We have bulkheads over our kitchen cabinets. For years we've said that when it came time to renovate the kitchen we'd take the bulkheads out and make the cabinetry as tall as possible to maximize space. Fast forward to this past weekend and my Mom casually said, "Are you sure there are no heating ducts behind the bulk head?" Yikes. We totally forgot to check. So this afternoon Aubrey took out a drywall cutter and of course I took a video. :)

DIY hardwood floors - pt. 2

Adam and I were up bright and early on Saturday to lay hardwood floors in the second of three rooms - the nursery! If you've been following along for awhile, you'll recognize this room as the old guest room (we installed hardwood floors in the new guest room last weekend). With one room under our belts, the nursery went a little smoother, a little faster and turned out even better. I already covered our plans, process and materials here, so I'll skip straight to the before & afters:

{the "before", ignore the label - I snagged the photo from my house tour page}

{trim + walls painted, carpet + baseboard removed, underlayment down}

{new floors installed!}

{view looking into the room from the hallway}

{purty, purty}

It's another small room, so we were able to mostly finish it on Saturday - which meant we had Sunday to relax and do weekend-y things like go out for breakfast and take the dog for a walk at Hemlock Ravine.

We still need to finish the closet and install new, beefier baseboards (after we install hardwood in the master bedroom, we'll tackle all the closets and baseboard at once), but I'm thisclose to decorating the nursery and you better believe I can't wait!

And while we're talking nurseries, here I am just shy of 25 weeks. I'm feeling great - my only complaints are heartburn, needing to pee all the time, and a little physical discomfort (walking uphill is a lot harder than it used to be). Oh, and we've decided to be surprised, so don't expect any gender announcements from me :)

{just shy of 25 wks}

What didn't get blogged

To end off the week, here is what didn't get blogged about.

1. Leigh-Ann came over Monday and we talked about kitchen designs and more fun stuff. It's nice to have a sounding board of someone who is involved in the design world!
2. Aubrey, Oscar and I headed back to Ikea to tweak the design a little bit and make sure it's all good. The kitchen team at Ikea rocks my world. They are really, really helpful.
3. Oscar is all about "snuggles" and riding on Aubrey's shoulders.
4. We had an afternoon at the Beach - we're lucky to be walking distance but on this day we drove down and parked, which allows us more time down by the water.

That's it! Have a great weekend. I'll be in my kitchen staring at tile, counters, and cabinets. :-)
xo Lindsay

Some People Put It In The Trash For A Good Reason

I'm a trash stealer.
It's an honest occupation.
I only ever do it for very good reasons too.
Like today when I saw a perfectly good basket in our neighbors trash...
I stepped out the door and looked both ways.
Cars were coming from both directions so I stepped quickly back inside.
(Because standing on your front porch looking longingly at your neighbors trash would for sure be noticed by someone passing by at 35mph.)
When the coast was clear I stepped out again.
I had to make a dash across the street to snatch it but in my thrifty mind I had struck gold.
I didn't even bother to see what was in it.
Just grabbed and ran.
I would like to say I wasn't out of breath when I got back inside but I am that out of shape.
Only then did I set my stolen goods down and take a gander at its contents.

It was a real bird.
It was a dead bird.
It stank really bad.

Right now I am rethinking my occupation as a trash stealer.
You just can't trust people to keep their trash clean these days.

No dead birds people!!
No dead birds.


Oh dear.

My friend has the subway tiles from Home Depot installed in her laundry room & last night she suggested we hold up the Ikea door up to the tiles to see how it looked. Oh my. I'm a bit baffled at how it can look ok on my kitchen table laid out but when I see it like this, the door looks VERY yellow. I do appreciate that the lighting is different than in our kitchen but the significant difference in colour is bothering me. 

So here is where I'm at now. I have three options. 1. I'm can find a different backsplash that isn't white subway tile 2. I consider painting the Ikea cabinet doors a brighter white or 3. I could assume that my cabinets with the Home Depot tile will look different in my house than it does in her basement. Well, it's back to the drawing board for a little bit to work through this.

Natural accessories

Is anyone else loving the PC Home line of outdoor decor, dining and enteraining pieces this year? Lots of fun colour and pattern, and great prices too. Last night while grocery shopping, I *somehow* ended up in Superstore's home decor section, in front of their rattan trays. They have a variety of shapes and sizes available, but I decided the large round tray would be perfect on my coffee table (and the $10 price tag was definitely right).

The tray's round shape and texture are just what our living room needed, and I love that we finally have a place to stash the tv remote within reach from the couch. It's also the perfect spot for a pretty vase of fresh tulips - I picked those up last night too.

What are your plans for the weekend? We're going to tackle the flooring in the nursery, so wish us luck!

Bloggers We Love Friday

How in the world did this week get away from me? I haven't talked with you all since LAST Friday! Oh, I know...hubby's been out of the country on business and I have managed the house and all four of our kids without him so every minute has been filled with keeping our lives full of exciting activities and social gatherings to keep our minds OFF of the fact that the anchor of our family is missing. 

So, this week, I have decided to FINALLY show my face. This whole blogging thing is sometimes so hard for me. Sometimes I don't know how much to share and how much to keep personal. Should I tell you about my day and "adventures" with my family, share kids' names, faces, friends...or should I 

keep. it. private. 

Today, I have decided to  share a little bit about me. So on this "Bloggers We Love Friday" it's about ME. 

So, there we are...our family. Minus one. Grayson, our youngest, is missing from this pic. He is now 4 months old and so precious. Seems to add just what we needed. 

On with the show here...

5 Questions:

How did your love of design turn into a passion?
Wow. That's quite a loaded question but I did come up with it! My love and passion for design began years ago. Growing up as an older child drove my desire to create. I don't know if I would say that my love of design TURNED into a passion. I feel as though it is what I was created to do. It's truly a gift from God. I wholeheartedly believe that. 

What inspires you the most?
I am inspired by most everything and can find beauty and inspiration in some of the most insane places (although most of you reading this will be able to relate). From junk yards, to trash on the road, to the most beautiful things found in nature, I draw inspiration from just about everywhere. 

What's the one thing that most people don't know about you that you wish they did?
Hmmmm....I think most people think that when it comes to furniture and decorating that I pretty much make everything that goes into my house. I don't. If it's easier and will save me time and money, I am not against purchasing pieces for my home that are "ready to wear". Even I have my limits! (I know, I know, it's hard to believe)

Is there a piece that you've refinished that you are still kicking yourself for selling?
Yes! You'll see it here. It's on RHI's Facebook cover. Sorry but I was too lazy to pull the pic off of our external hard drive! It was an antique bureau, painted in coral. So pretty. It found a loving home. I am still mourning the loss...moving. right. along. 

How would you describe your design style?
I enjoy so many different styles."Eclectic" seems so cliche but for lack of a better word, that's what I will use. I especially like mixing old with new and currently LOVE muted or neutral tones, natural fibers, and a materials. 

So, I did it. That wasn't so bad after all. Hope you enjoyed getting to know me (and finally SEE me) a little bit better!


Simple succulents

I transplanted a few succulents into glass jars earlier this week to add some greenery to a new side table in our living room. My mom scored all three plants for just $4 (the horticulture department at her local community college was selling that semester's work) and I found these glass jars at the Dollar Store for $2 each.

I lined the bottoms of my jars with a layer of stones about an inch thick (for drainage), then added my dirt and my plants. You can buy cactus or succulent potting soil (I just used what they came with) at any gardening or home improvement store, which is more sand-like than regular potting soil and drains really well. The most important thing to remember with succulents is not to overwater them. I've read that misting them with a water bottle once a week works well, but I'll let you know how it works for me.

Here they are in our living room, with a better view of the new side table (now we just need to find the perfect area rug). Who knows if this is where they'll stay, but I love having more plants in the room!


Two new counter options

If you've followed along the kitchen process you'll know that I'm in love with the look of Carrera marble for our counter tops, but after a lot of research, Aubrey and I decided that marble isn't right for our house. Which meant the hunt was on to find a counter that will give me the look of carerra marble but without the stress. The substitutes are no less expensive than marble but much more durable, more resistant to stain, and less upkeep.

Originally I was almost certain that we'd be going with Cambria in Torquay, but after last weekend when we placed the tiles/counters/cabinet together, I realized we needed to play closer attention to the different tones of white to make sure that the Ikea Adele looked as close to white as possible. Although part of the problem was resolved by switching out the tiles I wanted to make sure we tried every combination of counters to make sure we're going wit the right one.

So today, new countertop samples in hand I broke it down to the following contenders. Ceasarstone in Misty Carrera, Silestone in Yukon Blanco and Cambria in Torquay. So, I'm debating which goes best with the white subway tile and the Ikea Adele cabinets.

So here are two new contenders that I have yet to show you. Caesarstone in Misty Carrera and Silestone in Yukon Blanco....

Thoughts? I now know how the Bachelor feels on the final rose ceremony. How does one pick? *sigh*

Guest room plans

Now that the floors are installed, we can finally start putting our plans for the guest room into action. I've been pinning ideas for awhile, but I still hadn't put a room board together - until now.

1 - This room (does anyone know the source?) is my inspiration. I love the neutral colour palette and those gorgeous plank walls. Our guest room has a weird textured effect on two walls, so the plan is to cover it with planks. I'm loving the black window and door in this room, so I may have to convince Adam to let me paint the window black. We'll see.

2 - The current light fixture in this room is oddly positioned (and insanely ugly). Short of moving it, the only option that makes sense is to replace it with a pendant light, which I'm planning to hang over the bedside table. We purchased this light fixture at Ikea back in March. I like how it adds a modern element to the room, but isn't too large or attention-seeking. I plan to convert it to a hardwired fixture and add a dimmer switch so that it can do double-duty as a reading lamp.

3 - I think this is the perfect bedside table for a small guest room. It offers enough room for a few bedtime essentials, but it's also light and open - perfect for a small space. We have a slightly smaller version - a hand-me-down from Adam's parents - in a darker finish that needs a little TLC. While I love the whitewashed finish of this piece, I don't want the room to be too white. I also think the lines of our piece are a better fit with the light fixture.

4 & 5 - Speaking of white, I think I've pretty much settled on Sico's Cotton Rag Paper for the walls and trim. I like that it's a warmer, not-too-bright white and it will look great next to our new floors (it helps that we already have a couple cans on hand - it's the trim colour we've used throughout the house).

6 - We bought this black oval mirror a couple years ago for the guest room in our old apartment and I'm thinking about hanging it behind the bed. I have a couple black & white art pieces that I'd like to add to the room too.

7 - I wish I had snapped a better pic, but this duvet cover - a wedding gift from Guatemala - was actually the jumping off point for the entire room. By keeping the rest of the room neutral, the design and colours in this beautiful duvet cover will really stand out.

There are a few other things I have planned for the room that I haven't captured here. The room is basically a blank slate, so I plan to start with a few basic ideas and build on them as I go. Aside from a new bed, there isn't a lot we have to buy for the room (thank goodness - beds are expensive!), so we can try some stuff out, see what's missing and gradually pull things together - I can't wait!

White Subway Tiles, a story of two shades

As you saw in yesterday's post, I hit a bit of a surprise road block when I placed elements I liked for the kitchen together and saw that they didn't necessarily work as I had assumed.

The main puzzle piece that isn't going to change in our kitchen is the cabinetry, Ikea's Adele Door style. I don't want to give up on Ikea as #1. It is really affordable and #2. I like the door style - a classic Shaker. Also, after seeing a lot of beautiful (white) Ikea Adele Kitchens, I figured some small puzzle pieces could potentially change, in order to make the cabinets (one of the bigger expenses) work.

And although it has been proposed that finding a different backsplash could work, I  really love the classic look a subway tile gives. The subway tile I showed yesterday as I mentioned was the subway tile from when we did our washroom renovation in the basement. We found the brightest white subway tile around for that shower. Without thinking, I assumed that the brightest white subway tile from the washroom was going to be the same tile for the kitchen. But as you saw in yesterdays post, the brightest white tile made the Ikea Adele cabinet appear yellow. Bleh.

So last night I zipped over to The Home Depot and picked up three white subway tiles and brought them home. This morning in daylight, it was evident that the Home Depot tiles were better as they made the Ikea Adele cabinetry less "yellow". As I stare at the computer monitor I wonder if you can see the difference. Sit back a little and book at them. I assure you, they are different. :) So we've solved that! We'll go with the Home Depot subway tiles. Next up, counters. ;)

Set Yo-Self Here - A Chair Redo

I was meandering around town the other day when I spotted some junk.
I heard it calling my name.
I stopped.

This little chair cried out to me and as I glanced at it's price tag I knew it would be mine.
 Just my price.

It did protest a little as I tried to smash it into the back of my van.
I should always keep the back of my van clear for furniture rescue missions such as this.

I took it home.
I didn't even go inside other than to retrieve my camera and painting supplies.
It was sunny and hot outside.
Perfect for painting a sloppy coat of paint.

I sanded and glazed it.
Settled it comfortably into its new home.
I photographed it and then quickly decided I needed to move it somewhere else.
That happens.

I am going to attempt something I have yet to try.
Paint the fabric on it.
It's actually not as stained as it appears in the pictures.
It is swine colored though.
I'm thinking a grayish, tan linen color.
What does thou thinkest?

Kitchen Elements

I picked up an Adele cabinet door from Ikea, and matched it next to white subway tile (left over from our basement bathroom reno) and next to that, the quartz countertop Cambria Torquay. Each in their own right is perfect, but when I placed each beside each other the Adele door suddenly went very off white. I'd like to avoid painting the door, so I'm wondering if it's the counter top that needs to change. Anyhow, just a snapshot from my kitchen table right now. :)

DIY hardwood floors

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! After some back and forth and a whole lot of research, we finally decided to DIY the installation of our new hardwood floors. Sure, we knew doing it ourselves would save us hundreds of dollars, but mostly we just couldn't turn down a good DIY challenge (we're weird like that).

The plan is to lay hardwood in all three bedrooms, but to keep things manageable, we decided to tackle one room a weekend - starting with the future guest room (the fact that it was empty - i.e. no furniture to move - made it the obvious choice). Adam painted the ceiling last week and on Friday night, we pulled up the last of the carpet staples, removed the baseboards, swept and vacuumed the room, and stapled the underlayment to the floor (basically a waxy brown paper that acts as a moisture barrier).

In addition to a bunch of online research and talking to a few people who had installed hardwood before, we relied on this video and this set of instructions. We also read through the manufacturer's instructions for specific information on how long to let the wood acclimate before installing (72 hours), type of installation (nail down), and what size gap to leave between the flooring and the wall (1/2" - 3/4").

On Saturday we rented a flooring nailer and compressor from Home Depot - $64 for 24 hours - and it took us around 5 hours to mostly complete a 105 sq. ft. room (we still have the teeny tiny closet to do). The rental is a must-have - it makes the job move much, much faster - but we still had to install the first couple and last few rows by hand (where the nailer was too big to fit).

So how did it go? Pretty well, actually. Sure it was tiring and there were a few arguments (we agreed to hit the 'reset' button while waiting in line at the tool rental center and mostly got along after that), but we're so happy with how the floor turned out and it feels awesome knowing that we did it ourselves. And now that we have a better idea of what we're doing, we can't wait to tackle the nursery and master bedroom (which should hopefully go a little smoother and a little faster).

If I could offer one piece of advice, based on my very limited experience, it would be to make sure, double-sure, triple-sure that your first row is STRAIGHT. If it is, the whole installation will go pretty smoothly/quickly, so take the extra time to check and re-check your chalk line before nailing anything down.

I know, I know - who cares? Get to the before & after!


{carpet and baseboards removed, underlayment down}
{new hardwood installed}
The floor is actually darker than it appears in the picture above. In real life, it's more of a chocolate-y medium brown, but I chose this picture because you can actually see the texture on the walls. Like the master bedroom, only two of the walls are textured, but unlike the master bedroom, the plan is to skip the hours of sanding and cover it up instead. In my next post, I'll share the plans for our guest room. Want a hint? Find me on Pinterest!

Inspiring weekend...

I find that the business side of my career sometimes takes over - responding to e-mails, stock, ordering supplies, shipping orders --- that all of the sudden I feel that I've neglected the creative side. Although I have no shortage of creative outlets (renovating and decorating our house is keeping me very entertained), I sometimes miss the "designing" part of owning a design studio. On the flip side, one of the nicest feelings is when fully absorbed in administrative tasks when all of the sudden I'll see something that sparks some creativity. What happens next is a whirlwind of excitement as ideas start flowing. That's what happened with my new line of stamps for my shop that arrived on Friday and I spent the weekend photographing. I've shown the stamp used on my itty bitty drawstring bags, hang tags, and my mini cards. Anyhow, that is it. Just showing you what happened when I got inspired! xo Lindsay

What didn't get blogged

A lot of what happened this week revolved around kitchen planning. So many small (yet expensive) details. Anyhow, I'll reveal more next week to what I found in my travels as I think they are all worthy of showing you but for now here are some sneak peeks and a few other things that happened this week....
  • Photo #1: I went for dinner with my best friend that I met at University. We went for dinner to one of my favourite places here in Toronto, The Abbot. If you're go, order the Apple & Stilton Salad. It is lovely.
  • Photo #2: At Ikea I fell in love with the pull out pantry. I had to snap a photo. This will be going beside our fridge. I am *so* excited.
  • Photo #3: This is the style of cabinetry we are going with - Adele. Love.
  • Photo # 4: I've fallen for these handles that I found at Gingers. I'll post more next week. What is a average amount for cabinetry hardware? I'm so lost.
  • In other news, save 50% on business cards in my shop :-)
  • BlogPodium Sold Out!
  • Thinking about making money from your blog? This is a great post by Karen.
Have a lovely weekend! xo Lindsay

Bloggers We Love Friday

So, here it is, folks! Our first Bloggers Love Friday and boy do I have one amazing lady to introduce to you all and kick off this series! 

It is with GREAT pleasure that I introduce to you Michelle Hughes from Vintage Junky.

Here's what Michelle had to say about herself on her own cute, funky blog:
[I am] a somewhat 30 year old wife and mother of one amazing little boy. I have a weakness for most things vintage and am always on the hunt. I love historic homes.. especially cottages and bungalows... and try to create that character in our 6 year old home. I like to paint... a lot. I sell my restyled pieces and vintage finds at my little shoppe at 309 Hardin Alley in Spring Hill, TN. I also have a booth at Winchester Antique Mall in Franklin, TN that has even more vintage goodness! I love throwing great birthday parties and may go a little overboard. I love rainy days and a good book (or 3!) I love happy, glass half- full people, so stick around and let's see what kind of trouble we can get into!

 How did your love of design turn into a passion?
I have been painting furniture since I was a teenager.  There were some scary incidents with sunflowers and crackle paint!  I think I really got serious about my business shortly after getting married and moving into our home.  We bought a new house that lacked character.  We bought vintage furniture because it has wonderful lines and better made than most of today's furniture. From there I started a blog. The blog needed a name and it came to me while I was driving to work one day.  We were out almost every weekend hunting for things.  We couldn't keep it all.  So, I opened an etsy shoppe, then a booth, then some more booths and now I have my very own brick and mortar (siding actually!) shoppe.  

What inspires you the most?
I think I am always inspired by different things.  It may be a movie or a song or a time period or a book.  I always think there is so much creativity and inspiration to be found from fellow bloggers and vintage shoppe owners as well. 

Seriously, are you guys seeing this girl's talent?

What's the one thing that you wished people don't know about you that most don't?
I think I am pretty much an open book.  I guess I could tell you how extremely messy my house is most of the time, but I don't really want you to know that!  Okay, here is something... there is seriously not enough time in the day for me to do all the things I want to do or give attention to all the people I want.  I have a really hard time balancing that sometimes.

Image courtesy Vintage Junky

 Is there a piece that you've refinished that you're stilll kicking yourself for selling?
There are several!!  I had a couple of Louis XV armchairs that I loved.  I spent a lot of time on them.  A photographer friend bought them, so I am able to still able to visit them from time to time.  I think I always try to come up with a place for all of my pieces.  For awhile, I switched up my entry every week until I found a forever piece.

Image courtesy Vintage Junky

How would you describe your design style?
I think this may be the hardest question yet... I don't know exactly what I would fall in.... I mean, I don't consider myself shabby chic even though I hear others say that.  And, I am not really industrial.  And I think eclectic is a little more traveled and colorful than what my look is.  It isn't quite French or Farmhouse either.  I guess it is a mixture of many vintage looks.

Image Courtesy Vintage Junky
So, each week I will feature a blogger that I love and admire. It's my attempt to make this blog world a little bit smaller and get to know some amazing people a little bit better and help you guys do the same! 

If you're in Michelle's neck of the woods, be sure and stop by, shop, hang out for a while and if you're reading this blog head on over virtually and show her some love! You will NOT be disappointed that you paid her a visit! 

Sponsor, Dear-Born Baby & Baby Bjorn Giveaway

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I've started to accept advertising on my blog. A few amazing people stepped forward wanting to show support (thank you!). One of those stores is Dear-Born Baby a baby store where I got 99% of the items that we needed for Oscar's arrival.  Oscar's take home outfit, came from them.  Like my glider? Came from them too. My Jenny-Lind crib? They special ordered it in for me when no other store would. Then there are things like the breast pump, the crib mattress, some sleep sacks that I stocked up on. Their online store has pretty much *everything*. I've als recently bought online a JJ Cole Bundle Me for our Uppa Baby stroller. (That is THE best stroller)

Dear-Born Baby asked me what one of my favourite items was when Oscar was a born. I immediately said it had to be the BabyBjorn Balance Babysitter. Why? It was light weight and so comfortable for Oscar, the chair bounces ever so gently when a child moves. It also was "decor friendly" - it fit in perfectly with our home, and wasn't a huge plastic chair that took up a lot of floor space.

Anyhow, because it was my favourite item that I recommend to new parents, Dear-Born Baby would like to give one of my lovely readers a BabyBjorn Balance Babysitter valued at $199.99.

Here is how to enter: Comment below with one of your favourite childhood memories. Was it going to your family cottage? Maybe it was visiting your grandmother, sitting with your Mom peeling apples on a summer afternoon. I'd love to hear something lovely. Winners will be drawn by Random.org, so the story really doesn't matter - other than to provide some positive vibes on my blog. :)  *Open only to Canadian Residents. Colour may vary from what is shown. 

Also Save 10% on your order at DearBornBaby.com when you enter the promo code OSCAR. Ends April 27th. 

WINNER ANNOUNCED AFTER THE JUMP. (Winner has been contacted)

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Installing a pet door

Meet Maddie and Henry:

They (mostly) get along, but Maddie, being a dog, will take advantage of any opportunity to eat Henry's food. While Maddie likes to inhale her food in 30 seconds or less, Henry prefers light snacking throughout the day so his food is always out (he also likes to be petted while he eats, but that's a story for another day). For a while, we just kept Henry's food in the basement, since Maddie had an inexplicable fear of basements that stopped her from going downstairs (she would happily go up and down stairs, as long as they didn't lead to a basement, any basement). Over Christmas, Adam's nephew cured her of this fear by showing her that, hey - there's food in the basement! From that point on, if your back was turned for even a moment, Maddie would hightail it to the basement and furiously inhale Henry's food (she looks innocent, but she's a sneaky one).

Now that we were going through bags of cat food like it was water, we decided to invest in a $20 cat door. And several weeks later, I finally got around to installing it.

Installing it was pretty simple: trace the paper template onto the door, drill a hole in each corner, then cut it out using a jigsaw. One side of the cat door screws into your door and the other side is attached using sticky tabs. Easy peasy.

Installing the cat door also inspired me to finally do something about the ugly doors in our basement (one leads to the laundry room/Henry's food and one leads to Adam's studio). Several coats of primer and paint and a couple of new door knobs later:

Of course they're not nearly as nice as the doors we installed upstairs, but it's a big (and inexpensive) improvement nonetheless.

Next step: paint the walls (and the baseboards). Oh, and as for the pet door - it's a huge success! It took Henry a little while to get used to it, but now everyone's happy (except Maddie I guess).

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