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)
After (flows a bit better and feels cozy)
After (definitely cozy, but geez I still need to make those pillow covers!)
After (rainbow books)
After (Matt built those shelves!)
After (lots of teacher office storage)
Project # 2: The Master Bedroom
After (really love the gray and white combo)
After (Matt made that headboard from a lattice fence)
After (Pax wardrobe really helped for closet space)
After (the mirror opens up the room and we have some city views on the wall)
Project # 3: The Living Room & Dining Room
After (rich colour for a dining room)
After (light is so much better)
After (love the blue and white transition)
After (still a blank slate - lots to do)
After (brighter for limited daytime light)
Since Matt is working this weekend, he gets Tuesday-Thursday off this week, plus Friday is his monthly day off, so lots of time before we head to the cottage Friday afternoon to do some housework! Now, our next project was going to be the hallway - priming and painting both upstairs and down. It has some awkward high places, so we were going to get professionals to do it. Our College Pro quote was $1850, which is nuts, so it will definitely be another DIY, but we'll wait to the Fall. So, this week, instead, Matt is going to tear out the weird organizer in the closer upstairs, prime it, paint it, and add in some shelves and hooks to make it nicer and more useable. Here are some pictures of it now:
So the white organizing thing is going to go - easy enough to unscrew and get rid of. It's never been painted, it's just drywall, so we have to prime and paint it too.
View of the left side - quite long
View of the right side - quite long as well
Weird light - typical of our house...
Ideally we would take out most of the wall and make sliding doors so that the closet is more accessible, but we're pretty sure they are main supporting walls, and that just sounds like a lot of work. Instead, we'll work with what we have. Matt is going to make horizontal shelves on both the left and right side up to the door, and then we'll have a long shelf across the upper part all the way across the closet, and some space for storage and some hooks on the wall. We keep our iron and extra bathroom and cleaning stuff in there, along with towels and sheets and the usual linen closet stuff, so we need versatile storage. I think it will work pretty well!
Here's some inspiration to get us motivated:
Images taken from DecorPad and Style at Home Canada
So last week I posted our painting project, although not yet finished at that point. We didn't get around to painting the third coat on the living room until Wednesday, when I ended up doing it myself because Matt had to work late. It went pretty well, and he did the trim on Thursday. That means we had 2 days to get everything organized for the family BBQ on Sunday, but we did a pretty good job. Here's so pictures to track the work we did:
This was our dining room when the old owners were there (which they used as a living room)
This was about a week after we moved in
We replaced the light a few weeks ago
Started to paint a week ago
Finished painting a week ago
And here it is today!
Still need to build in the sideboard with quart countertop, get a new table and chairs, add some curtains and some wall art, and change some of the task lighting, but it's a pretty good start!
Some decor...need to replace the lemons and limes with fake ones because these will go bad soon - we'll have to make margaritas in the meantime!
This was our living room when the old owners lived here, which they used as their dining room
Here it was a week after we moved in
We simply capped the light in this room...we'll figure that out later
Started painting last weekend
3 coats later, we were done - blue (even pale blue) is hard to cover without primer - lesson learned!
Here it is today! Much brighter and open, but needs some curtains
View from the kitchen - needs some wall art for sure
I like the dark room and light room contrast - I wasn't sure if it would work, but I like it so far!
Also going to mount the TV to the wall to free up some of that top of the unit space for decor
Matt wanted the corks in the hurricane vase - which is fine, because we were running out of places to put them. I emptied them out of our lanterns so I could put them outside, which means most are in the silver bowl in the TV unit for now. We either need to find them a new home, or stop drinking so much wine...hmmm...
What's up next? Well the bedroom updates in the past week are coming soon, along with some family BBQ fun!
Pictures soon, but for now the place is still a disaster. Third coat on the living room done (by yours truly, solo when Matt worked late yesterday), and Matt will do all the trim tonight. Our headboard made from lattice fencing (you gotta see it to understand) is assembled and painted, and just needs to be mounted to the mall, and we need to put the main floor back together. All of our china and knick-knacks and serving stuff and strewn throughout the house - just like when we moved in. It took me quite a bit of tetris-like moving about yesterday just to do laundry, and since there were boxes of glass vases on top, there was lots o' clinking as the laundry churned about. Quite a crazy house indeed.
All of this work will hopefully pay off by Sunday, when our parents, siblings, and grandparents (on both sides) are coming over for an afternoon BBQ to check it all out. Lots to do by then besides the above stuff. Have to mount the TV and speakers to the wall, get some accessories for the rooms, get TONS of groceries, clean the house, organize and set up, hopefully shop for a cute dress to wear at some point, and be a hostess!
For now, I'm baking chocolate chip cookies and waiting for my husband to come home like a good little housewife. Updates and pictures soon!
I really need to stop being around my students so much...anyone get that reference?
So anyway, the bedroom is painted, it has been put back together, and a few decor items have been purchased, along with new sheets! Yesterday I went out to Whitby after work to the big home big box store area, and I went to the following stores: Home Sense, Bouclair Home, Home Outfitters, JYSK, Michael's, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Covers and Pier One. Mind you that these are all in the SAME PLAZA! I also had the option of Home Depot, and Sears Home, but I was exhausted.
I was looking for bedroom decor in gray, yellow, or white, or all three. This included an area rug, curtains, pillows, and room accents. I was also looking for white night tables, a small silver vase, new pillows, and new small lamps. Here are the results of my trip:
1. Home Sense = AWESOME but I didn't find anything I wanted. I will be back to poke around again soon!
2. Bouclair Home - never been there, but cute stuff! All colour coordinated so things are easy to find! I got a yellow faux-leather ottoman/storage container for the bedroom corner - very cute, and a silver gunmetal textured pillow.
3. Home Outfitters - bought new pillows - Sealy - don't love them because they are synthetic, but I didn't want to spend $70 on down pillows since I already have a set, but I wanted something soft...we'll see how it goes with them.
4. JYSK - never heard of it - sort of like "No Frills" for home stuff. I wasn't that impressed.
5. Michael's - needed tiny paintbrushes for touch-ups. Thought of getting more florals but that store is so damn expensive and I get lost in all the millions of aisles. Plus the people in there are WEIRD. I hated the place last year when wedding planning so I avoid entering whenever possible.
6. Bed, Bath & Beyond - it's pretty much Linen's & Things, with a different name. They had a great selection of curtains, but I didn't find ones I loved.
7. Covers - again, never heard of it - they sell curtains and bedding. Didn't love it.
8. Pier One - love Pier One - it is so quirky! Found a lemon yellow fuzzy pillow and got it immediately.
So went all around those stores to get only a few things, but I didn't want to get anything I really couldn't see in the room. We are NOT made of money! Still looking for most things, since I only really got decor items, but those things I want Matt around for anyway to help with decisions. Baby steps. Want to hit up Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel (we have gift cards for both) plus West Elm soon!
So, without further delay, here is our painted and semi-finished bedroom:
Love my standing mirror
Going to add a few picture frames on the window wall closest to the mirror
See the Ikea night tables and lights that will be replaced
The floor looks so bare now that the fuzzy area rug is in the basement!
Definitely also need some art above the bed, and a shelf on the closet wall
Close up of the new decor and sheets
The wrinkle easily I suppose, but I can't bother to iron my sheets - I just don't care enough!
Little sunny ottoman in the corner
And surprisingly cozy and warm at night
Matt worked very hard on the basement while I was away this weekend. He did the baseboards, made my chalkboard, touched up some paint, cut and shortened my curtain rod, and tidied up a bit. We also took the saw back to my dad so we have some more space down there too! Here are some pictures of the progress:
Baseboards on our slanty floors!
Not sure if I should paint them the same colour as the trim and walls...at least in this hallway...
Curtain rod up, now to shorten and hang the curtains
Now if only I could rid our window of the ugly bars...
Hello, hallway! Nice to see you again!
Ohhhh sad mixer - I promise to take you for a test run this weekend!
Still need to organize this stuff - Christmas decorations, thousands of reusable grocery bags, Matt's snowboard
Oh yeah, and an old headboard...anyone want it?
Welcoming view of the den & office
Missing a desk chair (getting one soon from Structube - perfect because it's called the "Matt" Office Chair)
Also missing some wall...soon to be remedied...
...by this - my chalkboard!
Sanding & painting this unit white, to match the rest of the room, and getting new lighting!
Is this really progress?
Matt is priming and painting the fuse box cabinet door and
putting on the hardware to match the built-ins.
This basement keeps going and going. Today we went out with 2 stores in mind - home depot, to get trim, and Ikea, to get "decor" things. Well, we went to Home Depot and got baseboard trim, and also trim for the chalkboard. Let me explain that a bit - there is this plumbing panel that, because of some point, you can't really see. I decided it would be a fun place for a chalkboard, and so instead of hiding it, we are not accenting it, but at least now its for something fun instead of a stupid place to get at the plumbing. Anyway, we did indeed get all of those things, so it was a successful trip!
Baseboard trim - do you KNOW how many choices there were?
One choice I did not care about at all - "JUST PICK ONE" I said to Matt
Pretty braided trim for the chalkboard
(Please note the sad, unused KitchenAid mixer in the background)
Chalkboard Paint & Chalk from Ikea
We then drove all the way to Ikea, which really isn't that far, but when you're going to Ikea, you have to have a divide & conquer attitude, or else it can swallow you alive. Unfortunately, if you aren't looking for something specific, this process can be really hard. We wandered around aimlessly, following the blue arrows, somehow made it through the children's section, which was INSANELY busy (but I did get chalk for the board), and to the lighting section. I wanted to get a light to hang over the reading area in the basement, but I didn't love any of them, and I wasn't going to buy something I didn't really want. Then to decor, plants, and random stuff area on the main floor. The website has way more decor stuff than they do in that small area...I only ended up getting some white baskets for decor. Yes, more baskets. So we drove ALL THE WAY TO IKEA to get 6 baskets and coloured chalk. I apologized to my husband for that one - I wanted to get some colourful vases or something better,
Baskets - now what to fill them with?
In other randomness, at Home Depot, we got a light for the dining room! Remember that Capiz shell light I wanted from West Elm? Well it was far too long, but this one seemed pretty good as an alternative for when we do the dining room!
Original West Elm Light
Still drool-worthy and I still want it for SOMEWHERE in the house!
The one we got instead - it has an adjustable length and 2 lights
so it can go a bit longer for some drama in the dining room
Finally, I forgot to take a picture of desk light and the curtains I got - I really liked the curtains at first because they go with the pale cream and blue colours and brown of the couch in the basement, but now it is turning out so colourful with the shelving...we'll have to see if I still like them when they go up!
Pretty little lamp
Notice the piles of lists and paint samples - is this now my life?
White curtains with pale blue, beige, brown, and grey squiggles - fun, or too much?
Two weeks ago we bought an Ikea desk, 3 Billy bookshelves, and a white storage unit for my binders. We have (finally) assembled and at least started to organize our stuff. I organized my desk this week and put things on the shelves. Still far from done but it's a start!
We are doing a trip to Ikea tomorrow to get some colourful decor stuff to replace some items on the bookshelves, going to Home Depot to get chalkboard paint for the utility panel beside the desk and baseboard trim, plus a shorter curtain rod to hang curtains I bought a few weeks ago, and Costco to hopefully get that pretty white chair I still need for my desk (currently sitting on an automan.
Entry View Before
Entry View After - New Desk and More Storage
Window Wall Before
Window Wall After - Shelving and a cover for the fusebox
(currently on the floor waiting to be painted)
Stairs Side Before
Stairs Side After
Side Wall Before
Side Wall After - Desk and more Storage for my binders
(in those black and white boxes)
Behind Desk Storage - textbooks, albums, etc.
(temporary until lights are installed on the top shelf)
Colour-coded bookshelf - I love it!
(yes we have a lot of pictures of "us" that will be replaced once
I go through my thousands of pictures from the past few years)
The frames along the top are temporary too
(from our wedding and only used to hide lighting wires right now)
Showcasing my Teacher side (apple), Matt's Mining side (rocks)
and our Scottish side (Scottie Dog)
Somewhat more girly section
Our textbooks and my treasured "Post Secret" and other coffee table books
Ultimately girly area - wedding momentos and albums
So it is far from done, but we're making progress. Walls, ceilings, doors, and a bit of the carpet (oops) are painted! We used Benjamin Moore's Moonshine - it is nice and soft and makes the basement feel much brighter yet cozy. Tomorrow we are getting a desk and some bookshelves. Aiming to have it done by May - the next few weeks are filled with the play (COME SEE ALADDIN!!!) and finishing the last module of my course.
Before - Matt's start to building shelves
Progress - Shelves built, filing cabinet done, now for doors
Progress - Primed, now painted but my camera died so I don't have a picture
Still have to paint the background - a pale blue colour
Before - Office Area
Progress - 2 coats of Moonshine
Desk will go near piano, but facing outward
Brown TV stand needs to be painted and get a TV
Before - Hallway
Progress - need to move bistro table outside, and get rid of Mitre saw
Going to add shelving under the stairs too
Progress - need bookshelves for this entire wall
White shaggy carpet from our bedroom added to the floor
Get all this stuff put away!
Progress - bare wall where low cabinets will be for storage, with lots of space on top for decor and for some art above
The piano looks so lonely right now!
Ikea Desk - pretty finishings for my office
Ikea Billy Bookcases - will have a height extension on the top
3 cases in a row for the whole wall
*Note - this is the SECOND time I am writing this post because Weebly currently does not offer an auto-save feature, and stupid me did not save a draft along the way and I must have clicked something which took me to my home page and did not save the post that took me an hour to do the first time...so here we try again, but first I will click SAVE.
The first thing we got for the house when we moved was a Pax wardrobe from Ikea. We really needed a lot of storage space because our house does not have it! We have a tiny closet in the master that Matt had all his must-hang dress clothes, and I used the tiny closet in the "unmentionable name" middle room for all my must-hang dresses and clothes, plus shoes, purses, etc. It was stuffed. Our guest bedroom has no closet at all, but it is a good size so we put our condo's dresser and chest in there instead. It was full of clothes before the wardrobe and there was so much that there was a big pile of it on my bed.
Guest bedroom storage pre-wardrobe - very organized as you can see
Middle room packed with all my stuff pre-wardrobe
Master closet packed with all Matt's stuff pre-wardrobe
Once we got the wardrobe, almost all of our stuff is in the master bedroom. Some of my random stuff like bathing suits and old comfy clothes and hoodies, plus all the extra bathroom toiletries are in the drawers of the dresser in the guest bedroom.
Guest bedroom now - much cleaner!
Master closet post-wardrobe - ahhh my dresses can breathe!
View of the master before the wardrobe
Lots of room along the right wall for some storage space
Putting it together was challenging. It is Ikea, so of course it was all DIY when it came to assembly. Matt did the basic structure and I made all the drawers and inserts. I had bruises on the inside of my hands from screwing in so many tiny parts. A shelf or storage container is one thing, but if you have the budget, get the Ikea people to make this wardrobe for you! The big splurge was the doors on the wardrobe - this really added cost to it, but they look great! We also added lighting on top versus in-wardrobe lighting (which would only be used when we were getting things from inside), which really brightens up the room after the sun sets.
Unit 1 of 3 - my side of the wardrobe
A few more doors needed and organization...
Done - view from the bedroom door
Nighttime view - yes, the ceiling fan needs to go!
My side - storage for clothes, shoes, and it's not even full yet!
Matt's side - organized by me - we'll see how long it lasts
He added in his tie rack along the side as well.
Center - more of my dressy clothes on top, all our pants below, plus more shoe storage!
Love this section for jewelry and day to day stuff we need
So what's next for the bedroom? Well paint for sure. We are using Benjamin Moore Asphalt on the main walls, cloud white on the ceiling and trim, and dark grey Philip Jefferies grass cloth wallpaper for an accent wall at the head of the bed. We also need to change the lighting (simple overhead lighting and wall sconces), get a stand alone big mirror, and new end tables, plus some dramatic floor to ceiling curtains.
Here is a sample of the grass cloth and paint samples all together