The Main Bathroom Gets a Makeover

Yes, I'm still at it.  Attempt number three to make this bathroom look and feel more spa-like in spite of the fact that I hate the tile and the floor and the tile clash.  Why anyone would think these two would go together is beyond me...

So,  here is the bathroom from the realtor's ad:

How to Build a Shelf Desk

My spare bedroom has a foyer.  Weird huh?  It was created when the previous owners scrapped their original plan for the house addition to add two bedrooms instead of a family room during the construction stage.  So my guests have a foyer.  Or if I ever sell this house, somebody's child will have a space that makes no sense.

I had just enough space between the door and the wall opposite to the door to add a shelf.  I decided instead to use two heavy-duty brackets and create a narrow shelf desk.  It worked like a charm.

A Tiny Breakfast Nook

My laundry and mudroom are nearing completion!!!  I'm so excited.  I've been waiting two years for my washer and dryer to be stacked.  When I discovered how expensive the plumbing was going to be, I came up with a new layout for the mudroom and laundry room which allowed me to move the washer to the side of my one window (instead of moving the plumbing, I moved the washer as far over as it could go and still be connected to the water lines) and gave me the ability to stack the dryer above it.

The best part of this whole process is that I wound up with a better layout than my original idea.  Now I have a lovely space for a little breakfast nook.  It has a view of my garden and is bright and sunny.  Later this summer I'll build a bar table to fit under the window but in the meantime, I've brought my bistro table and one chair inside.  I have an old crate that I'm using as a mini banquette allowing me to have another seat for anyone popping by for coffee.

Subway Art Kitchen Cart

Who doesn't have one of these carts???

Another Ikea Bekvam hack job!  I've wanted some subway art in my kitchen for a while, but never found exactly what I wanted.  A few weeks back I decided it would be cool to paint up my kitchen cart and print words on the apron sides.  I started my project with great gusto...  Unfortunately, both ideas that I came up with failed miserably and I put the whole thing on the back-burner.


               FAIL!                            FAIL!

Mudroom and Laundry Get a Makeover Part 2

Welcome to my neverending mudroom/laundryroom makeover!  I'm finally getting my laundry tub installed!!!  I've been packing that tub around with me for 6 years, so happy I will finally get to use it!   On the other hand, I just discovered that the electrical in that bathroom needs to be completely replaced... Ay yi yi!!!!!!!  Renos!  Why do we do this to ourselves????

In order to accommodate the installation of the laundry tub, I had to change my original idea for the layout of the laundry room.  My laundry tub will now be located next to the bathroom to allow for existing plumbing lines to be used.  The plumbing and electrical for the washer and dryer won't move, but I can move the washer away from my window so that the units can be stacked.

Before Photos:

This is the room just after I moved in.  The mess on the far wall was my ex boyfriend  levelling out the very old and unlevel wall with extra mud.  I had just bought the washer & dryer.
The first thing I did was hang a curtain rod and make a curtain out of a twin sheet I bought in a clearance bin for under $2.  I also had a new window installed and trimmed out.  No more single pane windows in this house!!
I bought a sink cabinet to house my laundry tub.  A left-over piece of laminate countertop from the kitchen reno gave me a bit of extra counter space as a quasi work surface.  (Actually, the poor washer and dryer wound up being my work space & now they're all beat up... thank heavens for Abbie at Five Days Five Ways who showed us how to paint our appliances! That's a coming attraction.)

I got a closet organizer on sale and installed it in a cubby.  The sink cabinet got moved and I hung an Ikea hat rack over the counter.

I had painted the room with Ben Moore's Sundial but I found that shade of yellow too drab for my liking.  My new favourite off-white paint is a mix of a white base paint with a cup of Ben Moore's Lenox Tan added in.  I LOVE it!!

Now I've repainted the entire space and swapped out my closet and laundry tub cabinet.  This is a much better layout, the area feels much more spacious.  I'm so pleased I had to wait for this reno!  If I had forged ahead with my original layout, I would have been disappointed.  Instead I've gained twice the hanging space for my closet and it's hidden from view by the stacked washer and dryer.

This shot is just prior to stacking the washer and dryer.  I cut a piece of maple plywood for a counter beside my laundry tub and hung shelves above.  This all came together so perfectly!!  I borrowed a 4" hole saw and a friend helped me drill the hole for the new dryer vent.  I patched and painted the wall under the window which was full of holes from screw anchors and got another friend to help me stack the washer and dryer.

Now all that remains is to plumb the laundry tub and install the faucet.  Thanks to some wonderful friends helping me with the things I couldn't do myself, this reno cost me materials only.  My laundry/mudroom is almost done!! 

Have a happy and creative week!

Aqua Love Affair

Yes, I am in love with AQUA!  It is so fresh, pretty and bright without being in your face.  It coordinates with white, cream, brown, beige, yellow, blue, green, orange - wow, guess that makes it a neutral!!

So my house is moving from the brown & beige phase into beige, cream and aqua Shabby Chic-dom.  This transformation is thanks to all the beautiful blogs I've read over the last year, not to mention the fact that my 1930s home has many small dark rooms that need mega brightening up.

Aqua first began sneaking into the picture last summer when I painted my shed/studio doors and my potting bench:

and then the baby greenhouse:

Then there was the box makeover series:

 and who could forget the letter "Z" project:
 The frame I won from Mimi at Blue Roof Cabin:

My "let's use up all the leftover paint on my painter's palette" crazy Christmas tree painting:

Then it was the armoire chalk paint project:

Then I made a crackled sign:

Then my coffee table caught the bug:

And then the door between my foyer and living room:

My shabby chic boxes:

Now my pantry cabinet has a turquoise coat as well!

I couldn't be more pleased!  Between all the creamy white and the aqua, everything feels fresh and bright and happy now.  I've embraced shabby chic cottage style like nobody's business! I'm still searching for the ideal basket to stack towels in for my living room focal point, if anyone has any leads - be sure to let me know!!!

Have a happy and creative week!

The Pantry Joins In

One of my co-workers asked me today if I ever rest on the weekend... this was a question I asked myself this past weekend when I was ripping up the tile floor as part of my bathroom reno, painting the mudroom & laundry room, and spending 2 1/2 hours in Home Depot picking out plumbing supplies and the new floor for my bathroom.  Why? I ask myself.  Why can't I stop working on this house???

The first reason is that I am so inspired by all the blog posts and pictures on Pinterest that I can't wait to jump in with both feet.  The second reason is that during the months when the weather is cool (April & May are still cool-ish here), I can work like gangbusters on projects.  Once the temperature starts getting warm to hot, I lose all my energy and things progress at a snail's pace.   In addition to those reasons, I offer a quote from Pearl Buck "To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth."  With the amount of joy I feel working on and finishing these projects, I will be youthful forever!!!

So, what else have I been up to?  I painted my pantry cabinet!! AGAIN!

Gardening 2012!

Yay!  Stuff is beginning to grow in my gardens :)  Of course I failed to take a photograph a week ago when the crocuses were absolutely gorgeous.  I waited until today when they were all droopy and finished blooming.  Oh well, I can share with you the lovely violets and chives that have self-seeded.

 This is right in front of one of the doors to my studio (it never gets opened).  Aren't they beautiful?!  Love the scent as well.  I found the Easter Island head when I cleared out an overgrown garden in the front yard.  Sure glad the previous owners forgot him!!
 Watch out for that turtle, he's been in the studio all winter.  Note the spacey look on his face like he's not really sure where he is!  I think he would bite if he could...

My rock-and-thyme patio made it through the freeze and thaw cycles without too much damage.  I tried to keep a good snow cover on it.  The wooly thyme and common thyme plants did really well.  The alpine thyme (which you would think would be the hardiest!) not so well.  Luckily only one of the plants seems the worse for wear, but I think my dog was peeing on it all winter.

And of course, I need to make you all jealous with the two old wood doors that were given to me late last October just as the snow began to fly:

I took the old brass knobs off before leaving them outside.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the doors and the hardware yet but I'm thrilled to have them!!

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