4 December 2013
I thought I'd share my very minimal progress with the reading room/guest room. We rarely have people stay overnight so rather than having a spare bedroom, I turned this room into a reading room with a sofa bed. It gets used much more often this way and works for us. But I've struggled with decorating this room. It has a few issues. The room is long and narrow making it difficult to decorate - and photograph. (The ceiling light fixture is actually in the centre of the room even though it looks off in the photo.)
This is what it looked like when I first started decorating it back in 2010. Yup, it's been 3 1/2 years and not much has changed.
I've replaced the lamps with the orange flowers. The couch has been moved to the opposite wall. In the photo above, the wall where the sofa used to be has an indentation in it (barely visible in the photo but if you look closely, you'll see a line down the centre of the wall) that made it nearly impossible to hang artwork above the sofa. It makes a perfect spot for the bookshelves though.
One of the bookshelves was moved to my craft room a few weeks ago so I moved the other two to this wall. With the indentation, I'm thinking built-ins would be perfect here. I'm not that handy with a saw. Unfortunately, neither is my husband so we'll see what we come up with. At the very least, I need bigger bookshelves. Even though I'm slowly eliminating books from my library and read most books on my iPad these days, there are still a lot of books that I can't part with.
I added this little desk. I've had it for ages and love it but it's got that orange-y colour that I detest so it's on the list to get a little make-over down the road. The blanket box is one the same list.
My husband gave me these lamps for Christmas a couple of years ago. I really like the oil rubbed bronze finish and the style of them. Better than the orange flowered ones. And I love the sofa. It's comfy and a cosy spot to curl up with a book in. The pillows need to be replaced with ones with some colour. So does the throw.
I moved the wicker rocker out of this photo. So much better! I've definitely decided to sell the wicker set.
Really all I've done so far is move the sofa and bookshelves to opposite walls and added a desk. It needs so much more! Colour mostly. And some personality. It looks absolutely bland right now but I see it as a blank canvas. My mind is swimming with ideas! I'll be sharing my progress as I go along. I know I've said it before, but I'm really enjoying spending time on my home.
The pantry is finished and I'm loving the extra storage space! We had a few issues with it - who knew the builders would decide not to put drywall in the corners but just use tape instead? When we tried to attached the brackets for the shelves, we discovered there was about a 2" gap with no drywall. Thankfully, my husband was able to figure out a way to attach the brackets. (He might not be a great carpenter but he sure knows how to come up with a solution to problems!) Will I be sharing photos? Probably not. It's functional, not pretty. :) And the new dishwasher arrived and has been installed. It's surprising how you get used to having one! After a week of hand washing dishes, I was very grateful to have a dishwasher again.
And I've started decorating for Christmas. It's going to be simple again this year but I have to confess I was beginning to feel a little discouraged looking at some of the photos on blogs and Pinterest! All those rooms in the house decorated! How long does it take to put everything up? And where in the world is it all stored after Christmas? Other than fresh greens and poinsettias, I'm not buying a single decoration, no matter how tempted I am. We've got more than enough ornaments and decorations. And while in previous years I've decorated our tree so that it coordinates with my colour scheme du jour, this year it's a free for all. Anything and everything is going on that tree! Well, maybe not everything. But I'm not sticking to a colour scheme.
That's more than enough for one blog post ... I'll save the rest for later!
21 November 2013
I thought I'd share the progress that I've made so far with my craft room/office. There's still a lot of work to do but I'm feeling much better about the space.
I gathered my favourite wrapping supplies in a wooden box above. Shipping tags, baker's twine, jute and a little glitter - these are my go to supplies for just about everything. Besides liking the way they look together, it's nice having them all in one place.
Here's the before. I can hardly believe that I'm sharing these photos with you! I'd just started decluttering when I took these but this is pretty much how it looked, minus a bag or two. "Stuff" was everywhere and I felt a little claustrophobic whenever I came in here.
Much better now! There's room to breathe! I've been thinking about repainting the walls but I actually like how they look in these photos so I'm reconsidering that. At least for now.
But I'm not loving the wicker. It's just not working for me. I bought it for our porch a few years ago but the pieces are too big (I have 2 chairs, 1 rocker and the table you see under the window). Because of our winters, it can't stay out year round and storing it is a huge problem. So every year I bring it inside and spread it out through a few rooms until the next summer. I've stopped putting it outside because it's just too much hassle so I'm thinking of selling it. If you live in the GTA and are looking for a white wicker porch set, email me! Cushions are included. :)
I brought one of the bookshelves from my reading room (that room got a makeover too) and put all my decor books there. I thought of painting it but it's pressboard and honestly not worth the effort. But it's functional and will do until I find something better. My bulletin board still needs work but at least my desk is nice and clear!
And I tidied up my storage shelves so they look better. An added bonus is that it's nice to be able to find things now. The large cupboard is jam-packed full of fabric. I've got a serious fabric addiction and have decided it's time that I actually use some of that fabric. That way, I can buy more! No, really. I'm not buying any more fabric until I've used some of it up. (But please, don't hold me to that!) I love the basket on top. It's a butcher's basket from around the 1930's or 40's.
So that's my progress so far! I still have to "fluff" it up with artwork and a little paint here and there but overall, I'm pretty happy with it. We were planning to have laminate floors installed on the second floor but I just couldn't handle all the packing up and moving of furniture so we put it off until next year. I'm looking forward to getting rid of the carpet!
In my next post, I'll share my reading/guest room changes. The snowball effect continues!
On another note ... we had to buy a dishwasher today. Mine has been slowly dying for over a year but each time my husband has been able to fix it so we could get a few more months out of it. This time the digital control panel went completely wonky and it's just not worth putting money into a twelve year old dishwasher. With the holidays coming up, we decided to get a new one. It will be installed next week. I also bought the shelving for the pantry. Work on that began today by hauling everything out of there then hopefully I'll get a coat of paint done tomorrow before installing the new shelving.
See you soon!
14 November 2013
The changes keep coming. In my defense, many of these projects have been in the back of my mind for a few years but circumstances have prevented me from giving them anything more than a passing thought. I'm so grateful to be able to give my home a little attention. While going through chemo earlier this year, I started making a list of all the projects I wanted to get to - room by room. It's a long list.
After clearing out the hutch to make room for my new dishes, I didn't quite know what to do with my blue transfer ware plates that used to be displayed there. I really like these plates and still wanted them on display so I decided to hang them. (That's my green front door you see reflected in these first two photos. I didn't realize how distracting it is! It's on my list to be repainted - a nice dark espresso brown, which will work so much better with my decor. But it's going to have to wait awhile.) Back to the plates, I'm happy with how they look. I was afraid it might look a bit cluttered with so many on the wall but it's okay.
Here's a little peek at my new dishes. I love the shape of the bowls! Adds a bit of a modern touch without being too much. I was able to get mugs instead of tea cups. I have a lot of tea cups that have never been used. Are you a tea cup or a mug family? We're definitely a mug family. I'm adding little touches of "winter" with the evergreen plates and pomegranates. Still need to do some work on the styling but that will evolve over time.
I'm not quite sure why but I couldn't stand my Autumn decor for one more minute. The bittersweet was long past its prime and while I decided to keep the white mini pumpkins, the orange ones are now outside on the window sill. In their place I bought a pot of paper whites and replaced the wreath of orange leaves with my soft blue hydrangea wreath. It feels much more soothing without all that orange.
And my craft room/office progress? I'm happy to report that I'm almost done! This has proved to be a much larger project than I imagined but I like the results so far. I'm hoping as the months progress I'll be able to share photos of more than my dining room with you. :) It's currently the only room I'm happy with and besides, it gets really good light in the morning.
8 November 2013
We put the garden to bed this week and cut the roses back, but not before I picked the last of them. Just being able to pick roses in November is amazing.
The mild weather that we've been blessed with for much of October has come to an end. It's starting to get cold and it was time to finish up with the outside work for another year. I even saw a few snow flurries this morning! I'm so not ready for that.
I'm making progress with my craft room once again and the kitchen and dining room are just about done. I hope to be able to share a few sneak peeks with you in my next post. The pantry was scheduled to begin next week but I decided to finish up with the above projects before starting another so it might be delayed a bit. It's feeling a little chaotic around here!
In the meantime, I'm just enjoying Autumn's last gifts. I have to confess that I'm almost ready to put the Autumn decor away for another year and toss the pumpkins into the compost. One or two have already found their way there. I'm not quite ready for Christmas but looking forward to adding one or two more seasonal elements to my decor. When do you start decorating for Christmas?
November can be rather bleak now that the trees are bare and sunny days are rare. At least I can make it cosy inside, and warm things up with candles, lamplight and quilts. These roses remind me of Summer so let's just think of warm sunny days - at least for today. :)
31 October 2013
I was merrily moving along quite nicely on decluttering and organizing my craft room/office. I'd filled several boxes and bags and hauled them off to the Salvation Army. Another large bag was hauled to the curb on garbage day. I was more than halfway finished and was pretty confident that I'd have it all organized within the week.
|Autumn - Living Room|
Last Christmas, I was given money from my parents and my brother because I really wasn't up to deciding what I wanted/needed. Since none of my clothes fit me anymore (losing 30 pounds will do that!) my Mom thought I could use the money to buy some new ones. I tucked the money away because shopping for anything wasn't going to happen for a few months and I kind of forgot about the money. After my Mom died, I found the card she'd given me with the money still inside. I knew I didn't want to use it to buy clothes. I wanted to buy something that would be lasting but didn't have a clue what that would be. And so I tucked the money back into the card and put it away.
A few weeks ago, the idea of white dishes popped into my head. I've been wanting new dishes for a few years and I'm sure the suggestion came from my Mom. She loved dishes. I looked around on the internet for something I might like but didn't find a thing.
Then last week, while out buying chocolate at the outlet mall (because everybody goes to the outlet mall to buy chocolate, right?) I spotted a Royal Doulton store. I never noticed that store before but I felt nudged (okay Mom!) to go in. They were having a sale. A big one. 30% off. And they had white dishes. Just like I'd been wanting. So I bought them.
You know how you change one thing which then leads to something else and so on? Well that's what's happened. I needed to make room for the new dishes. Which meant deciding which of my old ones would get donated to the thrift store. Which led to me clearing out my kitchen cupboards. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.
The good news is that my kitchen cupboards are nice and clean and organized. That baking cupboard and coffee cupboard on my project list? Done! The bad news is that my dining room is in chaos. I still have to clear out the hutch and reorganize it. My craft room? At a complete halt. For now.
But I really like my new dishes. They're technically for every day but I'm also going to use them for "good". I like how food looks on white dishes. They'll mix nicely with my blue transfer ware too. I'm rather excited about reorganizing my dining room. I'm strange that way. Once the chaos is somewhat under control, I'll share some photos. In the meantime, I've got a lot of dishes to do!
See you soon!
23 October 2013
Finally! I figured out how to dry hydrangeas! It's taken me many tries to get it right. I think I've picked them too soon in the past. This time I waited until their original colour had faded, removed the leaves and placed them in individual jars so that as they dried, they would keep their original shape.
And it worked! It took 3-4 weeks before the hydrangeas were completely dry. The blue Endless Summer blooms dried to a gorgeous shade of green and the pink ones dried a deeper green with touches of burgundy.
I'm so happy with the way they dried. I was able to fill this little vintage basket which I placed on my dining room sideboard. There might be one or two more blooms I can pick before the frost comes. Most of the hydrangeas have been scorched by the hot Summer sun and are brown on the edges so I didn't pick those. I plan to plant at least one more hydrangea in the Spring. I love that they provide colour all Summer long and other than keeping them well watered, are very easy to maintain.
I'm making good progress on organizing my craft room! I'm hoping to have it finished within the next couple of weeks. Projects take me a lot longer to do now than they used to but I get there eventually. :)
See you soon!