Basement Fireplace Update - Tiles, Planks, and a Stair Railing


Saturday, January 7, 2017

In my last basement renovation post I shared a picture of the fireplace area all dry-walled and looking ready for lanterns and baskets finishing materials.

To save a large chunk of $$$ we decided to use the existing gas stove. Even with some inspiration pictures I was having a hard time visualizing what the area would look like with tile and a fireplace mantel. 

Inspiration pictures: 

Left: A Beautiful Mess, Right: Unknown
Layla from The Lettered Cottage, who is pretty much a decorating and Photoshop genius, helped me visualize everything when she took my above picture and photo-shopped it into something from my dreams. #allthehearteyes

Source: The Lettered Cottage

She was able to use images of our tile selections to help us see how they would all work together. We chose three large 24" x 24" porcelain tiles for the hearth. In the fireplace box we chose the same tile but in a mosaic pattern. We were also required to have tile around the front of the fireplace wall so I chose three large, wood-look floor tiles to make it look like wooden planks.

Ceregres - Wood 2 Collection - Dust - Size 24" x 24"

Ceregres - Wood 2 Collection - Dust - Size 12" x 24" Mosaic Sheets

Ceregres - ECollection - Ibirapuera Patina - Size 8" x 48"

I really loved how Layla's inspiration picture had wood planks / panels covering the entire wall with a simple mantle / ledge. So we went for it! Oh, except I used horizontal planks instead of vertical! Here is where we are at as of this morning. Keep in mind that we still need to add trim around the floor tile, trim around the plank wall, and we still need to add a mantel with corbels. 

Basement Progress
Can you hear me singing?!?

Let's take a look at the before, before pictures just for fun.

Original Basement Photo:

And here are the side-by-side progress photos:

Well, there you have it. This ten year (okay, six year) basement renovation is so close to being done. I've got some mantel ideas that I'd love to share soon. Does this mean that I'm back to blogging?!?


Hello New Year, and Goodbye White Couches


Sunday, January 1, 2017

So. Let's all pretend that it's only been a week (and not an entire year) since I last posted. It's not like you missed much - basically we're still working on all of the projects that we were last year at this time. Let's not focus on the whys. Let's focus on some random positives, m'kay?

Positive #1. 

I went back to work in September but I'M STILL ON HOLIDAYS FOR ANOTHER WEEK. I'm sorry for shouting but I'm very excited about it. I will drink all the coffee and wear all the pajamas and tell the kids to play with their toys from Santa instead of putting plastic cellophane on their heads and playing ghosts. Why?!? Why?!?!?!?!?

Positive #2. 

We made some progress on our ugly side entryway this weekend. We sanded, caulked, primed, and painted a lot of trim. It was the most boring project of all time but we muscled through and got it done. Finally! My last post about it was in December of 2015!!!!!

Positive #3.

I have eight more days to eat glorious, unhealthy food (mmm cheese, I love you chocolate, two heaping teaspoons of brown sugar in my coffee you are my BFF) before I am back on the kale-eating-wagon.   

Back to the couches. We have had white, slip-covered Ikea couches for eons. I loved them. I raved about them. I washed them a lot. After something like twelve years, I gave up. My two ninja-like children seemed to find any and every way to get their grubby peanut butter fingers on them whenever I wasn't looking. It just became too. much. work. to keep them clean. About a month ago, my world was turned upside down. We ordered light beige slipcovers from Ikea.   

Light beige. So weird. Here is a picture of the cover from the Ikea website. They are the Ektorp sofa covers and the colour is called Lofallet Beige. 


They are really nice. I'm still getting used to them though! And I want to shout from the rooftops that the few marks and stains that the covers have acquired since we got them (those children again, ahem) have come clean with a baby wipe.  

I'd love to take some pictures of the new couch covers but we've got a bit of a Christmas explosion to deal with first. Maybe next week when I'm on holidays I can clean it all up? Bahahahahaha. That was funny.

By the way, how've you been?

Colorful Raindrop Accent Wall in the Nursery


Monday, February 29, 2016

I am so excited to share my latest little project with you - a colorful raindrop accent wall in Winnie's nursery!

A few weeks ago I shared my general plan for the room:

At the time I had just placed a custom order from the Etsy shop 'Leen the Graphics Queen' for some colorful vinyl raindrops. I really wanted to use her shop since I had heard great reviews. At the time they didn't have any raindrop wall decals so I sent an inquiry with the following inspiration picture and a size request of 3" x 1.5" for each raindrop. Whaddayaknow she whipped those up in no time flat and they were perfect!

Raindrop Inspiration Picture - The Lovely Wall Co.

The first thing I did when I received the wall decals was to cut them all out. Each of the five colors came on a solid sheet. I knew I wanted to play around with the pattern / spacing of the raindrops before committing for good. Once they were all cut out I taped up a test area that I shared on Instagram. 

My sometimes helpful husband (okay he was a lot helpful this time) came in and took a look. He did the math and figured out that if I spaced the raindrops as close together as they were in the above picture, that I wouldn't have enough! I ordered 125 raindrops - 25 of each color. So, I started again trying to fit about one and a half raindrops per square foot. I got to work taping them up using a random pattern and random spacing. 

Here is how the wall looked before I got started.

I started (the second time) in the upper left corner and worked my way down and across.

Every once in awhile I would take a step back to see how it looked. Sometimes I had to tweak the spacing between the raindrops as I kept making the gaps smaller as I went along. Whoopsie!

Alex was a dear and entertained the kiddos while I worked. Drinking coffee and taping up cute raindrops is great way to spend a Sunday afternoon by the way. After a few hours of taping, tweaking, peeling, and then sticking..... here is how the completed wall looks!

I kind of love it.

The room is really, really tiny. I had to smoosh myself against the back of the opposite wall and use my wide angle lens to get the whole wall in one picture.

I need to stop looking at these pictures though. I keep seeing little areas that need additional tweaking. A color switch here, an inch to the left there. I really need to make a limit for myself - only five more adjustments allowed! Dear OCD: Simmer down - it's supposed to be random!

I was hoping for a light, airy, whimsical, cottage vibe in this room. I think I'm headed in the right direction. What do you think?!?!?


P.S. I really did love the stencil that I did on the same wall a few years ago when it was Cooper's nursery. However, Alex didn't love sanding the wall for six hours before repainting. I think both of us are very happy that this little accent wall can be changed up a little more easily this time!

P.P.S. I had ONE raindrop left. How's that for luck!

Sharing Here:

Inspire My Monday @ Sand and Sisal
Made By You Monday @ Skip to My Lou
Tutorials and Tips Link Party @ Home Stories A to Z
Silver Pennies Sunday Link Party @ Silver Pennies

The Fixer Upper - Grey Siding After Pictures!


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Remember our Fixer Upper?!?!?

Remember the falling-apart front porch and mint green siding? I just realized that I never ended up sharing some after pictures of the place with a new front deck and new grey siding. 

(We looked at our options for siding color in this post and I shared a sneak peek of the siding being installed in this post.)

If you are a new or new-ish reader (hi! wink!) we purchased the ugliest, most ghetto house of all time one street over from ours. Alex's parents live there and provide us with a tonne of free baby and dog sitting services. They also grow vegetables in the backyard and deliver them to our doorstep. Obviously it is an awesome set-up. Hee hee!

Here's how the house was looking when we took possession. It was partially renovated by some people who were going to flip it. They had already opened up the front porch (it was enclosed) and replaced all of the windows.  

Alex and his dad fixed the porch roof, added some new posts, and built a solid new deck. We still have plans to stain the deck boards and add white railings and posts. For now though, it looks so much better!

The boys had a tough time installing the siding. On a hundred year old house, you can bet there was not an inch that was level or square. They worked really hard and finished it off this past summer. 

Alex's dad is really creative with reusing materials so he took all of the broken curbs and built a little planter wall for some hydrangeas. I'm fairly certain that every house needs to have hydrangeas all along the front.


Isn't it looking great? I think the white railing, white posts, and possibly some white shutters will really finish off the front. 

P.S. The siding was purchased from Roofmart and the color we chose is called Harvard Slate. I'm really happy with our choice!

P.P.S. Winnie is up early from her nap (boo hoo) so I've gotta run, literally. That girl is on the move. :)

Winter (Blech) & Picture Overload


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hiya. How've you been? We've been trying to beat the winter blues. It seems like e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e we know is packing up and heading somewhere hot and sunny within the next few weeks. We'll just be staying put here in Northern Ontario - putting our snow-pants on to go anywhere and trying not to get frostbite on our faces. What can I say..... I'm a wimp. I hate being cold! I am literally counting down the days until spring. Longer days, cute raincoats, sneakers, sunshine, fresh (not freezing) air...... sigh.

I made some dorky collages of our recent adventures to cheer myself up. I am always hesitant to publish a tonne of personal pictures on here. I guess I'm going all wild and crazy today and sharing a bunch.

Some of these pictures may or may not include:

Coops attending Kindergarten information night (waaaaaah), Winnie eating her first homemade cookie (bad mommy), Coops and I finishing our first chapter book (Charlotte's Web), gymnastics lessons (not for me, I have wobbly bones), Winnie climbing stairs and basically being a daredevil, and Cooper laying beside a twelve-foot python at a local reptile show. Of course there's the usual crafting, baking, skating, sliding, reading, snowmobiling, and playing thrown in there, too.    

In other news, I got my vinyl raindrop cutouts for Winnie's room in the mail on Friday. I'm so excited to get those babies up on the wall. Right now I'm in the process of taping them up temporarily so that I can get the colors and spacing exactly how I want before I commit and stick them for good. I'll share after pictures soon, pinky swear. 

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