The old mauve house

I took a risk (surprised? Me too!)

Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Remember when I chatted a bit about painting my bedroom (here)?  That seemingly simple project took weeks.  WEEKS.  Truthfully, months.  Not because it was a particularly difficult project.  In fact, due to the coved ceilings and (rather obnoxious and eventually to be removed) faux fireplace and the various doors/windows in the room, there wasn’t a great deal of actual wall-space to be painted.  And, the delay wasn’t due to my (admittedly notorious) indecisiveness either.  I boldly chose a paint colour lickity-split-ishly and rushed out to buy the paint before I could question my colour choice (since, once paint is purchased, you’re committed) (because if you buy paint from the good Mr Benjamin Moore like I do, painting is a bit of a financial commitment.)

Nope.  The delay was caused by this…

One super adorable little nine month old - is there anything cuter than a baby in jammies?  I think not.

Yup.  An adorable squishy active smiley drooly nine month old.

Best reason for a delay ever.  :)

However, the lack of painting progress seriously started to wear on me a bit.  You see, that same ridiculously cute little man isn’t a particularly predictable napper.  Sometimes he naps for a glorious two hours.  Sometimes he barely shuts his lovely long-lashed eyelids and – poof! – he’s well-rested and ready to play again.  This lack of predictability made it super difficult to get much done on the painting front.  The days where I’d predict a lengthy nap were the days that I’d dip my virgin paintbrush into the paint and – bing! – he’d wake up.  On the days that I assumed he’d take a quick little cat nap, he’d sleep for hours.

Yup.  It’s hard to paint with a baby.

So, defeatedly, I called in the reinforcements: my parents.  Mom (happily!) looked after Squishy while dad and I tackled the paint job (thanks mom and dad!)  And I’m thrilled to have this project done.  Thrilled!  And I’m (almost) equally happy with the results!

Here’s what I started with…

Before - one very dark brown bedroom

And here’s the room lovelied-up with a wee bit of BM Copley Gray…

Benjamin Moore BM Copley Gray bedroom with orange accents

A full gallery of after shots is pending (there are curtains to go up and a mirror to hang and a few other to-do’s that I’d like to to-do before officially announcing the room DONE) but for now the painting part of this bedroom mini-reno project is complete (can I get a big ol’ yay for progress?)  (Yup – YAY!)

What’s that you say?  You thought I’d decided on Revere Pewter?  I thought I had too.  But it just seemed a little too predictable.  I painted our bedroom at our last humble abode, our happy little 1940′s house, in Revere Pewter and I loved it, but I wanted to try something different.  I’ve been eye-ing up Copley Gray for a while now, and I decided to take the slightly bolder paint-colour plunge.

So am I happy?  Mostly.  Admittedly, it’s greener on my walls than I’d hoped.  At some points in the day, depending on the light, one might even call it (cringe…) sage.  But at other times (and, really, most times) it’s a lovely gray/brown/green that is super cozy and warm and rustic (can a colour be rustic?  If so, this one is definitely rustic.)  And it’s far (far!) better than the poop-ish brown that adorned the walls when we bought this house, so I’m a happy girl for now.

And if, in a few years, I decide to repaint, hopefully Little Squish will be old enough to help?  Or at least stay occupied for a bit while mommy paints?

Wishful thinking, I know.  :)

 

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My triumphant (albeit slow moving) return to painting (aka the colour in our bedroom is driving me bonkers)

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When we first came to look at this old mauve-coloured house nearly two years ago, I walked away thinking that the master bedroom was painted black.  In fact, it’s not black.  It’s brown.  But it’s a dark-ish brown and the blinds were continually drawn in this room during showings (theory: the home owners were really vampires), and the colour appeared even darker and more awful than it actually is (although it is, indeed, pretty awful.)

For your viewing pleasure (or, perhaps, disbelief), here’s what our master bedroom looked like the first time we saw it…

A terrifyingly ugly and dark master bedroom with brown painted walls

Ack, eh?  Yes.  Ack indeed.  Flowers and nic-nacs and tiny lamps with tiny lampshades and stuff everywhere.  Ev-ver-ry-where.  Once again, I think it’s worth noting that we bought a house with rooms that looked like that.  We’re very very very brave, my Sweetie and me.

(And yes, the two pictures hanging above the bed are indeed hung at different heights.  Because lazer level be damned, willy-nilly picture hanging is how the previous house owners rolled.  Those crazy loveable crooked-picture-hanging vampire-esque rebels.)

Of course, when Sweetie and I moved in, all that stuff (thankfully!) went away (and, miraculously, the room suddenly looked a gazillion times larger.)  But that didn’t change the fact that the room is brown.

Icky brown, to be exact.

Here’s another look at that wall colour, minus all the clutter and with a wee bit of natural light…

Dark brown bedroom with Hemnes dresser and ikea bed

Well hello there, ridiculously cute little man!  :)  Behind all that squishy adorableness are my ugly brown walls.  A (temporarily) comfy black cat is also lounging somewhere back there.  In fact, this picture was taken mere moments before I had to intervene in feline/infant interactions and declare “No, we don’t chew on the cat.”  (A statement I never ever thought I’d have to make prior to having a baby.)

So what colour am I going with?  Alas, I’m not being particularly original or daring with this project.  Instead I’m falling back on the reliable, always lovely, Revere Pewter.  I painted our bedroom at our beloved little 1940′s house this colour and I loved it.

Revere Pewter bedroom with Ikea Alvine Orter duvet and pillows

It’s peaceful.  It’s serene.  It’s an actual colour and dark enough to be impactful, but not so much so that it’s overwhelming.  Some have called Revere Pewter the perfect paint colour.  I call it lovely and soft and well-suited for a bedroom.  (And, particularly, for my bedroom.)

Now all I have to do is find the time to paint this aforementioned bedroom.  With a small boy who doesn’t nap predictably (or, oftentimes, for very long), this might be a project best suited for the evening hours (once that same small sweet little man is fast asleep for the night.)  Assuming, of course, that I can stay awake long enough to attack those ugly brown walls with my trusted paintbrush.

But, ahhhhh…  Yup.  It feels good to return to home renos, even if I now move a whole lot more slowly than before.  Slow progress of any sort is still progress nonetheless.  :)

 

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Seeing red (and green and white) (and maybe a few sparkles too) (because everyone loves sparkles!)

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

So I recently saw this image from the lovely folk over at Ikea…

Red and white Christmas living room from Ikea with beige Ektorp sofa

…and I got really (like, insanely) excited for Christmas.  I don’t normally start planning for the holidays weeks in advance (I’m a bit of a last minute holiday girl, truth be told) but that red?  Against that white?  And all that merriness?  Yep.  It got to me.

So off we went (poor Patrick gets toted around a lot these days) (I think he’s developing an appreciation for shopping!) (or just a high tolerance for mommy) to HomeSense (of course.)  And I wandered around the pillow aisle for far far too long.  Did I emerge from all that soft and squishy loveliness triumphantly waving beautiful new red pillows in the air?  No.  But, as I’ve learned, that’s all part of the HomeSense experience.  It’s the thrill of the hunt.  It’s the glory of the chase.  And I, like a throw pillow stalking tigress, will be returning shortly to HomeSense (with my cute little kitten in tow, of course) to continue chasing the ever elusive perfect festive red throw pillows.

BUT, in the meantime, I’ve found even more Christmas inspiration on Pinterest.  Like this super festive living room…

Pretty red and white Christmas fireplace mantel

…from HouseToHome.

And this pretty room…

Stunning blue and red living room with pretty fireplace mantel

…from SandAndSisal (omg I want that chair!!!)

And this beautiful and comfy looking living room from Four Generations One Roof

Casual Comfy Christmassy living room in blue and tan and red

Yes, I’m completely obsessed with finding the perfect new red throw pillows now.  And perhaps even a new red throw.  Patrick just rolls his tiny little eyes over the whole thing.  In his three long wise months, he’s become accustomed to mommy’s obsession with all things pretty.

But really, in this particular case, it’s all Ikea’s fault, you know.  :)

 

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My first post in about a month, and it’s all about paper (the pretty scrapbook-ish kind of paper!)

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I should really be far craftier than I am.

It’s true.  I love yarn.  I love painting stuff.  I love making things pretty (oh how I love making things pretty!)  And, most of all, I love (love!) scrapbook paper.

You know that aisle in Michaels with all the pretty, perfectly stacked piles of colourful papers?  I get lost in that aisle for hours and hours.  HOURS.  Combining different patterns.  Swooning over prints.  Marvelling over all of the potential for serious prettiness.  Yep.  It’s really rather silly considering I’m in no way a scrapbooker (since, honestly, I’m far too lazy for what appears to be a very finicky and fussy – albeit lovely! – hobby) and since (as previously noted) I’m not particularly crafty.

During my most recent trip to Michaels I picked up no fewer than fourteen (yup – fourteen) (see?  I’m obsessed…) sheets of gorgeous paper.  Did I have any particular plan for all these beautiful papers?  Nope.  I just really liked them.  I also bought a few super inexpensive (they were three whole bucks each, I think) ready-to-paint (or ready-to-leave-in-their-lovely-unpainted-state, in my case) picture frames.  And then I came home and started looking at the fireplace mantel in my dining room.

(Aside: I find it important to clarify that this particular faux fireplace mantel is located in my dining room, since we have no fewer than three faux fireplaces in this house.  The previous home owners were indeed faux fireplace fanatics.)

And then the wheels started turning.  And then I realized that the sheets of lovely coordinating scrapbook paper, and those unpainted frames might look sorta rustic-ish-ly cute on my dining room fireplace mantel.

And so began the rearranging.  (Does anyone else get a little OCD when it comes to fireplace mantel decorating?)  And the fussing.  And the tweaking.

And here is what I finally came up with…

Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray dining room with wooden star and fireplace mantel

Scrapbook paper in frames - a super easy diy project!

…the other side of the mantel

Faux fireplace mantel with scrapbook paper art prints

It’s not done yet.  It needs something… more.  Perhaps a few miniature pumpkins in honour of fall.  Or some Christmassy bobbles and doodads (but not for a few weeks – I adore Christmas, but it’s a little too early for that at the moment, even for me!)  For now, and until I get around to adding additional adornments to the mantel, those lovely papers are making me happy.

That all said, there will be more faux fireplace fussing to follow, I’m sure.  And definitely more frivolous scrapbook paper purchases made in the not-at-all distant future.  (I just can’t get enough!)  (It’s weird, I know.)

 

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Nursery natterings (part four: the grand-ish tour of our sweet little nursery)

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 12 comments

Today is my due date.  TODAY.  It’s wonderful and unbelievable and crazy and scary and exciting all at once.  As of last week’s OB appointment, Baby hadn’t yet made much of an effort to join us out here in the real air-breathing world, so I’m guessing that he or she is still feeling comfy cozy in there.  Which, truthfully, is rather fine by me.  That said, I’m very aware that time is now ticking away quite quickly and that Baby could make an appearance at any moment.

And I’m also very aware that I’m ridiculously ginormous…

Maternity picture photo at 40 weeks

Crazy eh?  I’m still not entirely sure how I manage to stay upright.

Last week, with nesting instincts in overdrive, I put a few last minute touches on the nursery.  Curtains were hung, art was placed up on walls, the more-complex-than-anticipated baby monitor got installed, and I fussed over silly little details (would bashful bunny look better here?  Or here?)  And, with Baby overdue as of tomorrow, I’m happy with the rather peaceful teal, gray, white and mustardy yellow space that this nursery has gradually morphed into.

Gulliver Ikea crib with lamb mobile and teal and mustard and gray

My dad found this metal wall hanging at a street art fair.  I added the ribbon and hung it from the door.  It’s perfect in every way.

First we had each other, then we had you, now we have everything art

Teal white mustard yellow gender neutral nursery

We’re using Ikea’s Hemnes dresser as our change table: it’s a good height for both normal-sized me and super tall Sweetie, it has lots of room for the change pad and diaper related stuff, and (most importantly) it’s rather lovely-looking.

Ikea Hemnes dresser in white as nursery change table - BM Woodlawn Blue nursery

(Unfortunately it was also rather difficult and time consuming to assemble.  But that’s a whole other blog post for a whole other day.)

The Celebrate Everything canvas was a HomeSense purchase (on clearance, no less!) made a couple of years ago, long before Baby and nursery planning had ever started.  Again (and again and again): I heart HomeSense.

Nursery art canvas print with bunting flags Celebrate Everything

Nursery art canvas print with bunting flags in shades of teal mustard and coral - Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue

And this trio of friendly stuffed animals will eventually be relocated to a shelving unit of some sort (I’m still in search of the perfect bookshelf for this room.)  I’m hoping to find something fairly small, but still very functional.  Until then, these three will bravely stand guard over the change table.

Stuffed animals for nursery Indigo lamb and Gund bear

Because the nursery is fairly tiny, we didn’t want a crib that felt large and bulky (as so many of them do.)  Enter: Ikea.  Of course.  We fell in love with Gulliver (and hopefully Baby will too!)

Ikea Gulliver crib in white

My friend Nadia (we’ve been friends since Grade Nine) (which means we’ve been friends for… um… many many years) made Baby this gorgeous yellow and teal baby quilt.

Simple handmade baby quilt for nursery

And the small vintage rocking chair, that long ago belonged to my grandparents, was reupholstered by my mom and dad as a gift to Baby.  It’s the perfect size for this little space.  And I love knowing that I’ll be rocking Baby to sleep in a chair that once belonged to people who, while no longer here, were such an important part of my life growing up.

Vintage small reupholstered rocking chair rocker in nursery

Keeping watch over everything from beside my beloved rocker is the ever adorable bashful bunny (along with his good friends the happy hedgehog and hilarious hare.)

Chapters Indigo Bashful Bunny

But my absolute favourite part of the nursery?  This sheep mobile from amazing Etsier (and fellow Canadian) TheMemis

Etsy baby mobile sheep and stars and moon gender neutral

Gender neutral sheep lambs mobile with stars and moon - handmade

Each little sheep has a different expression on its face.  It’s absolutely perfect, and I can’t say enough good things about Emi at TheMemis. :)

Gender neutral teal and yellow mustard and gray and white nursery, painted BM Woodlawn Blue

So there you have it.  Our sweet and peaceful (and gender neutral) little nursery.  I’ll likely continue to add to it as time goes on – I have lofty gallery wall plans for the wall opposite the crib, I still need to find that bookshelf for stuffies and books and toys and nicnacs and such, and I’d love to add a little more coral (if Baby is a girl) or greens and navy (if this belly-wiggler is a wee boy) once Baby arrives.  And my friend Shawn (who I’ve been friends with pretty much since forever) has commissioned a baby blanket for me as a gift for Baby from another mutual friend (Sheilagh) who is an amazingly and incredibly talented quilter (you can see some of her work over at her site, Lay it on Me Baby) – I’m so excited about planning the blanket with her once Baby is born!

But for now I absolutely adore this serene little space, just as it is.

Let’s hope that Baby does too.

Whenever he or she decides to make a big appearance.

 

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Tying up loose ends (small projects for those of us with big bellies)

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I’m tired.  Yup, it finally happened.  At 39 weeks (plus three days!) pregnant, I am ever nap-ready and having a hard time finding much motivation these days to do a whole lot of anything.  Which, according to all sources (Sweetie, my friend Jess over at Little Townhome Love, my family, random strangers), is exactly how it should be: for the past few weeks they’ve collectively urged me to nap more and relax lots and just sit and enjoy the time that I have right now.  For the record, I’m terrible at relaxing.  My most common response to these subtle suggestions to sloth: but I have things to do.

But now I think I’m done.

Not because there aren’t a gazillion things I could be doing.  (Dear neighbours: please please please disregard our front flowerbeds.  I promise to be a far better gardener next summer.)  (And dear dustbunnies: please stop multiplying so quickly in the corners.)  But because I just don’t have the energy right now.

It’s a super hard thing for me to admit.  I’m definitely feeling a little defeated.

That said, I had two joyously productive moments yesterday: I finished a couple of tiny little projects.  And I’m quite proud.

First, I swapped out the front entryway doormat for a new one I picked up at HomeSense (oh how I love HomeSense!) a few days ago.  I went from this stripey snore-fest…

White door with oil rubbed bronze door knob and lock

(Obviously file footage, since I’ve since painted those super ugly green walls!)

…to this…

Edgecomb Gray entryway with slate tile and gray and white rug

Gray and white quatrefoil doormat on slate tile

My new rug gets its closeup

Small entryway directly onto living room

Admittedly, it’s not a massive change, but it makes me happy to think that any post-baby visitors will have a much nicer mat to land upon when they walk through my front door.

Project number two involved dressing a long-naked window in our living room.  When we moved in, the previous owners had left some rather hideous and dirty-looking blinds on this window (which I promptly removed.)  I was left with this…

Old window without curtains

Unfortunately, and rather oddly, this window frame is positioned unusually high – it almost reaches the ceiling (I’m guessing that at some point someone dropped the ceiling in this room to run new, non-knob-and-tube wiring through the house since other ceilings on the main floor are a good foot taller.)  As a result, I’ve hummed and hawed over what to do with this window for several months now.  Yesterday, I had Sweetie hang a curtain rod right at ceiling height.  And yesterday, I finally added curtains to this window.

Ikea Matilda white tab top curtains in Edgecomb Gray living room with Tullsta chair

And today, I am very happy with the result.  The curtains (which are Ikea’s lovely Matilda panels, btw) don’t hide the ugliness of the window itself (see all that stuff on the window?  Spray foam.  Between the panes of glass.  Yup, some not-so-bright but likely well-meaning previous home owner decided that this would be a good solution to winter draftiness.)  (For the record, spray foam between the window panes is never ever a good – or, at least, nice looking – solution to draftiness.)  But the curtains do make the window look better (which this soon-to-be momma is content with for now, until we find a way to disassemble the window and scrape out the offending foam.)

Pretty pretty Matilda (on an ugly ugly window)

So there.  Those are my two most recent tiny little accomplishments at the old mauve house.  Significant?  Not particularly.  But I at least feel like I’m still making some progress, despite that my body is most definitely slowing down.

Now, if you’ll please excuse me for a moment (or two), this momma-to-be desperately needs a nap.   :)

 

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