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Friday, October 26, 2012


I was going to wait until I could take a "finished" picture before I posted this.

You know, the kind where everything is cleaned up, Windexed, and perfectly staged. Well that isn't going to happen any time soon, and I'm too excited about the results not to share how our glass railing turned out.

Cameron cut a channel a few inches deep along the top of the half wall so the glass sits secure and will be further stabilized when we finish it with trim.  There's still a lot to do to complete this dining room, but it's coming a long. One more thing checked off our to-do list!

Here's the little guy watching the action with his Papa.

The power tools are used so often around here, he's not afraid of the noise and always likes to see what's going on(From a safe distance, of course!).

Have a great weekend friends!
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Such fun

Confession-time. This is the part of DIY renovations I despise:

Mudding drywall. Particularly, the "tedious, messy, never-ending sanding" part. And the "fine dust everywhere" part.

If I have any renovating advice for you, don't be as cheap as we are, and hire this part out!

We're drywalling the basement, slowly but steadily moving toward our plan to paint, build a bookcase and install railings for the stairs leading down to this room.

Just for fun, here's what the basement looked like for the past year or so.

Does anyone else have a space like this? Our basement was the place to dump tools, "someday" projects ... really, anything that didn't have a permanent place to rest elsewhere.

Not any more, though! As much as I don't enjoy (to put it mildly) this stage of the project, the extra living space will be worth the effort!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Styling a fireplace

One thing I wish our little house had room for is a fireplace, especially this time of year. Besides providing some glow and crackle, a fireplace would give me a mantle to decorate.

Many older homes have fireplaces that are no longer functional, yet they can still be a focal point in the room.

Here are a few ideas I shared with a client some time ago:

Or, if you're like me and don't have a fireplace, you could do what this talented blogger did. Using a vintage mantle she created a faux fireplace. Amazing!

Stacked Log Tutorial at The Hunted Interior

It's awesome! Although it might be a few years down the road, I'd like to use this idea to cozy up our basement when it's finished.
Monday, October 08, 2012

Finding solutions

Forward momentum! After a long break from our renovation work, our house is getting some attention again.

( Progress)

You might recall that we spent an hefty chunk of our summer restoring a car for my brother. If you don't remember the "in progress" photo, you can see it HERE.

Results of Cam's bodywork

Not a bad trade for "free" framing and drywalling, right? Without a car rehabilitation project in the shop to soak up our evenings now, we're shifting our priorities back to the house renovation.

There's a project soon to be started that has me smiling!

In 2009 I was devouring a Canadian House & Home magazine when I came across a perfect solution for our dining room.

The article featured the renovation of House & Home design editor Cameron McNeil's residence. Is there anyone else who just can't take their eyes off that glass panel?

Our dining room has a stairwell going into the basement. I'm bent on keeping the space as open, clean and spacious looking as possible.

To avoid closing in the stairwell or installing a railing along the opening, we are having a piece of 0.5" tempered glass cut, which we'll install along the top of the half wall you see in the photo above. Tempered glass is extremely strong, and the top edge will be polished, so there are no safety issues associated with this type of installation.

Any guesses as to how many bottles of Windex I'll use annually? That's a job I'll happily take in order to achieve a look I've been dreaming of for three years!
Friday, October 05, 2012

Sentimental Value. Modern Flair.

In two more days, my aunt and uncle from Canada will be en route to my house, stopping in for a night on their way to Arizona. I'm very excited to see them, of course, but I'm also thrilled with what they're bringing ... a few pieces from my Grandma's house that will find a new resting spot somewhere in ours. My sweet Grandma passed away this past summer. We miss her smile, strength, wit, and so much more. Having a few of her things to display will keep memories of her close.

One of the items arriving this weekend is a really, really large mirror that hung in her entry for as long as I can remember. The frame is traditional and very ornate, so (you know me...) I have plans to modernize it a little (or a lot) and repurpose it.

The next few photos might give you a sense of my vision for the mirror: think chalk! I have been wanting to paint a chalkboard wall for ages but can't get Cameron on board. He mumbles something about teaching kids not to write on walls?! But I got a glimpse of this chalkboard art awhile back and can't get it out of my mind, or off my to-do list!

The artist who creates these drawings is Dana Tanamachi. Her website even features a few time lapse videos, which I have watched hoping to learn a few tricks.

I'll use my mirror-turned-chalkboard as a place to write my favorite scripture verses and inspirational quotes. (Most of the latter originate from C.S. Lewis. Wasn't he an incredible writer and thinker?) And, I confess I'm drawn in by the lack of permanence. Write. Draw. Erase. Repeat. That suits me just fine!

How about you? What would you tap as inspiration to cover a chalkboard?