Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Great Cover-Up

No, I'm not talking about the latest political intrigue or corporate malfeasance, I'm talking about wallpaper.

I feel as though all I'm blogging about lately are projects I'd love to tackle versus finished projects. Lord knows I have enough unfinished, post-reno projects to keep me busy for some time!

Well, you can blame it on Spring Fever (or being busy at work); whatever the reason, I have lots of ideas but little time to bring them to reality.

So...please bear with me for one more project on my to-do list. I present to you my thoughts/plans for using this great British-made wallpaper I purchased on-line (and on sale) from Home Depot a couple of months ago...

My intent is to use it for this little niche in our bedroom (photo taken during our early renovations...seems I don't have a current photo).

I also intend to use it to line some drawers (similar to this night table in our guest bedroom):

I'd love to use it on an actual wall but my husband is quite opposed to the idea. I guess it's becuase he has spent more than his fair share of time over the years patching, prepping and painting walls in three separate homes. The idea of wallpaper (and potentially having to strip it at some point in the future), makes him crazy.

So, what are your many uses for wallpaper?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tea time

Perhaps it was my upbringing in Victoria, B.C. (which prides itself on being the most British place in North America), or memories of drinking tea with my cousin as a youngster at my Gramma's (she was Scottish), but I love tea and all-things tea related.

Don't get me wrong, nothing beats a good cup of coffee (esp. in the morning), but tea is the romantic, soothing counter to coffee's bold urban-chic personality.

(photos by TimelessStyleDesign, of the store window at Fortnum & Mason in London, UK and the Orangerie at Kensington Place)

With that out of the way, the purpose of this post isn't really to sing the praises of these's to talk about tea cups and their many uses...
I have a collection of unmatched turquoise tea cups which I have on display.

I also have some mis-matched tea cups/saucers in my garden (used as garden ornaments/bird feeders)... this one is in my front garden:

This past Christmas I used tea cups as Christmas ornaments (as all our ornaments were in a storage pod off-site due to our home renovations). This idea was taken from the photo (apologies to the photographer as I failed to label the source when I saved the photo).

Other ideas:

Tea cup as candle holder (Martha Stewart)
Tea cup for flowers (unknown)
Tea cup for jewelry organization


How are you using your tea cups in unusual ways?

Head Bored?

At the risk of putting you all to sleep with yet another blog post on the topic of headboards, I had to share the following...

While looking through my electronic collection of photo ideas, I found this photo which I had saved sometime last year.

My sincere apologies to the creator of the headboard/owner of the image -- I saved this photo before I started this blog and didn't note the details of where I found it ...

Any-who... with this as inspiration, I plan to enhance my existing guest bedroom headboard, which you'll recall looks like this:

I had always intended to add crown molding to the top of the headboard, but I was in a rush to mount the headboard the day before my sister was coming for a visit. However, I think the real genius of the inspiration headboard is the side posts -- they are the added detail required to give it some visual weight/presence.

So...this one goes on the list too (so much for crossing items off of my to-do list!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Inspiration Found

Source: Brick City Love

Honestly, what did we do before the internet and blogs?

I'm currently working on my Third Bedroom Timeless Style Design: Shame, thy name is: Third bedroom and as part of my plan, I had intended to paint the headboard in a chabby chic style. However, while reading through some blogs this morning, I came across a fabulous project (with all the How To instructions) by Brick City Love.

This is the headboard I'm working with...

While it lacks the curvy outline of her headboard, I think that once I paint it, the cross hatching at the top of the headboard will provide similar visual interest.

I made-over the headboard in our master bedroom -- Timeless Style Design: Project Headboard and Timeless Style Design: Project Headboard - Revealed! --
but I love the button tufting of her design...

I'll need to wait 'til the weather warms up to take this on (since it includes painting), but this one goes in my ideas/projects file!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Shame, thy name is: Third bedroom

Well, despite my last post about the need to tackle a thousand and one small tasks, I’ve decided to take on a slightly bigger project. (Are you detecting a theme here? i.e., I seem to be partial to taking on whole-room transformations!)

Thankfully, hubbie is helping to cover-off the small job list (having put the final coat of paint on our accent wall in the kitchen and replacing/installing an electrical outlet/cover plate in the office and making yet another trip to the dump with reno refuse).

With all the renos/packing/unpacking that have been going on at our house, our third bedroom has been somewhat ignored.

Since purchasing the house, we had new hardwood flooring installed throughout the upstairs (originally there were five different types of flooring/carpeting/tile used on our upper floor), we repainted the room and added a roman blind. But I really haven’t spent any time thinking about or working on the room other than that. Instead, it essentially became a catch-all for excess throw pillows and furniture pieces that didn’t fit in other rooms, a floor fan (we've just spent the last several months gutting/renovating our basement), and – worse yet – boxes and papers and that needs to be sorted through. It also features two over-flowing bookcases. Lovely 'eh?

What the room looked like when we bought the house:

So, I’ve decided to tackle the third bedroom.

It's a funny little room with an angled wall (I'll post a floor plan once I've decided on the revised furniture lay-out), but I think that's what gives it some charm.

I’m going to begin with moving the bed so that the occupant can look out the window (and down the street). The majority of time the bed will likely be used as a day-bed (by yours truly) and so having a little place in the sun (the room faces South) should add to the appeal.

Before the transformation

Next, I’m going to move one of the book cases downstairs to the new media room/man cave.

And, in case you’re wondering, I’m planning to paint the old headboard given to us by our friend/realtor (it was left behind in a house he sold).

So, I'm "on the job". Stay tuned for my follow-up post...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

One Day at a Time

In the span of less than two years we have relocated across the country and embarked on a series of renovations which have included:
• the replacement of carpeting and laminate flooring with new hardwood flooring in the LR/DR/front hall and the entire upstairs
• drywalling over the stucco ceilings
• gutting/redesigning the kitchen
• removing and replacing the floor of the mudroom/office (off the kitchen) and installing cabinetry
• installing a closet system in the upstairs master bedroom
• replacing numerous light fixtures
• installing a new exterior door
• removing a closet in the guest bedroom
• extensive electrical and plumbing work
• gutting and creating a basement media room with gas fireplace, a 3 piece bathroom and the laundry/utility room
• removing the old LR fireplace surround
• installing baseboards/trim, and
• painting the whole house inside and out


While the improvements and changes have been significant, as you can imagine, we have a long list of small projects that remain.

This past weekend we spent more time than you would think necessary to install knobs and pulls on cabinetry in the office, the cabinet which holds our wine and bar glasses, basement closet cabinetry and laundry room and cover plates on the electrical outlets. In addition, hubbie patched some nicks and dents, primed and patch-painted and moved an electrical box up about ½” in order to accommodate the baseboard molding. He then had to patch the drywall, prime and paint before re-installing the baseboard and caulking it in place).

I’ve decided that rather than creating a long/overwhelming to-do list of small projects, I’m going to commit to performing one small task per day. I’m not talking about the necessary daily chores (i.e. cooking dinner, loading/unloading the dishwasher, laundry, grocery shopping and walking the dog). Instead, I’m talking about the little unfinished reno/decorating projects (like hanging pictures, installing shelving, re-organizing a cupboard, that sort of thing).

So tonight, my focus was on the laundry room. I hung a picture and a hook (for a wash cloth), and gave the sink a good cleaning (my husband had been painting on the weekend and using the utility sink). I put the dog towels in a basket and the dryer balls in a pretty tin. Total time = <30 mins (ok, truth be told, I looked for the picture hanging kit and some nails for about 20 mins, grrrr).

I’m not going to think about what I’ll do tomorrow night or the night after. Instead, my plan is to perform a task that seems relevant/compelling on that particular day…I figure that way it will feel less like “work” and more like a creative endeavour, and bit by bit we’ll finish our list of small tasks and create a more organized existence.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Why I Love Old Houses

As I mentioned when I started this blog, I have a fascination with and attraction to old houses. It's probably because I grew up in a circa 1918 house in Victoria with all sorts of unique features including a pull-down staircase to the attic (talk about the ultimate kids fort!), a fireplace in the dining room and a separate wash closet (toilet room), among its many features.

I remember my Mom and Dad talking about the "character" and "charm" of old homes and watching "This Old House" with my parents on Sunday nights.

So, I thought I'd share some photos of some of the things I love about our current house (built in 1913).

My clawfoot tub, the trim around the windows and doors, the funny angles in the upstairs hallway and the beautiful cold air returns/heating vent covers which were originally coated with about 5 coats of paint before being stripped to reveal the original metal beneath (look closely, they're all slightly different).

Finishing Touches

Thought I would share a couple of finishing details from our guest bedroom, including a close-up of both sides of the luggage tag I referred to in my last post. I love the side with the beaver which reads "Canadian Pacific Steamships Tourist". Unfortunately, the handwritten details recorded on the label have faded away (i.e., I can no longer read the tourist's name and destination), but it does say that the tag is "Printed in England". I'd love to know the age -- I'm guess-timating 1950s (anyone have any better idea??).

The little sign on the bedside table provides a big boost to my B and B theme.

The wire shoes hint at a guest in residence (perhaps my travelling tourist from the 1950s)...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Welcome Friends and Family

One of the first projects we took on after buying our house was the removal of a bump-out closet in order to accomodate a queen sized guest bed and convert what had been a child's room into our guest room. I know, I know, it's shocking and almost scandalous to remove a closet (I hope my real estate agent will forgive me), but given that we moved half way across the country, leaving friends and family behind, it was important to us that our new house could accomodate visitors (and a single bed just wouldn't cut it). So, out came the sledge hammer and the reciprocating saw...


Hubbie took on the nasty job of demo-ing the closet (I say nasty because of the old blown-in insulation that dropped from the ceiling while he was doing it). He then patched-up the plaster/drywall and we painted the room before the new hardwood floor was installed.

Of course the removal of the closet created a storage problem for our future guests. Enter the the armoire. I wish it was an antique, but it was part of a set we bought about ten years ago (yeesh, a set, what was I thinking??), so our former TV cabinet was repurposed as a wardrobe for visting guests. Truth be told I keep my extra bed linens in it when guests aren't staying with us.

I made the headboard out of a panel door I purchased at my local big-box hardware store (I still plan to add some crown molding to dress it up, but the renos have pushed this project to the bottom of the list). I found the side lamps (with marble bases) at a flea market (they just needed new shades), and I added in a number of flea market and vintage-inspired finds to complete the look. Check out the tag on the old suitcase...the suitcase was a wreck, but I couldn't pass it up given the tag.


I love the idea of pampering our guests so there's a bit of a B and B theme, as you can tell(complete with mini toiletries I've collected on some of my business trips).

So, our little B and B is open for visitors.
Related Posts with Thumbnails