Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Not such an expert after all

Hey, you know what seems fun but can actually drive you crazy?!

Picking paint colours.

I was all cool because I thought knew what I was doing because I had such success with our old house (basically just told the awesome BM expert what I wanted and she picked out the colours) but have been stumped by our living room. 

(Not to mention what's happening in the upstairs hall but let's ignore that for the moment, shall we?).

After much research and planning, I picked BM's Revere Pewter to go in this room.

It had everything going for it: Perfect mix of grey and beige (greige)! Stays true! Bestselling colour for Benjamin Moore!

It was supposed to look like this:

And instead it looked like this:

See how, down at the baseboards, it looks lavendar??

Not cool.

Blame it on the wood trim (I do) and the streaky test pint, and yes, I know it would look different if I'd done the whole wall. 

So I painted the whole wall:

And it looked okay but it just didn't look great, you know? I felt it could look better and that the purpley undertone would always bug me.

So I did some testing with Grey Owl because it has undertones of green (was surprised at how green it looked in our rec room at our old house).

And it looked better.

But when I painted a test wall today? Icy blue. 

Which is fine if that's what you want but again, not what I'm going for.

Sooo ... two days left to finish painting and I'm back where I started. (But with a gallon of super expensive paint in Grey Owl. Guess what colour the rec room's going to be?!) 

So, seeing as how the orangey trim colour makes everything look lavendar / blue, the key is to go closer to orange on the colour wheel, right, like yellow? 

You can see in the above pic that I tested Straw (used it in my old living room and loved) but it looked WAY too bright surprisingly. 

So I'm going to try "Gentle Cream" tomorrow ... wish me luck!

Benjamin Moore "Gentle Cream":

Bare Wood Floors

When we looked at it, our new house had carpet on the stairs and second floor. The second floor was an addition and so they just put down plywood and covered it.

The carpet was stained and faded so we initially said we would replace it but, as one quote led to another and I started really thinking about all the reasons I don't like it (harder to clean, have to replace it, gives off VOCs, harbours dust mites, etc), we realized for a bit more we could just put in hardwood to match the first floor.

And today it happened!!!

It looks amazing. 

Funny how much it can change the look of a room and that it never occurred to us in the beginning.

Kids Room:

Check out the awesome hiding place - they have two in their room!

Now I don't have to worry about gum on the floor ... as much.

Our Room:


You could see where each piece of furniture was. They clearly had a double bed, with a chest or bench at the foot of it!


This trim is SO getting painted. After I've recovered from the sun room, that is.

We have a different dilemma now though.

We ripped up the carpet in the dining room today and discovered not just the great wood floor we were expecting, but also that there used to be a wall through part of the room. 

And when the wall was taken out?

The lovely wood floor was patched with plywood.

So now we face the decision to:

  1. Put in carpet. (No!)
  2. Rip out the wood and put in cork (This is the option the wood flooring guys recommended. Cheaper but cork stains and it is a dining room we're actually going to eat in. Every night. And my kids are messy.)
  3. Pay to have the wood patched, which involves tons of fiddly work to weave the pieces of wood in naturally. (Seems like the only real option?)

Any thoughts?

Good day, sunshine!

Check out the progress on our (new) sunroom!

It was instilled in me from a young age to respect wood trim (and never paint over it) but when I saw the sunroom of the new place (which I LOVE, by the way), the window mouldings were crying out to be painting. 

Lovely wood, yes, but distracting: all you noticed was the trim and not the world outside.

The first couple brush strokes were tough (felt my dad weeping somewhere) but I've been painting for a couple days now (so much bevelling!) and it looks great! Makes the room seem so much brighter, the wall colour creamier, the outside view nicer, etc.

Either way, can't wait to get rid of that track lighting.

PS Check out the awesome cork floor!



Still having a dilemma over what exactly to *do* with this room though. 

I was originally going to decorate it as a typical sunroom. Example:

Not that we can afford all new furniture but you get the idea.

But then I got thinking about how wicker isn't super comfy and how great it would be to curl up in a comfy chair, drink coffee and read the paper here in sun (especially in the winter).

So that got me looking at loveseat / armchair options. Something like this:

Or this:

But that's a lot of white and then we'd have two living rooms and I always swore I'd never do the formal living room / family room layout. 

And this isn't counting the big rec room in the basement. You only need one! (Or maybe two, once you have teenagers.)

Then today we moved the dining room table in there temporarily (ripping up carpet in the dining room) and it was a lovely place to eat lunch! 

Totally tempted now to use it for meals but then what would we do with the awkwardly-shaped (has 6 doorways!) dining room??

Too many rooms dilemna = truly first world problem.

Van Deusen True

We’ve been busy at work on the new house, now that we finally have the keys!
All of the rooms were painted off-white so I’ve spent the last month picking/obsessing over colours.

And now we finally get to see them on the walls!

The first room I started with was the study. It’s the boldest colour but also the one I was most sure of.

When I first saw the room I could easily picture it dark blue with framed maps and a leather reading chair.

It’s going to take a while to get a leather chair but the colour is just as nice as I’d imagined. It’s rare that a colour goes on and looks just like the chip sample but in this case (BM Van Deusen Blue!) it did exactly that.

(Shout out to Benjamin Moore Aura paint for going on thick with saturated colour in just one coat!)


Hard to get good shots of the room (because the amazing plant window makes photos too dark) but here’s a before shot of the corner:


Gorgeous! Don't you feel smarter just looking at it?

Monday, March 17, 2014

We're back!

Have decided to document the selling of our current house and the move to our new house on this trusty old blog.

It's a ton of work and stress but sometimes you need to focus on the positive, right??

Now if only I can avoid getting bogged down watching videos of the kids when they were little ("Where did the time go? Sniff, sniff!") ...

This blog is mainly going to be about decorating, so if you're not a fan, consider yourself warned!

This Old House Report:

Four days left until the photographer is scheduled to come take pictures for the listing and the house is in chaos! Got some good packing done on the weekend although not sure how this whole living in a 1/2 packed house thing is going to work (Chris packed my cereal bowl!).

One thing we *didn't* get rid of was the bookcase in our dining room. I've always liked it (solid wood!) but Stager said to move it out. Since it won't fit in our car so we were going to have to sell it.

But once it was cleared off and I took pictures to post, I noticed it's a lovely shade of grey, which matchs perfectly with the colour scheme for the new basement rec room!

So it stays, and is going to be balanced on the right with a lovely trio of bird pics (which somehow never got hung in the 4.5 yrs we've lived here).

In other accomplishments, we got a replacement fridge (old one would periodically let out a loud clunking sound - not great for viewings), moved a TON of stuff to the in-laws place (hi, MJ!) and started painting over Mila's tree, which was a bit sad (for both of us).

Many promises of a new tree being painted at the new house. (And many coats of primer to cover up the dark paint! Is it just me or does it look like a ghost tree now?)

Also, staged a bookcase for the first time (harder than you'd think). Looks lovely but still prefer the functionality of just a whole whack of books.

The big news is that the new countertops are being installed today!

Yes, I am FULLY aware that I lived for four years without a counter on one side of the kitchen, only to get brand new ones just when we're about to move.

I picked out the countertop in about 5 minutes at the store (did I mention the photographer is coming on Friday?!) so was a little flip-flop-in-the-stomach nervous to see it in place.

So ridiculous to try and pick a pattern without comparing it to the colours in your kitchen!

I'm not a big fan of dark counters so went lighter, with some texture.

And now that it's in, it looks SO fresh and lovely, it brightens the whole kitchen. I can't believe it took four years ...

Kind of mad.

New House:

Check out the counters at the new house. Not a huge fan.

Will someday redo (dreaming of walnut-coloured wood laminate and quartz countertops) but 'til then, I have to work with the colour scheme that's there.

Doesn't this picture just make your fingers itch to paint the cupboards white?!!

Brown tile floor: ugh.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Countdown to craziness

I tried canceling Christmas this year but no one around me seemed to listen.

So now we're trying to get in the spirit of the season in the like, two seconds a week we have to think about such things.

So far, we have a wreath on our door (thanks Nana and Bopa!), a few lights in the window and a tree!

Here's a little snippet from decorating the tree today:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monthly Update: November

You really should stop checking this blog. I have no time to add things! How about we make a plan to meet, like on the first of every month?

That way you don't have to keep checking and feeling disappointed and I won't feel so guilty.

Funny stories / quotes happen every day but like I said, no time to post. Store has been open about three weeks and all is well. Turns out talking about baby stuff all day is fun!

Kids are in winter colds / lots-of-change-in-their-lives mode which is never pretty but we're getting through okay. Send groceries.

One story to share:

At bedtime tonight, Mela and I were talking about names and then, when we were lying quietly in the darkness, she said, "Mama, have you ever met someone named Amelia? Not me, another person?"

And I said, yes I had. She asked, "Where did you meet her?"

I said I'd met her in a bathroom, in a restaurant. There was a mama and a little girl and the girl's name was Amelia.

Our Amelia the Precocious then asked a number of questions, including "did you know her?" (no, she was a stranger), "was she a baby or a big girl?" (big girl), "what did she look like?" (long yellow hair), "where was the restaurant?" (in Toronto), "were we with you?" (Daddy and baby Mela were but Nate wasn't born yet), and most importantly, after a long period of quiet thought ...

"Was she a dinosaur stranger or a people stranger?"

Important question to ask.

Say click:

The substitute parents keep the kids company:

Nate the Tool Man "fixing" the dishwasher:
Could there possible be a fat baby inside that box?
It's Nate!
Mela struts her stuff:
The most beautiful eyes:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Few quick shots of the weeds as they grow before our eyes

If you're still checking this blog, then here's a little reward.

First time with hair totally in pigtails - it's getting long!
Do I have a three year old or 13 year old? You decide:
Pure boy:
Playing sleeping bunnies with Sophia - great way to get three kids to be quiet!
I went in his room to wake him up but really, how can you?

And here's a video of our pancake eating monster:

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Annual giving of the thanks

I think its obvious why I should be thankful.

We finally (FINALLY!) signed a lease at a place for our new baby store. We're hoping to open as soon as possible (three weeks?!) which sounds ridiculous except we have had nine months to prepare.

The kids are finally in a much better day care situation. It's quiet (sometimes only 2 or 3 other kids in their classes!), they play together for hours in the shady outdoors and Nathan actually had a 2.5 hr nap there on Friday, he was so relaxed.

The only downside is that I now have to face the (new) challenge of trying to convince them to leave!

Good friends and good family, near and far.

Two amazing kids. One amazing husband. Our own house in a friendly little corner of the world.

The Good Wife on TV once a week. My iphone. Skinny jeans and over-the-knee black leather boots (apparently I think I'm 25). Pancakes with local maple syrup. A book club where I walk in the room and every single person there is someone I like and want to talk to. CBC Radio 2 Drive. A kick-ass perennial garden. The freedom and support to become an entrepreneur and take an entirely new path in life. Snuggles in a warm bed with a sweet snoring toddler.

It is obvious why I am thankful.

Say click:
Corn maze farm:
Which way do we go?
Battle of the flags:Photo shoot: preparing (before I bribed Nate to take off his beloved hat)
Photo shoot: Take 1
Photo shoot: Goofing around (check out the crossed ankles, cousin Jenny)

Photo shoot: As good as it's going to get
Okay, now you can go crazy:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Three lessons for one mom

Still no time to post really but couldn't resist this.

First of all, Nate recently did the big tranfer out of his crib. With Mela it was all fanfare and a gorgeous toddler bed (which she spurned) and song and dance and celebration. With kid #2, I carried him into bed one night and he said, "No crib." So I made a nest on the floor for him and that was that.

I had known the day was coming and besides, it meant I got to snuggle him to sleep again, which I've been waiting for since he was six months old.

What I didn't expect that was he wakes me up at 6:55 each day now. Turns out that's when he's probably been getting up all along but would play nicely in his crib. Now that he has his whole room to play in, he's decided to yell for me as soon as he's awake instead.

Lesson #1 learned: with progress can come pain.

The second lesson was taught last night. I've had the kids sleep in each other's rooms before because I wanted to prepare them for the day they'll share a room (since Mela is so brokenhearted to sleep alone every single night). It's always gone well. Then last night we did it and it was a disaster. They were up until 10 pm (so much giggling and plotting!) and then were hysterical when we finally had to separate them. Turns out that with Nate out of a crib, they spend the whole time having adventures instead of sleeping.

So today was fun with two sleep-deprived little ones, especially one who refuses to take a nap even when her eyes are almost black underneath.

Lesson #2 learned: no sleepover until we have beds for them to stay in.

And the third lesson was learned tonight. We separated them from the start (and Mela was crying so hard she was almost incoherent and then promptly passed out) and it seemed to work well. Except Nathan had had such a monster-long nap, he was full of beans and spent the next hour learning how to open his door.

Which he finally mastered.

And then walked downstairs and said, "Hello!" in a very jovial tone. I put him back in his room repeatedly and it finally seemed to stick.

Fast-forward to my bedtime (about 10 mins ago) and I decide to check on him. I crack open his door and peer into the darkness. No lump in the nest. I creep in and feel around on the floor. No sleeping body. I look everywhere and finally turn on the light. No Nathan.

I run and look in our room but he's not there. For a minute I panic and think he's somehow climbed the stairs to the attic and is horrible trapped but then I remember to ...

check Mela's room. And there he is.

So now I know ...

Lesson #3: just because a transition starts out seeming straightforward, doesn't mean it is.

Funny that he loves her so much and still tries to hit her all day long.

Say click:

Back when it was still summer, the kids sweating it out on the couch:
Enjoying the outdoors:
After several consecutive days of no nap, sometimes she just crashes:
This is what it looks like when a hurricane is trying to blow my neighbours' tree over (check out the quality of the light - the oranges seem weirdly intense):
Daddy made homemade sushi (and tempura) - wow!!
It disappears quickly, seaweed and all:
Sister hugs:
Speaking of crashing ... (check out the undies!!!):
Two kids with colds = no rest for the Mama:
Big boy with his present from Great-Grandma Martha!
Planning his strategy:
Nate gives up and starts to play golf:
... and basketball:
The boy and his Mom:
After months of rinsing hair with kids screaming bloody (and thinking the whole time that these things would be a waste of money), I finally broke down and bought the stupid bath visors. And they work!!!
Mela diligently rinsing her frog:
And finally ... caught in the act: