Friday, September 13, 2013

Autumn is Approaching

Autumn is fast approaching. Actually, in my mind, autumn has already arrived. Usually, September hits and I'm ready for fall. It is my favourite season after all. I love pretty much everything about it, but some of my favourite things about fall are the colours and the increasing coziness. 

To bring in the season, I like to make some little changes in my house and usually I find some inspiration pictures first. Here are some images that get me excited for this time of year.

I love the colours! (Source unknown)

Again, the colours! (Source unknown)

This might be bordering a bit on winter, but it's just so dang cozy. (Source unknown)

Colours and texture. (Source unknown) 
I have shown this last picture on my blog before, but I really, really love it.

(Source unknown)
P.S. Check out my older posts about fall herehere and here.
P.P.S. Sorry about my lack of sources for the photos. I found them quite some time ago and I neglected to write down the site. My bad!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Refashioning the Furnishings in the Vacationer's Chamber

Well, we had a really great visit with my sister and her family. We did some things around town, spent some time harvesting some of my veggies and did a lot of preserving and a little crafting! I think they were pretty comfortable staying in the new guest digs. In fact, my sister declared that the guest room, along with our cold room were her favourite rooms in our house. However, if you know Kristen, the cold room is kind of a given.

On that note, I wanted to share with you the furniture that I made over for the guest room in a little more detail. We'll start with the chair for the room. Patrick's parents brought the chair over for the guest room when we first moved in. Before it was a creamy-green colour and the cushion looked like it had seen better days. The colour of the chair wasn't bad, but I wanted more contrast for the new room. Here is the chair and the cushion before...

To start with, I gave the chair a coat of black, semi-gloss spray paint. Here's the chair with the new paint...

Next, I wanted to tackle the cushion. So, using some beautiful black and white gingham fabric from my Mom-in-law, Dee, I sewed a new cover. Much improved, no?

The next furniture I wanted to work on was a little side table and a bookshelf. The side table we picked up from a friend's garage sale for $4 and the bookshelf we already had, but it wasn't being used. I decided to give both a new coat of stain in a colour called provincial. I actually already had the stain left over from staining the top of the cupboards/sideboard in the kitchen. Here are both pieces before I did anything...

And here is the side table after two coats of stain...

The bookshelf didn't go quite as dark as the side table, but it did end up looking more rich than before and perhaps a little more finished. With the bookshelf, I also decided to make a curtain to add a little charm. I used the same gingham fabric from Dee and sewed a simple curtain. To hang it, I used a curtain cord kit from our hardware store and it worked perfectly. Here is the completed piece...

The last piece of furniture that I fixed up for the room was a little wicker coffee table. This was another piece of furniture that my mother-in-law found for free and brought over for the room when we first moved (she has some serious skill when it comes to finding cheap/free awesome things!). I don't really have a before photo, but if you look to the left side of the bed in the picture below, you can see the table in its original form...

To work with the room and update the table, I spray painted it with the semi-gloss black. And now, it sits happily at the end of the bed waiting for some luggage, or perhaps some extra cozy blankets. 

And that completes the guest room furniture makeover saga. I know, I know it was just so exciting! ;)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Guest Room Reveal

The guest room is finished and I'm super happy with the results! Hooray! The room ended up being a little more cottage-y than I originally thought, but that isn't a bad thing. I think it will be a lovely place for our guests to stay now. In fact, it will be housing my sister and her family who are coming for a visit today. I had so much fun getting the room all put together for them. As a reminder, here is the before:

And here is the room now after new paint, some furniture makeovers and a little decorating (warning: there are a ton of photos)...

A little reading corner... there are magazines in the crate.

This is a little tea-making station. 
Here's a break down of what we did in the room. First we primed the paneled walls and then we did two coats of paint on all the walls. I gave the trim a fresh coat of white and I also painted the little built-in shelf white as well as the door and the trim around the door (the door and trim were previously the same blue as the walls). The chair and the wicker table at the end of the bed both got spray painted in a semi-gloss black. I recovered the cushion on the chair in a black and white gingham.  I stained the top of the little round side table and I stained the bookshelf to the left of the bed. I also used the same gingham fabric to sew a curtain for the bookshelf. I used some craft paint to change the window frame colour from blue to light green and I also painted a picture frame the same colour. I brought a lamp, the rug and some other accessories into the room from other parts of our house and I hung art on the wall. I added new hardware to the cupboard doors and I put a hook on the back of the door. Whew. I think that's pretty much it.

Here's some before and after, side-by-side action:

Most of the things for this room we already had. I just pulled items from around my house and made over some things. We spent about $100 on the makeover and half of that was on the two cans of paint we needed. Otherwise, the money was spent on some new hardware, spray paint for the furniture, an alarm clock and few other thrifted finds. It would have cost a little more, but my wonderful mother-in-law, Dee, bought me the fabric for the bookshelf and the chair. She's so lovely!

So, that about covers it. In another post I'll go into a little more detail about the furniture that I fixed up... this one is already way too long!

And on that note, I'm off to get some last minute things done before my sister arrives!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How Does your Garden Grow?

I thought it was about time I shared a garden update, though we're just going to look at the front veggie patch because that's really the only area that I focused on this year. The rest of our yard is rather weedy and a little dried out. Hopefully next year I'll be able to focus on making it prettier. We'll see! 

I'd say the vegetables have done pretty well! This was all an experiment for me and now I've got some good ideas for next year. My veggies and the flowers all grew huge and things were pretty crowded. I think I would space things out more next year and I'll also move some things around. As for flowers, I realized nearly all the colours were yellow or orange. I'd definitely like to see some more variety, maybe some pinks and purples in there! This year I have had marigolds and calendula throughout the vegetables and they grew so well. They are still flowering, but nearing the end of their days. There is a bit more colour in the part of the garden closest to the house with some snap dragons, amaranthus, some lilies, and a white hydrangea. I've also got some black-eyed susans that I planted this year and love, but it's more yellow! 

I'm loving our Giant Russian sunflowers. They've been pretty happy and they are so lovely to look at through the windows. I'll be growing them again next year, but I'll also try some other varieties of sunflowers. 

Check out this huge cabbage!

I've really enjoyed eating from our garden. We've had radish, peas, beans, lettuce and we're still harvesting kale, tomatoes and carrots. I've also got a spud patch in the backyard that I've got to dig up soon. I love spuds!

Any preserving ideas for my tomatoes? I don't think we can eat them all fresh!

Did you grow any vegetables this year? How did it go?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Guest Room Progress

Progress is coming along nicely in the guest room. Walls have been painted, furniture made over, art is being assembled, lives are being changed. Okay, maybe I'm over-estimating the significance of this room makeover a wee bit. ;) Regardless, I'm quite happy with how everything is coming together. We've got a little over a week before my sister, brother in law, and little nephew arrive and I think its leaving me just the right amount of time to do the last projects on my list.

I don't want to show you too much yet because I want to keep it a surprise, but I'll show you the room with a coat of primer. First, here is the before again...

And here it is primed...

I'm amazed by how much brighter the room is with the paneling painted. And you should see it with the finished paint job. It looks like an entirely different space. It's so much cozier and less basement-like.

There's actually a story about the paint. We did the first coat and I realized I would need more for the second, but I wasn't happy with my 20 percent lighter formula of the 'Custard' colour. It looked a lot lighter and more like a cream than a yellow. Well, it turns out that the formula was off in the computer. So, when I went back to get more we did a colour match instead and got an excellent match to 'Custard'. Because the first colour (the 20% lighter one) was fairly similar, I hoped we would get away with doing one coat of the 'Custard' with some touch ups. It turns out that the coverage was great, so I got the colour I really wanted without having to spend extra since I needed a second can anyway.

Here's one more picture that shows you what the lighter colour looked like.

On the agenda today is getting hardware for the cupboards/closet and working on art for the space. Pretty easy work. I'm so glad there's no more painting!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gingham Curtains

When we first moved into our house and started to unpack, I came across one lonely Ikea tab top curtain. I had even pairs for all the rooms, but was missing the second curtain for my dining area. It took me a while to remember that some time ago my mom and I shared a pack of drapes because we each only needed one for a project (this was a few houses back). Now knowing that I didn't have the second curtain, I decided to cut the single one in half, to have at least the illusion of drapes in the dining room. They weren't wide enough to cover the whole window, but they looked nice.

My makeshift curtains remained until the spring when my awesome mother in law, Dee, bought me some gorgeous, grey gingham fabric to make new curtains. My sister was the first one to turn me on to liking gingham, but I was also inspired by the gingham curtains in this beautiful home. In fact, I pretty much love everything about her home, but all the gingham especially! 

We ordered the fabric from Etsy and I eagerly anticipated its arrival. When it did show up, I set to work and sewed myself a very simple pair of curtains. Here are those bad boys in action...

We can actually cover our windows now. Hooray for privacy! It's also nice to add a little pattern to our kitchen. 

Oh, little kitchen you've come a long way. Remember how it looked in the beginning?


Have you done any sewing projects lately?

P.S. We've got the guest room walls primed. Pictures soon!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Guest Bedroom

Since moving in to our house (a year ago now!!) we haven't touched the basement, which includes a rec room, our guest room and a workshop/storage room. There is furniture down there and I have decorated the guest room a bit, but what it really needs is paint! Since Patrick has the summers off, I figured this would be an ideal time to get some work done downstairs. Plus, my sister and her family are coming for a visit at the end of the month and I'd love to be able to have the room all done for her! I'm just so excited to have her visit our house for the first time.

Here is our guest room currently...

There it is, complete with sweet wood paneling. I actually really like the look of painted paneling (like in our bedroom), so although it is a bit of a nuisance to paint, in the end it will be good. 

I'd like to lighten the whole room up and I'm really just working with what I have (I might bring a couple of new things in). I'll be painting some pieces and maybe creating some new art for the room. I'll gradually collect new things for the room, but for this first step I'm using what I have.

Looking for inspiration for the guest room I started flipping through some of my old magazines and I came across this beautiful space:
I love the colour, the fun floral and the contrasts in the room. The wall colour is called 'Custard' by Martha Stewart Living, so I decided to go with it, but I had it mixed 20 percent lighter because the downstairs room is quite dark with only one smaller window. For bedding, I'll be using a white quilt I have along with some white sheets and I'm going to also have a blue striped duvet from Ikea (previously in our bedroom).
I already have some vintage, floral pillow cases I found at our thrift shop that I'll use to bring in some extra interest and also to incorporate the yellows and blues.

I'm really digging the black head and foot boards of the bed, so I'd like to bring that contrast in by painting a wicker table black (you can see it by the bed in the photos above). I'll move this table to the end of the bed to hold luggage or extra blankets. I'm going to also paint a chair I have for the space black. I'll recover the cushion on the chair in a black and white gingham. The chair looks similar to this...
There are other little updates I'll be doing, but I'll keep you posted on those along the way. I've already started painting the trim in the room, so I'm going to keep at it and I'll hopefully get to priming the paneling later today or tomorrow. I don't have much time before my sister arrives! Wish me luck!
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