Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A room to dine in.

Hello everyone! I have been back to work for two weeks now and it has left me exhausted and fighting a cold and not even felt much like blogging. I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving in the good ol US of A and is gearing up for xmas!. 

Now if you love the colour  hunter green and big pink flowers and dark wood trim , I'm sorry, they did nothing for us and you may not want to view this entire post. We lived with it for a while for a few years until we could renovate and our living room and dining room which are divided by beautiful pocket doors were switched back and forth over the years as we tried to figure out which one we preferred.

This room is the formal parlor at the front of the house facing the street and there was an old brass curtain rod over the doorway that would have had heavy drapes to be closed along with the pocket doors for privacy when a guest was being entertained.

On our actual move in day 9 years ago, my honey and his son taking a little rest and admiring our beautiful fireplace while watching a little tv. After living in a basement apartment this was heaven to us.

Now as you can see much has changed.  A couple of years ago it was brought into this century.  My honey had to carefully remove all the trim , completely gut the room, correct structural issues in the walls and ceiling, and sand the original floors, reinstall the trim and add crown moulding.  The entire main floor except the kitchen had carpet as well but we removed that long before this reno.

A before shot looking into the front hall 

and a much fresher look

The fireplace was enjoyed by our girl Kayla who wasn't bothered by the wallpaper at all.

A shot of when we used it as the living room

The pocket doors are just stunning and we haven't painted them. They are faux grained to look just like quartersawn oak and are in very good shape.

I just love the amber coloured glass in both this window and the one over the fireplace and there is another in our front hall.  I had a shabby chic love way back then as well as limited furniture so I did the best I could to offset the green somehow which I  don't really think it worked, actually not to sure what would have.

Another shot of as a living room. This room is about 12 x 12 and the fireplace seemed too large for it. It was very cozy but  since we spend a lot of time in our living room we decided to make this the dining room as it is the smaller of the two spaces  and our furniture fits much better in the other room (which still needs an overhaul).

So now here are the proud additions my honey did this weekend! His brother Mark came down to give him a hand.
I am beyond thrilled with these face framed built-ins he has built for us. I think he did a bang up job. He still needs one more shelf on the bottom and there will be double doors going on the bottom larger section with just one open shelf above and they will get a coat of white paint to match the fireplace.  I designed it with the four open cubbies on the far left side which will stay open and are there because strangely enough the window and fireplace are not centered in the wall.

There is so much I want to do still with this room as our budget allows and yet I'm am so thrilled with how it has changed from the original room. I can't wait to decorate. I am going to see if mom will paint me a couple of modern beachy canvas's to sit on top. My honey built the parsons table a couple of years ago and I stained it a rich amber colour. The chairs were a second hand find and I sprayed them white. Not sure if this colour scheme with stick. What do you think? I found the chandelier in a shop close to my work and because my honey loves it so much I haven't quite determined if it will stay, or hang a traditional brass chandelier I have or go for a completely different look and find an oversized lantern. We will have to see.  The wall colour is Moth Grey by Pratt and Lambert.

Finally someone will have a nice place to stick his DVD's
There maybe only room for a very very skinny tree here now as this is the only corner I have to put one.

I have not had the energy yet to attempt any xmas decor but pulled out my feather xmas trees for a little fun.

Well hope you had fun seeing the change from then to now.

Have a great week!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting My Prospective On

 The past couple of years of reading blogs has led me to do some comparing and in my mind I  did not always measure up as I wondered why I just couldn't get the things done that  I wanted to just like others were doing (this was a bad habit I developed very young as I compared my more athletic  5'2" self to the extremely tall and stick thin models on pages of Flare and Vogue).  And then it has finally dawned on me. Every person is so very unique in our physical and emotional being and while there are those who can go on 4- 6 hours sleep, there are also those of us who need 10 and some who are blessed with absolutely perfect health and some who have health challenges.  I am the later on both those parts and  cannot accomplish even with perfect health the same things as the 4-6 hour people  in a shorter time span.  So I will go easy on myself, especially now while I try to get back on my feet.

And so as of today I am done with that. I will be 47 years young in a few weeks and as an early birthday present  to myself, I am releasing my soul  from that mental energy robbing burden.

 Although my blog may not be a whirlwind of renovation checklists getting crossed off in record time for the world to watch in shock and awe,  it will be one that I can look back on and see just how far I have come and that will be the only gauge I will ever need from now on.

So in my new resolve, instead of stewing  about all the larger things that cannot be accomplished right now like painting a room etc I have opted to do some very light organizing.

Every time I open a cupboard that is jammed with stuff  that  should not be there or should have been pitched or donated I  loose a bit of myself mentally. It reminds me of my physical inability to keep on top of the day to day things. So  I tackled at a very leisurely pace (which I need to do so as to not over do it) of just one area per day, the mudroom cabinet, the basement stairway , and a kitchen cabinet and oh my gosh it feels so good.

I lined the mudroom sink cabinet shelves  and used baskets to organize laundry supplies and store onions and root vegetables

All this stuff came out of and will not return  to

 the bottom shelf of this kitchen cabinet

The basement stairway will one day get  built-ins and beadboard but for now this cabinet that was previously above our washer and dryer in the mudroom is recycled here  for great storage. Paint cans , beer empties, and everything else that never made it's way down to the basement had piled up below the upper cabinet and  after clearing it all I added a wipeable shelf liner.
Just a quick little sketch (not to scale) of the idea of new cabinets I want to do in this area.  One day when we get another pooch it will be a great dog food storage area. I will have to come up with a nicer way to disguise the lovely blue recycle bin though. 

I can't even remember all the stuff that was in here but now there is oodles of space for all my cleaning supplies and extra paper towels with room to stock up on more when I find them on sale. Someone once told me a wise person  never  ever pays full price for paper towel or toilet paper!  

Just a few screws to hang the often used items and I decided to keep a few tools on the ledge that we always seem to be looking for. My basket of plastic bags is wedged conveniently between the studs. It's not a necessarily a pretty site  but function first works for me right now.

Yikes! of course this is not an after shot, how awful, can you believe it has been this way for years. Love the original wallpaper, don't you?

oh and another! I have a feeling that this one may not look too much different after I'm done with it.
So tell me, do you have secrets in your closets or are you a Martha clone?

Have a great day!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Distilllery District in Downtown Toronto

I thought I would share with you an incredible place in downtown Toronto that we have never had the pleasure of visiting before. It is a grouping of Victorian buildings that have been restored to become incredible galleries, shops, cafes and theatres to name a few. In the very recent past a day trip downtown would not be possible for me physically but this day out was sheer heaven for us, I actually felt like I was living, finally really living on that day. We had actually started out at the Toronto Home Show with some free tickets I  won from  a blog giveaway by the incredibly talented Toronto Interior Designer,  Carol Reed. I just love Carol's classic and chique  style she brings to all her projects. What I love is Carol graciously shares with us her design process and thoughts on her projects and viewing her work is a joy as she has an incredible eye for photography as well. Check out her blog  here you will be amazed by her
and more on the Distillery District here.

When we pulled into the parking lot the gorgeous stone building had me intrigued.
We had no idea what was in store beyond it.

How magnificent is this stone building with it's  restored 6 over 6 double hung windows.

All the doors and windows were painted this heritage green and really showcased the beautiful shapes .

We arrived late on Sunday and so many of the galleries and shops were closed but we found a beautiful cafe open that served up some awesome homemade food.

Such a pleasure to sit and eat under a stunning chandelier. I'm not sure if all the buildings have exposed brick but the ones we saw did and I was in awe of the character of these over 100 year old buildings.

A step back in time.

Large contemporary planters contrast beautifully against the old architecture.

I loved the oversized mums and cabbage planters that were every where.

These stunning  face chairs were all chained together, not sure where they get set up usually but they are oh so cool!

So much beutiful old brick.

This may have been the prettiest store I have seen in a long time (ok that doesn't say much as I don't get out  EVER!) but really isn't it incredible! It's called Vintage Gardener and when I walked in the door, my jaw dropped.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE lavender and  hydrangeas and this place was the bomb and guess who else thought so too? COLLIN from COLLIN AND JUSTIN'S HOME HEIST.  We had left the Vintage Gardener and walked around and on our way back, standing in the doorway casually looking out over the courtyard was Collin.  My honey and I took a double take and then looked at each other like hey, I know that guy. Then Collin went back inside and Todd was going to on up to him but I dragged him away. The store is really small inside and I just couldn't muster up the courage to go inside. 

Anywho, the two girls working inside had no idea who he was, can you believe it? 

Oh I know it's blurry, but this cafe had "No Pictures Allowed" signs and I just could not resist trying  when the staff were turned away for a split second. It was just so incredible inside.  The reason why some places  at the distillery district allow you to take pictures and some you can't is the store owners have to have a permit to allow people to take pictures.

I know this sounds silly but it felt surreal sitting under this incredible chandelier  listening to people chat and smelling the  fresh roasted coffee.  I felt alive, really and truly alive and I could not take it in enough. I  really didn't want to leave but I was nearing the end of my energy rope.

Thank you so much Carol for giving me a reason for  getting out of our town for a day and discovering a historical gem of a place that is etched in my brain as one of my first great days because of Natural Thyroid Hormone! We hope to go again soon  to see  the wonder of the Distillery District  all decorated for the holidays.

If you wonder what is wrong with you and  why you can't seem to find the energy  live your life like others are doing then check out Stop The Thyroid Madness. Perhaps you will find answers just like I did.
Check out my story here and see if this sounds like you.