed and be so totally wrong for the design I had planned?

Just for reference, I'll show you the plan again:

Maybe I just don't know how to mix colours and patterns?  Maybe the colours don't have to match exactly?  It looks like it all goes together on the design board but it doesn't look that way in real life to me. I just don't know.   

So, I'm not quite sure where I'm going from here.  I know I want Audrey to love her room, and she doesn't really love the fabric.  Fortunately, I only ordered a yard so I'm not out tons of money on the mistake.  

If you want to see the inspiration for her room, you can check out my pinboard.  I'm looking at a few other fabrics now.

I couldn't possibly go wrong with the Schumacher, right?
I'm not sure it's in the budget though.

Considerably less expensive than the Schumacher at $21

Good colours to pull from in the Braemore one, I think.  

Please weigh in.  What do you think about the fabric choices?  Does anyone else have anxiety over fabric ordering???

xo Meg

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Informal Dining: Nook-Style

I love a dining nook.


I really feel like this is the way to go for us.  We wouldn't use a formal dining room and a nook though.  It would be a waste of space in our tight-on-space home. So I'm trying to come up with a design for a banquette nook area that is a little more formal looking, like the picture above.

I bought a new light for our dining room yesterday.  I think I need to get over my paralyzing fear of online purchasing.  I know, you all think that's crazy, but I have so much trouble actually pulling the trigger on a purchase online.  I like to be able to touch the item and see the scale, etc.

my new light from wisteria

I'm hoping it's the right size for the banquette we're going to build in the dining room.  This is the dining room:

real estate photo, not my stuff

It's quite a small room and it's open to the kitchen so I think the scale of the light will be right.  I have posted about banquettes before so if you've been a reader for a while, you know it's my longtime dream to have one.  We are casual people and there is no one who would ever come to my house for a meal and expect a formal dining experience.  We like good food, shared family style.  

On a side note, there is currently a  'boob' light in the dining room.  I know, how fancy!  We'll be removingit and the closet door at the back.  We are trying to determine if the bench seat for the banquette will be in an 'L' shape or just across the wall under the window.  

the dining room in one of our previous homes

curtain fabric close-up

Unfortunately, these are the best photos I have of the curtains fabric we will be using, since they are currently in storage. We will be using these curtains on the large front window in the new house. The living room is open to the dining room so things have to flow.  Seems like a lot of color for me, doesn't it?  I know!  I'm totally out on a limb here!

I don't think the curtain fabric is available any longer but there is a co-ordinating stripe that I love.  I already have pillows in this fabric and am thinking about using it on the window over the banquette.

(It doesn't look much like it co-ordinates in these pictures, but I promise, it does).

So, I'm on the hunt for some fabrics that will work for the banquette cushions and pillows, as well as the living room area, which is open to the dining space and kitchen.  That's a lot of co-ordinating for me.  We will see how this goes.  

Just for reference, here's a picture of the new light from the Wisteria site:


I'm open to any suggestions you might have for fabrics.  In fact, I'd love your help!  Also, what do you think of the light?

xo Meg

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Stanley Cup Decor

I think you all know I'm a hockey fan.  I'm not sure if you know just how much I love hockey though.  So in honour of an agreement being reached between the players and NHL, I'd like to post a special installment of Stanley Cup Decor.

Now, I don't know who's going to make it to Cup this year.  But I do have a favourite team.

If I was going to a game, which I'm not, I would probably sport something fun in royal blue.

Granted, both these boards have shoes that I probably wouldn't wear (and certainly wouldn't wear to the hockey game).  But I'm sure I could find a suitable pair of Converse or ballet flats : ) 

I think this saturated blue colour could be great in the home as well.  It adds a sophisticated feel, and the colour is really beautiful. take a look at these:

Just a little post for all you hockey fans out there.  Are there any??  Oh well, maybe show it to your husbands then...

xo Meg

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Family Room Design

Along with Elliott's room and bath on the lower level, we will also have a family room space.  We've been doing a lot of thinking about who will be using this space, and how.

   We don't really watch TV in our house - with the exception of hockey games (I'm so excited that hockey is back!).  

   We do watch movies occasionally, and Elliott plays video games with his friends. Jay and I will mainly use the living room on the main floor for relaxing and we have a smaller TV in our bedroom for Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights if the kids have friends over.

I think it's really important in a small space to determine the real use for each room.  If you don't have a lot of square footage, some rooms have to serve a dual purpose. You don't want to waste square footage on a room that gets little use.  We've put a great deal of thought into how this space will really be used.  The design plan follows that thought.

For example, the lower level will mainly be used by the kids and their friends for:

  • Watching TV and Movies
  • Playing, Singing Concerts and Dance Recitals
  • Playing loud and obnoxious video games
  • Family Games Night
  • Harry Potter Movie Night with the whole family
  • Occasional parties for sporting events (like the Stanley Cup)
Basically, nothing down there can be too precious and it all has to be stain resistant.  But I don't want it to look like a kids rec room.  Tricky, right?

There are also some things we already have for the space.  These things will need to fit into the new design and decorating scheme.  For instance, although I would now choose a different colour for the sectional, we have this one:

It's very beige.  But it's also very comfortable, well made, and it creates a ton of seating.  If you remember, we had to use it in our living room at our last house because it was too big to go down the stairs to the family room.  It's really perfect for our basement family room.  Except that it's very beige.  

I've been looking at some pinspiration (shocking, I know).  Here are some spaces that have a 'feel' I love for this area:

I am noticing a few themes:  rustic wood, white walls, a hit of jewel tone, etc.  I'm also noticing that black & white is added in all of the rooms I like.  For me, this modernizes the space a bit more.  After all, we're dealing with a completely different architecture with this home.  It's a 60's rancher so I'm needing to re-think my vintage design aesthetic.  

I would also be surprised if a wood stove like this didn't make an appearance too!

  The budget for this project will be mostly swallowed up by the actual construction of the rooms.  That means reusing and repurposing lots of items we already own.  I might splurge on a couple of cool framed posters I recently saw - not that they're much of a splurge.  There's also a vintage wooden Coca-Cola crate that's collecting dust in my parent's basement that I'm thinking of sneaking into my trunk while no one's looking.  
   I'm excited to get our things out of storage so I can actually see what we have.  It's been stored for so long that I hardly remember!  

xo Meg

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Elliott's Bathroom

One of the first projects we'll be working on in the new year will be the lower floor of our brick ranch house.  Plans include a fab teen space for my boy, Elliott.  There will be a bedroom and bath, with a large walk-in shower for him.  We will be using some of the elements from his old room in his new digs but the bathroom isn't even constructed yet.

Our plans include:

  •  a dark slate floor, perhaps laid in a herringbone pattern (if I can convince Jay)
  • planking for the walls (if I can convince Jay)
  • industrial-feel lighting
  • a round mirror
  • simple subway tile, most likely in white

Here are some bathroom spaces that I love.  

Here is a sample of the tile design I'm thinking of:

And here's my design plan:


6.  Wood Shelves from our leftover barn board

I'm going with a pretty simple look - mainly charcoal and white - with some warm wood accents so it doesn't feel cold.  I haven't found a vanity yet.  Possibly a repurposed dresser would work.  Or perhaps something with simple lines that's sprayed gray.  Let me know if you have any suggestions!

xo Meg

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bring it, 2013

    Like every other blogger, I thought I'd share with you my goals and dreams for 2013.  I've even found a mantra for this year.  Yesterday, I reflected on all the changes that happened in our life in 2012, and I'll admit, it made me a little sad.

   I'm not sure why:  maybe it's because I was looking back at pictures of our old home.  The one that I loved so very much.  Or maybe it's because change can be so scary.  I feel like I'm really out on a limb right now.  Moving house, making new friends in our new neighborhood, making some career advancements, etc.  These are all risks for me. And I'm afraid of failing, just like anyone.  Sometimes I just like to 'turtle', as we like to call it around here.  (please picture a turtle pulling it's head back into it's shell here). That's part of what I'm trying to work on.  But it's pretty tough for me sometimes.

   As far as goals and dreams go, I have some personal goals, blogging goals, parenting goals and home goals.  I'll start with something easy:

Home Goals

Our new house needs tons of work.  This means lots of photos and before/after posts.  I'm looking forward to being creative and designing the space in a whole new direction.  These are the things we know about at this point:

Basement Reno:  this includes a new bedroom and bath for Elliott, as well as a family room and laundry room.  This is the very first thing we'll be working on once we take possession because the third bedroom on the main floor is pretty small for Elliott ( like 8'x9').  It will function as our home office once we move Elliott downstairs.  We desperately need a home office too.

Pinned Image
not my house, sherry's via BHG
Exterior Repairs & Reno: our ranch has some foundation issues.  It needs a crack repair, parging and some of the bricks around the garage need re-pointing.  This work isn't glamorous but it is necessary. We also have some pretty big curb appeal plans.

Kitchen Overhaul:  I will go into more detail about this once I have photos to show you.  The kitchen was badly renovated 5 years ago.  We will be re-using some of the existing cabinetry but moving it around and replacing the doors.  We will also be putting a wall back in, changing out lighting, etc.  More details to follow on this one.

Pinned Image
my ranch home inspiration pinboard
Dining Room Nook:  I think I have mentioned how much I love a banquette for dining.  We are finally going to build and install one at this house.  We kind of have to, since the dining room is so small.

I'll have a better grasp on these goals once we actually have keys.  I'm looking forward to showing you some pictures of our new space.

Blogging Goals

I would like to work on a post schedule for the blog, and also do an aesthetic overhaul this year.  I would also like to improve the quality of the photographs I post here.   Blogging is like a journal to me and I have been surprised by how much I've enjoyed connecting with other bloggers,  Again, I tend to turtle in social situations where I really have to put myself out there. But I want to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit.

Personal Goals

As original as this one is, I'd like to work on having better eating habits, exercising and shedding a few pounds.  What?  You've heard of this New Year's resolution before???

My plan is to complete tabata workouts at home 3 times weekly and go for a run three times weekly.  The food thing is tough for me, as I truly love food.  I am aiming for fewer calories and better nutritional value.

There you have it.  I try not to put too much pressure on myself with things like resolutions.  But writing them down does make me feel a little more accountable.

Happy 2013 to you!
xo Meg

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Year In Review

2012 was a big year around here. While I was putting together my recap, I came across my posts from last year at this time.

   I don't know if you remember this post.

It is about the accident that changed things in our life.  The day the transport truck sideswiped our car on the highway, leaving us all miraculously unharmed. 

I was terrified by this accident.  Even though I am aware that the outcome could have been so much worse. Even though I am aware of just how lucky we were. The accident sparked us to make several big changes in our life.  The changes included renovating and selling our home, moving everything into storage and searching for a new, smaller home for our family.

Here is a quick look at the renovations:


We worked really hard on these projects and I think that helped us to work through all the change and upheaval.  I feel so optimistic about 2013.  These accomplishments and the changes we've made in our life have all been so great.  I feel like we're finally on the right track.  But there are still more changes to come for us.

 In just a couple of weeks, we move into our new home and begin to renovate it.  I can't wait to get to work in there.  To carve out spaces that fit the way we live our lives and to make the space our own.  I have so much to share with you! 

xo Meg