Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Second Nursery

 I know I promised you a trip to IKEA and gosh it feels like I’m doing a lot of under delivering here on the ol blog but we just couldn’t make it there.  I honestly think that my brain registers us having a lot more time than we actually do.  For starters, both my girls are sick – not over the top sick but stuffy sniffly annoying sick - they take after their dad this way and they are the biggest sucks.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good snuggle but it’s extremely hard to snuggle twin girls while trying to move a couch out of your house and into someone else’s.  Not only that but my sweet innocent little girls have turned into maniacal crazy kids.  I don’t know what happened to them but they are fighting us over everything – eating, sleeping, playing.  It’s crazy town up in here

So basically I’d like to have a bunch of really amazing projects to show you on here but because I’m lucky to walk out of the house in a clean shirt dressed each morning it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get to the projects.  Which is super frustrating because I have SO MANY IDEAS in my head!! I also blame the weather, it’s really hard to tear down a side deck and build a play space or lay interlocking bricks or finish a porch in the pouring rain. And that’s ALL.IT’S.BEEN.DOING. raining! So basically what I’m telling you is please don’t leave on me now because we WILL be doing projects and you WILL get to see some cool stuff on here.

OK rant over – get on with it already!!

Because my girls are part of the reason that I can’t get anything done, let me show you what I did get done before they came along…namely their nursery!!

When we first moved in this room was what I can only describe as sea foam green – pretty disgusting.  I knew it was definitely changing for the girlies.  And like I said in this post our original nursery room wasn’t going to work out and we needed to come up with a new idea.  Pinterest became my new best friend and let me tell you I found inspiration EVERYWHERE! 

This image was one of the first ones I pinned and it stuck with me through to the end.  I knew I wanted something a little edgier for my kids and the dark grey walls really made me happy.  But I knew I had to lighten it up a bit since their room is at the back of the house and doesn’t get a lot of natural light.  That’s when I found this nursery.  It is fun and sophisticated and will transition nicely as the girls get older – and I really did love it because I actually painted the room the exact same colour Porcelain Shale by Valspar. 

I also knew I wanted a little definition in the room so instead of just a chair rail we did a little board and batten action on the bottom.

Again we turned to pinterest.  This time I found a bunch of different ways to board and batten - tall, short, thick, thin wanna see what I mean?

crib corner

Space Architects & Planners - nurseries - vintage nursery, glam nursery, board and batten, board and batten walls, butter yellow, butter yellow walls, butter yellow paint, gender neutral nursery, roman shade, natural linen roman shade, black velvet, black velvet ribbon trim, ribbon trim, white crib, crib, vintage crib, white vintage crib, iron lantern, nursery lanterns, nursery lighting, rocking chair, zebra, zebra rocking chair, gender neutral nursery, 

Hubs and I went back and forth trying to figure out the best way to do this.  There are a million DIY tutorials online and some of them use thicker boards and others use thinner boards.  I’m of the school where it’s gotta feel right so for us it was a thicker board (I think they are 4inches thick) with a smaller space between them.  This step probably caused me the most stress – I tend to put too much pressure on myself to get things perfect but this time I put WAY too much pressure on myself.  I was trying to do math (which I should never try really I’m that horrible) to putting marks on the wall – seriously it was painful.  Then hubs in his infinite wisdom recommended that we lean the boards around the room to get a feel for what we thought would look best. Halla freaking lula this man is smart!

OK but before we could do that step we needed to cut the board. Hubs bought 1 inch thick MDF board at home depot and then he took it out to the farm to cut into 4 inch strips for the horizontal boards and 3 inches for the vertical ones on the table saw.  Home Depot will do this for you but I think they charge $1/cut which may be worth it because this stuff is MESSY.

Once it was cut into long strips and we affixed the horizontal boards to the wall we needed to cut the vertical board to the height.  Hubs did that at home and I got to sanding……and sanding……and  sanding.  By the end my hands were killing me but it’s definitely a step not to skip or you won’t end up with a smooth finish.  Then we put the boards on the wall.  Some people recommend gluing the boards to the wall but we didn’t want them to be super permanent in case down the line the girls decide they hate my decorating skills and want to take them down – you know how girls can be. But we did use small nails (probably too many based on the number of holes I had to fill) which worked great on the studs but even held pretty well in just the drywall.  I think we angled the nails a bit into the top rail when we were attaching a board between studs to secure it really well.
Once that was done we were left with this

I know the colour is horribly - dark room late at night shooting towards a window - all makes for really bad blog photos. I really need to work on taking better photos

Then came the filling of the holes and joints to achieve a smooth seamless finish.  Make sure you get the paintable kind or it’s going to be a big ol pain in the butt.  I won’t bore you with this stage – it wasn’t fun fill sand fill sand. You get the picture.

We used the same sized boards for the trim in the room and around the windows - we thought about putting the old trim back but decided this made the room look more intentional - and it started us thinking how great it would be to use flat trim in the rest of the house!

 You can see that we ran into a bit of an issue when it came to the electrical.  We got lucky with the lower wall plugs and didn't have to move the boards around them but for the light switch we decided to build the boards around the switch and put the plate on top of that.

This looks about as good as any place to stop for now but I’ll be back with the next stage of the room – painting the bottom white and filling it up!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Dream of Houses - the Backyard

I know I did an overview of the things we wanted to do to the outside of the house but I can't help but want to dive into some of the inspiration.  Its been so yucky out lately that I'm craving a time where it's nice and I have a space to spend outside with the family.  And speaking of yucky - I tried to take a picture of the backyard this morning so I could show you what we are dealing with but it was pouring.  I didn't want to go to work looking like a drowned rat so I will forgo the photo for now and save your eyes the pain but here's a sketch so you can get a better idea

This is my property.  I haven't included everything but you get the idea.  Well maybe you don't so let me explain.  We live on a half acre but a lot of that land in the back is a steep hill (can't you tell from my arrows? sheesh) and a rocky stream and then woods.  So if I was a dog I'd be in heaven - but for my personal oasis and for my kids it's a nightmare.
I should also probably also mention that I have this as a lawn ornament.  
 You can see how it looks like it's about to fall down a hill?? yah that's the blue arrows.  So yah this whole space is what I fondly call ONE HOT MESS.  but on the bright side you can only go up from here right - this is like rock bottom of backyards.
So lets look at a little inspiration shall we?
First up we need a little shade don't you think?  Our plan is to replace the window in our master bedroom with either french doors or sliding doors - a little something like this

hgtv dream home 2012 master balcony
The idea is that we will put some kind of screened in porch that will add extra living space to our master but will also be the shade we want in the back.  We don't have any plans for this room yet so I'll move on to the rest of the yard.

Underneath the deck I'm going to need somewhere to park my butt and hopefully get a little time to relax.  I can't think of a nicer place to do it than some comfy couches and chairs surrounded by some greenery.  


Dreamy right?  Yep I think so!!  I'm definitely going to need some curtains or screens to keep the bugs out.  but that swing bed.....yep that's a bed! woah I could totally catch some afternoon naps on that beauty!

I haven't decided if it would be better to put a wood deck down (ground level) or to use paver stones.  I love the warmth of wood and the ability to stain or paint to bring colour to the back BUT I definitely see the draw in the low maintenance stone floor. 
I need a spot for the kids to play but right now I'm not sure if that will be out back or on the side when we rip off that deck (I know we have a million plans!!). 

How cool is that?  I found it on Pinterest and can't find the original image (please let me know if you know where it is from)
 I'm 100% sure we are going to be DIYing a fire pit. 

 I pinned this image a while back and I keep coming back to it.  I picture it just outside of the porch looking out onto the ravine!  I can just see us and the kids in the back roasting marshmallows late into the night!

And of course lots and lots of landscaping and privacy fencing will have to be included because what's a backyard oasis when you have your next door neighbour peering at you from across the grass.

I want to update our old shed - it's tin and falling apart.  Something that can double as a garden shed and also somewhere for the hubs to store his lawnmowers and tools.  We don't have a garage so this will be a must at some level.

I mentioned ripping that side porch off - it's old and rotted and we don't really use it like it should be used so I plan to get rid of it and replace it hopefully with some pergola action.  I see us using this for the kids so that their sand boxes and water tables don't completely ruin the grass.  I would probably paint it black to tie in with the colours of the house.


This one is beautiful, but we will probably end up with something a little more like this

Also very pretty - honestly I would be happy with anything other than that deck!

So there you have it! Lots of fun things that I'm hoping to at least get planning this summer should the weather FINALLY cooperate.  Seriously I'm so done with all this rain.  I'm learning to put together mood boards so I'm hoping that I can get one put together for the back when we get closer to actually starting any of it.

But for now it's just a dream!!  A girl can dream :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Woot woot we sold it!!

I've got some news....And I'm probably more excited than I should be about it but regardless.....WE SOLD OUR COUCH!  picture me happy dancing Carlton style the minute the couple left our house and I tell you I'll be boogieing until this thing is officially out of my hair hands on Saturday.

Guys I've been trying to sell this couch for A WHILE but I always had this bad timing thing going on where I would put it on Kijiji like the same night that the Brick tent sale started....like I had some kind of ESP but wasn't aware of it.  And you might be like big deal rebeckster (which by the way is exactly what the hubs said to me) but it is a big deal because we live in a pretty small town and there isn't a whole heck of a lot of places to buy furniture.  So when the Brick has a tent sale people don't want to buy a used couch for more than a new one no matter what kind of shape it's in.

And shes in REALLY good shape - like so good I'm feeling a little guilty selling it but it doesn't fit in our basement and it's not really our style anymore so out she goes.  I dropped the price a couple of times to try and get some bites but everyone tried to low ball me.  I'm all for getting a deal but NO you cannot ask me to take almost $300 less than I asked and expect me to drive 45 min to drop it off for you.  So I stuck to my guns and went with the idea that I don't NEED to sell the couch so I don't NEED to take the first offer.

Finally I got a respectable offer and since the couple was so nice we offered to deliver it.  So Saturday is the big day and I promise you I will not miss this beast.

What are we going to get in her place you might ask?  well I'm glad you did. the short answer is....nothing.  But that's only because I'm going to try and get the room totally cleared out so I can do some renovating and then once all that is done we can get back to the business that is buying a couch.  But that could be MONTHS and I know that I'm completely impatient so I have to assume you are as well so let me tell you what I'm thinking of getting.

This is the IKEA Kivik - isn't he pretty?   The colour is exactly what I'm looking for.  It's dark and  moody but could be sweetened up with some colourful pillows!  He's washable which is amazing when you have two cats and two 15 month olds.  What's even cooler about the Kivik is that is comes in different pieces so you can put a chaise and a sofa together (what you see above) or you could put together two chaises and a love seat!  Talk about options!! That means if we go to a bigger house we could always add a piece! Jessie at Cape 27 has this guy and from what I can tell she loves him! and I have to say I also kind of fell in love with him after seeing her living room.  One thing though, while I love his clean lines and low profile arms I worry that they probably won't be great for leaning against but maybe they would be better for laying on?

With that con in mind I turn to another option which is the IKEA Karlstad

This guy is pretty similar to the Kivik and only a teenie tiny bit more expensive. The arms are larger so there is definite curl-up potential.  He is still the same great dark grey colour that I'm craving in my life but I worry about his legs.  I think you can buy different ones or I could even DIY some darker options but what really worries me is the space between him and the floor - that's just screaming for toys to get lost!  This guy currently resides in the brand spankin' new house of John and Sherry over at Young House Love (one of my serious blog crushes)  You can read about how much they love him a year later here.  I feel like if they can love him with a dog and a daughter then i can't be too far off from loving him as well.

So we've got some pros and cons of each - and I haven't even touched on if they are comfortable or not because frankly it's been so long since I sat on them I can't remember.  But we are heading to IKEA on Saturday after we drop off the couch so I plan to be back on Monday with a full post on which one I liked better and maybe even a what we love/bought while we were there!