Thursday, January 1, 2015

[ happy new year! ]

IT'S 2015! {can you believe it?}. It's incredible how quickly the years fly by. New Year's Day is always a time to reflect back on last year and think about how things panned out ~ did you accomplish what you set out to? Did you live the best life possible? Were you happy?

When I think back to what I knew a year ago, I never would have expected some of the things that happened to happen ~ some great, some not so great. I'm not one to make many resolutions but I hope  to live 2015 as healthy as I can, as happy as I can and as kind as I can. If I can do that, 2015 will be a great year! Happy New Year and here's wishing you a wonderful 2015. I hope that everything you set out to accomplish will come true!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

[ merry christmas! ]

FROM our home to yours...

have a wonderful Christmas filled with joy, laughter and holiday cheer!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

[ backsplash reveal ]

WHEW! We're done with the backsplash! And I must say my guy did a great job ~ it turned out better than I expected {which is always a nice thing!}

You may remember the before...

That pinkish tumbled tile was not doing the kitchen any favours ~ it looked drab and dingy. We chose a white bevelled subway tile, a classic look that we thought would marry well with the cabinets and the Corian countertops.

Ok, here's our big secret... we tiled over the old tile! Yes, sometimes you CAN tile over tile depending on your situation. The old tile was so well adhered, there was no way it was coming off without tearing out all the drywall with it all the way around the kitchen, and that would have been a much messier and time-consuming project. {We tiled over our tile in our Muskoka place years ago for that exact same reason}. We knew that the only challenge we would face would be the trim under the windows but we had a plan for that.

We started by cleaning the old tile very well with TSP, then we planned out where to start/stop to ensure that the cuts would work well around the windows and in the corners. Then, off to the races!

Gosh, doesn't that make the old tile look so bad??!

While we were at it, we decided to swap out the over-the-range microwave for a new hood {which is a better idea over a gas range}...

Once all the tile was installed, it was time to grout. I love the trend of grey grout nowadays and wanted a similar look, but needed to keep in mind the colour of our countertop to make sure it worked together. So, I chose Malt which was a medium greyish brown...

Once the grouting was done, all we had to do was refasten the electrical outlets with longer screws, caulk around the edges and build out the bottom of the window trim since it was now flush with the tile. We applied a 1/4" thick piece of wood over top of the existing trim using glue and a nail gun...

...then painted it out. Good as new! {How amazing is that notched cut around the trim? - thanks hun!}

I have to say that I'm in LOVE with the new tile! What a difference it has made. I love the bevels which catch the light and add a bit of sparkle to the kitchen. Even the countertops blend in nicely now. The grout colour is just dark enough to provide contrast without demanding all the attention. A new hood and counter-depth fridge and the entire kitchen feels new...

It feels great to have this project done. Using the bevelled tile was a little tricky, both with cutting {my guy used a wet tile saw} and with joining up in the corners {flat subway tile would have been much easier} but I think it was definitely worth the time and effort. I'm certainly blessed to have a guy so handy!


Friday, November 7, 2014

[ bye bye tile! ]

I KNOW, you've probably been wondering what's been going on around here.... well, it's got a lot to do with this...

Yup, that's our backsplash tile. You may remember when I talked about undertones when I was painting my kitchen {read the post here}...

Well, getting rid of the peachy paint definitely helped, but we knew that this tile wouldn't be sticking around for long. It looked drab and felt like it was bringing the entire kitchen down.

Today's post is just a teaser but here's an idea of what's inspiring me...

I love classic white subway tile. It looks fresh and never goes out of style. We considered marble tile again {I loved it in our Muskoka place}, but these speckled corian countertops are definitely dictating our choices. Though I would never have chosen these countertops, I'm not about to start replacing them ~ there's a lot of counter! So, we had to decide on a tile that would work with them instead of work against them. 

Hopefully we can wrap up this project on the weekend and I can show you some Afters next week! 

That's what I've got planned for the weekend ~ what about you? Have a good one!

[via dustjacketattic.tumbler;;]

Monday, October 27, 2014

[ reviving a door ]

THIS SIDE door to our kitchen has been crying out for a new life. Worn out flat paint, some sad looking hardware and cheap white plastic trim was not the welcome home I was after...

While I would have loved to install a new door like this...

it just wasn't in the budget right now. So time to give this old gal a new life...

I chose Behr Marquee paint in Peppery. This paint/primer-in-one is nice and thick and could have almost done the job in one coat but I put on two thin coats...

The thing I love about my inspiration door is that there is no white trim around the window. So I wanted to try to replicate that as much as possible. The window grills were encased inside the window so there wasn't anything I could do about that, but the surrounding plastic white trim was perfect for painting out...

Add some pretty new hardware and tadaaa! A "new" door! I kept the cream colour around the door frame since it matches all the trim around our windows...

I love that the plastic trim almost disappears now. I also like the contrast of the dark grey door inside the kitchen too. It helps to keep everything from looking too white. 

For the cost of some paint and some new hardware, I think this door is looking pretty good now and much more welcoming to come home to.


[inspiration door via]

Thursday, October 9, 2014

[ making pumpkins ]

IT'S Canadian Thanksgiving this coming weekend {it always seem to sneak up on me since it's so early in the fall} so I thought I'd better get going on a few decorations around here.

I've loved velvet pumpkins since I first saw them a few years ago but couldn't find the supplies I needed while in Dubai. So, now that we're back in Canada, I thought I would finally make a few to add to my antique dough bowl on my dining room table.

This is a very easy project and I had 5 of them made in less than a couple of hours. First, gather supplies...

tips: If you have trouble {like I did} finding velvets, you can use velour or low-pile fabric with a bit of a fuzz ~ really, anything can work if it's not too stiff. If you are using real stems, be sure to clean them well and bake them on a cookie sheet on low temp for a half hour or so to dry them out {or use some plastic ones from a craft or dollar store if you can find them}. The pumpkins turn out best if you use both beans {or pebbles or rice, etc} and craft stuffing to stuff them with. I used glass pebbles I found at the dollar store which I prefer to natural beans or rice if I plant to store them for future years. For glue, I used E-6000 glue but I'm sure a glue gun would work well. 

Trace a plate on the backside of the fabric and cut out...

Sew a running stitch all the way around the circle...

Fill with pebbles about 1/3 and then fill the rest with craft stuffing and pull tight, careful not to break the thread {I used double thread or you can try dental floss for added strength}...

Sew hole closed by pulling edges together and knot off thread. I went one step further and pushed my needle down through the middle of the pumpkin to the bottom to create one big stitch and pulled it back up which added a cute little pinch to the pumpkin shape but this is optional...

Glue on stem and you're done!

You can make them various sizes in a variety of fabrics and they make a charming little grouping. And the best part is, they'll be ready for you again next year!

Happy crafting!


Monday, October 6, 2014

[ fireplace facelift - finally ]


Well, after all of you weighed in on whether I should paint it or not {thank you!}, I finally gave my fireplace a facelift. It's amazing what a coat of paint can do!

First, a coat of super-adherent primer...

After a bit of primer, it was already looking better! A couple coats of paint and tadaaaa! A fresh and pretty facelift!

I love how the fireplace no longer takes over the room and instead seems to recede into the wall. The room overall feels larger and brighter and the colour of the tile surround seems to blend much better with the floor and its inlay. 

I think it really gives the room a similar feel to my inspiration shots...



I think I'd like to add a little bit of simple moulding detail above the fireplace similar to these lovely inspirational shots {it will also help the TV feel less like it's floating on the wall without loading the mantel with lots of accessories}...



I may not bother adding wiring for sconces, but perhaps will hunt for some candle sconces that would provide the same feel.

So what do you think? Was it worth painting my fireplace?


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

[ seat with a view ]

PERHAPS it's because I'm a Pisces, but I'm always drawn to water. There's just something so relaxing about gazing out over sparkling water. My dream is to have a home with a water view someday but for now, I'm lucky to live a block away from Lake Ontario where I can enjoy this...

I love going out for a walk and making a stop at this little park. We're having some amazing late summer weather this week and all the more reason to linger a while on my favourite bench...

I love the dedication plaque on the bench. I think someday I'd like to donate a bench to the park so more people can pause a while and soak in that pretty view. Do you have a favourite spot you like to go to enjoy a view?


Friday, September 12, 2014

[ from free to fab ]

FIRST, thanks everyone for weighing in on my fireplace! It's good to know that we're all on the same page ~ that baby needs a paint job! I think it will make a huge difference in the room and actually make it feel a bit more spacious since it does seem to dominate the room right now.

In the meantime, I've been working on another little project this week. Since we're using our tufted ottoman in the family room, I've been on the hunt for a coffee table for the living room ~ on a budget. I decided to take a peek on Kijiji {Canada's alternative to Craigslist}. And you can't get a better deal than this...

Seriously, a FREE coffee table just waiting to be loved! I know, it wasn't looking too great in the ad but I could see it's potential. I liked the legs, the wicker bottom shelf and the bevelled glass top. 

I decided to give it a new life with Annie Sloan chalk paint. This was the first time using actual chalk paint ~ the last time I made my own {read about it here}. To be honest, it performed very much the same way as the homemade version. I was able to paint the entire table using only one sample pot...

I chose Pure White and got started. I didn't bother to sand ~ I just wiped it down first with a cleaning wipe. Here it is after one coat...

After a second coat, some sanding on the edges and a light coat of wax, it's done!

I love that it's the perfect size for the sofa and the glass top gives it a bit of lightness. The pure white will also look great when I dress the sofa with the white slipcover I made {read about it here}...

Not bad, huh? I'm super thrilled with the results and it was definitely worth the 20 minute drive to pick it up. 

Have you ever scored a freebie and given it new life?



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