Thursday, September 23, 2010

New or Used??

While I am still lamenting the loss of our beloved home, I still look forward to the exciting changes ahead. The biggest thought in my mind: Buy a home, or build one? We had always thought that our next home would be one we built, so we would get just what we wanted. However, it is much less expensive to buy a home than to build right now. I have found this dream home, which has an ideal layout for our family. It has such a charming country french feel. I adore it, and would be so lucky to live in a home such as this.




I am also drawn to the character and charm which comes in many older homes. Of course, if we bought a home, we would have to put our own stamp on it, but this usually just involves cosmetic changes......the fun stuff!

Showcase 2007 traditional staircase



If we build, or buy a newer home, my goal would be to add those special touches to add character: give the home 'good bones' with moldings and architectural details.

Showcase 2007 traditional family room

So, do you love the charm of a well loved and lived home, or the excitment of building a new home customized just for your family?

Red Barn Sudio traditional bathroom


All images are from Houzz






Polishing the Apple

We bought our 'forever' home 4 years ago. I have loved every inch of this house. It is far from perfect, and in many ways it was quite outdated. We have spent the past 4 years making this house our dream home. We love it; it is perfect for our family. Alas, we have come to the unthinkable decision to sell. This is not really by choice, but more by necessity. You see, the town we live in is a small town with very limited career options for my husband. We made the decision for him to work out of town on a rotational basis, and while it seemed to work out initially, we have decided that the best thing for our family is for us all to be together every day. We love our family time more than we love this house.

And so, to quote our realtor, we are in the process of 'Polishing the Apple' and preparing our home to sell. We have done most everything with the exception of addressing the master bedroom and 2 of the 3 bathrooms. Mostly this will be a matter of painting, but the bathrooms could use some further updates with counter tops and faucets. I will chronicle this transformation in the coming months.

I had already planned on putting up wainscotting in our entry way and stairway, and decided to still go ahead as it would take our entry from boring to beautiful, for little cost and effort.


Before:




This is actually a mid-transition picture. We already painted out the hand rail and trim along the stairway (they were originally an out-dated golden oak colour). If we were to stay, we'd replace the carpet on the stairs with wood.

We had previously painted the entry Florentine Plaster by Benjamin Moore, but I found it dull and dimensionless.

We repainted the same colour as our laundry room and kitchen/family room; Nordic Grey by Benjamin Moore. While I was nervous that it may be too dark, it isn't at all thanks to the white wainscotting (Cloud White, also by Benjamin Moore). We even enlisted the help of our little ones (in Daddy's painting shirt!).
After:

I love the character and charm of the picture molding wainscotting. I anticipate adding this to our new home too!




We also painted the interior of our door a shiny black. I was nervous to do this, but loved the look on other blogs and pictures I had seen. It is beautiful, and again, adds so much character to an otherwise plain room. You may notice that we still aren't quite finished painting the walls. That will be in part two: the staircase.
A close up of our faux picture molding wainscotting....such an easy process! I didn't do a tutorial for you, as there are already so many out there in blogland.



I distressed the mirror above the hall console, and added a decorative ribbon. Although I enjoy my fall tablescape, I think an urn filled with branches or foliage would look beautiful....I'm now on the hunt for the perfect urn =)
While I try to remain optimistic: a new house, a new city, an exciting adventure, this move will be the hardest one I've ever done. I keep in mind many of the bloggers out there who have left their beloved homes, only to find a new home to love and make their own.
Linking to my favorite Parties!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Customizing a Wreath

Remember my new boxwood wreath from this post? Well, it sat patiently awaiting to be spruced up and loved. I had planned to add a monogram, inspired by this beauty.




With the help of the hubby and his tools, we created this "F" monogram. I painted it a charcoal grey and gently distressed it. Here is the finished product:




My love affair with Curly Willow branches continues. I added them, plus some faux fall berries, and a black ribbon. I may change the ribbon to a burnt orange one, but haven't found what I'm looking for yet. The decor was tied on with rafia ribbon, and easily changeble with the season.


Nice to mark another project off the to-do list!



Linking to my favorite parties!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Autumn Lovelies: Part B

I am slowly Autumn-ing my home in the preperation for the season ahead. While I do not have a lot of fall 'decorations' per se, I am gathering earthy, natural objects that give that Fall feeling.

Today I worked on my front entry table. I am VERY excited to report that very soon we will be adding picture frame waintscotting and repainting the entry way and stairway. Stay tuned for these projects!

On to the tablescape:


Relatively simple, and comprised all of things I had on hand.


Love the golden hue of these pears.


I have a Curly Willow tree in my yard, and often use the branches for decor. Thanks to Miss Mustard Seed for the idea on the books. It adds the perfect height for my candle holder.





While I go crazy with my Christmas decorating, most of the other seasons I decorate with a few special touches here and there. I do have a few more fun things to put out for Halloween, but will wait until October for that. For the rest of the house, it will be a few gourds here, and a few branches there. Happy Fall Decorating!!

Linking to my favorite parties!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Home Tour: Laundry Room

We recently redid our laundry room and I have one question: Why did we wait so long?


I love the result. It is clean, functional, and looks so much better! Unfortunately I don't have any before shots, but imagine a room with old laminate flooring, walls the colour of bandaids, old cabinets with the door barely hanging on as the hinges had long since broken, a nasty dirty old sink and old washer/dryer that sounded possessed when it was used. Yuck. So here's what we did: You can see a snippette of the floor in this shot. We replaced the old nasty laminate with slate tiles. This room is a laundry/mud room and our entrance off the garage. It gets good and dirty on a regular basis, and this floor is fantastic for hiding the grunge until I can wash it.




One great thing about this room was that the previous owners of the house had installed the beadboard. We painted over the old bandaid colour. The bottom is Marble White, and the top is Nordic Grey, both from Benjamin Moore. I bought the large laundry basket at Canadian Tire, but added the decorative fabric trim myself.



We had the cabinets completely replaced as they were falling apart. Our cabinet maker convinced us to go with natural Maple, although I had originally wanted cream to match our kitchen. I don't mind the look (it's growing on me), but he's probably right in that it will be more durable (won't chip) and is easier to keep clean. He did build the upper cabinets very low which is great for internal storage, but makes use of the new countertop a little tricky. I had originally envisioned cute canisters here, but I really only have room for these few low baskets.



We removed the possessed ancient washer/dryer and replaced them with these lovely front loaders. This allowed us to put a countertop over top. While some choose not to do this, as the countertop height is higher than standard, I LOVE it! It gives me room to fold laundry and somewhere to put my junk when I come in from the garage.





I bought these baskets at Canadian Tire, and added the fabric cuff to them to pretty them up. I found the monogram tags at Michael's. It's a great way to keep organized. One basket per family member. No more mixed up mittens, hats, scarves etc.



I painted and distressed this piece of oak trim, and added hooks to use for our multitude of keys.



The closet didn't have any doors on it when we moved in, and I decided to keep it that way. While it does reveal the not so pretty coats and shoes, this is a mudroom afterall, and functionality has won out. It is a small room, and closing off the closet, plus the awkwardness of the doors just didn't appeal. I added this cute phrase above the closet door.








The deep utility sink was a great deal from Home Depot, and the faucet is lovely. I bought it at a 75% off sale. I love the fact that there is a pretty faucet in the laundry room, rather than the cracked, horrible faucet that was here previously. You know, the kind that has 20 years of gunge on it, and has a plastic spray nozzel that barely works?



I asked our cabinet maker to instal the same large crown in this room as he did in the kitchen. I just didn't add the rope detail to it. My new memo board now hangs proudly in this room.


We have also been painting all the doors and baseboards throughout the house, and changing all the brass door knobs to pewter knobs. We've been doing this slowly as we make our way from room to room. The cost certainly adds up, but it makes such a huge difference to the look of the house!

Next up in our tour: The living room. Stay tuned!

Linking to my favorite parties!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Happy Birthday # 3 !!


This weekend has been filled with birthday celebrations for my 'Big' girl who turned 3.

I made this cake, a Martha Stewart recipe and it was Delish!!!! Yes, it was a bit of work, and yes, it required massive amounts of eggs and butter, but the oohhhs and ahhhs when I cut into it to reveal the surprise was so worth it. Sorry for the poor photos but I had to quickly snap these amongst the chaos of the party.







Happy Birthday my fiesty sweet angel!!!