Friday, August 8, 2014

Basement reno progress

The basement reno is in progress - it's so exciting when they hang the drywall and you can see a room take shape! It's actually verrrryyyy near the end but I'm going to save the full details for later...

As you can see, we didn't dig down. We have about 6' clearance, and the Mr. happens to be 6', so we are good. :) In all seriousness though, we didn't really want to get into underpinning and digging down just to gain a few inches. I think it's worth it if you're gaining 6 inches or more...and we just didn't need that much more height (or cost, or work). The purpose of this space will be a play area for Owen, a TV area, and a desk. All things you will be sitting for, so the extra height wasn't worth it to us at this point.

Already with the pot lights it is SO much brighter, and the drywall makes it feel like a room. Stay tuned for exciting changes like paint and flooring!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

DIY coffee table and living room refresh - Update!

We have a new coffee table! I mentioned here that we were going to DIY a coffee table. And we did it this weekend...

From my previous post, a lot of you liked the Peony fabric option - and I did too, but it would be much better in a room with lighter furniture. Since our floors are dark and our furniture is dark AND visually heavy, we really needed something to brighten the space.

This Centro Mist fabric from Tonic Living was the perfect solution. It's also an outdoor fabric so is a bit more stain resistant and durable for putting our feet up on the table (which we do all the time...)

We changed the pillows (thanks mom for sewing!) to give the whole room a bit of a refresh. The gray fabric is Cameron in Storm, and the toile is Neo Toile in Coral (I am in looovvveee with this fabric).

 What do you think?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Another reno - it's basement time!

I started my mat leave with a project (tile and baseboards) and I will lead out with a project (although this one better be done wellllll before I go back to work in October!)

We are pretty excited to renovate our basement - shortly after having Owen we realized just how much stuff these little guys use/need/get...and to keep the disaster that is currently our main floor at bay as Owen grows up, we decided we should finish our basement. Here are some photos of the space (sorry for the crappy pics - it's a dark basement so I didn't waste my time trying to make it look better than it is!)
This will be where the couch lives...

 To the back left is the bathroom...

The closet under the stairs is staying as a closet, and we will have a desk where the filing cabinet is.

Aside from this main room we have a laundry room at the back, a room where the boiler is, and cold storage. We are only renovating the main room into a rec room / play room / office. A lot to put in one space, yes but we think it's doable. Oh, and add storage. Obviously.

Here is a very very very rough sketch of what we are looking to do:

The height of our basement is a bit over 6 feet, so we aren't digging down. This will be a space to lounge and a space for kids so we don't feel that we need to go to the added cost of digging down for a few inches. I can't wait for better light down there and usable space.

This will be the first project in the whole house that we will not be touching (no demo, no drywall, etc...just painting it at the end).

Have you renovated your basement? Any must have's? Any lessons learned?

Friday, June 20, 2014

DIY distressed denim shorts

This was an easy peasy naptime project - perfect for the upcoming summer weekend!

I had a pair of jeans that I held on to after my last closet purge (ok, the last 3 purges), but I hadn't worn them.Which means they had to go...ORRRR become useful. I chose the latter. I figured I could chop them into shorts and see what happened - if I hated them no harm done, right? So I chopped them, distressed them and here they are:

I used a few online sources to guide me - for the basic cutting I used the guidelines here and for the distressing I used this video (which is probably done by a 16 year old girl...who better to teach me how to be cool? ha. At least she understands the value of DIY!).

I started by measuring 18" from the waist band and using chalk to mark where I wanted to cut the jeans (no pics, sorry). Then I chopped them!

Here's how they looked then:

The general consensus on Instagram was that I definitely needed to distress them. First I practiced on the legs that I cut off, then I went to work on the shorts. It's a bit time consuming but made for a little project during one of O's naps.

You make two cuts to where you want the distressed section:

Then you use tweezers to pull out the vertical blue threads (this is the time consuming part...):

You end up with a section that looks like this:
I did a few areas of this style in different widths and heights. Then I scuffed up the jeans with some sandpaper, put in some tiny holes and tweezed the edges to soften them and they were done!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Coffee table conundrum - SOLVED!

Exciting news, my friends. I FOUND a coffee table this weekend. One that will work and replace our old rickety one!

The funniest part of it is that I litterally found my basement...

I've had it for the last couple of years (at least...) and when we originally got it I had planned to turn it into a bench for our guest room like the one I made for our master)...but then we redid our bathroom and stole 20" from the guest room...which wouldn't leave enough room for a bench. At the time I didn't think the table would work as a coffee table because it didn't have storage / a shelf. However...since Owen has started motoring around, pawing at everything, and deciding his favourite toy is anything that is NOT a toy, I've realized (and thanks to your comments on this post) that I won't be able to store things out in the open much longer anyways.

So, the plan is to get some foam, some batting, and some fabric and upholster it ASAP. A few comments said not to have an upholstered coffee table if we like putting our feet up on it...we do, but I'm not too worried about the fabric - if it gets grimy (which I'm sure it will with Owen pawing it every day), we can just recover it in a year.

I went to Tonic Living today and picked out some fabric samples - here are some contenders:

Secret Gate - Pewter from Tonic Living


A New Twist - Caviar from Tonic Living

Centro - Mist from Tonic Living

Leda Peony, Midnight

Leda Peony - Midnight from Tonic Living

Any favourites? I know which one is leading the way for me...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What's the most elusive item for your decor? Find out mine...

In my recent post I said we were looking for a coffee table and a rug. You wouldn't think this would be that hard - after all, I live in Toronto where home decor shops are abundant.


I have brought home 5 rugs, and have returned 5 rugs. They have come from Homesense, Ikea, a rug store, and Home Depot. With NO LUCK.

I've tried pattern, colour, neutral. And nada. We have a brown leather couch and mid-dark hardwood flooring and I'm having a hard time finding something that fits our room. I think a flat woven rug would be the right weight but I want it to be soft to the touch (for Owen's soft little knees!) and that is proving hard to find.

I would love to have a rug like this in my house:

But I can't find one. Believe me, I stalk ecarpetGallery like it's my job to see when they will get brighter rugs in the size I need (at least 6x9). Ideally I would love one with no red and more blues, teals, corals. Think I can find one? Nope....

The other option I like is the morrocan rug that is popping up everywhere...
This one is a deal and a half at of all places

While I love the look of a Beni style rug, I think it's just too heavy for the furniture we have in the room.

I think what we need is a gray and cream rug in a flat weave that's soft. Budget friendly and Kid friendly, please. Is that too much to ask?? Where is your go-to for rugs? (I'm stalking Homesense as much as possible too)...
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