Posts made in January, 2012

Project Laundry Room: Part Two (aka the quest for a pretty little laundry room continues)

Posted by on Jan 29, 2012 in Laundry Room | 0 comments

Now that Project Laundry Room: Part One (aka purchase pretty new machines) is complete (yay!), so begins Part Two.  Which will be a lot more work, methinks.  But likely worth it.  I hope.  I can’t imagine putting such beautiful machines (I looooove my new washer and dryer.  Almost as much as Sweetie.)  (Ok, not really…)  (Um, yeah… ok, really…) in such a dreary little laundry room.  It’s just not right.  I won’t have it.  The room needs to be worthy of my lovely new machines. :)

Just to give you the pretty before the ugly (to lessen the shock a wee bit), here are a couple pics of what I’d like my laundry room to look like…

Lovely laundry room courtesy of Cameras and Chaos - looove the wall colour and chandelier

One Nutty Girl's practical (and pretty!) laundry room - definitely going to add a drying rod in there somewhere

Annnnnnnd here are a few pics of my tiiiiiny little laundry room as of this morning (be warned – she ain’t pretty and I didn’t do any staging or anything pre-shoot [but likely should have]):

This is what you're greeted with when you open my laundry room door...

If you look to your left, here sits the offending washer machine that started this whole project. And the cat carrier filled with cat towels.

And to your right is the dryer (aka the landing place for miscellaneous stuff) and some pieces of drywall. Because the laundry room is the obvious place for random drywall bits.

ACK.  Frightening eh?  I suppose I could have tidied up a little pre-camera (ignore all the stuff on the dryer – not even sure what all that is.)  At least I spared you shots of the litterbox that’s hidden in the corner of the room (you’re welcome!)  All in all, the room is ridiculously small.  Maybe 5 feet wide (maybe) by 8 feet long (also maybe.)  And it’s dark (oh how wonderful it’d be to have a window in there!)  And icky (painted concrete floors and primed-drywall walls aren’t particularly inviting.)  And not at all pretty.  But I’m hoping for a quasi laundry room miracle here!  The new (again: lovely!) machines will help lots.  And I’m planning to slap leftover BM Gossamer Blue paint (from our dining room redo) on the walls, which should definitely up the prettiness factor by, like, a gazillion.  Add a few white shelves above the machines, and clear out the army of paint cans all over the floor (oooooooh!  Sudden inspiration: or hide them under the laundry tub with a pretty little under-laundry-tub curtain!) and I might actually have a pretty-ish room.  Fingers crossed!  I have SIX DAYS till the new machines arrive.  SIX.  Doable, no?

Kinda excited about all this.  Dreary laundry room, be gone!  Poof!  (Waving imaginary magic wand…)

(Crap.  It’s still there.  K.  Off I go to paint.)

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Washer woes (when your washer starts smoking, it’s either been hanging with the wrong crowd, or it’s just time to say goodbye)

Posted by on Jan 28, 2012 in Laundry Room | 0 comments

So, my washer has turned against me.  In rather spectacular fashion, in fact (it’s a bit of a drama queen like that.)  Suffice it to say it’s a little unnerving to suddenly smell smoke coming from your laundry room mid-Saturday-lunch-grilled-cheese sandwich.  The entire basement had filled with smoke by the time I realized that something, um, wasn’t quite right.  There was no actual fire that I could see (insert relieved sigh here), but the smoke (stinky smoke, might I add) was enough to let me know the washer was done.  DONE.  Like my dinner.

So last Saturday’s events inspired Project Laundry Room.  Project Laundry Room has taken up the better part of my (non-working/-sleeping) week.  Project Laundry Room has two parts:

1. Find functional (and, well, pretty LOL) washing machine/dryer combo

2. Make laundry room a happy cheery place

It’s been a long week of appliance shopping/researching.  Washing machines are hard!  I’d much rather shop for a nice refrigerator or a snazzy stove any day.  Washers and dryers aren’t nearly as fun.  With a fridge, you can kinda tell if it’s going to meet your needs just by looking at and in it.  Open the doors.  Are there shelves?  Great.  Are they spillproof?  Awesome.  Does it get cold when plugged in?  Perfect.  Sold.  The same is true for stoves.  (Does it get hot?  Yes? Ok – it works.)  Washers and dryers are way more complex.  There are front loaders.  Top loaders.  Energy efficient machines.  Motors that are belt driven or something else (can’t remember the term, but let’s call them not-belt-driven.)  Machines that do something (not sure what) with steam.  There are a gazillion different functions (got the plague running rampant through your house?  There’s a “sanitary” setting for just that!)  It’s pretty crazy.  And the price points vary so much too.  Don’t care if your machines are energy efficient or have decent ratings online?  You’ll pay waaaay less.  Unfortunately (for our pocketbook) Sweetie is an electrician (and therefore all about energy consumption/saving) and I’m a closet environmentalist (same consumption/saving dilemma), so in the end we went with the best machines, with the best reviews, we could afford (spread over 12 monthly payments, interest free, of course.  :)  Got everything all set up last night purchase-wise, and they arrive next Saturday.  CAN’T WAIT.

Here’s what we got…

My pretties :)

They’re by LG (which every sales person we spoke with said were absolutely awesome machines.)  They aren’t the high-end LG machines (holy pricey!), but the reviews online for this set were really encouraging.  Just in case, though, we got extended warranties on them both (I’m the front-load guinea pig for my family), so if they self-destruct in the next 5 years, we’re covered.  And the motor on both is covered for 10 years, so I think we’ve pretty much wrapped ourselves in warranty-bubblewrap with these machines.

We didn’t get the pedestals that are optional with the machines.  At $200 per (so $400 for the set) (I rock at math btw) we couldn’t justify the extra cost for options that basically just make the machines sit up higher.  I’ve seen blog posts about making your own pedestals (which could absolutely be an option down the line if we find we hate stooping to get into the washer) but for now, we’ll risk it.  We stoop right now to get into our dryer, so I can’t imagine we’re suddenly going to develop back issues from the second stoop per load.  I’m most worried about Sweetie (did I mention he’s 6’4″?) but he says he’ll be fine, so we’ll test the waters sans pedestals for now.  Plus the pedestals almost make the machines too high to use the top for folding on and such (which, with our tiiiiiny little laundry room, is a necessary function.)

I’ve never ever had new appliances of my own.  And I’ve never had matching appliances either.  I kinda want to just pet them a bit.  I’m in love.  :)  I mean, ter-rust me, I’m in sticker shock too.  But mostly I’m in love.  Sweetie says to look at these as an investment.  It’ll increase the value of our house (when we go to sell in a couple/few/several years.)  And he’s probably right.  The old (50% busted at the moment) and mismatched washer/dryer definitely weren’t a selling feature when we bought this house.  Hopefully someone will fall in love with our tiiiiiny little laundry room when we eventually list.

Which segues really nicely into Part Two of Project Laundry Room: make the tiiiiiny little laundry room pretty.  Part One accomplished, I start Part Two today.  So off I go to take before pics (brace yourself for my before pics btw.  NOT PRETTY.  Kinda scary in fact.)  Photos and details to come.  :)


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The stairwell saga, part three (and part THE END) (I hope)

Posted by on Jan 22, 2012 in Painting | 0 comments

The stairwell walls are painted.  Hooray!  And they actually look pretty good – I hadn’t noticed that the old paint was, well, SHINY (I’m guessing pearl or satin?) until I covered it with glorious eggshell (even Sweetie noticed that the new colour is way less shiny.)  (And if Sweetie noticed it, there must be a big difference.  I could paint a random wall in my house fuscia [fuschia?  fushia?  OMG that's a spelling-bee stumper] and I’d probably have to point it out to him before he’d actually notice.)  And so, with walls done (I heart you, Edgecomb Gray!), this weekend has become a trim weekend.  I hate trim weekends.  Painting the baseboards (technical term: stringers? I think?) in my stairwell has possibly been the most boring painting project ever (and I still have one more coat of paint to go.)

One of the contributing factors for why I despise painting trim?  I can’t paint straight.  At all.  I am one of those poor sad people who needs tape.  Everywhere.  Like, lots and lots of tape.  Or else things just get really messy.  So while the process of painting the trim (primer coat went on yesterday) (yuppers – I prime everything.  Way less frustrating than going back afterwards to try and seal in all those mystery stains when they peek through your lovely new paint job) (and plus it’s a high adhesion primer, which works really well with my aversion to sanding) didn’t actually take that long, taping took forever.  And ever.  And ever.

Stringers desperate for paint - do you blame them? If you listen really closely, you can almost hear them whispering, "paaaaiint me..."

Miles and miles of green painters' tape. The subtle green stripes are kinda pretty, non?














People who can paint trim and these sorts of things sans tape amaze me.  Seriously.  Craig Lowe, you are my hero.

(Explanatory aside: Craig Lowe is the painter guy Mike Holmes brings in to paint post-demolition on Holmes on Homes.  Sweetie calls him my boyfriend.  He does indeed make me swoon just a little.  Not because he’s particularly handsome [he is kinda cute though], but because that man can paint a mean room.  Without tape.  Sigh.)  (Random reference, I know.)

While painting the stairwell, I’m figuring I should also paint the doors to the bedrooms (since they’re the original 1940s ugly stained/several-thousand-coats-of-varathane doors, and they don’t really match anything.)

For the record, I love my doorknobs.  They need some cleaning up, but old doorknobs make me happy.

I’m thinking I might eventually take them all off and give them a good coat of Oil Rubbed Bronze spraypaint (a la Sherry from YHL.)  (Hi Sherry!)  For now I’ll just paint around them though…

a) because I’m lazy

b) because I prefer to spraypaint outdoors and it’s, like, minus a gazillion degrees out right now

c) because I just want this stupid stairwell project overwith (and getting fancy with the doorknobs wasn’t part of the original plan for right now.)

SO there it is.  Stairwell-Painting-Project Progress Report number 3.  And hopefully the last one – there’s nothing like spending your weekend (or three) in a tiny little stairwell.  But it may just be the nicest stairwell ever (ev-ver) when I’m done.  Or so I’m telling myself.


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The stairwell saga, part two (I heart progress)

Posted by on Jan 15, 2012 in Painting | 0 comments

Lots of progress on the stairwell so far this weekend (which makes me happy – a weekend without some sort of renovation progress makes me sad.)  (Yup.  I’m a little obsessed like that LOL.)  Here’s what I’ve done so far…

I caulked all the baseboards to the wall.  This is always my least favourite step when I’m painting a room.  Caulking is gross.  It’s sticky.  It’s unruly.  It gets all over.  (So, really, this is all one big admission that I suck at caulking.)  BUT, it makes such a huge difference to how things look (so, while I gripe and groan, it’s a step I never skip) (unless, by some miracle, things have already been caulked, in which case I do a little happy dance.)  (Sadly, there were no happy dances spontaneously erupting yesterday.)

Mind the gap please. Mind the gap.

(Aside: I PROMISE to eventually get a better handle on this whole picture-taking thing.  Darkest.  Photo.  Ever.  And it kinda makes me a little dizzy too…)

Here’s the same stretch of baseboard after a little love from the caulking gun (and a coat of primer too)…


Way better eh?  (Oooh.  And a way better camera angle, with better lighting too.  Gotta say, I’m pretty darn proud of that there shot of my baseboards.)  :)  Caulking the baseboards to the walls just makes everything look so much more FINISHED.  I can’t believe in the 70-ish years this house has been standing, no one has ever thought to do this.

Once all the gaps were all tidied up, I primed everything.  I probably didn’t need to – I’m doubting that the paint on the walls was oil-based or anything like that.  But I’ve learned through experience that priming over everything, as much as I hate the additional step, ensures that there will be no surprises (nothing is more annoying than having a mystery stain that you didn’t notice pre-painting suddenly seep through your new pretty paint job), and it just seals anything, um, weird the previous owners did in (there are all sorts of strange marks on my walls.  Not so sure what most of them are.  Don’t really want to know.)  PLUS, with all the patching I did, priming kinda became a mandatory step.  :(

So that’s how I’ve spent my weekend so far!  Here’s the stairwell to date, all primed-up and anxiously waiting for a coat of lovely greigy Edgecomb Gray…

If a stairwell could look excited about paint, I'm pretty sure this is how it'd look.

Progress makes me happy.  :)


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The stairwell saga (aka: it’s the weekend so, obviously, I’m painting :)

Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in Painting | 0 comments

Happy Friday!  It’s (nearly) the weekend!  Yay!  Which means it’s back to painting for me (painting is my weekend hobby – some people read, others socialize… me?  I paint.)  My current project is the stairwell leading to our second floor.  I can’t say it’s a particularly inspiring project.  The colour I’m using (BM Edgecomb Gray to match the downstairs hallway and living room) is nearly identical to the existing colour (so I’m pretty certain that the “WOW” moment [you know - when you peel away the painters' tape to reveal a fresh new awesome colour on your walls and kinda stand back to marvel in all the loveliness for a sec] will be somewhat lacking) but the walls were pretty beat up and dinged and dingy looking, so they will look BETTER at least.  Even if I’m the only one who knows it.  Just to demonstrate, here’s the stairwell (looking down toward the first floor) mid-patching job…

The long white patches are covering cracks. Oh plaster walls - why must you be so difficult?

(Sorry about the crazy dark/awkward image btw.  Blogging lesson learned: do not try to take good photos of a tiny dark stairwell while standing in a tiny dark stairwell after dark.)  Not sure what, exactly, the previous owners of this house were up to in their stairwell, but whatever it was it made a pretty decent mess of the walls.  Plus there were several good-sized cracks that needed patching (oh the joys of living in a house with plaster walls) and a big indentation in the ceiling at the top of the stairs where previous (and, ehem, rather lazy) owners painted (we’re talking multiple layers of paint) AROUND the lovely boob-light (which, obviously, is being replaced) and smoke alarm (which is also being replaced.  Who knows how old the existing one is…  And plus, it’s an icky dirty-ivory-ish colour.  A nice fresh bright white one will look way prettier!)  (Or at least as pretty as a smoke alarm can look. :)

So there it is.  My project for this weekend!  I can’t say I’m particularly excited about this one.  It’s one of those things I’m doing because I SHOULD, not because I’m particularly inspired by my stairwell LOL.  Although, that said, the quest for a new light for the top of the stairs is a bit exciting.  Yes – lighting makes me happy.  I’m a little odd like that.  :)

Happy weekend!!!


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