Sunday, June 4, 2017

Shiplap Bedroom Wall and Upstairs Hallway Renovation

Well it's been so long since I've posted and mostly it seems that the work day of constant barrage of emails, cell phone, retail customer demands along with a rise in food sensitivities has left me a little burnt out and I had no desire to turn on my computer when I get home but a week of staycation  has given me the oomph to get back to focus and start blogging again about our home and the reno's.
I know it is an immediate world we live in where renovations happen overnight on tv shows or quick flip homes but not all will have quality of workmanship that you think they should and no matter what the project in our century home, top quality with historical sensitivity (not restoration) is our goal. That said, I will be the first to admit that I have dragged my heals on our bedroom renovation design choices (while my Hardrock has bugged and bugged me) but I am truly thrilled with what he has done with our space and our choices thus far!!!

The back wall was originally going to be wallpaper which I purchased quite inexpensively on sale but I just couldn't commit to a pattern and in the end went for the look I have always loved and had first chosen for this rooms design way before Chip and Joanna Gains caused it to be all the rage, a shiplap wall. 
There is much work to be done in this room still before the final painting but we use this room while working on it and finding this super 8'x10' vintage looking grey and white carpet for $250.00 including taxes and shipping was such a steal that I couldn't help myself. It helps to soften the effect of the wood stained bed and creates a break visually between the golden oak floors and the darker bed.
Decisions to be made still are wall colour and tray ceiling colours, dresser colour and hardware choice.

Although we had two dressers that we use as night tables, they were not an exact match so I recently started my hunt for a second dresser and could not believe my luck. This gorgeous solid maple heavy dresser the exact same size as we needed was a steal at $80.00 and was nearby for us to pick up from a Kijiji seller. When we arrived he told us it came from his 90 year old grandmothers farm house and that she had recently passed away. I  was sad sorry to hear of his loss and reassured him we are so appreciative of having such a beautiful piece of furniture in our home. I made sure he was ok with the idea that it would be painted too.

An 130 year old century home, does not have closets or has very small closets and so if you recall we removed a recessed linen cupboard in the hall just outside our bedroom to accommodate a 6' wide x 2' deep master bedroom closet (more to come on the inside of the closet design ). My honey then trimmed it the same as the door and window with the same gorgeous arts and crafts style trims as our lower level and hung budget friendly 4 panel shaker MDF doors. Once again, a wee bit of a challenge in that the original floors are not level but of course his new opening was plumb and level so making the doors look great once hung took some work but he nailed it! We have used solid wood for all the trims but choosing MDF for the doors was strictly a budget decision that we feel ok about since it is just closet doors standard size that someone else can replace with wood ones if they desire down the road but for us saved us enough money to do the ship lap wall.

Originally we were gong to do a sliding barn door but opted for a more classic instead of trendy look and I love these doors. They are also in keeping with the Arts and Crafts style of the home.
Painting and handles are still to be completed along with baseboards finished.

Soooooo, before our master bedroom is done, my Hardrock decided to tackle our main upstairs hall while it is not so hot yet . Sorry for such a terrible photo but here is the 2nd bedrooms wall opened up so that we could move the doorway down. The reason we chose to do that was so we could ensure there was good storage capacity in each room that we can which is good for resale value. Recently with home sales soaring, we saw a few homes listed  in our immediate area for $1000,000 and they are not even Mcmansions! 
Our hallway had the original old plaster that was quite terribly done in the 1920's renovation and although I love plaster, I could not even argue trying to save it. Trust me when I say that, as there have been many arguments about it where I tried to make a case how it is worth keeping (I have a real hard time removing anything original unless it is absolutely necessary but in the end, although historical, the workmanship was like a get in, get out flip show and would not have suited the workmanship of the rest of the house if we left it. If we lived in a farmhouse out in the country that we were not going to one day sell then I would still have left it.

As well, my Hardrock found that the joists in this wall didn't even touch the floor so of course he had to fix that.

So here is the doorway moved down just enough to allow our Ikea Pax wardrobes to now move into the corner and finally give us access to this bedroom's closet which we used to have the wardrobes sitting in front of during the master bedroom reno.

 So now there is a fantastic amount of storage for a 12x12 bedroom. Either the closet can be outfitted with a computer and a TV or the wardrobe next to the closet removed from the room altogether and  a computer desk/ TV in it's place. We will have to decide which is the best way to go so that the appropriate wiring can be added.
And if you really want to be impressed, my Hardrock not only removed the plaster walls that the bedrooms crown molding was on, he managed to keep it in place and even though the old wall waved in and out he managed to make the new studded wall work  perfectly.
Bless him for having such patience!

The light switch will be moved down to the left , easy enough to cut a new opening in the drywall and patch the existing hole when we do that.

I love this recent new addition to the Ikea Hemnes collection and think it will be perfect on this wall with a gorgeous painting by my Mom. I love better quality pieces and Hemnes is mostly solid wood but the size of it with sliding glass doors and  decent price point and will be perfect for my books and baskets and I love that it can be painted if I want to change the colour. It's 15" deep and since it's off the floor will be perfect sitting over and not on the floor grate. 
  This wall area will be a stunning focal point when you come up the stairs.

When a can of worms gets opened, be prepared! 
Do you see the angled joist in this wall? Well that was the old 1878 roof  line of our home when it was a 1 1/2 stories that was renovated in 1918 to a  2 1/2 storey home.  The area where my Hardrock is standing is the 1918 addition on the back of the house and the old floor and the new floor were not level with one another as well  there was a lot of bounce and squeaking which made my perfectionist husband crazy. I just kept saying, ah honey relax, that's what a century home is about! 

About a year ago my honey opened up the floor at the end of the hall and reinforced it before adding new pine boards and that is how it stayed until now.
Much to my dismay the bulkhead you see at the end of the hall has to stay as it is the roof line of our upper back porch that you see the door to on the right side but we have plans to trim it out nicely so it is not such an eye sore. Our plans are to add shaker wainscotting and it's going to look amazing with the door trims all matching the lower level. He will carefully remove the original trims and store them so they remain for histories sake, with the house. I take all this very seriously and throwing them out is not an option. Even though our house is not a designated historical home, I cherish the hand created work of moldings that were made in a time that we cannot even fathom, no electricity or indoor plumbing. The door at the end of the hall is our main bathroom door.

When he opened the wall on the right he saw that the floor boards weren't supported in the area of the floor grate as well and so he had to repair that area as well with proper support in the floor. Taking up the oak strip piece by piece was not an easy task as it kept splitting and there was a lot of colourful language filling the air which was my que to leave him alone LOL! 

And how the boards are not even level along with little support underneath.

Here is the dogs breakfast of what he was working with underneath a year ago. I would be so overwhelmed what to do but not him, he just gets at it.

And here it is almost finished! What a beautiful sight! He had to stop putting the oak down with only a few more strips to go on the right side as it started to rain and he had to run and put the tools away. He laid down salvaged oak strip that he previously removed from our living room and dining room since the boards removed from the hall were damaged to badly when he took them up in spite of him trying carefully. As you can see they are a natural oak and do not match the rest of the floor upstairs that is stained a golden oak. I will work some magic and stain them to match but overall I am thrilled he made this work out as replacing the oak everywhere would be ridiculous expense and far to much work that in my opinion is not necessary, especially in a time when people are opting for laminate without batting an eye!

Well I have only today and tomorrow left of my staycation but I hope that I can get a few more things done that was on my list before I do if the rain stops.
Coming up soon I can't wait to share with you soon, some of my Mom's paintings that she is now selling.
Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Life Change Not New Years Resolution

Over the holidays I watched an interesting documentary called Minimalism, "people dedicated to rejecting the ideal that things bring happiness". It's about two guys who are good friends who decided to leave their high profile jobs to simplify there lives doing with far less material things and then wrote a book and traveled to promote it. They talk about the mass consumerism that society falls trap to, to perhaps fill a void and the impact on our environment to produce and transport these items we buy. They showed what I feel are incredibly sad clips of people who were literally beating each other up over items at what was probably boxing day sales and new product opening sales. I for one have never rushed out for those sales but it made me think how I approached bringing new items into our home and the money I am spending. Their spaces and the homes of some of the other minimalists filmed were definitely not what I could live with myself , although somewhat functional, void of all personality and  individualism but one has to think that with little else to consider when you arrive home and walk in the door, what window of energy would open itself up to other endeavours.

We by no means are finished our home top to bottom, the upstairs is a work in progress but we have what we need. Need being the operative word, need not want. If we were to take this approach, it would most certainly conflict with being in the renovation, design world. This is an even greater challenge as those around us might judge our ability if our home was a minimalists home and not  "designed"but just because the shoe maker may walk around in basic shoes, that does not mean that he cannot make outstanding shoes for others. I love our 138 year old home and love that it has beauty and personality in both architecture and the pieces of furniture that inhabit it. Lots of people say that our home is an "uncluttered home" when they see it for the first time and that is most definitely what I need in order to feel at peace when I walk in the door (clutter does not bother my honey in the least and so the constant badgering to pick up his "stuff" goes on!).
 Everyone has a different threshold of amount of "stuff" that is acceptable and no stuff would not be an option for me but I do agree that I fall prey to consumerism, not for clothing, or shoes, or jewellery, or makeup but for our home, I did in the past love to go out on my days off and see what the latest and greatest is at the ever changing supply of stuff at the local Home Sense and would actually get a bit of an adrenaline rush at the possibility of what might be there that week but this documentary made me check myself and ask, why? Why do I need to go there every week when I could doing something more important and then what would that be?

So I have made myself a resolution, a life change that I am very excited about. I have announced to family and friends (so they can keep me on track if I falter along the way) that if there is something I would like to bring into our home then I must sell something we already have in our home to do that and there are quite a few things that can easily be sold and not missed at all.  This means that I will be able to continue to create the spaces that we want in our home but not spend unnecessary money to do it and it also means that I must think very hard if I want that item as I will have to make my money go very far. I will also do everything I can to find the item second hand as opposed to brand new first so as to not contribute to the negative environmental impact of manufactured goods.

So first up, a while back I had made over this gorgeous french provincial cabinet breathing new life into it with a coat of Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint and a robins egg blue interior. It has been in our master bedroom as a TV stand and so just before Christmas I decided to finally part with it selling it to a friend who's home decor it fit's perfectly with.

Last year we removed our kitchen table and I designed and then my honey built us a custom island  which I absolutely am in love with and yes this material thing makes me very very happy!
 (there will be a future post about the island) 
After deciding that we needed the storage that the previous 
(yes, we had an island before and we sold it, against my honey's choice and put in a 6' table )
 island had but after living with the table and hardly ever using it, needed to find a compromise that would make us both happy, an island to sit at that my honey likes the height better than a table, storage that I need for pots and pans and an additional work counter. We had these two beautiful stools from the older island and never got rid of them so out they came from storage once the island was built but the problem was that I designed the new island to seat four where the old island only sat two. After searching everywhere for two more of the same stools and coming up short, I started a search for 4 matching stools in the range I could afford with the money I earned from the sale of the hutch.

And so yesterday I was thrilled to find and pick up 4 of these gorgeous X back solid wood heavy stools for a fantastic deal. Of course as you might know, the X in design is a favourite of mine. I like to use it somewhere in each room on our main floor. I even have money left over for some new cushions! They are scratched here and there and need a makeover along with a bit of a repair on one but nothing that won't be difficult at all to fix. My honey likes the black finish but I picture them white too so we will have to see. Nice thing about paint is you can always paint again! 

So this is the challenge I set for myself, to finish up our home and not spend any more money except on renovations that are necessary for improving our home's value that will stay with the house such as roof etc but still make it look and live beautifully.

So do  you fall trap to the interior design shopping addiction I once did?
Could you live with the very bare necessities in your home, a table, a chair, a bed, and be happy? 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!
Hello Again!!!
I am so happy to be back blogging after a very long time off  (wow I can't believe it has been so long) and look forward to continuing on a regular basis. Along with a few health challenges that kept me tapped out for my energy outside of work, walking the dog, and cooking and prepping our food for our almost Paleo clean eating, I found out that I am deeply affected by wifi technology and having only a laptop previously, could not use it without exhausting consequences. It took sometime but we managed to remove our wireless technology from the house and now I use a hardwired PC instead and I am so thrilled to be able to be back blogging with you all again and to be able to read what you have been up to as well! I also got a great new cell phone (which I don't talk on regularly) and for the purpose of this blog find it so much more convenient than taking a bulky camera with me for taking photos.

It has been a really nice Christmas holiday season of which we hosted a truly wonderful first Christmas family dinner at our home. Mom and Dad have always graciously hosted it every year and it's about time we gave them a rest.  
Thank you Mom and Dad for all the fantastic Christmas's you have given us and we look forward to returning the favour for many years to come!

We actually opened our pretty antique empire pedestal round table up to it's full length of 72" for the first time using the 3 leafs that came with it and managed to seat 8 around it with our very comfy Ikea Henriksdal and Nils dining room chairs. We purchased the Henriksdal chairs many years ago new from Ikea and then the Nil's shorter chairs from Kijiji a couple of years ago and they worked perfectly.

Dad (Santa hat), Mom, my nephew Rob and his fiance Laura, my honey (Santa hat), Todd's brother Mark and my big sis, Karen

Wishing you and your family what is the very most important thing, Health and Happiness for 2017!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Tray Ceiling Transformation (in progress)

Happy Easter everyone!
 It is so nice to actually be off today and even though I work tomorrow I feel like today is such a treat to have all to myself to do whatever I like, when I like!

After many discussions back and forth about our master bedroom ceiling we decided on a tray ceiling.

At first I wanted to do another coffered ceiling the same as our living room and although I know it would look stunning, I felt it would be a little over the top combined with the sliding barn door for the closet and the 3/4 wainscotting we would do in the hallway. Our home is a simpler arts and crafts victorian and doing just for the sake of "doing" would not be the answer and I didn't want to overwhelm this not so large room with the heaviness of a coffer.

I love the angle of our doorway, it is so much more interesting than just a square room.
I am on the lookout for an antique dresser for this wall that we can use for extra clothes storage that will go on this wall opposite the bed. We are undecided about adding a TV above it as I fear that I will end up staying up later than I should watching it before bed but we only have one TV right now and a second one would be a nice for those nights when I want to watch something different than Todd does,
which is most nights!

My honey was happy when I finally made this decision to go with a tray ceiling as it was his original suggestion that I kyboshed and then came back to!
I finally managed to convince him to shave that fur off his face today, he is far too handsome to cover it up under so much facial hair. 

A ceiling fan will be in the middle of the room to keep us comfortable on hot summer nights and we decided we will add recessed lighting in the tray that will be on a dimmer for added ambience. 
It must be work stress or something must be wrong with my brain but in spite of its largeness, this bed is growing on me.
 What  the heck is up with that?!!!!

I am having thoughts of adding MDF flat stock in the inside of the tray to make it look like a boarded ceiling but am not 100% sure. We are going to add crown at the ceiling and perhaps below the tray as well but will take it one step at a time.
The other thing to consider is that our barn door we will make for the closet at 48"wide does not fit typical barn door hardware sets you can buy as a kit as they will only allow up to a 36" door, so we will either consider a slider that is used for real horse stable doors that are far less money or consider forgoing them altogether and putting double doors on instead.
Of course I don't want to give up on the barn door as I know it will be such a nice feature in the room.

Our electrician is coming Tuesday to do the final hookup and inspection for the lighting that Todd is running all the wiring for, so hopefully we can move this project along a bit faster than we have been after that. I am getting excited about the prospect of having a restful and beautiful master bedroom and with fingers crossed before the summer is here and all the outdoor work that needs to be done.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Easter weekend!