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Monday, March 26, 2012

event designing

Weddings are a ton of fun! I got tremendous pleasure out of planning ours (almost 5 years ago) and enjoyed every minute of our day.  If you'd like, you can see some of the details of that day HERE.

Well, lucky me! I get to help plan another wedding this spring! Cameron's cousin, Alicyn, is getting married in May and has asked me to help with decorating and floral arrangements. I'm both honored and excited for the opportunity to be part of this occasion.  

We are going for a fun, modern style that is young and fresh. And, the wedding colors are yellow and grey! In case you didn't notice, this blog is pretty fond of that color combination!

Alicyn has given me the go ahead to share the decorating plans I put together for the big day. It's going to be exciting to see these ideas come to life soon!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


After living with white primer on all our walls for so long, color of any sort seems drastic to me.

While I was out of town on Saturday, Cameron started painting the walls in the stairwell with Benjamin Moore's Grey Cashmere. 

These walls were first on the list because we had to temporarily remove the light fixture that would be in the way while we worked (Plus, it needed a good cleaning!).

My reaction at first sight was something close to panic. Had I gotten it all wrong? The color seemed too dark, too green, too everything.

Cameron, in his cool, calm way advised me to leave it for a few days. (Ironically, this is what I would tell any client in a similar situation). Repainting is not the end of the world, after all. It's just paint.

He even mixed it 1:1 with white and we tested it on a few walls for comparison.

In the end, Cam was right. The original color grew on me. It's not too dark, especially with the natural light that sweeps the rooms, and I like the blue and green tones that appear in various lighting.

Further, I had to remind myself that with the addition of trim, flooring, furniture and the like (such novel concepts to me still!), the paint will no longer be the only thing I see.

So, Grey Cashmere it is for the stairwell and upstairs hallway. We'll also pull it down into the living room.

To keep the downstairs cohesive, I plan to use another color in the same range.

Hopefully, my reaction will be nothing but positive when we paint the rest of the space!

I'm 100% sure I'm not the only one who has hit the panic button over a new wall color. Who else has had this experience? Did you repaint or let it grow on you? I'd love to hear your story!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Mondays. As if they aren't tough enough, especially after losing an hour of sleep over the weekend!

I started my week by taking my little boy in for his 6 months shots. (Can he really be half way to a year?) I always dread those appointments! He was a trooper, but a little out of sorts for the rest of the day.

Afterward, I was running an errand when my truck died on me...yes, in a 15 minute parking spot.
So much for hoping it was just the battery... the problem is more extensive and the truck had to be towed.

So instead of putting the final coat of primer on our stairs, Cameron spent the evening in his parents' garage, pulling parts out of our vehicle to be replaced. Oh well! I'm thankful that he's handy not only with fixing up our house, but with vehicles too!

So Monday was a wash, but here's a (very little) peek at what we accomplished over the weekend.
I likely won't show you anything else until it's finished (such suspense!) because it's going to take at least a week to paint these stairs.

We're using oil based enamel, and it takes longer than your average paint to fully dry. Not only that, but we will have to paint in stages. Every other stair will be painted first, that way we can still get up the stairs. Once that's done and completely cured, we will paint the rest.

On a more exciting note, I have paint colors picked out! I'll share my plans later this week, but for now, this palette from hints at the look I'm pursuing.

What do you think of these hues? Anybody besides me have "a Monday on a Monday"?
Friday, March 09, 2012
It's coming together. Very, very slowly.

Last night we stayed up way past our bedtime to work on the stairs. 

As you can see, we managed to get a coat of tinted polyurethane on all the spindles (28 of them!) and the pieces that stack together to make up the bottom post of our banister. This was likely the easiest and most enjoyable part of our staircase project!

We used a one step stain and polyurethane product from Minwax in Satin Antique Walnut. If you do some research you'll find a variety of recommendations, along with some very opinionated suggestions for finishing walnut.

This product and method worked well for us. It was quick and easy, with very little mess to deal with. My kind of project!

The best part? I love the results!

Remember what they looked like before?  Pretty beat up, with paint slopped all over them, thanks to the previous owners.

Now they look as good as new!

The rest of the project? Not so fun. Let just say my hands have taken a beating, are starting to blister, and I've come close to a complete meltdown more then once.

(I'll explain later why we cut back the OSB floor that you see here)
Anyway, Cameron was able to spray a few coats of primer on the stairs this week. 

Which was good. And bad.

Good, because we're that much closer to being finished.

Bad, because a coat of primer highlights every dent, scratch, nail and staple hole in the stairs. And there are alot of them.

I thought I could live with it and go for the rustic, it's-a-hundred-years-old look.

After living with it for a day, I changed my mind and pulled out the wood filler.

Which explains why my hands are a mess!

The goal is to get as much done as we can this weekend (that's obvious, right?). 
I'm sure it won't be completely finished by Monday - that would be wishful thinking!

Have a great weekend. Try to have some fun for us!
Friday, March 02, 2012
It's not an exaggeration to say that almost every weekend is spent working on our house.  How else will we ever finish it?

Just for some fun, we at least try to cook breakfast together Saturday morning before starting in on a project.

Cameron usually takes care of the bacon and eggs, and I whip up some waffles. These are a favorite in this house! It's a super easy recipe I stole from a friend's cookbook. If you don't have a waffle maker, you may want to go get one. I promise you won't regret it!

These are a great way to jump start your weekend, especially if you can get your hands on some real Canadian maple syrup!

The stair project is on the agenda for this weekend.  Cameron picked up some primer last night, so I guess that means we're almost ready to paint!

For those who asked, we are painting the stairs (risers and treads) and then putting a clear protective coat on the walnut banister. 

Eventually we'll add a runner too. Most likely something made of natural fibers, such as sisal or jute for a classic look.

This picture gives you an idea of what we're going for:
So, now you know what our weekend looks like! Do you have any Saturday morning traditions or routines?