Home life

>> Sunday, November 18, 2007

Finally a non-communal front door so we can have a wreath! I have some berries I can add later to make it more festive in December

Things have been so busy lately. I have three deadlines for work, and we have lots still going on with the home. I am still obsessed with fixing up our house, and while doing things I figured out some useful things, so I thought I would write about it.
If you want to see how this looked before, it's in a previous post

Our front room has so many things in it that I've been trying to simplify the decor a bit and make it look less cluttered. I've been wanting to add fabric to the inside of the cd case but as usual I have these ideas then no idea how to do them. So I spent a long time looking for hardware to do this, or possibly small tension rods. I finally found some simple white curtain rods with little brass attachments, and believe it or not they stay on with double-sided tape which means I didn't have to drill any holes which I didn't want to do. So now there's a pretty grey floral panel of fabric inside the glass door. Here's a detail:
To improve the lighting in the room, I've added sheer curtains to the front window. The big find there was a bay window rod from Umbra. I found it at their new shop on John St. just up from Queen West. I didn't even know these existed until recently, but they're brilliant - each side telescopes so you can adjust the size, and the corners are bendy so you can match the rod to the curve of your window. This way you don't lose the extra space in a bay window and you don't have several rods and hooks cluttering up your window. The next step is to paint out that dreary wood! Then I went to IKEA and found some plain white linen lampshades for two new lamps that we have at the corners of the sofa. This extra lighting has made the room much cosier and well lit. The lampshades were from Goodwill and had terrible shades, which it turns out are harder to find replacements for than you might think. A lot of stores only sell the lamps and shades together. Also these called for an "uno" shade style which most stores d0n't have at all (uno describes the way the shades are attached to the lamp).

Anyway while I was at IKEA picking up my $8 shades I found some great fabric in the "as is" room. This inspired me to make matching cushions that go with the grey in the cd box fabric panel and the beige of our couch. All these little changes have created a nice soft colour scheme in the room: cream, white, and grey. Still working on those cushions (the right side is tan coloured linen):So the other big reason we're so busy is that we were planning to retile the bathroom - I had picked out a lovely porcelain white hexagonal 1" mosaic tile (it has that vintage look, and it's nice and fresh and light.) But what we realized when we considered how we could install them is that we have vinyl tiles with older tiles underneath, and it turns out those older tiles have asbestos in them.

Apparently this is very common, we have an old 1930s house and it seems that decades ago they put asbestos into everything - stucco ceilings, tiles, insulation. But the asbestos in tiles is not too much to worry about because it isn't something that will get into the air unless you try to sand the tiles or break them up a lot. But suffice it to say it became a job for a professional. They're planning to take out the entire old subfloor.

Anyway our tiler had a cancellation and is available to do the work starting next week which is sooner than we expected (but nice to get it done) so we've had to hop to it and clear things out. The whole kitchen area has the old tiles, as does two closets, so we decided to redo the whole area at once. This means making all that floor space clear so that the work can be done. They are even planning to move the kitchen cabinets to do the floor underneath. In a tiny home there aren't a lot of places to put things but I think we can work it out. A fridge in our living room, the stove on the deck - ahhh renovating..


LeeAnn November 18, 2007  

Good luck for the household renovations! New curtains and pillows can really give a room a new feel. I am in the middle of this process too.

Karen C November 18, 2007  

Ooh yeah, you learn a lot about old house-building practices when you renovate. Ours is a 1919 bungalow, and has sucked me into houseblogging. (Warning: http://www.houseblogs.net/ has lots of resources, but you start looking at other people's work, and you get caught up in the moment, and next thing you know you're raiding demolition sites for quartersawn oak and stuff.)

Claire Louise Milne November 18, 2007  

Thanks Leeann, and thanks for the great link Karen!

Anonymous,  November 19, 2007  

Ha, little did I know what I had created when I innocently asked you whether you planned to paint the front window!! Looking forward to seeing all the progress in person.

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy November 19, 2007  

Lovely wreath, Claire.

I just had the contractor here for some prices for some reno's too. How much you want to bet things are not back to normal by Christmas? The problem is so many of these brilliant blogs have given me the "let's do this" feeling.

Talk soon,

Anonymous,  November 20, 2007  

I like your wreath Claire! And don't worry about the asbestos... after living in an equally old house, and knowing others who do, there are all kinds of dangers like lead and asbestos hidden, but as long as it does not get airborne you are fine. Sounds like you already know this. And I agree with Karen, houseblogging is addicting! You can really get caught up in it... lots of fun!

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