Monday, April 25, 2011

Little mudroom addition

Hello all!
So last week we had this, I was so so not happy.  I am not a 
snow lover unlike my friend Joanne who I saw out walking in it,
 stopped by and told me that she threw her coat on
in a hurry so she could get out there because it 
was sooooo pretty, 

But alas the snow left us for good (I hope)
and now we have flowers!

I just love how a little shot of colour can make 
a room come alive. 
I was not sure what would fill this little niche and 
I used to have a basket hanging here for 
dirty tea towels but I really and truly needed a place
for us to set our keys and drinking cups
down when we walk in the door.

Since our upper walls are a beautiful soft dove grey,
actually Sarah Richardson's "Promise" by Para I 
loved that I didn't have to do a thing to it as it
is already a beach wood weathered grey.

Along with round shapes I love crisscross 
shapes as well and this table is not only serving a 
greatly needed purpose but adds a nice
detail and texture that I knew was missing.

I added another shot of my fav colour turquoise for 
0 dollars with empty gin bottles
(no not mine!)
  and I placed them
in a tool box that I found at an antique market for $15.00 
and sprayed white 
(the fake copper paint was not doing it for me)

This weekend has been wonderful, full of rest, relaxation, a 
nice dinner and visit with my mom and dad, good homemade greek food,
sunshine, fresh air and a little yard work. 

Last year at this time all of that would not have been possible
and I am so grateful to finally be living!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Good News! and A day of Peace

Well I think we can finally breathe a little. Todd's mom was told she
does not have cancer and did not have a biopsy after all but will be going for
some type of treatment. You see Todd and I were with  her for her first appointment with the neurosurgeon at Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto and
so we had made arrangements with other family members to be there
for the second appointment  since we both had to work and could not make it 
but for what ever reason, they did not go, so she took in all the
important details all on her own with no support. 
She was released from the hospital the same day and is now home.
I'm still confused as to what they saw and then didn't see on her scans
but am grateful she is home  and doing well.

As a cancer survivor myself I want to say that it is always important
that a friend of family member is there in your doctor's appointments
so they can be a second set of ears for you and take notes and help you ask questions.
 Your brain does not work properly under the stress of a potential diagnosis
 and that extra moral support makes all the difference for sure.

I am reading an excellent book called "Are you Tired and Wired" a
new release by Marcelle Pick and I am taking a lesson from it and
giving myself a "Day of Peace" tomorrow, Good Friday.
You see as my health improves I find myself
making the big list of renovation tasks to get done because I think hey,
at least I might have some energy to do them,
but now realize that to my own detriment in the past
I have not allowed any time in our lives
for rest and relaxation.
So for tomorrow, there will be
no cell phones, no tv, no radio, no computer.
We both need to recharge a little and I think a nice
drive to anywhere in the surrounding
countryside will be just the ticket for us.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Powder Room Reno

Hi everyone, 
I hope all is good in your worlds, we are still 
waiting for a diagnosis for Todd's mom, she has been
going through  more testing and is in really good spirits, 
says she feels great and just wants to go home which is really good.

Thanks for your warm well wishes, they mean so much right now.

Of course nothing has been done on any of our
projects on the go so I thought I would show you 
our powder room reno that Todd did a couple of 
years ago when I was away in Calgary for two weeks
 for a serious surgery my mom was having at the time. 

It was such a nice surprise to come home to.

It is located within the footprint of our kitchen
which is not the optimum place but is the only
place on our main  floor it. 

It originally had a very large zinc sink with a hand pump
in it I am told (no toilet). They would pump water up from the
cistern below (a cement holding tank that held collected rainwater before
they had indoor plumbing). Boy I would have loved to have
seen that sink, so cool.

The before included a pull chain light, 
acoustic ceiling tile and really bad wallpaper.
There was no insulation, no heat source 
 and the unheated cistern that was below made
made for a very unpleasant visit in the winter time.

A window from the mudroom looked
right inside the 4' x 5' space.

We gave it a cheap and cheerful makeover for the short term with
tongue and groove wood on the ceiling and upper walls, painting the tile white 
and covering the floor with peel and stick  tile.
The vanity was just a makeshift thing with a discoloured and 
cracked cultured marble counter and I gave it a
skirt to cover it.

You could easily welcome visitors in the back 
door without even leaving!

A full gut, insulation and a heat source
brought it into the 21st century.
We already had the pewter wedding cake chandelier
and installed it here and thought the effect on the 
ceiling was pretty in a small space
(we put it on a dimmer of course)
We added crown moulding, chair rail and Todd 
created a smaller version of our original baseboards.

We chose a 1" porcelain hexagon floor tile which is 
durable and in keeping with the era of our home.

 I always loved the clean lines and 
 storage capacity of this 30" x 19" vanity
from my work and 
when it was being discontinued I
snapped it up for a great price. 

This Moen faucet was on clearance for $50.00 and
and I didn't like that it was  lacking in vintage charm so I resold it for

and chose this one instead with cross ball handles.

I looked everywhere for a mother of pearl
shell round mirror for a good price to no avail.
The next best thing was this round mirror 
that I had in my front hall that I purchased from
our grocery store for a mere $30.00. 

The dark wood was pretty but was too heavy for the small space
and so I painted it white and added my 
all time favourite real glass
hexagon shaped knobs

The bump out is for the old waste stack and
Todd framed it out enough to later
add doors for a some narrow storage
if we want to. You can't have enough built in storage
in an old home.

I chose a cream, grey and white colour scheme 
and wasn't sure about it but changed my mind when  I saw
  Sarah Richardson used it for her very own farmhouse bathroom.
(minus the yellow and slate grey).

Now last but not least of all of course, the piece de la resistance, 
la toilette!
I love love love this 6 litter Kohler toilet for it's clean lines 
and vintage feel with it's pull up flush button
on the tank lid. The peekaboo window was removed
which allowed for a large towel bar

and allowed for coat storage on the mudroom side

I wanted to change the bedroom mirror to something 
a little less girly for no or little money 
and recently moved the round mirror
there to see what it would look like.

and couldn't resist when I found this weathered wood 
mirror for just $25.00 at Home Sense.

It has a pretty egg and dart design like the
canopy of the chandelier.

I think it would look better with a 
slight wash over it and I'm already 
thinking of repainting the walls. 
I am going to change the kitchen cabinets
to white from cream in the summer and so
I may go for a pretty blue upper and
white lower or just white everywhere.
I will wait until things settle down before making
any major decisions.

Well  even though they are unbelievably calling for snow flurries today I
am going to get some major spring house cleaning done while Todd is out
doing one last trip to move his parents stuff for them.

Have a great weekend.


Friday, April 8, 2011

What a Week

These past two weeks as my husband's cousin Cheryl said will go down in the
family history books. We buried Todd's dear sweet sweet grandmother on Tuesday
 and at the funeral his mom had symptoms of a stroke. She was taken to the hospital 
by ambulance during the funeral. They said she had brain swelling and had three masses on her brain 
 but as of todays scan they said they don't see anything which is absolutely fantastic 
 and nothing short of a possible miracle? Todd then spent the next 2 days
with only the help of either his brother and his son at separate times
moving his parents entire house 2 1/2 hours north. He fills my heart with
how much forgiveness he has in his soul and how 
he always comes through for those around him
regardless of the past. 

 So I walked in the door, weary to the bone from the events of the weeks and work,
 to tired for a walk but yearning for some fresh air and decided that a chair and table in 
this little spot is just the ticket to clear my head. 
I popped the door open and can hear the birds, 
I can even see them,
a beautiful

Grandma Violet was 96 years young and had 
a smile that would light up a room.  Even though
she said very little, her bear like hugs spoke volumes
of what was in her heart. She was an incredibly 
loved woman and myself and all her family will 
miss her deeply.
Rest in peace Grandma.

Grandma Violet at our home 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hallway Plans

We are still working on the final details of the bedroom
which I can't way to share with you and 
 are now making plans to give our hallway
some long awaited attention.

Yesterday was not as warm but the sun shone strongly so I snapped some
what will be the before photos of our upstairs hallway. There
is tons of work to do to transform this space and

I can visualize  what it will look like so clearly.

The horsehair plaster walls are
so uneven and I have just the fix for them.
As we are on an almost non budget we 
have decided to go with  Martha Stewart beadboard wallpaper 
for about three times less than real beadboard. We 
will take it 3/4's of the way up the wall 
for a dramatic effect like the above photo of our mudroom and cap it with a nice
chunky chair rail. All the door mouldings upstairs are from 1878 and 
do not match the arts and crafts trim on the landing and in most
of the downstairs. So the question is do we do a simple
shaker style cap like at the top like this one or something more
moulded like the doorways?

I really love the all white look of this hallway, so crisp and clean and how
about some smaller hooks to hang some pictures from?

Canadian House and Home Magazine

It is going to be a lot of elbow grease 
painting out all the old shellac covered 
 doorways, all 6 of them and  2 built-in cupboards.
I just love this linen cupboard and it's drawers below.
They are so deep and hold all kinds of stuff. When I pulled
out one of the drawers many years ago, I discovered this
incredible hand blocked wallpaper. I was in awe over it for such a long
time and was told it is french by a local museum staff at a museum nearby.
The colours are jewel red, blues and greens and it must have covered the
entire hallway at one time.

Todd installed one of our new $19.00 brushed nickel track lights here but it 
will be moved further down the hall and replaced with my all time favourite,
a moravian star light in an antique bronze finish.

I would love for this weird bulkhead to go like yesterday
as it seems to suit no purpose whatsoever and is
such an ugly distraction.  I love the colour of the old oak floors 
and think they will just pop once we paint all the trim white.

I loved the original push button light switches when
we moved in but not the hazard with old wiring. We 
bought up to code safe push button light switch boxes 
to put behind the old brass plates and had them rewired.
I'll have to give this one a little polish with spring 
cleaning soon.

This south facing set of windows and 36" wide niche has great potential and 
looks out over the farm fields across the street. Todd installed another
of the new track lights.  

I think a chaise would be divine here
as a little reading, studying or blogging 
getaway and a think that would be 
a great wall for pictures and 

So for the longest time we thought this 
cupboard was a writing desk positioned to 
capture the southern light but a neighbour
thinks it is a place to fold linens.

I use it to store all our old home history records, wallpaper pieces and
other important historical pieces collected from the renovations. 
So what do you think it is, a writing desk or a linen folding desk
or maybe both?

So much work, so little time,