It's a little thing but...

>> Friday, January 30, 2009

Hallway "After"

Today's reveal is the finished hallway. Doesn't seem like a big thing but it really has made a huge difference. Our house is fairly long with rooms in a row down the left, and all the closets to the right. We have two double closets, then a linen closet, then the pantry in the kitchen.
Hallway "Before"

When we moved in, the hall was a bit of a mess. It was painted a dark caramel colour, with a large box flourescent fixture. The doors on the closets were plain slab doors, but one of them only went halfway down, with a curtain tacked on at the bottom. The floors were peeling (and generally aged) vinyl tiles in a faux-marble pattern.

The first thing we did is change the light fixture which has 3 bulbs that create a soft diffused light. We painted the walls in Chalk (which matches the living room walls).
We changed the doors to bifold wooden slat doors painted Cloud White. We also changed the slab bedroom doors to freshly-painted new panel doors. Finally the floors were updated when we re-did the flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. Which meant also updating the baseboard trim.

I put in a little white bookshelf which creates a little vignette right in the middle - just a spot to put a lamp and plant and make the space cheerful.
Never underestimate the hallway - you do spend a lot of time there!



>> Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Here's a room you haven't seen in a while. The bedroom is now done! Just a reminder, this was the "before"..

There was no trim on the window and the air conditioner was installed on the wall - pretty unsightly. Our solution was a wall of white linen curtains that cover the unit when it's not in use. The walls went from vibrant blue to "wedding white" (CIL).

The white spool bed is a vintage craigslist find. It fits sideways on the left side of the room. This is the "before" picture, it was painted a dark navy blue and needed lots of work. I used "cloud white" for the bed (the same colour I use for trim).

Then to finish the bed, I made a pair of cushions that coordinated with the duvet cover from Au Lit (and plain white sheets). I'm always impressed when I can manage piping and a zipper in a cushion - I think it really makes a difference and it's worth the extra effort.

The side table was from Au Lit (a shop here in Toronto) a good source of painted vintage furniture - although it's cheaper if I can find nice pieces on craigslist and do the work myself. Next we added a wall of IKEA Pax wardrobes on the right. They fit in so perfectly they look like built-ins - just two Pax units side by side with only an inch gap on either side between the wardrobes and the wall. The lamp is from a decor store on King East.

The last touch was the rug: Bridget. It's a looped pile wool rug that I found on Pottery Barn's website, but it wasn't available in our local Canadian stores. Also it wasn't available in US stores. Also they wouldn't deliver it to us. Also they wouldn't deliver it to a Canadian store. Sigh. You can tell I really wanted this rug! In the end we asked a friend living in Boston to have it delivered it to him, then bring it up when he visited at Christmas. Yay! Thanks Ben! I love this rug. It was the final touch of cosiness the room needed. Now our bedroom is still small but very comfy.


Serenity now

>> Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So our big news is that we've just put the house up for sale. AND given that it's up for sale I can say that we're pretty much done renovating! So coming up soon I'll be showing all the final before and afters for the house.

If you've ever sold your place before you know it involves a bit of staging. In our case it meant moving a few things out to make things as spacious-looking as possible. I don't think it's very misleading in our case as most people probably don't have a couple of china cabinets filled with yarn and fabric respectively.

So now the house is very clean and tidy and the lack of clutter is a bit weird. But I'm finding it very relaxing now that most of the work is done. There's been a lot of finishing loose ends, such as finally putting in the finishing panels in our kitchen. I'll be posting that and doing a final assessment of puttting in an IKEA kitchen.. thanks for asking James!


Mitzi's outfit

>> Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm not complaining because it really suits me, but when you're a freelancer who works from home the work is always there. So I find that I tend to work at all hours. In a way the weekends blur a bit into the week and I work as often in the evenings as in the daytime. Also we've been doing so much renovating on the house that there's always something to do even between contracts.

So one Sunday I decided to take the day off and not do anything for my illustration work, and also nothing on the house. No painting or chores or anything like that. And what I decided to do is something quite impractical and purely for fun. Hence, a full outfit for Mitzi.

She now has a gingham skirt with a box pleat on the front and one on the back. Then for her top she has a blue striped smock that attaches with a matching belt. It has a pocket with her initial.
But my favourite part of the outfit is the grey wool coat that goes over top with a large collar and working buttons and lace-trimmed pockets. Why would a small deer need three pockets? I'm not sure but it was a lovely day off.


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