*I took a lot of $5 beachy-girly books to the cottage, and eventually I'll donate them.*
**You CANNOT throw books in the garbage, it's just wrong.**
So now no real reason for that panel in the wall...oh well.
|The Science of Married||
One of my summer to-do activities was the clean up the rainbow bookshelf downstairs. There were too many of certain colours and they were getting cramped and messy. Easy little project that I had all summer to do, but didn't do until last week. Here are the changes, in pictures, but first, the original:
Way back from the spring of 2011
Last week - tidy, but a lot of books not on the shelves and many books behind other books
Here it is all tidied up!
White takes up the most space, along with Jodi - how I love her.
Matt's books are on the first two shelves, and pretty much every other shelf is filled with my books, haha
The bottom shelf is filled with random textbooks
*I took a lot of $5 beachy-girly books to the cottage, and eventually I'll donate them.*
**You CANNOT throw books in the garbage, it's just wrong.**
Here's the hobby corner - piano (I wonder what musical will be in store for this year), and my attempt at working out with Zumba on Wii - I do it a lot, but I feel like a clumsy uncoordinated idiot EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Just got the water meter removed from inside to ouside behind the chalkboard, and had the gas done last year.
So now no real reason for that panel in the wall...oh well.
Office space - now to tackle that other "chemistry" shelf back there...geez it is packed...
A bit more tidy - perfect for me to start prepping for the fall...back to school NOOOOOOO!
So I have a lot more time on my hands since I finished summer school so I looked to all my blog stats for the past month to see what people were creeping on or searching to come across the blog. Here are the most popular posts (PS - I wrote "hottest" post and then I thought I sounded like a nerd so I deleted it...). The titles link back to the original post if you want to see more!
1. Highlights of Joni's Wedding - I found out that if I added titles when I linked my posts to Facebook, and added "with" - it was posted on other people's walls and more people saw the post. So Joni and Blair, you have so many people who love you. You are BY FAR the most clicked people on my blog this month, haha. If you really love these two, I also did a post on Joni's Tea Shower, and her Bachelorette Weekend.
2. Dining Room Curtains - This is also related to the most searched term which was "Emmie Kvist Curtains" which are the ones we have from Ikea in the dining room. There were also a lot of searches for navy blue dining rooms, and I got a few comments on liking both the colour and the curtains from multiple people, which was nice. I wrote this post way back in October so it was surprising it was so popular this month - usually the ones I post most recently on Facebook make up most of my stats.
3. Bedroom Posts - this one was more from people clicking the tag "bedroom" on the sidebar, and the main posts in there this month were about the guest bedroom painting and decorating, Other than that, there were only posts from the end of the year last year in January about upcoming projects, and way back about our master bedroom decor.
4. Adam's Wedding Posts - all of them! This took over most of the stats, which again, is probably due to the fact that I tagged the friends and family who were in the posts on Facebook, and I did so many posts about the wedding in general. The first one was the wedding outtakes, then the father-daughter dance, followed by the ceremony, the reception, and even their launch party from before the wedding. Even did posts about the showers - one at Great Cooks and one at her Dad's House.
5. Shopping - again another tag search - I had to actually go back to the blog to find out what is in this category. I do quite a bit of shopping, but never remember to take pictures or post about it. Maybe I'll do that this week with all this time. Anyway, some posts covered shopping in Vancouver, and buying stuff for the house. Nothing exciting in this category, but if you want some great outfit and shopping posts, visit my friend Veronika's site at Veronika's Blushing!
6. Basement - Again, haven't done much to the basement for a while, which actually requires a post itself - it is a disaster, haha. This is good, I'm thinking of more posts to write. So the first post is about free house projects, of which I have done one, so I should get on that! If you go further back, there are a few posts on the progress here, here, here and here. By the way, the shelving no longer looks like this because it is overrun by books - new organization will have to happen because colour just isn't working for me anymore!
7. Sideboard Project - probably the one I am most proud of. I think it really makes our dining room look great. This was done in December and it took a while to do everything. The Ikea cabinets were first, then the base, and then the stained poplar top. The decor changes quite a bit (it's much different than the picture to the left and that was taken in May), but overall I still love this room. Now for more dinner parties so we have an excuse to use it.
8. Painting - another category search - we have definitely had some painting adventures both in this house and in the condo. I do most of the painting, although when Matt helps, he does the harder stuff - all the trim and edges - because I can't stay in the lines very well. Here are the posts: painting the basement, the master bedroom, the dining room and living room, the linen closet, the HBC painting, and the guest bedroom. Up next for us are all the hallways and the kitchen!
9. Kitchen - in this category we have the little butcher block island I built from Ikea, the kitchen chalkboard, and the some painting projects for spring and summer (of which the kitchen is one!)
10. Decor - lots of posts in this category, and besides a few mentioned above, there was one about spring and summer decor, and even all the projects from 2011. Way back was all the Christmas decor, the dining room mirror project, and just some mini-projects here and there. Most of my inspiration now comes from Pinterest, so I need to do more posts that link to my boards there, and I need to look at them more often to keep inspired!
Search Terms: Emmie Kvist Curtains, Science of Married Life (probaby one of my coworkers navigating), West Elm Tangle Rug (we have it in our living room), Paint Colours - Moonshine vs. Revere Pewter (both Benjamin Moore), Yellow and Grey Decor, Unfortunately I Married to Science (this one made me laugh), Peter Fallico - Married (don't know if Peter is married, although he is gay, so probably about 50% of you readers are out of luck trying to snag him), Finger Numb - Spraypaint (ohhh yes, so many people have had similar experiences! - *Update - it did eventually get feeling back in it, but it took over a month!*), Pax Wardrobe (ohh geez, what an ordeal!)
Referring Sites: Google (obviously) - so many countries - but the main ones are the US and Canada, Facebook (and Mobile), Pinterest, My Wedding Planning Site (probably still linked from The Knot), and then other search providers like Bing and Yahoo. By the way, that picture on the right is my most recent Pinterest desire - peanut butter chocolate cheesecake...wow.
Here are a few things I plan on doing around the house in the next few months that will not cost me a penny!
1. Organize the linen closet - it's a bit disorganized. When we first added the shelving and painting there wasn't much in it, now we have found a lot more use for it, so it needs to be reorganized. I have lots of extra baskets, so I won't have to buy anything to help me out. We also have hooks already that we could use, so all free!
Closet last summer
Closet today - needs some work...
2. Stain the TV unit - I already have the stain from doing the picture frame in the living room, and Matt already added a piece on the front of it that got ripped off (he literally ripped off a door when we lived in the condo) and stained it, so it really just needs to be sanded down and stained again. Have the sander, have the stain - all is free!
Just a bit of stain to make it new again
3. Clean the front porch - my pretty chairs and table in the front are really dirty from the winter, and so is the porch. So I'm going to scrub and wash all of it, along with the windows and railings and stairs, and sweep the walkway and add some curb appeal that way, because my garden is definitely not doing it at this point.
Porch last summer (geez, porch still pretty gross)
Marmalade view of dirty chairs and deck last week
4. Organize the basement bookshelf - when we first built it, it was in the winter, and since it's colour coded (which by the way looks pretty, but is a pain in the a$$ to find the book you are looking for), it was organized based on the number of books we had at the time. In the summer or when we go on trips (and actually have time to read), we tend to rack up a lot more books, and in the past year we have accumulated a lot. Most of these books tend to have white or black spines, so those sections of the bookshelves are jam-packed. It's not quite working anymore, so I'll have to reorganize it.
Bookshelf last year
White books (behind the frame and first row there are a million more)
*sorry for the bad picture quality, just taking quick shots*
5. Sew pillowcases - when we put the drapes down in the basement, we had a lot of extra fabric, so I decided to make matching pillowcases for some pillows that didn't really match the basement decor. So that still hasn't happened. I have the pillows, have the fabric, have a needle and thread. Just need to get on it!
Fabric draped on the pillows...but not really a pillowcase yet...
Yesterday I featured some of the major projects of the year, and of course, with all of that, comes plans for the upcoming year. We have a list too daunting to tackle in a year - in fact, it will take multiple years, and lots of money that does not currently exist. Again, a lot of people ask me "what are you going to do when its all done?" - I just laugh and say that it will NEVER be done. I estimate it would take at least 5 years to get everything on our list done, and by that time, we'll probably want a bigger house, and it will all start again. Yes, the projects can be tiring, and straining, and frustrating at times, but they are also fun. I like watching the house evolve and I like that I can work with Matt to design our house. Oh yes, we disagree A LOT, but we have always agreed to not buy or do anything until we both agree on something. I won't ever come home with anything that Matt wouldn't like, and he won't rip out walls or do any handy-work until we've talked. That's how we work and not kill each other when our house is mid-renovation!
Anyway, from the very daunting list, we've pulled a few things we'd like to get done in the next year, and I'll also discuss a few long-term projects that will eventually be addressed...maybe if we win one day through the Heart and Stroke Lottery Calendar my mom bought for us!
1. Paint, Paint, Paint!
This is my major contribution in our house. My friend Mike likes to joke that Matt does all the work and I just crack the whip. Actually, he's not joking, I believe he thinks it really happens. He has a "Free Matt" campaign he would like to start - anyone want a t-shirt? Anyway, although I am not very handy (but willing to learn), I do have a lot of vision and ideas, and I also can PAINT. We painted our bedroom and dining room together, but I painted the living room and basement myself, plus the closet shelving. So there are a few places that paint is still required in our house, and luckily it's an inexpensive way to update a room!
a) Hallways - both upstairs and downstairs. We got a quote from College Pro in the Spring for them possibly doing the hallways while we were away on the cruise, but it was pretty expensive so we decided to keep it as a DIY project. Now that my parents got Matt an incredible ladder for Christmas (it is like a transformer - it has SO many configurations), painting way up high will be a bit easier. We are probably going to paint the hallways the same colour as the basement - Benjamin Moore's Moonshine - it's a pale gray. It looks a bit off-white in the basement, but with more natural light, it will show up more grey. I am thinking about going a shade darker - not too sure yet. Check out the two last pictures and let me know what you think! The ceiling and trim will continue the "Cloud White" trend, as I want it to match all the trim of the other rooms.
Current downstairs hallway colour - pale beige of sorts
Upstairs hall - same colour - has a bit of gray undertone with natural light
BM Moonshine in our basement on walls and ceiling - pale gray but looks paler here than it is
BM Moonshine in Natural Light - via Young House Love on Pinterest
One shade darker - BM Gray Horse via Leah Lee on Pinterest
b) Spare Bedroom - right now the spare bedroom is the same seafoam green as was in the dining room. It actually doesn't look bad in the space, but it doesn't match the bedding and needs a fresh coat on both the walls and wainscoting. I'm not sure exactly what to do here - the duvet is chocolate brown and deep red on cream, and the sheets are deep red to match. I'm thinking about doing a brown (not too dark) on a warm cloud white wainscoting. What do you think? This will probably be my March Break project room!
Here's the current green room colour
An inspirational photo via Pinmarklet
Another Pinterest find
c) Railings - easy job - not sure if I'm going to stain or whitewash or what, but these railings need some finishing!
Main floor railing - probably will stain to match the floor (or eventual floor) colour
Basement railing - may be fun to add a bit of colour to this one?
2. Gallery Wall
Not sure whether I will put a gallery wall of pictures in the dining room, or up the main floor stairs, or even in the empty space in the living room, but I definitely want to add a mix of photos and art in a collage in our house - they are always so interesting to look at! Here are some inspiration photos I like for various reasons, gathered from Pinterest. Also another project I can tackle myself!
Like the black and whites - this would work best going up the stairs
Perfect symmetry, which I usually love, but not the look I'm going for this time
Very cool for a stairway!
More black and white beauties of all shapes and sizes!
Oh YHL, how I love your mix of pictures and art - great for the living or dining room!
3. Backyard Entertaining Space
This was something we started to do last year with the tables, but we really want some bench seating with storage underneath to free some space chairs would take up. We could use it to lounge, or pull a table up for dining. Here are some inspirational pictures gathered from Pinmarklet.
Current backyard - looking to add bench seating to that fence corner on the deck
I like the back bench and the colourful top
No storage, but still a simple bench design
Sectioned pieces to move around the design
I like the rustic look to this long bench
4. Gardening - Take Two
So this year's gardening efforts were a fail. At least we now know what will spring up in the, well, Spring, and what we want to yank out and what to keep. The backyard is in pretty good shape, will probably just add in some annuals to fill it out. The front, however, is a jungled mess that needs some structure and good ol' TLC!
Current back garden - nice and green
Just needs a few pops of colour from some annuals
Yeah...not really pretty...
Thinking of sectioning off the front and creating a path
Or adding some tiers to make it more organized
5. Lighting Purchases
So we have a lot of bad lighting, and replacing them would be nice. We need new lighting for: the front hallway, the upstairs hall, the living room (ceiling and floor and table), the kitchen, the hallway closet, the spare bedroom ceiling (although I may just spraypaint this one and keep it), and the other spare bedroom. This won't be a rush, but we'll be keeping our eyes out for a good deal to replace some of these lights in the next year.
Spare bedroom light - not too bad, but may spray it dark brown or brighter gold
Upstairs hallway light - going to string a light from this outlet from the wall to the ceiling, and add a little chandelier
Front foyer light - little chandelier needed here too!
Other spare bedroom light - anything but this would be good
Kitchen ceiling fan - never used, so simple lighting would be better
Hallway closet light
Living Room - already took out the bad chandelier and capped it, but now need a light to fill it!
6. Refinish the TV Unit
This unit just needs to be sanded and stained to match our living room furniture - another March Break project.
Just needs a little facelift!
These are some things we'll be looking to do, but doubtful within the year, due to budget, time, and sanity!
Basement: new carpet in den/office and on stairs, built-ins for TV area in den, reinforced stairs, enclose and add storage beneath, move wall in bathroom back and get new vanity and fixtures and re-tile, finish laundry room and add storage.
Kitchen: completely redo kitchen - new floors, cabinetry, appliances, lighting, and probably make half-wall into the living room with breakfast nook - may involve adding a small addition to the back - VERY FUTURE PROJECT!
Living Room: get new couch, curtains
Dining Room: get new dining table and chairs, curtains
Main Floor Hallway & Stairs: new runner for floor and stairs
Spare Bedroom: new room lighting, side table, mirror, curtains, rug
Upstairs Closet: add hooks, more storage above
Master Bedroom: new chaise for under window, curtains
Middle Spare Room: this will probably be an eventual baby room, so will need to refinish gross parquet flooring, paint, add furniture, knock down door to closet and build storage, curtains, rug, all that baby-related stuff. With that will probably come baby-proofing the whole house? We do have a lot of sharp edges...I have the bruises to prove it!
So yeah - the list never ends! There is probably many things I forgot too! Anyway, lots to keep us busy! Happy New Year!
So we have this weird little shelf that you can see as you walk down to the basement. It's really just a few beams of wood with nothing on it, so when we got a painting from Matt's great uncle Jack (painted himself!), we thought it would be the perfect place for it, if this space had some more light. So Matt went to work "splicing a new plug into an existing circuit of overhead lights" (I had to quote him because all I know is now there is a light connected to the basement light switch on that shelf, but not what that entailed). Not a huge project, but it makes a nice little accent piece!
Before - just after painting the basement
After - some light, some books, and a great painting of a village in France
Oh yeah, and we also hung up two of the posters we had in our condo - the "Gone with the Wind" and the "Casablanca" movie posters. At least SOMETHING is on the walls in this house!
I feel like we need a third on the back wall now...
Still need to paint that TV unit...
Last year on Labour Day
Had to go in for a PA Day on Thursday. Pretty easy morning of meetings, nice seeing everyone, and prepping for the following week. There is NO PAPER in the entire school and I don't understand why...it's not like we don't need paper every single year. Anyway, hopefully that will be remedied by tomorrow morning! Had a great teaching moment in the afternoon too. One of my students from a grade 10 class last year came to visit - she was with her brother for the grade 9 BBQ, and just stopped by. I knew I had seen her name for my grade 11 chemistry class this year, and I told her so, and she said "Really? YES!!!!" - I was so glad to hear that she was happy to have me, instead of an awkward "great" that could have come out of her mouth. Proud moment for me - it really made my day!
Went to the cottage this weekend - the weather was terrible but it was still a good, relaxing weekend. Hot tub, wine, great food, reading home decor magazines in my comfy clothes = great! Even went for a run. Well, 3 km of running, 4 km of walking. But still - it's something! Was supposed to go golfing but the weather did not cooperate!
Back to school tomorrow - doing laundry, tidying up, and general organization for the week. There is lots to do this first week - you prep so much and it really only lasts a day or two before the real work begins, so trying to do as much as I can before the week starts.
We were talking this weekend about Labour day is really our "New Year" - everything starts over and we make resolutions. With that said, getting back in shape and eating better is on the top of my list - wish me luck! Mostly eat well at home in the summer, but not so much always at the cottage, or at school. It's hard to eat quickly but something needs to change because I have gained SO MUCH WEIGHT since last summer - it's horrible.
Another resolution? Getting back to my home reno stuff. Projects for this weekend? Well - I'm going to prime and paint the hallway closet (yep, it's STILL not done), and Matt is going to do some wiring to add a light to our basement stairwell where there is a little shelf to add a painting we got from his uncle and some books. Goal before Thanksgiving is getting the dining room (more) done. Getting the sideboard in with the quartz countertop and wine rack, adding a gallery wall, getting some new dining chairs, and mounting the mirror in a frame. We have 5 weeks to meet our deadline - let's see if it can be done!
So this post is mainly to show off what we have done so far. Nothing is ever complete, but the basement is pretty much done, the master bedroom is mostly done, and our living and dining room are at least painted. So I looked through some of the pictures from when we moved in, and then compared them to how they look now - wow - so different!
Project # 1: The Basement (Den/Home Office)