Monday, April 29, 2013

Front Hall Heaven!!!!!

I can't express how completely awesome and talented my Dad is!!!!  As you know (from my past post) my Dad was coming this weekend to install our custom made front hall closet that he made!  I was super excited for it and it turned out WAAAAAAY better than I had imagined it in my head!! To take a step back I want to remind you that I more or less designed this baby.  I had an idea, I drew a ROUGH sketch. Then I gave it to my dad, who took my rough sketch and turned it into actual plans.  Then he built it!  He even said he spent more time on the plans than he did on actually building it.  The trick with this was that he couldn't just build it and then bring it into the house. He had to build it in pieces in his workshop so that it could then be installed at our house.  I still can't believe how amazing it looks!

Just to recap, this was what our front entrance looked like before.

We had a crappy 10 year old Ikea wardrobe and a white bathroom cabinet for storage. Lets just say the shoes were ALWAYS everywhere and the coats were permanently hanging on the stair banister!

I wasn't at the house for the entire installation process as Norah had dance class and we had to run some errands. But I came home to this. The sides and back had been installed.

Here is my Dad and Ryan installing the door frame and doors. They had a few issues as my walls aren't square and my floors/ceiling aren't level either. But with a little trimming and a lot of jimmying they got this baby done.

So without further adieu, here she is!!!  We have LOADS of storage up in the top cabinet for out of season items. Plus we have shelves up the side that I put baskets in to store all our hats, mitts, umbrellas, purses etc. We added extra glass door knobs that we had in the basement. Those knobs are on every door in the house so it was only fitting to add it to this door too! We did add the same knob to the top cabinet as well but apparently I don't have any pictures of it.... We still have to put the crown moulding back up, add some trim to the edges and caulk it all so it actually looks built in. But isn't she PURDY!!!

Here is the view from the stairs.

My FAVOURITE feature about the entire thing is my hidden shoe shelves. This was definitely one of my best ideas yet!! Since it is a corner closet, I knew there would be wasted space in the back corner. I hate wasted space! So I told my dad that it would be great to be able to store shoes back there if possible!  He put small shelves in the back that hold 1-2 pairs of shoes.  It just gives us that tiny bit more room maximizing the space!

Miss Norah definitely approves. It is her new favourite hiding place!  She loves that she can put her own shoes away and so do I!  I plan to put a hook inside just off to the right where she can hang up her own coat too.

Here is a before and after. I will update when we finally get it painted, trimmed, and caulked but its amazing how much better it is!! 


Friday, April 26, 2013

Front Hall Closet Part 1

I am very excited for this weekend!!  My dad has been working hard at our front hall closet and this weekend is installation time!!!!!  I'm finally going to have a FUNCTIONAL AND PRETTY front entrance!  Still no heat... but pffff who needs heat when you have a new closet!! (FYI new furnace comes Tuesday...)

So just to remind you, this is our front closet as it looks when it has been cleaned up... normally there are shoes and jackets EVERYWHERE!!

This is the problem area... As I said in this post the Ikea wardrobe I have owned for about 10 years and it was used in the meantime until we could come up with a plan. We had originally thought of doing a storage bench with hooks but have since decided against it as I want doors to hide the mess!!!  The white cabinet next to it is actually a bathroom cabinet we had in the old house in the bathroom (who would have guessed!).  We use it for Norah's mittens and shoes and my purse storage.  It worked but lets be honest it looks horrid!

As I already said originally we wanted to build a bench with hooks but we have too much stuff and I wanted to be able to easily hide it.  However, doing a rectangle closet wouldn't work with our stairs since the bottom landing is angled.  So we just sat on it until I came across an awesome idea on Pinterest here. A corner bench.  I still knew I didn't want a bench and hooks BUT the idea of utilizing the corner intrigued me.  So I searched further for a corner wardrobe.

That's when I found this. Yes it is an entertainment cabinet but the idea of a corner wardrobe just kept building in my mind!

I called my Dad and we talked through it. I measured the space and using excel I put together a SUPER rough drawing of it.  I knew I wanted a corner closet that went all the way to the ceiling. I knew I wanted the top to be a smaller extra storage cabinet for off season stuff. I knew I wanted there to be a shelf unit up the right side of the cabinet where I could put baskets with hats/mitts etc. That is what I knew. Everything else I left up to my Dad. He spent some time researching and came back with an awesome to drawing and got working on it.  It will be installed this weekend so I'll have an update for you next week but for now this is how it looks. The majority of the project has to be built in place but this is the door and frame as well as the side shelving unit.

This is the side shelf.  I am SO excited to see this all put together!!
Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Up Up in The Sky Nursery Part 2

The nursery is progressing and I couldn't be happier!!!!  Its turning out better than I imagined!!!  This is very exciting for me because last week we had another AHHH WHAT THE @#($*@#(%&!(@!#! moment when our furnace crapped out on us!! We have been without heat for a week now... argh!  Luckily it hasn't been TOO cold so space heaters are enough to keep us warm but it sucks!  The new furnace comes this week sometime.   Anyway, back to the nursery!!

In my last post I had already showed the painted rainbow above the crib (see plans and rainbow here).  I was so excited to start the hot air balloons that the next day I ran out to Dollarama to get chinese lanterns.  Of course I could only find them in green... but that didn't stop me! Using craft paint I painted white on all of them and then decided to paint one blue and one a yellowy green.  The original plan was to paint one pink if it was a girl (which I am happy to announce it is!) however after seeing the look of the greens and blue I decided I love it just the way it is!!!  I also bought little woven brown baskets from Dollarama and using ribbon and a TONNE of hot glue I glued these babies together! Then to hang them I used dental floss and screwed them right into the ceiling.  I LOVE THEM. We decided to hang them over the rocking chair because I don't want them falling into the crib (always being super cautious!!!). Falling on my head is ok... but on baby it is not!!

As you can see we also installed crown moulding in this room (as well as all the bedrooms).  We came across the crown moulding on a random outting to Rona. It was $4.76 for an 8 foot section! AMAZING deal... thats like 50% off! Plus we got 15% back in gift cards.  So for $121 we had more than enough moulding for all 4 bedrooms upstairs.  We still have to caulk and spackle the gaps but we'll get to that! Here is the one side of the nursery complete! I am in love with it!

Next up I found some super awesome prints on an Etsy shop Lily Cole Designs and immediately fell in love!! The issue was that the 4 white frames I had in the room were only 5 by 5's. So I messaged the shop and asked if it was possible to get them in that size.  To my luck they had no problem with it and quickly adjusted them. I haven't received the prints yet but I printed off the crap quality photo sample of them and put them in the frames just for reference.

I did splurge on the prints... but at this point I had spent about $3 on the hot air balloons and about $25 on crown moulding for the room. So forking over $40 for the prints I was ok with since I knew I didn't need to buy much else for the room!

I randomly decided this weekend to throw together a rain cloud mobile using felt scraps for baby.  I have a tonne of scraps left over from the Quietbook I made Norah (which she still LOVES). So I cut out little rain clouds in pink, white and black (always need a little black rain cloud!). I then sewed them by hand with white thread and stuffed them with random small bits of left over felt that was too small to do anything with.  Then using bright colours I cut out little rain drops. Using white thread I attached all of the rain drops to the clouds and attached the rain clouds to a small dowel I had lying around.  Then I used yellow ribbon to hang the mobile.  I haven't hung it yet but I think this is going to hang over the change table... not entirely sure yet!  I will update you soon!

We are currently working on cloud shaped shelves for over the change table... should have that completed this week! The room is almost done!!! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Basement Regression

I am going to try my hardest to not cry my way through this entire post!!  I mentioned in my last post my basement had slightly regressed...  Well I THINK I'm ready to talk about it... be prepared... its UGLY!!!!

When I left off on our basement progress we had turned our basement rec room from an ugly carpeted mess into this beautiful newly floored and ceiled space!! Before and Afters below

Wasn't she pretty!!!!!!

WELL this is where I start to cry... literally... this pregnant lady was a big ball of crying mess!! A few days after finishing the floor when we were installing the crown moulding in the basement a few things happened.  First off the newly laid floor came unclicked together in about 6-7 different spots!!  ARGH!!  We realized that installing the laminate on top of carpet underpad was a big NO NO!  It was too soft and spongy.  No big deal... we figured we'd just take the the flooring super carefully (keeping all the pieces in the right order), take up the carpet under pad, install the new under pad and then reinstall the flooring. Annoying yes but not a huge deal. So during Norah's nap I went down there and took up all the new flooring.  Ripped up the underpad and I believe the words that came out of my mouth were something of AH @#$*&@%#(*"&)!&*!&$%@#*"&!

Under the old underpad were super old cracking vinyl tiles.. We knew the tiles were under there. However when you stepped on some of them (ones right in the middle of the floor) the entire floor moved about a half inch.  BIG PROBLEM!! We knew if we installed the new floor on top of it it would just keep coming unclicked!!  ARGH!!  Next problem... the old vinyl tiles were 9 inch tiles... and since our house was built in the 40's there was a REALLY good chance that they were asbestos tiles!! MORE ARGHs and !#$(&)&#%*&!#$&(@#*$!!  So we did nothing... we stressed about what to do! Finally this week a friend came by and ultimately solved our problem.  We had the entire floor ripped up!!  When they ripped it all up they found the subfloor was all rotten from old water damage! There was black mould down there and just nasty grossness! (thats my technical term for it) I don't have any pictures of the grossness as I was at work (thankfully because apparently it smelt awful!!!)  I came home yesterday to find my basement looking like this!

They got rid of all the nasty floor and laid a brand new concrete floor for us!!!  By 6pm last night this is what my basement looked like!!

So yes we moved backwards... BUT all the mould and asbestos are gone!!!!!  It cost us around $500 to do because we pulled in a few favours.  Gotta love friends!!!!  Next up we need to reinstall our floors and baseboards! Thats for another day!!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Up Up in The Sky Nursery

To start this post off yes I am pregant with baby #2 who is due September 2013.  With that said I have been planning out the new nursery now that Norah is 100% moved into her new room and loving it! To recap, this was previously Norah's room but we have moved her to her new butterfly room (see photos of new room here).

When we moved in I added a few butterflies here and there but really didn't do much to it.

Now that Norah is out of that room it is honestly a big storage pile of stuff since our basement is under renos... I don't even want to talk about the basement today because I'm frustrated! We had to rip up the BRAND NEW flooring... ARGH another post for another day!!

Anyway, I had been thinking about what kind of room I wanted.  Since the walls are already nicely painted I decided to keep them blue and go with a sky theme. At this point we don't know if it is a boy or a girl so I'm in the beginning phases of the nursery.  Here is some of my inspiration and what I plan to do with the room!

First off, I want shelves over the change table.  I always wanted to put shelves over it to store diapers etc but never got around to it!  I love these cloud shelves which would be super easy to make!!

I want to incorporate lots of clouds all around the room, and came across this idea from Pinterest (here) I think the saying is super cute and may add it to the walls. But I love the hot air balloons!  I debated making puffy clouds out of felt and realized the dust would be gross to clean up so I'm opting to sponge paint clouds to the walls!

As for balloons I found this tutorial over at Hey Bernice and thought it was adorable!!  I ran to Dollarama on my lunch and picked up 3 green lanterns and little brown baskets to make these!  Unfortunately they only had green lanterns but I plan to add fun material to them anyway!  I may add some pink if we have a girl but I haven't decided yet... for now my colour theme is RAINBOW!

Every sky needs a rainbow!!!  I saw this one over here.  And loved it!!!

So on the weekend when I was super frustrated about the basement I decided to work on something that would make me happy, the rainbow!!  I looked through my paints and discovered I didn't have any red or orange paint.  Bummed out again I kept looking at what I did have. Thats when I remembered all of the glass/ceramic stain that I had bought. Guess what?  The pack I bought had Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple!!!!  I figured if it looked awful I could always paint over it! I thought it would be perfect because I wanted my rainbow to fade into the room not over take the entire room!  I still wanted the blue walls to come through.  So I quickly drew (with pencil) my rainbow and using a sponge brush I started to paint it. I loved the result!  It took me about 20 minutes to do this and cost me nothing because I had everything I needed.

This picture is blurry but is a good shot of the room.

 The chandelier is more than likely moving into Norah's room we just haven't gotten around to doing it, however I may leave it there if its a girl... Now the plan is to sponge clouds under the rainbow and sporadically around the room.  I want to hang the hot air balloons either above the change table or above the rocking chair.  As for a mobile, I have a cute felt rain cloud with colourful rain drops idea in my head.  I may even add the odd flying bird into the room as well.  That is the plan for now! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dungeon Transformation

We have made substantial basement progress in the past month!!!  First up we sent Norah to grandparents for an entire Saturday to Sunday morning. We spent that Saturday from 9am until about 6:30pm down in the basement!!! I'm telling you we were on a mission!

Just to recap, here is a true before picture of the basement (I finally found it!!) and remember we have already ripped out the old ceiling and installed a new ceiling and pot lights, see here! This was taken just after moving in so the basement is a DISASTER!!! But you can see the crack in the ceiling. What you can't see is off to the left of this picture a HUGE hole in the ceiling!

And the view from the fireplace.

When most people get rid of the kid/s for a day/night they relax and go for a nice dinner... nope not us! We had already done one coat of primer on the ceiling and the walls on the Friday night after Norah went to bed. Since the primer covered so nicely on the ceiling we started Saturday morning by doing the first coat of paint on the ceiling and adding a second coat of paint to the walls. The walls are stucco and a royal PAIN IN THE BUTT to paint!!! As we started to prime the walls white we realized just how disgusting the old walls were... I am assuming they were once white... WAAY too many years ago. The picture below is primed with one coat on the left and the original walls on the right! EWWWW

Here it is zoomed out, can we say GROSS!!

After the walls were finished being primed and the ceiling was completely painted it was time to rip up the carpet! We got out of masks because we knew this was going to be dusty and overly gross!  Getting the carpet up itself was no problem and we discovered the underpad was still in great condition which at the time we thought was a big bonus! (hindsight... argh... I'll come back to this!).  We also discovered that under the carpet there was a subfloor followed by 2 layers of tiles!!! We didn't want to open a whole new can of beans so we just ignored the layers of tiles and leaving the underpad there we decided to install our new flooring. The biggest pain was getting all of the tack strips up from the carpet. Those were installed right which meant crowbars and manual labour to rip it up!

At this point we SHOULD have finished painting the walls before working on the flooring but we were both so exhausted we wanted to do the flooring! We had picked up some amazing laminate at a warehouse near us for 99 cents a square foot! We started to install it according to directions (and the same way we installed the floor in the old house here) and ran into a problem because it kept sliding towards the wall or going crooked. We realized we needed spacers to keep it from bumping up against the wall as we tapped new boards in place.  We hummed and haaa'd about it for 5 seconds and then I noticed our bookshelf FULL of DVDS... PERFECT.  Ryan laughed at me at first and then realized this made a HUGE difference.  Use what you've got! 

We knew we wouldn't get the entire floor done because there was a spot that we needed to level the concrete on which we hadn't done yet.  But we really just wanted to do half the floor!  We had gotten almost there when I walked over a spot a few rows back and heard a crunch... I froze and looked at Ryan!  Upon inspection one of the lips on a board about 4 rows back had broken (faulty board probably). Which meant we had to uninstall 4 rows of flooring to get all the way back to the one board and replace it.  This is when we realized we should have lifted up the original underpad and installed thinner less squishy underpadding. But at this point we weren't starting ALL over again! So we went backwards, replaced the board and moved on.  We made it half way across the floor and were hungry and exhausted so we called it a night! Then the next morning we got up early and just before heading out to pick Norah up and take her to the zoo we rolled a coat of the yellowy green paint on the walls. I was thrilled that it looked like I wanted it! I'm always worried about colours in basements because they can look sooo much darker than you really want them. So this is how we left it.

 Fast forward about 3 weeks. The basement sat in the state above for about 3 weeks before we managed on the Easter long weekend to send Miss Norah to her grandparents for a night.  On the Sunday morning we knew we had limited time so we moved fast. We finished up the flooring (which took about 2 hours this time), touched up some paint, cleaned the floors and dusted up all the crap lying around from when the ceiling was removed.  And this is where we are today!
The area to the right of the photo above is where we play to build a built in custom couch! We opted to not install flooring there because it is a round alcove and the cuts to do the flooring would be a real pain in the butt. Plus with the custom couch being permanently installed there would be no point because you wouldn't see it!

 If you look back to some of the progress photos you can see an ugly light hanging in the middle of the room.  Because of the way the house/basement are wired we had to leave the original electrical box in the middle of the room and it needed to be accessible. We had originally decided to just put a white cap over the hole to cover it up until Ryan came up with the brilliant idea to wire a smoke detector there!! It is functional AND covers the ugly hole!!!

We have bought baseboards and crown moulding which we plan to install this weekend (these can be done while Norah plays down here!) Depending on how Norah naps we may also start the custom couch construction!

Here is a side by side photo of the Before and the In Progress. Just for reference the pot lights REALLY bring in that much more light!! The old basement was SUPER dark and you could never see anything in there!