Saturday, March 24, 2012

Floor update

Well, after much work and added expense, Todd has managed to remove almost all the stain off the floor. It still holds a slight red hue and is not removed completely from other areas but it is so much better than before. The kitchen floor is definitely more yellow still.

They look pretty good here too. I am happy to say that Homestead shipped me enough stain in their other colours so I can custom mix what I need to get the floors to match and be the ultimate colour of their provincial walnut. In spite of the frustration of this disaster they have come through to help and I am grateful for that.

I will tackle the floors on Monday again and fingers crossed it will work out!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Flooring Fiasco!

A absolutely gorgeous unseasonably warm day started with me whipping up a little something and it's not a chocolate smoothy. I blended up some floor stain in our blender per the instructions and was happy that I still had

our crummy black and decker blender so I could do two batches at the same time 
and not run short in the middle of the job
 (which I did and had to stop and make some more afterall so they were wrong with their calculations).
The website said that 1 lb of dark stains and paints covers 800 square feet so I mixed
up half a pound since our living and dining room were well under 400 square feet.

Then I scooped off the foam

Looks good enough to drink doesn't it?
Basically I started on the rooms with a sponge stain applicator attached to a paint pole and 
started at the top of one room and ended up at the end of the other room running in the direction of the floor boards.

I didn't realize the work I had cutout for me and wiping the water based stain off in time before it set in proved to be quite a task. Since Todd does all the tough and talented part of reno's I always do the finishes like paint and floors etc but this time I needed his help.

So two disasters occurred, one is I could not believe how red the floor was and two I hated how dark it was, not the look I was going for at all!

The day before I had stained and then varathaned this group of sample boards twice as a test pilot, of course I did wipe the stain off a little faster but as you can see it is just as dark as the one coat I put on. 
I didn't realize until later when Todd said suggested that I should have stopped when I realized it was wrong but I thought that it would be too difficult to remove as I thought that water based stain soaks into the wood more.
Dang, I should have stopped.

So here is the colour of the floor I wanted on the single board that I had previously tested a while back and did only one coat. 

 At this point I was trying to stay calm and then Todd suggested he could go over it with the sander and 120 grit paper to see if it lighten it up.
So he did, bless his heart and it certainly lightened up enough for me 
it still looks too red.

and it doesn't have the right tone for my fabrics

and it is most certainly wrong for the kitchen granite and backsplash tones. 

The colour is called Provincial Walnut and doesn't look anything like their sample on the internet which is the bottom colour just to the right of the blue. It's like I got a cross between the top left and the bottom right colour. I know what I asked for when the absent business owner's father mixed it up but he didn't write anything on the little paper bags he put it in nor was there a name on the bill when I finally checked it so how am I too know what I got afterall?

So what do you think when you see this picture of provincial walnut below and the colour of our floor?
Yes, with a lot more sanding and labour, Todd can get the stain off I'm hoping but do you think that I should really raise it with Homestead House who mixed the stain, tell them I want my money back?

They were closed today and so I have left a message and emailed her pictures but I am back to work tomorrow so this saga will continue probably well into next weekend which is so very disappointing as I had hoped we would have finished at least these two rooms by the end of this weekend.

Put the frustrating colour and amount calculation aside I think that this product is amazing. It is easy to mix up and apply. There were absolutely no fumes to deal with and if the colour had have been right I would have been applying my first coat of water based poly within 20 minutes of staining and after a light sanding.  I have used oil paints and stains in the past and the fumes just about kills me so if there is anyway to avoid it I will, but not if it doesn't give me the look I want in the end.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Our beach house living and dining room fabrics

Hi all, it's a gorgeous day already when I got up at 7:30 this morning, the air smells of warm spring and birds are chirping away outside!

While Todd laboured the day away sanding the floors yesterday my friend Joanne and I went on my first fabric hunting expedition downtonwn.
It's has been nothing short of a killer over the past two weeks at work. I designed, sold and placed the orders for  SIX kitchens! I am so grateful for the success I have had at work lately but it left me so ready for a super day out on the town to unwind and relax. 
 In the past on occasion I have popped into our local Fabric Land but was always disappointed, however, yesterday was a different story and I love 
what I found. 

My vision for our home is for it to feel like it could be transported to the seaside with the waves crashing just outside our door and decorate it with colours of sand and sea that coordinate with the pallette from our multi coloured mudroom quartzite tile floor.

I also wanted to find something that would tie in with our kitchen backsplash's tones with hits of amber in it since we have separate rooms that visually connect to one another.

We also made a trip to Homestead Paint Company to pick up a large batch of Provincial Walnut waterbased stain (which I chose to go with as a great health choice since it has zero VOC's) while I was downtown and you can see by my sample how the floor will ground the light airier colour scheme.

I also chose this textured written linen fabric to pull a little greyish taupe with black print into the space  to prevent it from feeling overly "pretty" since Todd is not a fan of flower prints or if things get too girly so I was so happy when he told me that he liked it.

At the very end of our search we came across this fun sample that has both lighthouses and  boats on it but they only gave me the piece with the lighthouse on it and I actually like the boat part of it because it had more blue that was darker and looked really nice with the other fabrics. 
I may or may not keep this one.

Today I'm hoping to get the floors stained and varnished, a feat that is perhaps doable since they only take an hour between coats of stain.
Wish me luck and have a super Sunday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Little pain big gain

No it's not a new kitchen design, Todd has started sanding the floors in the living room and dining room. He removed the island which sat where you can see the dark brown area which was what the floors were once before. He moved the loveseat into the kitchen and even hooked the TV up so we can still relax. Isn't it amazing how you can manage in just one room if you had to? Sure looks cozy doesn't it and I must confess, I loved watching tv while making dinner and my ultimate dream kitchen has a sofa in it so this is pretty close to perfect for me.

He moved our two large comfy chairs upstairs from the front porch and then moved our sofa out there along with the island and I loved the change of a sofa out there too!  That is where the island and my pots and pans are for now until we are done. I must be nuts or just really needing a change I guess but one thing for sure is I'm glad that we are not clutter bugs or this entire process would have been so difficult. 

We are trying to get things done because we are looking for a new addition to our family soon!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Getting some air

I realize that the pace that we complete our reno's is nothing short of uninspiring to others and I apologize to you for that but the ultimate goal in my life is balance (and extra rest when I need it).

That said, we decided to do a fun thing yesterday when the temperatures soared to an almost record breaking high. You see, our 134 year old windows have icky aluminum storms that were thoroughly siliconed on to prevent any air movement and the windows themselves were painted shut many years before we bought our home and maybe even many many years before that.
Well today Todd removed the storms, broke that paint seal and let the fresh breezes in!

They are  gorgeous two over two double hung sash windows that let beautiful east morning light fill the room. Now that the trim is white I don't think I can bring myself to cover them with curtains.
I like the idea of roman's or simple bamboo blinds.

before cleaning things were blurry
The glass is original and has many frozen pond like waves and bubbles in it and when the sun
shines through them they are unlike any other new window I've ever seen.

after, sparkling and crystal clear

Now when it's stifling outside in the summer time we can open these up to let the night breezes cool the house down.
The outside needs some work to but we'll get to that when the weather is consistently warmer and Todd is going to make some wood storms for them.

Did you know that if you properly storm your windows with a wood storm and the windows are in good shape that they have a favourable R factor. The old growth pine is so dense and when painted and maintained will last indefinitely. Since we have insulated almost all the house we have made many great energy improvements and savings and so keeping these windows is great to let a little fresh air still in. I believe a lot of people are getting sick  from renovation products that off gas in their super sealed homes and they don't even know what is causing them to feel unwell. 

On another note, Todd came down yesterday morning to find me sitting on the floor in our primed white room enjoying my green tea and the morning sunlight pouring in and sweetly offered to haul the loveseat in there for me to sit on and it was so nice. Before the reno we sat in this seriously drafty room with ugly peeling, painted over wallpaper for so long and now it feels like a breath of fresh air even before it is done.

I spent the day today caulking the ceiling and can I shout
OMG. Is it possible to fall in love with a ceiling. 
Todd is finishing the last two coffers as I type and because I ran out of steam and hit a nice soak in the tub to ease my aching neck muscles after whipping up a pot of homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner. 
I can't wait to show you!
Have a great week!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Happy Weekend!

The sun is pouring in and it is to hit 15 degrees today!
The past two weeks have been nothing short of a heart attack's worth of stress at work
with a kitchen promotion and 5 families wanting to get their 15% discount before the deadline.
I am so grateful for the success and am happy to report that I did it!
In the past without the help of natural thyroid hormone and hydrocortisone I would have not kept up or have been able to cope with the demands.

Right now our living room is almost all white primer and
if I could  keep it white, it would feel as ethereal as this
heavenly living room.
Isn't it perfect!

Country Home magazine

My weekend feels well earned and I intend to make the most of it.

I hope yours is a super one too!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Are clear glass pendants a good choice?


I purchased these clear glass pendants for our laundry room a couple of years ago and then lost the bill. We decided they weren't the right choice and so I have had them all this time. I have always loved the look of glass pendants and how they don't take up visual space in a smaller room but that they still make a statement. 
I have suggested replacing our existing pendants with them in the kitchen over our island a number of times but Todd for some reason doesn't agree. 

I have posted them on Kijiji to sell them but when I placed them on our console to take a picture, I really liked how they looked and am now torn. 
The dilemma is, I have no idea how the light is off clear glass pendants. 
Is it cold and bare bulb feeling as I would suspect?
 Perhaps an old fashioned filament bulb will not throw that kind of light.
 I'm not sure and would like to find out. 

Do you have or have you been a kitchen with clear glass pendants and is the light 
unfavourable? We have dimmers so I can turn it down but still wonder about how it would feel when turned up to be bright enough to work under if you need to.
I really do love them and compared to prices of other clear glass pendants they were reasonable.

I would love to hear what you think!