Posts Tagged "Befores"

Wishing winter away (because spring means outdoor painting projects!) (…and less snow and cold and general miserableness)

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in The Great Outdoors | 0 comments

So, it’s winter.  And it’s really winter.  It’s let’s-hibernate-under-the-blankets-and-pray-for-beloved-spring-or-even-an-unseasonably-warm-weekend-might-suffice-for-now winter.  And, honestly, it’s getting to be a bit much.

So I’m looking ahead!  I’m preparing for outdoor projects.  Because I need something to look forward to right now.  Something more beyond carbs and sleep and snuggling in under the blankets.

Sweetie and I already know that we have several projects looming once spring hits.  We need to critter-proof the house (since we’ve discovered that small four-legged furry creatures – the kind that squeak, btw, not the ones who meow – seem to find our house rather, unfortunately, hospitable.)  We need to re-insulate our laundryroom (since our laundryroom water pipes froze last week, but – luckily! – didn’t burst.)  And we have tonnes (tonnes!) of yardwork currently pending (trees that need to be trimmed, gardens that need to be moved, wild flowerbeds that need to be tamed and made far less wild, bushes that need to be relocated…)

Pink mauve old farmhouse with front deck and red shutters and door

But most important to me?  Curb appeal.  Yep.  The old mauve house desperately needs a facelift.  The burgundy shutters make me cringe.  The weather-worn front deck looks neglected.  The big front window is far too dusty rose-coloured.  And the house just looks… tired.

Which is sort of how I feel in the dead of winter, I suppose.

I did a little Pinterest searching and found a bit of spring-project inspiration.  Because we don’t have a lovely grandiose covered front porch (although I’d really like one!), I looked for similar “front deck”-style front porches as I searched through everything.  Unfortunately, most porches (or at least the Pin-worthy ones) appear to be of the covered kind (and, honestly, with good reason!  Who really wants to fumble with the front door locks in the midst of a rainstorm on a non-covered porch?)  But I did find this house, which, despite also sporting a covered front porch, is now my inspiration for this spring’s big “make the house look pretty” project…

Pretty eh?  I sure think so.  The white trim, the dark gray shutters, the white-painted porch rails with the stained (or maybe painted?  I can’t tell) porch floor…  It all looks so lovely.

And if I squint just a little, and look at the house out of the corner of my eye while chewing gum and folding laundry, I might even swear that there’s a touch of mauve in that siding.

Or I may just be getting my hopes up.

Regardless, I’m now feeling super inspired, and I’m rather anxiously looking forward to outdoor painting weather.  Afterall, there are only a measly 41 more days till the first day of spring.

But who’s counting…  :)


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Window woes (someone needs new curtains) (me!) (and new baseboards) (but that’s another story)

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Living Room | 2 comments

You know how when you move into a new house, and the previous owners have left the existing curtains, and they’re ok for the time being (because, really, who has the time or money to buy all new curtains immediately upon moving into a new house), and you say “oh, I’ll change them soon”, but then three months later you’re still living with the same bright white tacky-silver-swirl-adorned too short too ugly gross sheer curtains and it suddenly dawns on you that you should really swap those things out asap?

Yeah.  That’s me.

And when I say that our curtains are too short, I’m not exaggerating:

Curtains that are way too short

Yep.  We have flood-ready curtains.  And no baseboards in our dining room (for some unknown reason.)  (But that’s a completely different story for a completely different day.)  And this picture is obviously from the day we moved in (I promise!  Our house is now fully furnished.  We’re not extreme minimalists!)  But just look.  Look at those curtains!  I’m not an interior decorator, but I’m pretty sure I speak somewhat accurately and knowledgeably when I say: that’s not how you hang curtains.


In our little 1940s home (oh, how I miss our little 1940s home!) we hung Ikea’s Ritva curtains in the front window.  And they looked lovely (and apparently lulled a very cute orange cat – who we miss very much – to sleep on our sofa the day I took this picture.)

Ikea Ritva curtains in my BM Edgecomb Gray living room

My only criticism of those Ritva curtains?  They were wrinkly.  Like, mucho messy wrinkly.  They were definitely not wash-and-wear sorta curtains.  Nope!  A whole lot of ironing went into making sure that anxiety-inducing wrinkly-frumpiness was kept at bay.

So is pulling out my iron each time I wash my Ritvas a deal breaker?  I really really do hate ironing.  A lot.  A whole lot.  But, as much as I hate ironing, I do truly love Ritva.  The curtains have a linen-y texture that makes them seem far more expensive than they really are (since Ikea drapes are as delightfully cheap as they are cheerful.)  And Ikea’s long-length curtain panels will definitely be appreciated in this old mauve house, since our dining room ceiling height is quite high (Sweetie says 9-ish feet, but it seems way higher to me.)

Oh Ritva, you sneaky devil.  You really do have a hold on me.  You may be once again forcing me to dust off my iron.  But you’re worth it.

Queue forthcoming curtain-collecting Ikea trip.  Woo!  I heart Ikea.  :)


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The five minute project (that was three months overdue)

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Kitchen | 0 comments

You know those little annoyances?  You know, the type that totally gets under your skin and drives you a tad bonkers?  But then, over time, you become a bit desensitized and the aforementioned sneaky little annoying annoyance somehow seamlessly becomes part of your life?

Yeah.  We had one of those in our kitchen.  For three long months.

Here’s what we started with…

See the mish-mash of random wires hanging from the cabinets on the right?  Let’s look closer…

Bad wiring under cabinet lighting

Ew.  Yep.  That, apparently, was someone’s (ill-considered) plan for under cabinet lighting.  And that has been driving me crazy since the day we moved into this house.  And yet, I’d become somewhat (insanely) immune to the wire-y mess.

I finally came to my senses over the holidays and realized that enough was enough.  Because, really, would YOU plug all that in?  Nope.  Me neither.  So I summoned Sweetie.  And Sweetie started pulling.  And it all came down in one fell swoop.  All in all, the random-and-ugly-under-cabinet-lighting-removal project took 60 seconds.  Maybe.  Probably less.  (Plus a few minutes during which I gathered up all the nails and such that went flying when Sweetie started his under cabinet lighting destruction.)

And see?  All pretty now.  :)

Tiled countertops with brushed nickel goose neck faucet and cream and black cabinets

Kitchen with white and black cabinets and open cabinets - teal and orange accents

(Well sorta.  I still have cabinets to paint.  And walls to paint.  And countertops to swap.  And a floor to take up.  And that beige plastic sink should really go away too.)

But at least I’m random kitchen wire free.  Baby steps.  :)


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Flying saucers, mushroom caps, a flowery bonanza and stars (the search for noggin-safe illumination)

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Living Room | 0 comments

So I’ve officially decided that the awful too-low-to-be-noggin-safe and generally far-too-heavy-and-awkward-looking living room light has to go.  Soon.  Really really soon.  Just to give you a quick reminder, here’s the beast I’m referring to…

Green living room with faux fireplace and chandelier

I know: it’s not terrible.  And, truth be told, it’d likely look absolutely lovely in somebody else’s home!  But it’s just not me.  And Sweetie keeps whacking his head off of it (which probably means it’s definitely just not him, either.)

I’ve been struggling for the past couple of weeks with what to put in its place.  Its replacement can’t be a flush mount fixture – there’s a really pretty ceiling medallion that surrounds the light, so something flush would look sorta silly.  But I also haven’t yet found a semi-flush mount light that I love.

Which means I’ve been looking at pendant lights.

Sounds counter-intuitive, I know.  Sweetie keeps whacking his head off of our living room light, so I’m considering purchasing a pendant?  What?  But many pendants can be pretty easily shortened to create semi-flush mount fixtures.  Which is what I did in our bedroom at our little 1940s house.  And that’s likely what I’ll do here!

Here are the lights that I’m considering so far…

This one (from Uberhaus at Rona) is sorta flying saucer shaped, but in a rather lovely, rustic kind of way.  (Can a flying saucer be rustic?  I say yes!)  And it’s the least expensive of the bunch (only $44!)  And I think it’s pretty.  :)

Rustic brown jute or wicker round pendant light

And then there’s the similarly natural-looking (but way less alien vessel-shaped) Boja pendant from Ikea

Boja beachy-looking ratan pendant from IKEA

At $79, she’s a bit more pricey than the Uberhaus option, but I rather like her mushroom-cap shape (despite that I hate mushrooms) (mushrooms are squishy) (although I rather doubt that this pendant is squishy.)

Winning the “Prettiest pendant in consideration” award (if I was having a pretty-pendant competition) is this one from Home Depot

Pretty feminine white flowered drum shade pendant light from Home Depot

Oh swoon…  How pretty!  How sweet!  How… um, feminine…  Yeah, I don’t know if Sweetie will go for it.  But I love this light nonetheless.  (Although it’s on the high end of our budget at $149.98.)  (Plus tax.)  (Of course.)

The winner, however, might be this one (from Hampton Bay’s Moravian Star Collection)…

Glass star pendant light moravian star

Yes, it’s predictable – stars.  I love stars.  At least this means I’m consistent?  And I couldn’t help but be inspired by Young House Love’s entryway pendant

Young House Love's amazing teal doorway and star pendant

Lovely!  And I think a star pendant could look equally amazing in our little living room.

Yep, I’m pretty sure I’ll be making the trek out to our nearest Home Depot store to take a closer look at (and maybe even – gasp! – purchase!) that super starry light this week.

Because Sweetie’s head can’t take too many more bruises.

And because I’m a bit of a sucker for a pretty little star light.  :)


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So where do we go from here (I’ve got ninety-nine projects and the kitchen is one)

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in The old mauve house | 0 comments

Our old mauve house needs a lot (A LOT!) of work.  Sadly, I don’t have a lot of time.  It’s quite the conundrum, that’s for sure!  The biggest question (now that much of our stuff is finally – finally! – put away): where to start?  There are a whole lot of options.

There’s painting.  Which room?  Take your pick!  Pretty much every room in our new (to us) house needs a severe repainting.  Including ceilings.  And trim.  And doors.  And (in the case of our second floor) floors.  True story.  We have here the potential for a complete repainting of every single surface in every room.  Daunting?  Absolutely.  But it’ll look awesome once it’s finished.

I particularly despise the dark mossy green colour in our living room and dining room.  It’s not terrible, but it’s just not “us”.

Dark mossy green living room walls with fake fireplace

(Please pardon the off-centre star!)

Then there’s the flooring situation in our kitchen.  Remember this?

Gross multi layer kitchen floor in old house

Yep.  That’s starting to drive me a wee bit ca-razy.  However pulling up many many layers of kitchen flooring could potentially be a monumental job.  Am I ready for that sort of work at this point in old mauve house home ownership?  I’m not sure.

And then there are the lights that all need to be changed.  This one (which currently resides in our living room) is of particular concern…

Wrought iron three light chandelier in living room hung from medallion

Looks harmless enough, right?  But the electrical connection is completely wrong.  Wrong wrong wrong.  And having a random chandelier in a location where a chandelier wouldn’t normally appear (rhyming not deliberate!) is a bit of a nogging-bonking hazard for those who are a wee bit on the overgrown side.  Yup -  Sweetie (my 6’4″ slightly taller than most awesome hubby) keeps whacking his head off the silly thing.  And unless Sweetie starts wearing his hard hat around the house, I’m pretty sure the living room light will be replaced with something flush-er (is that a word?) very soon.

Or, we could just surrender and agree to be held hostage by a little ugliness for now, and concentrate on the holidays.  Afterall, Christmas (according to a friend’s recent facebook post) is only six (SIX!) weekends away.  That’s six weekends that will likely be filled with parades, decorating, baking, shopping, and general merriment.  And, really, who has time for painting and reflooring and new lighting and such when there’s so much festiveness and happiness and awesomeness going on.  Not I (says the girl in the reindeer-patterned pajamas!)  I have pompoms to make and Christmas cookies to bake and a new (sorta ugly) house to make all pretty and Christmassy.  :)

That said, we need new curtains.  Desperately.  So one minor pre-holiday, low-effort change may be abreast: there may be a trip to IKEA in my near-ish future, in search of new, less hideous, window treatments (to replace the sheer/too short/ridiculously ugly curtains that the previous owners left behind.)  Which would feel like progress (and likely make our neighbours pretty happy – I’m sure they’re getting kinda tired of watching me dance around with the cats in my living room every night after work) (it’s weird, but the kitties rather like it) (and Irwin, despite his shyness, sure knows how to boogie.)

Yep, new drapes = easy and rather quick progress.  And a little cat-dancing modesty.  K.  Let’s start with that.


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