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

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014 in Entryway, Living Room | 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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A place to hang your hat (and, more importantly, a place to hide all the winter coats that have taken over my entryway)

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in Entryway | 6 comments

One very important storage component has been dearly missed since we (rather bravely) claimed our old mauve house.  At some point in the past 100-ish years, someone (quite unfortunately) removed an existing entryway closet.  And the resulting lack of entryway storage has been a bit of a bur in my tooshy, truth be told.

It wasn’t nearly so dire in the early fall, when the odd light jacket would occasionally end up temporarily draped across a chair.  Even in later autumn, when heavier coats began to appear once in a while, I remained impressively calm and sane about the whole situation.

But then winter hit.  Snow and scarves and jackets and more jackets and Sweetie’s ginormous jackets (he is 6’4″ afterall) and the odd mitten strewn haphazardly across the dining room table all happened, all at once.  And I sort of lost my marbles just a wee bit.  It was uncontrolled outerwear chaos.  And I decided that we desperately needed to find a containment unit for the renegade toques and the bulky parkas that were rather ruthlessly taking over our house.

The solution: a wardrobe.

My first instinct?  Ikea, of course!  My favourite of the bunch was this one…

Ikea Hemnes wardrobe that I wish I had in my entryway

Oh, Hemnes, you make me happy.  :)  But at $299 (plus taxes and travel), handsome Hemnes was a bit beyond my post-holiday budget.

So I turned to ever-dependable Kijiji.  And Kijiji didn’t disappoint!  I found this…

Old antique wooden wardrobe in entryway as coat closet

And after a little well-calculated haggling (aka begging) I brought the price down to a fairly reasonable (and somewhat wallet-friendly) $100 buckeroonies.  Was I happy?  Yes!  At one third the cost of my beloved Hemnes wardrobe, I got twice the character (and, truthfully, a far better fit for our space.)

I immediately gave her (since she’s far too pretty to be a boy wardrobe) a good scrubbing with good old fashioned Murphys Oil Soap – there were paint splatters here and there and old water marks everywhere and the whole cabinet reeked of smoke and dirt and old.  Luckily most of the paint came off fairly well with a little work, but there’s one big splotch on the side that refused to budge.  My next cleaning attempt might involve a wee bit of steel wool, but I’m calling the paint splotch “character” for now.

Easy entryway storage solution - wooden wardrobe closet with baskets

And then, like every good found-furniture fluffer, I swapped out the dirty brass knobs for something a little sparklier.  Because every old wardrobe deserves a little fancy new hardware.  And because glass knobs make me happy.

Glass knobs pulls on old antique wooden wardrobe

I also added a couple baskets on top.  Because scarves and hats and miscellaneous mittens seem to fit best in baskets.

And someday, maybe, down the road (if I’m feeling super ambitious and DIY-ish) perhaps my lovely little wardrobe will even get a new paint job.  I think she’d look rather pretty in a creamy white.  Or maybe even something more adventurous (if I’m feeling super wardrobe-brave.)

Old antique wardrobe in home entryway as coat closet storage solution

But, for now, I’m just happy to have a coat chaos containment unit.  :)


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Our lovely new lock (and delightful new door knob)

Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in Entryway | 0 comments

Sometime last week the door handle on our front door tragically stopped working.  It wasn’t entirely a surprise.  We’d been having problems with it on and off since moving to this house a couple months ago, but last week: it full-out broke.  Bit the dust.  Went swimming with the fishes.  Which, in turn, made the act of getting into our house a wee bit challenging (and a whole lot frustrating.)

However, this was all sorta ok with me.  The gross truth?  Our old door hardware was gold.  And not nice, brushed, fancy-pants, classy-looking gold.  Nope.  It was shiny, bright yellow, rather unconvincing (and exceedingly obnoxious) gold.

Entryway with gold doorknob and red chair

And, at some point, somehow, the set had become really bashed up.

Ugly gold doorknob

I know why the previous owners had chosen gold: the decorative insert window-thingy (pretty sure that’s the technical term) in our front door is gold.  So matching gold with more gold is indeed the obvious (albeit ugly) solution.

Burgundy front door with gold doorknob handle and lock

However, I’m not a huge fan of gold.  (I KNOW.  Gold everything is coming back.  I’m resisting.)  And I knew there must be another match out there.  Something that would still look ok with the gold-laced door insert, without being so…  14-carat-ish.

Here is our non-gold, oil rubbed bronze, lovely-looking brand spanking new door set…

White door with oil rubbed bronze door knob and lock

Pretty, eh?  It’s such a small change, but I think it makes a huge difference.

Oil rubbed bronze door knob and lock on white door ORB

(Although the door could really use a coat of paint.)  (And, well, the trim too…)

(And the door’s exterior will one day [ie: as soon as door painting weather returns] be way less red.)

Red door with ORB hardware and gold window

(And the street numbers are overdue for a desperately needed de-goldification too…)

But am I happy?  OUI.  So happy!  I did a little celebratory happy dance in my living room when Sweetie had everything installed and called me in to inspect, in fact.  And I now want to change all of our obnoxious gold doorknobs (sadly, we’ve inherited quite a few) to this lovely dark ORB colour.  Could be a bit costly (sadly, door hardware is a little ridiculous!) but it will look amazing.  :)

Dear Santa: for Christmas I’d like doorknobs.  Lots and lots of doorknobs.

Weird.  But true.  :)


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