Monday, September 30, 2013

Master Bedroom Renovation, Free Hall Tile, Dining Room Details, New Coffee Table Legs

I have to apologize as this is a longer than normal post for me and I hope I don't bore you too much with construction pictures but I couldn't help but share what is an exciting renovation for us and since I got a few other things done, wanted to share them as well.

There has been much completed already in our master bedroom that needed to have a full gut of the entire room with the exception of the floor.

My honey removed the window and found the framing was rotted so he reframed it properly with new wood.

This room has sat unused for most of the time we've lived here as it was not a nice room to be in with it's 1940's stained and peeling wallpaper and leaky walls. It did house our Ikea clothing wardrobes along with this beast which remained in the room while he worked around it which was a serious pain in the you know what for him.

This wall was very poorly built and you can see the old closet door. We are fortunate to have a closet in two of the three bedrooms which can be rare for a century home.

And to the left of the closet door there is the old stair case and the built-in hall closet, pretty rough stuff eh? So our home was built in 1878 and then renovated in 1915 and they blocked in the old stair case with a cupboard  and made a new larger stair case on the opposite side of the house. 

You can see the old stair tread and riser here along with some of the old wallpaper. I have some of this paper already saved for our home's history records.

The closet is a decent size but nothing compared to todays standards and has an awkward slop to it because of the old staircase. 

So with it's slanted side wall and hard to access space we decided to make changes.
At first we were going to put our Ikea Pax wardrobes on the wall opposite the bed and build them in to look custom and keep the hallway built-ins along with this cupboard but felt that at 2' x just over 6' the wardrobes would take up to much space and it would be much nicer to have a large dresser and a TV instead.

So my honey came up with the idea that we remove the hall closet built-ins and use that space for the master closet. It bothered me to give up what is our main linen cupboard so I designed a plan that would incorporate storage in what will be our office niche instead so it will not be lost necessary storage afterall.  

He then gutted the space and due to the poor construction of it  removed the entire wall with the closet door as well and rebuilt it properly. 

Isn't that a thing of beauty?! Well it is to me. I am always amazed at how he does such great framing work. And not only does he make it look good, everything is plumb and true. When you embark on a project like this, you never know what you will get and even though it is a great expense to do it properly we would not have it any other way. It may mean that there is not much at all for decoration when we are done but it is important to get the bones of a home right, especially when it comes to structure.

 On the left is the new master bedroom closet space and on the right, the area that you see insulation stacked on the floor is the cupboard  for the adjacent bedroom that is on the other side of this wall. Since we had access to do it, it was a good time to gut that closet as well and properly insulate it.

And the exciting part of this renovation and what will be the showpiece is the sliding barn door that he is going to make for this closet. We have yet to decide on the style but I just know it is going to be incredible!

The ceiling was a nightmare structurally to say the least but it was not a surprise to us as it is par for the course of what we have found in our home as we go along. Sure is funny to think that the owner who did the work was a carpenter. 

Ok, so look at this, two pieces of wood joined how? in the middle, doing what exactly? The new wood you see is ours of course but seriously?! What were these guys thinking back then?

Rebuilding a ceiling is scarey stuff not for the average DIY'er.

He added new ceiling joists and then cut out all the old joists, basically rebuilding the entire room, walls, and ceiling. We entertained a cathedral ceiling but in the end it would be just too much work and more money so he has chosen another coffered ceiling like our living room. It's going to be

 The neat thing about this room is the doorway is on an angle  and the old plaster was formed a certain way that drywall could not, so he had to rebuild the doorway as well so it will work for it.

 Finally after so much headache working around it and after removing the door and opening up the doorway, my honey attempted to move the exercise beast into the hall and miraculously it came through and fit into our future office niche. I know he wishes he did it sooner that's for sure.

The walls  are all framed up and insulated and now he is working on getting the ceiling sealed up before it gets too cold.

So even though it is not pretty stuff and it will take a while for this project to be finished, I am thrilled that it is happening. 

Todd and his tile guy just finished a tile job where the previous contractor did a poor job and was fired and the customer asked Todd to come in and remove all the old tile and retile with new tile, properly. The customer didn't want any of the old tile and generously offered it to Todd so he brought it all home. It is a good quality porcelain 12x12 tile and a matching subway tile and all it needs is a quick scrape of the small amounts of mortar that was on the backs. We dry laid this pattern on the floor and it seemed ok but lacked pizzaz for me.
You see I had my heart set on something else, something unique, something that was pretty yet low maintenance and well priced. Previously we had found an amazing cream, grey and tan marble in a stunning finish unlike anything I've seen before called river washed and chiselled on sale for $3.00 a square foot that I drooled over for days but Todd thought it was too light. Also I had vowed to pick something more practical for our main entrance than a stone that would require regular sealing and could possibly get scratched by Emma's nails. If I could just make this FREE porcelain tile work then we could possibly have radiant heat which would be perfect for keeping boots warm and dry in the winter time with no worries of them wrecking it.

Then I remembered that we had a couple of 12x12 crema marfil marble tiles downstairs leftover from our kitchen backsplash!

I cut them into smaller strips and laid them down to create a pattern like a carpet and whala!

The polished stone sparkles and creates the pretty factor I was looking for against the more subdued porcelain tiles but will not be so much that it will be a chore to maintain. 

Decision made. A light epoxy grout will add the freshness I want and we will only need about 5 more tiles of the crema marfil marble which I can get it for a great price through my work.

It sure is nice to have that decision made.

With a little help from my honey this weekend, we put the hardware on the dining room sideboard that I recently made over.

The handles are antique brass, three we already had from I don't remember where and three came off the built-ins we removed from the hallway upstairs. The knobs which are new, are a close match in finish to the handles and were just $2.00 each from work. The only imperfect thing is the handle on the last drawer is perfectly polished brass so I will have to figure out how to give it a patina treatment.

I finally hung the new beach print as well and added a piece of driftwood that Todd and I found on the beach in Beaverton this summer along with a pair of bleached boxes from Home Sense.

The last thing I want to do is darken the base of the lamps so that they look more like wood. I have to say that this is probably my favourite piece in the house now next to our empire antique dining room table and I love how each one shines on it's own. Oh, yes,  that thing in the far corner is a junior paddle that I acquired from my neighbour when I had our garage sale. I traded him an antique salt box (which I later realized duh, he got the better of the deal) and I have yet to find the perfect spot for it so for now it sits there.

 On the other side of the room things are slowly, I means slllooooowly shaping up. You see, the weekend that I painted the doors for the built-ins, well, I ended up painting all the trim and woodwork all over. I got it all done except for the window above the fireplace and you can see how the new white is much crisper and fresher than the old white that was in there before so I think that was a good change and I like it much better.

New, old (misplaced and couldn't find for forever until recently) chandelier shades were added to the chandelier makes for a cozier light. New push button dimmer for it coming soon!

The newly painted built-ins have turned out perfect, Todd has done a fabulous job. I just haven't decided on the finish for the knobs for the doors.

 Last but not least, a while back, Todd gave the coffee table beefier legs and we both like it better and no more wobbles! He still has to add dowels to the openings where the screws go and then I will give it it's final finish but in light of all he is currently doing I don't think I should expect it to be any time soon. Hey, no problemo! I can wait. 
Isn't it funny how that little Emma always gets in the shot?!

On the health side, things seem to have slowly declined for me, a root canal is finally finished that started last march and that is an eye opener that my immune system is not doing so great. I also am realizing that my hormones are in dire straights and so I am taking the time to educate myself further, to find my own answers and seek out professionals who will work with me to get things in order. It also means that I need to take time to recharge, exercise, and most important of all be in bed and asleep by 10.
So that said I bid you a good night!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ikea Hutch Makeover and Built-in's Finishing Touches

It's been a wonderful week off from work that I decided to take last minute since Todd's next job has been delayed which means we could spend the week together with no real plans at all, just hanging out doing whatever we please. 

It was also nice to be home with our girl as we recently had our Emma spayed and in spite of her age she has recovered nicely. It was a tough decision to make but I now feel it is the best thing for her in spite of her age. I was torn because I was given different opinions about what is best for your dog but after hearing from a vet tech about the many unspayed dogs who got mammary cancer and the risk of pyometra we decided that this is the very best thing for her health. Also she was going into heat way too often which kept her confined to the house and yard for a month at a time and along with the stress of worrying about her gettting pregnant should she get out or a dog get in, made the decision all the more easy to make.

So with my time to do whatever my hearts desire I decided to tackle this not so pretty piece.
We purchased this Ikea pine sideboard from the scratch and dent section for $275.00 many years ago and I have lived (for the life of me I don't know why) with it in this dark stain all this time.  

So we got her outside for her makeover and I patched the hardware holes and sanded all the edges back  to the bare wood with the palm sander.

and gave the top a good sanding as well in case I wanted a very distressed look

Then we brought her inside for the painting since they were calling for rain here and there. I know many people don't paint the inside of cabinets but I wanted her to be fresh inside and out. Two coats of STIX primer by Dulux (this stuff is amazing and sticks to any surface without sanding) and then I used  up a wee little sample pot of my first Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Cream  which I bought from Simply Cottage in Bracebridge for $15.00. I've have always wanted to try Chalk paint but I didn't want to spend the money on a full quart in case I didn't like it. As you can see it is more like a yellow than a cream.  I used a brush and applied it sparingly mostly to ensure I'd have enough to paint the entire outside and not run out. Thankfully I did and I loved the coverage as well as the finish but that was not the final coat.
I wanted to have the warmth of the cream/yellow come through along with the wood when I sanded it back.

Then I brushed on a coat of white paint that I had kicking around in natural base.
Nothing fancy here and and definitely a money saving option. I pondered over a second coat but actually liked seeing the texture of the brush marks and a tiny bit of the yellow showing through when you look close.

The next step,  I used my palm sander again to sand all the edges so that the warmth of the raw wood  and a touch of the dark stain showed through.

I couldn't believe how easy the entire project was.

In just a few places I lightly sanded to let a bit of the Annie Sloan Cream chalk paint show through.

I even distressed the shelf so the inside is as pretty as the outside.

I decided to let the top stay mostly white with the edges sanded back all around so a little of the cream showed through as well.
The last step is to give it a coat of finishing wax to protect it. I previously purchased a tin of Minwax finishing wax a while ago only to read some reviews that it darkens a piece. Since I love it just the way it is I am going to get some clear beeswax to finish it instead.

Now I had to come up with some inexpensive but wonderful new hardware for it to really shine. I pondered simple inexpensive knobs but remembered we have a drawer of leftover knobs in the basement and look what I found! Three antique solid brass suitcase pulls that I think will look incredible. Two have the original patina which is spot on for this piece and I guess I had cleaned up the other one way back so I will have to see how I can give it a faux aged treatment. I need 11 pieces total so then I remembered that we will have three more leftover from the master bedroom renovation. That means all I would have to do is find 5 knobs for doors and the smaller drawers in a similar finish or perhaps a little contrasting for more interest. Reuse, recyle.

And here she is styled with a new wonderful beach print that we both fell in love with at HomeSense!
The handles will be a nice punctuation detail on the soft white and I am over the moon with how well this has turned out so far and I got the two thumbs up from my honey as well so that makes my day.

Ok, I have to add this in now, I'm feeling a little smug. I was flipping through the June House and Home magazine after I created this post and came to this page and remembered how I loved this piece but forgot about it, (or subconsciously I didn't) and think ours is a pretty close version for ooh about
$7300.00 less. Not bad eh?

And now I have to show you what I am even more excited about. I am really doing a happy dance, seriously. We are finally putting the new doors on our built-ins in the living and dining room!

I have been patiently waiting for this day for so long and it is finally coming together but the only thing is  I have created more work for my honey as I changed my mind on the design in the dining room after they were finished but thankfully before we got the doors.

As you can see here the doors would have been lower than the top left open shelf and after it was done I thought it would look funny afterall. Soooooo....

I asked him to make a second shelf above so it lines up with the left side and add a 1 1/2" face frame so they are the same as the living room built-ins. I also asked him to add the 1 1/2" face frame to the fronts of the open shelves as well which he is working on right now as I type.

I am so glad I changed it and am so thrilled with the result.
Thank you honey!
Oh yeah. I forgot, we recently picked up these four mint condition chairs from Kijiji and am trying them out here as we moved our other ones to the kitchen. I like each room to have a more contemporary touch and these chairs might do it. I'm still pondering.
I know they say that dining rooms are becoming obsolete but I love having one as it is a room that is mostly about beauty, a room you can just sit and enjoy a cup of tea without too much else going on in it  which to me is so very relaxing.

Summer is coming to a close and I hope you have enjoyed yours to the fullest.
It's supposed to be a nice fall so let's hope it's not over afterall!