Starting to get around to framing some art for the kids’ rooms - M and I are both excited about this vintage Canadian Red Ensign flag. #canada #vintage
When looking for items online always remember to look at the seller’s list. On Used Everywhere or Kijiji you can click to see what else the seller is offering. And sometimes, if they have multiple items, you can scoop up a bunch at once. When I picked up my task lamp I also scooped up some great vintage bamboo frames:
Funny, because the same room that I showed you with the task lamp, also had a great big bamboo frame. Emily Henderson and I must be on the same wavelength:
I really like the look of bamboo frames in the right context.
Tropical or “zen” themed room = NO.
But something more eclectic, and less theme-y? YES.
Unfortunately, the previous owner went themey:
But as soon as I took the pixelated computer print-out “art” out of the frames they began to look more sophisticated.
I’m not sure what I’ll put in these frames. But it’ll have nothing to do with palm trees, panda bears, or cruise ships.
The finish is a silvery gold (goldish silver?) and the tiniest bit chippy, which I like.
The mattes have an weird mottled look, so I plan on wrapping them in fabric - probably just a natural linen.
It’s a snowy day here. Luckily we had a few final days of golden fall before the snow flew (see post below). Our fireplace arrived just in time!
Today’s grand plans (besides exciting stuff like laundry and diaper changes) involves lots of baby snuggling, some Christmas music, and planning our Christmas stockings I hope to sew this year!
I’m taking a break from the house tour today because:
b. I need to clean up and photograph the remaining areas (entry, mudroom, etc.) And cleaning anything is slow-going these days.
So instead I’m going to show off some of the great finds I’ve scooped up lately. Today: my lamp.
I picked this little guy up for $10 a few weeks ago through UsedRegina. I like how large he is - a great task lamp for a desk. I also thought he looked a lot like this lamp from the Nate Berkus line at Target that I’ve been seeing EVERYWHERE lately:
(“Everywhere”, that is, except for our local Target, of course. For SOME REASON Regina is not high on the priority list for new home decor items. I have NO IDEA why. ;) But seriously… cool kids live in Regina too.)
Here’s a great use of this lamp in a room recently done by the lovely Emily Henderson:
My lamp has the same metallic arms, white metal shade, and round base. Except I like mine better. (And $10 beats $60. So.)
I can’t tell from the images I’ve seen of the Nate Berkus lamp if it has a gold or silver body? Anyone know?
But I thought my lamp would be a great candidate for a makeover - I could paint the arms gold, and even do a faux finish on the base to make it look like the marble-finished base on the Target lamp. (Or I could do malachite, if I’m feeling fancy!)
I’ve gone to paint the arms a couple times now, but I hesitate. Would you go gold? Will I regret spray painting over a real metallic finish? Can’t decide…
I mentioned yesterday that I have NO IDEA what I want to do with our bedroom. For our ensuite I’ve had ideas, but have really waffled back and forth between two directions.
OR I find myself drawn to a more upscale/glamourous/sophisticated approach. Painting the cabinetry black (shh! Don’t tell Sean!), putting in a Persian rug, and really blinging it out. (Think: this one, or this one… or this one is kind of a happy medium.)
I feel like the room could go either way, so I’m feeling my way through it, not making any major decisions.
I’m just going to use some drapes I already have (aqua blue and white paisley) on that window for now since I don’t want to spend a ton of money right now, and they’ll work just fine.
I found a perfect mirror at Homesense (not pictured). It’s a beveled edge mirror, and it looks great with all of the chrome accents… it has me leaning towards the “glam” route, but would still work with the beachy look.
You can see those Ikea Frack acordian-arm mirrors are waiting to be attached to the wall below our sconces. I’m really excited for those since I’m blind as a bat when I’m putting on my make up!
In the picture below you can see Sean’s favourite feature - the big shower with the rain shower head. He seriously loves this room.
- Hang the drapes and add some fabric to the bottom hem (they’re too short).
- Hang the mirrors
- Find a rug/bath mat type thing. (I’ve actually been eyeing a persian style rug on UsedRegina that would look so awesome with the “sophisticated” version of the bathroom… but Sean is not buying onto that idea yet.)
- Hang some art.
- Put up hooks for towels.
- Not much for this room! Like I said, I may want to paint the vanity at some point, but it’s perfectly lovely as-is.
- We also may consider putting in new countertops one day, but for now I like this slate-look laminate.
So, what’s your vote? Sophisticated? Cottage? And how do I convince Sean that Persian rugs are awesome?!
For some reason I’m the most stumped when it comes to designing the master bedroom. I could decorate and redecorate my kids’ bedrooms a dozen times. But for an adult bedroom I always feel directionless. These pictures were taken before we moved in, so they’re an especially blank slate.
That fireplace is not staying - it’ll go in a guest room in the basement once we do some framing/drywalling down there.
And I sure hope that bed’s not staying. We’ve slept on that double bed for the entirety of our 8-year marriage. In fact, it’s the bed I had in university. Time for an upgrade! When we do buy our new bed I’ll likely make our own upholstered headboard again. It’s an easy enough project, and it’s so nice to customize it.
We have a sunny southern exposure in our room. Beautiful. But boy do we need some drapes with a dim-out lining! But since I don’t know where I want to go decorating-wise in this room I just ordered a solid grey faux silk for the drapes. Neutral. Should go with whatever I plan… when I have a plan.
That bench is one I picked up a while ago. It’s a nice versatile piece, but needs to be reupholstered and I have NO idea about what colour, fabric, or pattern to go with. See what I mean about no direction?!
Those dressers are also on their way out sometime soon, (one of them has also been with us on our eight-year journey) but we need them to hold out until we find what we want for a dresser here, so Sean’s been tightening screws, and tuning up these bad boys to last a little longer.
Through the door on the right is our walk-in closet (actually where Baby E is sleeping these days), and through the door on our right is the ensuite (which I’ll show you tomorrow).
I have toyed with the idea of going with a really dark wall colour in here. Probably not black - I feel like you need to have some really great mouldings to go black. But maybe charcoal, or navy, or I’ve been seriously considering a deep bluish green. I think I could get away with it if I told my husband it was Eagles’ green (his favourite team). But if I go dark I want it to be cozy, so I want to bring in some warm colours. The whole concept is still pretty abstract in my brain…
- Drapes are on the way ASAP. (Although watching the sun rise with Baby E hasn’t completely lost its charm yet.) I bought a beautiful double-width faux silk for a GREAT price from Designer Fabrics, so I’m really excited about these.
- Some new furniture is in order - a large dresser for the wall between the doors, and I’d like to have some new nightstands. (I’d prefer a pair of dressers rather than nightstands, actually, to fit the scale of the wall.) And a new bed. Oh boy, do we need a new bed.
- Um… figure out a design scheme. Seriously! What colour(s) do I want my bedroom?!? I don’t know… Dark walls? Light walls? Pattern? Art? I’m so stumped.
- I’d like to replace the flush mount light fixture at some point with something more interesting. But no hurry on this one. It’ll happen whenever we find some kind of crazy deal on a really great fixture.
- This is another room I’d love to add some moulding to.
- Reupholster that bench… though I’m not 100% sure it’ll stay in this room.
Over the years, as we searched through floor plan after floor plan, I had in mind how nice it would be to walk in the door and see the living room - with a fireplace front and centre. Welcoming, right? And this house offers that… but minus the fireplace.
We will have a fireplace, but we took it out of the floor plan while building to save a good chunk of money. We plan to put in a gas fireplace later, but for now have ordered an electric fireplace, which should arrive this fall.
We took the fireplace out to save money, but I also think this is one of those things where my design pickiness would have been an issue if we’d gone with a fireplace available from the builder. I want to be a part of the process in creating a mantle/surround that is the right scale for the space - especially with the very high ceilings. And I want to be pretty picky about the trim and finishes of the fireplace.
Oh yeah, the ceilings get big in here. About 11 and a half feet. Not something I thought I wanted, but I really really like it. It makes the house feel so bright and airy and open.
The living room is a bit of a schmoz right now. Though I am happy to report, as I type this, Sean and I hammered through that wall of boxes and bins and unpacked them ALL.
Design-wise i have some ideas of where I’m going, but not super-specific. Part of that is because I reeeeally want a new area rug, but haven’t found one yet, and no major design decisions can really happen until then.
I would love love love to have a great big old Persian rug in there, but Sean is not such a fan - I think he has an aversion to the red that is usually so dominant in them. Well, that, and the huge price tag.
But I want something at least 9x12. And it needs to have some kind of pattern to hide stains (with my children there WILL be stains), and be relatively easy to clean. I also want one that’s reasonably soft and nice to hang out on since we play so much in the living room. So to find something that is: big enough + patterned + a style that both Sean and I like + plush/soft + cleanable + cheap… I think no such rug exists. But I’m hunting for it, believe me. (It is further complicated by the limited resources for rugs in Regina, so most of my hunting is online.)
This is not exactly how the furniture will be, either. That leather sofa is certainly staying for a long time. I adore it. It’s a barely-used $3000 genuine leather sofa with nailhead detail that we scored for $400 on Kijiji. It’s the kind of sofa that will look better with age, and it adds a nice warm colour tone to the cool colours in the room.
The barrel chairs are also likely to stay as is. But the wingback chair may not stay in here, since I’m bringing in my antique settee on that side of the room. The settee will be redone in a small scale black and cream ticking stripe, hopefully one day soon. And that navy ottoman is looking a little worse for wear (faded on top, some stains, and a number of buttons have been pried out of the tufts by little fingers.) But for now I think it may just limp along as is until my kids are bigger.
And I think I like the Louis chairs in front of the windows (soon to flank our electric fireplace, not that ugly half-madeover credenza), but my dear little girl has drawn on the upholstery with red pen. So. They may get redone in a neutral linen, or even just some leftover canvas drop cloth fabric. Which, I’m not too worried about, since they aren’t a big job, and if I have a patterned rug and the barrel chairs in the Dwell studio geometric fabric, plus the ticking stripe, plus some patterned throw pillows… I think it’ll be good to quiet down the chairs with a solid fabric.
- The Great Search for the perfect area rug. Wish me luck. E-mail me leads. Cross your fingers. Give me your grandma’s amazing, non-floral, not-too-red, huge antique wool Persian rug. (Please?)
- I have a great ivory faux silk ready to be made into long drapes to frame those tall windows. I’m just waiting on the lining fabric to come in the mail. I’m super excited to see how this will elevate/soften the room.
- A few upholstery projects are needed - the settee, the Louis chairs, possibly the ottoman.
- Side tables are needed. I have an idea for this that I’ll tell you about later. But these are pretty vital, since I need to put some big table lamps in here. I left overhead lights out of this room because I wanted to make it cozy with table lamps, sconces, etc.
- Art. Need art so bad. I’m pretty sure the large painting of waves we had at the condo will work just fine above the sofa and hold its own on that big wall.
- New throw pillow covers… but not until the carpet mystery is solved.
- Waiting for our electric fireplace to arrive…
- One day we’ll put in a gas fireplace with a great big surround/mantel.
- I’d love to play around with some moulding on the walls in here some day. we’ll see.
- Like the kitchen and dining room, I want to nix the popcorn ceiling, but since the ceiling in this room is higher, I could use a different application, and I’d love to do bead board in here. But that’s gonna’ take a whole lot of convincing my husband, and some scaffolding. So give me a few (or ten) years.
The dining room was a pretty key player all along in our search for the right floor plan.
I’m not a big fan of having a separate dining room AND an eat-in kitchen. It feels redundant to me. But I also want a dining room that feels a bit removed from the kitchen, so that it can still feel like it’s own space and be a bit classier. Plus we needed room for a great big dining table and room to expand since we hope to have people over, and Sean’s family is big. (Like, eight kids plus spouses, and cousins, and foster kids big.)
Our open floor plan allowed for all of this - a dining area adjacent to the kitchen, but in its own space and with plenty of room to play with.
(Here is a view of the kitchen from the dining room)
All of the furniture in here is new. Our old 4-person table we got secondhand as newlyweds served us well, but has moved along to a better place. (My brother’s apartment. Not table heaven.) And in its place is a great big table that becomes even greater and bigger when we add the leaf. This puppy can easily seat ten.
You may remember my dining chair dilemma - when I tried every way possible to get some Louis chairs. But in the end I wondered about going with wicker chairs after seeing an inspiration picture from Elle Decor.
The result? Zero regrets. Not only are these chairs el cheapo, but they are comfy, forgiving with clean up (the seat cushions wash nicely in the washing machine!), and they have a much more welcoming and relaxed vibe then the Louis chairs would have. Plus they add texture to the room. I’m a big fan.
If you have a very keen eye/good memory you may notice that antique dresser was actually slated for the boys’ bedroom. I bought it off of UsedRegina, and it is in beautiful shape. Too beautiful. I began to wonder about its fate if it were to dwell in the room of two rowdy boys. When we moved it into the house I put on this little stretch of wall and it was instantly at home. It’ll be great for holding table linens, seasonal decor, etc. It ain’t moving.
That is obviously not a permanent vignette atop that dresser. The fabric you see in the basket will be drapes to frame the french doors, and the big Ikea frames will be for a project to go above the stairs. For the dresser styling I’m thinking one or two pieces of art, a lamp, and a few accessories, like my brass candlesticks.
I would also love to bring in a long bench to have on hand for more seating when people come over. My father-in-law recently purchased some old benches from the old one-room schoolhouse behind our house, and I’ve called dibs on one (or two) of them. It could totally fit along the railing here, behind the chairs. BUT. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? It would be really easy access for kiddos to climb on the bench, over the railing, and fall down the basement stairs. Boo. Must think through how to prevent children from flying over that railing…
- Drapes are in-process to flank the french doors
- I have a cool art project planned to go on the wall above the stairs.
- I need to find some big table cloths. Or make some. That table is huge.
- I need to find the right art/accessories to go on the dresser vignette.
- Possibly adding a bench. If I can figure out how to not make it a launch pad for children.
- In the not-too-distant future I plan to paint the french doors a dark navy, like the front door.
- In the much-more-distant future I’d like to get rid of the popcorn ceiling. It’s the same ceiling area as the kitchen, so as I mentioned this would likely mean a skim-coat situation of some kind.
- Some crown moulding would sure be nice.
I started the house tour yesterday with my kids’ room - the smallest, plainest room. So I guess I better give you a little something more today, eh? Let’s go straight for the big show: the kitchen.
Oh my kitchen. My lovely lovely kitchen. I actually LIKE cleaning it.
We’d planned for years to have dark wood cabinets (my concession for Sean), but at the eleventh hour he OK’d painted cabinets. I then took a chance and asked how he felt about painting the island a different colour. He cautiously asked “what colour?” (hoping I wouldn’t say lime green, or some such thing). Dark blue. He agreed.
(This is weird, but the island is actually a little darker than it looks in these pictures, and the floor is a little lighter. Not sure how that works.)
My inspiration kitchen was a lovely one by Kelly Deck that has blue lowers and cream uppers. It was useful to have that kitchen as a reference point. For example, when I had to find hardware from the available suppliers I was a bit stumped so I referred back to the Kelly Deck kitchen and found something similar.
We splurged a bit to take the upper cabinets to the ceiling, and I can say with certainty that it was worth every penny.
The sconces were inspired by a great kitchen by Amber Lewis.
They’re actually outdoor sconces, and I like their utilitarian look and the hit of black. I plan to put some little paintings beneath them.
Not a whole lot needs to be done in this room, but here’s what is happening:
- I’m working on slipcovers for the bar stools. The black leather is a little urban contemporary for me (but the price was right, and we needed stools with backs for our Little Ones). I have a cream and blue ticking stripe fabric for those. I think it will soften the look and countrify them a bit.
- Sometime soon (hopefully this year) we need to tile the backsplash. I want a 3x6 subway tile. Low price is key here. I love a plain white ceramic tile - but our walls are grey, our cabinets are cream, and our trim is white. And our counters are a laminate that looks like Carara (white with soft grey veining). So I’m not really sure what will look best, and I need to get some tile samples in there.
- There’s a big open wall beside the island where I want to have a kind of message centre. This will involve some DIY. I think I want a magnetized chalkboard, but I want to find a big cool frame to make it with, so I’m on the hunt. We’ll also likely keep a calendar and a world map on that wall.
- Beyond that, it’s working on my styling skills (Please forgive the lack of them in these pictures. Particularly the large bright, distracting pumpkin on the island.) - what to put on the counters, and what to put away. Some more cookbooks for the open shelves by the stove. Some art. Accessories, but not useless tchotchkes.
- It’s definitely not on the radar for any time soon, but I’d love to do something with the popcorn ceilings in here. Because the cabinet moulding goes right up to the ceiling I’m thinking some sort of scraping and skim-coating is the answer, as opposed to adding something on top, like drywall or bead board
- We decided to splurge on cabinetry but save on countertops. We don’t want to replace cabinets, or change the layout any time soon, but we can replace the countertops (relatively) easily. I’m pretty happy with the laminate for now, but one day we will consider a stone countertop. (Likely a quartz or engineered stone.)
- Through that little blue door is our walk-in pantry. It has shelves built in already, but in the future we want to use some Ikea cabinetry to put in lower cabinetry and have some counter space.
Have I mentioned I LOVE my kitchen?
Here we go! Let’s show you around this joint!
I’m starting with the kids’ bedroom. Sorry if you think that’s lame. But I’m hoping this room will undergo some big changes soon (before Christmas) so I’m starting here. Maybe starting at the front door would make more sense… Meh. Whatever.
Here’s how I’m gonna’ do this: show you the room first, then give you an idea of what I am doing, plan to do or dream of doing “some day”. So dream with me, eh?
As you may remember from my planning, there will be two kids’ bedrooms - a boys’ room and a girl’s room. But after an emotional summer for my kids, and a much later than planned transition into our house, we decided to keep M and L together for now. I think the plan is to have them in their own rooms by Christmas. ish. (I’ve learned that in any year a new baby is born you need to add a lot of “ish” to your timeline.)
The plan long-term is to have two single beds in there for the two boys. When Baby E moves in, though, he’ll obviously have his crib for a while.
Like most of the rooms, this room has a big beautiful big window, which I love (and wouldn’t trade). But it has it comes with its challenges. For example, bunk beds would cover part of the window if we tried to squeeze them in there. Thus, the low single beds.
The window also obviously lets in tons of great light, which I love. But this is not what you’re going for in the napping stage of life with Little People. So this room is the only one that had its window treatment up before we moved in. I used Jenny’s (second) tutorial for making a roman shade out of mini blinds.
I was scared of trying it, but it ended up not being too hard. It helped that I decided to do an outside mount roman shade (for style, and for light-blocking purposes). This reduced the need for straight sewing and exact measuring - my two biggest weaknesses with sewing. The shade works reasonably well, but the window is really big (5 feet across) and the cheapy blinds I got from Walmart aren’t super strong/well made. I used a heavy material (a drop cloth, actually), and so it’s a little clunky to pull the blind up. But it works, and I’m happy with it. I still plan to create a simple matching pelmet box over where the blind is mounted, which will finish it off nicely, I think.
Now, I’ve just shown you four pictures of the same wall. You know why?
Bam! Here’s the other wall. Thrilling, I know.
Yes, this is a small room. But, a.) I like small rooms for kids because I want to keep the room mostly for sleeping and dressing (and maybe I’m a really mean mom, perhaps?), and b.) This room has THIS:
That, right there, is a walk-in closet in my kids’ room. It goes way back and has a big bank of built-in shelves too. It wasn’t on my radar for what I wanted in a house, but the floor plan we worked from had it already… and why would you argue with that? So because of the big closet it means that beds are all you really need in the bedroom area, which is pretty nice.
This will be the boys’ room (likely), and the look will be sort of “preppy hunting lodge”. (You know, cuz’ THAT’s a thing.) I’m going for a bit of a Ralph Lauren/Tommy Smythe vibe with the decorating.
- I have some very cool art to hang, and I can’t wait to show you soon.
- Some swing-arm sconces (plug in) are slated to go on either side of the window.
- I have an antique dresser (not the one pictured in the mood board above, but rather a much-less-precious one). I’ve painted the dresser a dark green and my dad put in metal drawer slides. I just have to line the drawers and decide whether I’m spray painting the hardware or not, and it should be ready to go.
- I’m going to upholster those headboards (post to follow). I splurged and went with that great navy plaid that I wanted.
- I bought some great grey ticking stripe sheets sets at Target (you can see it on my son’s bed, right), but need to sew a bit more bedding (throw pillow covers and a duvet cover, which is nearly done). I’m also hunting for some good wool blankets, preferably tartan.
- I have some shelves to go up the wall beside the door to hold storybooks (similar to the picture ledges I used in our condo nursery).
- Beyond that it’s all little accessories and organization.
- For this room I don’t have much in the way of long-term plans. It’s a pretty straight-forward little box. And long-term changes will depend on the preferences and needs of the boys living there. I would, however, like to change the light fixture at one point. For now it’s a plain little flush mount. But no rush on that one.
We are HOME. Finally. Fi-NA-LLEEE.
And everyone who loves us or kinda’ likes us is relieved because it was starting to get really awkward every time they asked us (week after week), “So, you all moved in now?” only for us to give a flat/apologetic/exhausted “No” followed by an explanation of the latest delay.
Oh the delays. It’s true - what was supposed to be two weeks of living at my in-laws’ between moving out of the Pink House and into our house then became over two months.
But then, two weeks ago today, the inspector knocked on our door and left shortly after, handing Sean the best piece of ugly pink paper ever, approving the house for occupancy.
That night we slept at home. HOME. (A whole big post on that coming later…) We slept in the home we’ve hoped and dreamed and waited for for so many years.
And I’m itching to show it to you. But, you may note that while we moved in (and by “moved in” I do not mean “unpacked”) two weeks ago, please also note that I had my third baby merely four weeks ago. So while I’m slowly pulling together some house tour posts for you, I also have a (now) 11-pound, pink-cheeked excuse for not making the blog a top priority. (Fingers crossed that he catches onto night sleep a WHOLE lot better very soon. SO TIRED.)
So. I have not abandoned this puppy. But progress will be slow. Keep checking in when you can, and I’ll get things going soon… ish.