Sunday, May 9, 2010

A New Kind of Accessory

The City defines it as an "accessory building" -- our prosposed new detached garage that is.

I can think of more exciting ways to spend a whack of dough, but there's no getting around the fact that we need to build a new garage.

Our existing circa 1950s one-car is literally falling apart (this photo was taken two years ago).

Each snow, wind or rain storm more shingles blow off. The roof is leaking, the structure is leaning, and there's no getting a car (let alone two) in it (which is important in our cold Calgary winters). So it's out with the old and in with new.

That said, we're trying to avoid building a "boring, ugly box" as my husband calls it. In addition, we are faced with certain restrictions -- we live on a very narrow lot (which restricts the width) and there are rules about how much of your property you can cover with buildings/structures, and therefore we're hoping to go up (and include a storage loft).

We also want to ensure it relates (design-wise) to the house.

Therefore we've been on-the-hunt crusing the internet, magazines and alleys throughout the city collecting ideas.

Here are some of the images/ideas we've collected:

Any ideas/suggestions?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In Praise of Clematis

If you're familiar with my blog you will have noticed the photo on the top right with the words "my beloved clematis". It's a photo of one of my flowing/climbing clematis I had in the garden of our last house.

I became quite a fan of these ambitious little climbers at our last house, as they provide an important vertical element in the garden.

Though a perennial (not annual) most clematis feature a long blooming period, or alterntively bloom twice per season. They come in a variety of colours and petal types as the photos above(from my last garden) can attest. They also have the added benefit of doing well in partially shady parts of the garden.

Last year I picked up some small plants at Home Depot but I fear they may not have been well enough established before they were planted to survive our cold winter and my dog's attempts to bury her bones.

And so I was delighted to pick up "Rouge Cardinal" at Costco yesterday:

My new plant is already about 3 1/2 ft high, has a large root ball and already has some flower buds. I'm thinking of planting it in the front yard against the house (to the left of the front window), to soften the corner. I think the red blooms will be a nice contrast against the dark blue of the house and will also tie-in nicely to the red of our front door:

What are you planting this season?

Holy Comparative Studies Batman

I thought I would post the before and after shots of my kitchen (from the same vantage points).

As you can see, the stove stayed in the same spot but the dishwasher, sink and fridge were moved and the penninsula was removed to create a much more efficient work triangle.

Dressing Up a Plain Door

You may have noticed the door to my basement in the "after" photos from my kitchen.

I started with a plain non-panelled door (at least on the side facing the kitchen...the side that faces down the basement actually has panels). It also has a lock on the door and mismatched hardware -- we think the basement may have been used as a separate apartment at one time. So, because it's so boring/ugly when the door is closed, I decided to try to dress it up.

I used a frame I picked up from a woman who was closing down her home design store, and created the ubiquitous blackboard. Not very original I guess, but I do like having a blackboard in the ktichen for recording messages and greetings and for keeping a shopping list.

I also added a beautiful little applique plaque which I had made to commemorate the purchase of our house in 2008. Unfortunately I failed to test the paint on the door before I embarked on this transformation and when I tried to reposition the applique it soon become clear that the previous owners must have used latex paint over oil (and we all know what that sticky, big peely...). Aaargh!

So I've been debating whether I take down the door this summer, sand it, repaint it and essentially start from scratch. Of course that means I'll lose the applique (and have to re-do the chalkboard) so I've decided to embrace imperfection.

Friday, May 7, 2010

On the Menu Tonight

…our 95% completed kitchen.

Yesterday I realized that I never completed the story of our kitchen renovation by posting the “after” shots.

And so, without further ado, is our virtually completed kitchen:

We still need to install the "chimney" on the stainless steel range hood, some crown mouldings and a little caulk here and there, but it's come a long way from when we started.

(By the way, the sheers (curtains) on the window next to the fridge are a temporary solution)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Night Ritual

A Sunday night bath is becoming a bit of a ritual for me.

After all, there's really nothing on TV on Sunday nights, and it's a nice way to wind-down at the end of the weekend, after dinner and walking the dog on a chilly night.

(In case you're wondering, there is a blind that drops down to cover the window!)

One of the things we had the electrician do (as part of some significant re-wiring of the house), was install a dimmer switch in the bathroom, for the purpose of enjoying a nice relaxing bath. I never used to be a bath person, but the clawfoot tub and the dimmer switch makes all the difference!

So, my ritual starts with the dimming of the lights. Then I use empsom salts (supposedly they release toxins) and/or scented bath gel, and sometimes I light some candles too (depending on whether or not I plan to read). I then grab my bath pillow and my latest edition of Canadian House and Home or Style and Home magazine and lay back and relax.

And so with that, I'm off to draw myself a bath!

Sparkle and Light

What do you get when you combine hot water and vinegar, sunshine and a crystal chandelier? Answer: an amazing display of sparkly light.

This weekend I took on the job of cleaning my crystal light fixtures/chandeliers (and my windows).

It's amazing what a difference a little cleaning can make.

Here's my front hall fixture -- all shiney and new.

And here's a shot of the fixture (and popcorn/stippled ceiling) that were here when we bought the house:

Bedroom fixture - before (when we bought the house):

...and the replacement fixture (a second hand find), after this morning's cleaning (view from my bed and from straight-on):

And finally, here's my bathroom fixture (a vintage piece which is a real pain to clean, I might add):

Springtime, sunshine and shimmery crystal/glass -- what could be better?
Related Posts with Thumbnails